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6 Awesome Team Building Activities for Remote Workers
Whether your organization recently switched to a work-from-wherever model or it has supported remote work for years, the reality is that ensuring your workers feel connected isn’t easy when everyone isn’t in the office together. People miss out on in-office small talk and can’t bond during lunch and coffee breaks like they could with an in-person model. But there are still opportunities for team building with remote workers.
These opportunities might be largely virtual and depend on technology, but they foster a strong culture and help people feel more connected to their colleagues.
This article unpacks what remote employee team building is, why it matters, and what activities you can start using today to support your remote workers.
What Is Remote Team Building?
Remote employee team building refers to virtual activities that bring work-from-home employees together for non-work-related interactions.
It includes virtual get-togethers, like virtual coffee chats and lunches, as well as asynchronous team-building activities like games and employee shout-out boards where team members give one another positive feedback.
Why Remote Working Team Building Matters
A poll taken by the UK learning management system provider HowNow found that 67 percent of remote workers feel disconnected from their co-workers, and 42 percent feel lonely at work.
In the US, the situation is similar. While the vast majority of surveyed employees prefer a flexible work model, the lack of human connection is a problem. One study found that 90 percent of executives said culture and connection are lacking, and 70 percent of remote workers say they can’t socialize enough with their colleagues.
There’s no question that a huge chunk of the remote force will continue working from home in the future – it’s estimated that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely. But employers will have to overcome one of the main challenges of transitioning to a remote or hybrid model – disconnectedness – with a proactive approach to team building and supporting employee engagement.
Remote team building gives employees the opportunity to get to know one another through social interactions. They learn each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and unique personality traits.
Having these experiences and learning about each other helps employees collaborate better while creating a sense of togetherness.
Fun Employee Team Building Activities for Work-from-Wherever Organizations
Whether your organization is fully remote or hybrid, the following virtual team-building ideas can be just what you need to boost employee engagement and help your workers feel more connected.
1. Set Up a Monday Morning Standup
One of the easiest ways to connect is to do a weekly check-in session before starting the work week. Teams join a virtual meeting and share positive news or a new challenge. These personal stories can be work-related or not. The goal is to bring everyone together at the start of the week to reset after the weekend and reconnect.
2. Create a Virtual Watercooler
There might not be an actual break room for employees to meet up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a virtual one. Using a business messaging application like Slack or your unified communications platform, create a chat channel specifically for social interactions.
Let your employees know this is a place to share personal news, crack jokes, show support, and simply be themselves. This social outlet can be great for sparking small conversations and relationship-building.
3. Solve Collaborative Puzzles
One of the reasons team building is important is you want individuals to be able to work together. So, help them practice with virtual collaborative puzzles.
Start a puzzle online with tools like Ravensburger’s Puzzle or Jigsaw Explorer, invite others to play too, and celebrate when the team completes a puzzle!
4. Celebrate Successes
Another facet of team building is support. Employees should know their co-workers have their back and recognize the hard work that they do. You can encourage this with employee reward and recognition platforms like Nectar and Assembly.
Employees recognize one another by giving away points, and then their co-workers can redeem those points for gift cards. It’s a fun way to celebrate success within your teams.
5. Reach Personal Goals Together
Most people aren’t just focused on work goals – they also have self-development goals. Whether it’s healthier eating, exercising more, or simply taking time for self-care and personal growth, you can encourage your employees to live happier, healthier lives and strengthen team bonds by setting up an accountability group online.
Employees can share their goals and then send snapshots of their progress with images or updates. When people share their journeys and get supportive feedback from team members, they feel like they’re supported in life, not just in work.
6. Join in Workshops
Give your teams the chance to share experiences outside of work with online workshops. Support team members who want to participate in a workshop or virtual class. It could be something that will improve their work skills, such as leadership workshops or industry-specific skill-building, or a fun hobby class like learning a new language or how to watercolor paint.
Bring Your Teams Together with Technology
Remote teams don’t have to feel disconnected. With team-building activities to help co-workers socialize, learn about each other, and give and receive support, your work-from-wherever organization can foster a strong work culture, no matter where everyone is located.
But staying connected starts with the right technology. Remote employees need tools that streamline communications and invite interactions. Intermedia Unite brings together voice, video, team chat, file sharing, and more, and it integrates with popular business applications. Learn more about how it works today.Without in-person interactions, employee bonding is difficult. That’s why remote working team building activities are so useful. Here are 6 you can try.