Remote team building activities is a great way to enhance your relationship with your internal and external staff. We have talked about building an atmosphere of trust to effectively manage remote employees in our last article and team building activities is a great way to build trust and rapport.
It is easy to talk and connect to a colleague when they are just sitting right next to you. You can see and hear them and it makes the interaction more personal and relatable. With virtual colleagues, all you see in front of you is a computer, text messages via IM or emails. So how can we promote camaraderie and “team spirit” despite being only virtually connected?
First Impressions last. Before you flood your remote employee with the tasks-to-do, we recommend that you take the time to welcome his or her to your team. You can hop on a quick video call to perhaps give them a quick tour of your office and the rest of the team or if you are all working at home, you can set up a group call for everyone just to break the ice and get everyone introduced to each other. As a newbie, it is always helpful to know that your colleagues have taken the time to welcome you and thus, they will also be there when the tough gets going at work to assist you somehow.
A few software programs you can use for screen sharing and teleconferencing are: Skype, Google Hangouts, WebEx and GoToMeeting.
Never underestimate the power of chat. There is software like slack and glip that is great for team messaging (and they can also be great for a lot of things too). You can create a group chat intended solely for the team’s non-work related messages or random shares. Team members can then share some funny moments, photos or express some random rants about a difficult customer. You can make use of a variety of funny memes or animated gif to make the conversation lively (or not lively) as if you are all just in the same workspace. Simple things that can definitely help lighten up the mood of the day.
Weekly Meetings. Because you are worlds apart, communication is very vital even though there are no work updates or issues that need addressing. You gather the team together in a video call and give each team member a time to speak out. They may share their difficulties at work or impart their best practices to the others. Meetings like this show that the “team” cares for each and every one.
Kudos emails. Occasionally, send email blasts to all when one of the staff does an exemplary work. For example, if a customer has commended your business because your staff has delivered above and beyond service, create a kudos email announcing that deed and allow the other team members to reply and congratulate the performer for the job well-done. The team’s enthusiasm will boost the staff member’s morale and can greatly encourage productivity.
Be creative and think what makes the team engaged. As you all don’t have a physical office and can work anywhere, you can designate a “show-your-office day” where your employees take a photo of their workplace (whether it is) and share it with the group. This doesn’t take so much of time to do and helps everyone to get to know each other a bit.
Have a book club. When several people are reading the same book, and sharing knowledge, powerful things happen. Discussing chapters and exchanging ideas and concept can have a very power effect and provides insight into how team members think and interact.
These may not fall under the “normal” team building activities like we are all used to in the corporate world but they work quite the same – the goal is to build relationship despite being in the same physical space.
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Need some help with your staff? Reach out to me and let me help.