4 Virtual Team Building Ideas for Remote Teams

Communication Articles / Human Resource Management / Job Satisfaction / Team Building
4 Virtual Team Building Ideas for Remote Teams

For many employees, working from home is a luxury that provides flexibility and cost savings, among many other benefits. Remote working doesn’t come without its drawbacks, though. Telecommuters may feel isolated by not personally interacting with their colleagues on a daily basis.

Team building is essential for a productive, thriving and trustworthy environment. According to Forbes, it fosters unity and camaraderie, and restores a sense of shared responsibility and connection. Engaging teams through non-work-related activities is also a fun way for employees to step away from the job for a nice mental break. Whether you want to engage your remote employees more or shake up your traditional team-building activities, here are ideas for creating positive workplace dynamics.

Coffee Dates

Those few moments near the coffeemaker may not seem like a valuable part of the workday, but it actually serves as a daily opportunity to strengthen dynamics among coworkers. Personalize working relationships with virtual coffee meetups where employees can enjoy a cup of joe together to start the day or rejuvenate the afternoon. Encourage employees to actually connect at their local Starbucks or favorite coffee shop for a true laid back coffeehouse vibe. Personal chatter helps employees relate to each other, which improves workplace collaboration.

Insta-Team Building

Since the advent of Facebook and Twitter, more and more relationships develop through social media. These social media channels are typically reserved for personal connection, yet Instagram still offers a unique team-building opportunity centered on the fun of photo sharing. Create a professional account for employees to follow and share work-related photos. Encourage (appropriate) photos to share like motivational quotes, group pictures from out-of-town work events, accolades or even messages of appreciation. Instagram embraces the power of pictures – and since we’re visual beings, sharing something more than words can help spark conversation and connection.

Break the Ice to Kick Off a Meeting

Icebreakers aren’t just for summer camp. For work, Life Meets Work calls these “icebreakers with purpose,” which means we can learn about our colleagues through fun and thought-provoking questions. Answers provide cues to our peers’ personalities, work styles and values that can help create common ground to maximize productivity. Exercises that invite employees to provide their input (such as “how would you survive on a stranded island” or “plan a seven-course meal for a client”) encourage brainstorming, group effort and communication. This type of exercise is a great way to open a brainstorming session using virtual meeting software or during a Web conference, serving as casual practice for crafting solutions and ideas as a whole.

Team Fitness Challenge

Why not use team building as a way to promote wellness and get employees moving. Individuals are more likely to stay accountable and on track when they commit to a fitness challenge as a team with others. Employees can also serve as a support system for one another — celebrating goals reached and motivating when the going gets tough (perhaps on the work Instagram account). If you’re looking for a technology-based solution to implement into your work wellness program, the FitBit app can work seamlessly. This platform tracks activity, calories burned and sleep patterns, as well as records workouts, logs food and shows results. Employees will gain more awareness over their habits and can share knowledge with their teammates to conquer their goals as one.

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