Effective Team Building Among Remote Workers. Remote working is surging in popularity amidst the restricted movements. Working from home has its perks like increased focus and better performance. However, most of the employees work in isolation and fail to build trust and rapport with their colleagues. In a traditional office, workers spend over 40 hours together weekly. That provides time for interactions through chit chats during breaks and working on similar projects.
An organisation needs strong teams that can work together towards a common goal. To create strong bonds in work environments, most companies rely on team building. Research shows that employees who trust each other complete their work efficiently. Therefore, to ensure your remote team is working optimally, you need to make them feel connected to shared objectives.
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Why Team Building Is Crucial for Remote Workers
Remote workers face a unique set of challenges including loneliness, lack of communication or collaboration, and distractions at home. Unfortunately, when working from home, lack of engagement creates an emotional distance. Therefore, organisations should build relationships with their virtual workers.
Companies should prioritise regular socialising among remote teams to enable meaningful connections. Interactions not only build trust and create a sense of inclusion but also promote the company culture. Team bonding sessions also encourage inclusivity, and the team members feel valued and part of the organisation.
Establishing strong bonds boost morale and happiness of employees. Since they will be more confident to contribute their ideas to the team, productivity will skyrocket. If you are looking for inspiration on ways to engage your remote workers, here are a few ideas:
Remote Team Building Activities
Keeping remote staff engaged is not a walk in the park. Apart from distractions, the workers may be in different time zones or schedule their duties at other times. However, you can create an interactive remote working environment with a little effort.
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1. Organise Icebreaking Activities
People find it awkward to converse with strangers. Therefore, if you want your team-building efforts to work, make time for icebreakers. You can encourage members to schedule a brief conference call when on-boarding a new employee. When you have video meetings, promote members to check-in by sharing a recap of their weekend or project success. You can also strike conversations with games, quizzes, sharing favourite foods and books, or videos of home offices.
2. Have Virtual Water Cooler Breaks
Office workers often chat during breaks in the kitchen. While remote workers cannot chat face-to-face, they can gather and have discussions in a virtual space. It would help if you encouraged the employees to socialise online on their own. Talking about random topics encourages them to know each other and breed trust.
Create a video chat platform and encourage workers to use it before group meetings or during scheduled breaks throughout the day. Once you have an idea of the common interests of the team, you can design events around them. For instance, if your remote team members are into gaming, you can organise online gaming nights. However, you should ensure everyone can access the gaming consoles or equipment for the activity.
3. Promote Video Conferencing
If you have in-office and distributed teams, organising a video conference can bridge the gap and keep the teams connected. While regular communication can suffice, occasional touchpoints through video conferences are vital for remote team members. An excellent alternative is hosting a live office stream. Encourage workers to join the virtual meet up or team video chat. A live remote office mimics a physical office set-up like taking coffee while chatting or discussing projects face-to-face. Apart from offering total connection in real-time, it will boost the morale of the employees and improve productivity. Conferencing also provides opportunities for problem-solving; you can organise virtual team-building exercises during the live streams. For example, schedule ‘ask me anything’ sessions during breaks or a virtual scavenger hunt.
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4. Have a Weekly Happy Hour
After conquering all your weekly goals, celebrate with your workers by hosting a virtual happy hour. Encourage the members to join the video chat and participate in the team building activities. During the happy hour, workers can enjoy a treat of their choosing and spend time playing exciting games. Any game centred on communication like Catchphrase, Pictionary, Jeopardy, and Charades will do the trick.
5. Organise Virtual Workouts
Remote work requires you to organise routine team exercises over video. One of the employees can lead the group workout and give exercise instructions. You can also organise yoga or meditation sessions in-between work to recharge your energies. Apart from exercises, you can all dance to the same upbeat song. Many people consider working-out as a social activity, so you should encourage friendly banter to create a bond.
Remote teams do not have access to in-person communication, but they should not feel detached from one another. Use creative solutions for effective team building among remote workers to help you get started on team building.
Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings, including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.