Remote team building may sound like a paradox, but in this digital era, it’s not only possible, it’s also paramount for the success of any remote team. Remote teams face unique challenges, like feeling isolated or disconnected, which can erode cohesion and productivity.
Therefore, engaging in remote team-building activities can help alleviate these issues by shaping a sense of camaraderie and a stronger team dynamic, setting your team on the road to success. So buckle in and get ready because I’ve got some mind-blowing ideas for you!
Why Remote Team Building Activities Matter
Team building activities are not just about ‘having fun’. They serve the crucial function of establishing trust, fostering open communication, and nurturing a collaborative culture. For remote teams, these activities become even more critical.
Research has shown that well-implemented remote work strategies lead to happier and more productive teams – but this doesn’t come automatically. It needs a conscious effort to create human-to-human connections that foster a sense of belonging and shared understanding.
- Boosts team morale and engagement: Remote team building activities inject fun into work, which can significantly boost morale and employee engagement.
- Promotes better communication: These activities also help break down communication barriers and encourage open, effective collaboration.
- Creates a positive team culture: They help to create a shared culture and identity, which is essential in a remote work environment where individuals are physically separated.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
Now that we understand the importance of remote team-building activities, let’s dive into some innovative ways to bring your team closer together, virtually!
14 Engaging Remote Team Building Activities
All teams are unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Hence, we’ve collated a diverse list of activities to suit different team requirements and preferences.
1. Virtual icebreakers: Kick off your team meetings with an icebreaker question. These can reveal interesting details about team members and serve as great conversation starters.
2. Online lunch dates / virtual coffee chats: Once a month, get your team together for a virtual meal or coffee break. Use this as a casual space to chat, discuss non-work topics, and generally connect.
3. Group chat socialization: Set up a dedicated group chat space where team members can share casual tidbits and socialize outside of work topics.
4. Strengths finder session: Use online assessment tools like CliftonStrengths to discover each other’s unique strengths and discuss how to utilize them best in the team.
5. ‘How you doing?’ check-in: Start your team meetings with a brief ‘How you doing?’ check-in where each team member shares how they are feeling that day.
6. Remote gaming: From .gif battles to a fast-paced game of Kahoot! trivia, find fun games that can be played remotely.
7. Personality tests: Take an Enneagram system test and discuss the results. It’s an enlightening exercise that can help team members understand one another’s working styles and personalities
8. Rotation curation: Create a traveling plush toy game where a mascot gets mailed from one team member to another each week.
9. Collaborative playlists: Share control of a music playlist and discover new music together – great for people who bond over tunes!
10. Learning circles: Choose a topic and set a learning goal as a team. Each member then shares resources and ideas on that topic, promoting collective learning and growth.
11. Virtual gift exchange: Organize a secret Santa-style gift exchange where team members send each other thoughtful gifts via mail.
12. Virtual boba-making session: Compile a boba-making kit and mail it to each team member. Then, hold a group video session where everyone makes their boba together.
13. Remote book club: Start a book club where team members can take turns to suggest books. Discuss the book online once everyone has read it.
14. Themed photo contests: Organize a photo contest where team members email pictures based on a common theme. The best picture gets featured on the company blog or gets another fun incentive!
Are Team Building Activities Effective in a Remote Setting?
The quick answer is, yes. According to data from Atlassian, 94 percent of workers they surveyed said mutual respect and connection were crucial to their team’s success.
Yet, remote work can sometimes cause feelings of disconnect and isolation. Hence, activities that promote trust, respect, and connection become invaluable for remote teams.
Common Questions About Remote Team Building
How Often Should We Conduct Team Building Activities?
The frequency can vary depending on your team’s dynamics and workload. However, it’s a good practice to include some form of team bonding activity in your weekly or bi-weekly meetings.
Are Virtual Team Building Activities Expensive?
They don’t have to be! Many of the activities mentioned above can be implemented at low or no cost. However, investing in team bonding can have significant returns in terms of employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.
Can Large Remote Teams Also Conduct These Activities?
Absolutely! The size of your team doesn’t inhibit the effectiveness of team-building activities. However, with larger teams, consider splitting the group for certain games or activities to ensure everyone gets a chance to participate.
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