A strong team can help the business survive even the most challenging times. This is one reason why most organizational leaders always set aside sufficient resources to support team building activities. Team building is an essential aspect of creating a successful company with longevity, and this also applies even to companies that implement hybrid or remote office setup. With highly engaged team members in your remote office, you can rest assured that your team has the same goals in mind, and that is to help your business succeed.
Team Building Tips for Remote Workers
But how can you ensure that your remote employees are engaged and your organization runs with a cohesive team with strong dynamics? Here are ten team building tips you can implement to help improve engagement with your remote workers.
1. Use online collaboration tools
With the use of virtual collaboration tools such as Kanban, organizing your workflow can be a lot easier. This team management tool can also help ensure that everyone knows what they are doing to help with the maximum performance of the team.
Essentially, Kanban is about visualizing your workflow and examining the flow of work through this organized system. Your team will be able to track and improve processes more effectively while actually performing the tasks. As your team becomes more effective, employees will become closer to each other.
2. Implement a virtual water cooler
You’ve probably heard of the water cooler talk – the chatting that happens among employees during breaks when they all gather around the water cooler in the office. For remote teams, the water cooler talk is non-existent, but you can still install a virtual water cooler.
If you are using a platform like Slack for communication, then it will be easy to create a separate channel that your employees can use to communicate casually during breaks. If you can’t have a separate channel like that, you can still encourage causal interactions to create that kind of water cooler talk.
3. Utilize video conferencing
Video conferencing is great not only for meetings but also for team-building activities. When your employees use video conferencing for communication, they will have face-to-face interactions that are often missing in remote teams. It’s not the same as in-person communication, but it is as close as it comes to that.
Once again, on platforms like Slack, it is easier to organize casual communication during breaks with the use of video conferencing. You can also use Discord or Zoom depending on what your employees prefer. Make sure that everyone is comfortable using video conferencing before starting such communication.
4. Take care of your employees’ health
Employee health – both physical and mental – is crucial for the success of your entire team. That’s why you should always take care of your employees if you want them to perform well at work. Moreover, if your employees feel well, they will be more likely to engage with each other.
You can organize short workout sessions in the morning or offer opportunities to go to the gym regularly. Caring about mental health can be a bit more challenging, but you can hire a psychologist specifically for your company. If that is not an option, encourage your employees to visit a therapist on their own.
5. Stick to the schedule
Just like any team, you probably have a schedule for all your tasks and processes. If you don’t have one already, you can use Kanban and its principles to help you create a schedule. In any case, you should stick to the schedule as much as possible.
If everyone is doing their job correctly and completing all their tasks on time, there will be more satisfaction among employees about each other’s performance. You don’t want anyone letting the team down by being lazy, for example. That’s why it is necessary to ensure that everyone knows what their tasks are and sticks to the schedule.
6. Play engaging games
Playing games is one of the best ways to build a stronger team spirit, but it is important to find engaging games that all your employees will enjoy playing. If you try specific games and see that they don’t work for everyone, then you should find other options that all your team members will enjoy.
It’s much easier to find the right games if all your employees already play specific video games in their leisure time. On the other hand, if there are no games that everyone knows, you can try many different games before you find something that everyone likes.
7. Host virtual movie nights
In addition to playing games with your team, you can also host virtual movie nights. You don’t need to meet up for these movie nights – everyone can watch the movie from the comfort of their own home. It’s easy to host such virtual movie nights through Discord because you can text or talk while watching the movie.
During such movie nights, you don’t necessarily need to watch movies. You can watch TV shows or even repurpose the movie night into a book night to discuss a particular book that you agreed on reading beforehand. It’s all up to your team and what your employees prefer.
8. Find opportunities for meet-ups
Besides trying out different remote activities, you can also try to organize actual in-person activities. For instance, you can look for opportunities to meet up once a month and go somewhere (e.g. to a restaurant).
It’s an activity that everyone will be looking forward to, but it can be difficult to organize if there is a lot of distance between everyone. Some remote teams could consist of employees living all over the world. In this case, you can consider going on vacation together at least once a year.
9. Organize learning activities
Learning activities can also be a good opportunity for employees to get closer. You can find different online classes that will help your team members increase their qualifications. While they are completing a course, they can discuss the different assignments with each other and even work together on the assignments.
10. Consider volunteering
Last but not least, you should consider finding opportunities for volunteering. Like with meet-ups, volunteering will only be possible for teams that don’t live too far from each other. But if it is possible for your employees, it’s definitely a good idea for getting closer to each other by doing volunteer work (e.g. taking care of animals at a dog and cat shelter).
All in all, building a strong team of remote workers is definitely possible as long as you are invested in the task. Use the tips in this article to help you build stronger connections between your remote employees and create a team that is both successful and dedicated.