The shift to remote has greatly affected our work and work relationships, sometimes leaving employees who work from home struggling to feel connected with co-workers and the organization.
Whether employees work remotely or onsite, everyone needs regular communication and activity to stay engaged and informed. By investing in remote team building activities, you can model the engagement of in-office teams—and build an even better connection and culture. We’ve included a few enjoyable team-building activities below that can be done in-person and virtually.
Get to know your team better
Connection starts with a team’s leader. When you know your team—and show a real appreciation for their personalities, wants, needs and work styles—it’s easier to build a sense of trust, respect and community within the organization. You also create an environment in which employees feel free to express their problems and concerns. Here are two activities that will help you and your team learn more about the human beings behind the names and job titles:
Two truths and a lie
This activity can be a fun way to share personal anecdotes with co-workers. Give each participant two minutes to prepare two truths and one lie about themselves. Each participant shares their three facts, and the team guesses which one is the lie.
Online team building bingo
The conversations needed to learn the information in the bingo squares are a great way for everyone on your team to get to know each other. Each player gets a card to play, and when a player finds something out about another team member that matches a bingo square, the square is crossed off with the name of the person who matches that square noted. Award prizes for the first player to complete challenges, like an entire row or an entire board. The rules and template at teambuilding.com/blog/online-team-building-bingo are a good place to start, but you can also Google “online team building bingo board” for more examples.
Improve your communication and listening skills
In the workplace, communication among co-workers is essential to productivity. One way to improve communication is to practice “active listening,” where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but their entire message. Good communication will reduce misunderstandings, increase productivity and build relationships. Here are a couple of ways to help you and your team strengthen your communication skills:
It’s said the average person needs to see or hear something seven to 10 times before they remember it. Pull your team together on a regular basis to go over important updates, new clients, changes to procedures and policies, or anything else of importance. Even if you repeat information, it’s better to over communicate than to leave important information unsaid and risk causing issues down the line.
This is a fun listening activity. Gather the team for storytime and tell an obscure, detailed story. In the end, test your team with specific questions to see who really listened and who made assumptions.
Incorporate more social activities
Work relationships are about more than just “getting along” with a co-worker. These relationships can either positively or negatively affect an employee’s stress levels, productivity, general feelings of happiness and job satisfaction, and even physical health. Remote working has left many office employees with increased feelings of loneliness and isolation, so it’s more important than ever to keep your team connected. Here are two easy ways to schedule fun socialization opportunities for your team:
Choose a day, time, and frequency to meet for virtual coffee breaks. They can be as structured or unstructured as you wish. Whether you share a work update, general small talk or have planned topics, a coffee break is an effective—and much more personal—way to get the office together for a casual chat.
Commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, retirements, and more as a team, in person or virtually. Make it a point to recognize every person in your organization as special throughout the year.
A successful team-building activity will make the workplace—remote or onsite—more comfortable and satisfying for all employees. Are you ready to improve your team’s communication, collaboration, and performance? Start with virtual team building.