It seems we will continue to navigate work-from-home life for some time to come. However, being solo does not mean being in a silo. There are many opportunities to connect virtually, boost team morale, and spark cohesion by implementing virtual team-building exercises to bring teams together and grow the culture.
In a remote work environment, communication is the glue that holds the team together by preventing misunderstanding in both task execution and personal relationships. Prioritizing communication with remote teams will not only increase engagement but also foster a sense of support. At Artisan, we have a video-first approach where possible, then resort to slack or calls. We prefer to see one another and our candidates when possible via video when communicating.
We also incorporate icebreakers into our Monday morning calls. Below is a list of virtual team-building exercises and tips that will spark the sense of community your team may be longing for as we continue maneuvering through these difficult times.
Start the Zoom Meeting Off Right
Generate excitement and engagement at the start of every video meeting by implementing icebreakers to promote connection and team-building.
For a quick icebreaker, have each team member share a lesson learned for the week or share a “high” and a “low’ from the previous week. Depending on the team’s dynamic, this can be as casual or as deep as each person would like.
Another great icebreaker is to is pose a critical thinking question or a riddle to the team. This does not necessarily have to be related to work and can be more playful and thought-provoking. This will not only prompt your team to get their wheels turning immediately, but it will also provide insight into how your team thinks. We’ve used the 3000 Questions to inspire fun and create meaningful conversations.
Dedicate More Time to Lengthy Team Building Activities
If your company culture calls for more in-depth team-building exercises, many virtual games and activities encourage teamwork and create an immersive experience!
Outback virtual team building has several professionally organized team-building experiences that range from 1 to 3 hours and can be adjusted for any size team! You can even choose between a self-hosted or virtually-hosted format.
For a more simple activity, create a virtual coffee break or happy hour to celebrate with your team! You can plan several virtual games and activities for everyone to spark conversation and storytelling. If you want to go above and beyond, send your team members a package with drinks and snacks!
Additionally, there are many platforms for team game nights and trivia nights. For example, The Offsite Co. has options from virtual escape rooms to scavenger hunts, and Avital Tours offers cooking classes and culinary experiences.
Utilize Team Building Software
The transition to remote work started before the pandemic with the emergence of several highly efficient cloud-based software can further increase engagement and build better communication daily.
Klaxtoon or Mentimeter are two platforms that facilitate remote meetings by enabling each team member to participate with their own device. The software then visually depicts the collected input with easy-to-digest, playful graphics that can be shared with the whole team.
Both have many features that make them highly engaging platforms, such as filtering ideas by color, creating surveys, and collecting feedback once the meeting has ended.
Other team-building software such as Range or communication and collaboration apps such as Slack or Trello allow for seamless check-ins with all team members. They facilitate the creation of personal relationships by allowing team members to connect and to communicate successes and challenges. These same tools can also be used for onboarding a new hire remotely. Additional tips can be found here.
The current global pandemic has created an opportunity for us to adapt the way we work, and more significantly, the way we communicate. We must work together to bring our teams a sense of cohesion and connection when communication only happens digitally.
As we continue to learn and adjust, it is important to encourage team unity through team-building exercises that make your team feel connected, facilitating engagement and productivity. What best practices do you use for remote team-building?
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 578th issue of our weekly a.blog.