06 April, 2023
12 Best Tips & Activities for Improving Team Building in Remote Work
Remote work hasn’t gone anywhere after lockdowns. In fact, over 35% of people in the UK have worked remotely at some point in 2023.
While remote work offers many benefits for many organisations, it presents unique challenges, particularly regarding team building. So, let’s take this opportunity to explore practical solutions to improve remote team building. Whether you are a manager, team leader, or team member, this article will offer valuable tips and strategies to help you strengthen the bond.
Benefits of Remote Team Building
Building a strong team dynamic is critical for the success of any organisation, and this holds true for remote teams as well.
Here is what exactly you’ll achieve with team building:
How to improve work performance in a virtual office is a crucial question many remote teams face today. Effective communication is one way to go about it. Think of remote team-building activities as a dynamic communication booster that can help bridge the distance between remote workers.
Fun activities also allow people to interact with each other outside of their work responsibilities. In turn, they break down barriers and encourage team members to communicate more openly and freely.
Team building activities force people to collaborate in a way they wouldn’t normally do in their day-to-day work. This can be particularly helpful in bridging gaps and encouraging cross-functional collaboration. As people learn to work together in new and creative ways, they also learn transferable skills for work-related tasks.
Going forward, they will be more likely to work collaboratively, take on challenges together, and celebrate each other’s successes.
Virtual team-building activities offer a break from the monotony of work and help you understand your colleagues’ work styles, preferences, and strengths. When remote workers share a certain level of familiarity with each other, it can help boost morale within the team. Who would refuse a sense of unity and shared purpose among coworkers and managers?
You create a virtual community with camaraderie, empathy, and emotional support as you explore different ways to improve remote team building. Members become more likely to connect with each other and share their experiences.
In such an environment, people channel their energy into their work, producing exceptional results and driving the team’s success forward.
12 Tips & Activities for Virtual Team Building for Your Business
Without further ado, let’s learn how to improve virtual team building with a few easy-to-implement activities.
The ‘daily snapshots’ activity involves taking a photo of something interesting or meaningful from your day and sharing it with the team. It could be anything from a beautiful sunset to a new dish you tried for lunch. The purpose is to encourage remote workers to connect and share their experiences, even if it’s something small and rather meaningless.
But make it clear that it’s optional and not mandatory, as some people aren’t comfortable sharing personal photos.
A movie is a great way to enjoy some relaxation time together. But if you’re organising a movie night at work, here are a few team-building tips for remote teams:
- Choose a movie that will appeal to everyone on the team. It’s essential to be sensitive to cultural and personal differences, so maybe having a poll to let the team vote is better than deciding on your own.
- Consider different time zones if you have remote team members across different regions.
- Encourage team members to get snacks or even consider sending snacks to everyone on the team before the movie night.
- After the movie, encourage a discussion to share thoughts and opinions. This can be a great way to bond over shared interests.
Workshops and Classes
With workshops and classes, team members can build new skills and improve existing ones. These classes can be directly tied to their work — like time management (prioritising tasks, managing distractions, and increasing productivity), stress management (mindfulness exercises and relaxation techniques), and leadership (delegation and conflict resolution).
Alternatively, you can make it fun and more personal. For example, a painting workshop where a professional artist provides step-by-step instructions or a music lesson where the team will play and sing the latest hit song. This way, you avoid the feeling of doing extra work.
A talent show provides a platform for team members to showcase their unique talents and interests. At the same time, it also encourages them to step out of their comfort zones and try something new, which can benefit personal growth and development.
If you’re considering hosting one, follow these tips for remote team building:
- Invite participants, like an MC or judges
- Establish guidelines, such as time limits for each performance and appropriate content
- Have a backup plan in case of connectivity problems
- Encourage positive feedback
By reading and discussing books together, team members can learn how to analyse complex ideas and arguments. And if you include diverse perspectives and ideas, you will also broaden their cultural understanding. This may help them the next time they’re talking to a coworker from that culture.
You don’t have to look at it strictly as an opportunity for personal growth, development, and cross-cultural understanding and communication. Books are enjoyable as is. If the book is good enough, members will look forward to each book club meeting with excitement and anticipation.
Some personal challenges can be much-needed additions to everyone’s day. Here are a few ideas, from productive to simply fun:
- Cooking challenge — Choose a recipe of the week and propose to everyone to try it (perhaps even document the process).
- Fitness challenge — Set a fitness goal, such as a daily step count or minutes of exercise per week.
- Random acts of kindness challenge — Something like paying for someone’s coffee or writing a thank-you note to a person in your life.
- DIY challenge — This may mean creating a home decor item or upcycling an old T-shirt.
These challenges can be adapted to suit the interests and preferences of your team, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
During a goal-setting session, remote employees work with their managers or team leaders to identify specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals (SMART). This may also include discussions about individual, team, and company goals.
Here are a few team-building tips for remote employees during such sessions:
- Recognise and celebrate successes
- Encourage collaboration to achieve goals
- Emphasise the bigger picture
- Provide resources and support
- Perform regular check-ins
Create chat channels on your team’s messaging platform (like Slack or Microsoft Teams) specifically for casual conversations. This is where workers will chat about non-work-related topics, share memes or funny videos, or discuss their hobbies and interests. If you notice them slipping into a work-related discussion, steer the topic into something casual.
Random pairings of people who don’t work together often get overlooked. This is a shame because these activities encourage employees to get to know each other on a personal level and build relationships outside of their immediate work teams.
There are many free online tools that can generate random pairings of people, so use the first one that you come across. Suggest that they take a virtual coffee break together, provide discussion prompts or icebreaker questions, and mix up the pairings after a few weeks or months.
Joint Meditation Sessions
Meditation is a powerful tool for regulating stress and increasing focus, which becomes especially important when managing a team of remote workers. Oftentimes, it’s hard to gauge who’s having a difficult time. So, you can offer them a proactive approach to clear their minds and improve their overall well-being.
You can use guided meditations to help team members who are new to the practice or even ask one of the team members to lead the session.
Show and Tell
The good old “show and tell” game offers a glimpse into each other’s lives outside of work while also improving presentation skills. These tips for virtual team building will make the activity better:
- Encourage the use of props, photos, videos, or anything else members might need
- Set a theme (favourite hobby, travel destination, childhood memory)
- Set a time limit for each presentation
- Ask questions after each presentation
Bring the Friday Feeling
Just like many people feel on Fridays when working in a traditional office setting, you can help remote workers get excited about the end of the workweek. This can involve all kinds of activities, events, or initiatives that bring a sense of fun and relaxation, as long as it’s nothing productive.
Here are a few ideas for remote team building on a Friday night:
- Happy hour
- Sharing end-of-week results
- Games (trivia, quizzes, charades, Pictionary)
- Personal celebrations
Consider The Hoxton Mix as Your Trusted Partner
Let us be your go-to partner for all things virtual office-related! At the Hoxton Mix, we understand that navigating the virtual workplace can be a challenge, so we’re here to make it easier for you.
Our team is dedicated to providing top-notch virtual office services wherever you are. Furthermore, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, so each of our clients can create a customised solution with the service that fits their unique needs. A quick 10-minute setup and you’re good to go.
Please reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you reap the benefits of investing in a virtual office.
Why is virtual team building important?
Virtual team building helps foster a sense of connection and community among remote workers, which they may need physical proximity. By engaging in team-building activities for remote workers, team members can build stronger relationships, establish trust, and develop a shared sense of purpose. For the employer, this translates into increased motivation and better overall performance.
What can I improve in my virtual team building?
It’s better to take a proactive approach to virtual team building. Instead of recognising and addressing any issues or conflicts as they arise, consider fostering a positive and productive team dynamic as soon as possible.
How do I pick the right team-building exercises?
Please take a look at the unique needs and personalities of your team members, as well as the goals and objectives of the activity. This can be one of the above-mentioned team-building ideas for remote teams or something you come up with on your own. Don’t dwell on it too much — make it engaging, interactive, and inclusive for all team members.
Hand-picked related articles
Our meeting rooms are located at our Paul Street office,
and it’s just a few minutes walk from Old Street tube station…
3rd Floor, 86-90 Paul Street,London,EC2A 4NEDirections
Monday - Friday 9am - 18.00pm