5 Remote Team Building Activities to Encourage Team Bonding

Author: Tyler Cox

When it comes to building a successful team, companies with an onsite workforce typically employ a few common strategies. They might have a sales leaderboard in the office, with prizes for the top performers of the month. They might have a weekly raffle for a company shirt or other company-branded gift. They might recognize a person who went above and beyond in serving a customer by providing an "employee of the month" parking space near the front door.

Now that many employees are working remotely, managers face a new challenge: How do they facilitate team bonding when the team is virtual?

Fortunately, by employing a few creative remote team-building activities, managers can build a team that's just as productive, if not more so, than a team working face-to-face at the company office.

 

Fostering collaboration and boosting morale

The concept of remote work was on the rise even before the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and it's likely to remain a fundamental way of conducting business long after the pandemic has subsided.

A survey conducted by work marketplace Upwork predicts that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, an increase of 16.8 million people from pre-pandemic levels. Increased productivity and flexibility continue to be key benefits of remote work, with hiring managers citing schedule flexibility and the lack of a commute as aspects of remote work that have worked better than expected.

Still, the lack of regular face-to-face contact can leave workers feeling isolated, creating difficulty in staying collaborative and on-task. Because of that, team bonding activities are a critical component of maintaining morale among remote teams.

Here are just a few team building activities for remote teams that can help them stay engaged and excited about their work:

 

A BEST BACKGROUND CONTEST

Video conferencing is an integral part of remote work, and anyone who's a regular news watcher has seen anchors comment on the scene behind a person they're interviewing. The background doesn't have to be a realistic depiction of a person's home office, either. Most video conferencing programs allow workers to (virtually, at least) participate in meetings from places ranging from a beach in Hawaii to the top of Mount Everest. Have your remote team exercise their creativity by employing an unusual background during your weekly meeting, and call for a vote on the best one once the meeting is over.

 

A VIRTUAL LUNCHTIME GET-TOGETHER

One innovative activity for remote team building might be a lunchtime get-together, where everyone is online during, say, Friday lunch. The activity could be further enhanced by delivering pizzas or sandwiches to workers' homes. Managers might even celebrate the weekend by hosting an online "karaoke battle" once the workweek is over. Have everyone show off their singing skills via their headset microphone.

 

AN ONLINE GAMING TOURNAMENT

There are thousands of free multiplayer games available online. Have your team take a break during the afternoon and spend 15 minutes or so participating in a gaming tournament, with some company swag going to the winner. Workers can use their computer headsets to chat with each other while in the heat of battle.

 

SURPRISING YOUR TEAM WITH SOME NEW TECHNOLOGICAL TOOLS

The increasing popularity of remote work has made it critical for workers to have the latest work-from-home technology at their disposal. How great would your workers feel if a package arrived at their door with a portable Bluetooth conference speakerphone or a video soundbar? A remote workforce can save a company a great deal of money. Take some of that savings and invest it back into your team.

 

ASK THE EXPERTS

Let's face it; there are no better experts in the challenges of working from home than those who are on the front lines. When developing ideas for remote team activities, ask your team what they'd like to do. As a supplement to that, have each team member give a short presentation on how they handle remote work and maintain productivity.
 

Remote work will be with us for the long term, and those who manage their remote workforce effectively are bound to outpace those who don't. Let the experts at Yamaha UC help set your remote team up for success!