According to the Pew Research Center’s report on How the Coronavirus Has Impacted the Way Americans Work, 71% of employed adults are currently working from home. Not only this but more than 50% of them say they would like to continue working from home if given an option.
Therefore, with most teams working remotely, keeping them connected has become a necessity for managers. This is where the need for team building activities comes into the picture.
Research shows that worldwide, 2500% more organizations are investing in virtual team building. However, when you’re working remotely, it is not easy to plan team building activities since you need to bring the elements of in-person meetings to a virtual setup. So, whether you’re new to the remote working culture or have been doing it for years, we’re here to help. We’ve found some interesting team building activities to help you engage your teams.
Why Team Building Activities Are Important in the Remote Working Culture
Here are four quick reasons why team building activities are necessary when you’re working remotely:
- Team building activities help in strengthening the bond between team members and creating a closely-knit team.
- Employees can feel lonely at times when working remotely. According to a Gallup article, the feeling of isolation in employees can reduce productivity by up to 21%.
- Team building activities help break the monotony that comes with remote working and boost a sense of togetherness among employees.
- Team building activities lead to better collaboration between team members as they get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Team building activities help in developing a strong organizational culture and increasing employee engagement.
Top 5 Team Building Activities for Remote Workers
Here’s a list of team building activities that can help you keep your team members engaged and motivated when working remotely:
If your team members are missing the monthly lunch or dinner gatherings, you can plan something similar remotely. Yes, that’s absolutely possible. All you need to do is schedule a virtual lunch or dinner using video conferencing platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, Webex, or Zoom.
You can ask your team members to connect for a quick video chat with their favorite drink and snack, just like you did when you were in the office. Research suggests that team performance is best among teams that regularly communicate in informal situations.
Game hours are a great way to organize a friendly competition between your team members. You can plan game hours on a weekly or bi-weekly cadence. It’s an excellent way to encourage your team members to interact with one another using video conferencing platforms. We recommend scheduling game hours toward the end of working days so that the activities do not clash with work.
Here are some quick suggestions for game hours:
- Family Feud
- Two Truths and a Lie
Daily huddles are a good way to ensure your team members meet each other at least once daily. They are also called daily stand-ups or daily scrum meetings in some organizations.
A daily huddle is a quick meeting where all team members discuss their work schedules for the day. Daily huddles not only help in boosting team collaboration but also tracking day-to-day progress and identifying sticking points that may be blocking execution.
Here are some quick tips to help you plan daily huddles efficiently:
- Choose a suitable time and duration. Morning huddles are more effective than evening huddles.
- Avoid involving members of other teams or stakeholders. Keep this time only for yourself and your team.
- Plan one minute per person. For instance, if you have a six-member team, the huddle should be six minutes long. It’s an effective way to save time and boost productivity.
Live Remote Coworking
When working from home, it’s natural to miss the physical interactions you had with your team members. Nevertheless, you can mimic the feeling in a virtual setup too. Consider setting up a virtual office on a video conferencing call for a day or two.
Your team members can work together on video. Live remote coworking allows team members to work from anywhere, yet together. It is a great way to motivate them and connect them on a common platform when working from home.
Planning an employee recognition session is a great way to ensure your team members stay motivated and feel a sense of belongingness even when working remotely.
Team building organically happens when peers appreciate each other and recognize team efforts. Words of appreciation from peers can be just as precious as words of appreciation coming from the manager.