What do happy hour, office potluck party, mini golf, and bowling night all have in common? For starters, they are social team building activities that people in the workplace do together – in person.
If you’ve made the switch to the telecommuting world, you may have noticed that doing fun activities with your coworkers seems nearly impossible when you share different zip codes. No chatting by the water cooler and it can feel like your remote office is located in Guam. I felt the same way, but after giving it some thought, I had some ideas. Here are five creative ways to keep the human connection alive, because remote workers are people too!
Happy Hour (yes, it’s still a thing!)
Is your team utilizing video to its full potential? Not just having a team meeting over video (which is something every remote team should be doing by the way). I’m talking about setting aside some time after hours with the work peeps. In my experience, being a remote worker definitely has its perks, but at times it can be stressful to be responsible for time management and meet our deadlines. Sometimes we work more than just 9-5 and it may spill into the weekends. What I’m saying is that remote workers need to let loose sometimes too. Instead of heading out to the local dive, consider hanging out over video with your team.
You may have figured it out, but the theme here is to use video to make that human connection with your virtual coworkers. And while happy hour is a wonderful concept, maybe you want to have more options and do something more laid back. Might I suggest you and the team decide on a few movie options and simply meet over video (with screen sharing capabilities) and get the popcorn ready! If a movie is not in the works, it’s just as easy to play a fun trivia game and share a few laughs
Virtual Water Cooler
Maybe you just have a few coworkers that you wish you could gossip with or talk shop with. Back in the office days, we could casually meet up by the water cooler and chat to break up the monotony of the day. In the remote world, creating that environment is simple when you meet over video. Keep things interesting by sharing pictures and telling the story behind them. This is a great way to connect and get to know your fellow teammates better.
As remote workers, one thing we know how to do is work together and solve problems. But instead of figuring out the time difference with a client across the globe, wouldn’t it be more fun to figure out if the sales guy is pretending to be a printer out of ink or a dial-up modem? The possibilities in virtual charades are endless and it’s a great way to keep the team laughing.
Online Scavenger Hunt
Although it’s a game, there are many aspects about it that require everyone to cooperate, follow instructions, plan, and utilize strategy. These are all of the top-performing qualities of a powerful team, so have some fun and form an online scavenger hunt.
And there you have it. The power of videoconferencing helps us remote workers connect and we no longer have to feel isolated from our team. A lack of engagement from the team can result in conflict, decreased productivity, low participation, and overall detachment.
So try out some of these tips and reap the benefits of a happy and productive team. Have other ideas for remote team building activities? Let us know in the comments below! And remember, a team that builds together, stays together!