For sure, team building is critical for any workforce, and it is even more so for remote teams as it boosts productivity by up to 50 percent. Remote working is increasingly becoming central to the modern workplace, thanks to technological advancement that has made it possible.
In fact, research shows that 22 percent of the American workforce is now working from home, and almost half of US workers are somewhat involved in remote work. However, remote working is not without its fair share of challenges.
A recent survey showed that 58 percent of remote workers feel disconnected from their colleagues, and 44 percent experience loneliness when working from home. The isolation that comes with remote work can affect employee productivity and even lead to high turnover rates.
This means remote team managers need to create ways to promote employee engagement to help;
• Build trust among employees
• Enhance team cohesiveness
• Increase productivity
• Promote communication
Thankfully, there are many proven activities that can help promote team cohesion and build a strong remote team. Check out our top five below;
Create a talk space/break room
One thing that separates a traditional work environment and remote work is the many opportunities to engage each other in normal and passive conversations. Your employees still want to share jokes and make fun of each other, and you can make this possible by creating a talk space or a break room where they can do all the chitchat.
Ideally, a talk space allows them to share jokes, videos, and any other topics not related to work. Be the first to share something on the platform, say a video or a meme, so the rest of the team can feel comfortable to do it as well. This way, you can promote togetherness that is vital in remote team building.
Hold virtual company events
Remote employees yearn for opportunities to come together, and what better way to connect them than to hold a virtual event? Typically, you conduct virtual events the same way you do for a physical event, meaning you should schedule with the team, have a host, and invite different speakers to address the audience. This goes a long way in enhancing cohesion among employees, the distance notwithstanding.
Have team movie nights
Movies always offer an opportunity to share a good time with friends and family and can as well be a way to connect employees remotely. You can engage employees to choose a date and time, and then you can stream it through a conference call for every participant to watch from where they are.
You can even open a chat channel where individuals can discuss and share anything and everything regarding the movies. At the end of it, you will have created an ideal platform for your remote workforce to connect just as they would do if they were in an office.
Hold weekly game sessions
Gaming sessions are also ideal for bringing remote teams together for fun activities. There are numerous virtual gaming options that your team can play and have a good time with, examples being Among Us and Jackbox. You only need to get your team to vote for their favorite games and to set an hour or two within the week to get started. Your employees can have a great time as they talk about how they are coping with isolation.
Set friendly challenges
Engaging in a challenging activity keeps employees looking forward to a day to share their achievements. An ideal option is a fitness challenge where individuals challenge each other to run a certain distance in a week or month. You can even set a reward program where the winner gets a prize. In addition to giving employees something to work toward, a challenge works to boost team morale and cohesion.
Remote working is no doubt isolating and somewhat lonely, and this can affect employee productivity. This is why leaders should consider bringing employees together through activities that promote cohesion and team building. Needless to say, when remote employees are happy and have high morale, they can collaborate better to provide excellent results on a personal and organizational level.