Many employees like working remotely. Such work gives the team flexibility, variety of ideas and qualifications. With a convenient and free schedule, each employee can use his or her time effectively.

But what about the emotional connection and friendly communication during lunch breaks or over a cup of tea and coffee?

When working remotely, employees feel lonely, even if they don’t live on their own. In such teams, unfortunately, professionals can remain undervalued. This can reduce productivity and the effectiveness of each team member’s contributions.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “close friendships at work increase employee satisfaction by 50%”. It’s also noted that people who have a best friend at work are seven times harder at work.

When people lack just human interaction and emotion, questions arise:

  • How do you keep a team positive?
  • How do you reduce stress levels and support?
  • How do you create an opportunity for remote communication?

For this you need a full-fledged team building. What do you need for virtual team building?

Just four things:

  1. A leader who will get everyone organized and get everyone involved in a general team meeting;
  2. Free time during breaks;
  3. Access to a messenger (Skype, Zoom, or other service);
  4. A clear plan of action.

There are several interesting ways to make remote jobs more interesting.

Corporate chats in messengers

They existed before, but now they have become a symbol of unity. Joint chats in messengers can discuss different team building virtual activities and other ways to spend time together via video communication. It is also recommended to make regular newsletters in messengers: how to arrange your workplace so that nothing distracts you, what to watch/read/cook. Informal communication, funny memes and discussion of team building activities are always needed in team chat.

Collective online exercise

Working from home leads to decreased mobility. This is noticed even by those who are far from an athletic lifestyle. That is why more than half of the employees have picked up the idea of morning workouts via video link.

They can be conducted by an instructor 2-3 times a week with the participation of 5-30 people. Some employees go to the gym, but morning exercise via video link with colleagues will cheer them up.

Master Classes

Now more than ever, interest in self-education has increased, but in order to unite the team, courses must be joint. Many managers in companies try to invite experts from different fields for online lectures. For example, style specialists, photographers, psychologists, interior designers and so on. Lectures can take place in closed Zoom rooms. About the wishes of the employees probably know the managers. This is one of the benefits of remote team building.

Culinary evenings

You can organize a live dinner with colleagues. Usually such evenings are very exciting. Participants cook as a family, repeat recipes, and socialize. The day before the broadcast, the one who will be the chef of the evening, sends the ingredients for the dish to the chat room, and at the appointed time, you need to start cooking dinner. It’s not difficult to organize. Especially if you choose simple dishes without expensive ingredients.

Corporate tournament in Counter Strike and other online games

Counter Strike is a tactical and strategic team action game. Young teams will gladly support the idea of joint gaming evenings. If you wish, you can choose another virtual games. To organize this entertainment you should only discuss the details in the corporate chat, set the time, create a private server in the chosen game. It is also possible to create a chat in Discord for communication during the game. The game can play at the same time more than 10 people. Such entertainment suits both guys and girls of young age. It is a cool idea for teams of young employees.

Friday Night Online Bar

An important point: It’s not enough to create a platform for socializing on a Friday night. You have to prepare the topic in advance, plan the course of the conversation, and give everyone the floor. Otherwise, everything ends up in awkward silence, or everyone, on the contrary, begins to interrupt each other, and the conversation comes to a standstill. Someone from management should set the tone of the conversation, and employees will ask what they want to know. It is possible to create a survey in advance among the participants, what they are interested in and what they would like to discuss. You can have alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and relax during the conversation.

Online Collaborative Learning

One of the main trends in the current self-isolation is the active spread of online courses: from foreign languages and design to the history of cultures and various sciences. Therefore, team building remotely in the form of remote training will prove relevant, in demand and really useful for the business itself. After all, such a course can be directed at the key competencies of a particular team or even individual employees. This will raise their qualifications and give them new knowledge and skills, due to which their actions will become more effective and competent. A quarantined corporate training program can include video conferences and chats with coaches, recordings of speakers or management, homework and tests with uploading the results to cloud services. You can also add competitive elements to team building activities, awards for the best “students”. They will increase the involvement of participants, make such an event more interesting for the staff, informal and memorable.

Such team building activities have been tested by many teams, and they are really useful!

Advantages of meeting remotely

  • Saving time for travel and gathering. You call at the agreed time and have a maximum benefit of remote team building activities without delays due to tardiness. On the other hand, such meetings are more flexible: you can cancel at the last moment and quickly choose another date.
  • Fewer formalities. You don’t have to follow the dress code and leave the screen for lunch. This means the team will feel relaxed. The less stress, the more efficient the work.
  • Financial benefit. When you’re organizing meetings live, you need to rent a room and worry about having furniture and equipment. Remote team building, on the other hand, lacks all of these hassles.
  • Convenience. You can be anywhere in the world. Everything you need for team building can be downloaded online or delivered by courier.

Article source: Nancy Howard

Nancy P. Howard has been working as an editor at guest posting service Adsy for a year. She is also a professional writer in such topics as blogging, IT and marketing.