Working remotely can be isolating. Having an all-remote team makes it even harder to form strong bonds with your team members. With so many teams in 2020 being unexpectedly forced into remote working conditions, there are often no processes or strategies in place to keep your team engaged.
To help, here are few ideas to help your remote teams bond, have some fun together and create some positive morale.
Organizing small group or 1-on-1 coffee meetings can help team members slow down, take a break and get to know one another. A great way to do this is to ask people to sign-up in advance and then randomly pair up people that might not usually interact. This is a great way for team members from different departments to get to know each other. Also can often help identify solutions to problems within the company or develop different types of creative ideas.
A great solution for organizing these coffee meet-ups is Randomcoffee.com. Another great way to get people on your team excited to participate is to send them some great coffee swag gifts like mugs, tumblers or coffee prep tools.
Virtual Happy Hours
Virtual Happy Hours have become quite popular in the past few months. However, just getting your team together to raise a glass isn’t going to create a meaningful bonding experience. Here are a few tips to make them more engaging and effective:
- Keep them small – breakout larger groups into more manageable virtual sizes. 8-10 people makes a good group for this type of virtual meet-up. Any more than that, it becomes difficult for people to participate. Any less, and it might be harder to keep the energy up.
- Have icebreakers or conversation starters planned – Provide a topic or two for people to discuss. Make it something non-work related to lighten the mood and help people get to know each other better. People love to talk about their pets, travel adventures, favorite foods or all-time meals. Try to find a topic that everyone can participate in.
- Games are fun. There are plenty of paid options to help have a more organized or formal game experience. But you can also have a more informal online Pictionary or Trivia game.
- Have a cocktail/mocktail menu or wine or beer tasting – This is a great way to have people try something new. You can send ingredients or gift cards for teams to buy the supplies.
Here are some more virtual happy hour ideas, including some great swag options to send to your team.
Another great way to get team members together and create an engaging experience is to do a learning exercise together. This should be something fun, challenging and different. Here are some ideas:
- Online Book Club – Have teams select a book they are interested in reading as a group and getting to discuss. Here are some great tips for starting an online book club.
- Online painting – Painting and wine classes are a fun popular option for group events. However for remote teams this is a little difficult. But, there are great options for online group painting classes.
- Language classes – Another unique class for small groups is online foreign language course. Lingoda offers a great corporate group options.
These are just a few options, but the most important thing to remember when trying to plan any remote group bonding experiences is to just have fun. Give your team members a chance to step away from the stresses of work, get to know each other a little better and to not force anything. Also, don’t be afraid of being creative and maybe even failing a little. People will appreciate the opportunity and will be glad to be involved in making the most of these expeiences.