Meta description: As the COVID-19 pandemic still rages on, many employees find themselves working in the comfort of their homes. This makes building trust and cooperation among teams more challenging, since most employees couldn’t interact with their coworkers personally. However, managers should still value the importance of building a close-knit relationship between team members. Find about online team building strategies for your remote team.
Communication and camaraderie are two important factors in building a great and effective team in the workplace. But as many employees and managers are forced to continue working from home because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, building a more cohesive bond among team members becomes more and more difficult. While distance is becoming less relevant in the workplace as telecommuting gains more traction, it could also weaken the relationships that employees have between their coworkers and even supervisors. In addition, 65% of remote employees said that they never conducted any online team building session together to reach goals. This might not seem much of an issue, but with a strained relationship between team members, employees could feel less motivated to work and unwilling to cooperate with others in getting the job done.
The benefits of a strong and healthy relationship between employees and managers are both obvious and self-explanatory. Teams that have built a good communication and friendship among each other collaborate more often, do not hesitate to share ideas or feedback, and become more involved in the company culture and in the process. Therefore, finding and building effective strategies to create a closer relationship between employees should be on top of every manager’s mind. Luckily, there are multiple ways to conduct team building activities remotely.
Schedule meetings with team members individually
With the sudden transition from office to remote work because of the ongoing pandemic, some employees could find it difficult to adjust with working from home. Furthermore, they could also encounter struggles that they would not normally face in an office environment, such as internet connection issues, several distractions, lack of face-to-face communication between coworkers, and much more. Therefore, a one-on-one meeting between team members is crucial to discuss challenges when it comes to working remotely as well as knowing what needs to be changed. Moreover, this is also a great way for managers to be able to talk about problems that could arise while working from home and discuss what could be done to solve them.
Several apps and software, such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype could be used to conduct individual video calls between team members for virtual one-on-one meetings. You can schedule meetings weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the needs of the team and the company as a whole. Individual meetings not only provide employees a chance to share their feedback on remote working and managers a platform to coach their team members, but it would also help in setting and reminding goals.
Play online games and activities
Who says conducting fun games and activities while working from home is impossible? You can create or do research on the best games and activities that your team could play. This does not only build a good relationship between team members, but it also reduces the loneliness that many employees face when working from home. While there are a lot of ideas for games and activities that you can find on the internet, here are some games that your employees can enjoy:
Trivia games are a great way to engage with your team, and everyone loves a good game of trivia. You can pick a topic for a trivia game. Popular topics include pop culture, music, sports, current events, and much more.
Virtual Happy Hour
When we think of “happy hour,” we often picture employees and managers sitting on a bar drinking glasses of alcoholic drinks, commonly beer and wine. However, you can conduct a virtual happy hour between your employees, where team members drink beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) during a video call and each could even describe the beverage they’re drinking and what it tastes like. Employees could also bring up a certain topic of discussion while drinking, and it doesn’t have to be work-related at all.
Two truths and a lie
This game is a great way for employees to get to know more about each other personally. In this game, each participant writes three statements about themselves. However, two of them have to be true and one has to be false. Then, each participant can guess which statement is a lie, and they could also explain which statement is false.
Encourage communication between employees on own terms
Doing work remotely could often be daunting and some could even feel lonely during or after work. Therefore, you may encourage your employees to communicate with each other on their own terms aside from the usual team meetings and one-on-one meetings. You can encourage them to add or follow each other on social media pages outside of work, such as Facebook or Instagram. This creates an opportunity for employees to get to know each other more and relieve stress from long hours of work. It could also keep socialization and teamwork alive which builds a team that is passionate and committed to working and reaching the right goals.
Create team cohesion activities
If you wish to foster stronger and more cohesive ties between your team members, you can conduct activities related to the interests of your team members. For instance, you can create a book club for your team or you can schedule weekly screenings of TV shows that your team watches. You can even create a virtual dance party where you could download dance videos from YouTube and your team could dance and break the sweat. This does not only create a happier relationship between your team members, but it could also provide them a chance to discuss common interests, learn about each other’s talents, or in the case of a virtual dance party, be fit and active while having fun at the same time.
Mix and monitor means of communication
You can encourage online team building so that your team members to use different types of communication, ranging from social media to phone to texting, so that they could stay connected, keep track of the goals to accomplish, and create deeper connections between your team members. Online team building makes your employees more involved in the job and could also be a point to start social conversations between team members, which is vital in building camaraderie between employees and their superiors.