Table of Contents
- Why Arrange Engaging Remote Team Activities?
- Lifehacks from Outstaff Your Team
- 24 Best Remote Team Building Activities
- What Results May I Expect?
Work-from-anywhere policies have become the new norm. Forbes reports that 16% of companies worldwide are already fully remote. Altogether, 98% of people want to work from home at least episodically. Is that insight good for your business?
Remote mode needs a new approach to keeping productivity and a positive work culture. The main task is to create connections between colleagues located on the opposite sides of the globe. Actually, that transformation would be worthwhile even without switching to distance working. So it is a new stimulus for business growth rather than a roadblock.
Why Arrange Engaging Remote Team Activities?
77% of specialists, who work at home, claim they are more productive. The flexible opportunities allow them to recharge better and contribute to the team’s success with pleasure. That boosts project progress, even if not to mention taking professional courses at lunchtime instead of visiting some café, or minor bug fixing after the evening run instead of being stuck in a traffic jam. Some preparation and you will be able to make your remote team not only flexible but also close-knit.
Nowadays, people know their overseas colleagues much better than their neighbors. People naturally find common ground, working on projects about 8 hours a day together. Many of them sync outside the working hours, spend time together online and even launch their own projects without having met personally.
Of course, self-organized relationships are unpredictable. And they, for sure, cannot grant you decreasing tech team turnover. For managers of remote teams, it is a high-priority matter to curate communication, ensuring that everyone gets enough attention. That's where remote team-building activities run the show!
Lifehacks from Outstaff Your Team
Combine as many virtual team building activities as possible. Then, everyone will find something vibrant, and the next time they meet offline folks, they will share something as “We played Uno with my Polish teammates at the Friday’s sync, and it was amazing!” instead of “Oh, team building, again.”
Timely provide your team with operational information and handy tools to make it easier for them to participate in all those activities you prepare for them. This is the base for post-hiring staffing processes. When we prepare newcomers to dive into the client’s project, we check if they have all the necessary hardware, including high-quality equipment, to feel comfortable with all the interactions.
24 Best Remote Team Building Activities
We’ve gathered 24 ideas for remote team building, which:
Inject energy, fun, and collaboration into your virtual workspace;
Create mutual memories;
Easily take root in the company.
📍Remote Workshops. Arrange virtual workshops led by team members to share knowledge and expertise on tech-related topics. It could be a group debugging session, a hackathon, or topical issues discussion with a rich collection of practical examples. Everyone can see everything clearly, unlike during offline classes, where you are craning your neck from the back row.
📍Collaborative coding. Fortunately, the most popular IDEs for developers can provide your team with features for real-time collaboration. For instance, Code with me is an integral part of JetBrains and serves as a live remote coworking. Also, you can integrate your IDE with a third-party solution for live coding sessions, like installing the GitLive plugin to JetBrains or another preferred IDE. Finally, you can use products for team coding independently if you don’t have an IDE for some reason.
📍Code reviews. Initially, the best code review practices were invented to avoid bugs in production. Yet, we have all the reasons for considering it one of the team-building activities for remote teams. While submitting the code for review or commenting on their teammate’s code, developers sharpen their soft skills like ethical criticism and the ability to accept other points of view.
📍Human Onboarding. Start to shorten the distance right from the start. Conduct onboarding not for show but for easy team integration. Here are some pillars of the Outstaff Your Team onboarding services: personalize initial training programs for different roles and ask newcomers about their impressions of the process. We have noticed that such a step from our side prepares our hires for transparent relationships in the team, when you can freely share your view and be treated like a human first and task performer next.
📍Remote Storytelling Sessions. Add reflection to your team building for remote teams. Host storytelling sessions where team members share memorable work-related experiences or achievements. Thus, you make the ups noticeable and downs manageable.
📍Virtual Coffee Breaks or Happy Hours. Want to mimic physical teams and recreate the office experience? It is the simplest way to brighten a remote working day and spend time together informally. Schedule regular informal video coffee breaks where even members of separate remote teams can connect, chat, and unwind in a relaxed setting. You can utilize some randomizers like Donut. It automatically distributes teammates into pairs.
There are huge chances that people who normally don’t interfere will have a mutual meeting and connect avatars with real people. Thus, you get a more cross-functional team, where experience freely circulates from department to department, and there are fewer barriers to daily decision-making.
Want to go further? Order local food delivery for each of your team members simultaneously and have a virtual lunch together.
📍”Two Truths and a Lie”. This is a popular and quick game to learn interesting facts about each other. So it is possible to integrate it into some team meetings. The idea is to recognize which of the 3 statements of your game partner is false.
📍Online Karaoke Night. Some consider it to be one of the most fun remote team-building activities. Sing your hearts out during a virtual karaoke night and enjoy some lighthearted entertainment.
📍Virtual Paint and Sip. Arrange a virtual paint and sip event where team members follow an art instructor's guidance and discuss each other’s paintings.
📍Team Building Platforms. Explore online hubs like Teambuilding.com, Fundoo Friday, and The Offsite Co, offering you a wide range of team building activities for remote employees.
📍Virtual Excursions. What about inviting your colleagues to make a virtual trip to your place or other remote working locations, or showing them the fav places of your hometown? Maybe, not everybody is ready to become a video guide, but we are sure that you may wow some of your teammates with that idea. At the same time, the rest of your team might be curious about travelling online and enjoy sightseeing.
📍Photo Challenge. Encourage team members to share one of the last captions in their Google Photo, iCloud, or where they usually keep their photo. Ask about the reasons for their choice. Thus, people can share not only a photo but also their current mood.
📍Remote Wellness Challenges. You can use, literally, exercises as team-building exercises for remote teams. Initiate wellness challenges, such as step competitions or yoga sessions, to promote health and well-being among team members.
📍Online Employee Awards. Recognize accomplishments through virtual award ceremonies. The algorithm is simple: you keep the intrigue as before Oscar Night, and your team has food for discussion as after Oscar Night.
📍Public Planning. When you announce your goal to the team or only to your manager, it is not so easy to wriggle out of it. Plus, you get a more clear aim visualization, believe us.
📍Online Trivia Competitions. Organize virtual trivia nights with tech-related questions to test your teammates’ knowledge and spark friendly competition.
📍Online Gaming Tournaments. Host gaming tournaments, selecting multiplayer and popular games that promote teamwork.
📍Virtual Escape Rooms. Solve puzzles and riddles together within a time limit to “escape” the virtual room.
📍Virtual Scavenger Hunts. Run virtual scavenger hunts where team members search their homes for specific items or complete fun challenges.
📍Show-and-Tell Sessions. Encourage team members to share their hobbies, interests, or side projects during virtual show-and-tell sessions.
📍Virtual Book Club. Create a space where tech enthusiasts can read and discuss books related to their industry and other preferred literature. Don’t limit this idea to the reading club. You can organize a speaking language club for foreign language learners or bike fun club. Pay attention to what is closer to your team.
📍Remote Charity Events. Participate in virtual charity events or volunteer opportunities as a team to give back to the community. You may consider helping animal shelters, blood donation, or supporting war victims. Conduct a poll to reveal what values are closer to your team and make your charity events sincere and real-world rather than promotional.
📍Urgent Support. When you think of charity, think also about internal support. Offer your team help with relocation and interest-free loans, or provide them with proven opportunities to earn extra money. We can recommend our fresh finding, Remoter.me, where there are always a lot of tasks related to data annotation for machine training that you could do from time to time without overloading yourself.
📍Eco-aware Flesh-mobs. When one person plants a tree, it is still a tree. When 10 people plant trees, we have a garden. Why not support eco-initiatives together, like street cleaning, car-free days, and reducing plastic package usage? You can create eco-related chats to share the ‘before/after” experiences.
Hope our cheat sheet have inspired you to make your activities for remote teams even more diverse. Want to find a reliable partner able to cover all the social needs of your virtual tech team? Consider empowering your business with Outstaff Your Team talent management services to spark creativity and boost synergy.
What Results May I Expect?
Meaningful team-building activities for remote teams yield such outcomes as:
Clear interactions, trust, and rapport among remote team members;
Seamless and more productive work on projects;
Increased job satisfaction, talent retention and engagement in your project;
As a result, you collaborate with loyal talent and enjoy high overall performance. Plus, when you think of how to scale a tech team, you can attract top performers with your well-built company culture and positive reviews from your existing team.
What is the #1 virtual team-building activity you use?
Outstaff Your Team is a fully remote company. We regularly conduct a lot of team-building activities for remote workers who are engaged in our clients’ projects, as well as for our core team. The most essential tradition we have is to open and close a working week with syncs where we share our focuses with colleagues and discuss task progress, industry news, and personal plans. That is a reliable way to keep track of what colleagues work on and collaborate smoothly. A live team is when you feel that what you say matters to others.
How do you bond with a team virtually?
Bonding with a virtual team requires consistent effort and genuine interest in getting to know your colleagues. To break the ice, you need to create situations where it is easy for the team to be open to each other. For instance, you can arrange virtual team meetings with pets invited, chess tournaments, or random 1-to-1ns. Let people show not only their professional side. Also, select comfortable and feature-rich messengers to let the team feel free during interactions.
How do you motivate a virtual team?
The first thing to do is to create a positive work environment. You should constantly share your feedback with team members and approve the trajectory of achievements together. A physical distance between you doesn’t mean your colleagues should handle their career path alone. Also, we encourage you to implement a reward system to show your appreciation for each new success they demonstrate. And don’t forget to utilize the personalization opportunities of the remote mode. Set flexible working hours when possible, arrange online training, and help with their non-professional goals to support their productivity.
Stay in tune
Curated Tech HR buzz delivered to your inbox
I need Full Stack: