Team Building Strategy for Your Remote Team

Productivity and time management are both essential when managing a remote team, but what’s even more important is being able to bring the employees together and promote teamwork among them. Hence, here are twenty tips you can use to build your remote team successfully and ensure its productivity and longevity.
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#1 Use Icebreakers for Newcomers
As you start building your remote team (or even if you have one already and you are simply adding new members to it), you will need to quickly integrate new employees into it. To do this effectively, it’s a good idea to use some kind of icebreakers for newcomers to introduce themselves. It can be a short virtual meeting with the entire team where the newbie introduces themselves. Alternatively, it could be a small group project or activity that could showcase the newcomer’s strengths and help them get to know the team.
#2 Invite Employees to Coworking Spaces
Many remote teams work with employees living in different locations all around the world. However, this doesn't mean that there won't be cases when two or more employees live in the same area. In this case, it could be an interesting idea to invite them to find a local coworking space and work from there. This could solve the problem of feeling lonely and isolated which is so widespread among remote team workers. Besides, they don't even have to meet in the space all the time — they can simply go there when they feel like it.
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#3 Allow More Flexible Schedules
One of the reasons why professionals in different fields choose to work remotely is that such a setup often allows for more flexibility in many ways. From your own side, you need to understand this and provide works with flexible scheduling options. When they can choose which hours to use for work, they can become more satisfied with their jobs and even more productive with their tasks. Someone might prefer working on the weekends or in the evening while a different employee might only favor weekdays and working until late afternoon.
#4 Set Up Breaks for Working Out
Speaking of scheduling, you will need to provide plenty of breaks regardless of the setup chosen by your team members. Not only should there be a break for lunchtime, but there should also be smaller breaks for grabbing a snack with a cup of tea or coffee. This will allow your employees to relax for a short period of time, recharge, and dive into work with more energy. Likewise, it’s a great idea to set up breaks specifically for working out. Even simply having a virtual group workout in the morning can help everyone maintain good health.
#5 Encourage Employees to Get Pets
While meeting in coworking spaces can be a solution for some employees when it comes to loneliness and isolation, others will already have family members keeping them socially connected. Yet, there may be some team members who don’t have anyone to spend time with. In this case, you should definitely encourage them to get a pet if they have the right situation for it. You can hire a professional writer from a custom writing reviews site like Best Writers Online to create a persuasive speech for you to use during a meeting when you decide to encourage your employees to get pets.
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#6 Stick to Your Plan and Schedule
Once you start building your team and later on keeping up their productivity and teamwork, you will probably have a specific plan you will be following. Not only that, but you need to have a schedule with important milestones and deadlines. If you have both, that’s great — stick to them as closely as possible to stay consistent. If you haven’t arranged either one yet, then definitely get to work as soon as possible!
#7 Choose Multiple Communication Channels
Obviously, communication is one of the top priorities when managing a remote team and you likely already have some channels for it ready and running. However, different people may prefer different methods of communicating which is why it’s a good idea to choose multiple communication channels, even if some employees end up not really using them. Someone will be an avid email enthusiast while others will prefer to send direct messages. As long as there are multiple options for communication, you won’t have to be worried about it.
#8 Train Employees in Time Management
Perhaps the biggest reason why many employees, especially in remote teams, are unable to stay productive consistently is that they have poor time management skills. Consequently, the best way to prevent this is to train them in time management. Organize seminars where you clearly explain what time management is and which techniques they can use to become more efficient and productive at work. You can even have workshops to let your team members practice these skills before applying them in full force to their schedules.
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#9 Differentiate Between Work and Rest
Working from home can sometimes be difficult because many people associate being at home as time for resting. Thus, they don’t perceive this setup as one for work. That is precisely why you need to draw distinct lines between what is work and what is rest. Don’t try to contact employees during off-hours, and if you ask them to work outside of their schedule, show them that it will be considered as overtime. Let them have breaks, but ensure that these breaks only last during the time when they are actually scheduled.
#10 Align Values, Vision, and Mission
It goes without saying that you need to be on the same wavelength with your employees. However, many business leaders and managers seem to forget about this for some reason. The same applies to remote teams which is why you need to align your values, vision, and mission, and ensure that your team members understand and believe in these. You can hire an expert writer from the writing service reviews site Writing Judge to help you create a complete presentation to explain all of these to your team and let them refer to later on.
#11 Invite Employees to Offline Events
Much like employees meeting up at coworking spaces, there are other opportunities for you to bring your remote team together in an offline setup. This is why you need to find situations when you can invite them to offline industry events where they can network, connect with each other, and continue their work. Not only are such activities good for the development of your business, but they are also useful for team-building.
#12 Support Independent Projects
Many remote team managers struggle to keep their teams connected and engaged with each other, so it probably seems strange to encourage independent projects. Yet, supporting such projects shows your employees that you value their individuality and are glad to see them take initiative and be inventive. Moreover, if these projects have several employees collaborating on something, then they can actually help you build teamwork even further and allow your employees to grow closer naturally on their own.
#13 Arrange Yearly Team Vacations
One more way to continue building your team on offline occasions is having group vacations. These can be arranged on a quarterly or yearly basis, but it is up to you and your team to decide what works best for the team and the company. Vacations allow you and your employees to grow closer in a casual environment and to take your mind off stressful work. In addition to that, if such vacations are completely or partially paid by the company, it shows to employees that they are truly valued which, in turn, leads to more job satisfaction.
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#14 Host Virtual Movie Nights
Another way to connect during a more casual setup is by hosting virtual movie nights on a weekly or biweekly basis. These can be organized in the evening on Friday right after work (or at the most comfortable time chosen by your team members). Movie nights can be a great way to learn more about each other and maybe even get some creative ideas for your future projects. Besides, with the latest innovations, it has become much easier to watch movies simultaneously without struggling to press the play button at the same time.
#15 Gather A Virtual Book Club
In addition to organizing movie nights (or in case your employees are more readers rather than moviegoers), you can gather a virtual book club on a regular basis. This can be particularly exciting if you have employees who share the same taste in literature (e.g. a preference for fantasy). You can hire a writer from the writing services reviews site Trust My Paper to help you prepare any necessary materials for organizing a club like this. You will need a schedule, a list of books to read, any additional video materials, and so on.
#16 Create Video Recaps
In some cases, not everyone will be able to attend virtual meetings. Even if you have all team members working during the same hours, there might still be situations when someone needs to catch up with a particularly important meeting. Notes from such meetings might not be enough, so it’s a good idea to create a video recap for those who need to catch up. You can appoint a person to make notes and then record a short video summarizing all the key points. This way, everyone can stay on track and be productive once they return to work.
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#17 Have Virtual Dance Parties
Virtual workouts are great, virtual movie nights are awesome, but virtual dance parties? Absolutely unforgettable. You can hold these to celebrate your team achievements and successes or even simply celebrate certain holidays. Whatever the occasion is, holding a dance party through a video call can definitely be a great solution for remote teams that don’t have any other options for meeting in person.
#18 Start Storytelling Workshops
Storytelling is a powerful tool that is likely used by your team in some way, even if you don’t usually utilize it for most of your activities and have other teams using it more often. That being said, storytelling can also be used to connect your employees and build your team. It’s kind of like show-and-tell but at work. Thus, you can organize virtual storytelling workshops where everyone tells stories about themselves. An activity like this can also help your employees develop their storytelling skills and then use them during projects as well.
#19 Organize Secret Santa Gifting
Secret Santa is quite popular in companies both big and small, but you might be wondering how organizing something like this is possible with a remote team. Well, there are solutions to this. Assigning people randomly can be done with different online tools while sending gifts can be quite easy simply by mailing the gift to the chosen team member. It’s always nice to have something like this because it teaches your employees to be more attentive towards each other and to learn what every team member likes and is interested in.
remote work
Image Source: Unsplash
#20 Try Online Office Games
Last but not least, don't forget to try different online office games (or other types of games). It can be as simple as playing Among Us together during breaks or something as complex as having entire tournaments during celebration parties. The list of games to try is endless. For example, you can play Hangman through a video call or even try a game of charades in a virtual setup like this. Brainstorm some ideas with your team and decide what they would be most interested to try. It can be the perfect occasion for bonding and growing closer.
Final Thoughts
To sum up, team-building definitely plays an integral role in the success of your remote team which is why you need to pay special attention to it. Use the techniques from this article to help you make your remote team stronger and brings its members closer together to achieve greater heights in the future.
Anna Medina
Author
Anna likes writing from her university years. When she graduated from the Interpreters Department, she realized that translation was not so interesting, as writing was. She trains her skills now working as a freelance writer on different topics. Always she does her best in the posts and articles.
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