Remote workers are crucial to the function of many businesses. However, it’s common for remote workers not to feel like they’re “really part of the team.” If you have individuals working remotely for your business, you may need to add team bonding activities that work for people who are remote as well as they do for people who are working in a physical location. Here are some low-cost options to increase team bonding for your remote workers.
1. Create Virtual Happy Hours
A virtual happy hour can be an amazing way to increase your team bonding opportunities. Happy hour often allows people to let their guard down a little bit and chat with other employees like they would with friends. Suggest that everyone bring their favorite beverage, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, to a virtual hangout, and ask what everyone is drinking.
2. Decide on a Virtual Bake-Off or Cook-Off
Baking and cooking are both everyday activities that can be great for bonding. People love showing off the things they’ve cooked or baked, and it’s common for individuals to enjoy the baking or cooking process as well. Plus, when you have a virtual bake-off or cook-off, you can have people either show off their skills through a video conference chat or just send in pictures if you’re not able to have a video conference.
3. Play an Online Game With Your Team
There are plenty of team-based online games that are free to play and also fun. If you’re willing to invest a little bit of money, you open the door to even more team-based online games, which often require only the host to pay for the product. Online games can boost communication and collaboration in your day-to-day life, which means they can also boost communication and collaboration while you work. Have your team members vote on which game they want to play to increase camaraderie.
4. Run Virtual Icebreakers
Icebreakers may seem like a slightly cliché option for building team camaraderie, but they’re cliché because they’re effective. You might want to consider asking all of your team members to answer an icebreaker question that you put up in the first week of every month, or just having a meeting every so often where you answer icebreakers and get to know the other members of the team.
5. Add a Bonding Session to Your Meeting Agendas
Bonding sessions don’t have to be long for them to be effective. Especially if your company already has weekly or biweekly meetings, whether they’re video conferences or just phone calls, you can space out a few minutes at the beginning for a bonding session. Take five to ten minutes to ask everyone if they have any exciting news from their personal life; after a while, you may find that your employees start to get excited about the bonding session.
Team bonding is an important element of any business team, and that includes bonding with your remote workers. It’s true that bonding with remote workers is something that’s a relatively new requirement for many businesses, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your remote workers in the dust. Just talk to them and make sure they really feel like part of the team.