4 Ways To Team Build With Your Remote Staff

Marketing Manager
Corporate March 02, 2020 4 Ways To Team Build With Your Remote Staff

Team building, you know we love it! From icebreakers, to games, to trainings, we love anything that helps us become a stronger group. We recently wrote an article about how we team build, giving you a glimpse into a company retreat we had in Philadelphia. But in this post, we want to show you a different side of our team building strategy: how we team build with our remote teams! Since we have team members all over North America and in different countries across the world, getting to know each other is critical to our overall success as a group. Trust us, we’ve tried all the remote team building tricks in the book! Here are our favorite team building activities that we find support and encourage our remote teams.

With more employees working from home, it's important to make sure your remote staff members still feel connected.
With more employees working from home, it’s important to make sure your remote staff members still feel connected.

Weekly Team Google Hangout Calls

Weekly touch base meetings are one way our Marketing Team keeps in touch and stays efficient. A weekly Google Hangout call with a set agenda, and VIDEO, is perfect for our remote teams to get to know each other. Team members share their biggest wins from the previous week, what they are working on, or anything interesting they’ve learned through their work.

Weekly Touch Base Tips:

  • Open each session with a quick and easy icebreaker. This helps set the mood and gets everyone comfortable.
  • Invite a special guest! Invite a team member from a different department to the meeting. They can share a little about their job and what they do! This is great for helping a remote team connect. Sometimes you’ll work with someone in a different department and never see their face. This ensures all your teams “meet” and know a little about each other!
  • Pick a topic and have your team members share how they deal with it. Example: Productivity. Ask each person to share a productivity trick with the rest of the team. Learning from each other is great way to make your teams stronger and more efficient.

The “Book Group”

Before you turn down this idea, think of it as an awesome and unique way for your teams to develop professionally. Reading is a great way to reduce stress and encourage analytical thinking. We started a small book group to help our employees in one department become even better at what they do. Read for professional development! Start an actual group where employees read together or you can also create your own spin on the traditional activity.

Read Together Tips:

  • Create a list of books, novels, or essays, that have something to do with your team members’ jobs. The subject doesn’t have to be cut and dry. A salesperson might benefit from a book on effective writing techniques, while a marketing person could learn from a book on using images to persuade. Remember, unique topics can help inspire creativity and innovative thinking!
  • Let them pick a book that they think is interesting, to make it feel less like work. Don’t forget to pay for the book too; that encourages everyone to participate.
  • Talk about what you’re reading. Set aside time as a group, over a conference call or video chat, to discuss the books you’re reading. You can learn from each others’ takeaways.

Icebreakers for the Win

Perfectly executed icebreakers are essential for helping teams bond and for encouraging people who might normally be too shy to share! Icebreaker questions are great for starting a meeting, event, or even the work day. We love icebreakers and start most of our meetings with one or two! The stress-free format of the icebreaker is ideal for relieving pressure and can often help teams relax. The great thing about icebreakers is that they don’t take a lot of planning and your team probably won’t even notice they are team building.

Icebreaker Tips:

  • Ask an icebreaker before every meeting or event. It helps lightening the mood and get people warmed up for a big meeting.
  • If you have remote teams, ask a weekly icebreaker in a company Slack channel or Know Your Company (however you communicate). Team members can respond throughout the week.
  • Be vigilant. Once you convince your teams that icebreakers aren’t scary or stressful or boring, they’ll start looking forward to them!
  • Ask your team members for fun icebreaker questions to get a sense of what they’d like to know about their teammates. The more involved they are, the closer they’ll feel to the group.

Company Wide Trainings

It’s no secret that at Museum Hack we love our company trainings! The cool thing is, we also have training for our remote staff (where we also incorporate our non-remote staff.). A company wide video hangout session, once every few months can work wonders for your teams. Just like we mentioned earlier, your teams may work together but they may have never met. We love to help put “face to the names” and get everyone working together. That can often start with introductions and feeling comfortable talking to each other.

Training Tips:

  • Include the CEO! It’s important to include the CEO in team building activities to help build a strong company culture and show people how much they all matter.
  • Learn a skill, or have a mini training session. Mini professional development are always a win.
  • Take a mini-mindfulness course or learn a skill together (one that’s easy to do remotely!). If you need to, send out a quiz with a few options for dates and times. This will be key to getting everyone involved!

Try these simple team building tricks when you are planning team building with all your staff. When it comes to remote team building you just need to be creative and open to all ideas! If you have only a few remote team members, use these ideas to help brainstorm more team building activities that involve the whole company.

You should also check out our virtual team building activities for remote teams.

written with 💖 by Carly Hill

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Comments & Reactions

  1. Carla Wilson
    Carla Wilson
    April 9, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    These are all great ideas! I think another fun thing to do with your virtual team is a cooking tutorial. Once a month a team member can do a live how-to to make a favorite dish or cocktail! It should be during happy hour so everyone can enjoy with their favorite beverage!

  2. Megan Speer
    Megan Speer
    April 9, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    I love these ideas! I am getting more and more into virtual team activity opportunities the more I read about it! I think another fun idea could be an “out of office scavenger hunt challenge”. Remote employees can separated into teams and given a set amount of time to find random household items (like measuring cups, banana hammocks, pet toys, and so on). Employees can suggest items to be added to the list and keep score on a weekly or monthly basis. Winning team picks the next team activity!

  3. Brad Meyer
    Brad Meyer
    April 9, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    Great ideas and I have been able to take part in a lot of these over the years! One idea that I love is a theme dress up meeting (ex: Pirate, PJ Party, or even just a Halloween theme). Great way to get everyone included to loosen up and engage their creative side! You could go as far as setting up a vote and giving a prize but I have found that when you have everyone on the same page and everyone is open to pushing the limits it is more about he fun and seeing what your co-workers bring to the table!

  4. Annika Z.
    Annika Z.
    April 10, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Such great and useful ideas! I love how people get more into virtual team events. Another virtual team building idea, especially for new teams who work across the country would be to play some virtual bar games (drinking can but does not have to be included). Just virtually play some “2 truths, 1 lie” , coin flipping or “never have I ever” to get to know each other better. If you want to add some competitiveness, you can easily install a point systems and determine a winner who gets some sort of a price 🙂

  5. Jordan White
    Jordan White
    April 12, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    The ideas thus far are fantastic! Let’s do a talent show! This idea is a bit more unique and would be geared more towards a fun introduction for each remote team to engage in while they learn about each other on a bit more of a personal level. It allows for some freedom of expression and creativity. Each person that is part of said remote team would get to vote on each persons performance anonymously. We’re in the business of building each other up, the anonymity would safe guard against tearing one another down. The winner can win a prepaid visa sent via email.

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