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How to Improve Team Building for Remote Workers

Mar 27, 2024 | Business, Culture, Remote Work

Remote work has a great many benefits. Working in a home office allows employees greater focus and the ability to design their work environment. However, remote work also increases the risk of isolation. Employees risk losing connection with their team, putting their engagement and the quality of team efforts in jeopardy. This signifies the importance of team building for remote workers.

The best work comes from remote teams that are strongly connected on a personal and professional level. This recreates the benefits of a connection-rich work environment in a remote setting.

It is up to remote team managers to lead team building for remote workers. With the right strategies, you can help your team grow stronger, creating powerful collaborations from tightly-knit teams. At BrightR, we know all about the challenges and triumphs of remote team management and can share a few insider tips on how to build a stronger team.

Hold Regular Coffee Meetings to Touch Base

When planning a team building for remote workers, start with video meetings. If you’re hesitant to hold too-frequent meetings, we understand. However, it has been found that once-weekly meetings of remote teams where the primary goal is to touch base are beneficial for building a stronger team. This is because everyone can see each other face-to-face and build a human-level connection with their team members.

Set a basic itinerary in which everyone shares what they have been up to and gives a progress report. Encourage your team to take this time to ask each other questions, pre-schedule collaborations, or just introduce their cat and favorite coffee mug. These human moments can both boost productivity and your remote team bond. You can use time tracking to find the perfect time during the week so every remote team member can attend.

Improving team building for remote workers - A male employee on a video conference call with his colleague.

Keep an Open Chat Channel for Team Conversation

Provide your team with at least one chat channel that is open at all times. Designate a casual chat where everyone can share their jokes, frustrations, and daily observations. This chat is your water cooler, where remote team members can leave messages and briefly socialize between work tasks. It may liven up during lunch or go all weekend without a comment. This, in turn, can simulate the casual team connections once formed in the physical workplace.

This ‘water cooler’ chat channel is a great way to encourage casual team building when your remote team workers have a moment to chat.

Eat Lunch Together

In addition to the open channel, consider coordinating schedules and habits so that you can have more human moments. If your team shares the same scheduled shift, one smart option is to create a regular ‘break room’ virtual meeting. Encourage your team to build shared habits that can foster a stronger sense of team connection.

One great example of team building for remote workers is a no-obligation routine lunch meeting. Employees can choose to join a video meeting where everyone eats lunch together. No work needs to be discussed. Instead, your remote team has a chance to show off the lunch they are eating and trade the news of the day. While the conversation may turn to work, this is a time when team members can talk about their personal lives, swap cat pictures, or do anything else that they might do if sharing a break room in a workplace.

Team building for remote workers - A businesswoman drinking coffee while having a virtual meeting with colleagues.

Encourage Your Team to Ask and Give

Promote a remote team culture of sharing, communication, and accommodation. Make it clear that everyone who needs something or wants to ask a question of a team member can do this by sending an email, chatting, or requesting a brief meeting. At the same time, nurture a team culture where each person can provide what their teammates request, within reason.

Answering questions and scheduling collaboration with each other can build a bond between your team members and foster a sense of camaraderie. Everyone is there to help, and everyone also feels free to ask team members for help or assistance when needed.

Schedule Project Collaboration Sessions

Project collaboration is one of the essential functions of a remote team. Modern cloud-based platforms make it possible for remote team members to pitch in when working on a presentation or document at the same time. As the team leader, you have the power to schedule specific project collaboration sessions. This can help bring the team together and combine everyone’s talents, input, and skills at the same time.

You can also build a team that can schedule individual collaboration sessions between two or more employees who have shared work to complete together. The ability to work together at any time will build the strength of your team through individual and shared bonds. A scheduling app makes it possible to easily book times for collaboration on cloud-based platforms, with or without a matching video meeting.

A female remote employee celebrating her birthday with her colleagues through a video call.

Celebrate Together

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate together. Celebrations are another example of how you can improve your team building for remote workers. Celebrate birthdays, employment anniversaries, and important milestones together. Find a good gift box shipping partner and send celebration packages to your teams to open and enjoy together in video meetings. You can also book fun virtual games like trivia night, murder mysteries, or even paint-and-sip kits paired with an online lesson.

Celebrating together can be done completely virtually or with celebration kits. Just a moment of congratulations can be all it takes, or your team can pool funds to ship a larger gift to someone experiencing a special moment. You can also celebrate holidays together, including every holiday celebrated by each team member.

Stay attuned to the interests, passions, and important moments in the lives of your remote team members. By celebrating together, you will build a sense of connection shared by the entire team and, therefore, provide opportunities for remote team bonding.

Build Your Remote Team With BrightR

When building a remote team, you don’t have to stay within national boundaries. These tips for improving team building for remote workers are sure to help you strengthen your work culture. If you have connected with excellent candidates and future team members in Canada, BrightR can serve as your Employer of Record to easily add new remote team members to your team. Contact us today to learn more.

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