How to Stay Connected With Your Team Remotely – BreakoutIQ
We at BreakoutIQ would like to share some helpful tips and team building activities for remote teams looking for ways to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. Your company may have moved to a work-from-home setup in response to COVID-19 and public health guidance; but just because the lights are off in the office doesn’t mean that work is slowing down. It’s more important than ever to invest in keeping your team connected and staving off any feelings of isolation.
Connect face-to-face, remotely
You may not realize all the touch points you had with your team throughout the day until you’re in different places. You can maintain that feeling of proximity by making the most out of video conferencing.
Have frequent and short check-ins.
Schedule short all-hands every day or so to touch base with your team. Start with a quick pulse check, or share a low-stakes ice-breaker to stimulate conversation. We recommend making a short list of questions in advance. You can invite everyone to contribute and draw questions at random!
Set up a virtual open office.
Recreate the feeling of saying hi over the cubicle wall or just being close to your colleagues. Start a video conference that people can drop in and out of throughout the day. Be sure to set clear expectations—this isn’t video monitoring. Folks can turn their cameras and mics off at any time, or log out entirely. But for those who want to feel like they’re working alongside others, it can be a comfort just to have the line open.
Create forums for informal chatter
Encourage low-pressure group interactions, AKA water-cooler talk without the water cooler. For example, colleagues can share some of their day-to-day experiences. In effect, build a sense of community by showing how you’re all in this together.
Add slice-of-life chat channels.
If you use Slack or another team communication platform, create some channels dedicated to specific moments. This will build connectivity and light-hearted conversation. Some channels could include:
- #songoftheday—What tunes are you playing? Compare your favorite lo-fi hip hop beats to chillax to.
- #videooftheday—Swap those heartwarming “unlikely animal friends” videos!
- #snackoftheday—What is everyone munching on? Snap a pic of your desk snacks.
- #remotelyfe—Share some of the perks of working from home. It could be a pic while out for a lunchtime walk, a selfie in your favorite “Casual Everyday” outfit, or show off your makeshift standing desk.
Use Slack’s polling tool to vote on your favorites each week. Consider giving the winners a prize, either in the form of a digital gift card or mailing a fun desk toy!
Start an office radio station.
Create a shared multimedia account (such as YouTube or Spotify), where your teammates can add music to a shared playlist. You could even pick specific themes like genre, decade, or songs that all have a common word in the title. Consider throwing a 1-minute dance party to get the blood flowing and rotate who DJs!
Invest in remote team-building
Taking a break to chat with colleagues isn’t just good for staff morale—15 minutes of socialization a day can result in a 20% increase in workplace productivity. You can encourage these moments of connection by organizing some regular events and activities.
Organize team activities.
Consider facilitating regular team activities to lighten the mood:
- Online versions of scavenger hunts, Pictionary, Words With Friends, or other games. There’s a lot out there, both free and subscription-based.
- Use video conferencing to host low-key learning lunches. Folks can share travel photos, give home office tours, or give a mini-TED talk on something they’re passionate about.
- Group workouts, mindfulness meditation sessions, or virtual happy hours over video.
Bring in the experts!
We know that it’s challenging to maintain connectivity with your colleagues when they’re not in the same place. And tackling the logistics of a distributed team adds even more to your workload. BreakoutIQ is here to help! We offer two different programs to help you create informal touch points and moments of levity to improve morale:
- Remote trivia. A video conference based version of our unique trivia game, TrivIQ. Conversation starting trivia rounds, a mix of small team and large group interactions, and fun competition hosted by experienced BreakoutIQ facilitators make this a great fit for any team! Great for all group sizes and activities ranging from 30 – 90 minutes. Learn more about Remote Trivia here!
- Coffee Break Contest. Partner with someone new every 2 weeks to complete a fun, 15-minute challenge over video conference. See how the rest of your company did in exciting company-wide recaps after every challenge. And stay engaged with some friendly banter and team appreciation. CBC can help your team through the coming weeks. You can also continue the service for as long as you like, and even make it a staple of your distributed team culture. It can strengthen your company culture by creating new connections, generating inclusive conversation, and building a sense of belonging.Get started with a no-obligation free trial. Learn more about Coffee Break Contest here!