Working remotely for employees has been increasing in popularity since the pandemic. Workers can embrace the work-from-home or work-from-anywhere lifestyle and the benefits of flexibility. Employers, too, can hire motivated employees and independent contractors from anywhere in the world, including across borders.
Human resource outsourcing services can connect remote employees to international employers to form remote teams. There are benefits and drawbacks to remote teams, though. One such drawback is the fact that geographically separate employees may feel distant from the rest of the company if the company doesn’t take steps to make them feel connected.
With a globally distributed team, one team in the company could have team members from different parts of the world. This means that the usual feeling of a cohesive team that employees get by sharing one single room is not there. When people work from home, they may feel isolated from the rest of the team, who could be physically located anywhere in the world.
Keeping Employees Feeling Like a Part of the Team
One of the most important problems human resources departments of remote companies need to be aware of is the potential lack of engagement of employees with their management as well as with their peers. When remote workers are feeling disengaged and not part of a larger team, their productivity can go down, and the company-wide morale along with it. Work-related stress can increase and employees can feel disconnected from each other and unsupported by management. There are solutions, however.
Companies can work towards making their staff feel more engaged by taking several steps and initiating several different strategies, which will be covered in this article, including ideas for team activities, virtual team-building exercises, virtual activities, and games.
Your company can use the following tips to help build teams and foster teamwork and collaboration among remote employees while simultaneously increasing productivity.
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What Is Remote Team Building?
With remote work, it’s important for employers to stay connected with their employees, for employees to be able to get to know each other, and for employees to feel like a part of a team.
Even though the physical distance between your headquarters and your remote staff may be immense, there is still a need to engage with the staff and make them feel like a part of the larger group, just as if they were coming to work each day and clocking in, rather than performing their duties remotely.
Your company can create a more productive, healthier, and happier work environment when you can bring your remote employees together as part of a team. Your employees can also get to know one another and have fun while they’re at it. That’s where remote team-building activities can help.
Remote team building exercises and general practices span a wide range of activities and ways of working from virtual meetings and virtual coffee breaks to games and competitions to a general way of doing day-to-day business while keeping the remote staff connected through face-to-face meetings, chats, and other forms of togetherness.
Importance of Remote Team Building
Remote teams don’t have the benefit of being able to be physically close and speak to their coworkers or managers in person since they can be working anywhere, including by themselves at home. With remote team building, those large geographic gaps can be closed, making the team members feel as if they are working side by side, getting to know one another, and realizing they are not alone.
Team building can also be a way for employees to have some fun and let loose, let off some steam, and learn that they are not just numbers on a screen or in a database but humans who can chat and laugh with each other and help each other out. Some of the team-building activities can be games and more relaxed virtual meet-ups such as fun Friday events at the end of the week and other activities where employees can relieve some stress. These team activities can have the added effect of reducing stress and burnout.
Common Remote Team Building Activities
The following sections outline some ideas for activities that can help build teams, foster teamwork, and increase a sense of camaraderie among team members so coworkers can get to know each other and work better together.
Virtual Team Building Activities
Play Games For Fun and Challenges
Online games for virtual teams can be a fun and challenging way of bringing remote teams together. These games may be work-related or not. For work-related games, custom trivia games can be played by the team before a meeting, with questions involving a company, group project, or safety hazards as a few examples.
Have Virtual Competitions
Goal-setting apps can be used to set goals for employees. These competitions can be work-related, such as sales goals. Rewards, which could be anything like online coupons, can be given out for meeting sales quotas. Alternatively, friendly competitions can be held that have nothing to do with work. Games can be played during a virtual meeting or goals can be set spanning weeks or longer.
Offer Virtual Classes
Virtual workshops and classes can be offered to employees for personal or career development. Team members can take the class at the same time virtually and share notes. This kind of learning can help train and teach your workforce and also bring them together.
Hold Regular Virtual Meetings
Video meetings can be helpful for employers as they can have face-to-face meet-ups with employees either in groups or even one-on-one. Apps like Zoom can bring people together over an internet connection so they can speak to each other, rather than emailing or texting, which can feel detached and cold. Virtual hangouts and meetings can keep remote teams feeling connected.
Cross-train Different Teams Together
Keeping teams together so they can work virtually with each other and get to know one another is an important part of forming a cohesive and collaborative group. Don’t forget also to have people work with different groups and people in different parts of the company and not just their teams. This can help each employee get to know more of the company’s staff and keep a diverse and collaborative work environment so people can share ideas and work together as a whole team.
Activities To Keep Employees Engaged
Working remotely can make workers feel like they are alone, but management can help remind them that they are still part of a larger team by keeping them engaged.
Have Fun Friday or Other Relaxed Meetings
Having scheduled virtual meetings can help keep remote employees engaged by letting them see their team members and management at a certain time each week. This can be a time to collaborate and share feedback and make sure all team members are on the same page. Meetings don’t always have to be serious, however. Meetings on the last half of the last day of the week can relieve workers of a small amount of the workweek while they chat and have fun with each other before the weekends.
Foster an Environment For Teamwork
When employees share their work with coworkers and collaborate, it can help them engage with their company and with the rest of their company subdivision or team. Collaborating with remote coworkers can keep employees engaged with each other. By encouraging feedback, rewards for good work, friendly competition, and collaboration, management can help employees feel like part of a cohesive team.
Even though remote teams may be spread out across the world, employees don’t have to feel like they are disconnected and separated from their coworkers and company management. When working at a physical location, employees can easily feel like they are a part of a team. Working remotely doesn’t have that benefit. Therefore, employers need to take some steps to make the staff feel like they are part of a team even though each team member is in their location, which may be physically very far from the rest of the team and management.
Because of the geographical distance between each employee and their coworkers and managers, it is important to keep the workers feeling like they are a part of a team for maximum productivity, increased efficiency, and good morale. Good team-building activities might do the trick and go a long way in bringing remote teams together.
Skuad – Your Remote Hiring and Remote Team-Building Solution
Your globally expanding company can hire independent contractors and employees in different countries in several ways. If your company is not going to establish local entities in all the nations where you are hiring from, you can use a global employment and payroll platform like Skuad to be your Employer of Record partner for hiring, onboarding, benefits administration, payroll processing, and compliance with country-specific employment laws.
To see how Skuad can help your company hire international employees or independent contractors and offer the best remote team experience, book a demo today.