The 6 Best Team Building Strategies for Remote Teams

Team building with remote workers

Team building is a special challenge for remote teams. These tips show how you work together successfully as a team despite different locations.

Remote teams offer great opportunities through their virtually based and thus location-independent work, but they also present a challenge for those involved. How does communication work reliably? How can a sense of belonging be developed? Teams that are sometimes very spontaneously assembled need to cooperate quickly and well – even if not all members are in the same location. The following tips will help you build a successful remote team.

Installing and maintaining small talk

At the coffee machine, in the elevator or at lunch together – in everyday office life, there are automatically opportunities to exchange ideas privately. The importance of this exchange becomes clear when it is missing. It forms the basis for building a relationship with each other.

These ideas help you integrate the culture of small talk into your remote team:

Plan “Coffee Gossip”

Take a few minutes before a meeting to exchange ideas and update you privately. Consciously plan this time and promote this exchange through appropriate questions.

Finding common topics

You can always find topics on which everyone can say something. The latest series on Netflix, holiday plans or even the infamous weather! It’s about breaking the ice and getting into the conversation.

Sharing is caring

Encourages team members to share photos and videos. The visual impression strengthens the bond – for example, a working meeting can be loosened up with a round “Everyone posts a picture of today’s workplace”.

Communicating with empathy

 

Successful interpersonal communication is crucial for good cooperation. The risk of creating misunderstandings and making unclear agreements is significantly higher online. Two things should therefore be anchored in the team spirit: always imputing a positive intention to his counterpart – after all, the other, like oneself, wants only the best for the project. And secondly: to formulate itself clearly, in tell-in-tell and neutral.                     

Skill-sharing sessions

In video meetings, a team member shares their expertise in the form of a small talk on a specific topic. After this input, a joint discussion can take place. This imparts knowledge, opens up insights into other areas of work and promotes exchanges between colleagues.

Vision rounds

You bring the team together, strengthen common values and goals. What is the “best possible future” for each individual – i.e. what, where and with whom do you want to work in a year? What are the similarities? Afterwards, a vision statement can be prepared.

Smiley and Co.

Friendly and empathetic communication is the be-all and end-all for joint success. Since written language leaves a certain scope for interpretation, smileys are a good means of conveying emotions and preventing misunderstandings. So please smile online 😉

Establishing routines

Routines are an advantage in office life. Working time, lunch break, after-hours – this consistent clocking is often lacking in non-local cooperation.

Structures are very helpful for productive work and successful cooperation and can also be established remotely:

Monday rounds

In a not too big round, everyone gives a look back at the last week as well as a preview of the upcoming week. What went particularly well? What are the challenges? Where do I need help? This structures one’s own work, promotes commitment and involves the other team members.

Virtual evening

Whether with beer or a soft drink – the end of the week can also be sealed together and the weekend can be heralded.

Standup meetings

standup meetings are known to many of the Scrum management methods. Since they are traditionally kept standing, they are short-lived, which is why they can be easily integrated into everyday work. With the web app Standups, these meetings can even be held across different time zones.

Get to know colleagues

In larger companies, there are rooms or events of personal exchange across projects, such as the canteen, Christmas and birthday parties or joint work trips.

Concrete ideas that make it easier to get to know each other personally even for larger remote teams:

“Blind Dates”

In order to connect all employees of the company, two people meet in pairs and exchange for 15 minutes via video. The content and form of the exchange are entirely up to them; the focus is on personal experience and private, informal exchange, which can then be shared publicly in a brief overview.

Space for fun off-work

With larger teams, a dedicated channel can be set up for private exchanges. How about, for example, with your own slack channel for cat pictures?

Creating good digital office structures

“Hello …? Are you still there?” – in addition to the technical equipment and an impeccable internet connection, the right tools for good cooperation are crucial. A project management software such as Trello, which is combined with a channel for direct communication such as Slack, has proven its worth here.

A few suggestions for your remote team:

Find the right platform

Inform you extensively about the advantages and disadvantages of the different services and then set yourself on two or a maximum of three platforms.

Processes document

well-thought-out processes and do not forget to document them and establish them in a team. Proven processes must be recorded so that new team members can get in quickly and the onboarding process is facilitated. Be open to questioning and improving the processes as a team from time to time – that’s how everyone feels involved.

Regular video meetings

videos make communication more personal, intense and strengthen the relationship with each other. They are also suitable for celebrating online. Have you ever started a launch or birthday together online?

Enable shared experiences

Even for remote team members, shared experiences can be created that strengthen the group. Woyago are specialists in virtual events which are an ideal way to encourage your team to bond. Why not take a look at some of the experiences we offer