Modern Rules for Team Building When Employees Work at Home

5 minute read

written by Cápita Works

Jul 01, 2022

Teamwork increases camaraderie and productivity, but how can employees work together when they're not in the same place? Many organizations are looking for new team-building strategies with the increase in remote work. 

Many companies are implementing virtual team-building activities to help employees work together and improve communication skills. Teams can do these activities either during or outside of work hours.

Virtual team-building activities can strengthen communication skills, increase collaboration, help employees learn more about each other, and even help employees become more empathetic towards each other.

There are many advantages to remote work. For example, you may enjoy greater flexibility and reduce your environmental impact. Still, if you're operating in a home office now, you may feel isolated and find collaborating challenging.

Thankfully, there are many ways to combat these issues and make collaborating remotely more productive and enjoyable. There are ways to enhance collaboration during remote work, from setting up the proper workspace to improving communication with your team and team bonding.

Learn how to succeed with remote teams. Remote teams rely on technology to stay connected, but they also need to keep the team aligned. To help your remote team stay productive and happy, try these tips.  

Informal Strategies for Remote Team Building

In a conventional office, employees can drop by each other's cubicles and hang out in the break room. Try these alternatives for encouraging casual socializing that helps develop healthy work relationships and successful teams:  

1. Ease into meetings. One of the most convenient times to engage in small talk is before group meetings. Encourage participants to arrive early to meetings so they can describe their weekend plans or talk about their hobbies. 

2. Play games. Provide opportunities for a little friendly competition. Divide employees into teams for online games: host cooking contests and talent shows. A little healthy competition among co-workers helps improve morale and productivity. 

3. Throw parties. Keep in touch with virtual happy hours and staff birthday parties. Staff birthday celebrations could be a group phone call or a social media shout-out. Virtual happy hours and staff birthday parties are easy ways to keep employees connected and engaged while away from the office. 

These activities can help improve company morale and strengthen bonds between co-workers. Survey employees to see what other kinds of entertainment they'd enjoy.

4. Promote fitness. Have you been more sedentary while staying at home? Break up long hours of sitting. Bring staff together for online exercise classes or stretching sessions. Set up a standing desk or treadmill desk to promote more movement throughout the day.  

Physical activity not only helps you to feel better, but it can also improve your productivity. Exercise can reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve your sleep.

5. Send gifts. Inexpensive freebies can let the IT staff or accounting department know how much they're appreciated. Hand out gift cards for local coffee shops and other businesses. Order coffee mugs with your company logo and each employee's name.   

6. Be inclusive. Whatever methods you use, create an atmosphere where diversity is celebrated and mutual respect prevails. Embrace different viewpoints and empathize with each other. 

Be open to others' ideas, and if you disagree with something, do so respectfully. If you're in a meeting, don't interrupt the person speaking; let others weigh in. And if you're hosting the meeting, make sure everyone has a chance to speak.

Formal Strategies for Remote Team Building

Effective team building also requires more structured approaches. You can customize these activities to the needs of your team and the nature of your work.  

Look at the list of team-building activities below and select the ones that would be most helpful to your team. Then, set a date and schedule some time for the group to meet and try these activities out. You can also invite your team to share their ideas and suggestions for activities they would find helpful. Team building doesn't have to be a one-way street; it's a two-way street.

1. Create a plan. It takes a systematic team-building approach, so you can evaluate your progress and stay on track. Develop a written plan with specific metrics and milestones.  

It can be as simple as setting a team goal and then creating measurable steps to achieve it. The plan should include a mix of activities such as team building, social activities, and team reflection. Choosing activities that interest your team members is an excellent way to build engagement and momentum.

2. Agree on ground rules. Work with your team to agree on ground rules for communications and other significant issues.  

You can also create a code of conduct to govern behavior and set expectations for how team members should communicate with one another. For example, you can ask team members to be respectful and avoid interrupting each other during meetings or asking questions only to correct them.

Establishing ground rules helps your team stay productive and keeps communication open and honest.

3. Set goals. Pursuing common goals is one of the critical criteria for turning a bunch of individuals into a team. Test employees on how well they understand the organizational vision and mission and how it applies to their work. Discuss the purpose behind daily tasks.  

Setting goals for a team lets the members know what employers expect of them and how their tasks fit into the whole. It also serves as a way to track progress and celebrate achievements.

Goals can be big or small, serious or fun. They can be something the team needs to achieve or want to do.If you want to build a high-performing team, you need to start with setting goals. Goals are what drive a team forward, and they are what keep team members motivated daily.   

To set goals, try asking questions like: Why is the team doing what it is? What are its goals? How does each employee's work contribute to the bigger picture? And most importantly, how can each team member help each other succeed? 

4. Show impact. Help your team see how their efforts make a difference. Reward high performance and share success stories. These activities let your team know that what they're doing matters and keep the group focused on the desired goals. 

Make it easy for your team to see how their work contributes to the company's goals. Create a culture where employees feel welcome to ask questions and offer ideas.

Whether you're providing recognition or incentives, make sure they are meaningful. The best way to do that is to ask your team how they would like to be recognized.

5. Meet one-on-one. How often do supervisors and managers meet privately with the employees who report to them? One-on-one meetings are an essential tool for bonding together, as well as discussing project updates and career development plans. Co-workers may also benefit from sessions with each other.  

6. Change the channel. With so many communication methods, it may take time to figure out which options are most effective for different tasks.  

Give employees the freedom to experiment with video calls, instant messaging, and Slack channels to find the right mix for your team.

You can enjoy being part of an exceptional team while you work remotely. Team building based on communication and collaboration will help you learn from each other and pursue shared goals successfully.

Having a good relationship with your team boosts their creativity and productivity. Here at Cápita Works, we believe that enhancing your teamwork skills will guarantee your team's success. If you wish to have more remote employees for a fraction of the cost, check out our solution. For more helpful tips, you can read our articles. Contact us if you want to know more about our services and how we can help you.  


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