The remote work revolution brought on by the pandemic is here to stay. A significant percentage of the workforce works remotely or implements a hybrid model. However, it can be challenging to foster a teamwork atmosphere with employees working out of the office.

This is where remote team building comes in. It reduces remote work isolation, fosters trust, and creates a healthy virtual work environment. Herein are four strategies you can practice to develop an engaged, collaborative, and productive remote team.

Hold Periodic Virtual Chats

You should consider holding virtual video chats with your team, either weekly or biweekly. Employees can then share non-work-related conversations like family updates or pop culture chitchat. Virtual chats can act as an online break room allowing workers to catch up as they would in-office.

Getting remote workers on camera allows eye contact and a connection similar to in-person interactions. It also puts faces to screen names and emails when team members communicate off-camera later. Tools that facilitate virtual video chats include Zoom, Slack, Whereby, and RingCentral.

Play Interactive Games

Games are an essential aspect of team building. The right games can be an interactive and fun way to break up remote worker routines.  Virtual games like Hot Takes, Words with Friends, virtual escape rooms, and Guess the Team Member can help your team bond through collaborative challenges.

You can also host an online trivia or quiz and tailor the questions and themes to specific goals. These can be familiarizing team members, company trivia, or general knowledge. It’s beneficial to make virtual games part of your team culture. You can offer a small prize to the winners.

Host a Virtual Movie Night

Streaming a movie or TV show together is a creative way to create a bonding experience. You can use tools like Rabbit and Teleparty, or your preferred group video chat platform. One employee can stream the movie or episode and others can join in.

Team members can also provide live commentary in the chat box. This can provide insight into individual takes on certain themes in popular media. Ideas for movies are limitless. You can go with historical films, sports movies (to demonstrate teamwork), or comedy pieces to unwind.

Create Show and Learn Meetings

Every employee has unique talents and skills that their colleagues can learn about and benefit from. Schedule online sessions where team members take turns teaching something new to the rest of the group. You can make the sessions informal. 

This exercise helps team members share and appreciate each other’s skills and expertise. As such, remote workers can get to know their colleagues’ individual strengths and specialties. Consequently, you’ll realize improved teamwork and better results from future projects.

An effective remote team building exercise should incorporate proper communication, joint goals, support, and fun. As a remote team manager, it’s important to lead with creative ways of connecting and engaging remote employees. There are plenty of other team-building activities to do remotely. These include remote workplace tours, daily snapshots, virtual workout sessions, joint book sessions, and more.