Right now, we're all trying to figure out how people can work together as a team when they’re rarely going to be in the same place.

In the past eighteen months, companies have been forced to give people more flexibility in where they work. In the midst of this crisis, it may have seemed like a temporary change. However, companies are now preparing for a future that includes remote working.

We know there are many advantages to remote work. For example, you may reduce your environmental impact. Still, if you’re operating out of a home office now, you may also feel isolated and find it difficult to collaborate.

Learn how to succeed with remote teams in a future hybrid working environment. Try these techniques for building and maintaining high performing team work.

Informal Strategies for Remote Team Building

In a conventional office, people can drop by each other’s desks and hang out in the break room. In the virtual space, try these alternatives for encouraging casual socialising to develop trusted work relationships:

  • Ease into meetings: One of the most convenient times to engage in small talk is before the meeting starts. Encourage people to arrive early, so they can describe their weekend plans or talk about their hobbies.
  • Play games: Provide opportunities for a little friendly competition, for example cooking contests and talent shows.
  • Throw parties: Keep in touch with virtual happy hours and staff birthday parties. Ask people what other kinds of entertainment they’d enjoy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Be inclusive: Whatever methods you use, create an atmosphere where diversity is celebrated, and mutual respect prevails. Embrace different viewpoints and empathise with each other.

Formal Strategies for Remote Team Building

Effective team building also requires more structured approaches. These activities can be customised to the needs of your team and the nature of your work:

  • Create a plan: Takes a systematic approach to team building, so you can evaluate your progress and stay on track. Develop a written plan with specific measurements and milestones.
  • Agree on ground rules: Work with your team to agree on ground rules for communications and other major issues. For example, people might be asked to turn off cell phones before meetings and return messages within 2 days.
  • Set goals: Pursuing common goals is one of the main criteria for turning a bunch of individuals into a team. Ask people how well they understand the organisation's vision and mission and specifically how it applies to their work.
  • Show impact: Help your team to see how their efforts make a difference. Reward high performance and share success stories.
  • Meet one on one: How often do managers meet privately with the people who report to them? One on one meetings are an important tool for bonding together, as well as discussing project updates and career development plans. Coworkers may also benefit from sessions with each other.
  • Change the channel: With so many ways to communicate, 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 whilst you work remotely. Team building based on communication and collaboration will help you to learn from each other and pursue shared goals successfully.