Working in a remote team means that while you and the rest of the team give all your best towards the growth of the company, you might not get to meet or know the great minds that you work with. You spend all your work hours in front of your computer working and when you are done, you are back to your home duties. The feeling could even be worse if you are just a virtual part of the company, and the company has a central office where people go to work. You might feel left out. You feel like you are not a part of the company. Here is where virtual Team-Building comes to play.
Therefore, business owners need to establish means for virtual staff to communicate with each other and create a connection between them. Creating this connection will also improve their productivity because they are happier while working knowing that they are working with great minds. Here are five ways in which you can build your virtual team and give them an avenue to build a relationship.
1. Host Pet Projects
Employers can host pet projects that are in line with the company’s scope of work. Pair workers to work together on the project based on their areas of strengths and weaknesses. Workers will put their heads together to create a presentation for everyone. This whole project can take a week. For projects to go smoothly in virtual settings, you must utilize tech tools and platforms that improve the remote working experience. Some of the platforms useful for the staff to communicate with each other include:
● Flowdock, a private chat platform
● Slack, ideal for instant messaging and file transfers
● GoToMeeting, to schedule meetings and share screens
One week without any real work, just employers working together, sharing files with one another, and working on something parallel to the jobs that they do alone. They can share files in Word format or work together online in Google Docs so that each member of the team can make edits. Once they are done, they should convert to PDF all the files they have worked in since PDFs are typically smaller than the files that were used to make them, making them easier to transmit and download.
If possible, you can give them a project that will be useful in the end so that the company can also benefit from their collaboration. Working together with colleagues will make everyone feel great and improve the spirit of teamwork among workers. To ensure that everyone benefited from the project, ask everyone to submit a report of what they learned during the project by holding an online meeting where all discuss the challenges and the best parts about working together. You will find out that while they worked on the same project to achieve one goal, they will all have different things to say about what they learned.
2. Give Rewards
Another exercise that you can use to build your virtual team is through the rewarding of efforts. From time to time, give workers reward points when they perform excellently on the team. Design a system where everyone would know when a worker receives bonus points. You can set levels and options for the staff reward. This means that people can use their reward points to retrieve anything from the company for free. To reward your employee virtually, you could do some surprise meal delivery to their house or offer them a Surprise Day Off. One of the rewards suitable for virtual settings is to cover the expense of their online learning courses if they want to improve their skills or develop new ones. You could hold face-to-face meetings in Zoom or Skype to congratulate them directly. This will encourage staff to work more, work together even remotely, and be happy while working.
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At one time or the other, the company will sponsor some people to take certain courses or attend industry meetings. After this time away from the company, such people are expected to return with information that they are willing to share with other members of staff. Everyone gets an invitation to attend a virtual meeting where the staff who attended the meeting or seminar gets to share the experience that was gained with the other members of staff. This is a great way to ensure communication among staff.
The best online platforms for interactive virtual meetings include Livestorm, ClickMeeting, GoToWebinar. The session can be an interactive session where people ask questions, share ideas, and bond together. This meeting should not be mandatory for everyone but to show support, the company can send data to workers who show interest in attending the meeting. This will make workers more than happy to participate.
4. Fitness Goals
Outside of setting goals for the staff to accomplish daily or weekly. The company can also engage members of staff who are fitness inclined to share their progress each week as a motivation to others. A special social media group can be created in WhatsApp for example, where staff share their progress and discuss diet and other things related to fitness. This shows that exercise itself is an exercise that can help to improve remote work relationships. Another great tool is to use the Happily app which has a fitness component to it. Using Happily, employees are able to compete against each other on their exercises and fitness.
5. Book Clubs
Books are another means by which members of staff can connect even remotely. The company chooses a book for everyone to read. To make it easier for those who find it hard to read large books, excerpts of the book can be sent to everyone every day. These excerpts will only take about 10 minutes to read and at the end of the week, workers can share their thoughts on the book with each other. For virtual setting, holding online meetings in Zoom is one of the best ways to get these book clubs going. An even better way is to use engagement and learning tools like Necole, where there is already a global Book club in place and you can engage with a larger community via Necole
Photo by Melanie Deziel
Improving virtual work relationships is a win-win for everybody. Workers get to know the people that they are working with, and this can motivate them to do more and be happy while working. It also means more productivity for the company which will result in more profit.
Before you go, why not check out this short, engaging video on Leaderonomics product called Happily/Budaya and How organisations can leverage on 'Happily':