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4 Team Building Activities for Remote Workers

By Dave Root on May 4, 2016

4 Team Building Activities for Remote WorkersAs I manage my global teams and grow our global business, I have the ongoing need to create a culture of teamwork that boosts productivity, raises morale, and fosters innovation. I want my entire team  excited about “getting to work” to meet and exceed performance standards no matter where they are located. In my experience, the key to a culture of teamwork is creating an environment where every member feels like part of a whole and pulls his or her own weight.

Many organizations are great at fostering teamwork when teams are physically together, but I have found fostering teamwork challenging when you have multiple offices across the globe. When this is your reality as a leader, how can you ensure the same team-based connection?

At first blush, it seems difficult; however, I have found that the same technologies that allow teams to be geographically separated can create cultural unity. It all starts with a solid plan for team building– which includes adopting one (or more!) of the methods that I would like to share with you:

Download the guide Team Building Through Experiential Learning and start  improving your team dynamics today.

1. Ask for Input on the Setup

While some businesses have been built from the ground up to be remote-friendly, other companies are more recently embracing remote workers. Either way, the remote infrastructure is critical. The key to remote teams is clear communication. Ask your team for input in the following areas to get the setup right:

  • Conferencing and video conferencing - While a simple call is often easiest, for remote teams, video conferencing can help build an extra connection between members
  • Intranets and software - When not communicating live, email, intranets, and other software tend to pick up the slack. Ask your team how they best use these tools for efficiencies or what changes can be made to improve them.
  • Individual office setups - Everyone has a different set up in their home office (or home desk-in-the-corner-of-the-dining-room). Encourage team members to share their own set ups: they may be surprised to see the similarities or differences between them and even get new ideas that could make them more productive.

2. Consider Live, Web-Based Workshops

While sitting in on a call may not always lead to participating from all attendees, turning a weekly call into a workshop or work session gives all team members the opportunity to participate. Focus on solving some real business problems, such as:

  • Breakdowns in internal communication
  • Problem solving for specific customer issues
  • Process improvements

The benefit here is twofold: everyday work problems are solved and your team gets to work together to come up with possible solutions.  

3. Start a Club

The “extracurriculars” that take place in a physical office – softball teams, lunch swaps, happy hours – can be difficult to translate to the virtual office. But some of these activities are perfectly aligned to remote teams. While softball isn’t a one-player sport, sports-loving employees may readily embrace participating in a fantasy league (they exist for just about every sport now). Others may be interested in a book club (whether reading for business or pleasure). Although the majority of these activities should take place after work hours, participants can use the same conference software that you use every day to host the actual meeting.

4. Host an In-Person Event

Although one benefit of working remotely is that you don’t have to travel, sometimes there’s nothing like a little old fashioned facetime to unite a team. Whether you’re hosting a large scale event for every member of your organization, bringing together a global marketing team, or introducing team members from a specific geographical region, an in-person event can be ideal. When organizing your event, consider mixing casual meet-ups with more formal activities. Incorporating ice breaker activities isn’t a bad idea, and don’t forget that it’s possible to combine fun activities and actual business lessons with experiential learning programs.

Team members who work remotely don’t need to feel removed from each other. These tactics keep remote teams aligned, in sync, productive, and none of them are difficult to carry out!

How does your organization approach team building for remote workers?

It takes planning and preparation to build and manage world-class teams.

How can your organization unleash the power of teamwork? Download The Basics of Team Development to find out. By downloading this ebook, you will learn:

  • What defines teamwork
  • The characteristics of a world-class team
  • A framework for defining and driving the behaviors of a world-class team

Get the eBook now by filling out the form. 

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Dave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

About Eagle's Flight

Founded in 1988, Eagle's Flight has earned its reputation as a global leader in the development and delivery of business-relevant, experiential learning programs that achieve specific training objectives and lasting behavior changes.

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