In today’s world, a lot of work is done outside the office. Gone are the days where people have to commute for hours, and instead more companies are letting their office workers work from home, as Forbes explain. The issue with this though, is that team building is tough, particularly when you bring new people to your team. But it’s not impossible, it just means that you will need to spend a little time thinking about what needs to be done next.
Making connections with a remote team is one of the hardest parts of managing a remote team, you don’t want to force it, but also you want to make sure that your team works well together. That’s why things like these remote working programs can have a huge impact on your business, and can be incredibly useful to everyone involved. It’s obviously a lot easier to connect with people when you are in the office, but when working remotely, you will just have to do things a bit differently.
Ditch the Dull Ice Breakers
Ice breakers, a lot of people hate them, but when done correctly, they can be a great start to your working morning. So how do you ensure that you ditch the dull ice breakers? Well say goodbye to those boring questions such as how was your weekend, do you have any hobbies etc? These questions are only met with simple answers, and you might also find that your team just gives you a simple shrug. So, make sure you ask something interesting.
There are plenty of interesting questions out there, so this can challenge you to think of something interesting. Rather than just asking how was your day, ask them something like what is the one song that you can’t stand right now? Make sure that the question is a bit cheeky and humorous, you’ll get a much better response from them, and you’ll also find that people get to know each other a lot better this way.
Improve Your Onboarding
Onboarding is one of the most effective things that you can do to help your business when it comes to creating good relationships with your remote team. This is even more critical for virtual team building. You need to ensure that you create a good relationship right at the very start. You might find that some companies prefer to have their new hire come into the business in their first week, just to help settle in and learn what they will need to be doing.
Often this can be the best approach as they can get to know the people in that first week, but also, they might feel more comfortable in their job meaning that they will perform even better. Of course, all you have to do is just make sure that you find the right process for you and see what works well for you and your company. Are the people you hire happier to just get on with it and work from home, or would they prefer a quick meeting in person?
Build a Buddy System
As previously mentioned, the onboarding process is really useful. One thing that businesses have found beneficial during their onboarding process is to make use of a buddy system. This is a fun way for people to interact socially and to get to know each other. One survey even suggests that 51% of remote managers and employee reported that having a mentor mentorship program or buddy program made a huge difference!
This can be someone taking the official role of “mentor” before the new person begins. They should make sure to offer one-on-one meetings once a week or bi-weekly, just to ask them questions to see how they are settling in and if they have acclimated to the company. You can suggest a fun weekly chat with 2-3 people from the office, nothing work related, just to help them get to know each other better.