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5 Easy Things You Can Do To Connect Remote Teams

CONNECTING REMOTE TEAMS CAN BE CHALLENGING.

With so many people working from home right now, it can be a struggle to find new ways to connect remote teams online. Especially if you don’t have the budget, or the time, to spare. But maintaining a sense of camaraderie is not only important for the individuals who make up your team, it’s also crucial to working effectively and staying productive.

Building a strong virtual team requires strong virtual leadership. Effective online leaders not only provide SUPPORT FOR THEIR TEAMS, but they make sure their teams feel ENCOURAGED TO GET HELP with their projects and ideas when they need it. And if you want your team to trust and rely on each other, you need to be sure that they’re feeling connected, even when they’re working remotely.

HOW CAN WE CONNECT REMOTE TEAMS WITHOUT EXTRA EFFORT?

During this time of online working, a lot of CEOs and Team Managers are stretched pretty thin. Whether they’ve only recently transitioned to the virtual workspace, or been working remotely for a long time, managing a remote team requires a lot of patience, energy, and time. When everyone’s already burning the candle at both ends, the importance of TEAMBUILDING is often overlooked, and can easily be dropped from the routine.

But keeping your employees engaged and productive is one of the most important things you can do right now. Here are 5 things that you can do right now to connect remote teams that take virtually no time, and provide valuable team connectivity.

1 | COLLABORATE ON A PLAYLIST

Create a collaborative Spotify playlist curated by members of your team.

Music is a powerful way to change our mindset and invigorate our bodies. It is also a powerful tool in creating human connections. Start a collaborative playlist on Spotify and ask your team to fill it up with their favorite jams and guaranteed bangers. This is a great way for your team to get to know each other a little better that takes no more than a few minutes.

You and your team can co-create shared playlists based on a music genre, a specific mood, or even a specific question. Not only will your team feel connected through the collaboration, but these songs can ignite great conversations. You can even use the title of the playlist to learn a little bit more about one another. 

Music is a powerful way to change our mindset and invigorate our bodies. It is also a powerful tool in creating human connections. Start a collaborative playlist on Spotify and ask your team to fill it up with their favorite jams and guaranteed bangers. This is a great way for your team to get to know each other a little better that takes no more than a few minutes.

You and your team can co-create shared playlists based on a music genre, a specific mood, or even a specific question. Not only will your team feel connected through the collaboration, but these songs can ignite great conversations. You can even use the title of the playlist to learn a little bit more about one another. 

Here’s a list of a few examples of playlist titles to get you started:

COLLABORATIVE PLAYLIST IDEAS

  • GUARANTEED GOOD MOOD

  • SONGS I SING WHEN NOBODY’S AROUND

  • NO LYRICS = DEEP FOCUS

  • SONGS I THINK THE BOSS WILL LIKE

  • FAVORITE SONGS FROM WHEN I WAS 15

  • MUSIC I LOVE BECAUSE MY PARENTS LOVED IT

  • SONGS THAT CALM ME DOWN

2 | SHARE #tiny-triumphs ON SLACK

Set up a dedicated Slack channel where your team can share their tiny triumphs and massive moments.

One of the biggest downsides to working remotely is that we miss out on opportunities to create small moments of sharing at the office. 

Online Meeting Slack Notification

One of the biggest downsides to working remotely is that we miss out on opportunities to create small moments of sharing at the office. 

Meeting face-to-face gives us chances to chit-chat about all sorts of things, big and small, that are happening in our personal lives. These small moments come organically throughout the day, when you’re pouring your coffee, riding in the elevator, or waiting for the boss to show up for the meeting. This is when we find time to share little pieces of ourselves with our colleagues.

But these opportunities don’t exist organically when we work remotely. One way that you can give them back to your team is by creating a dedicated slack channel where people can share, and get the positive reinforcement that helps connect them together. Encourage them to share everything from tiny triumphs, like finding a favorite pen that had been lost for a few weeks, to massive moments, like watching as their kid learned to walk. If your team doesn’t like to open up about their personal lives, then you can set up a second channel for work-related wins.

3 | EXCHANGE “WEEKLY WINS” IN ONLINE MEETINGS

Set aside a moment during your Check-In meetings just for sharing good news.

A lot of teams are having more meetings than ever before now that they’re working remotely. Chances are that your team feels pressured to stay focused and keep the online meeting on track. This usually means that people forego smalltalk and chit-chat where it would have been before. While it is definitely important to have EFFECTIVE ONLINE MEETINGS, it is just as important to find ways to encourage our teams to connect and share when meeting online.

An easy way to do this is to add “Weekly Wins” to your next ONLINE MEETING AGENDA. This creates a dedicated moment during the meeting where your team can share their good news from their personal or professional lives. Sharing our lives with one another helps us understand more about who we are working with, and connects us through shared experiences. As a result, your team gets stronger, and builds an important sense of trust and understanding.

4 | START A VIRTUAL LUNCH CLUB

Encourage weekly virtual lunches together based on topics, themes, or hobbies.

Lunchtime has always been a time for connecting with friends and bonding with colleagues. But when we work remotely, we don’t have this opportunity built into our schedule. 

Online Meeting Slack Notification

Lunchtime has always been a time for connecting with friends and bonding with colleagues. But when we work remotely, we don’t have this opportunity built into our schedule. 

Rather than going out and schmoozing, we’re staying home, heating up leftovers, and eating alone. That’s why it’s a good idea to encourage your crew to find a time each week to meet up online and break bread together.

Start up a weekly virtual lunch club for your team (or ask them to start their own). Set it up around a shared hobby, so people can talk tricks of the trade, or like a book club, where people discuss the latest literary masterpiece, or episode on TV. We do a weekly IMPROV Lunch every Friday, where all the improvisers from our team hop online and nerdout over lunch. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what it is about. Just put it in the calendar and make it a priority to get people together. Talking. Sharing. Connecting.

5 | PLAY “WORKWEEK BINGO” WITH YOUR TEAM

Turn your team’s goals, to-dos, and KPIs into a workweek bingo chart.

One of the best ways to bring any team together is through playing games. And playing as a team is way more productive than competing against each other. Workweek Bingo is a great way to play together as a team while getting things done. 

You can easily turn your team’s To-Do lists and KPIs into a workweek bingo chart, with each square set up as a different goal. You’ve probably already got a list of things To Do at the beginning of each week. Or a set of monthly KPIs that you are hoping to achieve.

Rather than simply going through these tasks and goals as items on an agenda, throw them into a Bingo Card Template at the start of the week.

Then, during your weekly CHECK-IN MEETINGS, see how much your team has accomplished. It is also a great way to encourage your individual team members to practice self-care while at home.

Here’s what our latest Workweek Bingo Card looks like:

IMPROV Communication Workweek Bingo Card
IMPROV Communication Workweek Bingo Card

TRY IT THIS WEEK

Here’s a free Blank Bingo Card template you can use to start playing Workweek Bingo now. And when we say “Free”, we mean “Free”. We don’t even ask you to give us your email.

You can download the Bingo Card as a PDF or access it as a template on Google Drive so you can save it to your own folder and set it up for your team.

IMPROV Communication Workweek Bingo Card

STAY CONNECTED. EVEN WHEN YOU’RE APART.

A LITTLE EFFORT GOES A LONG WAY TO CONNECT REMOTE TEAMS

When teams work remotely, they need strong leadership and guidance to keep them focused and inspired. Finding ways to connect remote teams may feel overwhelming, but a little effort can go a long way. Start by creating new opportunities for them to share and connect. And when you’re ready, let us know. We’ll happily talk to you about our ONLINE TEAMBUILDING SESSIONS and how they can help get the most from your online team.

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