Struggling to Connect with Your Remote Team? You’re Not Alone!
As many people approach the one-year mark of unexpectedly working from home, lots are feeling more stressed out and less connected than ever before. While working remotely certainly has its benefits (more than half of survey respondents reported that they want to continue doing so long-term), it also has costs – 65% of respondents also said they were feeling less connected to their coworkers while working remotely. When you only hear from your colleagues via a few slack messages a day, it’s easy to feel isolated.
Feeling alone and disconnected for an extended period isn’t good for individuals or groups. In the 2020 State of Remote Work Report, the biggest struggles for teleworkers were loneliness and lack of communication. Research shows that teams with good relationships have higher productivity, morale, and employee retention. Furthermore, groups of coworkers who regularly laugh together perform and feel better.
If you feel distanced from your coworkers, or if your teambuilding efforts are falling flat, check out our list of ideas!
1. Make It All Fun and Games
If the thought of Zoom board games makes you groan, give it a chance for reinvention! With a little creativity, you’re sure to find a game that excites everyone. A few traditional tabletop games that are easy to transition to a remote environment are Yahtzee, Pictionary, and Scattergories. Since Yahtzee doesn’t rely on a shared set of dice, it’s easy to have each employee pull up their own set (physical or virtual). Pictionary and Scattergories prompts are easy to find online; then the person in charge merely needs to share their screen!
If that sounds a little complicated, never fear! Many websites are built to allow remote play of board or card games. At free or low cost, options like boardgamearena.com and yucata.de are industry leaders. Just have your coworkers set up accounts before hopping on a call and throwing down the dice.
2. Grab a Bevvy
Even if you generally think cocktail hour is more obligatory than fun, adding drinks to a relaxed chat can add comfort and create a natural barrier from work chatter. Whether you want to send out cocktail recipes for after hours or just tell everyone to grab a cup of joe, everyone will feel more inclined to chat with a beverage in hand. Themed drinks or shared recipes can be a great addition, but if it seems stressful, leave it behind!
3. Connect with Your Remote Team by Getting to Know Them
My personal, ahem, “research,” reveals that, on average, traditional stuffy office icebreakers make employees want to gouge their eyes out. However, I’m convinced that there’s a way to reform these activities. Rethinking the questions is a great place to start – instead of asking questions that are either boring or put employees on the spot, ask things like “What’s your favorite recent song or album discovery?” or “If you could repeat any one of your vacations, which would it be?” There are plenty of great lists out there that you can curate to perfection for your team and culture.
What has your workplace done to generate more connection among remote employees? What’s your favorite way to connect with others digitally? Let us know below!