With working from home being very common among companies, it’s hard for your team to connect like they could in-office. This means managers will have to get creative to build tight-knit, collaborative teams. Despite the many benefits of remote work, the fact is that it’s harder to build relationships among your team. There is no physical space for them to gather around, and you can’t strike up a conversation at your coworkers desk anymore. 

Virtual team building games and interactions can help remote workers feel included and connected to their team, as well as the overall company culture. These types of activities can result in happier and more productive employees, more effective teams, and a stronger company. Below, we pulled together 5 ways to implement remote team building activities. 

“Water-cooler” Breaks

Because your team doesn’t have the luxury of a physical “water-cooler” to gather around and chat, you need to prove it virtually. An easy way to do this is to set aside a few minutes before a Zoom meeting or dedicate a short-term break during the day for them to all casually talk. You should let them talk in a natural and unstructured way before jumping into work. If they need a little nudge, you can invite them to share what they did over the weekend, or ask about their pets/families/hobbies. 

Share Your Favorites

Sometimes, small talk isn’t enough to break down walls. If your team needs more direction, try an icebreaker activity. One effective icebreaker is “sharing favorites.” This activity can be applied to a number of categories, whether they be work related or not. You can invite your team either through a video conference, shared document or email to share their favorite thing. The prompt could be anywhere from their favorite ice cream to favorite vacation. This is just a fun and easy way to get to know your team better.

Dedicated Slack Channel

Slack has become the premier virtual office for companies and remote workers. You can use Slack, or your preferred chat solution, to create dedicated group channels for office chat. You can dedicate one channel for general work collaboration and other for more fun chats, like funny gifs, pictures, or pets. 

Team Pets Chart

Pets play an important role in many people’s lives. If you team members have pets, have them share pictures and create funny office titles for each of them in a chart. For example, someone’s dog could be the official “Director of Lap Warming.” You should encourage your team to be creative and have fun with it. You could even start a pet employee of the month based on your team members nominations. 

Virtual Meetups

Remote work can feel very isolating at times. You should encourage your team members to hop on Zoom or Slack to “get together” during or after work. You can have some meet for lunch or host an after work happy hour. These virtual meetups are an effective way to bring your team members together and create a more connected culture online.