Maintain your company's work culture, even if you have to do it from a distance.
5 min read
The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
I am working remotely with my entire team. However, I believe that all modern companies should increase the value of teamwork, because the closer their team feels, the better their performance will be. Colleagues who get along with each other more easily coordinate efforts for the same project. However, achieving this can be quite a challenge, especially with what we are currently experiencing. Not everyone is an extrovert, and knowing where to start can be quite a battle.
Here are some ideas for your team to break the ice, either in the office or working remotely :
1. Introductory interviews
The best way to meet someone is to ask them questions. Having the new ones ask the questions allows them to start the conversation on topics that interest them. Everyone in the meeting can start with the same simple questions, such as their name and age, and then open the space for questions from the rest of the group. The information that is learned about each person will be unique and will be remembered more easily.
Most video calling tools allow you to highlight individual engagement, so you can always pay attention to the person who is introducing you. In apps like Zoom , questions can be sent via chatbox or through the “raise your hand” function that allows you to limit interruptions.
2. Virtual happy hours
We tried this for the first time last Friday. At 4:30 pm, we all connected to Zoom and made a virtual happy hour. It was a fun time where we were all able to drink and be ourselves. For those who don't drink (like me), you can still be a part with a glass of water. It is not so much about drinking, but about living together and getting to know others.
Everyone on the team joined in, even the ones who had never had a happy hour with the team! People need to feel accompanied, and this can be one of the best professional icebreakers for people who don't like to put themselves in this kind of outgoing situation.
Live polls are a great way to interact anonymously, taking the anxiety out of quieter members. Sites like slido.com can be used in a conference or digitally and generate the same results. Slido is also available as an app for smartphones. Ask participants for their day, seek feedback, and measure progress throughout a presentation. Add a couple of fun questions to get funny answers, and allow members to speak up and validate their answers if they choose.
A mix of relevant and fun questions can help the audience interact on all fronts. Deep team data can help a manager adjust projects and tasks. Creative responses can help determine who should be in charge of the company's hypothetical rebranding.
4. Featured Employee
Each meeting can 'highlight' one of your employees before starting it. Give the selected person a short period of time to introduce themselves as he or she wants. They can show photos of their family, sing a song or whatever they want. Being able to share screens makes this much easier remotely. Hosts can give the screen access to the person of honor to use as they wish.
If your team doesn't have weekly meetings, consider sending out a newsletter specifically to do this. An email with basic information and fun photos that reaches the entire team gives them the opportunity to learn more about that partner. And you can save it for future reference, such as when you need to give this person a gift for their birthday.
5. Healthy competition
A low risk activity can be entertaining and educational if desired. For example, kahoot.com allows you to create digital quizzes that your team can answer on their phones. These quizzes can ask questions about company protocols to remind them of certain rules or Disney trivia to find out who is the most fan. Reward the winner with something small or a digital card. Because Kahoot is a digital service, it can be used from anywhere.
Other types of games can also be organized that include the need to work as a team or that test each person's individual knowledge or skills. Who can undo a human knot faster? Who can name more presidents in one minute? There are a wide variety of activities that can showcase people's darkest talents and elicit responses from the most introverted team members who have opened up throughout the process.