Digital Connections
Oliver Sheer No Comments

Use these eight free online team-building games, tools and strategies to help keep your remote workforce connected:

Build a Personal User Manual:

Time: 60 minutes

This is great tool for welcoming new team members or forming stronger connections in existing teams by helping people understand how you work as part of an online team. It can eliminate much of the friction of learning each other’s personality traits as you go.

There are various questions team members can look to answer about themselves before everyone comes together in a conference call to discuss.  Commonly people describe the following:

  • My style
  • What I value
  • What frustrates me
  • How best to communicate with me
  • What people misunderstand about me
  • Conditions I like to work in
  • How I like to receive feedback
  • How I learn best

Complete an Individual Strength Finder:

Time: 60-90 minutes

Strength finders are a powerful tool to help individuals better manage themselves and teams to work more collaboratively.

Start by having every member of your team complete the free High5Test, or pay US$49 for the renowned and comprehensive CliftonStrengths test.

Then have your team come together on a conference call to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone should be encouraged to provide feedback on how an individual’s strengths add value and can be further leveraged for the benefit of the team.

If you focus only on the strengths, then this should be a positive experience for all involved, however do consider the dynamics of your team as this exercise is somewhat personal.

Review and Monitor Team Health:

Time: 60-90 minutes

When your team is working remotely it can be difficult to how well it is performing as a whole. Limited non-verbal cues when working online further restrict cohesion, can change the team dynamics and restrict their ability to perform.

Atlassian’s free Team Health Monitor sees team participants answer (either on or offline) a number of questions relating to how well their team performs in a number of areas. Identified weaknesses are then able to be addressed using Atlassian further recommended resources.

Stretching and Mindfulness:

Time: 30 Minutes

With much of the workforce in isolation and potentially with minimal space for exercise, some simple home-based stretching helps workers loosen up mind and body.

Be Challenged’s free Virtual Head to Toe is run as a single session where participants are guided through a series of relaxing easy-to-do armchair stretches and breathing exercises.

The program is designed so exercises can be practised again later, with participants trained on technique and provided a purpose designed, step-by-step guide detailing the exercises.

GIF Battles:

Time: 15-30 minutes

GIF Battles are as ridiculous and as fun as they sound. Simply set a theme and then use your favourite messaging tool to communicate only through GIFs within a set time period. The crowd decides the winner, or finalists can battle it out in the ultimate GIF-off.

If it’s a one-on-on battle you can even use the custom-built GIF Battle app.

Goal setting and expectations:

Structure is an essential part of our lives, however working remotely takes much of that structure away from us.

By defining clear structure to your team’s day, week and month, including clear working parameters and expectations, online teams will be more responsive and efficient.

Ensure briefs are extra clear:

Providing crystal clear briefs is critical for online teams when it’s more difficult to interpret and clarify instructions. Both parties will be able to refer back to these briefs at a later date and work will be more efficient and streamlined.

Also consider using a screen recording as part of your brief for additional detail.

Stay in Touch:

Regularly check in with staff and colleagues and schedule weekly one-on-one and team meetings as well as online company-wide meetings.

Also hold regular impromptu online video coffee breaks, Friday virtual drinks or online video pizza delivery lunches.

Further Resources:

As a specialist team building company, Be Challenged have a range of custom designed Virtual Team Building Programs designed to help you drive motivation, productivity and collaboration in online teams.

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