Effective communication and a shared vision within a team can counteract the effects of isolation or physical separation among remotely working teams. Studies suggest that virtual team building activities have the power to make remote teams feel like tight-knit groups even when separated physically. Virtual team building is the process of leveraging purpose, vision and enthusiasm to boost employee morale and commitment. Employees have to feel included and experience being in the loop while working from geographically separate locations. These activities become essential especially because of the below reasons.
· Remote staff can experience feelings of loneliness, isolation and/or not supported.
· The feeling of being part of team and the excitement that comes with accomplishing a task together can slip away among remote staff.
· Remote staff may crave more autonomy.
A remote team building activity has the solution for all the above problems and more. Here are 5 Icebreakers for your remote teams for a quick personal connection creation which can be carried out at the beginning of your meetings.
1. Rose/Thorn Icebreaker
A Rose is anything positive that makes them feel grateful or happy while a Thorn is challenge they are facing. They can either be work related or non-work related. At the beginning of your team meeting, ask each member of the team to share one rose and one thorn each in one minute of time. This can be fun activity to diffuse the awkwardness at the beginning.
2. “Do you really know your team” Icebreaker
This is a fun instant team-bonding activity which takes 10-minutes at the beginning of the meeting. Each person is given 10 minutes to answer 3 questions about themselves and share it with a moderator (usually the team leader) but can be switched up to spice things up. The moderator then has to share the responses anonymously with the team and they have to pair the answer with the right person. Once everyone has guessed, reveal the right pairs. If the results are interesting or surprising, the particular team-mate has to explain.
3. Critical Thinking Icebreaker
Start your meeting by posing lateral thinking questions like, “If you were alone in a dark cabin, with only one match and a lamp, a fireplace, and a candle to choose from, which would you light first?” or “If you were stuck on an island with your best friend and your girlfriend and the only way to escape is on a boat for two, what would you do?”. Give everyone about 30 seconds to think and answer. Discuss everyone’s answers and find out what everyone has learnt from each other.
4. “One word and I’m in” Icebreaker
This works best your team needs a quick pick-me-up after long hectic week or when they are unable to reach their targets, if you are a sales or operations team. This requires your team to be a little honest about their feelings. At the beginning of the meeting, have each member fill in the sentence “I’m _________ and I’m in!” Example: “I’m stoked and I’m in!”, “I’m charged up and I’m in” or “I’m a little tired but ready and I’m in!”
5. “Big Talk” Icebreaker
Before starting the meeting, send each member of your team a current news story or an interesting article. Have each of them share their thoughts on the subject of the article during the beginning of the meeting and hold a discussion regarding the matter in 20 minutes.