How To Include Remote Employees In Team Building
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As a manager, you’ll spend a lot of time working alone. You will have to motivate others to help you achieve your goals. And you will be expected to produce results while being apart from everyone else at times.
This is not a situation that can easily de-motivate people. If anything, it creates an atmosphere where individuals feel isolated and need more encouragement or guidance from their colleagues and superiors.
As a leader, making team building a constant thing will boost employee morale and productivity. It will also strengthen ties within the organization.
Teambuilding exercises are always good ideas unless you’re in a very stable workplace with little internal conflict. Then they could backfire!
Here we’ll discuss some easy ways to include remote employees in group activities and offsite meetings. We’ll talk about what types of events are effective, how to plan them, and what to tell participants as needed.
But before getting into the details, let us start by talking about why team building is so important.
Provide a way for them to express their opinions
As mentioned before, your employees are an integral part of your business, and they can play a significant role in helping you achieve your company goals.
If you’re not sure how to include remote staff in team-building activities, here are some tips. First, provide a way for them to express their opinions. This could be through group chats, private messages, or even voice chat programs such as Slack or Zoom.
Second, organize informal get-to-know meetings at which everyone can speak freely. These should be casual conversations that arise during the workday or other non-work related topics.
Third, hold interactive events such as sports festivals, games, or trivia nights.
Make sure there are not any conflicts
Sometimes, even though you’re trying to include everyone in team-building activities, this is impossible because of conflicting commitments. This can be something like going to the same football game together or planning an activity at a specific location at a certain time.
If someone already has plans for that, it may not work out for them to come along. You will have to handle this being done before the event!
Another option would be having separate events outside of work, but this could create a situation where people don’t connect away from work.
There should be no suspicion when bringing up these types of things as they should seem natural and easy. If anyone seems uncomfortable, try to find another way to include them without them needing to feel excluded.
On their staff terms, what was discussed here is fine and normal.
Make sure the team is functioning well
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important things for staying connected as an employee is ensuring that your department or team is working effectively. If you are constantly meeting resistance from someone in the group, it can be difficult to connect with them outside of work.
If there’s ever a time when you feel like an outsider, take this as a sign and prove their theory wrong. Do something that makes you uncomfortable- go somewhere you have never been before, try a new food recipe, challenge yourself to bake with baking mixes instead of recipes, anything!
Do these things if you want to belong, learn how to motivate others, and gain confidence. Doing so will make you more confident and self-assured and will help you enjoy being part of the team longer.
Hold team meetings
One of the biggest downfalls of working from home is that you can easily avoid holding a formal meeting, otherwise known as a “team meeting” or a “discussion.”
This could be due to a lack of motivation, time constraints, or not knowing what to say. If you do hold a conversation, it may end up being too general or there might not be much feedback.
The best way to mitigate this is by having an open bar with snacks and drinks for attendees who would like to join in and speak. This gives them more incentive to contribute and allows people to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts even if they are not part of the company yet.
Another solution is to use technology to facilitate conversations. For example, using Google Hangouts or Slack so that everyone has access and can listen in remotely. Both of these have features that allow individuals to comment, which helps promote group discussion and collaboration.
As mentioned before, being able to identify what makes someone feel appreciated is an important part of encouraging teamwork. If you don’t do this already, start by thanking them for their work and letting them know how much you appreciate everything they have done.
If they received a gift from you, let them know about it. If they did something special, tell them. It doesn’t matter if it was a week ago or months ago — people like getting acknowledgments.
And while these are great opportunities to praise individuals, it also creates team cohesion. When members of your team recognize and celebrate each other’s achievements, it encourages collaboration and trust.
Encourage friendships outside of work
If any friends seem afterward to enjoy working together, make sure to include them when group activities are planned. This can be a movie night, going out for drinks after work, or attending a sporting event as a crew.
As mentioned earlier, staying connected as an employee is very important. Companies that keep a pulse on their employees typically offer at least one day per week where workers can go out for lunch or do something else together as a team.
This is especially helpful if you are in separate time zones or live far away from work. Not only does it give your colleagues a chance to meet outside of the office, but it also helps maintain workplace relationships.
You may even find some coworkers spending the day with you so they can connect afterwards!
Company representatives often talk about how giving people “life balance” aids productivity and enjoyment of their job. It reminds them there is more than just work and business fun happening outside of the office.
If you don’t have such a policy now, start planning to implement one soon.
As mentioned before, not every employee is going to be invested in your company’s success at all times. This isn’t necessarily their fault — some people just don’t seem to care much about others outside of their world.
If you happen to come across someone like this, it can be tricky to include them in team team-building cities and you have to remember that there are always other things they could be doing, and instead of investing time into something fun for you, they might choose to spend their time somewhere else.
It sounds really hard to bear, but there are ways to prevent these types of individuals from influencing group decisions. If everyone works together as a team, then no one will feel left out or isolated.
Staying focused is the first step towards creating a sense of trust within the team. It will also help mitigate potential internal conflicts that may arise due to personal differences.
Being an employee is a tough job, especially if you are working for someone else. You have to show up every day, work hard, keep your mouth shut, and deal with so many different people all while doing jobs that you have little control over.
In addition to this, most employers will not include their remote employees in team-building events or activities because they do not want to pay for expensive airfare or lodging.
But what about when the company gets paid millions of dollars per year? Why should they incur extra costs by having everyone come into the office together?
The answer is simple, it’s good business. Investing in your staff is very important, whether they work for you directly or indirectly. It creates a sense of loyalty which can only benefit them as well as the organization.
And although some may feel uncomfortable being included in such events, there are ways to mitigate these fears. For example, you could hold separate events just for remote workers or invite only those who would like to attend. Or even better, organize online teams where people can connect without coming into person-to-person contact.