Remote employees are an important part of the modern workforce. Keeping them engaged and part of your company’s culture, though, can be tough. That’s why it’s important that you not only invest in hiring the right remote talent, but that you also look for fun activities for remote employees in order to help them remember that they are part of your larger team.
Engaging, fun activities for remote employees
Nearly a quarter of all employees now work from home, so figuring out how to make use of the right remote employee engagement activities is a must. Doing so will not only help you to keep your best talent attached to your business, but it will help to keep everyone motivated to participate in the group. There are many great activities that you can try with your employees, but the fun activities for remote employees listed below are a great place to start.
Motivating remote employees can be very difficult if you don’t know them very well. However, the same thing holds true for employees in a typical office space. If your employees were in the building, how would you start to get to know them? If you are like many managers or business owners, you might start with an icebreaker. While you might not be able to conduct your icebreakers in the same way that you’d do in a physical orientation, you can still do a physical icebreaker that can serve the same purpose.
If you’re going to do this, you’ll have to break one of the biggest rules of email etiquette – you will have to encourage everyone to hit ‘Reply All’ to your email. The game itself is simple, though. You’ll ask a question, and then ask everyone on the email chain to reply. The question can be personal, professional, or even silly, but it should tell you something about the person who is providing the answer. You can send out as many questions as you like, but the goal should be to get to know people without getting too intrusive.
This is one of those fun team building activities for remote employees that works best when you have a very diverse group of people. All you’ll need is a virtual mapping program that will allow all of your team members to access it at once and a little bit of patience. When you get started, you’ll ask your team members to place a marker on the place where they are born. Depending on your particular remote set-up, this might mean placing markers all around a state, a country, or even around the world. It will give your remote employees a quick look at the history of those with whom they work and will help to forge quick connections.
What makes this one of the fun team building activities for remote employees is that it’s also accompanied by a story component. Employees should be encouraged to share a quick story about the place they were born – facts about their own lives, perhaps, or quick anecdotes about the town. It provides a quick window into the lives of those who are sharing their stories and can even help forge connections. Its harder for your remote workers to feel isolated when they know that they might have something in common with their remote coworkers.
Designated Slack channel
Slack is one of those tools that’s quickly become indispensable in larger office environments, allowing employees to work with one another instantly without having to get up from their desks. Slack is, of course, also incredibly useful when you are working with remote employees. Not only can it keep them looped in on what’s going on in the office, but it can also help them to feel more connected to the other people with whom they work.
One great idea is to make a dedicated Slack channel just for your remote workers. While this can be used for team building activities early on, it can also serve as a vital virtual meeting place for your remote workers. Employees from around the world can use the channel to chat about what’s going with their various projects and to solve problems that might be unique to working out of the office. Not only will this help to ensure that your employees have coworkers with whom they are familiar, but it can help to grow the team bond that is often so important for building office morale.
Virtual scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt can be a great way to help your employees get to know one another to build up relationships. A virtual scavenger hunt, likewise, can be one of the best remote employee engagement activities if you are looking to build a remote team. You won’t need much here – just a good platform and the ability to come up with some great ideas. Once you’re ready, you’ll be able to start sending your remote employees out to find certain objects or to perform specific tasks in the real world.
In most cases, this is listed among the fun activities for remote employees because it allows them to be a bit silly. You can ask them to take a picture with a corporate mascot, find something unusual, or even provide evidence that they’ve done a certain stunt. They’ll share the proof online, either on your dedicated platform, a group Facebook page, or even via email. This will allow all of your group members to get to know one another in a setting that isn’t quite as serious as the typical work meeting.
Team member factoids
Finally, you can fall back on one of the typical work icebreakers – sharing facts. There are dozens of variants here, ranging from asking employees to provide three interesting facts about themselves to the always-fun ‘two truths and a lie’. What you’re aiming to do, though, is to have your remote employees share a little more about their lives so that they can become more than just a face on a screen to one another.
If you really want great group cohesion, make this a regular part of bringing remote employees onboard. Have them post their facts on a group page or in their Slack chat, giving every other remote employee a chance to get to know the new worker. This will give people an easy avenue of conversation while still letting you get to know an employee that you might otherwise not interact with very often. The strength of this activity is the simplicity – you’ll have to do very little planning, but you should be able to get major results.
Professional HR support when you need it
If you are concerned about motivating remote employees or other workforce management tools, you might need more than team building activities to be successful. PayTech can help you with your HR services, managing everything from how you hire to how you process your payroll. When you’re ready for professional help, make sure to check out our various packages and pricing options.