5 Tips for Team-Building on a Remote Team

Briar Jenkins


Briar Jenkins


September 2, 2022

5 Tips for Team-Building on a Remote Team

Working at a physical company has its perks. You have an office full of coworkers, a set workspace (cubicle, office, or desk), and other benefits like office parties and in-person meetings.

In 2022, we find the dynamic of the typical office shifting to remote-based work. In remote work, the 4 walls of a physical office aren’t needed and each person’s home becomes their new workplace. 

Remote work is not a new concept by any means, but it has risen in popularity in the past 3 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to remote work was a necessity for many companies. After the pandemic, some businesses never looked back.

Since this time, many more companies have transitioned toward the digital workspace. Many companies have found that remote work is cheaper overall because you don’t have to pour money into physical commercial spaces. It is sad to say that the days of water cooler talk and full-on business attire are beginning to fade away.

There have been so many benefits to the growing popularity of remote work. There is of course the financial benefit for the company, but there is also the benefit to the workers themselves. Remote work allows for a lot of flexibility for the worker. Their office could be in their living room, the local coffee shop, or even in the park. For most jobs, if you have a solid WiFi connection, you can have an office anywhere. 

Remote jobs have also made it possible for those with children to simultaneously work and stay home with their children. The SAHWP (stay at home working parent) is becoming a new norm. Although it can be difficult, it allows the parents flexibility and helps cut major costs for child care. 

There are many other benefits to digital workspaces for both employees and their employers. But one of the major disadvantages to remote working is interpersonal communication. 

When you work in a physical office environment, you are in constant contact with other people in the office. You may have a desk neighbor that you spend a lot of time chatting with and even become good friends with your coworkers. 

Think of the difference between making friends in elementary school and post-college. In your younger years, you made a lot of friends simply because you were around them constantly. But when you are out of the throws of education, making friends takes a bit more effort. You no longer develop relationships simply by proximity — you have to seek them out. 

The same goes for developing relationships in a physical office versus a virtual one. There is no water cooler talk. In truth, apart from the necessary meetings, you are not in a ton of communication with your virtual team. This lack of consistent communication can cause connection issues with your co-workers and even lead to a bit of isolation.

But virtual work doesn’t have to suffer relationally! While you may not be able to do traditional team-building activities like company retreats and trust falls, there are still many ways you can build close relationships with your virtual team. 

Our team at Pro MediaFire is 100% virtual which means we have learned a lot of creative ways to connect as an international team. Here are a few methods we’ve used as a team you can try out!

  1. Use a group chat

Remember the days of chatrooms? Well, you never thought that’d make a major comeback, did you!? In the world of digital teams, group chats have become a staple way of group communication. While Zoom meetings are the hallmark way of communicating virtually, group chats are a bit more casual way that the entire team can share and have conversations. 

Our team at PMF utilizes the office communication app called Slack for group chats. Within Slack, there are a ton of different options for how you can communicate with your team. You can communicate with other team members via direct message or utilize a special Slack channel. Channels make it possible for individual teams to communicate more effectively the important information the team needs to know.

Our team utilizes a variety of channels for each of our teams, but we also have an “All Team” Pro MediaFire channel. Within this group, we celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries, share funny GIFs, hype up other team members' work, and do fun group surveys and polls.

Group chats are a great way to connect the entire team and enable individual teams to communicate with each other better. This is a simple yet effective way to do some team-building remotely.

  1. Video conference hangouts

Group chats are incredible for day-to-day communication with your team, but it is important to have a decent amount of face-to-face interactions as well. Enter stage left: video conferencing.

Two of the most popular video conferencing platforms are Zoom and Google Hangouts. Our team utilizes both platforms for different purposes and both have helped our team with communication. 

While many people who worked remotely during the pandemic reported “Zoom fatigue,” this platform is still extraordinarily helpful for virtual teams to use for clear communication. Zoom and Google Hangout can both surely be used for important company or client meetings, but they are also great for just general team building.

Every so often, our team at PMF will break out into a Zoom Room and meet with a smaller chunk of our team. Some of these hangouts are per team (social media, video, design, etc.), but sometimes they are just with others on our team from different departments. 

These hangouts can be as serious or fun as you want them to be. Sometimes our team will share fun facts about themselves and even what they’ve been up to in their personal lives. Other times, we will share specifically about areas we want to improve (physically, mentally, and spiritually) with our teammates.

These hangout times can be short, but they enable team members to talk with each other and get a bit of personal interaction during their busy work day. It is a breath of fresh air for many people and has even helped teammates develop genuine friendships with their co-workers.

  1. Virtual group game

The possibilities are endless for this team-building tip, but it is worth noting the importance of having a bit of fun as a team. Your virtual team works hard day in and day out to serve clients well, execute their tasks, and further the company vision. Taking some time to have a little fun is a necessity!

Our team at PMF has played many entertaining games including trivia, Q&A games, 2 truths and a lie, and more. These virtual group games may seem to some very serious companies as a waste of precious working time, but there is something about laughter (and friendly competition) that acts as a motivator for productivity. This play is a form of rest that is so necessary when you spend 8 hours a day staring at a computer screen.

In short, play a group game! It will help boost your team morale and bring a little bit of fun to your virtual team.

  1. Cast vision and encourage questions

Virtual work can get pretty monotonous if you let it. Just like with any job virtual or not, you can get so used to the routine of the work that you begin to lose sight of why you work for your company in the first place. 

There is great value in re-centering your team around the vision regularly. Each Monday at Pro MediaFire, we have an all-team meeting where the company mission is reiterated through one of our fearless leaders. The short presentation also underlines the importance of our mission: “To Help Those Who Do Good Do More.” 

This time of vision-casting is so necessary to reignite the flame of our company’s passion. It can be all too easy to lose sight of this vision when we get busy or are trying to meet deadlines. Re-centering the team has been so helpful and serves as a great reminder of why we do what we do!

While there are sure challenges to team-building on a remote team, it is not impossible. Remember: you are still working with living, breathing people! They have lives, families, hobbies, and a whole other life outside of the workplace. The key is to take intentional steps to get to know your fellow team members. Follow these tips and you will have relationships built and passions ignited!

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