4 Simple Ways To Get a Remote Team to Socialise
(Getting your team to know each other)
Would you rather ask a stranger or a friend for help?
I’d say the majority of you would say a friend, that’s because it’s easier to approach someone you know for help than someone you don’t.
Whether you’re redoing the kitchen or collaborating together on a project at work, having some sort of relationship with who you’re working with is more preferable.
It makes what you are working on more efficient, provides a greater level of awareness and most importantly, there is a mutual trust between each other.
In an office environment, it’s simpler to get to know the people around you, the proximity to your colleagues means that the social interaction and getting to know one another much easier.
In a remote team, however, more effort needs to be put into making these social connections. Coupling that with these uncertain times, more and more businesses are moving to a remote work environment and the social interaction they used to have isn’t as easily accessible.
So to keep the social interaction going in these teams, a little more effort needs to be put in. Whether you are part of a remote team, or are having to work remotely due to lockdown, we’re going to look at a few simple ways you can get a team together for a little social gathering,
Get everyone together over lunch to do something together. This can range from getting on a video call over lunch to playing a game together (we’re currently playing Civilizations 6). This can be an ideal time as people are taking a break from work, it can give them a time to take their minds off it and relax while having a chat with the rest of the team.
This might not always be the best solution due to staggered lunchtimes for the team, people running errands or spending time with their families, but it is a time where your teamis free. If this solution won’t work in your team, you could try….
Coffee morning catchups
If getting together at lunch isn’t possible, there is always setting a general “coffee morning” (as we call it) get together.
Unfortunately, this isn’t us all meeting at a coffee shop to chat. It’s where everyone jumps on a video call together (normally with a coffee ) to chat, see how things are going, and just generally socialise.
While doing this you can also work on projects, but this does give the team a space and time for some socialisation with each other. We normally have these 2–3 times a week just as a way to keep the friendships and general camaraderie in the team.
After work catchups
Similar to coffee morning catchups, but done at some point after the work day has ended, usually as soon as the workday is over.
If during work doesn’t work for some people, arrange for an optional after work hangout, where, you spend 30 minutes to an hour just chatting about how things are going, what plans for the weekend etc. Similar to the coffee morning, but at a time where the team can hang out after work without it distracting them from their work.
Slack channel for non-work related sharing
As we’ve advocated in other articles, having a Slack (or other IM) channel specifically for people to share cool or interesting non-work related stuff they’ve found or photos of their garden (we’ve seen a few of those here).
This can help give the team an insight into interesting things they may not have come across otherwise and find out more about their colleagues, for instance, someone who shares something about the latest Dota updates (yes, that happens here too), that could indicate that that person likely likes computer games, giving the team something to talk to them about.
If you are still doubtfull about getting your team to socialise, it also bring other benefits such as improving collaboration within the team, it has other benefits for business such as improving productivity, employee retention as well as others.