Gelling a mix of office, remote and virtual teams can be challenging.  So let’s talk about how you can rock some serious camaraderie.  Keep in mind, distributed teams require more consistent intentional effort to create the feeling of being known, matter and included.  Without this intentional effort, your remote team can quickly go down the path of feeling neglected, unsupported and isolated.

Here’s a few creative ways to enhance camaraderie amongst your entire team:

  • Monday Morning Momentum. If possible, have each small core team gather on a video call for a few minutes to share about their weekend and what they’re looking to accomplish that week.  This is a good time to leverage the “Cadence of Accountability” check-in as well.
  • Fun and Fast: Take a deep dive on a team member’s personal interest in five minutes.  Have one team member follow the Ignite format of sharing their knowledge on a topic of their interest using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.  Examples at ignitetalks.io.
  • Connect Four: Set the expectation that each team member is responsible for getting to know better four of their cohorts each month.  Schedule 30-minute “getting to know all about you” exchanges.  Pairs can lean on the Speed Dating questions if they need fodder.
  • Rose, Bud, Thorn: Once a week, give everyone on the team three minutes at the beginning of the meeting to share their personal and professional Rose, Bud, Thorn:
    • Rose: Best thing that’s happened in the last week.
    • Bud: What you’re most looking forward to in the coming week.
    • Thorn: Biggest challenge in the coming week.
  • Show and Tell: Have everyone give a video tour of their workplace.  Or share their favorite meme or three items they’d save in a fire.
  • Celebrate Wins: Play “We are the Champions” by Queen and belt out together “No time for losers, ‘cause we are the champions of the wooooorld.”  Be goofy and try to high five one another.
  • Leverage Music: While you may not be able to do a conga line or the cupid shuffle, you can do the chicken dance together via video.  Or play the song “Jump”(Kriss Kross or Van Halen both work) and literally jump together.
  • Swap and Share:  Coolest new app.  Bucket lists.  Your worst nightmare.  Stress relief or time management tip.  Favorite song.
  • Article Club: Take turns sharing an interesting article that expands learning related to your work and have everyone read and discuss.
  • All Plaid Friday: Or polka dot. Or ugly sweater. Or 70’s.  You get the idea.
  • JibJab:  Make a JibJab card for your team – super cheesy and it’ll make them laugh.
  • Story Jam: Pick a topic for the month and have everyone share a short story from their life. You can check out themoth.org for inspirational topics.
  • Bad Clean Jokes: Probably the thing remote workers miss most from an office environment.  What did the cop say to her stomach?  You’re underavest.
  • Friday Afternoon Club: If possible, have everyone end the week by gathering for a few minutes to share the highlight of their week and what they’re up to for the weekend.

Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace is available now!