Strong relationships among team members (and between employees and leaders) can improve productivity, boost morale and create a more supportive company culture.

However, fostering connections in remote teams can be tricky – especially if your employees are spread across different time zones. Virtual gatherings can help bridge the gap.  

In this article, we’re sharing more about the importance of virtual meetups for remote teams. You’ll also discover some fun ideas to inspire your next virtual meetup. 

The importance of virtual meetups

Whether it’s a 30-minute video coffee chat or an hours-long virtual game night, meetups are great opportunities for you and your employees to get to know one another better. Here are some specific reasons to prioritize virtual meetups:

Virtual meetings help combat loneliness.

Loneliness is one of the biggest challenges facing remote workers. If you suspect that your employees struggle with loneliness (or if you just want to prevent this issue from arising), start looking for ways to help them develop stronger bonds, reduce stress and improve the work environment. 

Virtual hangouts build trust.

Along with helping employees feel less alone, virtual retreats and team-building activities create opportunities for team members to develop trust in you as a leader and in each other. The more you know about your employees (and the more they know about their coworkers), the easier it is to trust each other and feel confident in their abilities. 

Virtual get-togethers improve collaboration and teamwork.

Increased trust typically leads to increased collaboration and teamwork. Regular team-building opportunities allow you and your remote employees to learn how to communicate and work together more effectively. Better communication, in turn, can enable them to be more productive and get more done. 

Virtual gatherings boost morale. 

Employees who have strong relationships with one another are more likely to be happier on the job. Improved morale contributes to a better workplace culture and increases the likelihood that people will stick with your company long-term.

10 fun virtual meetup ideas for your remote team

The benefits of connection are clear, and virtual hangouts help support workplace connections. If so, consider adding one (or more) of these fun ideas to the agenda:

1. Online escape room

Escape rooms regularly show up on the list of top team-building activities, and for a good reason. After all, they’re centered around the importance of clear communication and teamwork.

Even if you and your employees can’t all visit an escape room in person, you can still reap their benefits by participating in an online escape room. These activities still require everyone to work together to solve problems, making them an effective alternative for remote teams.   

2. Virtual trivia

You might not all be able to gather at the pub or a local restaurant for trivia night. However, you and your remote employees can participate in a virtual trivia activity. You can create your own trivia game from scratch or utilize online trivia platforms for a more efficient solution.

3. Remote wellness sessions

Prioritizing employee wellness can reduce stress among team members and help them feel more appreciated. Consider inviting everyone to participate in a virtual yoga class or meditation session. Some people might be hesitant about these activities at first, but by the end, they’ll be amazed at how relaxed and ready they are to tackle the rest of the workday.

4. Online book club

Do your employees love to read? If so, consider organizing an online book club. Assign a book for everyone to read over the next month, then schedule a day for those who want to participate to join a group video chat to talk about it.

Let team members take turns choosing the book, too, so everyone gets a chance to lead the discussion.

5. Coffee chats

Sometimes, the simplest gatherings have the greatest impact. For example, bringing your team together for a quick coffee video chat is an excellent way to break up the day, recharge your batteries and catch up.

6. Team lunch

If you have a little more time at midday, consider organizing a virtual team lunch. Ask everyone to hop on a video chat and eat lunch together. Consider comping the lunch with a home food delivery service or stipend. If you notice a lull in the conversation (or have difficulty starting the discussion), keep a list of ice-breaker questions handy. 

7. Arts and crafts parties

From drawing and painting to knitting and crocheting, there are many ways for you and your team to get creative and take a break from the everyday grind. Host a virtual arts and crafts party where everyone can pick a project and work on it together while they chat and get to know each other better. 

8. Pet introductions

One of the best parts of working from home is being with your pets all day. If you want to lighten the mood among your team members, invite everyone to turn on their camera and introduce their furry (or scaly or feathered) friends.

If someone doesn’t have a pet, ask them about their favorite animal or invite them to show something else that’s important to them.

9. Themed days

Many companies host themed days throughout the year, such as dressing like their from a different decade or dressing as their favorite movie character. There’s no reason you can’t organize themed days with your remote team, too.

10. Multicultural holiday celebrations

Remote work brings people together from all over the world, creating opportunities to learn about other cultures and celebrate people’s differences. When planning team holiday celebrations, be sure to think outside your own cultural box. 

Organize events for other holidays that matter to your team members and give them a chance to share an important part of their culture.

Help your remote team stay connected with Outstaffer

You don’t have to share an office to stay connected to your team. Keep these suggestions in mind to foster better relationships in your remote team.

At Outstaffer, we make it easy to find, hire and equip the best talent from around the world. Plus, our #WorkFromAnywhere platform makes it easier for your time to stay connected with solutions like VR workplaces, Managed Devices, Employee Monitoring and more. 

Book a demo today to learn more. 

Mar 29, 2023
Remote Work

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