Motivation And Team Building Activities For Remote Teams

Motivating remote teams is harder, since you won't physically be present to encourage your employees to work hard.

Psychology Motivation
  • Release Date: 20 October 2023
  • Update Date: 15 March 2024
  • Author: Speaker Agency
Motivation And Team Building Activities For Remote Teams

Motivating remote teams is harder, since you won't physically be present to encourage your employees to work hard. Depending on the size of your team, you could find yourself overseeing tens or hundreds of people who work remotely. While easier in an office environment, team building online is anything but.

In an office environment employees will find themselves spending time together every day. This helps them build bonds naturally, making team building at work an easy task. Online, it's a whole other story. Building bonds between the members of your remote team is important, so they can work better together.

Motivating them and helping them feel like they're a part of the team can increase their productivity. Managing remote teams becomes easier when your team works as one. But what can you do to inspire remote teams and make them feel like a part of the same work family. Here are team building activities for remote teams that are both fun and effective.

Virtual Team Building: What Is It?

Through virtual team building, you'll be aiming to create connections between the members of your remote team. These activities help develop bonds that promotes harmony, makes communication easier and boosts productivity. Taking time out from work to develop professional relationships while also having fun can be a stress buster for employees. Companies with thousands of remote employees should strive for team building as much as smaller companies managing much smaller remote teams should.

To connect your remote teams, you'll need to help them feel like they're being seen, heard and accepted at work. Employees who feel 'invisible' tend to disconnect from work. In the case of remote teams, this is even lore likely. Working from home can be a lonely experience. In an office, there are opportunities to form great social bonds and also build trust among colleagues. For a team to succeed, mutual respect and good communication is on core importance.

Motivating remote teams with team building exercises can actually offer great results, mainly in the form of increased productivity. You can choose team building activities that are:

  • In the real time, or that people can participate in when they have time
  • Just for fun activities or activities that build social bonds while also being focused on work

Here are remote team building activities for you to try:

1. Icebreaker 

This takes no more than five minutes and helps your team get to know each other better. It's done in real time and using a video conferencing tool like Zoom. At the start of your next team meeting, do an icebreaker first. Even if the team gets to know each other, there are always interesting questions to ask. You can pose questions like what kind of morning routines do they have or how do they unwind after work. Talk about what movies they like and what their hobbies are. Take five minutes out of the work meeting to learn a little more about the remote team, and let them get to know each other more.

2. Online Lunch 

To keep remote teams motivated, why not have lunch together once in a while. This activity will probably take around an hour and all you need is a video conferencing tool. Ask the team to link up over lunch once a month. If your team doesn't think they can spare an hour, then ask them to meet up for fifteen to twenty minutes over coffee. Eating food together while chatting is a great way to build social bonds.

3. Do A Gift Exchange 

This is done in real time and over video conference. To do this activity, get all your remote team members over video conference. Then, get a whiteboard and right down 'Rules' on one side. Ask your team members to buy one gift that they can easily ship. Don't announce what the gift is. Instead, add a hint about what it can be on the whiteboard. Create flashcards for this.

When the game starts, team members will take turns selecting a flashcard to see what gift they get. Once a team member has claimed a gift, it's time for the next team member. Once the game ends, mail the gifts to the people who claimed them during the event.

Virtual Break Room

4. Virtual Break Room 

In an office, colleagues spend time chatting with each other. This can be no more than five minutes long but it helps them build their social bond. For remote workers, this isn't possible. Create a virtual break room that remote workers can access at any time. Here they can chat, get to know other team members and take a small break from work.

As the team manager, you'll need to initially encourage your team to use the virtual break room. Eventually, spending time in the break room will become part of your remote team's work day.

5. Rewards And Recognition 

At work, it's easier to be recognized for what you do well. This isn't the case for remote teams. Yet rewards and recognition can go a long way towards inspiring people to work harder and be more productive. Create a platform for providing rewards and recognition. Getting appreciated by peers can be meaningful for many people. With the team celebrating each other's successes and recognizing their efforts, they will become closer.

6. Virtual Teams Games 

There are several games for remote teams that you can play over a video conference. Choose digital games that groups of people can play together, create a trivia or quiz for your remote team. You can also play text-based games online as well. Keep tally of who wins the games and provide rewards from time to time.

Online Lunch


These remote team bonding approaches can make managing remote teams easier. For games for remote teams to motivating remote teams, this guide takes you through what you can do to develop social bonds amongst your remote team.

At Speaker Agency, you can find speakers who can help you create engaging and memorable team building activities for remote teams. Get in touch to learn more.

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