Ideas & strategies for keeping your team connected during a time of social distancing and physical isolation.
- Live Remote Office: A live remote office space gives remote employees the office feel without physically being in an office. It’s as simple as the first team member to clock in starting a video chat that’s open to any team member. As team members come online, they join the workspace. It’s a mimic of the office – a place where all members are working diligently on their own tasks. This can help virtual workers stay focused and productive and can be done in any video chat software.
- Peek Into Each Other’s Home: Each team member takes a short video showing off their home and some of their favorite things. This can connect team members on a more personal basis and establish friendships and may be best suited for smaller teams.
- Have a Virtual Movie Night/Afternoon: Use Netflix Party, a Chrome extension where people logged in to different Netflix accounts can pick a movie and Netflix Party will sync the playback across accounts and also has a chat room feature so everyone can react and chat in real time.
- Personal Facts Guessing Game: Create a sheet with a list of personal facts that employees have to then guess who the fact belongs too. Once everyone has submitted their answer, create a video chat where you announce who the fact belonged to and even offer that person a chance to give a brief explanation.
You could also do this with pictures! Either have everyone send in a picture that uniquely describes a part of their personality or interest OR have everyone send in a version of the same thing – shoes, coffee mug, wrist watch, pets, etc – and have their team members guess who is who.
- Picture Sharing Daily Check-In: IOA is doing this with their remote workforce. Every afternoon they share a theme for the next day whether it’s coffee mug, new co-workers, home office view, or hats. Then everyone sends in a picture in the morning to the entire team. It’s a great way to stay connected virtually and give team members a consistent thing to look forward to.
- Online Lunch & Learn: There is no reason lunch & learns can’t continue at your company digitally. Have a virtual conference room that people can join with their lunches handy and invite an expert to share information. Use Samantha Schilke for a StrengthsFinder session or Carol Hull for Management Strategies.
Tools & Resources:
- Donut is an extension for Slack that pairs up team members to converse with each other every 1-4 weeks. The virtual meetings last 15-30 minutes and aim to bond employees on non-work related conversations.
- Aloha is another Slack extension and is built to create welcome channels for intros and others such as #lunch or #movienight.
Icebreaker Questions to Connect:
Surface level, starting point:
- What is your favorite possession?
- If you could have one superpower, which one would you choose?
- Are you a morning bird or a night owl?
- Which season is your favorite? Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer?
- What item or gadget are you currently dreaming of buying?
- Do you prefer large group hangouts or small one-on-one hangouts?
- Would you prefer to go to the mountains or the beach?
- If you could live anywhere on this planet without having to leave anyone or anything behind, where would you live?
- What was your first paid job?
- What is the coolest vacation you have ever taken?
- Which historical figure would you want to meet?
- What’s a hidden talent you have?
- As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Go deeper, get vulnerable:
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- What do you want people to remember you for when you die?
- What aspect of your personality is the most valuable to those around you?
- What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?
- Recall the best day of your life. Why was it the best?
- What’s a personal hardship you’ve been through that led to something positive?
- If you could add or improve upon one characteristic of your personality, what would you add/improve?
- Who has been the most influential person in your life thus far?
- What is one of your biggest goals within your personal life?
- What is your biggest accomplishment within your academic or professional life?