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19 Best Virtual Team Bonding Activities For Remote Teams

For instance, Google Meet has a robust Q&A feature, and companies that hold interactive meetings with many participants might choose this option instead. Staring at the screen for long periods of time can be exhausting. Remote teams are prone to a condition called Zoom fatigue. According to a Stanford article, causes include excessive online eye contact, seeing yourself on screen, limited movement, and added awareness and effort. Simply speaking, communicating via video conferencing feels unnatural, and adjusting to the medium takes extra energy. Video calls tend to make us more self-conscious and are typically less emotionally rewarding than chatting face to face.

In a 2014 survey, thetop benefits of telecommuting listed by remote workers were better work-life balance (74%), savings in travel costs (69%) and green benefits (47%) to name just a few. Despite your interview probably being held over a video call, you have to prepare yourself the same way you would for any other job interview. Put on a nice shirt, learn all you can about the company, find your motivation for choosing that workplace, and prepare a set of your own questions like “How does the team communicate? Working remotely is obviously not just sunshine and rainbows.

remote team meaning

Fortunately, remote team leadership has become an indispensable skill that we get to learn on the go. Furthermore, there are some remote jobs that ask employees to be online and available during certain time periods , but many employees assume that their schedules are somewhat flexible. As such, remote teams can be less responsive — you may be able to get someone on the phone right away, or you might be dialing helplessly as they sit waiting at the doctor’s office. Virtual teams are groups of colleagues who collaborate remotely.


Zoom meetings tend to be shorter and more controlled than traditional meetings, and teammates can arrive late or leave the meeting early without disturbing other attendees. Remote workers can typically make their own hours and optimize their workdays by being on the clock when they are most alert. Also, remote team members tend to take fewer sick days, both because they are exposed to fewer germs when not in contact with officemates, and because some employees can still work from home when recovering from minor illnesses. Because individuals tend to be more productive when working remotely, teams are more productive too. Virtual teamwork tends to be independent in nature, with each team member doing an assigned part and sharing the rewards of those efforts with the rest of the team. Taking teams virtual means that the group is not limited to folks who can commute to an office building.

remote team meaning

It’s designed to accommodate both quick one to one interactions and weekly meetings with big teams. We even hosted one of our quarterly planning sessions on Zoom. We spent five days in virtual meetings, following a predefined agenda. Use task management software, work management software, or project management tools like the ones compared here, with features to help you stay up to date with any project changes and avoid misunderstandings. This type of team is a good option if you don’t want to feel like the odd one out or you’re looking to collaborate with other people who’ve been remote for a while and can give you real tips on handling the company’s workload.

The other 5 you’re going to meet in a video call because they’re not working in the same office as you. Remote work is really not that different from a normal office job, but keep in mind all the pros and cons so they don’t surprise you. If you don’t like working remotely, you won’t like your job either. Knowing what remote work perks you expect and what disadvantages you just can’t cope with is key to picking the right employer. Lack of work satisfaction will show in your results or, better said, in no results.

Project Development Teams

Virtual teams allow agencies to bring together the most talented individuals while saving costs, but can also lead to significant barriers in developing the trust that is needed to be effective. The second phase of effective team leadership is the working phase. Zander and his colleagues identified roles and processes, coordination of tools, and operations as the focus areas during this time.

Like with any other work-in-progress trend, remote work doesn’t come without its challenges alongside the good stuff. 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part time. Two to three days a week seems to be the sweet spot that allows for a balance of concentrative work and collaborative work . It’s hard to pinpoint the exact number of companies in the world that are either fully or partially remote, because there seems to be a lack of extensive studies on the subject. This bonding activity can actually be a series of activities aimed at health and wellness.

  • Very few folks schedule a Zoom call or send a direct message just to say hi.
  • The specifics will vary based on your particular management style, as well as the preferences of your employee, but the key is to make sure that things are clear and predictable.
  • Rather than follow procedure for procedure’s sack, team members are encouraged to question traditions and find new solutions that may better meet the needs of the team.
  • We spent five days in virtual meetings, following a predefined agenda.
  • Virtual teammates may not feel like they are part of a team at all, may lack a sense of belonging, and can struggle to understand how their work fits into the larger picture.

These teams usually work in conjunction with an onshore team. Offshore ISD is commonly used for software development as well as international R&D projects. As explored above, Gibson & Cohen indicated that the relationship between design factors and enabling conditions is moderated by the degree of virtuality and degree of differences. It follows that how to build culture in a remote team the greater the degree of virtuality and degree of differences, the more difficult it will be to establish supportive enabling conditions. The degree of virtuality includes the degree of electronic dependency and geographical dispersion, while the degree of differences includes the degree of variation in culture, language, organization, and function.

Tips For Working Remotely And Being Efficient At It

The cringe factor can be dialed down to the minimum, and even digital natives – i.e. Gen Z and Millennials — might enjoy these activities, if you carefully choose them. Even though you work apart and sometimes feel you’re working on your own projects, don’t ditch the regular meetings.

These factors include organizational context, team design, technology use, team member characteristics, and work and team processes. As teams become more virtual, they confront greater uncertainty and complexity, increasing the difficulty of the information processing and sensemaking tasks they face. Likewise, the greater the number and depth of differences that need to be managed in virtual teams, the greater the barriers to effectiveness. These teams must be designed, supported, and led effectively to be successful. This orienting framework is explained in more detail below.

remote team meaning

Each team member has a specific role and responsibilities. Teammates do work independently, and come together to share ideas and results or occasionally collaborate. Virtual teams work together mainly via remote work platforms and virtual meeting software. Teams may also use Zoom apps and Slack apps to communicate and collaborate more effectively. In face-to-face interaction, the speaker makes the importance of a message known through tone of voice, facial expression, and bodily gestures.


Check the sites you commonly go to, like Dribbble, GrowthHub, or Stack Overflow, they probably have a job postings page too. Websites like Jobspresso or Remote Work Hub specify whether the remote worker can be from anywhere around the world or a specific country. Just focus on doing your best the same way you would if you were in the office. No need to rush just to deliver results faster than others. Of course, your communication style won’t always match that of others. Mix different styles to make sure everything is clearly understood.

remote team meaning

Since the introduction of home computers in the 1980s and laptops and mobile phones in the 1990s, increasing numbers of office workers have become able to work from different locations. Moreover, the shift from manufacturing to an information economy has expanded the number of jobs amenable to remote work. Telecommuting is referred to as telework, remote work, distributed work, virtual work, flexible work, flexplace, and distance work, among other labels. The decentralized nature of virtual teams can present significant challenges to leading them effectively. Research and personal experience have identified a number of strategies that have shown to be effective in leading productive virtual teams. Although there are a variety of leadership styles, I focus here on transactional leadership and transformational leadership are frequently discussed in the literature as it relates to leading virtual teams.

The specifics will vary based on your particular management style, as well as the preferences of your employee, but the key is to make sure that things are clear and predictable. Conversely, the communication challenges we wrote about above can result in bigger issues. For example, if communication between you and your employees drop, the uncertainty this causes may result in lowered employee morale . There are digital analogs to most in-person techniques for office and team management.

Work, Production Or Functional Teams

Additionally, efforts should be made to facilitate relationship building during this initial phase. Developing relationships within a team helps build trust amongst team members (Zander et. al., 2013). Active leaders provide ongoing monitoring that allows them to take action in potentially problematic situations before significant negative impacts are made on the team and its performance.

Inexperienced managers may not know how to train, get to know their reports, notice when teammates are dissatisfied or struggling, encourage teamwork, or gauge progress when working completely virtually. Striking the proper balance is hard, and many remote managers either micromanage or undermanage. Traditional office environments revolve around face-to-face conversations and working on tasks side-by-side in the same space. In contrast, virtual teams rely more heavily on instant messaging, video conferencing, and email.

However, internal support teams like IT can also use this structure. These virtual teams tend to consist of members in many time zones and enable 24/7 service for clients or colleagues. Remote teams that deal with sensitive information, such as medical or finance fields or team members with access to trade secrets, tend to have more restrictions in terms of remote work and work from home policies. These individuals usually need secure connections, private spaces, and employee monitoring software. Meanwhile, positions that deal with less confidential information have more freedom in terms of work environment. For instance, a social media manager is likely able to work from a coffee shop’s WiFi, while a finance manager should stick to the home office.

Since these contributors are not long term employees, there may not be a need for them to work in the same geographic area as other employees. However, these individuals may still need to collaborate occasionally with permanent employees via remote platforms. Product development teams often bring together professionals from across the globe to brainstorm ideas and perfect new products or services. Having an international product team often means that the new product is designed with a global audience in mind.

Bell and Kozlowski discuss the challenges of executing the two leadership functions, performance management and team development, when working with virtual teams; both functions can be hindered by the lack of face-to-face interactions. Leaders of virtual teams may find it challenging to monitor the performance of their team members, as well as provide the coaching and recognition needed to have a highly functional team. Even team members that do all speak a common language are at increased risk for miscommunication within a virtual team setting. When communicating in person, nonverbal cues such as gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, and body language play a significant role in how messages are received.

Build Productive Remote Teams

For instance, when planning meetings – if you would like to organise a video call for 11am where you are, time zone differences mean that it could still only be 6am for your colleague elsewhere. This also goes with overlapping your work times, meaning that you work at the same time as the rest of your virtual team . In an office environment, you’d normally go to your colleague and look over something. That’s why video communication tools let you share what you’re seeing with others. These days, it’s common for organizations to offer employees flexible arrangements that include remote work. This hybrid model means employees are not always in the same location all the time.

Client Management: A Definitive Guide To Winning And Retaining Clients

Fried insists that one of the upsides of remote work is asynchronous work, and allows employees to work more flexibly. Basecamp works in six week cycles where projects are segmented into six week sections, and announced to employees at large at the start of each cycle. Employees live and work in dozens of cities across the world, and come together occasionally for virtual conferences or in-person retreats. However, the majority of the work happens remotely, facilitated by Basecamp software itself.

To organize my tasks and projects I use Paymo because, you know, I work for them and the entire team is actively using it already. For software development, you already know the fundamentals—GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and all those. Once you’re switching to a remote software development career though, you might be asked to step up your code game. You can use them to create whiteboards, sketch your ideas, put together wireframes, and that’s it. To encourage you to find innovative solutions, I’ll take you through all the steps you need to work remotely on a project from start to finish. What worked for me or someone else might not be as effective for you, but it can help you know where to start and find out what you’ve been missing from your remote work process.

Such strong team identity may help to allow for constructive controversy which enables the open sharing of views, knowledge and perspective coinciding with members’ identities. As Gibson and co-authors found, teams with high resilience, tolerance for ambiguity, and strong team identification experienced less intrapersonal identity conflict and therefore thrived more at work. Mutual or collective trust is a shared psychological state that is characterized by an acceptance of vulnerability based on expectations of intentions or behaviors of others within the team. As members are geographically dispersed and often from different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures, trust is difficult to establish in virtual teams.

Do your daily chores and you’ll soon find it’s time to go to bed already. This means you can work from your home, a coffee shop, the beach, your car, or even a coworking space where other remote workers and freelancers like you are working from. Having a set start and end date for work will help you better manage your tasks and keep your work-life balance in check too. This is great to show employees what their progress is and what they should work on first. Even when working remotely or with limited communication possibilities.