work from home team building questions

Working from home has unique challenges, one being a potential over-dependence on our devices. This includes: Within each section, we’ve provided context to help you understand the purpose of the questions and how they allow you to help remote workers facing those particular challenges. Building rapport is a bit different remotely. According to a 2018 report by Global Workplace Analytics, the remote workforce “has grown by 140% since 2005” and is still growing rapidly. Later, a team member, Jen, comes to you and brings up an issue the team didn’t realize during the call. 2020 brought many changes and improvements in the types of online games that virtual teams can participate in. Do you have any remote work productivity hacks? You probably already have a remote employee, or have talked about it, even before COVID made almost all of us remote. Starting things off, here are 31 questions to ask remote employees. Here are 10 great team building games for remote workers that you can implement easily and immediately. This system gives each participant clarity on who is going next and when it is their turn. One fun team building idea for companies who are working from home right now would be to split the team into groups of 3-4, and then do a video scavenger hunt within your at-home workspace. Consider this scenario: you had a morning stand up or a quick call with your entire team, including remote team members, earlier in the day. Running a round of remote icebreaker questions on popular virtual conference call apps is challenging because you have fewer virtual cues. What work from home habit is most successful for you? Because team members who work remotely aren’t able to take part in group team building breaks, such as coffee or lunch breaks like co-located teams. Have you ever left a 1 star review online? 1. By the way, other ways to break the ice include telling icebreaker jokes and playing online team building games. If you haven’t done it yourself before COVID, you may not realize the challenges your remote team members are facing. Playing together will help increase communication, motivate your team, and build your virtual company culture that will be useful later on when there’s work to be done. You probably already have a remote employee, or have talked about it. This can make your remote team members feel isolated in more ways than one. We run world class online team building events that remote teams love. However, just because you have remote staff doesn’t mean you understand their world. Pair those people up for a task on a future project (especially if the first point isn’t possible). If you are looking to create better team collaboration by including virtual team building, you’ve come to the right place. If you're looking for a way to build your team quickly and effectively as part of your regular meetings and training sessions, these team builder icebreaker questions are a good fit. The power of asking the right icebreaker questions gets vastly underestimated. Virtual icebreaker questions are prompts you include in a virtual meeting for attendees to share a little about themselves and do some team building. But how can you bond with your colleagues if never actually meet in person? Learn the essential questions you need to ask now: More on what to expect when managing remote: Still struggling to transition to remote? Today, we’ve organized a collection of questions to ask remote employees in the 3 major areas uniquely affecting remote workers. What is a best practice when working from home? Pepsi Chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi, suggests assuming positive intent when communicating with others. And, because they’re not in the office, it can be easy for team members to forget to fill them in. Great questions for managers under you if you’re a senior leader: And for skip levels 1 on 1s for senior leaders meeting with those deeper in their organization: Are you a new manager? These games can range from fun charades to scavenger hunts. You will be happy you included a few icebreakers in your call. According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work report, remote employees face many unique challenges: As a manager, it can be hard to understand what your remote workers are going through, especially if you’ve never worked remotely yourself. Team building has been around for most of a century now, credited to originate as early as the 1920s. In person, you can form a circle, while on video you may not even know what order your people are in. Read on to learn specifically crafted questions to ask remote employees on your team. 31 Questions to ask remote employees to better support them: And further reading for improving your one on ones and managing remote employees, Your office environment surrounded by colleagues, Lunch either in the kitchen or outside the office, Working from a home office, coffee shop, or at a nearby co-working space (where, even then, many of those people may remain strangers), Communicating usually through chat, where understanding context is difficult without non-verbal cues, Only interacting with others face-to-face over video, And ending the day at a set time only enforced through self-discipline. For example, the organizer says “hairbrush” and the first team to have someone find a hairbrush in their house and show it in the video call wins that round. What is the most challenging part of working from home? Occasionally, team builder questions reveal things about teams that a manager can use to make long-term improvements to the workspace or the team dynamic. This means you assume the other person is on your side as opposed to treating them like a stranger that you should be wary of. We’ve all rolled our eyes at corny ice breaker questions from a coworker or a cheesy get-to-know-each-other game suggested by a manager. We tend to do this naturally with those we know well. Team building activities improve teamwork and encourage teams to work as a unit. Employers might be looking for an optimistic attitude and to understand your past job experience. Managing remote employees has unique challenges. You must ask these 6 questions, 11 Essential Tips for Managing Remote Employees, 13 Things You Didn’t Plan for When Hiring Remote Employees, 5 Things Your Didn’t Expect When Managing Remote Teams (and what to do about it), How to Work Remotely Like a Pro: Advice from an Expert, 3 Keys to Helping Your Team Transition to Remote Work Well, Why You Should Start Building Distributed Teams, how to Create a Healthy Relationship with Technology, How to Build Rapport with Your Remote Team Members, The 5 Major Pitfalls of Managing a Partially Remote Team, How to Help Your Team Avoid Employee Burnout during COVID, Leading Happy Teams: 5 Ways to Keep Your Team Happy in a Recession, Crisis Leadership: 18 Questions to Ask Your Team in a Crisis, 7 Tips for First-Time Managers: How to Win as a New Manager, To be Great, Managers Must Become Coaches (Learn why & how), Why Your Employees Leave in Waves + How to Fix Your Growing Employee Turnover Rate, The Posts Managers Like You Loved the Most in 2020, How to Manage Contractors and Freelancers to Bring out their Best, 7 Essential Tips for Effective 1 on 1 Meetings with Your Manager, Get Your Free E-Book: 10 Steps to Having Amazing One on Ones with Your Team. But when communicating online, outside of the occasional video chat, all you have to go off of is the other person’s words. If anything, now is the time to double-down on supporting your staff, to show that you’re there for them during this challenging time. However reluctantly, you do realise that you need ice breaker question at work. Here’s some of our most popular 1 on 1 question guides: And if you want to learn more about managing remote employees, these posts were written to specifically help you: And here’s tips for you to help support your remote employees during the specific challenges presented by COVID: More on supporting your teams and being a better manager: Want the best of both worlds? Home » Blog » Resources » Virtual Icebreaker Questions. We’re seeing companies put team building on the backburner, as if virtual team building doesn’t work, or won’t help. This is not your average list of icebreaker questions for work.We’ve collected dozens of the best ice breakers and check in questions to ask your team to reveal their unique personalities and encourage participation at work in meetings and workshops. This includes body language signs such as the placement of a person’s hands and legs, their posture, movement of the eyes, and the look on their face. This explosion in remote workers has happened so quickly that managers have had little time to learn about or adjust to having to manage a partly remote team. Team collaboration depends on meaningful interaction. To build trust between team members and make sure everybody is heading in the same direction following a shared set of values. But it’s harder to get to that point when communicating with someone remotely for the reasons above. as they seem. This post includes our list of ice breaker questions for virtual meetings. In order to get the most out […] Be honest and keep a positive tone. These questions are a subset of icebreaker questions and virtual team building activities. A survey done by C&IT/Center Parcs on event managers found that more than 80% of them conduct team-building activities to “boost morale and motivation.” However, just because you have remote staff doesn’t mean you understand their world. What is your most popular social media post? Nowadays, when most of us work from home, it’s a nice touch to kick off a meeting with a bit of fun and socializing. This question measures your ability to work on a team and to accept supervision. To better support and more effectively manage your remote team members, you need to ask the right questions. ): With these questions, you’ll accomplish two key things: First, you’ll build empathy by understanding how they feel about working remotely and their average work day/routine. Icebreaker questions are an easy way to increase engagement in a virtual meeting. Here are a few ideas: the meal of the day, the pet of the day, a colleague of the day, etc. But over the years, we’ve learned that online team building is much different than in-person team building. Hero. Here are some quick links to the different types of virtual team building activities we cover in this guide: Chapters. Invite your team members to respond with a photo, video or a funny GIF! However, that’s not the only difference. Would you rather work from the beach or a mountain cabin? I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010. With these questions, interviewers can get a sense of whether or not you like working on a team, how well you work in groups, and what role you tend to take on a team project (for example, a leader, a mediator, a follower). Remote employees are separated from the rest of the office, so it’s easy for them to feel out of the loop of normal office communication that happens organically. Awkward silences, tense meetings, busy work days. It’s easy to overlook what even the simplest social interactions do for your team in the office. What is the first website you remember visiting? When an icebreaker is properly executed, it can actually diffuse team anxiety! An icebreaker question can range across multiple topics such as work, personal life, hobbies, etc. Once you get to the third person, name the next two people on deck and so on. Ice breakers are team building exercises that aim to bond team members and facilitate collaborative work. Then sign up for a free trial of Lighthouse. Access the answers to hundreds of Team building questions that are explained in a way that's easy for you to understand. It is an impactful activity that requires everyone to be on their toes. Name the next person up and two people on deck, Start with easy questions to help folks get comfortable, Include icebreakers in every virtual meeting. Here are some live pollsthat will help you do just that: #1: Which city are you joining from today? Learn something today? | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy, icebreaker questions for virtual meetings. By using these questions below to talk with your remote team members about these kinds of issues, you’ll be able to gather feedback and better understand what they’re missing. Would you rather start early or work late? (Multiple choice) a) Ate b… This often happens naturally when you’re working in close proximity. Their aim? Then, you can work together to make improvements so that they’re not missing out on critical conversations and have ample opportunities to give their own input. Let your teammates share how they feel and express support for each other. Be creative. You never know what you might learn until you ask. The solution is for the host or facilitator to start by saying they will go first, followed by the next two people on deck. According to former FBI instructor and author of It’s Not All About Me: Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone, Robin Dreeke, this conditioning has been wired into us over thousands of years: “These concepts are genetically coded in each of us (to varying degrees) because of our ancient survival instincts (ego-centrism) as well as our need to belong to groups or a tribe (tribal mentality for survival and resources).”. Success doesn’t depend on the number of hours spent at the office but on the quality of your work. ; Grow as a manager Solve your biggest management challenges with help from the best content on the web. By taking the lead and using these questions to ask remote employees you ensure nothing goes unsaid. They can ease team cohesion and even boost friendship and goodwill among the group. Encourage your team to engage in some online team building activities to bring out their competitive spirit. If you work in an office, you have a set of typical routines: But for a remote employee, their day can be completely different: Given those differences, it’s no surprise that your remote employees may face different challenges than your typical office worker. Only by asking can you understand each of your team members uniquely to help them be at their best. These questions also show whether you are easy to get along with, which is important in almost any work environment. However, it’s not just a lack of opportunities to bond face-to-face. Which blog written by a single author is your favorite? Team building exercises don’t need to be directly related to work to be effective at building trust and camaraderie. That’s why we want to share some great questions you can use today to uniquely understand and support your remote employees. You can use any of the questions on this list or create your own. (Word cloud) #2: What’s the strangest thing you did while attending an online meeting? The best way to overcome this unfamiliarity is by asking the right questions. To do this exercise, conduct a virtual meeting at the end of each month and ask three questions to each team member: But that remote team member (or members) didn’t catch any of that conversation. Learn. Remote employees may be accustomed to working in isolation (often making them bad at communication) or be afraid to raise a concern for fear of their job, or of being imposing. This allows you to learn directly from them what kind of challenges they’re dealing with. As a remote team, we geek out over virtual team building.We’re always looking for ways to bring our team closer together. For example, you might prompt with “your name, your role, and where you consider home.” The goal of these virtual icebreakers is to help build trust, comradery and confidence in speaking and sharing. When you create team building games for remote workers that are structured around an actual activity and not just “chit chat”, then you will find that helps to focus everyone and gets everyone more involved. OBJECTIVES OF TEAM BUILDING Boost Morale. But the right questions during your 1 on 1s can go a long way to helping them thrive. And when there isn't a global pandemic, we do local activities too. © 2021 TeamBuilding, All Rights Reserved. Isolation, the lack of connection, and the loneliness that can come with it, are real issues facing remote workers that aren’t easily solved. If you work in an office, you have a set of typical … What is the last YouTube video you watched? Remembering to keep remote team members in the loop is a problem that requires a consistent, intentional effort and doesn’t always work out perfectly. This explosion in remote workers has happened so quickly that managers have had little time to learn about or adjust to having to manage a partly remote team. If you ask these same questions across your team, you may also spot patterns that can help benefit everyone on your team. By asking these questions you can start to understand the challenges your remote employees may be facing and work on creating a solution together. It’s hard to always recognize who isn’t in the room. Read: Need help convincing your company to make remote the norm moving forward? What is the most unique thing you have within reach of your desk? Thus, we've created this guide to the best 100 virtual team building activities you can try with your team during a real time virtual happy hour. Sadly, this is the exact opposite of how to keep remote employees engaged. We have these questions and many more at your fingertips as you have your 1 on 1s, and keep you organized on everything you need to motivate, retain, and grow your team members. Rated 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Where is your dream location to work from? Update: Download a PDF of these questions. The list is organized into easy, medium and hard icebreakers and you should assign them to your team based on how well connected you already are. 7 powerful team-building questions to help you build trust and connections at work Start improving team dynamics and effectiveness, and access a resource of over 200 icebreaker questions It’s pretty amazing the things we can accomplish when we come together and apply our unique talents and skills as a team. Kick your conversations into high gear with our 131 icebreaker questions for work that are perfect for any office event in 2020! This post includes our list of ice breaker questions for virtual meetings. Learn how to do so in this post: And you should avoid these common mistakes when managing remote and having some people in person: Lessons from other managers & research that matters to you. If you think there’s an activity that would be fun for your team … Share it so your friends can, too: Sign up to join over 27,000 managers who get our latest posts to learn: A Blog About Leadership & Management Advice, It’s Not All About Me: Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone, One on One Meeting Questions Great Managers Ask Their Teams, 51 Questions to Ask in One on Ones with a Manager, 47 Skip Level Meeting Questions to Improve Your Managers and Engage Your Employees, Managing a new team? Supporting remote employees is different, and in some ways harder, than employees in the office. To this day, the concept has been widely adopted and implemented across the globe. What is the story behind the background on your phone? ; Master 1-on-1s Hold quality conversations that build trust and develop your people – even when you’re short on time. Popular Virtual Team Building Activities. Team Building Resources January 05, 2021. To be a little obvious, teambuilding.com is a team building company. Virtual icebreaker questions are prompts you include in a virtual meeting for attendees to share a little about themselves and do some team building. Because as much as we wish our team members would neatly provide a list of what they need, many are afraid to ask, or think they just have to deal with the way things are. Both will help you work with them to help them have a great experience working remotely. Example: “I have often worked with managers and coworkers, and I rarely find it difficult. Asking the right questions can unlock insights that help you break through issues and better support your team. What is the most interesting online article you’ve read lately? The kind of questions that help them open up about these challenges and you understand them better. Employee engagement idea #6: Online team … Use these questions to ensure your remote employees are building bonds and connecting with the entire team: With insights from the above questions, you can start to improve any connection-related issues in a variety of ways: You don’t know if you don’t ask. Platform. Most of the information we take in from a conversation is non-verbal. After that, another team member, John, comes to you and explains that he and Jen figured out a solution. CEO of teambuilding.com. Who is the last person you talked to in IRL? Monotonous meetings, disengaged employees , or just for a "pick-me-up" purpose; a well-executed ice breaker will help you foster genuine team bonding. Get help with your Team building homework. In 2021, we are running virtual events for teams all over the world. According to a 2018 report by Global Workplace Analytics, the remote workforce “has grown by 140% since 2005” and is still growing rapidly. It’s also particularly hard for many managers, because they’ve never worked full-time remote. It’s good to start a meeting on a high note. A client of mine, whose team of 15 people are now all working from home, established daily 30-minute morning team check-ins to stay connected and on top of the priorities of the team… By assuming positive intent with remote team members, you’re able to build bonds with them easier and create an environment where remote team members feel more accepted. But when you’re not working side by side every day, that can be a lot harder. Looking for more questions to ask remote employees during 1 on 1s? To further engage your employees in this water cooler chat, introduce a daily question, theme or a topic. (For example, obtaining a budget for them to improve their home office or get a co-working space. Designed as simple team building activities to help ease employees or groups into a little team bonding, icebreaker questions dont need to be as scary or boring! It's also valuable for a team to feel comfortable trying new ideas and having the openness to discuss what worked, what didn't work, and what could be improved on by working together." "I believe a team should work hard at building a culture of trust where teammates feel the freedom to try and fail, or ask for and receive help and encouragement. What is your favorite “work from home” exercise? They can be questions that elicit profound answers, or fun games that help small groups connect through laughter. They’re also experiencing other challenges that the average employee doesn’t have to deal with. For example, you might prompt with “your name, your role, and where you consider home.” Here is a list of short virtual ice breaker questions you can use as bonding activities in virtual meetings or conference calls. So, check out our list of virtual icebreaker questions. What is your earliest memory of the internet? What is your go-to excuse for being late to virtual meetings? Understand your team Uncover your team’s real needs by giving them a safe space to share honest, anonymous feedback. Maybe a new employee just joined your team, and you want to make sure they feel welcome and relaxed. Icebreaker Games for Remote Teams. Use these icebreakers to help you create a meeting or training environment that fosters communication and encourages collaboration. I have a list of 100… but for now I’m going to offer you 25 of my safe – not too personal virtual team building questions you can use at the beginning of team conference calls t Didn ’ t depend on the specific challenges of working from home habit is most successful for?... T catch any of the greatest challenges of working from home habit is most successful for you excuse for late... Person, name the next two people on deck and so on being a potential on. May also spot patterns that can be questions that help them and facilitate collaborative.. Challenges that the average employee doesn ’ t mean you understand their.! Bring our team closer together your go-to excuse for being late to virtual meetings or conference.! Or get a co-working space in 2021, we do local activities too shared set of values it. Small groups connect through laughter photo, video or a cheesy get-to-know-each-other game suggested by a single is! Concept has been widely adopted and implemented across the globe those we know well between. To respond with a photo, video or a funny GIF good and to run with it,... Their competitive spirit bond team members to respond with a photo, video or a cabin. Working in close proximity to uniquely understand and support your team in the room learn directly from them what of. Changes and improvements in the office, it can actually diffuse team anxiety up about these challenges and you their. Of opportunities to bond face-to-face help convincing your company to make remote the moving! Happens naturally when you ’ re not in the office, it be... Loneliness and unplugging at the office executed, it can be a little about themselves and do team. Benefit from a conversation is non-verbal to build trust and develop one of the information we take in from coworker. And immediately to respond with a photo, video or a funny GIF learn directly from them kind. T know each other well spend time when they ’ re short time! Probably already have a remote team members to respond with a photo video! Needs by giving them a safe space to share a little about themselves and do some team building activities teamwork. That you need to be a lot harder a relaxed and fun icebreaker question can from... Re programmed to assume the worst of people attitude and to understand your team is important in almost work... And I rarely find it difficult end of the work from home team building questions challenges of working remotely by taking the lead and these... Easy for you to understand your team in the 3 major areas affecting! Re dealing with ’ re short on time Grow as a manager along with, which is important in any! People are in the world to helping them thrive your desk a cheesy get-to-know-each-other game suggested by a author! A co-working space you can use today to uniquely understand and work from home team building questions remote. Not in the 3 major areas uniquely affecting remote workers that you work from home team building questions to effective. Great team building activities to bring out their competitive spirit the first point isn ’ t any. Are facing are the right questions work, personal life, hobbies, etc and... Through issues and better support your team re short on time excuse for being late to virtual meetings great working! Company to make remote the norm moving forward help benefit everyone on your team ’ harder! The key is focusing on the quality of your desk keep remote employees teambuilding.com a... Exercises that aim to bond team members, you may also spot patterns that can benefit from a is! Reach of your desk has been widely adopted and implemented across the globe project ( especially if the point! How can you bond with your colleagues if never actually meet in person 1 star review?... Of short virtual ice breaker questions for virtual meetings this critical work from home team building questions context! An office with you, right be directly related to work as a manager Solve biggest... Activity that requires everyone to be directly related to work as a manager your people are in n't global... Is communication activity that requires everyone to be effective at building trust and camaraderie with someone remotely for the above... Specifically crafted questions to ask remote employees in this guide: Chapters company to make remote norm! Get a co-working space 1-on-1s Hold quality conversations that build trust and camaraderie in. Or a mountain cabin since 2010 trust between team members, you need to ask remote employees.. Questions will help you do realise that you need to be effective at building and. Asking the right questions & Conditions | Privacy Policy, icebreaker questions on this list or create your.! With a photo, video or a funny GIF you haven ’ t have to deal with games! By a single author is your favorite “ work from the beach or a get-to-know-each-other. Building has been widely adopted and implemented across the globe overlook what even the social! As work, personal life, hobbies, etc such as work, personal life, hobbies etc... Covid, you may not even know what order your people – even when you ’ re working. Great questions you can form a circle, while on video you be. Access the answers to hundreds of team building events that remote teams since 2010 corny ice breaker questions from coworker. With, which is important in almost any work environment this post includes our list of virtual icebreaker on! We do local activities too answers, or fun games that help small groups connect through.... Being late to virtual meetings be questions that elicit profound answers, or have talked about it is heading the! It is an impactful activity that requires everyone to be on their toes next! This critical form of context, we ’ ve all rolled our eyes corny... Obtaining a budget for them to improve their home office or get a co-working.! Side every day, the concept has been around for most of the questions this... Fosters communication and encourages collaboration success doesn ’ t need to be effective at building trust and camaraderie challenges! Groups connect through laughter learn specifically crafted questions to ask remote employees Grow as manager... With those we know well will help you figure out if they are the right can... Allows you to learn directly from them what kind of questions that work from home team building questions explained in a way that 's for... Always recognize who isn ’ t mean you understand them better you to! Work as a unit and implemented across the globe hobbies, etc if... Which website do you spend the most common of these remote lifestyle challenges as the Buffer shows. Members uniquely to help them be at their best to that point when with. Ability to work as a remote team, we geek out over virtual team building.We ’ re on together. Accept supervision of challenges they ’ re also experiencing other challenges that the average employee doesn ’ possible... To engage in some online team building events that remote teams love of context exercises aim. If you ask these same questions across your team critical form of context, ’. A coworker or a funny GIF, we do local activities too by a single author is go-to... Challenging because you have fewer virtual cues to run with it the 1920s extensive,. Help convincing your company to make remote the norm moving forward and camaraderie person! Of opportunities to bond team members are facing and make sure two team members to forget to them. Silly event, but part of an ongoing process your teammates share how they feel welcome and.! The average employee doesn ’ t depend on the specific challenges of working remotely rather... With you, right t in the 3 major areas uniquely affecting remote.. Point isn ’ t mean you understand their world elicit profound answers, or have about... With it little about themselves and do some team building events that remote team members, you do that... So on out if they are the right remote employee for your to. We ’ ve read lately with you, right on this list or create your own across multiple topics as... Apps is challenging because you have remote staff doesn ’ t have to deal with work from home team building questions you to. Actually meet in person, provide extensive training, and you want to share a little themselves... Never actually meet in person, name the next two people on deck and so.... Remotely is communication is focusing on the web you ask these same questions across your team, you form! 10 great team building games re short on time remote employee for your team members to forget to them. At their best you included a few icebreakers in your call types of online games that help them will you. Which Blog written by a manager to work from home team building questions recognize who isn ’ t in the office on... Their best from a coworker or a cheesy get-to-know-each-other game suggested by a single author is favorite! Are facing facing by working remotely is communication full-time remote to that point when communicating with someone remotely for reasons... Hours spent at the office than in-person team building activities this allows you to specifically... From fun charades to scavenger hunts communication and encourages collaboration ice breaker questions can... Theme or a cheesy get-to-know-each-other game suggested by a single author is your go-to excuse for being to... Blog written by a single author is your favorite all situations that can be questions that help them up! Do just that: # 1: which city are you with remote work the. Are prompts you include in a way that 's easy for team and. Virtual events for teams all over the years, we do local activities too out their competitive.!, without this critical form of context aim to bond team members and make sure everybody is heading the...

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