How to Cultivate a Fun and Productive Remote Team Culture

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We have well passed the year mark of remote teams being the new “normal” and with that comes pros and cons to working from home where some days your only interaction is with your cat or your kids.

As a remote team leader, it’s important to cultivate a fun productive remote team culture, as some days can be lonely and lack routine. That could result in losing enthusiasm from your team, or just a feeling of disconnect that we can easily avoid with a few fun ideas.

Welcome to part 3 in our series on remote teams.

We have shared how to hire your remote team, 8 benefits of remote teams & 20 online tools for productive remote teams, now we want to get into the fun stuff!

You know those moments, the ones that make you grateful for your awesome remote team and keep you going even when work is overwhelming, you’re missing the watercooler chit-chat and deadlines rapidly approach.

We’re all about keeping good vibes inside and outside of those Slack channels.

☀️ How to Cultivate a Productive Remote Team Culture on a Weekly Basis 

As the Digital Business Manager or business owner, you must be the one promoting clear communication between your team and yourself. Having a weekly, or daily routine is key in keeping communication open and staying connected.

Establish a structured and interactive weekly check-in by having different topics.

Here are some (less serious) ideas: 

  • Asking a fun get-to-know-you question – especially in the early stages of building your team.
  • Sharing a funny gif – because who doesn’t love a good gif.
  • Sending pictures of your pets – do I even have to explain why?
  • Sharing your recipe of the week – ratatouille anyone?
  • Chatting in the ‘random’ channel in Slack – having fun, non-work-related Slack channels are great for getting to know each other in a relaxed ‘virtual environment.
  • Telling the funniest thing that’s happened to you recently – Let’s face it, it’s 2021 – funny things happen literally every day!

📆 Cultivating a Productive Remote Team on a Monthly Basis

When working on a remote team it is easy to start to miss those after-work meet-ups and holiday parties (well, that one is debatable).

Why not provide 1-2 monthly opportunities for social bonding outside of working hours, such as:

  • Virtual Happy hour – I mean, this could be moved to the weekly list too, of course. 😉
  • Virtual classes – Cooking classes are always a good time, even if you have no idea what you’re doing!
  • A free Friday off work – “best boss award goes to…”
  • Fun workshops – Airbnb has so many awesome virtual experiences to try, from exploring different cultures to solving mysteries as a team.

🗓 How to Cultivate a Productive Remote Team All Year Round

Investing time and money into your team’s professional development will help develop their skills and make your remote team feel like they are encouraged to grow as individuals both personally and professionally.

Offer your remote team resources for support:

  • An education stipend, and/or time in their schedule for professional development
  • Unlimited vacation days – if the work is getting done well then why not? am I right?!
  • Yearly team retreat – this can be done by saving a small % each month and when there is enough to book the retreat then boom! Time for a team vacation
  • Healthcare stipend (if your team is full of contractors) 

Another way to show support is by sending gifts on important days, like

  • 💐 Flowers for an anniversary 
  • 🎂 Gift cards for birthdays 
  • 🎄 Gift boxes for holidays 
  • 🥺 A handwritten thank you
  • 📣 Give regular shout-outs of appreciation to your team members

👥 20 Simple & Entertaining Ideas Checklist for Remote Team Bonding 

01. Start a watercooler/random channel in Slack and encourage people to chat in it. 

02. Start your day (or week) with a question or prompt for your team to answer. 

03. Weekly Coffee Dates (with the team or with pairing random team members) 

04. Monthly Happy Hours (a personal favorite) 

05. Accountability Buddies (and then change every quarter)

06. Yearly In-person Retreats 

07. Secret Santa 

08. Virtual Board Games 

09. Virtual Karaoke (with earplugs)

10. Weekly Trivia Contests (on Zoom or in Slack!)

11. Virtual Book Club

12. An at-home fitness challenge 

13. Virtual Dance Party 

14. Remote MTV Cribs

15. Weekly Coworking Events 

16. Virtual Team Dinners 

17. A Recipe Club or Channel in your Slack!

18. Virtual Classes – mixology, knitting, cooking, painting, photography, and even theatre class! Here is a full list of fun classes

19. Host a Virtual Scavenger Hunt 

20. Virtual Holiday Parties! Everything from Christmas, Valentine’s, President’s Day, and even National Hot Chocolate Day… any excuse to have a party in my book.

It always helps to take a vote and get your team’s input, or you can let a team member choose the activity each month!

There are more and more ideas coming to mind as I type this. If you have any unique ideas to share please reach out and let us know!

Well, that’s a wrap for how to cultivate a fun and productive remote team culture.

I hope it’s left you excited and full of ideas for promoting your own remote team culture – if you need help with this transition, you can always hire a nifty sidekick to help you, aka Digital Business Manager, aka DBM who’s fully trained in team management and all-round great ideas 💡.

Check out our DBM directory below and find the perfect fit to elevate your online team.

Ready to hire a digital business manager?

Our Digital Business Managers are trained in project, team, and systems management as well as digital business and finance basics through the DBM Bootcamp.

Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!

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Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!