Building connection and community in remote teams

October 20, 2021

Building connection and community virtually is probably going to be one of the most difficult things you will do as a leader.

In a shared office space, it’s much easier to catch up as you walk by someone’s desk or shoot the breeze and chat about their weekends as you enter into a team meeting. These social connections are harder to recreate when working remotely or in a hybrid fashion. Therefore, you need to work at creating this connection and community while you are all based in different locations. 

Tips on building connection & community

  • Build in creative ice breaker questions at the beginning of each team meeting
    *Hint - ask dynamic questions - questions whereby everyone learns more about their teammates, ask questions that evoke thinking, ask questions that are fun
  • Create a non-work chat channel
    *Hint - Messaging apps are great for this. PepTalk has recently moved to Signal
  • Consider your onboarding strategy - how will you ensure that new people on your team feel connected and a part of the community?
  • Build a buddy system - perhaps this can be a useful tool for onboarding new talent?
  • Create a theme of the day - team pets (get creative!), remote working views, the question of the day/week, one-word check-ins…

If you want to see an example of a remote team building connection, take a look at one of Simon Sinek’s team meetings.

Dozens of awesome Ice-Breaker questions

To help you get started here's a list of some really good ice-breaker questions. Feel free to add your own variations to these ones.

  1. What’s the best hotel you have ever stayed in and why?
  2. If you had to relive the same day for the rest of your life, which day would you choose?
  3. What’s the last thing you bought for under 50 euro/dollars that you love and use often?
  4. What’s your guilty pleasure?
  5. Which season fits your personality?
  6. If you could have any fictional character as a friend, who would you choose and why?
  7. What’s the last random thing that made you smile?
  8. What’s your favourite quote?
  9. Which famous person have you met?
  10. Who are three people you want on your team if there was a zombie apocalypse?
  11. What would your rap name be?
  12. What’s your most-used emoji?
  13. Which celebrity do you shamelessly follow in the news?
  14. What’s the worst haircut you’ve ever had?
  15. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you during a date?
  16. What’s your most powerful and vivid memory?
  17. What’s the first music you bought?
  18. What’s one of your pet peeves?
  19. What’s the best date you’ve ever been on?
  20. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
  21. Describe your worst date ever.
  22. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
  23. What’s something that you will NEVER do again?
  24. What activity do you enjoy so much that it makes you lose track of time?
  25. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  26. What’s something you believed earlier in your career but think about differently now?
  27. What was your favouite subject in school?
  28. What book have you recently read that you would recommend and why?
  29. What’s the last thing you completed on your bucket list?
  30. What’s the best gift you have ever received?
  31. What show on Netflix did you binge watch embarrassingly fast?
  32. If you could buy your dream house, what is one weird room or feature you would have?
  33. If you could do anything in the next year, what would it be?
  34. If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?
  35. If you could go back in time, what one thing would you tell your teenage self?
  36. If you could compete in the Olympics, which sport would you choose?
  37. If you could instantly be an expert in a subject, what would it be?
  38. If you could only have 5 apps on your phone, what would they be?
  39. If you could live in a sitcom, which one would it be?
  40. If you could arm wrestle any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
  41. If you could only eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

[If you'd like to read more about Leading Remote Teams just click this link]

Anne-Marie Lowry
Head of Program. A strong believer in People, Potential & The Great Outdoors.
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