Remote and virtual teams are on the rise and our global workforce is closer than ever. As the number of virtual teams continues to go up, managers will have a new problem to tackle: creating and maintaining a strong team culture. How do you build personal connections with all team members and keep everyone from feeling isolated? No worries, we’ve listed some team building activities for virtual teams that you can use in your company. So, get ready for bonding with your co-workers who are scattered around the continent (or several).

Use online tools to have virtual team meetings

Communicating through email, chat and text messages can be difficult when working together on a project so make sure that you have frequent virtual meetings. Video is your number-one substitute for face-to-face meetings. Use screen sharing and video to discuss important projects and keep each other updated.

Encourage your team to be engaged

Want to build a strong team culture? Make sure you encourage communication and create an open environment. Everyone in the team must feel comfortable to share their ideas, work-related or not. Share interesting articles, videos, GIFs, thoughts or even a new song you’ve played in repeat the past days. Engagement is key in building a trusting team! And don’t forget asking your remote co-workers about non-work-related subjects like their weekend, vacation plans, movies or other things that are keeping them busy besides work.

Give a virtual office tour

This is a fun one. Remote team members often don’t even know what their colleagues’ office looks like. Why not give them a virtual tour? When working with a virtual team, use technology to the maximum to bond with your colleagues. Have a walk around, have a small chat with a co-worker and show off your desk. Don’t forget the office dog, of course. Have your colleague do the same for you!

Have a virtual meeting to discuss personal goals

Even though you’re not in the same office, state or even in the same country, it’s important to share your personal goals and know the goals of your co-workers. Goal setting is a cornerstone for successful teams. Set aside time to discuss goals during a virtual meeting. Share where you stand in current projects, where you want to go if there’s anything that’s holding you back. Your colleagues’ tips and skills may be of great value!

Play team building games with your virtual team members

Who says you can’t play games with remote co-workers? Be creative and use video and chat to have fun! Think about Charades. You can play this game easily using video. Charades will help you foster teamwork in a light and funny way. And what about Spin a Tale? You don’t even need video for this one, just use a chatroom to play this game. Spin a Tale boosts creativity and helps team members think on their feet. Make up the first line of a story. Then ask team members to take turns and add a line until a whole plot develops. The plot will change drastically and the story will never end up the same. In other words, while working on team building, you’re also learning how to think innovatively.

Remember to give a compliment

A pat on the back for a job well-done is easily given when you’re standing by the coffee machine or sitting next to each other during lunchtime. However, when working with remote teams, people often forget to give their co-workers a compliment. Acknowledgment is a key factor in happiness and confidence among employees. Working remotely doesn’t offer the same opportunities to shake hands so it requires a bit more creativity to show recognition. Use chat rooms, email, text, or take a moment during a virtual meeting to compliment your colleagues.

Hopefully these tips and exercises will help you build a strong and engaged virtual team. Having trouble organizing and structuring your virtual meetings? GAIKU is here to be your perfect meeting guide for local and remote teams. GAIKU is a powerful web app that plans and structures your meetings so you’ll have better results in less time. Sign up today and improve your meetings!