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Relationships are the cornerstone of work from home performance. Whether you are installing the new regime or there are massive productivity gaps, you need to explore out of the box ways to get to know the people on your team. Fail to build rapport effectively and you will find team members losing interest, skipping important steps, and not showing up on time. In this post, I introduce to you some fresh ideas to help reinforce the culture of your organization without having to plan a retreat away from the office. Many are easy, affordable, and most importantly fun.

Watch this video on how to create a video file collection method.

Video Testimonial Reinforcement

We used to go around the room and take turns sharing our best ideas. Now, on a Zoom meeting whoever speaks up has the floor. In a small group, you can take turns sharing why someone should join your team. If it is a larger group of let’s say 50 or more, that would take too long. Instead, facilitate an exercise where team members record a video using their smartphone or desktop computer and share the video using a collection method like an Airtable form. Those videos can instantly be available for any person to watch one another’s video following the virtual meeting in an Airtable base URL as shown in the video tutorial I produced for you..

Take it step farther and ask team members to create a video screen capture using Loom with the organization’s website or join page as a virtual background.

Screen Share Mad Libs

Who doesn’t love Mad Libs? They inspire creativity, provoke humor, and can add to the context of the organization’s culture. You can make your own in a Word document or in a PowerPoint presentation with each sentence on its own slide. Then the meeting host can share their screen with the document or PowerPoint and ask team members to help fill in the blanks by entering input in the participant chat or speak aloud (depending on group size).

Scavenger Hunt From Home

Stop what you are doing right now and look for a device cable that you don’t use anymore and explain the love you had for the device that you once used to operate. Reflecting on the past is a great way to get to know one another and add some humor to make it go a long way.

Link Retrieval Contest

Your team regularly uses public websites and those secured behind a username and password. There are probably a hundred different websites that one person would need to find quickly and share with a manager to review, a coworker to research, or a customer to educate. Finding the right link at the spur of the moment can be a challenge, especially when you aren’t familiar with the website navigation menu for each one.

The question is, “How fast can you find the right link and share it in the participant chat?”

Some team members won’t be able to find it. Others will find it and it will take them a few minutes. Then there are the slim few who can quickly find the site, copy the URL to the clipboard, and paste the URL in the participant chat in seconds.

Virtual Background Contest

For teams who use green screen for their Zoom meetings, you can really start to have some fun by having a contest to see who can build the best virtual background. Start an exercise to encourage team members to log in or create a free account in Canva to design one or more 1920 x 1080 px image(s). Depending upon the nature and technical skills of the team, there might be virtual backgrounds used for different types of virtual meetings or scenes within a meeting that the team helps build.

In summary

It’s hard to build a new team when you can’t be physically present. It’s also hard when each person has a different technical ability that dictates how productive the team will be working together. When you combine traditional team building exercises with technology, you can not only unite the team together as one, you can use these opportunities to skill up their productivity when working from home.

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Doug Devitre

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