As we try to bring a little extra gratitude into the workplace this month, our thoughts turn to all of the great events that mark the holiday season in the workplace: holiday parties, team get-togethers,
But what about virtual teams? With the increasing prevalence of flexible and remote work opportunities, teams can be more dispersed than ever before, across town or across time zones. How do virtual teams build the same kind of rapport and meaningful relationships that their in-office counterparts get to experience this time of year?
Check out these three simple ideas to help bridge the virtual gaps this holiday season, bringing all of your team members a little closer together:
Virtual Recipe Swap
I don’t know about you, but my personal favorite thing about this time of year is the food. Some of my absolute favorite dishes get trotted out for the holidays, including pumpkin pies, baked hams, sweet potato casseroles and more. Normally in-office teams can swap stories of epic meals, share recipes or even bring in samples for the team to share, but all of those experiences can be lost for virtual teams.
Recapture the delicious spirit of the season with a virtual recipe swap in an online meeting tool like iMeet. Have a treasured family recipe that you love to share? Scan it, take a pic of it or type it out into a Word doc and drop the file into your iMeet room for everyone to download and try—and get your team to do the same! In no time you’ll be sharing pictures or videos of successful new dishes, with a side order of better team rapport.
Did you miss our streaming cooking demo in iMeet earlier this year? You can check it out here, but don’t blame us if your lunch suddenly seems less appetizing!
Streaming Holiday Parties
Office holiday parties are another tradition this time of year that really helps build that ever-important company culture. It gives everyone an opportunity to leave work behind and spend a few hours doing some holiday reveling. Unfortunately, this is another tradition that leaves remote team members out in the cold.
If you’re unable to bring in all of your remote teams for the party itself, consider live-streaming the events through a do-it-yourself webcast. While live-streaming the holiday party may not be the same as being there, it still helps fight the isolation and feeling of disconnection that being a remote worker can sometimes cause. It can also help connect your various offices into one giant holiday bash, another boon for company culture!
Finally, everyone loves giving little tokens of appreciation out to their team this time of year, whether it’s more food (always a winner in my book) or a Secret Santa or White Elephant-style gift exchange. However, the logistics of arranging these types of exchanges can be daunting even for in-office colleagues, so how do you tackle it when you’re including virtual members?
Luckily there are several options that will do most of the heavy-lifting for you, such as my go-to DrawNames.com that automatically assigns gifters and giftees. And with real-time, high-def video in iMeet and GlobalMeet, you don’t have to miss the smiles on your team members’ faces when they open that thoughtful (or hilarious) gift!
Looking for tips on how to give gifts to virtual team members? We’ve got you covered.
Regardless of your tactic of choice, the most important thing to remember about your virtual team members this year is simply to remember them! Don’t let their inclusion be an afterthought. With just a tiny bit of planning, you can make sure everyone feels included and appreciated.