One of the challenges for the global operating company is establishing a friendly work space for all team members, who are located in more then one place, and sometimes in different time zones. This post raises only the subject of integration within distributed teams.
However challenges of managing people working remotely is an extremely complex issue. I hope to deal with it in a future:)
Having fun together is an important part of the team building. Unless your team do software for NASA or Google it will be impossible to sustain their interest in a project without some brakes. In the traditional working environment it can be a coffee break or just go out to lunch.
In case of distributed/remote working employes it’s not so easy. One of the solutions is to introduce playful elements to the online meetings. I’ve come across this i”integration via games” approach recently. To my surprise internet is full of tips for team leaders/scrum masters. Some of them are ready to use and may provide an alternate means for encouraging team development due to their affordances for facile communication, emotional engagement, and social interaction among participants.
Bunch of tips:
- One of the most interesting games involved each of us telling a story — real or made up — from their life. The task for the others was to guess whether it really happened. The team try to do unconventional things together that allow them to get to know each other better within a short time.
- Lost in Translation – An Agile Game http://agile.dzone.com/news/lost-translation-agile-game
- Each player says their name, followed by a word starting with the first letter of their name, and then the next player tags their name and word onto the name chain alternating from one side of the room to the other: “Ellen Eggplant, Sven Serendipity, Henna Hornet….”.
- Distribute a weekly newsletter – Recognize both local and remote workteam members for any strong contributions that week. Recognize co-workers’ birthdays. Keep all workteam members on the same page by including an update from your end of the remote arrangement.
- Distribute joke emails – Why not? You do it with local workteam members and old college buddies.
Here you can find a bunch of Softwaremill suggestion for distributed teams https://softwaremill.com/skype-games-on-effective-distributed-teams/