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Remote Team Building 101: How to Host a Killer Party

Building trust and rapport with a remote team can be challenging. Here’s how — and why — GPO does team building with employees who work from home.

Do you remember going into the office every day? It’s a faint memory now because — like nearly every company worldwide — GPO went 100% virtual in 2020. And like many other companies, we saw an increase in employee happiness and productivity once we made the switch. Working from home fared so well for our team that we’ve remained virtual in 2021 and have plans to remain a flexible workplace for the foreseeable future.

While the transition to WFH life went smoothly for our team, it wasn’t without intentionality. By hosting virtual Coffee Chats and afternoon Happy Hours, we created space for employees to connect over topics other than work. Virtual water cooler hangout time via Zoom, if you will.

However, to level-up our team building while everyone works from home, we like to host #goGPO Day.

What is #goGPO Day?

So glad you asked. #goGPO Day is a dedicated day of fun; a time for our team to kick back, relax, and enjoy a few solid hours of team bonding doing something new together.

Because let’s be honest: building trust and rapport with team members in a completely remote environment can be challenging. When working remote, there are fewer opportunities for employees to get to know one another, let alone bond over shared interests or shared experiences. Studies show that team building for virtual teams improves communication, re-engages disengaged employees, and retains talent.

Hence: #goGPO Day!

Last year we put on our berets and whipped out our brushes for a virtual Painting with a Twist party. This year, we traded our berets in for detective hats and hosted a Murder Mystery party online.

Here’s how we made it happen!

Step one: hire a host

Taking time out of our busy schedules to plan a unique, memorable #goGPO Day simply wouldn’t happen with the pace at which we operate. Instead of spending weeks — or months! — figuring out how to host a meaningful virtual team-building event, we turned to the experts for help. We enlisted the help of Confetti, a platform that curates unforgettable team-building experiences. Getting assistance from a reputable company that has a proven track record of hosting amazing events made planning — and hosting! — #goGPO Day 100x easier.

Step two: pick an interactive, inclusive activity

From cookie decorating and mixology kits to trivia and drag queen bingo, there are virtual activities out there for everybody! The key to finding the right activity for YOUR team is to know your audience.

Since we have a healthy mix of introverts and extroverts, we decided on a top-rated activity: Murder in La La Land. There were enough interactive elements to let the extraverts shine and plenty of drama for the introverts to sit back and enjoy.

Next, we had to introduce this wacky idea of a virtual murder mystery to the team.

Step three: hype it up

The only way to make sure this virtual event would actually foster team bonding? Get buy-in!

To warm everyone up to the idea of doing something a little off-the-wall, we announced #goGPO Day at our weekly staff meeting with a hilarious “whodunnit” video outlining the basics of the Murder Mystery plot line. The video set the mood for the event: it was intriguing and a little goofy. Everyone was encouraged to participate and dress up for the event.

In addition to an impactful announcement, remind folks to opt-in. In the weeks leading up to the event, our team members were reminded often to show up, dress up, and have fun.

Step four: don’t forget the logistics

Ah, the details. Set your team up for success by providing all logistics ahead of time: what time to show up, where to be, what to wear, and what they can expect to do. In a remote environment, it’s better to over-communicate expectations — otherwise, you may end up with a confused, annoyed group who’s over the event before it’s even begun.

We provided explicit details about the event ahead of time, including:

  • A Zoom link
  • Suggested attire (1950’s Hollywood glam, if you’d like to know!)
  • Expected length of the Murder Mystery Party
  • What to bring (a notebook and a curious mind)

Team members had the opportunity to ask questions ahead of time so we weren’t scrambling at the last minute to answer questions.

Step five: HAVE FUN

Our #goGPO Day went off without a hitch. Our team showed up, game for whatever the Murder Mystery brought our way. We had a blast dressing up and solving the murder together — we even hosted a post-party Zoom to debrief on the hilarious moments that happened during #goGPO Day.

Somehow this planned event sparked spontaneity that can usually only be achieved at in-person events. And we achieved our end goal: uniting our team through the power of FUN.

Want to join an amazing team who loves to work hard and play hard? Check out our open positions and shoot us your resume.

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