While our remote team has a number of beloved team building activities that take place over Zoom, over the past few months, quarantine has made us realize just how much time we spend at home—and just how sedentary we are in front of our screens. And now, more than ever, it’s crucial to make investments and prioritize taking care of the health of your team. The past few months have been a stressful, strange time!
While we all know that activity and exercise, in particular, play a huge role in our mental, physical, and emotional well-being, encouraging employees to make these a priority and supporting them in creating healthy habits can be a little more challenging when your team is miles apart from one another. Plus, as a remote team, most of our days are spent in front of our screens by necessity.
If your team is new to remote work, supporting your team’s physical health or creating remote team building activities centered around exercise can, understandably, feel a little bit daunting. Here are a few of the ways in which we’ve worked to come up with creative ways to incentivize and encourage healthy lifestyle habits and regular exercise, and create some team spirit together with our fully distributed team.
1. A Remote 5K
One of the most recent activities we’ve tried with the team was a remote 5km run (or walk!). We gave everyone a week (Monday-Friday) to complete their 5km. It could either be done all at once, or in chunks that add up to 5km. We also gave folks a chance to choose whether they wanted to walk or run. This made it a more inclusive event that all fitness levels could enjoy!
To add some incentive, everyone who participated and completed their 5km received a gift card to the restaurant of their choice, or Bonusly points! To claim the prize, everyone had to capture their run via selfie and a screenshot of their exercise app showing they completed it.
We shared everyone’s photos in a slideshow at our townhall the following week and held a mini awards ceremony, with extra prizes for the fastest runners, the cutest running buddies, and those who went above and beyond (someone on our team walked not 5, but 9km!). Celebrating these accomplishments together goes a long way in fostering connection and feeling a sense of cohesion—which is fundamental to any happy, healthy, and productive team.
2. Annual Fitness Fund
Another great way to support your team’s health and wellness is to offer an annual fitness fund in your perks package. We offer a $500/year fitness budget, which can be used to purchase fitness classes, pay race fees, gym memberships, buy running shoes or workout gear, dance classes, yoga mats, rock-climbing—whatever helps you work up a sweat and stay active.
Since everyone has different interests and activities that they love, we’ve found this is a great way to provide individual support; by letting each person choose what they want to use their funds for!
3. Virtual Yoga & Meditation
We also had one of our talented teammates (who is also a certified yoga instructor) lead virtual yoga and meditation. While this happens over Zoom, this is a really great way to connect together as a group, take a break from our day-to-day work, and get a little more grounded and mindful together.
Virtual meditation and yoga is a great way to connect mental and physical wellness together, and can easily be done over video with a few adaptations and (pardon the pun!) flexibility.
In the age of coronavirus, it’s safe to say that we’ve all learned to never take leaving the house and getting outside for granted. Physical activity plays an integral role in contributing to our ability to be productive, healthy, and energized—both at work, and outside of it.
Our advice? Don’t let being a remote team stand in the way of staying active together, and supporting the health and wellness of your remote team. With a little creativity, it is totally do-able, even from a distance!
MORE ON REMOTE CULTURE:
- How to run more impactful remote town-hall meetings
- 9 commandments of building a strong remote team culture
- Top 5 challenges of working remotely & how to overcome them