Build culture in your remote team with automation

Deborah Tennen
Deborah Tennen / Published March 17, 2020

When you can't get peppermint mochas with your team or share every thought that pops into your head with the person at the desk next to yours, how do you stay connected with your coworkers? Folks often worry that remote work will be isolating, but there are plenty of ways to have fun and feel a sense of camaraderie even from afar.

Here are some of the Zaps—Zapier's term for automated workflows—that you can use to have fun and stay connected with your remote team.

Create your own water cooler

It's easy to forget the rest of the world exists when it's just you and your computer. And that's not always a bad thing: it's part of what makes remote work so productive. But you also want to be sure you're still chatting with your coworkers—not just to have fun, but also because the more you know each other, the more you trust each other.

You can use Schedule by Zapier to automatically send conversation prompts to your team chat tool. Send a Slack message every Friday morning asking people what they're up to for the weekend. Or ask people for their Netflix recommendation of the week on Mondays. Or just send a vague note every afternoon reminding people there are other humans in the world.

Start with these Zaps, and then personalize them to work for your team:

Bemoan the weather together

What better way to bond than by complaining about the weather? Weather by Zapier can send a personalized message to Slack or email whenever it's going to rain. Then you can either commence the whining or bond over the fact that you don't have to commute in this weather.

When in doubt, resort to GIFs

We love the Giphy command on Slack. Type /giphy plus any search term, and you'll get a selection of GIFs that you can send to your team. But why put in the effort to find the right GIF when you can have a robot pick one for you?

There are all sorts of fun ways to make this happen, but some of our favorites are posting random "good morning" GIFs every day or sending a party GIF whenever someone new joins the team. Here are the pre-made Zaps for that:

Make sure you personalize these ones for your team. Are you more Parks and Rec or The Bachelor? More The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter? Decide what type of GIF you want to send and delight your team (our favorite: fluffy puppy).

Zapier can even watch for keywords in Slack and then post GIFs automatically whenever someone types them in Slack. (You can also choose the GIF rating so you don't end up with NSFW options slipping through.) Start with this Zap and customize it with your keyword:


Connecting with teammates is the best way to build the trust you need to work well together. And even though remote work means you're not all in the same room, building, or even ZIP code, it doesn't mean you can't find ways to have fun. Peppermint mochas taste just as good alone, anyway.

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