Fostering Connection & Community on your Team

Good gatherings can create a sense of community.”
~ Priya Parker 

As we all know, remote and hybrid work comes with the risk of disconnection from our co-workers and our community at Berkeley Lab. 

Research shows that employees who feel a sense of connection and belonging are more innovative, productive and better at their jobs. 

But how do we create that sense of belonging and connection on our teams whether we’re in person, entirely remote or some combination of the two? 

The resources below offer ideas, suggestions and tools for fostering friendships, human connection, a shared purpose and greater employee wellness that is essential to how we work together in this new normal. 


The Art of Gathering

“At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play….Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works, what doesn't, and why."

Free guides: 

Play on Purpose

Today there is an ever increasing demand for engaging experiences that are transformative, actionable and interactive and Play On Purpose  is the culmination of 20 years of researching, learning, and developing playful methods for engaging groups. The website includes an extensive library of virtual, hybrid, and in-person activities (ranging from 10 minutes to 30 minutes) that foster connection and team-building by leveraging key psychological principles that drive social belonging (e.g., incremental disclosure, trust generation, etc.) as well as a free video series.

Virtual Connection Labs

Brought to you from the creators of Play on Purpose, Virtual Connection Labs  model and teach how to facilitate connection exercises on your teams. The workshops are 75- min and cost between $15-25. The exercises you’ll learn in Virtual Connection Labs can be applied in a wide array of events, workshops and programs. They are adaptable to various themes, group sizes and outcomes.

Berkeley Lab's Learning & Organizational Development Department
Team Building & Creating Strong Cultures

Team-development is all about building high-performing teams and enabling employees to put their self-development lessons into practice. Use these resources, tools, and recommendations to cultivate strong leadership abilities, interpersonal dynamics, and culture on your teams. This section offers team-based learning opportunities, ideal for supervisors and divisional management to implement with their teams.

We specifically recommend: Dare to Lead Read-along Workbook from Brene Brown, which includes many team exercises to build trust, strengthen relationships, 

Virtual Platforms Beyond Zoom

Tired of Zoom? Check out this list of platforms that offer different ways to gather virtually. Most offer free options that work with smaller groups and other pricing options are listed.