I've worked remotely for my entire development career and have had varying degrees of success getting to know my co-workers. Some teams have been very tight knit and get along great, some haven't been great. The teams that were tight knit always were more productive and was just a better work experience for everyone.
The things that i've seen most effective in the past have been
While working on ChatFox we've been trying to automate some of these for Remote Teams to help them build stronger connections. Would love to hear what else has worked for you!