Why do we need remote team-building activities?
During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been almost impossible for offices to put together team-building activities. Many employees have been working from home, feeling isolated and disconnected. In some cases, certain team members may never have even met. We have been working remotely for so long that new hires may not know the rest of the team.
Most places of work require us to form professional relationships with our colleagues. Team members often will bounce ideas off one another. It is important for a team to be able to communicate. Often, we need this in order to resolve challenges or share ideas.
Not only do we need to communicate for professional relationships, but we need to form personal connections too. In the office, we might chat around the water cooler for a few minutes. These brief interactions can be a good break from work and can reduce stress for employees.
Some people working from home may live alone and as such, have found it very difficult to have any conversations during this time. Teams have needed to connect and have non-work conversations.
So, employers have needed to get creative in order to help boost morale, allowing teams to get to know each other. Many workplaces now host virtual team meetings or team-building activities, to promote communication.
Virtual team building activity ideas
Video conferencing has become a necessity for work. It allows us to hold remote team meetings during the covid pandemic.
However, these virtual meeting spaces are not just for work. Team members can also use them to socialize and have fun together. There are a number of different ways to hold remote team-building activities through the virtual world.
Teams can meet online together to have fun, play ice breaker games, or even drink cocktails together!
It is a good idea to plan some kind of structure for these meetings as things can quite quickly get confusing! It is also sensible to limit the number of people involved. There will always be a connection issue somewhere to resolve, or more than one person talking at a time.
With remote work, it can be very easy to find yourself sitting still all day and neglecting physical exercise. Particularly as all the gyms are closed at this time.
Motivate your colleagues and agree to do some virtual exercise together. There are thousands of videos on youtube that you could all do together. Or, you could even lead an online yoga session with some of the team.
This could be a great way for the team to bond, while also improving your physical and mental health. It can be on your lunch break from the virtual office or a fun way to start the day by limbering up. This will boost morale and increase productivity.
You could even set a weekly challenge for your colleagues. Ask everyone to track their steps each day and give a prize to the person with the most steps at the end of the week.
Another fun team-building activity could be to create interest groups. This could be a baking group that shares recipes and sends pictures of their creations.
Or, you could have a book club or film club. People could take it in turns to suggest a book to read or film to watch. Then at the end of the week, the group meets online to discuss what they thought of it.
If there are any avid gamers in your team, they could meet online to all play the same game together.
These are all great ways to stay connected and explore interests and hobbies together.
With the dawn of the virtual era, there are so many free games or quizzes that teams can play together online.
You can arrange a weekly ‘pub’ quiz on Zoom. This can create a bit of healthy competition while giving you all something to do at night after work.
Check out the various activities available and suggest a game night for everyone to stay connected.
Teams can meet online to take a class together or to learn something new. You might even want to invite a specialist to join these meetings each week who can lead these classes.
Perhaps each person in the team can make a suggestion for each week. So, colleagues can learn about something that each person is passionate about. This is a great way for a team to bond.
Remember Cribs on MTV? Well, now we have the Covid pandemic version! Take it in turns to give virtual house tours and do a bit of show and tell.
Maybe you have a really special piece of art you want to show your colleagues. Or there is a really funny picture of you hanging up that will make everyone laugh.
This can also be a good way to share ideas on how to work from home in comfort. Everyone can show each other their personal home office and how they have created a nice workspace.
This is also a great opportunity to look at each other’s pets!
Virtual escape rooms
Escape rooms were becoming very popular before the Covid pandemic struck. But don’t worry, you can still complete one even now! There are plenty of virtual escape rooms for you and your team to tackle!
Everyone works together to solve puzzles and clues to escape a locked room. This is a great remote team-building activity, as it requires the team to communicate and collaborate to complete challenges.
You can also split the team into smaller groups so it becomes a competition!
This classic board game can even be played virtually! Everyone takes a turn drawing their word or phrase for the others to guess.
You can draw with pen and paper so people can see it on the camera. Or, to make things even funnier, you could draw it in Paint. This of course makes it much more difficult and will result in some very bizarre creations!
Another fun alternative is to send everyone a box of Legos. Then they have to build their word with the Lego for everyone to watch and guess.
Bob Ross painting
Pick a landscape painting, or a very famous piece of art and share it online. Ask everyone to draw this on Paint, using their mouse or trackpad. Set a time limit and then get everyone to share their masterpieces.
There will definitely be some interesting artwork appearing! Get everyone to vote on who is best and award a prize.
Your team might have a group chat over WhatsApp or email already. This is likely incredibly boring and only about work projects or deadlines.
However, you can create a new one that is strictly for non-work-related topics. People can send funny memes, jokes, cute animal videos, and even photos of their family and pets getting creative at home.
You could start a weekly caption competition. One person sends in a photo of a funny situation and everyone comes up with a funny caption for it. The person with the best caption wins a prize. This is a great way to promote team building and boost staff morale.
Dress up party
You can even try hosting a virtual fancy dress party!
Pick a different theme each week, such as beach, winter snowstorm, or the ’20s. Everyone joins the online meeting dressed up and votes for who they think has the best costume.
Now, this isn’t strictly a virtual activity, but it can still be great for team building. Small groups are allowed to meet outside while remaining socially distanced.
So, arrange a small gathering in a nearby park. Ask everyone to bring their own food and drink so nothing needs to be passed around hands. You can all have a real-life catch-up while enjoying a picnic and some fresh air.
It might be a good idea to set some ground rules ahead of time to ensure you all follow safety precautions. Plus, set a limit to the number of people who can attend.
Try it out!
Suggest some of these activities and games to your team members and see who is up for some fun! Your colleagues will thank you for the break from the job and everyone will appreciate the extra company. Even if it is just virtual!