6 Inspiring Virtual Team-Building Activities to Engage Your Remote Team
Thanks to the rapid growth of technology and the internet, our work culture has changed a lot over the past decade. Today, remote working sounds nothing new at all. Everyone can now work from anywhere hassle-free, aided by real-time collaboration tools.
Even when the COVID-19 pandemic strikes– crippling the world order, professionals can still work with each other and get their projects done with minimal difficulty.
However, despite the flexibility, being in a remote team isn’t all sunshine and rainbow. The real challenge for team members who aren’t co-located is keeping the team members connected on an emotional level that can bring them closer while simultaneously improving the way they work together in highly practical ways.
That’s where virtual team-building activities come in handy.
This post will give you some inspiring virtual team-building activities that can keep up your team spirit:
Virtual Team-Building Activities: Does It Really Matter?
Remote working means there’s no opportunity for you and your team to casually bump into each other at the water cooler and make small chat about work-unrelated things. Or getting coffee-break together when mental blocks start to hit. Those face-to-face, in-person interactions are how they form personal bonds and trust.
Therefore, remote teams that lack a strong bonding can leave employees feeling lonely and undervalued. That’s because when you work alone, without peer-pressure, even the smallest things can snowball in your head and affect your productivity.
In this matter, virtual team building isn’t only a sure-fire way to combat loneliness, but also an easy way to boost team productivity, strengthen communication, and trust.
6 Easy Team-Building Activities for Virtual Remote Teams
Now, we finally get into the nitty-gritty.
Team-building activities don’t have to be all complicated and involve too many materials that might cause some awkwardness and cause your team to cringe and roll their eyes. Even small games can bring your team together and strengthen your relationships with them.
Below are some fun, engaging team-building activities you can try with your virtual team:
#1. Virtual Launch and Coffee Breaks
Since you can’t take group coffee breaks or lunch breaks like those in office, you can still do both video conferencing.
It’ll give the team some time to relax, get more comfortable with each other, and catch up with each other’s lives.
Even if you can’t grab your favorite meal or snack at your coffee shop with your co-workers, it doesn’t mean you have to eat alone.
This virtual launch and launch breaks within a team is an excellent social practice, making the employees develop a sense of connection with each other. In other words, it’ll help employees prevent social isolation and loneliness from working remotely.
#2. Two Truths and a Lie
This is a classic and straightforward icebreaker that will help you learn more cool things about your co-workers. So, here’s how it works: everyone on the team needs to write or announce (if you’re using video conference platform) three facts about them (including one lie). And of course, it can be things that are not related.
Next, other co-workers will guess which person’s fact is the lie. Since this game uses great intuition and reasoning, the employees will get to know their co-workers’ personal lives. It can help build camaraderie and team cohesion.
Give it some time for thinking, discussing, and questioning to make it even more exciting and fun.
#3. Peek Into Each Other’s Workspace
This virtual team-building activity requires that you and team members virtually show their workspace to one another. It could be a photo or short video.
Remote working offers much flexibility that almost every corner in your home can be your workspace. Sharing their workplace (be it a living room desk, a kitchen table, or even a couch in your bedroom) at least weekly is an effective way to tempt employees to comment and send emojis.
It’s also a chance for the tidy teammates to do some humble bragging about their clean, magazine-worthy workspace so that other employees can get inspired by.
#4. Donut Slack Bot
Donut is a handy-dandy Slack bot that can keep you and your team sane during remote work stress. You can use the platform to strengthen your team relationships, culture, and trust.
All you need to do is add or install Donut into your team’s Slack channel. Next, Donut will randomly set employees up on virtual “coffee or donut dates” to get to know each other.
This bot can definitely help your team to get out of their comfort zone by developing positive social interactions within their colleagues that they wouldn’t even think of doing before.
#5. Storytelling Relay
Another simple, quick, super-fun team-building activity is a creative storytelling relay. This game is probably a classic one but never gets old.
The HR manager can give some random words or a sentence that will be common for everyone. Then, each member on the team will add the next line to continue the story.
The rule continues until it reaches the last person in the team’s line. The last person can conclude the story within one sentence.
This storytelling relay is a silly game that mostly ends up with hilarious, funny stories. It can also spark a team’s creativity as they convince each other to create a story together.
#6. Personal Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunt always sounds so much fun. Another good thing is that it can engage teams and strengthen the bonds.
All you need to do is to gather everyone and split them into smaller teams on a conference call. You can pick one of them as a leader or judge (usually HR manager).
Then, the leader should call some clues or descriptions about a person in a team (the youngest worker, the worker with most pets, the worker that furthest away from everyone else, etc.). It’s okay to call difficult clues to make it even more fun. Each team will have a chance to guess a person that fits the description.
This light-hearted game is a powerful way to practice teamwork and problem-solving skills within your virtual team and doing something fun at the same time.
Wrapping Up: Your Turn!
A solid, strong remote team isn’t built in a day-long offsite. But with all those activities and fun games mentioned above, it’ll help remote employees to build a relationship without being prompted. Everyone on the team will walk away with a deeper sense of belonging and have a solid grasp of the team’s value.
Those games can also make leaders and HR managers familiar with each employee’s talents and skills, leading to more effective distribution roles and responsibilities across the team.