10 Fun and Unique Virtual Team Building
Activities for Your Remote Staff
Remote workers, like all workers, need recreational activities. This need has given rise to virtual team-building activities that have grown in popularity. And the COVID-19 pandemic has served to accelerate the work-from-home trend. Businesses adopted work-from-home policies to keep their employees working from the safety of their homes. Indeed, it no longer poses a dire global threat as it once did; however, it has not been completely eradicated and still impacts how people work. For the foreseeable future, work-from-home cultures will continue to be viable work alternatives for businesses.
With many companies now managing both an in-person and work-from-home workforce, it only makes sense that business owners learn to keep the team spirit burning, especially for remote workers, through virtual team-building activities. Implementing such virtual team-building activities into the daily routine of the company’s workforce has two positive effects.
It helps maintain high employee morale for a positive remote working experience.
It boosts team bonding in teams requiring close collaboration, like distributed software development teams.
Well, what are some fun virtual team-building activities that can help boost the collaboration of a business workforce to achieve optimal performance?
Virtual Office Games
Duration: 60 minutes or less.
Warm-up games are among the best introductions to team-building activities for all employees. By organizing such games online for the distributed team over a group chat, all can participate from any location, thus overcoming the limitation imposed due to the physical absence of employees.
For best results, one competition should be a mixture of different games. The division of employees should be into two teams relative to the size of the workforce. Each group should be a mix of employees from multiple departments, with at least four members per team. After team creation, the following is a listing of the warm-up games or icebreakers to be played in multiple modes by the team. What are “icebreaker” questions?
Icebreaker questions help group members become acquainted with one another. There is an underappreciation of the effectiveness of icebreaker questions. It can distinguish between a dull, monotonous meeting and a connecting, revealing, and engaging meeting.
A carefully crafted icebreaker question can turn the meeting around and promote genuine team bonding to enable communication between parties, such as in conferences or team activities, or by facilitating introductions during new employee onboarding or in any group setting. The secret to successfully using an icebreaker is identifying what the ice represents in the first place. Here are some scenarios to help determine what the ice means:
When bringing people together, the ice represents their not having met before.
When getting together, people of different backgrounds, in this instance, the ice, represent different perceptions.
When it involves bringing together people at different levels of the organization, the ice will describe their status differences.
During team activities, what common icebreaker questions can participants ask? They are questions like:
Can you name one colleague with the best chance of surviving a desert island?
Which historical figure will you use as a role model if given the opportunity?What is your first task if allowed to be a substitute boss for a day?
Now that what icebreaker questions are and how to use them effectively is known, what’s next? At this point, it’s necessary to determine a method for using the game’s complexity as the basis for winning points. To achieve the aim of this entire exercise, ensure that team members actively participate in the game and earn points. It helps build healthy, competitive, and strong relationships among team members.
Team Health Challenges
Aim: To promote a healthy lifestyle among team members
Duration: 30 minutes or less.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle among employees has become a standard across the corporate world. Organizations that have a healthy workforce are more likely to thrive. This awareness is spurring the implementation of corporate wellness programs in many workplaces, but with remote work team members, a different approach is necessary. A better strategy would be to link the virtual team-building exercise with health challenges. It will require assigning various health challenges to the teams. Assign fitness tasks to employees that should include things like:
Participating in meditation sessions via video chat to increase mental health
Finishing a certain number of push-ups, lunges, and squats
Running a certain number of kilometers each week
Also, the corporate wellness platform offers yet another effective way to host virtual employee health challenges.
Corporate wellness platforms help businesses organize a flexible employee health competition by tracking employees’ progress in the health campaign.
Gathering essential insights about employees’ health status
Encouraging healthy competition within the workforce.
Motivating top performers by rewarding them for inspiring others.
The benefits of team health challenges are a healthy workforce and the flexibility to turn workplace health initiatives into fun games that entertain.
Virtual Coffee Breaks
Aim: Fixing the communication breach between remote employees
Duration: 30 minutes or less.
A coffee break offers an excellent opportunity for colleagues to engage in exciting conversations. During the coffee break, employees can unwind and feel less stressed, leading to a more significant peak in productivity.
For a remote team, however, something as simple as a coffee break is simply out of the question. Given the benefits of a coffee break, it will be appropriate to include a virtual coffee break as part of the remote team’s building activities. A coffee break event can occur as an informal meeting over a conference call where employees can engage in random, formal discussions or chats with colleagues. And adding other fun activities will further pump it up.
Share The Knowledge
Aim: Reinvigorate the thought processes of employees.
Duration: 30 minutes or less
Sharing knowledge is one of the best virtual team activities that employees should participate in regularly, regardless of their location status, whether remote or in-person.
Furthermore, requiring employees to participate in knowledge-sharing activities via videoconferencing, which overcomes location constraints, also encourages participants to willingly and freely share their knowledge with colleagues on various relevant subject matters.
For best results, team members should submit what they intend to share with their colleagues ahead of the activity. Then, the team will choose a random selection from those submissions to serve as the topics for discussion during the team activity. Of course, the particular team members must prepare to share their presentation with the team during the scheduled team activity the next day.
Aim: Building confidence and trust among employees
Duration: 20 minutes or less per team
Fact-finding exercises are educational as employees can learn new and exciting facts about a subject, like a profession, region, or language.
The team may choose a subject of interest and discover unknown, insignificant facts about it. Asking team members to prepare short presentations and present them to their colleagues is a foolproof way to heighten anticipation and collaboration within the team.
It brings every team member together for a common goal, making this virtual team-building activity ideal.
Aim: Stimulate the spirit of learning within employees
Duration: 30 minutes or less
The purpose of tests is to reinforce what has been learned by evaluating how much the subject knows. Ideally, a quiz is an effective way of doing just that. It challenges the team to give their best as team members so that their team can secure any given reward.
Quiz questions can cover related topics, such as geography, technology, business, and current events, based on relevance and preference. By adding a helpline option, the quiz allows a group to seek help from another group up to a maximum number of times. And when the resulting answer is correct, the point is divided among the group. The idea is to boost the interest of members of the groups, particularly remote employees, making the whole game much more fun.
Lunch Meetings Online
Aim: Improve employee relationship
Duration: 60 minutes or less
To nurture healthy workplace relationships, getting employees together with colleagues is vital. For remote workers working from different destinations, socializing in this physical manner is impossible. Thus, they must catch up on one of the best mixing methods.
A workaround for this situation is to organize meetings online through video conferencing. These meetings positively impact employees when they meet, whether over lunch to discuss important matters or issues or to have fun, leaving them feeling good. Remote team members feel connected to others, which is an obvious benefit of holding these meetings frequently.
Aim: To inspire creative thinking and the implementation of ideas
Duration: 45 minutes or less
A team-building program with proper planning should include many brainstorming sessions during activities.
Spending lots of time in front of their computers, often performing the same monotonous task, has become a common trend for most employees. This pattern of work, left unchecked, can have a detrimental effect on the problem-solving ability of an employee. To break this pattern and sharpen their minds, employees should have challenges that include solving problems, puzzles, and codes as a form of activity.
Employees do not necessarily need to solve spectacular or unusual challenges; simple, single challenges with a time limit are sufficient. And as an incentive, the team that comes up with a solution is rewarded.
Generate a Story
Aim: Nurturing a culture of teamwork
Duration: 60 minutes or less
Storytelling is an integral part of human nature that entertains and fascinates friends, even in the modern workplace.
Creating a story is undoubtedly both an engaging and fun team-building activity. And it’s so simple to make an interesting, entertaining story; all it requires is providing the team with random, common words and sentences and having the team members build stories around them. Making up stories based on these selected sentences or common words will result in moments of laughter and lots of entertainment for the team.
Aim: To create an ideal warm-up activity when onboarding new remote team members.
Duration: 15 minutes or less.
Every employee is distinct and has a unique experience to bring to the team. The team should highlight this uniqueness for everyone as they work together to build a healthy relationship.
Organizing an online event or activity for the team is an excellent way to protect the individual employees’ uniqueness for all to observe. The effect on employees is a heightened sense of self-confidence, which encourages others to open up to the team. It builds employee trust, positively impacting the company and taking its culture to new heights.
The disconnect that remote working induces can become a severe problem, especially if the remote employee is not given proper attention by their colleagues or management. Keeping remote workers connected entails organizations organizing online team-building activities very frequently.
Adopting the fun and practical building activities covered will help companies and their employees bridge the gap between in-person and remote employees and increase collaboration.
The urgent need to strike a balance between sustainable growth and economic headwinds has meant businesses and companies must optimize the productivity of an existing workforce by implementing the best strategy possible. And creating a high-morale work environment through creative, collaborative team-building yet fun activities has been key to optimal productivity for many businesses.