Challenges of a Remote Team
Are you looking for virtual games to play with coworkers for your next team social? Virtual team building activities are quickly becoming a leading method for reducing employee burnout and improving employee retention. Maintaining employee happiness is a key driver of employee engagement and productivity, and can start with something as simple as virtual team building.
While every workforce has unique characteristics and challenges, the remote one is no different – presenting new challenges for leadership to navigate daily. For today’s management, finding ways to keep employees connected and tuned in to company culture is harder than ever. Disconnected employees may find it difficult to see the big picture and therefore have a tough time putting meaning behind their work.
With no-one in the office, the “water-cooler” discussions are no longer. This simple social interaction can go a long way toward building lasting relationships. The casual nature of these conversations allows for more intimacy and can help foster positive feelings about one another.
Zoom fatigue is another concern for the remote workforce. Being in meetings in front of your computer screen affects us in a variety of ways. No one wants to stare at themselves on-screen for hours. Plus, not being able to move around as much, not being able to see other non-verbal cues from your co-workers, and excessive close-up eye contact that is normally reserved for intimacy is taxing. These factors, combined with the much higher cognitive load involved in video chats, can cause employee burnout and stress.
So how do you help your teams continue to collaborate and build healthy relationships?
Start a social committee
To get started, establish a social committee to plan regular social events. Establishing a dedicated group of people to plan events for your team can help ensure social activities happen on a regular basis. For starters, try to plan for at least one fun event per month to show your appreciation for your employees. This also gives them a respite from their regular responsibilities.
Virtual Team building activities
Virtual Trivia or Bingo
Who said having fun has to break the bank? There are a variety of free Trivia and Bingo services online. Create 15-20 questions on a topic and have everyone play. It can be anything from Holiday Trivia to music trivia, to trivia about your co-workers so you can get to know each other better. Bingo can be an extremely lively game, and the Bingo caller can have just as much fun as the players.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Curate a list of items based on a theme (Easter anyone?) and then have all participants turn off their camera. Call out the first or next item on the list, and everyone has 30 seconds to find it in their house or wherever they are working from. The first person to return and turn on their camera wins that round. You can award points for 2nd and 3rd finders if you’d like. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game.
Online Escape Room or Murder Mystery
These take a bit longer but are really great for team-building. Having employees solve a puzzle or sleuth out a crime can bring team collaboration to another level. It can also showcase hidden talents and leadership skills you might not have recognized in a particular employee before.
You can now hire virtual hosts for a myriad of different online experiences. From learning to play an instrument, to games, to having a Magician come and teach the team some new magic tricks, these sessions are sure to provide some much needed reprieve.
Another fantastic team-building activity is to hire a chef to teach the team how to cook a specific dish. You can either have everyone pre-buy their own ingredients, or send them to each employee prior to the event. Then have everyone join virtually and all cook the meal together. Bonus: no-one will know how it actually tastes, so everyone can be a gourmet chef!
Virtual Family Feud
This game is a great way to get some team spirit going! Split your employees into teams of 4 and let them try to figure out the answers. There are several different on-line versions with slightly different rules, but they all generally follow the game. If your company is large enough, you can poll your own employees for the answers and have fun musing over the responses together.
This is another game where you can customize the answers to incorporate fun facts about employees. You can either have employees submit random trivia about themselves, or dig through bios and produce your own answers. Of course, if you prefer general trivia, you can also access a host of paid or free options.
Drawing skills are not always important when playing this high-paced game. Just because a person knows how to do excellent shading doesn’t mean they will be able to portray a noun or verb quickly and effectively. This exciting game gets competitive juices flowing while still allowing for a lot of laughter and fun.
Building a cohesive team is an ongoing process, and employers should constantly be striving to create lasting bonds among co-workers and leaders alike. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your company culture. Try different activities to see what your team connects with and then continue to curate events that align with those connections. Remote workers who are missing the in-person dynamic will benefit from the group camaraderie, which in turn will help foster happier, healthier and more productive employees.