Meeting virtually isn’t something new to the working world, but the pandemic has dramatically influenced the way we work and collaborate with our remote team. Building your team morale and maintaining the team spirit despite the physical distance and barrier is essential to stay connected to one another — both on a personal and professional level.
All sorts of virtual team building activities are available to help maintain effective employee engagement.
Here are some examples of virtual team building games your team can utilize through your virtual conference platform.
- Virtual Show & Tell
Show & Tell is one of those simple virtual team building ideas that promote public speaking skills and storytelling. Having each of your team members share something personal about their lives is also an excellent way to build meaningful connections.
To do Virtual Show & Tell, you can ask your coworkers to prepare a quick story in advance or do a more spontaneous "grab something within arm's reach approach." We recommend the latter option, as it encourages quick and creative thinking.
- Who Da Baby?
Who Da Baby will let your employees bond on a more personal level. Ask each of your participants to send you their baby photos from when they were around two or three years old. Post the images in a shared Google Doc or during a video call. Then let each player make a list guessing who the baby in the photo might be.
The one who guesses the most correct answers wins. But you don’t have to keep track of points for this game, because the fun is more in learning about each other!
- Two Truths and One Lie (Classic)
Two Truths and One Lie is a classic team building game that you can adapt for remote teams.
For the remote work version, give each participant two minutes to prepare two truths and one lie. Have each participant share their three statements. The rest of the players need to guess which one is the lie.
- I love listening to K-pop music.
- I learned how to cook during quarantine.
- I once hacked into my high school computer.
There are other virtual team building activities which do not require games and planning. Here are some examples:
- Virtual Celebrations
Celebrate good news and birthdays as a team. It doesn’t matter that you are celebrating over video. It’s always the thought that counts. Your team members, no matter where they are based, will feel that they are a valued member of the team.
Bonus points if you can find a way to get a birthday cake delivered to your team member’s house!
- Start a Book Club
A virtual book club is a fun way to get employees together to share their reading suggestions and talk about the books that they have been reading — whether fiction or nonfiction. Give employees the freedom to pick and choose books that they are genuinely interested in. This way, employees can share more about their interests outside of work and explain the reasoning behind their book choice.
You can also suggest and share reading material and then reconvene as a team at a later date so that everyone can discuss what they made of it. Make sure you are picking a book that is interesting, fun and thought-provoking. Otherwise, your employees might think of it as another work task or homework instead of a virtual team building activity.
- Virtual Team Lunches
Because all of us are working remotely, some of your employees may have been missing the team lunches you usually have in your office. To give some semblance of normalcy, you can organize a virtual team lunch.
To get started, decide how often you want your team to get together and what time works best for your group. If your employees need to stagger their lunches, try to rotate the times you meet so that everyone has an opportunity to participate. Set up a chat room in a video conferencing platform and keep it very casual. It is a simple yet personal way to connect.
- Organize a Virtual Movie Night
Most movie theaters are closed to help slow down the spread of COVID-19, but this should not stop you from organizing a virtual movie night with your employees. There are various apps available online that offer a synched viewing experience perfect for a movie night. But what is important is to choose a movie that will interest most if not all of your employees.
To do this, you can even have a quick poll a week before the scheduled movie night to select the perfect movie. This activity will help your employees relax and chill while enjoying the virtual company of their work colleagues.
Team building activities, whether in-person or through virtual platforms, are instrumental in boosting employee engagement. Whatever type of team building activity you choose, make sure that you know what you want to achieve through it. Choose activities that will be beneficial to your team and will help increase employee engagement.
About the Author
Mia Turlington is digital content manager at The Long Reach.