Team building activities are vital to the success of any business. It not only allows employees to interact and build relationships in an informal environment, but it also provides the opportunity for employees to take on leadership roles and showcase their capabilities. The personal bonds and trust formed during team building activities are irreplaceable as it brings long term value for the operation of a company.
However, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all our plans for the year have been crippled. Most companies have adopted a work from home policy and over time, this could diminish team spirit and motivation. Hence why managers are encouraged to step in and implement appropriate measures to keep up the drive in every employee and help them work together more effectively.
Virtual team building activities could be as effective as conventional face-to-face ones – not to mention the fun involved! Read through the list below to get an idea on how to keep your remote teams connected and lift their morale.
Virtual Coffee Break
Coffee breaks are an easy way to improve professional relationships between your employees. These breaks allow your employees to take a 20 minutes time off to de-stress and come back with great focus. Do you remember the 4.00pm gathering at the office pantry for a hot cup of coffee and snacks?
Since most companies are now able to work seamlessly without having the need to be physically present at the office, you can opt to schedule a daily or weekly 20 minutes video call via Google Hangouts or Zoom - remember to send out calendar invites to block out the team member’s time for the day. These breaks can be used to converse on non-work-related topics and improve team communication. In a global company, this practice could still be implemented all around the world – either breakfast or teatime.
Pro Tip: Consider adding in virtual games or any fun engaging elements with employees during this break - introduce your pets on camera, swap recipes of your meal, a round of riddles etc.
Virtual treasure hunt has replaced the original treasure hunt. Setting up an online treasure hunt is simple and is one of the best and most engaging virtual team building activities. Here is a quick and easy step-by-step guide to get you started.
- Scout 20 locations using Google Maps or Waze (satellite view) and write down its coordinates. In every location, choose a hidden spot.
- Create a minimum of 4 teams with 3-5 people in each team.
- Share the chosen coordinates to the teams along with clues to each hidden spot.
- Using a pen and a piece of paper, teams are to find out all the hidden spots in the coordinates.
- The highest number of hidden spots found would be crowned the winning team!
Team members could choose to do this activity using the Microsoft Teams – Breakout Room function, Skype or even Zoom. This team building activity is great for improving team communication as well as spirit of collaboration and working together. Finding those hidden spots could be tough - have fun with your team!
Team Health Challenge
Remote working has significantly reduced our movement in a day. Fitness challenges can help your team achieve their fitness goals and build camaraderie along the way. Moreover, good health of employees could positively affect the productivity and long-term success of an organization.
To begin with, the walking challenge has been one of the most well-known challenges when it comes to encouraging physical activities while introducing some healthy competitiveness to keep employees engaged. How to start? Simply ask your team to install a fitness tracking app on their phone and set weekly challenges. For example, who can record the most steps in a week? Create a leaderboard to track their performances and the employee who performs the best wins a prize!
Next, a push-up challenge! Kickstart a 15-day pushup challenge with the team at work. It’s great for health and the best part, it has nothing to do with work. Create a dedicated chat group for this using your office communications tools – Teams, Slack or Skype. Ask each team member to post daily videos of them completing their push-ups. The member who never broke the winning streak takes it home! Fun challenges like these are great icebreakers which keeps the team close via regular communication.
In a nutshell, the virtual team building activities listed above provides the perfect alternative to fill the gap and bring remote employees closer together. The biggest issue associated with remote working is that employees feel disconnected if there is a lack of attention or communication with their peers. Hence to keep this in check, organizing online team building activities from time to time is very important. You can opt for organizing any one activity or combine a few of them to create a fun and engaging virtual team building program.
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