Keeping your employees/teams motivated and always united at the workplace is essential. One way of ensuring this is by organizing team-building activities. These activities should give employees a break from work and enable them to participate in non-work related activities together.
These activities should continue even if the team switches to working from home. Employee engagement managers should ensure that these activities carry on even when people are working from home.
Remote team-building activities connect employees who work remotely and enable them to replicate whatever engagement activities they had at the office. Such activities are possible through the proper leveraging of technology. Some of the most common platforms teams use for team-building activities are:
- Google Meet
- Slack Video Calls
As a business owner or manager, you must find creative team bonding activities and, most importantly, create a timetable to which you will stick. Employees should regularly participate in these activities to keep them lively and united.
Bridging the Distance: Understanding Remote Team Building Activities
“Remote team building activities” refers to actions and procedures intended to foster and sustain team cohesiveness and collaboration among remote workers in different time zones, regions, or work schedules.
Otherwise known as virtual team bonding, it can only work if technology is central to the process. It, therefore, goes without saying that the employees need access to tech gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, or computers and have a fast and reliable internet connection, working webcams, and clear audio.
The organizer(s) must set a date and time for the entire team to join the session. It is also advisable to have a well-structured program lineup to avoid wasting time and having a well-organized session.
Powering Virtual Teams: The Significance of Remote Team Building
Since more teams operate remotely, either full- or part-time, in today’s workplace, remote team development is becoming increasingly crucial. Through encouraging trust, communication, and mutual support, remote team building aims to make team members feel engaged and connected despite their physical separation.
Furthermore, managers can use this brilliant opportunity to create, cultivate and foster company culture among its employees through specific activities that are a constant during these sessions.
Employees always want to challenge themselves to determine their strengths and weaknesses to grow and develop. Team building activities allow them to challenge themselves and other colleagues, push their limits, and strive to achieve higher standards.
One significant advantage of working from the office is the closeness employees feel. Stuff gets done easily and quickly since everyone is in one place. Working from home doesn’t have that advantage, and at times it’s easy for employees to hit brick walls when trying to get things done.
Team building activities foster togetherness and make people feel free to talk to each other more often. This critical aspect will significantly increase team spirit and cooperation at work and yield positive results.
Best Online Team Building Activities for Your Team
There are a ton of different team-building exercises that you can start doing today with your work-from-home teams to help you bond with each other. Of course, you can always try out programs that other teams or workplaces have tried before successfully, but also you can be creative and come up with your ideas.
Find inspiration in the list below if you consider implementing team building in your workplace growth plan.
1. Go Virtual: Elevate Your Company Events!
Company events are the best place to kick off virtual get-togethers for your team. Company events usually have high attendance; most importantly, even the top managers participate. Therefore, it is essential that the team joins these sessions and receives first-hand information about the company and knows more about the company from the senior managers.
Please ensure everyone joins in time and make it as lively and engaging as possible. Have “Question & Answer” segments, reduce speeches, and ensure excellent video quality. Seize this opportunity to announce the team bonding activities they should expect for the year.
2. Organize Online Classes and Workshops
Employees always have dreams and aspirations to grow in their careers, especially regarding their skills. As a manager, you can initiate online workshops for your teams to learn specific skills online. The employees will probably use these skills while in their current roles to improve the quality and quantity of their output.
Here is a catch: the workshops must be lively and engaging, and most importantly, the skills should be attractive to the participants. Do this, and you will see a marked improvement in employee engagement and overall happiness even while working far away from each other.
3. Set up Online Workout Sessions
One underestimated advantage of going to and working from the office is the physical movement which is good for the body. On the other hand, working from home is stress-free regarding limited physical movement. Therefore, it is easy to forego physical movement and add lots of weight while working from home.
Regular physical exercises are important and healthy for the body. Working out lets participants sweat, break down calories, increase body flexibility, release muscle tension, and stay active. In addition, doing these exercises together online encourages togetherness and team spirit among remote teams.
4. Share Snapshots Daily
Encourage your employees to share snapshots of their daily activities or exciting things in their lives regularly. Whether it’s a new dish they are trying out, a new pet they got, or even a heartwarming message/email they just received from their loved ones on a particular date, make sure participants share and talk about them.
Create a separate space or channel that is non-work related; that way, there is no confusion. The main idea here is to start meaningful conversations around anything and ensure the conversations continue.
Encourage your team members to share at least once or twice each month, not daily. Also, make them feel comfortable and not force them to share. Finally, the activity should be open, fun, and, most importantly, voluntary.
5. Launch “Show-and-Learn” Sessions
It is essential always to create a safe space and the right conditions for your employees to express themselves and showcase their abilities. It would also be much better if you enabled them to teach each other skills they are good at. These are skills that they’ve acquired away from their daily job, and these are activities that they engage in during their free time for leisure or in their side hustles.
Use this to bring your employees together and enable them to acquire new skills that they can apply in their roles or outside their roles as long as it brings them happiness and a sense of self-development.
6. Recognize and Thrive: Fostering a Culture of Appreciation!
Recognizing and rewarding your employees regularly for a job well done or going over and beyond is an excellent way to foster a culture of recognition. Recognition motivates employees and increases their self-esteem and can also lead to improved quality of work. In addition, virtual meetings where employees are recognized for their accomplishments and awarded are a superb way to keep the team together and enable employees to shine and be appreciated by the rest of the team.
Over time, employees are constantly striving to become more effective and efficient in their work, seeking recognition and rewards that can enhance team morale and foster a spirit of healthy competition.
You can also give special shout-outs in your official communication channels, a form of recognizing and celebrating employees.
7. Beyond the Office: Quick Tour of Remote Working Stations!
Employees working from home are always free to set up their home offices whichever way they desire. Therefore, each employee will probably have a different workstation than the other one. Also, each employee will try as much as possible to make their workstations comfortable and fun to work from.
You can ask your team to share videos and photos of their workstations voluntarily for other participants to learn something they can incorporate at their places. Then, if some members are comfortable with it, members can give full house tours. The idea is to make work from home lively and keep the team tightly knit together.
8. Revitalize Your Workday: Create a Virtual Break Room!
During an 8-hour workday with regular small breaks, employees may get bored and look for distractions during shifts. However, if they do it separately, there will be no order. Some will go for their phones, some for the TV remote, and some will start browsing, and so on.
Why not create a virtual break room for your team? Where your team can talk about non-work stuff, and somewhere, they are free to text anything and talk about anything to pass the time and distract themselves a little bit.
Consider creating a virtual room to offer your employees a way to chat freely and bond with each other.
9. Start TikTok Challenges
TikTok is still a new social media platform that became famous just a few years ago. However, during that time, it has distinguished itself from the rest of the platforms and become the go-to place for challenges. A challenge is anything people do in front of the camera; the point is to do it better than the rest.
Some of the challenges that are common on the platform include:
- Trying new outfits
- Juggling the ball
You can implore your team to choose various challenges regularly that members will participate in, and whoever does the challenge best gets a reward. The goal is to enable your team to engage in fun activities together.
10. Say Goodbye to the Workweek Blues: Bring Friday to Your Team!
Employees usually look forward to the weekend all week long. Weekends, for many, are a break from work and a chance to engage in other things like spending time with the family, engaging in personal hobbies, and even resting indoors.
Get your employees together on a virtual call on Friday immediately after work to welcome the weekend together. Let members share what they look forward to doing over the weekend and let others get ideas on how they can spend theirs too.
The main objective here is to foster togetherness. Close the week together just as you look forward to starting a new week together.
11. Books, Buddies, and Beyond: Virtual Book Club For Your Team!
Reading books is therapeutic; people improve their self-awareness and creativity, and most importantly, they become more knowledgeable. People, however, have varying tastes in the types of books they like to read.
Nonetheless, you can continually cultivate a reading culture among your employees by initiating book clubs within your team(s). It would be best if you hosted a book reading session regularly where members could discuss specific topics/issues together.
Such an opportunity enables your employees also to widen their scope of imagination and thinking capacity. Moreover, doing it on a virtual call improves team togetherness and enables employees to freely express their thoughts and opinions without being rejected or ridiculed.
12. Take Personality Tests, Then Talk About the Results
There are a variety of online platforms that offer free personality tests. Personality tests help people identify the kind of people they are at work and home. Through these tests, people can also identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Consider creating virtual team sessions around these tests, whereby members can take tests individually, share the results and offer each other assessments. These assessments should help employees learn how to grow and improve their colleagues.
Host these virtual sessions after months to give people time to incorporate feedback to see meaningful results in their personality.
13. Gaming Party Online: Join the Fun With Employees!
It may surprise you that nowadays, gaming isn’t just for kids. Adults also play games too, whether on their phones, personal computers, or gaming consoles (Playstation and Xbox). There are a variety of games that suit different people and offer you a variety to choose from.
Make these gaming events fun and engaging by encouraging as many participants to join and participate either alone or in teams. Most importantly, make these games competitive and have a reward for the high achievers.
These online games will foster togetherness and team spirit and enable employees to shine in fields other than work.
14. Celebrate Important Days Together
Try and create a virtual call, even for a few minutes, to sing one of the team members a happy birthday song and wishes on their birthday. Make each member of your team feel part of the team by recognizing them on their special days.
Other vital days you should consider creating virtual sessions for include:
- Gender reveals
- Baby showers
- Safe baby deliveries
- Work Milestones (anniversaries or projects completed)
The main idea here is to give each member a unique opportunity to be recognized and be the center of attraction, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes.
15. Watch a Movie or Show Online Together
Watching a movie together is a brilliant way to always have something in common to talk about during the week. It also lets people know other people’s movie preferences and try out new movies.
The best way to do this is to watch a common movie simultaneously and on the same platform.
Consider binge-watching a movie together and ensure members choose one movie, something new, or a movie that most people haven’t watched at all.
After watching the movie, have a review session where people air their thoughts and opinions about the characters, topics, and acting. Create meaningful conversations out of these movies.
16. Virtual Cooking Challenges
Hosting an online cooking competition is a remarkable way of enabling your employees to showcase their cooking skills, techniques, and tricks. To make it more interesting, choose just one dish that is to be prepared by the participants, decide on the exact ingredients, and set the time.
Doing this will offer your employees a platform to showcase their kitchen skills and enable others to learn from their peers. As the competition continues, encourage people to talk and comment about what is happening. Make it fun and engaging, and most importantly, the participation should be voluntary and also, please don’t script the activity.
17. Quick Fingers: Typing Speed Competition
Typing speed challenges are some of the most straightforward and accessible ways to get your teams online, together, and doing something engaging and fun. Typing speed is essential to remote teams since it helps them get work done faster and more efficiently.
To start, go to typingtest.com and set the length of time for the test and the length of text your teams should type. Then, give your team tips like “keep your fingers close to the keys while typing” and “sit at a right angle on the chair to avoid exhausting your back.”
Make sure all the participants are doing the exact text to avoid biases.
Let people send in their results via the team communication channels so you can analyze and see the best performers.
18. Get Crafty: Initiate a DIY Building Challenge
Do-It-Yourself projects are always fun and engaging if it’s your first time since you learn while doing them. Building something yourself also unleashes your artistic potential while enabling you to learn with each project you do.
It will be wise to encourage your teams to participate in a DIY challenge where they will learn while building by themselves.
Decide on a single project that all participants should engage in, choose the materials they will use, and finally, have a set deadline for building the project.
Let your teams vote on the best piece and reward the top performers.
Start Remote Team Building Today
As a people manager or employer, you must motivate your remote teams to make them constantly feel together.
When working on big projects requiring rapid collaboration, togetherness is integral to team unity. As much as team building might seem like games, it has a long-term, positive effect on your team’s performance.
Therefore, ensure all your employees participate in these activities since they are part of your workforce. Also, it will be beneficial to inform your team why they should participate in these sessions, i.e., the bigger picture of these activities.
Frequently Asked Questions About Virtual Team Building Activities.
Building a Stronger Team: How to Choose the Best Team-Building Exercises
Your employees’ suggestions for what activities they would like to take part in during the online sessions will serve as a solid starting point. Also, you need to make sure that you maintain a balance between fun and structured activities.
To have more detail, you can also google which activities most teams use to keep their teams motivated and united.
How Can Team Building Exercises Remain Interactive?
Here are a few tips on how you can make sure your virtual team-building sessions are lively:
- Select fun activities. These are activities that have high engagement and overwhelming participation and attendance. Your employees probably look forward to these activities the most.
- Include everyone. Make sure all team members not only attend but also actively participate regularly.
- Vary activities. Have a well-laid-out list or calendar of activities to avoid repeating the same activities, which will lead to boredom.
- Dress appropriately. If the activity calls for full-body pictures or videos, request your team members to dress up to spice up the sessions.
- Short and sweet. Please don’t keep your employees in front of their monitors for too long. Keep the sessions short to give them time to do other personal things.
What Are The Top 5 Rules of Online Conduct?
For you to get maximum results out of these activities, you need to make sure your team follows these five rules:
- Ask them to be as real as possible, i.e., let them talk and act as they would daily. It’s beneficial to interact with their real personalities.
- Always ask them to stay mute if it’s not their turn to speak.
- Ask them to keep their videos off if it’s not their turn to present their screens or show something.
- Let your employees minimize distractions around them.
- They should keep their backgrounds clean and professional.
Hope you enjoyed the article. Enjoy other easy tips for helping your remote employees!