Since the Covid-19 outbreak, virtual team-building activities have become essential to maintain employee engagement while having fun at work. Businesses are working hard to bring their teammates together and they’re on a hunt for virtual team-building games to help the guys stay connected, thus reducing burnouts and stress.
So, what do you do when your team is working remotely from different locations? You resort to virtual team building.
While some organizations transformed smoothly into remote teams, some still struggle. And this blog is for you. This blog is dedicated to adding some charm to your everyday work in the form of fun virtual activities, some zoom team-building ideas, and a couple of virtual team-building exercises.
10 Best Virtual Team Building Activities
In this blog, we’ll be looking at some of the best virtual team building activities for your remote teams that will help you build a stronger bond with your teams and up their morale and also why team building is so important when employees work remotely.
- All-time Favorite Ice- breakers
- Two truths and a lie
- Share a pic and let’s click
- Virtual Storytelling
- Online Simulations
- Guess the emoji!
- Craft Challenge
- Share your bucket list
- Virtual Dine-in/Remote Team Dinner
- Bring out the inner chef
#1 All-time Favorite Ice- breakers
Ice breakers are great to ease the awkwardness – hence regarded as the mother of all virtual team building activities. It not only ensures a well-connected audience but also allows you to get to know your teams better. Icebreaker sessions can be of many sorts – you can start a meeting by asking your team to introduce themselves, talk about their role, etc.
Alternatively, you can have virtual tea/coffee ice-breaker sessions, whatever might work best for your people.
Icebreakers are one of the best fun virtual activities and can be a handy addition to your zoom team-building ideas and sessions. It’s an easy and powerful way to build connections within and between remote teams.
#2 Two truths and a lie
Nothing lets you spice up your remote team-building activities like ‘Two truths and a lie‘ does.
As the name suggests, each team member presents three statements about themselves: two truths and one lie. Employees then take turns to identify what’s the truth and what’s the lie. This activity is among the simplest ways to get the conversation flowing.
It’s great fun to watch employees making guesses and it’s also a useful way to develop successful team collaboration and affinity at the same time. You’ll be missing out on a lot of fun if you don’t add this to your team-building activities for work. You can even have rewards for the employees who guess right.
#3 Share a pic and let’s click
Sharing pictures is one of the most popular ways of connecting at a personal level these days. Each team member can share one photo; this photo can be of their pets, routine, hobbies, gadgets, family/friends, vacations, etc – whatever they are comfortable with. This is an easy addition to your zoom team building sessions as all the team’s got to do is just share pictures – fun and easy.
#ShareAPic of the last wedding you attended #WeddingDay 😍 pic.twitter.com/gdx56FmbuT
— Duchess of Healing (@sindivanzyl) August 14, 2020
Ask them to also share the reason they picked the picture, etc. just to give an opportunity for them to interact. Allowing team members to share part of their personal lives helps these online team building games more personal and comforting and brings in a new element of camaraderie to the workplace.
#4 Virtual Storytelling
This virtual team-building activity is a fun way to check if your teammates are storytellers!
Form a virtual circle with your team (decide who goes first, and so on) on a video call and ask the person chosen to go first to begin a story with an opening sentence. The next individual completes the previous line and adds another sentence of his choice to the story.
This way, each employee contributes until everyone has had a turn. The aim here is to come up with a complete story by the end of the game.
A couple of playful cartoons from my collaboration with Hong Kong design collective Enable Foundation and the British Council for their OK Dementia project. #cartoonist #cartooning #comics #dementia #dementiaawareness #graphicmedicine #illustration #visualstorytelling #drawing pic.twitter.com/CQgoSFzIWw
— Ali Hodgson (@CartooningMonk) October 18, 2021
More than just a team-building game, this gives your team a chance to bring out their creative side and also improve on listening to each another & moving ahead together, as a team.
#5 Online Simulations
Virtual team building games are all about bringing your employees together for a common goal.
And, online simulations prove very useful when you want your virtual team building activities to be more idea-centric and brainstorm effectively to arrive at a solution.
Divide your employees into teams and share a business scenario or instance with them (could by hypothetical too). Ask them to then collectively think and come up with the best ways to handle the possible roadblocks that may arise. It fosters strategic thinking, teamwork, and decision-making. It can also prepare your team for a contingency that may arise. Who knows about the kind of challenges our businesses may face in the future?
#6 Guess the emoji!
This game can pretty much be added to all your remote team building activity sessions – be it a virtual team building session or a fun zoom team building activity. Thanks to WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, etc. we all have our favorite emojis/GIFs.
Earlier, they were only confined to our personal conversations, but now, many employees use emojis in their conversations with team-mates and co-workers to express their opinions. It could be a thumbs-up, a clap, or a simple smiley. Thus, it comes in the game of guessing the emojis!
Create & send a list of the players to all participants, give each participant 5 minutes to guess the five most-used emojis by each person on the list. The person who recognizes the most correct ones is declared the winner. It’s quick, easy, and really entertaining!
#7 Craft Challenge
We all are pretty familiar with the craft-classes we had back at schools; well, time to bring those classes to work. Connect with your employees through a video call and ask them to build something creative from materials available at home. We know it might shoo away some lazy teammates away, but this is a worthy addition to your remote team building activity calendar.
You can set the watch to 20 minutes for this. This team-building activity will help boost creativity, give your team an opportunity to interact and have fun together, and improve your virtual employee engagement.
#8 Share your bucket list
A bucket list includes a list of experiences or achievements that we hope to accomplish during our lifetime. Sharing bucket lists offers a platform for employees to connect at a personal level & relate to one another.
An experience is often best shared with like-minded. Do you agree?#northernlights #bucketlist #NFTCommunity pic.twitter.com/VW7YbpfT7r
— Tor (@TorIvarNaess) October 5, 2021
It also helps ward off the feeling of loneliness some employees might be going through, especially the ones away from family, in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
#9 Virtual Dine-in/Remote Team Dinner
Hosting team luncheons, dinners, etc. are a great way to socialize with your people and are great stress-busters too. Can you do it with your remote teams? Sure you can!
The more you celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate. #KENDAY #VirtualDinner pic.twitter.com/tLK8LKA7Dp
— Ken Sambury (@ksambury) September 11, 2020
Just have your team members come together for a meal and connect on a video call while you eat and chat. You can add a quick ice-breaker activity to it too or just have a chat. Having casual (non-work related) conversations with teams is a good way to relax and bond with them.
#10 Bring out the inner chef
Whether it’s baking cakes, focaccia bread, or making Dalgona coffee, we have all become chefs today! Add charisma to your virtual team-building activities by encouraging your team to display their cooking talent. Ask them to cook anything they like and share pictures, videos, stories, whatever they like.
Employees can also exchange their recipes. This team activity is great fun, and, at the same is also a strong communication booster. After all, love for food is a great connector!
Advantages of Remote Work
It’s been a while now since we all went the remote working way, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While for some organizations this has been a smooth transition, many companies are working really hard to stay connected with their remote teams, scattered across the globe.
Working remotely, if managed efficiently, does have great benefits –
- Employees who work in remote teams enjoy greater flexibility and autonomy, leading to greater motivation & productivity.
- Greater flexibility and autonomy also means greater employee engagement.
- Employees working remotely are able to strike a better balance between work and personal life.
- As per a study, employees working from home report higher levels of job satisfaction and reduced levels of burnout and psychological stress.
Factors like communication, team management, employee engagement, employee productivity, and organizational culture become all the more crucial when organizations have their teams working remotely.
As much as all organizations would like their business to go on normally and their employees to continue working the way they used to at offices, it’s not always going to be possible. Managing teams as they work remotely from different locations is a major challenge for all companies.
Benefits of Virtual Team Building Activities
So, here’s why virtual team building is important – Virtual team building activities help in bringing teams closer and forming a stronger connection between them. These could include hosting virtual ice-breakers or online games etc. So, why is it really important? Let’s find out
1. Ups employee morale
Elevated employee morale is a must, especially in these unprecedented times. Any kind of team interaction & socializing helps boost communication, build trust, and support personal wellbeing. Fun virtual activities help reduce feelings of isolation and promote a sense of belongingness. This becomes specifically important for people who are living on their own.
2. It’s easy to run
You can launch a game online, from almost anywhere, and at any given time. All you and your employees need is an internet connection. They can use their smartphones, laptops, iPods, etc, and come aboard. Virtual team-building exercises are pretty easy to organize, provided you are using the right kind of remote communication tools.
3. Fosters better collaboration
The aim of all virtual team-building activities is to strengthen relationships, alliance, teamwork, and collaboration among employees. When employees enjoy a strong connection with fellow workers, they are able to communicate better, brainstorm better, solve problems, and manage conflicts collectively and effectively. Remote team-building activities give employees an opportunity to come together and work as one team.
4. Strengthens communication
During these tough times, individuals who are stuck at home may feel isolated. Thus, it is now that strong communication becomes even more important. Talking to colleagues, connecting through remote team building platforms allows individuals to catch up with colleagues and spend time together.
There is no doubt that we are currently going through unprecedented times. We are also very uncertain about what the future holds for us. What we do know is the need of the hour is to build a successful team and bounce back stronger than ever when we return to normal.
5. Boosts positivity
Virtual team building helps reinforce employee morale, employee personality assessment, employee engagement, employer-employee trust, and much more, all this leads to greater positivity and healthy work culture. In times like these, it is crucial for your employees to be well – mentally and psychologically. Team building activities act as a catalyst here.
Wrapping it up…
We all are aware of what is team building, employee engagement, why are these important, etc. It’s time to focus on making these factors a part of our everyday work culture. Lack of team-building activities means missing out on opportunities to develop trust and cooperative relationships. It’s important to create a comfortable team culture that your virtual teams can rely on.
Team building activities are among the easiest strategies that lead to close-knit teams and heightened levels of cooperation and engagement.