10 virtual team-building activities that make a difference
Work, work, work. You cannot survive as a remote working professional without some interaction, some fun, and even some deeper connection. Your virtual team surely could benefit from fun, interesting and interpersonal gestures, activities, quizzes, contests, and challenges. However, it doesn’t have to be a team, it can also be different virtual teams brought together. This way, you’re creating a community treating them as individuals and not as a homogeneous mass of people. The HR department is the one that will bring the team bonding strategy to fruition. So, keep in mind that the HR team needs professionals with fresh ideas. Hopefully, the following list of virtual team-building activities includes the ones that make sense in your work context.
“Capture the moment” days with small rewards
Pick international days and ask your teammates to upload pictures relevant to the day. There is, of course, a multiplicity of days to get inspired. An example from personal experience is World Food Day. People were asked to upload photos with their favorite dishes, and they would get a 20 $ reward to enjoy their favorite food as a treat from the company.
Through the photos, your team will mingle on everybody’s beloved topic: food. If the teammates are open to mingle, people will comment on each other’s posts and discuss their love about food. After all, food does bring people closer.
GIF your rewards to your teammates
There is nothing better than acknowledging hard work. However, your acknowledgment can reach the highest levels of epicness, if you do it in a fun and cool way. Tag your coworkers in the platform you’re using and pair the post with a fun-loving GIF as the cherry on top. This way, your teammates know you are an appreciative manager/colleague as well as an awesome person to work with.
Create quizzes about your coworkers
Remote working shouldn’t be indifferent and impersonal. So, do you think you know your coworkers’ hobbies, tastes, and interests? If yes, that’s good. If not, take the test and learn more about the people you’re working with.
This could be a weekly quiz on a different person or the whole team. Therefore, you can bond over the same things and even develop friendships. At the same time, the joy of discovering that you have common ground with your coworkers is something that can make working with them much easier.
Profile your teammates
This is actually an action that needs a bit more work, but you will find it is really interesting for the whole team. Make a video about a member of your team every month and introduce them properly to the rest of your company.
It could be a video of a special talent, a tribute to their interests, or even a day in their lives. These videos will show that the company cares about the professionals as individuals and work towards creating a warm atmosphere where coworkers know more about each other’s lives. The audiovisual aspect is also really important in the remote working world since most of the time virtual meetings and quick calls may not occur with the camera on.
Organize stimulating contests
Competition can be fun when it’s part of a virtual team-building activity. If you want to bring out the creative personas of your employees, think about a photography, singing, or painting contest so that everyone can show off their skills.
Expressing themselves artistically can bring the ideal balance between their creativity and professionalism which could lead to increased productivity and enthusiasm. The prize could be money, two tickets to the theatre or just something work-related. It’s better if you first create a questionnaire to see what kind of contest they would prefer.
Take a coffee break
It’s not easy to recreate an actual coffee meeting for a virtual team. However, a coffee video call with your colleagues could be a great alternative to the real thing. Steal 30’ minutes and grab a coffee with your coworkers. Catching up about work on a chill way, discussing funny incidents at work, and of course, chitchatting about their lives. This is made even easier if you have a team calendar online where you can organize your time collectively. Oh and remember to turn on your camera because visual contact is essential.
Seize the opportunity for insight sessions
A learning session is definitely a must to unite your team. There, they can express their complaints, offer new perspectives and at the same time share their experiences. This may be the most important activity since the discussion about everyday issues and the suggestions for change are central to remote working. Being apart has added problems so dealing with them as soon as possible is mandatory.
Bonding will happen while having fun but also while you share your work-life issues and lessons. Don’t forget that since people are in different time zones, you should find a timeslot that works for everyone. This way, the whole team will feel appreciated since their timetables will be taken into account.
Trivia game time
What’s better than competing against your teammates in films, series, music, and video games trivia? Not much I would answer. Find online games that work with your phones as buzzers to share the fun regardless of the miles that separate you. To organize successful game sessions, find people’s interests, and pick the right categories for the quiz. This will definitely make your team fire up about the game.
If your budget allows it, meet up
This is not a typical virtual team-building activity since it’s a bit more challenging and not fitting in times of crisis like COVID-19. However, under normal circumstances, there is nothing better than meeting in person the people you’re sharing a big part of your day even if it’s virtually. You can share your experiences, celebrate, and of course gossip a bit. You know everybody does it.
So, if there is enough money in the vault, you could organize a team trip with activities and learning sessions without the distance dividing you. This could happen once in a year so that the team can have something to look forward to. A nice touch would be if the HR department also involved the teammates in the decision-making process to make the trip more personal and stimulating.
So, think ahead when putting together a remote working team and build your team-building strategy personalizing it according to the different personalities, nationalities, and cultures in your company. Virtual team management cannot be focused only on revenue and results. Therefore, you should adjust the 10 ways that we’ve gathered here to your team, form strong ties amongst your employees and then, embrace the success coming your way.