Are you struggling to make connections with your team while working remotely? While companies switching to remote work have saved their employees time and money, connecting online isn’t easy for everyone. Even companies in a hybrid work model are struggling with connection. As a result, companies have to provide more opportunities for connection in a digital world to make sure that team members are bonding.
Here’s a list of 10 interesting and cost-effective activities you can do remotely to bond as a department or company. Which virtual team-building activity will your organization tackle first?
1. Brainstorming Sessions
Your company is filled with brilliant minds. How can you harness all the collective information your company has? A virtual brainstorming session can help teams communicate and learn from each other. Pick an exciting project to tackle, share some ideas/questions in advance and set an hour to do some collective talking and brainstorming.
2. Paint & Sip Party
Do you have a creative team? Try something fun like a paint and sip party. You can deliver canvases, paints and even food/wine to your company. Work with an artist who can teach your employees a simple painting step-by-step over Zoom (or your video conferencing platform of choice). Being creative together can open up fun conversations and take your team’s mind off any workplace stress they may be feeling for a while.
3. Virtual Coffee Dates
Does your team need more one-on-one connection? It can be hard to do that when you can’t swing by someone’s office for a quick chat in the middle of the day. Setting up virtual coffee dates for your employees is a quick way to get some of that one-on-one time back. Send your team a gift card for a coffee shop in their neighborhood, or send them coffee/tea. Set up a series of coffee dates and make sure that people connect with employees they might not chat with every day.
4. Virtual Volunteering
Volunteering has had to look a little different in the past year and a half. Many companies have pivoted to creating virtual volunteer opportunities. There are also other opportunities that are easy to make virtual, like packing care packages for military personnel or making cards for sick children in the hospital. Bring your team together by volunteering for an interesting local or national cause.
5. Book/Movie Club
Books and movies have a way of changing minds. We’ve all had a moment when reading a book or watching a movie that we wanted to discuss with someone else. Book or movie clubs are the perfect virtual team-building activity.
- Assign and send access to a book or movie.
- Come up with a few discussion questions to talk about during the event.
- Let the conversation flow by opening up the floor to your employees.
As people talk about the book, they can bond and get to know what their coworkers thought of the media they consumed.
6. Virtual Game Day
Next, you can have a virtual game day with your employees. Many games are virtual-friendly, with new and interesting options coming up all the time. Here are a few virtual game ideas you can incorporate at work.
- Scavenger Hunts
- Escape Rooms
- Murder Mysteries
To make these events even more unique, you can theme them to your company. For example, a trivia night with workplace history sounds like an incredible opportunity for your team to learn about your company’s background.
7. Co-working Sessions
Another thing companies may have lost when they went remote is the opportunity to work together in a non-formal way. Some of your staff members may have become siloed in their roles at work. Consider putting together a virtual co-working session. You can play some interesting lo-fi music in the background and work in timed sprints. During your breaks, you can chat and share projects you’re working on. Before you know it, you’ll have a productive day while getting to bond with your fellow employees.
8. Show and Tell
When you work from home, you have access to fascinating parts of yourself that you might not have brought to the office. Go back to elementary school with your employees by adding show and tell to your next meeting. Encourage employees to bring an item that matters to them. Give each member of your team time to show their item and talk about what it means to them. The stories behind the items will lead to employees bonding and getting to know one another better.
9. Lunch and Learn
Each employee has a unique set of skills that makes them an asset to the company. Sometimes these skills are related to the workplace, but some of these skills are uniquely personal. Allowing employees to shine and share their talents is a fantastic team-building activity. Encourage your employees by hosting regular lunch and learn sessions featuring a new staff member. Ask that team member to teach the company their talent and reimburse lunch for your team for attending. You never know how attending a lunch and learn might impact your team.
10. Gift Exchange
Lastly, you can do an employee gift exchange. Give everyone a budget and the name/address of another team member. Encourage each employee to get to know their gift exchange recipient and craft a box of goodies for that person. To make each box unique, encourage your team members to shop with local stores. Once all your employees receive their respective gifts, set up a meeting to open the presents on camera. If there is a story to the products, give employees the floor to share more.
Creating Connection through Virtual Team Building Activities
Today we highlighted 10 team-building activities for your remote workforce. Team-building is critical as we continue to work from home. It can be challenging to make a genuine connection with employees over Zoom, especially as you grow your team. Trying a variety of team-building activities can help your team get to know each other, even as remote work isolates us.