The way we work is changing rapidly. Just a few years ago, few people could have predicted the shift to remote working. In the United States, more workers than ever before are working remotely. Many more businesses have also adopted a hybrid model.
While this approach is flexible for employees and brings many cost-saving benefits for companies, remote working isn’t without its drawbacks. Worried that the WFH revolution is killing team spirit and camaraderie? It’s time to think about virtual team building activities.
Why Virtual Team Building Activities Are Important
Healthy team dynamics are essential for any business. It encourages good communication and improves productivity. If your company depends on remote employees, you need to work harder to foster a culture of open communication and collaboration. However, just because your teams are based online, doesn’t mean you can’t utilize the power of team building activities.
Searching for ideas for virtual team building sessions? While many of the usual challenges aren’t a good fit for online get-togethers, there are plenty of ways you can engage remote workers. Below, we’ve picked out 8 of the best virtual team building activities you can use to boost morale and keep your remote teams connected.
1. Online Office Games
Use virtual team building games to break the ice. If remote employees have never spoken to each other, let alone put a face to a name, icebreakers are essential. You can bring employees together online and set them the same challenge. Alternatively, split a larger group into smaller breakout rooms. You can organize groups by department or mix things up with more random rosters.
Games are a great way of encouraging remote teams to work together. However, a little friendly competition goes a long way in loosening everyone up for longer training sessions. You can find our virtual training games template as a place to start.
2. Virtual Coffee Breaks
Looking for a more casual virtual team building activity? Online coffee breaks are perfect for getting remote teams talking. Scheduling regular coffee breaks and encouraging employees to get together virtually is a good way of replicating the traditional office environment. Furthermore, it also keeps your teams on track.
As well as letting peers unwind and socialize together, online breaks let them chat informally about work issues that might otherwise get missed from an email chain.
3. Virtual Workshops
Are you a company that actively promotes knowledge-sharing? Virtual workshops are a great team building activity that work incredibly well online. You can keep things simple with a basic livestream and classroom-style scenario, or mix things up with interactive elements.
To get the most out of these sessions, use live polls for real-time feedback to see how well attendees are absorbing information.
You can even encourage teams to break off into smaller groups and work on case study exercises to put what they’ve learned into practice. Moving your professional development online can yield impressive results. As well as making the process more collaborative, it’s far more time-efficient and comes with many cost-saving benefits.
4. Ice Breaker Games
If this is the first time that most people have interacted outside of email correspondence, you’ll need a few ice-breaking games in your repertoire. Never Have I Ever, This or That, and word association are all quick and effective ways to get everyone talking. If you want to make your ice breakers more interactive, consider things like ictionary. With Gloww, you can use digital whiteboards as your canvas and collect real-time answers from other players.
Virtual polls are a useful tool here. Use them to find out where attendees are based, what their career background is, and more.
5. Online Quizzes
When in doubt, use a virtual quiz to get those neurons firing. If you’re using quizzes as an icebreaker, keep things loose and focus on pop culture or current events. If you want to keep things more focused, frame the quiz around your business.
Instead of making it a free-for-all, sort employees into teams. This way, they’ll have to talk to each other if they want to win. You can also encourage competing teams to work together.
Take your inspiration from game show formats and offer teams the chance to use lifelines. If they’re struggling to land on the right answer, they can request a helping hand from another team. To avoid competing groups giving the wrong answer, incentivize cooperation by letting both sides share the points gained from a win.
6. Meetings Over Lunch
While many employees love the flexible hours that WFH provides, it can be easy to neglect a healthy schedule. Many people skip their lunch break to get their work day finished more quickly or simply lose track of time. An army marches on its stomach, and a productive team is a well-fed one.
Like virtual coffee mornings, taking the lunch hour online, or even hold a virtual happy hour, motivates your employees to adopt a more regimented and healthy schedule.
What’s more, they get a chance to unwind and stay connected with their peers. It’s a great way of letting people recharge their batteries before heading back to their to-do piles. Any issues that have arisen during the morning can also be flagged up over casual conversation.
7. Problem Solving Games
Nothing kills creativity like a monotonous routine. If employees are spending hours in front of a screen doing the same tasks, think about introducing activities that make them approach problems with some left-field thinking.
While team building exercises like the egg drop challenge aren’t a good fit for online-only sessions, there are plenty of other options. Turn to online escape rooms or popular quizzes like sudoku to give that gray matter a much-needed workout.
8. Fact Checking
In an era of fake news and too much information, having solid fact-checking skills is a must. It can also serve as a great starting point for team building activities. Work fake news slides into your presentation, then task teams with sniffing out the misinformation. What are the hallmarks of a fake news story? Years-old stories marketed as ‘breaking news’ are a dead giveaway.
Anything riddled with bad grammar and poor spelling is also highly suspect.
Fact-checking exercises aren’t just great at encouraging critical thinking, they’re a must if your employees need to verify factual accuracy on a daily basis. If you want to ease your teams into things, consider setting a fact-finding challenge at the start of your session, before introducing a more demanding fact-checking activity later on.
How to Engage Your Remote Team with Gloww
Struggling to keep remote teams engaged and working well together? With Gloww, you can take charge of team building, no matter where in the world your employees are based.
You can create browser-based team building sessions in moments, adding plenty of interactive elements to ensure everyone’s catered for.
Take your pick from ready-made interactive presentation templates or customize them with your own branding. You can also integrate a full range of team building activities. Add word searches and crosswords, quizzes and polls, or digital whiteboards for those problem-solving tasks.
Looking for more fun templates for virtual team building? Check out our movie template, neon trivia, St. Patrick’s day activities, online team building template and learning together. If you need something specific for a small team meeting or meetups, we’ve got you covered!
Ready to learn more about Gloww can help you with virtual team building? Get started today or check out our pricing plans. Need to discuss your requirements in more detail? Send us a message via the online contact form.