Remote working is now pervasive, which means in-person communications are often limited to virtual meetups. But that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice workplace interactions. Doing so can lead employees to feel isolated and demotivated.
As technology has advanced over the past decade, communications software like cloud phone systems has presented exciting new methods to help remote teams feel engaged and motivated. By establishing some fun virtual team-building activities, you can help your workers stay engaged and enthusiastic no matter where they are.
Once you get the hang on how to do team building activities, the next step is to take a look at an employee engagement platform. Learn more with a free demo.
We’ll explore ten mood-boosting activity ideas you can try out with your team today.
Improving relationships between staff boosts team morale. But, this can prove challenging in a remote working environment, particularly when it comes to introducing new employees to an established team. Even employees who have worked together for a long time can benefit from learning more about each other’s backgrounds, passions, and points of view.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to help coworkers forge bonds is through icebreakers.
Playful icebreaking questions reveal workers’ likes, interests, and sense of humor in a short space of time.
You could ask questions like- “Would you rather speak to an angry client or an angry coworker?” or “This or That: Forget your morning coffee or forget your lunch?”.
This activity allows employees to find common ground and get to know more about one another in a light-hearted way, bringing them closer together. It’s also the perfect way to kick off a virtual happy hour.
2. Interactive Web Games
In recent years, the gamification of professional spheres has supercharged employee satisfaction and productivity. Encouraging employees to take a bit of time off work and play games together will keep them engaged and enthused.
For some, more simple exercises like icebreakers can become repetitive, so introducing more involved games is always a good idea. Creative teams might enjoy online drawing activities (think Pictionary!), and larger groups might be engaged by puzzle-solving virtual Murder Mysteries.
Supporting collaboration among your team is a brilliant way to build morale. You can even use icebreaker activities as the foundation for virtual team games and create personalized quizzes to test each other on coworker trivia.
3. Coordinated Breaks
With flexible working becoming the new normal, the challenge of maintaining a good work/life balance is being faced by many. Alongside encouraging employees to get a business phone number and providing specific tech for use within work hours for only work purposes, you should take more steps to prevent the line between home and work from getting blurred.
One possible solution is to encourage employees to coordinate lunch or coffee breaks over video calls. This will help workers bond as teams and reduce feelings of isolation and monotony at work.
4. Film and Book Clubs
One unique and engaging way to foster a positive environment within your team is to develop special interest clubs, which meet virtually to discuss shared passions, like books or films.
By setting out a collective goal for your team (to read a particular book or watch an ongoing series or film for group discussion), employees can develop common ground and find new ways to bond.
Setting up groups like this will open up healthy, fun debates among colleagues, which is key to improving morale and engagement.
5. Chef’s Club
When working from home, it can be easy to fall back on simple but repetitive meals at lunch or even dinner, making the days merge into one.
To offer your staff a way of challenging themselves to try new things and fostering a sense of togetherness as a team, why not set up a cooking club or recipe share, where employees can take turns sharing a dish of their choice – or even their own recipe – to spice up mealtimes across the virtual office.
Getting to know each other’s preferences and cultural backgrounds through food is a great way to reinforce employee relationships, and trying new things will enhance team engagement.
6. Workout Challenges
One of the most significant challenges of working from home is maintaining a routine when it comes to keeping up with exercise and workout regimes.
A fun and morale-boosting solution to this is the introduction of group lifestyle challenges. These encourage healthy living and an atmosphere of encouragement and peer support.
Tracking the office water goals and step counts will help employees stay up-to-date with each other’s progress, allowing team members to offer encouragement when they notice coworkers’ efforts flagging and their congratulations when new milestones and achievements are attained.
“Our staff has praised the increased communications level Workmates delivers. We use it to communicate important project matters and give staff specific ‘kudos’ or even recognize their birthdays. More importantly, we use Workmates to clarify important project details that needed rapid dissemination among the entire team.”
Christopher Baggott Chief Executive Officerator of Medlinks Cost Containment, Inc. and Medlinks Staffing, LLC.
7. Team-Building Apps
Using apps will improve the variety of team-building activities available to remote teams. Ad Hoc system testing and rigorous regulation ensure the best user experience for individuals and professional teams.
One example of an exciting app-based team-building activity is HeyTaco!. This allows remote teams to acknowledge one another’s goals and attainments by gifting “tacos” through the app, which can be redeemed to earn prizes.
Implementing apps like HeyTaco!, which align well with company values and goals, will create a positive working environment and keep employees engaged, motivated, and connected.
8. Mental Health Debriefs
Among the most prevalent concerns related to the rise of remote working is an increase in social isolation.
One way to ensure all team members are encouraged to be sociable and reach out when under stress, even while working remotely, is to introduce mental health debriefs.
These could take the form of weekly meetings in which employees are given a safe space to share their feelings and offer advice to others who may be struggling with the same issues.
Fostering trusting group relationships and implementing proven strategies to maintain mental health in the workplace are vital steps in preventing employees from experiencing burnout, loneliness, or extreme stress at work.
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9. Video-Call Games
Video conferencing is arguably the best-known means of virtual communication in modern workplaces.
However, you can use this software for more than just meetings. Many now support and facilitate interactive games, with no extra downloads or sign-ups necessary!
Even a game as simple as charades can provide endless fun and requires no extras besides your imagination and a sense of humor. Another great exercise is a Guess Who-style quiz, where employees show their workspace to coworkers on the call to guess who it belongs to.
You can take advantage of the functionalities offered by business phone platforms and use three-way calls to rotate different team members onto calls to reveal their workspaces.
Activities like this bring humor into workplace team-building, allowing employees to relax and have fun with minimal preparation and maximum effect!
10. Personality Tests
Personality tests are an engaging and interactive team-building activity that helps to promote understanding and empathy in your workforce. These allow team members to learn more about themselves and their colleagues.
Many methods, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, can reveal a lot about a person’s personality type, grouping people into categories based on their responses to various questions. Employees can have fun comparing themselves and others’ results to those of celebrities, historical figures, and even fictional characters!
Crucially though, learning more about how your group works together and individually can allow you to gel better as a team. Organize a post-test team call to discuss the different personality types and how they fit in with team dynamics. This will help you accommodate the different types’ preferred working and communication styles and, therefore, boost engagement.
Make Virtual Team-Building Work for You
Of course, not every team-building or employee engagement strategy will work for everyone, and knowing your team inside out is the best way to ensure that each member feels comfortable, listened to, and involved as part of a team.
Just as the top contact management software tracks contract timelines from inception to signing, it’s your responsibility to monitor employee morale and engagement from onboarding to termination. By meeting with employees regularly and encouraging them to suggest and feed back on activities themselves, you’ll be able to grow closer as a workforce, building team relationships, morale, and engagement as you go.
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Tanhaz Kamaly is a Partnership Executive at Dialpad, a modern cloud-hosted business communications platform that turns conversations into the best opportunities, both for businesses and clients with features like the virtual call centre software by Dialpad. He is well-versed and passionate about helping companies work in constantly evolving contexts, anywhere, anytime. Tanhaz has also written for other domains such as Corporate Vision Magazine and Cybersecurity Insiders. Check out his LinkedIn profile.