10 Unique Virtual Team Building Ideas and Activities

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Smriti
Smriti Rajan comes from a political science and literature background, having an immense passion for writing across varied topics. She has written several articles and blogs for diverse audiences worldwide. She has produced several research publications, policy frameworks, and opinion pieces for think tanks, government institutions and corporates. Alongside this, she writes for a large Fortune 500 clientele and is a key contributing writer for Wikistrat on their EMEA desk. Currently, she resides in India.

The 21st century has bought a lot of changes in our day-to-day lives, including our work culture as well. Unlike earlier, professionals can now work from anywhere aided by real-time collaboration tools. And with the rise of remote workers, the need to employ virtual team building activities have surely gained popularity. Especially in the current pandemic situation, it is more important than ever to work on raising morale. With the right tactics, you can easily boost those engagement levels.

Are you looking to boost employee engagement & cultivate a close-knit team culture? Here are some fun unique ideas to increase engagement with your remote team. These are in no particular order. 

1. Virtual coffee breaks

“Virtual coffee breaks” are actually brief video calls through which the workers come together for a round of small talk over a cup of coffee.☕ Everybody wants a break from work, even though they’re working from home, and small-talk over coffee will go a long way. It’s useful to plan virtual coffee breaks for your teams to help them converse about non-work topics. Unlike other work-related video conferences, this kind of activity is refreshing. 

Coffee breaks are a fantastic way to strengthen the professional relationship with your co-workers. These breaks also make it possible for the employees to de-stress themselves and bounce back with high productivity. 

2. Online birthday parties

When you work in a virtual workplace, you will look for alternatives to celebrate your birthday not being physically present. You can schedule a virtual meeting specific for birthday team building, or tag these activities on to a regularly scheduled team call. Invite a birthday person to attend a virtual call a couple of minutes after other teammates. When the person joins, everybody cheers and wishes for their birthday. It is like a small, online surprise party. You should arrange a virtual meeting related to the anniversary team building, or tag these events on a daily team call.

3. Multiplayer games for online team building

Hosting virtual games is a great way to elevate the mood of your employees instantly. This helps them to unwind and see their colleagues in a completely different light. Office quizzes, Truth or Dare, Pictionary, and Charades are just some of the popular games that can have everyone smiling with minimal effort. 

Team building activities are always incomplete without any icebreaker games. There are many different online activities and games you can use to help your remote employees get to know one another and build stronger connections. What type of team building you should organize should be directed by your company culture and your employees’ wishes. 

Give your teams a chance to unwind and relax by inviting them to a multiplayer game. Ask each employee if there’s any specific game that they’d like to play.

4. Virtual home tour and family meet-up

In a video call, invite each employee to walk around on their smartphone/laptop and take a short tour of their lovely house. You can also introduce other family members to them.  

You can host a virtual party where your employees’ families get together for a virtual meet-up.  This recognizes and supports employees’ families and goes a long way in building long-term relationships among your employees.   You can also use virtual games for employees and their families to make participation more enjoyable and exciting.

5. Spreadsheet Pixel Art

Enter Spreadsheet Pixel Art – a fun activity you can do with remote teams to increase engagement. This can be a collaborative game, a competition, an art show, or anything else you want it to be. Whatever you choose, Spreadsheet Pixel Art will deliver in fun “together-time” for you and your online team.

6. Online Bingo 

Online Team Building Bingo is a fun game to engage your employees, which is a quick, easy, and free way to get started with virtual team building.

Here is a template you can use:

Remote-Work-Bingo

Here, you start with a bingo board that has a number of action items or accomplishments on it. For example, when you hear someone say “sorry, I was on mute!” you can mark that spot off on your board. 

7. Guess the emoji board 

Guess the Emoji Board is a quick game you can play virtually and will entertain your team for a quick amount of time. You can add this game to an existing virtual meeting instead of making it the main event. 

With more people using emojis more often, you can incorporate this activity into your team building programs.

Here is how to play “Guess the Emoji Board”:

  1. Create a list of players and distribute this list to each player
  2. Each person will have up to five minutes to guess the most-used emojis
  3. Then you can reveal the answers and award points for getting the emojis in the correct order. 

8. Seedling community garden ?

If you like house plants as well, you and your remote team can grow a Seedling Community Garden together. This activity is like a home version of high school science experiments where you cultivate a seedling in a paper cup. 

To begin with, everybody gets a cup of soil, and then they start planting the remaining seeds of apples, melons, and other such. Finally, participating employees can take pictures of the seedlings and send a squad message board of cheerful words of support to the other co-farmers.

9. Ted-Style Talks

Recruit the team members to give their own Ted-Style Talks for this virtual engagement event. 

This is how it works: 

  • Have each of the team members mention the unique skills they have.   
  • Help each team member to plan a quick slideshow and chat. 
  • Set a time frame of 5-10 minutes.
  • Get a team member to lead a Ted-Style Talk at the start or end of the simulated sessions.  
  • Lastly, allow a few minutes for the Q&A. 

This format is excellent to help improve team engagement since people are interested in their colleague’s personal stories and expertise.

These talks are also a great way to encourage collaborative learning for your team.

10. Employee wellbeing and health challenges

Major organizations are now implementing corporate wellness programs in their workplaces. The stress caused by long working hours, heavy workloads, and lack of sleep, can demotivate your remote employees and result in burnout. Therefore, it is highly essential to conduct wellness activities that will cultivate healthy habits. For example, organizing health contests will help your employees be healthy as a team. Support your employees in building healthy habits by organizing a monthly Healthy Habits Challenge. You can challenge them to do a certain exercise regime like – sets of planks, squats, push-ups, and lunges. 

Another great way to host such virtual employee health challenges is through a corporate wellness platform.

Wellness platforms help in:

  • Creating flexible employee health contests.
  • Tracking employees’ progress in the health campaign.
  • Gathering vital insights about your employees’ health status.
  • Cultivating a healthy competition within the workforce.
  • Incentivizing the top performers for greater motivation.

ALSO READ: Prioritizing the Well-Being of Your Employees in the New Work Reality

Wrapping Up

Why should HR teams embrace Virtual Team Building?

Digital workforce interaction ideas are opportunities to strengthen the relationship between the organization and its remote employees. Investing in virtual team building initiatives is a significant aspect of employee engagement, enhancing business morale, and ensuring worker satisfaction when working from home. You don’t necessarily need perfect ideas or the right interactive team bonding exercises, you just need to get moving and have ideas that are most suitable for your organization and the employees.  The virtual team building activities mentioned above provide you with a way to fill the void and get your remote workers closer together. 

If you have any other virtual team building suggestions, we’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

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