Engaging employees is not easy. And it’s only a matter of time before the physical distance of remote work turns into emotional distance. Thereby, leading to isolation. When your employees feel isolated, they might feel uncomfortable working with their team members. This is why it’s important to create a comfortable team environment that fuels collaboration, communication, and engagement. Virtual games can be a great way to build and nurture team relationships in this remote work era. Also, many companies across the world are relying on virtual games to boost engagement among their remote workforce.
Virtual games’ brings your team together, provides them an opportunity to connect, and boost their sense of belongingness! And of course, a happier team leads to higher employee retention!
To add on, a recent study found that “87% of remote workers feel more connected through the use of video conferencing.” So if you have the opportunity to use video alongside your virtual games – do it!
Looking for some effective virtual games to boost engagement and bring your team together?
Here’s a list of 6 fun virtual game ideas you can use to bring your virtual team closer:
Top 6 virtual games for your remote workforce
1. Guess the person!
This is a personal fact guessing game that helps your team members know about each others’ interests outside of work.
- As a pre-preparation, managers need to gather some interesting and fun personal facts about all the team members. For instance: loves to dance in the rain, reads the newspaper in the bathroom, etc.
- You need to collate all these facts into one single document without the name of the individuals. Then share this document with all the team members
- There should be an empty column next to each personal fact. And each team member has to guess the person to whom the fact belongs to. For instance: loves to dance in the rain- Steven, reads the newspaper in the bathroom – Dia, etc.
- Once all the guesses have been submitted, an answer key will be provided so that team members can see how well they guessed. You can make this even more interesting, have a video-call, and discuss the most hilarious facts. You can do it by, having a sheet open on your digital whiteboard and sharing the screen for your employes to guess the answers
Not only can this ice breaker game be hilarious, but it is a great way to develop successful team cohesion and camaraderie. Give it a try!
2. Let’s build a story together
Building a storyline is one of the oldest and most fun team building activities.
- First, assign numbers to all your virtual team members
- The first person begins the story with one opening sentence and another incomplete one. For instance: “Tina was about to prepare a super delicious meal. She wanted to prepare something unique. She started by turning on the stove but the stove didn’t light up. She was so annoyed but…”
- The next person in the line completes the previous line and adds another incomplete sentence and so on
- Likewise, all the team members contribute until everyone has had a turn. Aim to develop a funny story structure by the end of the game. So everybody can have a good laugh at the end!
Not only does building a story together encourages the team members to keep their creative juices flowing, but also helps them improve their collaborative and listening skills.
3. Virtual book club
Reading is a hobby that’s great for both your profession and daily life! To encourage your remote workers to read, you can start a virtual book club, thereby, tending to 2 important things at once: fun and learning!
Steps to form a fun virtual book club:
- Select a book for every month. Ensure the book selected is fun, entertaining, and informative. To make your employees feel more involved, you can ask them to take turns to select their favorite book
- Once you have selected the book, assign a chapter for a week. Each member must complete the assigned reading for that week.
- Depending on the workload, fix a date to have a discussion over a video call. You can do this weekly or once in 2 weeks – whatever works for you and your team
- In this call, encourage team members to share their thoughts on the read chapter. Make this session as fun as possible, like a team member can share what he/she would have changed if he/she was the author, what different elements he/she would have bought and why etc.
- Start with short readings and as the club progresses, you can switch to a few long or challenging texts
Not only does this virtual activity help remote teams mingle and socialize, but also encourages them to engage in critical thinking and be open to differing opinions.
4. Virtual coffee/lunch breaks
This remote work scenario has taken away the most important thing that we all cherished and loved about working from the office – our tea/coffee/lunch time!
I bet most of you miss drinking coffee/tea and having lunch with your work buddies.
The purpose of this virtual activity is to bridge that communication gap!
Who doesn’t like to grab a cup of coffee or even lunch and engage in an interesting conversation with their work buddies?
I guess no one will say “No” to that!
But for your remote teams, this is no less than a luxury. Socializing with colleagues is very important for ensuring healthy workplace relationships. Though you can’t meet your work buddies in person, you still can fill this void by organizing meetings over lunch/tea break via video conference. These coffee/lunch breaks are a great way to enhance the professional relationship between your remote workforce. Such breaks allow your employees to de-stress themselves and bounce back with great productivity.
It would be great if you can organize such meetings frequently so that your remote team members feel connected.
5. Two Truth and a lie
This is one of the popular virtual icebreaker games that most companies play. This fun game helps to get rid of the awkwardness. Also, it’s a great way to get to know each other well on a personal level other than work.
- Host a video conference and ask each employee to tell three truths and one lie about themselves
- Instruct your employees to keep the lie realistic so that it won’t be so easy for everyone to guess
- The other employees need to guess the lie among the 3. And whoever guesses it right gains points. You can make this even more fun by asking the winner to choose a person and assign him/her a fun task to complete. For instance: dance on one foot, etc.
6. Name the picture
This is one of the best virtual activities you can do! This game not just boosts engagement but also lets you learn more about each other.
- Before your next meeting, ask every remote employee to create an image or find a picture they can use to tell a unique story or fact about their lives
- Everyone should upload their images to an online whiteboard in advance
- Before the meeting could begin, ask your team members to put stickers on all the images – guessing whom each picture belongs to
- Post this, you can all figure out together as to which picture belongs to which person. When a correct guess is made, that person needs to share their story with the group. Do this over video conference with an app that allows screen sharing, so the speaker can include a video to explain the story
The most pressing issue associated with remote working is that employees can feel disconnected and disengaged very easily if they don’t receive proper attention from their colleagues or managers. And to keep this in check organizing virtual games and fun activities from time to time becomes very important. Implementing such virtual games boost employee engagement and helps your remote team to enhance cooperation and collaboration with each other.
To help you out, we have mentioned a few virtual games to boost engagement. However, there are many games out there and there are apps that can help you execute these games more efficiently. If you’ve got some interesting virtual game ideas, we would love to hear from you in the comment section below.