23 Apr Tips for Virtual Team Building
Due to the global pandemic that has affected many businesses around the world, many large companies had to either close their doors or adapt to our new virtual way of life. With many choosing to adopt using remote teams, work was still getting done even when offices remained quiet and empty. Due to COVID-19, 80% of global corporate remote work policies had shifted to virtual and mixed forms of team collaboration. Teams and individual employees had to turn their morning coffee breaks and conversations into getting coffee from their own kitchen and logging into their workflow chats and channels for communication. Whether their company chose Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or some other digital form of communication, some teams have had trouble replicating the team comradery that they had when they were in person and virtual team building is a tough task. Building a strong team while remote has posed challenges for managers and executives alike.
In order to find solutions for remote employees to build rapport with their virtual cohorts, there has to be some very creative thinking to come up with virtual team building activities. In this article we’re going to go over some creative virtual team building exercises and how they can turn around company culture or team meetings to create a better remote working experience.
What is virtual team building?
Virtual team building means creating better human-to-human connections between team members that work remotely. Just because employees are not in the office together in person, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have team harmony. Virtual team building can help streamline communication and increase total productivity.
Virtual Icebreaker Activity
If your organization has weekly team meetings via conference call, an easy way to create comradery is by participating in a virtual icebreaker. This is an easy activity, even for larger teams on a virtual platform. The idea is simple: break your team or teams into random groups and come up with one or a set of icebreaker questions. Plan for the duration to be about 30 seconds per participant, depending on the size of the group. Here are some good examples of questions to ask:
- What is your dream vacation destination?
- What did you want to grow up to be when you were younger?
- Does your family have a “famous” recipe?
- What was the last movie you watched?
- Who was your childhood idol?
Icebreakers can be a great way for people to find out more about who they’re working with and build connections based on their answers. Despite the event happening in an online experience, these questions and answers can bring coworkers closer together and improve employee happiness.
Virtual Escape Room or Heist
Another fun team building is an online escape room or heist activity. This activity is great for building a little competition while participating in a fun activity. Teams have the common goal of solving a virtual heist that requires them use critical thinking and teamwork to complete puzzles, riddles, and/or trivia questions. It’s an ideal choice for an entire team to solve complex problems and crave a little bit of competition.
Online Lunch Date
If your teams have about an hour or so, encourage an online lunch over video conferencing. Some companies will credit their employees anywhere from $25-$50 to order food and allow them to eat lunch together, virtually. Add a little bit of spice to it and create an icebreaker game to pair with it or a trivia game.
Share Music Playlists
With people working remotely, a lot of workers are taking that opportunity to jam out in their home office. A great way to promote a more inclusive and stronger workspace is to promote sharing playlists in your teams. While not a fun game or true team building activity, this can be a great way for teammates to share their music taste or introduce someone to a new sound. Throw your favorite work playlist into your Slack Channel and enjoy your coworker’s favorite playlist!
Online games can be great remote team building activities when used correctly and with a time limit. There are apps that are compatible with Zoom like the Kahoot! trivia app. There are also websites that charge for certain paid activities but have fun virtual activities. Confetti is an online platform that has a playground of dozens of games and activities that can even be customized! It’s a great way to add some friendly competition to team meetings.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
The classic team building activity is the scavenger hunt. It creates teamwork, requires critical and creative thinking skills, and harbors competition between teams. Scavify is an app that employees can download to see the list of items or places they need to find in a given time. For remote teams, this is a fantastic idea to play a classic game with their coworkers and build up their communication skills.
Despite working from home, technology can allow us to share the campfire experience from our home office. Here’s how it works: send each of your employees a small s’mores kit that includes a chocolate bar, graham crackers, and marshmallows and have them make “s’mores” during a conference call. Add in funny camping stories or a spooky ghost story to complete the entire experience.
Looking to add more talent to your virtual team?
If you’re looking to add more members to your virtual team, Scion Staffing offers award-winning staffing services for organizations in the continental United States. Our staffing divisions serve six distinct areas: Corporate, Nonprofit, Information Technology (IT), Creative, Medical/Healthcare, and Executive Search. Within each division our experienced recruiters specialize in providing placements across a wide variety of departments including administrative, finance, operations, executive, information technology, creative, marketing, public relations, human resources, sales, engineering, medical, nonprofit specialties, and service positions. We also staff completely remote positions for organizations across the country. Contact us today to get a search started or visit our website for more information!