Working from home has been a major turn off for several teams, and so the need for virtual team building is more than ever before. The COVID pandemic has been particularly disturbing for members and employees who greatly depended on the push from colleagues and project lead.
Even the businesses that operated virtually before COVID-19 are finding it difficult to ensure the efficiency of their remote teams, thanks to the closing down of several entertaining aspects of daily life. About 48% of the current remote workers find it difficult for their job to operate virtually, both due to lack of spirit and efficient communication.
Hence, almost all businesses seem to be in a desperate search for team building activities to boost employee engagement and enhance company culture.
And to help out all such businesses, we present you with the most effective virtual team building activities for remote teams. Whether you’re starting fresh or adapting to the new normal with your former team, all six of them will come in handy!
Fundamentals of Virtual team building
Undeniably, working from homes grants all team members with the benefits of flexibility, time-efficiency, and diversity of ideas. But, remote work also deprives the team members from the emotional bonding that would have otherwise existed in an office.
According to one Harvard Business Review, the presence of close work friendships boosts customer satisfaction by 50%. It means that a team with a strong emotional connection performs far better than others. Perhaps, this is why more and more companies are looking forward to virtual team building activities in 2020.
Before proceeding onwards, let’s clarify some basics regarding what and why of virtual team building.
Why use virtual team building?
So, what is a virtual team building? It refers to the act of improving work relationships between remote teams and imitating the office environment.
What are the pros of virtual team building activities? These activities aim to increase comfort levels and create a friendly atmosphere amongst remote teams. A strongly bonded team works more efficiently and generates better revenues. Neal Taparia, cofounder of Solitaired, has hosted type racing tournaments. Every Friday, over Zoom, they broadcast a game called TypeRacer where employees see who is the fastest typer. Taparia explains “It’s been a fun activity for the team to socially engage remotely. The competition is friendly and commentary is hilarious.”
What is the requirement for virtual team building? Virtual team building does not require any expensive equipment or investment. All you require to begin with is a leader to conduct these activities effectively and a remote team.
Top 6 virtual team building activities:
Now, coming to the gist of this post, let us see some of the best virtual team building activities. Note that they will require strong leadership skills and commitment to yield fruitful results. So, read, understand, and give them your best!
1. Rose/Thorn ice breaker activity
This particular activity is quite popular among people working from home. As the name suggests, the rose/thorn is a type of Ice Breaker activity. Its purpose is to shake off the initial nervousness present between a virtual team meetings and make people feel comfortable.
So, this activity begins with each team member shares their rose (positive point) and thorn (negative point) of the day. It can be either work-related or non-work related. Each person will receive one minute to speak.
2. Virtual dance party
Often working environment can become a bit hectic and stressful, especially when your employees aren’t familiar with one another. For this very reason, virtual dance parties serve as major icebreakers, allowing every member to ease out and enjoy their selves for at least a few moments.
To begin with, choose a track that either you like or you think your employees are going to love. If you’re indecisive about it, choose one randomly.
Next, set up an online team collaboration. Inform them all about the fun you guys are about to have and do a quick mic check to ensure that host’s sound is audible to all.
Start playing the track and dance and enjoy yourself with your teammates. The entire activity should take 5-7 minutes.
3. Deserted island scenario
If you want to boost healthy competition and cooperation between your virtual team, then the most effective activity is the Deserted Island Scenario. In this, you must come up with a challenging situation and a list of things with strategic importance.
For example, you get stranded on a deserted island and have to choose one thing from the torch, 100ft rope, fruits, and wooden planks. Now, divide the team into a group and allow them some time to discuss. Then, connect on a group video conference to evaluate each other’s selection.
4. Quizbreaker online activity
To get your teammates to know each other better, you can try web apps like Quizbreaker. According to the schedule and frequency that you set up, it collects some fun information about your employees through a quiz. And then, it engages them in a who-said-what quiz, which helps them learn about each other. Plus, there’s a scoreboard that allows you to congratulate the winner and keep the activity hyped & exciting.
5. Do you know your team?
It is an interesting activity that will get your team bonded almost instantly. Before the meeting, ask each team member three about my questions. Then, share the answers in the meeting and ask the team to pair the answers with the right person. If the answer is surprising or hilarious, ask the member to explain.
6. Call of the champions
In this, you can assign your team the following roles to make the group call more engaging:
- Photographer: The one who clicks good snapshots of the meeting.
- Scribe: The one who jots the discussion of the meeting.
- Cheerleader: The one who purposely cheers the speaker and encourages everyone now and then.
- Shadow Thrower: The one who purposely discourages or politely boos (only to keep the competitive spirit high).
- Cop: The one who keeps the conversation going when it comes to a halt or navigates when it gets too noisy.
You can be creative with the roles and think of more interesting ones as per your team’s potential!
Now that you know the hacks to upgrade the energy and efficiency of your remote, we hope you’re successful in reviving that on-site performance. Just make sure you don’t over-work yourself while trying to get things less-overwhelming for your team! Your well-being is technically the fuel of the activities mentioned above.