Managing a remote team is no easy task. When colleagues aren’t co-located, some may find it difficult to bond and collaborate creatively. That’s why online team building activities can be crucial to the remote work experience. Regardless of the challenges you and your remote team are facing during this impromptu remote work transition period, your teams need to know that they're not alone.
By creating a safe and collaborative online environment where dialog and kindness are encouraged, you can help your team thrive during this difficult time. Pulling your team together gives them a focus beyond worrying about what will happen next in the news cycle.
In-person meetings may have been restricted for over a third of the population, but that should not stop your new remote team from collaborating as usual. They may even become more efficient as they cut back on non-productive activities that may have been part of the in-office company culture.
In this blog post, we’ll share a list of our favorite online team building activities for remote employees.
Why online team building activities are important
Before we get to the list, it is important to note how important virtual team building is. Without the added stress of a global health crisis, the reality of working remotely can catch many people off guard.
In the 2020 State of Remote Work report by Remote Tools, they found that loneliness coupled with the inability to separate work time from personal time are the two of the biggest challenges that remote workers face.
Participating in regular virtual team building activities can help minimize the effects these challenges have on your employees as they adjust to their new remote work lifestyle. Furthermore, remote team building activities replace valuable in-person forms of communication that exist in office settings.
How to get your team excited for virtual team building activities
Knowing the advantages of virtual team building activities does not immediately translate into the joy of participating. Many employees may be reluctant to engage. However, team leaders can emphasize the importance of building camaraderie and rapport into a virtual workplace dynamic.
You can get your team excited for virtual team building activities by starting with activities that encourage mindfulness and confidence. You want to start by reminding yourselves that situations like this, no matter how rare, can be managed and that this is a time to lead, act, and deliver.
Encourage togetherness as you begin virtual team building exercises. Make sure the team building exercises you choose are relevant and helpful to the situations that your teammates are facing at this time.
You can encourage teammates and employees to submit activities that they like, so that everyone’s needs are catered to over time. This will encourage them to stay committed and engaged because they know that each activity was deliberately chosen by someone else on the team. We suggest that you include everyone in choosing the activities you do each week.
5 online team building activities for remote employees
It's important to select team-building activities that help your team trust each other and work together. Below is a list of five online team building activities for remote employees.
1. Whose office is it, anyway?
How to play: Beforehand, have all team members upload photos of their home offices. During the game, everyone tries to guess whose workspace is whose. Keep the game fun with photos of everyone's coffee mugs, desktop backgrounds, home office setting, or the view outside their window.
2. Team bonding with online multiplayer games
How to play: Someone on the team picks a creative game that's fun, yet lets your team work together to strategize and problem solve, like Travian. You can find more games by browsing the many free and paid co-op games on Steam. If your company already has a video conferencing application, you can use your computer's built-in microphone and speakers or headsets to chat with each other while gaming.
3. Get to know your co-workers with conference call trivia
How to play: Divide into teams and play trivia. You can find good trivia questions and answers online, or pull out some Trivial Pursuit cards. It's a great way to unwind from the day’s tensions and learn about teammates’ interests and personalities.
4. Celebrate with “Two successes, one goal”
How to play: Have everyone say two things they’ve accomplished in the last week and one thing they hope to accomplish in the coming week (phrased as if they already completed it). Team members try to figure out what is true and what isn’t, while learning about the great things their co-workers are up to and planning to do.
5. Friday night online karaoke party
How to play: Let loose with an online karaoke party! Use your computer’s built-in microphones and speakers to challenge teammates to a karaoke battle. Compare high scores, or just have fun letting off steam and showing off singing skills.
For more ideas about virtual team building activities for remote employees, here is a curated list of some of the best online articles on the topic:
- Virtual Team Building: 5 Activities For Your Remote Team: In this blog post, Hotjar shares five virtual team building activities they use often and love.
- 18 Easy Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Teams: In this blog post, CityHunt lists 18 easy online time building activities for remote teams.
- Best Team Building Activities & Games for Remote Teams: In this blog post, Miro dives straight into sharing 15 easy virtual team building activities and games for remote workers.
- 15 Virtual Team Building Activities To Level-Up Your Remote Team: Time Doctor’s list includes icebreakers plus video and non-video related ideas for your remote team building activity.
- 37 Fun Virtual Team Building Activities For Remote Teams: This blog post by Museum Hack is packed with virtual team building activities for remote teams, and worth a read if you still need more ideas for your team building activities for your team or company.
Have you managed an efficient move to remote work? Are you looking to supercharge your newly remote team’s efficiency? Get a free trial of Wrike’s collaboration and project management software and get more done from wherever your team is located.