As people working from home have surpassed on-field workers, companies need to change their strategies to engage employees. Earlier, team-building activities were essentially in-person, involving various games and discussions. However, as we enter the work-from-home economy, businesses need to conduct virtual team-building activities to maintain high levels of employee engagement.
Let’s look at the importance of virtual team-building activities, along with the best activities you can organize to improve employee engagement
Importance of Virtual Team Building Activities
Virtual team building includes activities and sessions to bring remote teams together and improve the bond between them. When teams work from the office, they regularly interact, which helps them know each other well.
However, team members and other teams rarely interact when working from home, and they seldom meet in person. This creates a barrier and restricts the bonding process.
Virtual team bonding resolves this hurdle. It enables employees to communicate and connect on a personal level, resulting in a better company atmosphere. Let’s look at the key benefits of virtual team-building activities.
- Boosts employee morale
- Enhances productivity
- Promotes workforce collaboration
- Aids innovative management
- Reinforces positive company culture
- Increases employee, team, and business performance
Top 7 Virtual Team Building Activities
Hundreds of team-building activities exist, and you can stick to the ones that work for you. However, if you are looking for a starting point, these seven virtual team-building activities can help.
Informal Virtual Meetups
Organizing monthly virtual meetups is a great way to engage your remote workers. You can choose a video conferencing tool of your choice and invite all your team members to join. What you do during these sessions is entirely your choice. You can conduct games like “Guess Who’s Desk It Is” or ask the members to share the last picture on their phones.
Doing so gives your employees a feeling that they are a part of the tribe, regardless of where they are working.
Friday Happy Hours
Fridays are love! Even though remote workers won’t be as delighted about Friday as people who work from offices, it’s still a great time to host a fun session and just talk about non-work stuff. You could talk about the football game last night or share a beer or coffee. You can even have a game night. Remember that what you do is less important. You just need to do something that gives your employees a feeling of involvement and engagement.
Multiplayer gaming during company time may seem like a waste of time, but it can go a long way in strengthening the bond between team members. What’s more, it can boost the creativity and critical thinking skills of your employees. Research proves that playing strategy-based video games can help improve thinking and decision-making.
With so many online multiplayer games out there, you don’t have to bother about setting up a gaming station. Employees can play games like Fortnite and Apex on their respective computer systems.
Team Quizzes and Icebreaker Sessions
Team quizzes are another amazing team-building activity. You can ask team members questions about other team members, such as their favorite food, annoying habit, best habit, etc.
The good idea is to have sessions for asking icebreaker questions. When everyone works remotely, they know only so much about their team and company members. By asking a few personal questions (not pushy, though), you can make your employees understand each other better.
Celebration Sessions as Virtual Team Building Activities
Celebrating events can go a long way in increasing a company’s morale. You’ll have a lot to celebrate throughout the year. For starters, you can celebrate the birthdays of all the employees. A small 10-minute gathering where everybody wishes the birthday person would be enough. Then comes holidays like Christmas and Halloween.
Apart from such events, you can also celebrate if your business reaches a set target or closes a big deal. There are numerous opportunities to celebrate; you just need to actively look for them.
Messy Desk Faceoff
Messy desk faceoff is a common activity among companies that rely primarily on remote workers. It’s an asynchronous and just-for-fun activity, in which you ask each member to show their work desk to see who has the messiest desk.
An activity similar to the messy desk faceoff challenge is the “Guess Who’s Desk It Is,” as discussed earlier. You can ask all the employees to send photos of their desks. Then, you show each photo one by one and ask everyone to guess who’s desk it is. And who knows, you may come up with some surprising results.
When teams work from the office, they head to the conference room every time they need to discuss an idea or talk about something. Remote teams don’t have such luxury. Most teams rely on tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to send a text or audio messages to give instructions. While chat tools are a fast and efficient way to communicate, they aren’t engaging.
You can bridge this gap by organizing virtual brainstorming sessions. It can be a daily or biweekly activity, depending on your requirements. This way, your team will be able to give inputs and suggestions, which will make them feel more engaged.
Bonus: Organize Occasional In-Person Meetings
Here’s a secret. Conducting in-person meetings can largely improve the impact of your virtual activities. Even though virtual meetings are a great alternative to face-to-face meetings, they aren’t as impactful. If possible, host in-person meetings once in three months or six months, and see the impact it creates. It will not only improve employee engagement but also increase their performance and productivity to a great extent.
Conclusion: Virtual Team Building Activities
Remote work has many benefits, but it has one drawback. Employees don’t get a chance to meet their team members, seniors, and juniors, resulting in minimal engagement and interaction. Low engagement levels can hurt a company in many ways, from poor performance to low employee retention rates. Virtual team-building activities can help you bridge this gap and promote team bonding and collaboration in your organization. If you’re not sure which virtual activities to conduct, the above list can help.