Remote working has become a trend even after the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a proliferation of remote employees with the essential tools and setups in place to eliminate the need to work together in an office. However, physical separation between the employees results in their isolation from each other which tends to decrease collaboration and team spirit.
Virtual team-building activities are measures that enhance collaboration between remote employees working from various locations. These activities conducted through a virtual medium improve bonding between the remote employees to work together properly to achieve the common goals. The virtual team-building activities also prevent isolation among the remote employees, and they don’t feel disconnected from each other.
Most Effective Virtual Team-Building Activities
Online Office Games
Playing online games is one of the most effective virtual team-building activities, especially for breaking the ice between employees. Challenging but interesting online multiplayer games should be selected, and the employees must be divided into teams. Members of multiple departments should be mixed up in each team. The games could be the basis of points or any other structure. Playing the games should be incentivized in the form of rewards.
Participating in online office games promotes teamwork and collaboration among remote employees. An atmosphere of healthy competition is created with each team putting in its best efforts. A strong relationship also develops between the employees as a result of such games.
Team Health Challenges
Health challenges for remote employees rank among highly beneficial virtual team building activities because health challenges increase employee engagement and promote a healthy lifestyle among remote employees.
Many virtual mediums create all kinds of health challenges for remote employees. Such platforms also enable the team leaders and managers to track the progress of every employee in the challenge and monitor their health parameters.
Challenges can be performing a maximum number of squats, lunges, or pushups in a week, running the most kilometers in a week, walking a maximum number of steps in a day, performing yoga poses in the best ways, and many more. The winners should be showcased and even incentivized to motivate others to give their best for the health challenges. Meditation sessions can also be organized virtually to benefit the employees’ mental health.
Health challenges foster a sense of healthy competition among remote employees besides motivating them to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Spread the Knowledge
Knowledge sharing is one of the unique but effective virtual team-building activities for remote employees. The team leaders or managers can use video conferencing to enable remote employees to share their knowledge about diverse subjects. In each session, 2-3 employees can be asked to speak on any topic of their liking. It can be technology, music, history, art, astronomy, or any other subject. Each and every employee should get a chance to speak.
This activity provides remote employees to gain knowledge about new things. The employees also develop a sense of respect for each other.
Quizzing also comes under virtual team-building activities that are beneficial for remote employees. Divide the employees into teams and pit them against each other in challenging quiz contests. Questions can be from a plethora of topics such as current affairs, geography, history, polity, business, sports, etc. The structure can be point-based, with points awarded for each right answer. The winning team can be rewarded for motivating others.
Quiz contests motivate remote employees to learn more and increase their knowledge. Furthermore, such contests promote a spirit of both camaraderie and healthy competition.
Virtual Coffee Breaks
Grabbing a cup of coffee and indulging in an informal talk with colleagues over the video conferencing platform is one of the most enjoyable yet effective virtual team-building activities. Giving regular opportunities to the remote employees to interact with each other while sipping coffee at their locations is recommended for managers and team leaders.
Virtual coffee breaks allow the remote employees to relax and rejuvenate to work more through the day’s remaining hours. Moreover, informal discussions enable them to develop good personal relations.
Virtual Movie Nights
Remote team members can choose to watch a movie once in a while together on a digital medium. All that needs to be done is collectively agree to watch a particular movie on a specific day. The movie can be discussed the next day, either before or after the workday.
This is not only an enjoyable activity but also helps in team bonding.
Meetings Over Lunch
In a conventional office setup, it is common for colleagues to have lunch together either at the workplace or at restaurants. This is not possible for remote employees. But even though physical meetings over lunch are not possible, remote meetings over lunch can be organized regularly. Whether to discuss something important or informal, virtual video conferencing can be used during lunchtime to hold virtual meetings.
Virtual lunch meetings ensure that the remote team members feel connected and can communicate frankly.
Create a Story
Creating stories comes from fun-filled virtual team-building activities. The manager or team leader needs to select words or sentences and challenge the team members to build stories using them. This activity gives wings to the employees’ creativity and is enjoyable for everyone.
Who are you?
The remote employees can be allowed to introduce themselves to their colleagues and team leaders. To this end, online intro sessions can be organized. Every employee is asked to narrate his/her life story. A new employee added to the team should also be tasked with a self-introduction session before starting work.
Intro sessions are one of the most effective virtual team-building activities to enhance the self-confidence of remote employees. They can also become frank in their dealings with their colleagues without physically meeting anyone. A sense of trust is also generated among the employees.
Remote employees should not feel disconnected from their fellow employees and the team leaders and managers. Thus, virtual team-building activities play an important role in keeping the remote employees as a cohesive unit.