These virtual team building games are fun activities adapted from classic pursuits to help improve remote workers’ morale and productivity.
As with many other important things, HR pros are tasked with helping build company culture. This has always been challenging, but the pandemic has made it even harder. The members of virtual teams may live several cities, or even states, away from each other. It’s not like you can just summon them to a conference room for a few virtual team building games.
With the Great Resignation pressing down on many companies and industries, creating a positive work environment and investing in employee happiness has never been more essential for organizations. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), companies with intelligent and collaborative work environments will see 30% lower employee turnover, 30% higher productivity, and 30% higher revenue per employee than the competition by 2024.
Virtual team bonding is critical. Many more employees are working remotely full-time, which can cause them to feel isolated. A recent study reported workplace isolation decreases productivity by up to 21%.
The good news is that with a little creativity, you can get your remote employees together during a virtual call for some fun games. The time spent will be worth it! According to a recent survey of managers, 63% said team communication improved after participating in team building activities, and 61% said team morale improved. Here are 9 virtual team building activities you should plan today.
According to a recent survey of managers, 63% said team communication improved after participating in team building activities, and 61% said team morale improved.
Everybody knows how to play bingo, making it a perfect virtual game. HR needs to invite everyone and assign a unique bingo card to each person. Schedule a virtual meeting, and a person from HR calls out the letter and number. The first person to fill a line shouts “Bingo!” and wins the pre-set prize. Bingo is a fun game that doesn’t take much time, and is sure to build camaraderie among the players. It’s the virtual team building version of comfort food.
Remote team members can work together to discover the unknown word or phrase. Break into small teams of 6 or fewer and use an online word generator to send out the first charade. One person acts out the charade and the other team members guess. HR times each team, and the one that guesses the correct answer the fastest wins. It’s classic game that adapts well to video conferencing.
This may be one of the best virtual team building ideas of them all, although it does last longer than the others. At the beginning of the week, teams are announced. Over the course of the week, HR sends out ways for each team member to get a card. These can be questions, quick puzzles, etc.
At the end of the week every team member joins a video conference and enters breakout rooms. The team members look at their cards and decide on their best poker hand. Every team plays their hand, and the best one wins the prize and, of course, bragging rights.
Show and tell
Just like in second grade, a fun team building activity is to talk about, or demonstrate, something interesting, fun, or scary that has happened to you lately. HR can randomly choose a half dozen people for a quick show and tell team meeting every week or so. It helps remote teams know more about each other and feel less isolated from their coworkers. You could even add this as a 5-to-10 minute opening to a regularly-scheduled team meeting.
Virtual happy hour
“Back in the day” we could all go to a pub for a drink after work, but that’s not the case now. Why not designate an hour after work for a Zoom happy hour? Everyone can get their favorite drink and enjoy some camaraderie, even if everyone is still in their respective homes. This allows time for team bonding and fun.
Draw a picture challenge
Find out who is artistic in your workplace. This next game requires HR to set up a remote team and assign everyone a place. The first person draws on a Google doc and passes it to the second person. Everyone adds to it when it’s their turn. Once all the teams are finished, each team meets to decide what the name of their masterpiece will be. All teams look at the pictures and vote, and the one with the most votes wins.
This helps team members who may never cross paths in their daily jobs to communicate and work together.
Remote workers can still enjoy the excitement of team building games like escape rooms. HR can schedule an escape room through local companies or online. Every team member virtually enters the room and, just like in the actual physical rooms, works on puzzles and solves clues to escape before the deadline. This helps team members who may never cross paths in their daily jobs to communicate and work together.
Set up your escape room here.
At-home scavenger hunt
Take advantage of everyone’s work-from-home status in this remote team building challenge. Start a video call and break everyone into teams. Send each team a list of items they must find for their hunt, and send them into breakout rooms. When a team has accumulated everything on their list, they notify the team organizer. The first team to complete their virtual scavenger hunt list wins.
Virtual team trivia
Trivia is a great team building game, and it’s easy to adapt to a virtual environment. HR can split up teams beforehand. Either use the questions from a traditional game, or make up some using your company’s history. Ask each team the same questions, give them a set time to answer them, and the team with the most correct answers wins.
Use online team building
Spice up your virtual meetings with some online team games, so your employees can feel more involved and less isolated because of their remote work situation. The effort will pay off big with higher productivity, morale, and greater engagement.
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