Top 7 Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Teams
Maintaining employee connections when your team is working remotely can be challenging. In the office, it can be pretty natural to maintain communication, get to know your colleagues, and have fun together, but remotely it takes a team effort to keep the teamwork alive and ensure employees feel cheerful and supported.
For example, your team can’t get to know each other over a lunch break or enjoy a company social as they would when working in traditional in-person offices. This leaves managers with no option but to introduce new ways of virtual team building for stronger relationships within the team, no matter where everyone is working from.
The good news is that lots of new and exciting activities have popped up with remote teams in mind, especially since the pandemic started. There are now lots of ways to help keep remote teams connected, so you can find options that will put a smile on anyone’s face. In this guide, we’ll explore 7 of those so that you can bring back the office banter. Let’s dive in!
1. Get a little competitive
A little competition never hurt anyone, and it’s actually a stellar tactic to bring your team together. Setting up team challenges and joint goals your team can work toward brings some fun rivalry into the game. For example, you can use an app for remote teams like SquadPal to run a custom competition that would suit your particular team, ignite their competitive spirit, and help everyone get to know each other a little better.
One of our favorites is the cutest baby pic competition! Team members can upload cute baby pictures, and everyone can vote for their favorite. Through this employee engagement app getting started with fun virtual team activities couldn’t be easier - you will also get weekly activity suggestions, so you don’t even have to come up with the activity ideas.
2. A ‘good news’ challenge
What better way to escape everyday struggles than sharing some positivity with your coworkers? We all feel a bit lonely from time to time when working remotely. So being able to get some positivity, especially from non-work-related news, that your team shares is a big plus. You could start a #goodnews channel on Slack to make it super easy to get your team closer by celebrating each others’ successes and finding out what is going on in each other’s lives. It could be as simple as getting your toddler to eat vegetables or as grand as getting promoted.
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3. Test your trivia knowledge
What better way to put your skills to the test other than enjoying a fun little trivia game with your colleagues? Sometimes projects get overwhelming, and the workflow seems endless. That’s when you know you need a little break to reset. Interactive virtual team-building games like trivia are excellent for building friendships and connections, as well as having some remote fun.
With a team engagement app like SquadPal you can set up a team quiz with just a couple of taps. Answer a selection of multi-choice questions to crown a trivia champion. Play at your own time and get direct access to a live scoreboard to keep track of everyone’s performance. I mean, who doesn’t love answering some Harry Potter questions as part of their team-building process?
Alternatively, you can use Trivia, a collection of interactive games that you can integrate into your team’s Slack or Microsoft Teams and play in real-time against each other. Quizzes, puzzles, trivia, you name it, it’s all there. Plus, a scoreboard to keep track of who’s winning.
4. Hold weekly challenges
Friendly challenges bring people closer by getting them to contribute toward a shared goal. Everyone takes a bit of responsibility by working on smaller tasks that contribute to the final goal, to really boost the feeling of being part of a team. You can pick any kind of challenge that would work for your team: maybe you’re super active so you go for a running challenge of 100km where everyone pitches in by running part of the distance. For the environmentalists, you could start a recycling challenge where everyone recycles several water bottles each week to reach a specific goal.
With SquadPal’s live leaderboards showing the top contributors, you’ll never miss the fun. Plus you can let your imagination run wild to create custom challenges for your team. For the sporty challenges, Strava can help you set goals and track your progress through your team’s phones. For example, you could encourage the team to take a break from their screens with a walking challenge, and see who walks the most kilometers per month.
If running sounds like your worst nightmare, why not go another direction with a recipe swap as an awesome remote team-building activity you can try. Ask your colleagues to share their favorite recipe - it could be brunch, dinner, or dessert; the choice is yours. Then, you can challenge them to try cooking a different one of these recipes every week and share the final products in photos. The bonus is that you get to eat your creations - fun and tasty!
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5. Try new things together
For a complete change of pace why not get together virtually to learn a new skill? Learn to cook authentic dishes from home cooks on Diaspo, or try a virtual escape room through Escape Live to work on your problem-solving and teamwork skills. These classes give you insight into a different side of your colleagues, helping show you who they are as people outside work. Maybe you’ll discover you have a talented baker or impressive artist in your midst.
6. Check in on the mood
Virtual team-building activities are not just about the fun but also about making meaningful connections and making sure everyone feels happy and supported. Creating a safe space where people can anonymously share their emotions and feel heard is crucial for setting a healthy work environment.
1. With a mood dashboard and anonymous pulse check surveys, SquadPal tracks how employees' feelings change every week. Team members can now vote about feeling stressed, happy, overwhelmed, or motivated with emojis, and managers can make sure to react to any worrying changes within the team.
2. Spill also offers a team mood survey that can be added to any meeting link. This gives you a chance to check how everyone is feeling before you start your meeting, so you know if there are any concerns to address.
Being in a team at work is about more than productivity; just like in a sports team you need to pay attention to each other’s wellbeing, understand each other, and work together.
7. Check in on the mood
In the virtual environment, often it may feel like we are thanklessly working away at home without any recognition for it. If nobody sees you working hard, did it even happen? Well, yeah, of course, it did, but maybe it’s easier for it to go unnoticed. It’s super important that everyone in a team feels that they are appreciated and their work is getting the recognition it deserves. Making employees feel appreciated is key to long-term success. Thankfully, with apps for remote teams like SquadPal, you can share a shout-out for a teammate with just a few clicks, whether it’s for something small like quickly answering a question you asked, or for significant achievements like finishing a big project.
Alternatively, you can encourage employee recognition with an app for teams like Perkbox Celebration hub. With a recognition feed that makes incredible work the center of attention, you can really draw focus to your impressive teammates. Plus you can create custom rewards, or pick from those prepared by the platform, to show how much you appreciate your teammates. We all deserve a pat on the back from time to time. So what better way to boost employee engagement than that?
Virtual Team-building Activities for the Win!
It’s totally natural that we are all in desperate need of human interaction and connection - working remotely is a lonely experience, and we’re social creatures! A healthy mix of remote team social activities with fun games, team shout-outs, and regular challenges can strengthen a company’s culture and build trust and connection between colleagues. It doesn’t matter whether your team is distributed globally, in different time zones and continents, or all working from their kitchen tables in the same city. All it takes is some dedicated time for intentional team building to help promote collaboration and communication and bring remote work to life
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