6th January 2021
In part 1 of our three-part series, we discussed what virtual team building is and why it’s so important. In part 2, we are going to cover some great activities and exercises that can be used to get your team more engaged while working remotely.
By now, most of us are well versed in the complications that working remotely presents. If it’s not internet connection issues, it’s scheduling conflicts – and let’s not even get started on how much extra aggravation working across time zones can be!
Yet, potentially the most irritating roadblock, is the distance remote working puts between you and your colleagues.
That’s where these super fun and effective activities and exercises come in. We’re sure that by the end of your virtual team building sessions, you’ll all feel much closer and your team will feel a lot more engaged in their work.
Icebreaker Quiz Game
Icebreaker quizzes are a fun way to keep a remote team engaged and connected – and it’s an especially great activity if you have introduced new members to the team who have never actually met before.
If you’re stuck for where to start, check out Quizbreaker. It’s billed per user per month, but also comes with a 14-day free trial – great if you only want to use it the once as a kick-starter to your virtual team building journey. With badges, levels and a weekly leaderboard, it’s a great way for teams to get to know one another on a deeper level.
Personal Facts Guessing Game
This is a great way for the team to get to know one another’s interests outside of work.
Here’s how it works:
One person (preferably a manager) will ask each team member to share one (or more) fact about themselves. The facts are them compiled into a document which is shared with everyone in the team. Each person then guesses which fact belongs to which of their colleagues. Once all answers have been submitted, an answer key can be shared so that the team can see how well they did.
Weekly Trivia Contests
Whether it’s the Chase, Tenable or Tipping Point, we all love a bit of trivia.
Why not get your staff’s minds ticking by starting up a weekly general knowledge quiz? There are plenty of online resources to help you set one up – or better yet, ask someone different to create their own quiz to send out to their teammates each week.
You could even add some competition by running the quizzes throughout each month or quarter and awarding a prize to the person who wracks up the most points by the end of the period.
Share your Bucket Lists
We all have a bucket list of things that we want to do or experience in our lives, and with every bucket list being unique, it stands to reason that they tell a lot about the people who wrote them. Which makes sharing these lists such a great exercise to help teams get to know each other better.
Select one team member a week to share their bucket list with their colleagues and allow time at the end for everyone to discuss – whether it’s to compare similarities or to ask fun questions.
Write a Story
There are so many variations of this game, but the idea is the same.
Get everyone together in a video call and have someone start you off with an opening sentence followed by an incomplete one. For example, “John was walking to the bus stop on his first day at a new job. He was just about to cross the road when all of a sudden…”
Take it in turns to tell part of a story until everyone has had a turn and carry on going until you have a constructive story structure!
The great thing about this activity is that building a storyline forces teams to get creative with their thinking and helps them listen to each other and improve team cooperation.
This challenge is a great way to get your team thinking strategically. First, you’ll need to come up with a challenging scenario related to your team’s role in the business. Then, ask them to strategise a solution to the problem.
Your team will need to use their decision-making skills and will help them learn how to think outside of the box – a great way to prepare them for an unforeseen situation in a co-operative and team efficient manner.
Two Truths and a Lie
This one’s a classic icebreaker activity and another fantastic way for your team to get to know one another better.
Each team member will have to give three statements about themselves. Two of them will be true, while the third is a lie. The rest of the team will then take it in turns to decide which they think is the lie. After all guesses have been made, the lie is revealed.
Never Have I Ever
Perhaps this one isn’t the first game you’d think of for a work-based team-building exercise, but take away the alcohol and explicit stories that might usually be involved in a game of ‘never have I ever’ and you’ve got yourself a harmless and entertaining source of ‘getting to know you’. It helps you to get to know your co-workers in a fun way, all while engaging in some healthy competition.
- Create a list of general topics like “never have I ever driven my kids to school in my pyjamas” or “never have I ever eaten the last chocolate and blamed the dog .”
- Start everyone with a set number of points. They’ll lose one point for each statement that they have done – if you’re on a video call, have everyone hold up the number of points they have on their fingers so you can keep score!
- The last person standing is the winner!
Virtual Book Club
Reading is a healthy hobby to have as it exercises the mind and your imagination. You can encourage your team to read more by starting up a virtual book club.
Not only does a book club help remote teams mingle and socialize, but it also encourages them to engage in critical thinking and be open to differing opinions. These are all great qualities to develop effective communication skills and listening skills among remote employees. Not everyone will want to take part, but those who do are likely to show genuine enthusiasm for the activity and it’s likely that they’ll form closer bonds with the others who participate.
There are many other great virtual team building activities and exercises out there, but these should get you on your way to creating a more close-knit, successful team.
If you’ve loved these ideas as much as we have, look out for the final instalment of this three-part series for even more ideas to maintain remote work relationships.
Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Care Team to provide our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software and is responsible for our day-to-day marketing activities and strategies.