The COVID-19 pandemic has upturned every single sense of normal we held in a matter of just a few months. Though most quarantine orders are becoming less restrictive, the vast majority of the world remains under some form of lockdown in hopes of containing the spread of the novel virus. This mandated isolation order has ultimately led to many businesses adopting work from home policies to keep their employees safe and their trajectories intact.
Without a feasible cure or end in sight, social distancing orders remain in place and most employees must continue working from home to stay in compliance with state-mandated regulations. That said, it appears as though work from home will become the new normal for the foreseeable future. Such a sudden shift can take a serious toll on company culture and employee engagement. This is precisely where higher-ups need to step in and take necessary measures to keep team spirit alive. And to best ensure this goal is met, virtual team building activities are the way to go.
If you’re on the hunt for some effective virtual team-building exercises to bring your team together, we’re here to help.
1. The desert island scenario
All of us have played some sort of icebreaker game like this in college or another team-oriented setting. In the desert island scenario game, team members are presented with a scene where they are trapped on a deserted island with seven items – but they can only pick three.
Make these objects as abstract and disconcerting as possible so that all participants are encouraged to use a degree of strategic thought and coordination. Examples of products include a Swiss army knife, vegetable seeds, a flip phone, a 100-foot belt, a mattress, a radio, and so on.
Then break your team into small groups to allow them to work together on which things to pick from the seven presented. When all the meetings have concluded, hop on a team video chat to review everyone’s choices. Activities like this give employees a venue to consider each other as teammates which will inevitably contribute to friendly competitiveness and enthusiasm within the organization.
2. Virtual dance party (high energy)
One of the easiest ways to effectively build an air of camaraderie is to throw a virtual dance party. After a long week or month of grinding, everyone will want to let loose, so why not do so with everyone over video call? Queue up a stellar playlist to get everyone in the mood. You might even consider sending each employee a case of their favorite adult beverage to celebrate a job well done and deserved relaxation.
Here a few tunes to get your playlist started:
- Tik Tok – Ke$ha
- Africa – Toto
- Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
- Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
- Burnin’ Up – Jonas Brothers
- Macarena – Los del Rio
- Sandstorm – Darude
- Every time We Touch – Cascada
3. Weekly trivia contests
People absolutely love trivia. Any chance to test their knowledge and win a few brownie points for having a treasure trove full of useless facts is a good one. A team-wide trivia contest is a great way to get everyone’s competitive fuel burning, activate their brains, and work together toward a common cause.
Because trivia is so simple, there are a number of ways you can orchestrate it. One way you could go is by holding weekly trivia contests that keep everyone engaged and give employees something to look forward to. Having this in place will serve as a source of weekly fun and conversation for the team without any stressful maintenance tasks.
To spice things up, choose exciting variables by selecting exciting categories, setting intricate rules, changing difficulty levels, and so on.
4. Virtual Show & Tell
Show & Tell is a straightforward team bonding exercise that encourages employees to work on their public speaking and storytelling skills. Have each team member share something unique about their life, their home, their pet, or their role in the company. Be sure to clarify ahead of time which category of information employees will be expected to share to avoid any confusion.
Virtual Show & Tells are easily done over video-conference call and need not take much longer than an hour for a small company to get through.
5. Virtual book club
Who doesn’t love a good book? Whether it’s a whimsical sci-fi read or a reflective self-help book, books provide immeasurable meaning to every reader. Starting up a virtual book club is a great way for your team to open their minds and have meaningful discussions. No matter what the topic— serious or playful— having a venue for dialogue can help team members get to know each other and understand new perspectives.
Consider starting up with these company-friendly reads:
- 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman
- Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall
6. Virtual karaoke
Trying to find a way for your team members to source the catharsis they deserve after many long days, weeks, and months of hard work? What better way to let loose than via virtual karaoke? Although karaoke bars may be closed, that doesn’t mean all of that singing fun is out of reach.
Enter Watch2Gether: a platform that allows users to simultaneously stream videos at the same rate. This application essentially allows everyone to have Zoom in one browser tab and YouTube in another so everyone can see the same lyrics and hear the same audio at the exact same time. With a bit of liquid courage, some end of month cheer, and good spirits, virtual karaoke is bound to be a hoot. Duets and costumes are encouraged!
The main problem associated with remote employment is that workers feel isolated without any tangible or traditional support from both their peers and supervisors. It’s more important than ever to keep things as connected as possible by coordinating online team bonding events from time to time. You may want to consider implementing a scheduling tool to help streamline your event to make sure everything runs smoothly!
How do you plan to keep your company’s team socially connected? Let us know in the comments below!
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California, and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.