14 Top Virtual Team Building Ideas for Remote Teams — Andy Sto

If you manage a remote team of employees or freelancers, then you’re probably keen to find ways of keeping them motivated, connected and productive. Virtual team building events are a great way of doing just that. Team building also gives staff the chance to get to know each other more informally and to create bonds and points of connection. Virtual team builds are also generally more affordable than organizing in-person meetups when teams are distributed and location independent.

Video chats and online meetings won’t suffice when it comes to virtual team building — you’ll need to find opportunities for real in-depth communication, informal socializing, ideas exchange, and relationship building. There are a range of team building activities that can turn individual employees into a cohesive team that collaborates and meets your business needs while working from different locations.

Team building can help to improve efficiency and performance if team members build trust and feel connected to a common goal. While some team building exercises can be organised as once-off annual events, others can be incorporated into daily work routines or set as monthly activities. We’ve put together a list of some of the top ideas for virtual team builds with your remote employees.

Team building options for remote staff and digital nomads

1. Virtual games for remote staff

There are a variety of companies that specialize in setting up and organizing virtual game team builds, like Teaming and Let’s Room. There are also options like Tabletop, which let you set up private rooms where employees can play traditional board games online using VR.

As an example of what’s possible, the Virtual Game Show Extravaganza by Outback Team Building has a virtual game show where small groups compete against each other in trivia challenges. Or for a more artistic theme, the Drawful game by Jackbox gets players to perform a kind of online Pictionary, guessing what’s been drawn and letting players anonymously give funny titles to drawings.

2. Virtual team movie night

3. Virtual scavenger hunt

You may wonder how it’s possible to do a virtual scavenger hunt, but companies like Let’s Room create options to do scavenger hunts around an employee’s home or neighbourhood and they can facilitate the entire event.

4. Personality compatibility tests

By figuring out whether someone is introverted or extroverted, whether they are motivated by thinking or feeling, whether they are judgers or perceivers — can help you really get to know your colleagues on a deeper level and can also be a bonding experience. This type of understanding can also result in improved work performance by exposing the best ways to communicate effectively depending on someone’s personality type.

5. Virtual travel quiz

6. Virtual cook-off or bake-off

For larger teams, you could get a company to host this virtual event, once you’ve taken account of any dietary restrictions. The host could prescribe the ingredients list ahead of time so you all get to make the same dish.

7. Virtual happy hour

8. Virtual escape room

There are lots of different online virtual escape rooms to choose from. Usually they involve dividing up into teams, which then work together to solve puzzles. For example, Virtual Clue Murder Mystery from Outback Team Building lets players solve the mystery of a murder by investigating evidence and collaborating to crack the case.

Other variations of virtual escape rooms are themed around solving art heists, prison breaks, or finding hidden treasure.

9. Virtual coffee breaks

You could schedule daily virtual coffee breaks for all staff to hangout online. The trick is finding a few time options that suit all the time zones of the remote team.

10. Virtual fitness challenges

You could organize a simple walking challenge where everyone wears a fitness tracker and then teams compare their progress at the end of each week. Apps like Stridekick and StepCounter can be used to connect all staff fitness trackers, making it easier to compare the stats.

Or you could create a push ups challenge for a month and get employees to log their daily totals. Whatever fitness challenge you decide on, it’s always a good idea to get employees to have a say in picking the challenges and to encourage participation through some kind of reward or prize money. Managers and leaders should also take part in the challenges to create a sense of unity and connectedness.

11. Team Pecha Kucha lunch

This can be a fun way of really getting to know someone in your team better. It can also be quite inspiring to hear what colleagues do in their spare time. And for remote teams, it can give an insight into where each of you is living.

12. Virtual staff book club

13. Virtual karaoke

14. Volunteering

Perhaps there’s an annual event linked to your company’s mission where each employee could find a related local volunteer activity. For example, on Earth Day your employees could each find a local beach cleanup or environmental volunteer activity to take part in. You could then share photos of these events from around the world on your company’s social media pages or newsletter.

Final thoughts on virtual team builds

Many team building exercises are suited to once-off annual style events, but there are also some that can be adopted as ongoing programs and incorporated into daily routines like virtual coffee breaks. Whatever team building exercise you do with your location independent staff — remember to include them in brainstorming the type of activities that would most appeal to them. And most of all, have some fun!

Originally published at https://andysto.com on April 17, 2021.

Digital Nomad focused in #remotework and #digitalnomadism

Digital Nomad focused in #remotework and #digitalnomadism