5 Simple virtual team building activities for your employees

5 Simple virtual team building activities for your employees

Strong teams don't appear out of the blue, but rather are intentionally created over time. One ideal way to do this is by having your staff participate in team building activities.These can help foster trust and good will among them and lead to improved interaction and collaboration.

However, because some of your employees are working remotely due to the pandemic, socializing has become more difficult than ever. Fortunately, technology makes it possible for your business to conduct virtual team building activities.

What is virtual team building?

Virtual team building involves creating social connections among your remote workers. Building these relationships not only promotes harmony, but it can also help increase productivity and streamline communication.

There are plenty of virtual team building activities you can try, such as:

1. Icebreakers

Type: Real-time
Time: 5–15 minutes
Medium/materials: Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, or any video conferencing program

Your team might have been together for a long time, but that shouldn’t stop them from learning new things about each other. Before starting your weekly team meetings, find the time to ask questions, such as:

  • What was the best compliment you've ever received?
  • If you lost all of your possessions but one, which one would you want it to be?
  • Which item you purchased this year is your favorite?
  • Who inspires you to be a better person?
  • If you can get rid of one disease, what would it be?

2. Non-work-related chats

Type: Asynchronous
Time: Varies
Medium/materials: Slack, Discord, Microsoft Teams, or any business communication program

Create public channels dedicated to non-work-related topics like music, movies, food, and pets, and encourage employees to participate in the channels that interest them. Non-work-related chats can help your team de-stress, especially if they are feeling burned out from working from home.

3. Two truths and a lie

Type: Real-time
Time: Varies depending on the number of participants
Medium/materials: Any video conferencing program

Ask players to write down three “facts” about themselves, one of which must be a believable lie. Then, take turns reading out your “facts” and have the others guess which one is the lie. Once everybody has taken their turn, discuss the outcomes. What new things did the team learn about each other? Were there surprising revelations?

Two truths and a lie enables employees to share interesting facts about themselves. This simple act of candidly opening up and showing vulnerability helps build trust and cooperation among team members.

4. Blind origami

Type: Real-time
Time: Varies depending on the number of participants
Medium/materials: Any video conferencing program and a sheet of paper per player

Have your employees form pairs. Email a set of origami instructions to a person from each pair. That person will guide their partner (the receiver) through the steps to create an origami structure via a video conferencing app. The pair must turn their cameras off and the receiver should only rely on their partner’s verbal instructions.

When a pair has finished, have the pair turn their cameras back on to see if the receiver created the origami structure accurately. Ask them how difficult it was to listen and follow verbal instructions. Use their answers to identify the areas where each pair can improve their listening and feedback skills.

5. Virtual lunch dates

Type: Real-time
Time: 30–60 minutes
Medium/materials: Any video conferencing app

Encourage bonding by having a virtual lunch together at least once a month. Doing so also helps recreate assembling at the break room for lunch and talking about anything under the sun.

Your company can even go the extra mile by giving your team an allowance to buy lunch from a restaurant that delivers or offers carryout.

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