Getting all your employees together for a team-building activity is always beneficial. Taking a break from the same boring online meetings can be fun and energizing. Additionally, remote team-building exercises are known to improve communication between team members, boost morale, improve motivation, and ultimately increase productivity in the office.
Remote working offers several benefits but can become an obstacle when planning to organize team-building activities. Taking team members out of the office is challenging when there’s no office to get out of in the first place. Furthermore, getting everyone in one place is problematic when people live in different regions.
Fortunately, it’s still achievable with the help of virtual games and software platforms. That said, here are the top five virtual team-building exercises for your remote teams:
- Virtual Break Room
One of the major disadvantages of working in a remote team is the lack of regular contact with your teammates. It’s not so easy to engage in casual conversation with colleagues when you’re outside of the physical office environment.
You can emulate this experience by setting up a virtual office environment. The idea is to create an online environment that encourages team members to communicate and collaborate. You can make a group chat mainly for casual chats, allowing colleagues to converse during break times. You may also provide interesting topics to talk about to boost conversation and know more about each other.
- Virtual Quizzes
Ice breakers are a classic for team-building exercises and virtual corporate entertainment. The point of an ice breaker is to welcome everyone and help start the conversation. Real-time, online quizzes are an excellent way to do this in remote meetings.
There are several ways to implement this. You can have team members ask questions centered around a specific theme. Another option is having team members submit their questions or facts about themselves, like two truths and one lie. A coordinator will compile these for the entire team to answer or guess who the fact belongs to.
The best part about this is that creating online quizzes is relatively simple. There are a plethora of online services that allow you to design and customize unique quizzes.
- Virtual Scavenger Hunt
This fun exercise ensures everyone present is communicating and speaking to everyone. Regular scavenger hunts traditionally require people to follow clues or find items along a specific path. Likewise, a virtual scavenger hunt gets each team member moving around their living or working area to do the same.
You can do this by having a list of items or a list of themes. Players have a limited time to find each item in their working space and present it to the group on video chat. Those with the most objects on the list or the least time to complete will win. Giving each person a turn to present their findings is also a great way to have every team member heard and recognized.
An example of a random list might ask for scissors, a black pen, a beanie, and a broomstick. For themes, the team leader might ask everyone to find ‘something you’d use to scratch your back.’ In the latter case, you might decide on winners by having team members vote for their favorite found item.
- Murder Mystery Game
Nothing gets people to collaborate like working together towards the same goal. And that’s what a murder mystery does—everyone collaborates to unveil the mystery.
Of course, the game doesn’t have to be set up this way. You can make it a competition so that the winner is whoever finds the murderer first. Either way, it’ll be a fun, engaging game that will surely get your team talking.
There are many pre-made murder mystery games available online. Some may use online, real-time collaboration software. Others may use a narrator and have each player fill in a sheet as you progress through the game. Alternatively, you or another volunteer can plan and design a unique murder-mystery game for the group to enjoy.
The other exercises on this list strive to be as good as their in-person counterparts. A show-and-tell game over video chat differs in the sense that it may work better remotely than in-person.
If you think about it, a physical show-and-tell can become awkward. Everyone must carry an item to the team-building venue and present it to everyone. Afterward, each person is stuck holding their object for the remaining time. This format might also limit the choice of items. It can work and be fun, but there are better exercises for an in-person meeting.
Remote meetings offer a different landscape. Most remote team members probably work from home, giving them immediate access to any item they choose. It removes much of the hassle that comes from a physical show-and-tell. Furthermore, this is one of the most straightforward remote team-building exercises to achieve—all you need is a video chat and potentially a theme. You will need neither extensive planning nor complex software.
Remote team-building exercises may sound like a challenging task, but they’re more easily executed than you might expect. The list above contains five of the best virtual games and exercises to do with your remote team members.
While some activities can be achieved solely through software, it’s often more effective to have a live call running alongside the game at a minimum. Remember, the end goal is to boost communication, collaboration, and morale among your team members.