1. Virtual team-building games are a great way for leaders to help motivate and engage remote staff. Working remotely can cause people to feel disconnected from the wider team.
2. Whilst some people like to work independently and can feel less distracted when working from home, building a virtual team working environment can boost employee morale and create a happier working environment where everyone feels as though they have the support if they need to access it.
3. Virtual team games are a good method of getting everyone together and involved in different activities whether the end goal is to create a sense of community or to help develop skills.
4. Either way, building an online community for remote workers helps people to create better connections with colleagues and encourages people to learn from each other.
Since the pandemic, it is now more common than ever to have virtual employees who work remotely, and for businesses to have teams based in different locations. Working remotely can make teamwork more difficult because you do not have the luxury of being able to sit down with someone and physically go through work together. This can make employees feel isolated and as though they are not part of a wider team. Job satisfaction is a major part of employee well-being and often, this can be related to the meaningful and personal relationships that people can build when they work with others.
Teamwork is not just about being in physical proximity to other people, it is also about feeling that collaborative atmosphere and being in an environment where you can easily communicate and bounce ideas around. This is hard to achieve virtually, which is why employers must make the effort to discover ways and means of building teamwork through remote working tools and software.
Why is virtual team-building important for remote teams?
Virtual team-building is important for remote teams because it helps contribute to productivity and motivation in the workplace. It is natural for people to feel supported when they have a good team around them, which subsequently helps to build a more collaborative and inspiring atmosphere. When people feel they are part of a team, they feel comfortable asking questions, contributing ideas, and sharing feedback which helps to create a learning environment.
Since remote teams often consist of people in different locations and sometimes in different time zones, it is vital to explore alternative methods of connecting. Getting to know colleagues on a deeper level and understanding their hobbies and interests is a great way to help people feel more connected and build meaningful relationships.
In addition, a company’s organizational culture can form part of its branding. The values, image, and reputation of the company are what can attract customers. The organizational culture is often formed by the people within it. Therefore, promoting virtual team-building can help to improve a company’s culture in terms of the way its staff members communicate, collaborate, and build on its values and beliefs.
With remote working comes challenges such as burn-out, disconnect, loneliness, and deteriorating mental health. Virtual team-building is a good way of encouraging employees to stay connected with colleagues and remain motivated.
Ideas for Virtual Team-building Games
1. Online quizzes
Virtual quizzes are a fun way of getting staff to work together, take their mind off work and enjoy talking with each other.
For online quizzes, you will need a quiz master and you will have to come up with several quiz questions on trivia or random topics.
Split the team into sub-teams and give them a batch of questions at a time to go through together and discuss the answers. Put the sub-teams into separate online groups or breakout rooms if you are using software such as Microsoft Teams.
It is a good incentive to have a prize for the team who got the most correct answers.
2. Picture games
You can develop picture games in a way that you think would best fit your team. For example, if your team knows each other fairly well and you want to maintain that connection between everyone, you could arrange a picture game where you ask everyone to provide a picture of themselves when they were a baby. Then, you put all the pictures together and everyone has to guess who the baby pictures are.
Alternatively, if the aim is to create a more collaborative game that develops certain skills such as communication, you could play virtual Pictionary or a trivia game such as “name the famous person”.
3. Virtual coffee breaks
Virtual coffee breaks allow teams to come together at a specific meeting time to talk about anything and everything. It is allocated time away from work to see each other and have a point of contact within the day.
The idea is that each person goes and makes themself a drink and has a chat with colleagues. It may be a nice idea to have a few coffee breaks scheduled into the working week so that people who may not usually have contact time with team members frequently have an opportunity to do so.
4. Virtual book club
A virtual book club can be arranged by agreeing on a book to read as a group and giving a certain time period in which to read it (such as one month). Then, everyone comes together to discuss the book. It may be a good idea to come up with questions about the book so that there are talking points.
This can help to build a collaborative environment and colleagues can bond over a common interest. Not only this, but it also helps individuals develop skills such as reading, listening, communication and story-telling.
5. Buddy schemes
Having a buddy is a great way to meet new people within an organization. Buddy schemes work by putting two people who will “buddy-up” together and asking them to arrange a virtual meeting or multiple meetings to get to know each other and help each other when needed.
Usually, you would put two people together who work in different departments and who would not necessarily meet organically. This gives people a chance to build deeper relationships and have support where necessary.
6. Virtual cocktail making
A good way to get people together and build relationships is by doing activities. These can be tricky to arrange virtually, but cocktail-making parties can be fun.
This can be done by sending a recipe to everyone and asking them to purchase the ingredients needed to make the cocktails. If there are team members who do not drink alcohol, you can provide mock-tail recipes.
Then, everyone arranges a meeting time to virtually meet up and start making the cocktails together at the same time. After this, everyone can enjoy their drinks and chat.
Having fun experiences together helps to build team connections and gives everyone something to talk about.
Bingo can be played at the beginning or end of meetings and is a fun way to de-stress and relax in a group setting.
8. Two truths and a lie icebreaker
This can be a game to play at the beginning of meetings as an ice-breaker. It can be funny and is also a good way of getting to know team members better.
Everyone says two truths about themselves and a lie which should be a made-up statement. They then say these three statements to the group and everyone has to guess which statement is the lie.
9. Virtual yoga or meditation
Yoga and meditation are great forms of relaxing and de-stressing. They are also perfect activities to do in the comfort of your own home. This is why they are ideal to do virtually, as everyone can get involved at the same time and it is not limited to a certain number of people.
This would involve having an instructor or even playing a YouTube video for everyone to watch at the same time.
Not only is this a good way to engage in a common activity, but the lessons learned in yoga and meditation can be utilized in the workplace such as discipline, patience, listening skills, and de-stress methods.
When you have a remote team, it is more important than ever to make sure that your staff are building meaningful connections with each other and that they feel as though they are part of a team even though they are not physically together.
At Horizons, we understand the struggle with keeping remote workers motivated and productive. If your company is expanding to international markets, we are on hand to assist with keeping your employees happy and engaged. Please do not hesitate to contact us today for further advice.
Frequently asked questions
Virtual team building is the act of using methods to help teams come together virtually to build connections, collaborate, improve team engagement and develop skills. Virtual games do not necessarily need to be work-related, they can be fun and a nice break from day-to-day tasks.
Virtual team building is important because remote working can cause burnout, loneliness, a lack of productivity, and demotivation which overall, is disadvantageous for a company. Virtual team building allows employees to connect and collaborate with other colleagues, share ideas and create more of a learning environment which would be hard to form otherwise.