Most of us have experienced working remotely at some point this year. While some people may have been accustomed to remote work, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the catalyst for the majority of people to find themselves working in teams that are suddenly remote.
This has led to struggles with setting up a comfortable workspace at home, managing noisy children, pets and housemates, and tricky tech issues, many people are reporting simply missing the conviviality of the office. The office was not only a place to share ideas, collaborate and learn, it was a chance to socialize, empathize, laugh and make friends.
Even as staff slowly start to trickle back into the office, staggered shifts, hybrid working models and family commitments all mean that the future of work will be remote to some degree. So, we need to think more creatively about what remote work looks like and inject some of that workplace fun into the remote world.
Whether it’s virtual team building, water-cooler chats, or activities to break-up the endless Zoom calls, we’ve rounded up six virtual team activities to make remote work fun.
Fun activities for remote teams
Are those endless Zoom calls getting a bit tedious? Inject some fun into them by kicking off your meetings with a quick icebreaker game. Choose between one of our five popular games, Two Truths, One Lie; Quick Question; Take a Picture of; Choose your Favorite; Trivia or create your own. Not only will it help set a relaxed tone for the meeting, you can’t beat these icebreakers when it comes to fun, virtual team building.
With the new working landscape, comes new challenges. Chances are, your team are feeling frustrated with some things. Give them a chance to express their ideas and work together to come up with solutions in a team brainstorming session. Brainwriting is a fun way to problem solve as a team, especially in remote teams. It can also double up as a collaborative activity for remote employees to channel their creativity and build on each others ideas. Our popular online brainwriting template is a great way to extend your thinking and get everyone involved in a pressure-free, fun way.
Do you find yourself doodling endlessly during a phone call? Drawing is a massively under utilized skill in the business world, and it’s a great way to express yourself in ways that words can’t. Thanks to our digital whiteboard, it’s easy to embrace visual thinking in your remote teams. Next time you’re trying to break down a complex problem, or brainstorm new design ideas, open up a blank Conceptboard and start scribbling.
This process of visual thinking can help you express the ideas in your head, and once it’s on a board you can easily share with the team. Just getting together on an online whiteboard and creating rough sketches can be an enjoyable experience for virtual teams.
Virtual team building activities for remote teams
Virtual Happy Hour
A dedicated time for socialization may seem cringeworthy, but done right, it can be an easy and simple way to bring the remote team together. You may choose to set up a weekly coffee break and send out the calendar invite to everyone in the team with a link to a board with some conversation starters. Whether it’s about the latest reality TV show, a news story, or an industry update, it doesn’t matter as long as it will get the conversation started. If you prefer to set up an after-hours happy hour, a quiz is a great way to get people involved and mixing across departments. Plus, who doesn’t love the chance to win bragging rights!
Social interest groups
The running group, book club, lunchtime learning and yoga mornings don’t need to stop just because you’re now working remotely. In fact, social groups are a fantastic way to encourage teams to stay social, active and engaged. Sure, you’ll need to spend a bit of time setting up a new structure, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
Virtual running group: Choose a date, time, and a distance, but then everyone can follow their own route, track it and upload their results post-run.
Virtual book club: Choose a book for the month, then hold a virtual meeting and ask everyone to prepare some questions and thoughts ahead of time. You could also play a video of an interview with the author, then decide on a book for the next month.
Virtual lunchtime learnings: Once a week, invite everyone to join a lunchtime learning where you play an inspiring TED Talk or an insightful podcast. Keep it fun by reminding everyone they can cook, eat their lunch or go for a walk while listening in, and share any feedback to a chat channel afterwards.
Virtual yoga: Choose one morning a week to run a yoga session and simply send the team a link to an online Yoga session (there are hundreds on YouTube or sign up to a class) to complete together. Afterwards, encourage everyone to share how they’re feeling, what they’re grateful for, and set their intentions for the day.
Discover visual collaboration
Fundraising and volunteer days
Choosing one or two charity days that your team can support is a great way to give back, while breaking up the week and creating a fun, shared experience. For example, you may take part in a virtual morning tea, where everyone can vote for the best looking cake, while donating to a chosen charity. Or encourage everyone to wear a crazy hat to Friday’s team meeting, and anyone who forgets needs to make a donation.
Some companies are even giving their staff days off to volunteer remotely with a chosen charity. This is a great way to build positivity for staff, while giving back to the community when they really need it.
It’s important to remember that while some people thrive working remotely, for many others, they crave the social aspect the office provides. So by taking some time to identify ways to build more social interactions and fun remote team building activities, you’re going to have happier and more productive staff. It’s
Interested in reading more about building resilient remote teams? Check out our advice from experts on remote work, or how to make your remote meetings more engaging and fun.
Conceptboard is your go-to tool to boost collaboration as your team transitions to remote work. It can help you communicate, collaborate and ideate with ease, no matter where you are in the world. Check it out now.