At a time when the COVID-19 virus has made it almost impossible to work from the office and interact with others, feelings of isolation can easily lead to low work morale and poor communication between teams. Luckily, you can engage in virtual team building games/activities to keep each member of the team engaged and in tune with everyone else right from home.
Some of the best virtual team building games and activities include peeking into each other’s lives, revealing quizzes, rose/thorn virtual icebreaker, QuizBreaker, tiny campfire, tea vs coffee, rock paper scissors tournament, desert island scenario, and high’s and low’s. These activities serve various purposes including breaking the ice and improving cohesiveness.
These virtual team building challenges help improve teamwork, cohesiveness, reduce feelings of isolation, improve work and life morale, and build confidence in the workforce. With a computer and a reliable internet connection, you will be creating a highly motivated team in no time.
Some of the tools needed for these activities include the following:
- Internet connection
- Communication apps (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, House Party, FaceTime and others)
Depending on the activities your team decides on, you may need other specific tools and items.
Best Virtual Team Building Games or Activities to Engage in
The best activities you can carry out with your remote team include the following:
1. Peek into Each Other’s Lives
One of the best team building activities for conference calls is taking a peek into the personal lives of each employee. It can reveal a lot about the employees in terms of their likes and preferences, life away from work and how they’re handling it. This can be done in several ways as follows:
- Each member of the team takes a short video (3-10 minutes) showing their home and surroundings and sends it to the office online group.
- One member is chosen to show a live video of their lives and routine per week.
- Members can send a picture of something interesting they did in their lives each day or week.
This way, team members can appreciate life away from the office and learn on how to make things better on their own.
2. Revealing Quiz
For about 10 to 15 minutes, this game can be lots of fun. It’s one of the best virtual team icebreakers as it reveals some aspects about each employee that the rest of the team (including the employee in question) may not be aware of. It’s done in several ways:
- Playing questions of ‘would rather?’ where an employee chooses between two difficult options.
- Matching facts to the colleagues (who takes the most tea at work for example).
- Office trivia (questions on aspects about the firm such as the founding year, annual events and such).
These questions also bring up some knowledge about aspects of the workplace that most employees may not be sure of.
3. Rose/Thorn Virtual Icebreaker
For this activity, each employee would be allowed about a minute to two to talk about a rose (anything positive in their lives at the moment) and a thorn (a negative aspect of their lives). After each employee’s rose or thorn moment, the rest of the team is allowed a moment to give feedback before moving to the next employee.
This is one of the best games when it comes to large teams and it helps keep fresh the memories of each employee at work. This can be done either online or through email and it entails a set of questions set by the sender asking the rest of the team what they know about them. Some questions include:
- What’s my favorite meal?
- What are my hobbies?
Try to keep the questions work-related and easy for employees who aren’t very close to you to take a good guess. Open-ended questions help the one answering provide any answer they think fit.
Provide the right answers afterwards and have a leaderboard each week or day for who has the highest mark. QuizBreaker activities can be found on the QuizBreaker website.
5. Tiny Campfire
Who says just because the weather is gloomy and there is a deadly virus around you can’t gather around a campfire? Well, with tiny campfire, you can gather around a virtual fire on a video conferencing app then tell stories, carry out competitions and even sing with burning candles or an actual fireplace from the storyteller.
The benefit of this exercise is that it has no rigid rules. Basically, everyone on the team needs a fire of some sorts. It can be your fireplace or candle or other light. Then you take turns telling stories about anything from ghosts to work trips to office tales. It helps loosen up the tension between employees and does away with the isolation from work.
6. Tea vs Coffee (Tasting Exercise)
A beverage tasting experience with an experienced instructor is one of the most calming sessions anyone can have. For this exercise, the employees are sent two teas and two coffees with an uncommon taste. They then join a live session whereby they’re told about the history of tea and coffee as they taste the teas and coffees at different times.
This experience can be done in many different ways including the following:
- Tasting exotic wines to determine their age and make.
- Tasting unlabeled juices to determine the fruit base.
It’s a fun way to watch your work colleagues try out different items to determine what they are with the winner getting a prize. Don’t worry, if you don’t get it right, at least you’ll be told what it is afterwards and you get to have the rest. You might just discover a favorite.
7. Rock Paper Scissors Tournament
The rock paper scissors game can be a great way to break ice with the rest of the team and warm up for a brainstorming session. Simply choose two random people then have them play to find out the winner. The winner then faces another random person until the whole team is complete.
It helps encourage spontaneity and responsiveness besides breaking ice between employees.
8. Desert Island Scenario
For this game, you choose teams of 3 to 5 employees then list some items from which they can only pick 5 if stranded on a desert island for a year. Such items include a pocket knife, bucket, bedsheet, kerosene and others. You then have each team explain their choices to the rest of the teams in terms of how these items will help them survive.
This activity helps foster discussions and cohesiveness by ensuring that the members to each team are forced to work together and to agree and disagree on certain issues. Any member choosing a certain item will have to convince the others of their choice.
9. Simulated Problems
Creating virtual problems help keep the employees on their toes as it jolts their thinking on how to get out of tricky situations. For example, start by creating a scenario whereby the firm has lost half of its customers and you want to regain them. Each employee is then given a chance to make suggestions as to how to get the firm out of this situation.
This helps the employees know and think from one point of view which is from within the firm. It fosters company loyalty and can be a great session trying to save the firm from collapsing. You also get to learn of the best ways to deal with problems at work if they arose.
10. Aliens Have Landed
One of the best and most complex team building activities is a scenario in which you imagine aliens have landed on earth. They don’t speak any language known on earth yet they need to know the earth is a good place so that they don’t attack everyone. They, however, know a few symbols. Each employee has a task to give the aliens a symbol representing the company in terms of what it does and how they view it.
It’s one of the best team activities for conference calls as it determines how employees view the firm. You can easily gauge if they’re happy or sad from the images they send to the firm. You can either have them explain the images they choose or not.
These virtual team building challenges are quite easy and fun to engage in. They help build cohesion among the team members and make them connected to the firm as a whole. Besides that, virtual team building games/activities are great at helping the employees cope with the negative effects of isolation.