The pandemic has proven that work can be done remotely and not everyone has to be gathered at one place to be productive. At the same time, it has also proven that it is harder to engage and motivate remote teams as there are fewer opportunities to develop personal relationships. Organizations have started exploring multiple ways to keep employees engaged in remote work and team building activities have been the solution for many organizations. However, remote teams have become disinterested in team building activities as ice-breakers and scavenger hunts are becoming increasingly common.
Remote teams are looking for more engaging activities that help them bond with one another. Event organizers are also thinking out of the box to come up with unique team building activities. One activity that recently became popular is escape rooms. Escape rooms are not a new activity. They are a party favourite and are organized frequently in picnics or vacations. However, with the pandemic, escape rooms have become virtual too. And organizers are coming up with unique themes. For example, virtual escape rooms in Singapore have gone from mystery kingdoms to bizarre time travel experiences. Moreover, organizers are offering fully customized experiences that can be catered to teams of all sizes. But there is more that can be done in virtual team building.
Here are a few team building activities that can help engage your remote teams better:
Virtual Escape Rooms
Escape rooms must be on top of the list when it comes to engaging team building activities. They are fun, engaging, quirky, mysterious, intriguing and many other things at once. Escape rooms bring together your team unlike any other activity. They involve a multitude of skill sets to complete and have something in it for every type of team member. Whether extrovert or introvert, male or female, quiet or adventurous, escape rooms have an element of everything. And the good news is they can be organized completely virtually. There are many organizations offering virtual escape room activities, or you can simply design one with the help of an expert. Virtual escape rooms are as exciting as real ones without requiring the same investment or time. They can be played by teams from their remote workstations. Virtual escape rooms help team members collaborate, make decisions, improve analytical skills, communicate, and complete a goal while enjoying the thrill of the game. It is a team building activity that builds a real sense of camaraderie while invoking many skills.
Although not as much fun as escape room or puzzle mams, quests give your team members the opportunity to explore each other’s personal interests. It can be themed and conducted in a variety of ways. For example, if your team has food lovers you can host a virtual food quest where your team uses clues to explore different cuisines of the world. Or if your team is fond of adventures and travels, you can host a virtual travel quest to explore different locations around the world using clues. Virtual quests are fun, engaging, and memorable.
Some office fitness challenge apps also allow you to set up engaging virtual treasure hunts or step-based challenges, providing a fun and engaging experience to your teams across multiple locations, while giving you access to data to measure engagement.
Virtual work-from-home challenges
Virtual challenges can be of great help in building personal relationships and fostering empathy in your teams. These challenges do not require much creativity to host. They can be as simple as a monthly health challenge or clear the clutter challenge. Your team members can get together in a zoom call at the end of the week and vote the best desk or workstation or at the end of the month you can review each other’s fitness progress and reward the best one. These challenges help your team members explore the human side of each other and cheer for each other.
Virtual mindfulness activities
There will be no better time than now to get started with mindfulness activities. Post pandemic, employees are confused and are finding difficult to adapt. They are missing a direction, purpose, and belonging at work. For teams that have gone completely remote, work life balance has also been an important concern. Organizing virtual mindfulness activities can bring back the focus and prevent employees from feeling burn out. And mindfulness activities do not require much time, effort, or planning. They can be conducted as simple 10 minute group meditation sessions or 15 minute psychological exercises. And moreover, as the world is battling a crisis, we are battling it at an individual level too. This has led to increased levels of anxiety and depression. Therefore, mindfulness is a much needed activity at this time.
Team building does not have to be about games always. It can be quiet yet fun. Every team member surely has things to learn on their wish list. They can be as simple as baking or as complex as learning a new language. You can leverage their wish lists to engage them. Conduct virtual group classes for your teams to learn their favourite skills. Get your teams to vote for the skill or activity of their choice and organize monthly sessions. Learning together cultivates a deep sense of togetherness and positive attitude. When everyone is engaged in something productive that contributes to their personal growth, they are more committed to the organization.
For remote teams, team building activities are not only a great way to engage your remote teams but also a great way to build a rapport.