Published On: Mon, May 25th, 2020

Are Your Employees Working from Home? Virtual Team Building Activities to Try

Is morale flagging among your employees? It can be hard to get a read on how folks are feeling when you can’t chat with them in the break room or see their faces as they enter the office each day. However, you can probably get a sense of how engaged your employees are just by evaluating the work they’re doing. If they seem to be phoning it in or if their usual high levels of productivity are dipping, it’s time for you to step in.

Of course, there are plenty of potential problems when it comes to people’s motivation for work these days. Feeling stretched thin because of additional responsibilities at home, the cabin fever that so many are experiencing, or the allostatic load that’s taking a toll on us all – these could very well be affecting the level of performance that your employees are achieving.

Team Building Activities to the Rescue

Re-engage your employees by trying some of these virtual team building activities. They don’t take a lot of time – no more than those water-cooler chats of days gone by – and they will help your employees feel more connected to their coworkers. This in turns translates to a greater investment in the company and its success! Here are some ideas that are both easy and inexpensive to implement.

Question of the Day

Pose a fun question each day, and let employees post their answers on Slack or whatever other platform you use to communicate. Some ideas for these questions that will get people chatting are:

  • What’s for lunch or dinner today?
  • Did you have any interesting dreams last night?
  • What’s the funniest thing your child (or nephew, or younger sibling) has ever said?
  • What 5 albums (books, TV shows) would you take to a desert island?
  • Do you believe in ghosts; why or why not?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What’s your favorite guilty pleasure snack or meal?
  • If you could add fictional character to your team, who would it be and why? What about any real person, living or dead?
  • The zombie apocalypse is here, and the only weapon you have is the item to your left on your desk. What will you be fighting off the undead with?

These questions should be optional, of course. However, they are fun topics and most folks will want to give their opinion or at least respond to others’ posts. Leave the threads open so that any latecomers can also join in the fun.

Show and Tell

Just like in kindergarten, Show and Tell is a simple, but entertaining, way to get to know other people. It allows your workers to let a little bit of their personality or personal life shine at work – just as the pictures tacked to the cubicle wall or items on their desk would. However, never make this activity mandatory; some people simply aren’t comfortable with that level of exposure.

Some possible Show and Tell themes to suggest to employees are:

  • Your pets (or your pets’ funniest habits or best pictures)
  • Your children’s artwork, LEGO sculptures, or other creations
  • Something relating to a hobby or passion project
  • Last night’s dinner or this morning’s breakfast
  • An item that is meaningful to you for whatever reason
  • A picture of you as a child
  • A photo of your best Halloween costume ever
  • Your wedding photo
  • The view outside your window
  • Your home workspace

It can be hard to feel connected to coworkers when you’re all in separate spaces. This activity can help people continue to bond.

DJ for a Day

Everyone has a different idea of the best music for work, workouts, meditation and relaxation, and getting pumped up. Each day, choose one volunteer to curate the company’s playlist for the day! 

You might ask the DJ of the Day to compile songs for getting motivated in the morning, music that will help people hit their stride as the midday slump threatens, music for dance breaks, wind-down tunes for the final few minutes of the day, and maybe even a couple of extra songs for the weekend’s fun.

Again, no one has to listen to these songs. You will also want to ensure that everything the DJ chooses is “safe for work” — that is, with no objectionable language or content.

How has your company handled remote work, employee engagement, and productivity? Any suggestions for your fellow business owners or team leaders? Let us know your tips for team building in the comment section!

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