COVID-19 disrupting businesses all over, most teams have been forced to go remote.
So how do you run team building games for remote teams?
Don’t worry! You can always run virtual team building activities.
1. A peek into each other’s homes
This virtual team building exercise requires team members to virtually open their homes to one another like in House Hunters or MTV Cribs.
Jesse Sussman at MuseumHack thinks this is a “hilarious” way to get to know your remote team members and their personalities.
Each team member will take a short video showing off their home and some of their favorite things. This activity allows team members to get to know one another on a more personal basis, and can lead to cohesiveness and feelings of camaraderie.
This fun game may be better suited for smaller teams, but it’s still a great team building exercise for any team looking to get the process started.
Another way this can be done is by allowing one team member to show off their home at the beginning of each week’s work meeting. This way, you won’t have to spend an hour looking at multiple people’s houses at a stretch!
2. The desert island scenario
Many of us played similar icebreaker games like this in school.
In this virtual team building game, group members are given a scenario where they’re stranded on a deserted island with seven objects – but they can only grab three.
Make these objects as obscure and challenging as possible so that your team members are forced to really use critical thinking and planning.
Examples of items are a bag of fruit and vegetable seeds, a pocket knife, a 100 ft rope, a bedsheet, a bucket, 2 liters of kerosene, pen and paper and so on.
Then split the team into small groups and allow them to collaborate on which items they want to pick. Once all discussions have finished, get onto a team video chat and discuss the results.
Activities and exercises like this force team members see each other as teammates and can lead to healthy competition and excitement within the team.
Such games and exercises also demonstrate how working together helps a team achieve better results, and can help virtual workers learn how to collaborate without being in the same room.
3. Personal facts guessing game
The personal facts guessing game is a great way to learn your team member’s interests outside of work.
Here’s a step by step guide:
In the first step, the manager asks each team member to share some personal facts with them.
These facts will then be compiled onto a document that’s shared with each individual in the team. Next to each personal fact there’s an empty column where each employee will have to guess which team member the fact belongs to!
Not only can this ice breaker game be hilarious, but it is a great way to develop successful team cohesion and camaraderie. Once all the guesses have been submitted, an answer key will be provided so that team members can see how well they guessed.
This activity can also take place live on a group video chat.
The facilitator will have the sheet open on a digital whiteboard on their computer and will share their screen while employees try to guess the answers. As each answer is guessed, the facilitator can follow along, putting answers into the empty column.
4. Weekly trivia contests
There’s a reason Jeopardy’s been on the air for 50 years: people LOVE trivia.
That’s the same reason why teams flock to Water Cooler Trivia, a platform for automated weekly trivia quizzes. It’s an activity employees eagerly anticipate each week.
Teams are emailed a Monday morning trivia quiz with responses due that night and results sent the next morning. That schedule is totally customizable.
Importantly, it’s not a one-off event but a source of weekly fun and conversation for the team without any ongoing setup or maintenance tasks. The thrill of pub trivia without the two-hour time commitment and logistics.
The contests are super customizable, meaning you can decide the:
- Categories (Pop Culture, Current Events, Science & Tech, etc)
- Difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard)
- Timing (day of the week and the time for the quiz and results)
- Region (if you have global teammates and want to exclude US-centric questions).
The best thing is that there’s a risk-free 4 week trial to figure out if its a good fit for your team.
5. Picture sharing
Don’t have time for a long problem solving challenge at the moment?
Picture sharing activities help your icebreaker team bond in no time. It can facilitate laughter and surprising responses that will leave employees feeling happy and connected.
Set aside designated time, perhaps at the beginning of each meeting, for a team member to share one personal photo that is unrelated to work. This photo can contain pets, hobbies, gadgets, family members, etc.
Then have the team member explain the photo such as what’s going on there and why they chose it.
Remember, allowing team members to share part of their personal lives makes teamwork more fun and can bring a new element of camaraderie to the workplace.