With a huge amount of work and communication now being done remotely, many team leaders are looking for creative ways to keep their teams engaged, aligned and connected from home.
And with 87% of remote workers feeling more connected with video conferencing, leveraging online platforms for team building activities is the best way to improve communication and company culture right now.
Here are 8 fun team building activities you can easily incorporate into your video meetings and conference calls.
1. Show and tell
Some employees who lack confidence may have difficulties breaking the ice in video conferences. Without the usual face-to-face cues that we are accustomed to in everyday life, you may find that shy personality types in your team withdraw and fail to speak up in online group discussions.
To help everyone express their ideas in video meetings, try introducing a fun and easy icebreaker game such as Show and Tell. You can either host a group event one morning where everyone takes turns introducing their special object, photograph or pet - or choose an individual to kick off your morning stand ups and rotate the player each day. This game is perfect for helping people open up, giving everyone the chance to speak about something they’re interested in while others in the group can learn more about them and bond over shared interests.
2. Run a poll
If you're holding an important online meeting with your team, gauging participant sentiment isn’t always easy. The beauty of video conference meetings is that there are virtual tools you can use to keep track of engagement and encourage thoughtful discussion about a topic. If you’re facilitating the meeting, take breaks throughout to see where everyone is at, what their opinion is and open up the floor to questions. You may be surprised at the feedback you receive and how it encourages the team to work together to come up with solutions. For example, at the end of each agenda item offer three options for next steps and have the team vote on their favourite and discuss why they think this is the best way forward.
3. Team lunch date
For thousands of years, people have been breaking bread to build rapport and connect with each other. In fact, the psychology of eating together is so ingrained in how we do business that many organisations already incorporate team lunches and outings into their workdays. Think about how those in the c-suite use dining with stakeholders and business partners as a tool to build relationships and show congeniality. The same process happens within your team and just because they can’t physically meet up, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t benefit from the relationship building qualities of a shared lunch.
Try setting up a weekly team video conference lunch or coffee date and ask participants to bring a dish that is meaningful to them. While some foodies will jump at the chance to create something nostalgic from scratch, there is just as much fun in having a laugh with those who scrape together a tuna sandwich.
If your team is receptive to the idea and you really want to take things up a notch, try hosting themed lunches or Masterchef-style challenges.
4. Virtual brainstorm sessions
One of the positive attributes of physical offices are huddle rooms and breakout spaces that employees can use to group together for off-the-cuff brainstorming sessions. Not only do these sessions inspire creative and abstract thinking but they’re also renowned as a team building activity. Recreating that environment is possible through a virtual brainstorming session, which can have just the same impact and results as holding a breakout meeting in person.
Start by breaking up your team into smaller groups of 2-3 and give them a set time to brainstorm a solution to a problem your organisation or a client is facing. Afterwards, bring the breakaway groups back together and discuss each other's findings as a wider team.
5. Improve company knowledge with trivia
Getting buy-in from employees is easier when they feel connected to the story of your business. To improve company culture and encourage team work, organise a game of virtual ‘Company Trivia’ that tests employees on facts about your business. Randomly assign employees into teams of two or more and have them work together to answer quirky questions about milestone events, company statistics and employee achievements that are informative and interesting. Having a prize that can be mailed out will up the ante and make for some competitive fun between teams.
6. Play 2 truths, 1 lie
Already popular as an icebreaker game the world over, 2 Truths 1 Lie can easily be incorporated as a team building exercise in your video conferences. The rules are simple: each team member writes down three statements, two of which are true and one a lie. Players take turns in reading out all three of their statements and give the others one minute to guess what’s real and what’s not. Not only will this help to break the ice, it’s a great way to help employees get to know each other and bond over shared interests.
7. Virtual book club
No matter what industry you are in, there will be a multitude of inspiring books that can help employees get ahead in their careers and learn more about what you do. Holding a virtual book club each month that encourages employees to read and discuss books on topics like business development, interpersonal communication and management strategies will help to improve employee knowledge and development while also acting as a great team building activity and motivator.
Write a list of books you think will benefit and entertain your employees and ask them to review their findings as a group.
8. Throw a dress-up party
Just because your team is working from home doesn’t mean they should miss out on the social benefits that events like Friday night drinks or birthday morning teas can have on morale. Organising a dress-up party video conference where everyone, including the bosses, are encouraged to wear something silly will help to encourage friendships and improve employee satisfaction rates. Some people hate fancy dress but if you offer a great prize for the winning outfit you may find that even the most resistant can’t help but get involved.
Use the right video conferencing solution
Ensuring that your team has access to the best video conferencing solution is essential not only for how effectively they can complete their tasks each day but also for maintaining strong relationships within the team. At Express Virtual Meetings, our online video conferencing platform vmeet.express has the reliability, stability and performance to support and connect the employees in your business seamlessly. Plus it's free to use for 2020!
Learn more about how to start using vmeet.express now or find out more about video conferencing for free!