Working from home has become the new normal, with many employees forced to quickly adopt the remote work lifestyle. While telecommuting has many benefits, such as saving commute time, avoiding office distractions, and having a flexible schedule, it also has its cons.
One major drawback is the lack of communication and connection between employees who can't candidly converse with their colleagues. In a recent study on State of Remote Work, 16% of participants quoted difficulties with communication and collaboration as a struggle to work. An equal percentage stated loneliness as their biggest challenge.
Already, many businesses have addressed some of these cons by creating watercooler chats, sending their employees gifts like personalized pens and pencils, notepads, passes to coworking venues, and more. And while these efforts certainly show your appreciation towards employees, it doesn’t bring those employees closer together.
It is important to connect employees by introducing team-building activities that can help them get to know their coworkers better in remote settings. Team building activities can be an excellent asset for companies looking for ways to improve employee productivity and enhance employee branding. These team-building activities can be completely virtual and make disgruntled employees work collectively towards a common goal and boost employee morale. This article outlines five fun and exciting virtual team-building activities and games that can improve communication between remote employees.
Blind Origami is an ideal icebreaker for employees and builds their listening and communication. The moderator should first divide the employees into pairs and ask them to switch off their cameras. Each participant should also have one piece of paper (A4 size). This activity is ideal for short breaks and can be completed in fifteen minutes.
The moderator emails one person from each pair the instructions for crafting an origami. This person's job is to guide the other partner via call or message (but not video) to replicate the origami. Both partners will interact with each other when going through this exercise, and it will help build a healthy professional relationship. The moderator can set a time limit for this activity, and once it's finished, ask the partners to reverse their roles. Once both partners have crafted their origami, they can open their video cameras and discuss the results.
Another great team-building activity is to ask employees to come up with three truths and one lie about themselves (the lie should be realistic). Other coworkers then try to guess the lie by striking out things they believe are the truth. Once everyone has stopped guessing, the employee can reveal the one lie to his colleagues. This activity should ideally be allotted fifteen minutes.
This game can help employees socialize together as they have a fun time guessing, differentiating between truths and lies, and most importantly, learn fun facts about one another that they may not have otherwise. It also allows coworkers to appreciate the difference and diversity between them, which paves the path for greater acceptance in the workplace.
Nothing binds people together more than food. This activity focuses on diversity and socialization as team members from different departments virtually share their favorite meal with others. Some members can even join their beloved café or restaurant via video link and recommend their favorite dish to other employees. The minimum time for this activity is at least an hour as each employee shares their favorite dish with others.
This is an ideal exercise to encourage shy employees who usually avoid conversing to speak up and share. This activity can also introduce different cultures that employees belong to and help promote inclusivity in the company.
Solving a crime is another excellent idea that can refresh employees and help them socialize. A great option is to use the Virtual Clue Murder Mystery game and send out the instructions to interested employees. The game comes with an app that employees can use to divide into teams and solve an intriguing crime mystery game. The moderator should allow at least an hour for this activity.
While searching for the killer, employees are likely to interact and understand each other better. They will also get accustomed to each other's thought processes that can help boost productivity in their work environment.
A book club is also another fantastic icebreaker between employees and can help bridge the communication gap. Book clubs can be assigned a particular day and time by the moderator, where employees can enter virtually and share their recent read. These meetings can also revolve around discussions on team-building and self-growth. These get-togethers should have a minimum time of 30 minutes.
Team-building activities are crucial in a virtual setup, and they must be planned weekly or monthly to keep employees engaged and encourage them to socialize. Successful team-building activities, as outlined above, can have a positive ripple effect on the company, boosting employee efficiency and promoting a culture of collective teamwork.