June 16th, 10:00 am
Working with distributed teams requires more effort for you to create opportunities for people to see each other. Aside from game nights and company events, you can also incorporate team virtual coffee breaks in your happy hour or as part of your team-building efforts. In this article, we'll share some fun virtual coffee break ideas that you can try with your teams.
This list contains:
Since most of us now are cooking at home, why not take this as a conversation starter in your next virtual coffee break. Exchange tips on your next pasta dish or try on new recipes from the recommendations of your colleagues. After all, aren't we all foodies at heart? Conversations about this may even lead to a more significant activity, say a cooking class or a cooking contest, perhaps?
You can also have Lunch and Learnn sessions after sharing some recipes!
Icebreakers are suitable devices of engagement since they expedite socialization. If you don't want to engage in a conversation but still want to do something fun with your team, then mini icebreakers may be for you. Some examples you can pick are This or That, Passions Tic Tac Toe, or Fortunately/Unfortunately.
Learn more about icebreakers and how to prepare some.
Let gratitude be the central theme of your virtual coffee break. In a group, each one takes turns sharing what they are thankful for in the week.
They can share about the presence of their families, having a job, or even waking up in the morning. It's going to be light yet meaningful conversation about perspective and appreciation for the small things. And of course, you can do it on any other day of the week, not just Thursday.
Motivating people and keeping morale, because we'll like to feel useful. Build culture now.
They say that your workspace defines your personality. If you're working remotely, you know there's some truth to this. So in your next virtual coffee break, why take turns showing your workspaces and letting people into where you cook up your best work every day. Then, get ready to open up your camera. Better to let this be a surprise activity so there's no time for your team to clean up!
Here's a conversation starter that will take you to places. In your next virtual coffee break, float in this question: "What is your favorite place in the world?". Each of your team takes turns sharing about their favorite place. They can also add a few explanations of why it's their favorite and show a picture of it. This is an easy idea that is all about getting to your teams personally.
Feedbacks are a great way to check on the pulse of your team. Too often, we forget that communication in organizations is always two ways. Giving and receiving feedback help us narrow that bridge and establish a culture of open communication. It's also an exercise to get to know a little information about what your team wants.
Get some fun but insightful Slack apps running in your organization.
Video platforms have now taken a step higher in terms of connecting people. For example, if you're using Microsoft Teams in your next huddle, you can enable the 'together mode' by going to 'settings' and check the 'turn on new meeting experience' option. Then, whenever you start a video call, click the three dots on the upper left corner and select the 'Together Mode'. There's a feel-good factor in this option wherein you'll be able to see your team members all at once, almost like sitting next to each other.
Combine the Together mode with Virtual Happy Hours, thank us later.
In this activity, each one takes turns sharing ten things about themselves. Anytime anyone identifies with either of the ten items, they raise their hand or do something. You can incorporate this in your happy hour sessions where someone takes in a drink every time they relate to what another team member is sharing.
Discover Zoom Games.
Here's a trip down memory lane with a load of cuteness. Each team will pin their baby photo on an online board like Padlet and write in a caption without revealing who they are. Once done, each one takes turns to guess whose photo belongs to whom. The first one to guess wins a point. It's pretty simple and a conversation starter.
Here's a fact: the best topic to talk about while at work is about work. So for this activity, why not take turns sharing about your first job and your worst job. You'll be surprised to hear some unique stories and some funny ones. This is one watercooler discussion you'd want to try.
You can always run these topics when the atmosphere is more relaxed and friendly. Why not combine it with a cooking lesson?
Elevate your virtual coffee break with a trivia of insider information. In this activity, gather details about the office culture and use these as your trivia questions. Examples are, "How many meetings have we had last year?", "What color is Brenda's Zoom background in every call?", "How many people work in the engineering department"? You can host your trivia over Zoom or Kahoot for more fun visuals.
Find engaging Game Shows your team won't resist.
Tea Vs. Coffee is an instructor-led session where your teams can hire a professional barista to learn how to brew their coffee. You can follow this with a tasting session where your teams can taste different blends of coffee or tea. An instructor can also send them packages or a kit for them to use in the actual session. If delivery of kits is not possible, they can also purchase the materials on their own.
Start a battle to see who is got the best Taste.
Here's one that's so easy to prepare and requires little effort. With a few searches on the Internet, you can compile a list of quirky and out-of-the-blue questions meant to stir up laughter or debate. Here are some examples:
This is another simple game that brings laughter to conversations. One person asks a question like, "Have you ever (insert remote-themed action)?" The rest of the group raises their hand if they have done that thing. Some examples are:
Let's bring in the coffee for a virtual break. And if this is a virtual coffee break, there must be coffee, right? So, ask your teammates to prepare and drink a type of coffee that you have not tried yet. For example, your colleague who likes black coffee may trade-in for a latte this time. Or for someone who prefers to have their coffee hot, may try cold brew for a day. Then, take turns each to share how you feel about your coffee.
Up for more Tasting Ideas?.
If you've played this in the first days in school, you know how it works. First, you introduce yourself to everybody with an adjective that starts with the first letter of your name followed by your actual name. For example, "Hi, I'm Joyful Jerry." or "Hello, I'm Charismatic Charlie." Then, to make it more interesting, call out names randomly or try going back to a person more than once.
Without moving to another room, grab the nearest object to you that you can't live without. We did this in one of our huddles, and the sharing part was the best. Some grabbed their coffee mugs because they can't start a day without coffee. While some showed their pets, who were luckily staying nearby. This is a spontaneous activity that's a simple way of getting to know your team better.
The best bonding is over food so for this activity, gather your favorite snack and just eat together. It's like a snack potluck, a snack show-and-tell, a showcase-your-snack activity. And, of course, what's in between snacks is natural, flowing conversation. Now, that's a virtual break.
Time to Snack Together.
Hilarious yet seconds after, you'd find yourself deep in thinking. That's why would you rather questions are always part of a group conversation. There is fun, yet there's a philosophical element to it. Here are some examples that you can also try:
For a surprise activity, ask your teams to share the weirdest thing they own with the group. Be it a taco sleeping bag, a floating crocodile decoy, or their baby teeth! This is one way of getting to know your colleagues. Some may find others who own the same thing and realize that they are not weird after all.
If you are working with distributed teams or your company may have moved to a remote-based work environment, then the chances of you getting familiar with the virtual space are high. However, engaging with your team will need a few intentional and consistent efforts. Making use of virtual coffee breaks and upgrading them once in a while with these ideas will help you maintain your relationships with your team no matter where your location is.
Hey, we're Onsite.fun. We're determined to help you organize and manage team building events that your team will love.
We're Joan & Jaume, co-founders of Onsite.fun. Two brothers that joined forces to make distributed teams more united than in-office. Onsite.fun is your one-stop shop to manage and organize team-building events company wide. We find the most remarkable activities online and wrap them on a suite of tools that make them easy and convinient to book for distributed teams.
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