December 15th, 12:13 am
While things must get done in conference calls, team-building activities are vital. With more monotonous virtual meetings, the team is likely to get overwhelmed and disconnected, leading to low productive meetings. Furthermore, it’s easy for team members to disengage and feel lonely without a sense of togetherness, which comes with relating personally to team members. The result of this is overall poor performance and a higher likelihood of team members leaving the company.
To counter this issue, it’s essential to carve out time for team-building activities. But team building is not the one-off team activity that happens once a year or so, as most people know it.
Regular virtual team-building exercises are indispensable in improving team communication, building trust and creativity, and reducing conflict. These team bonding activities are essential to create a caring and emotionally connected remote workforce.
And instead of a one-off standard exercise, why not change things up to play fun team-building efforts that will cultivate connections, get your peers to know their colleagues, and spark conversations beyond work?
In this guide you’ll find:
You may have played Show and Tell early in elementary school, where you brought your favorite item and told the class about it. It’s time to bring the fun of that in virtual meetings. The great thing about playing this game in a remote work setting is that those favorite items are at a near reach. All the team needs to get started is to prepare their favorite items, whether it’s a pet or a photo of their kids playing ballet dance.
If you’re looking for a simple team-building activity for a conference call, Two Truths and One Lie is a sure candidate. This icebreaker starts with each team member sharing three facts about them, two of which are truths and one which is a lie. The other team members take their guesses which facts are truths, and which is a lie. No special equipment or preparation is needed, but this game will surprise you at how much it allows the team to know each other.
One of the best ways to start a weekly conference call is to get the team to share their highs and lows of the week. This activity will help the team build rapport by sharing challenges that can be solved by their peers. It also encourages the team to focus on gratitude, which motivates the team to keep going strong.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt, also called virtual treasure hunt or online scavenger hunt, is a game where participants scramble to find items to win. The team leader or virtual game facilitator will let the team know the items to locate, and the first person to bring it back before time runs out wins.
For example, the players can be tasked to locate a musical instrument or the most worn-out sweater, and take a selfie with it. The harder it is to find the item, or the sillier the item, the better. The game is fun and also encourages interaction in teams.
Check out some fun Scavenger Hunt games.
Sure, the scenery of foreign destinations is captivating. But other than the scenery, sharing favorite memories will get the virtual team to know each other's interests and preferences. Let the team members talk about why they chose to visit a location or share their next dream destination or bucket list challenge. There are numerous alterations to this game to make it more fun.
For instance, try getting the team to tell their city or country of origin (or dream destination) without mentioning the name. Or with team members’ vacation photos, let the other team members guess the locations. Let your team members add fun facts about the location for more hints for others to guess.
Live polls are a simple way to engage the team. Start each virtual meeting with a quick poll on how team members are doing, the content being covered in the meeting, or just something fun and silly to engage them.
There are many popular team-building games that can be played in conference calls. Games such as Pictionary, Charades, and Scrabble are must-try team-building ideas for remote teams. They provide avenues to improve communication and reinforce teamwork. Deeper bonds formed with these virtual team-building activities go a long way to liven the team.
Getting to know your teammates is a perfect activity for virtual meetings. As the name suggests, they help the team know each other better away from work. They also help the team stay connected. You can opt to start your weekly meetings with quizzes. Or spice it up where the team will answer set icebreaker questions, the answers readout, and the team members guess who said that.
Working in a remote workforce can sometimes get lonely--no one to share personal events of life with. Sharing non-work-related side of life with photos can brighten the team members’ lives. The photos can be about the most meaningful event in their lives, most memorable day, best achievements, or even the most embarrassing photo. All you need to do is ask the team members to share these photos and share about the photo.
Virtual Bingo can be a fun way to get the team laughing and bonding over. This team-building idea for a virtual meeting may be simple, but it works wonders in enhancing the attentiveness and engagement of virtual employees. Start with a customized bingo card for every virtual meeting to get the team looking forward to playing the game.
When done right, a virtual team-building bingo will boost the morale of the team members. Spice the game up by planning a themed bingo activity, for instance, a virtual holiday party bingo or one specific to your department.
Check out some captivating Virtual Bingo activities.
One Question Icebreaker warms up the virtual team to conference calls. Start every virtual meeting with a different non-work-related question to spike conversation. Each team member must answer within a set time, say 1 minute. Start with simple general questions such as their favorite documentary of all time and childhood memories.
This game aims at building a higher sense of cohesiveness in a team. Start by dividing the team into pairs or small groups (of 3-5 members). Then challenge them to find 10 things they have in common in 10 minutes. Encourage the groups to search deeper for common things beyond working in the same department or job title and physical elements such as hair color. You can repeat this game with different group members in a future meeting.
You might be accustomed to hearing the meows and barks in the virtual calls but have never actually met the ones responsible for that. Have a Bring Your Pet to Work for the team to introduce their furry friends and share stories about them. Alternatively, let the team share photos of their pets anonymously or use Google Form and have the other team members guess the owner. The pet owners can afterward share stories about their pets. This activity will accelerate team bonding while humanizing coworkers.
A dance party is a perfect stress reliever for any virtual meeting. So, if you foresee a long-intense virtual meeting, have a killer playlist ready to play. To make it a collaborative effort, have your colleagues email suggestions of the music ahead of time. Come the day of the conference call, just play the playlist and let loose. This will boost the energy and morale of team members.
Want to help your team bond emotionally? Try getting them to use stories as part of team building. A remote story setting gets better because it involves a time limit. Challenging your team to share a little bit of their background in a digestible 60 seconds-long-bite is exciting. Even so, encouraging career or work background-related stories to help cement team bonds. Such funny and rarely known stories will also be something to laugh about.
With video conference calls, it’s easy to get a glimpse of your team member's unfamiliar environments in real-time from the comfort of your remote office. Imagine your team having an opportunity to tour a completely new country or state at the start of a virtual conference call. How amazing, right? That is possible with video conferencing tools your remote employees use every day to communicate. The opportunity to play tourist from a colleague’s window will be fun for all team members involved. This activity will also give the team a common perspective about their peers’ surroundings.
Most people love a little challenge with question-based knowledge. The good thing is Virtual Trivia can be played as part of daily virtual meetings as there are numerous questions to ask. Typically, the team lead will prepare and read questions that take the form of multiple-choice, fill in the blank, or name a tune. Questions can range from office stats, pop music, popular tv shows, or anything else. Break the virtual team members into teams and have them complete at the start of the meeting. To make the game fun and more engaging, ensure you add some prizes.
We have fun and engaging Virtual Trivia activities to get you started.
Scattergories is an old favorite team-building activity. The game does a great job at bringing teams together and enhancing creative thinking. It is an easy pickup that can be adapted for virtual meetings. Online generators make the online version easier to plan and get the team involved. The game involves choosing a letter and a list of categories. The team has a minute to create a word that starts with the letter from the category.
Remember how interesting it was for radio stations to play a clip of an obscure sound, and listeners would guess the sound? You can bring it back with a clip of a popular song. Play the clip and have the team members take their guess. Have hints, such as where the singer is, from ready.
Lunch and coffee breaks were a good time to have casual conversations. These conversations go a long way to building personal connections and friendships beyond work. If you have a long meeting, why not try taking a few minutes to chat and have light conversations? To make it better, have the team enjoy their lunch or coffee. You could even treat the virtual team to free coffee or lunch.
These 20 communication activities for virtual teams are just a few among the many themes for virtual team meetings. They are some of the simplest to get started for your virtual conference calls. Besides, most can be adapted to fit the requirements of your daily meetings with the team. When getting started, keep in mind that the team building activity you choose should create natural conversations like the watercooler conversations at the traditional workplace. Pick one of the ideas above that feels good for your team and give it a trial. You may be amazed at the results such simple topics for virtual team meetings will have on your team.
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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