Let’s face it; 2020 was not what we expected it to be. As we have now entered the first quarter of 2021, we all can agree that the pandemic kind of dismantled all the order that was there. We wouldn’t say ruined, because humans have been known to adjust and move forward in the toughest of circumstances and even in the current pandemic times, we are doing the same. Remote working has taken the front seat, and every day a new technique of connecting and engaging is created. Isolation can often weaken team bonds. Thus it is crucial to ensure the team gel well, even though they are spread across different geographical locations or even time zones. Team building activities are a way of executing the same.

This article will discuss team building activities, virtual team games, how are team activities important, what are the benefits of team activities in remote working, and much more.

What is Virtual Team Building?

Team building activities, as the name suggests, refer to activities that are planned to bring the team members together to create a better bond, which eventually leads to better performance and productivity. Virtual team building activities happen when such activities do not take place in a physical space and are done over virtual mediums such as via video calls and conferences. These activities can take various forms, be it virtual team games or virtual ice breakers.

Why are Virtual Team Building Activities Important?

Man is a social animal. This is one of the first principles that we are taught in basic Economics lessons. As much as the modern world is about encouraging the culture of solace and space, one cannot deny that people do need to socialize from time to time. Human contact and connection are vital to keep the mind functioning. In the utter and absolute absence of that, a person can go deep into an abyss and suffer from various mental health issues. Absolute loneliness can result in multiple triggers and traumas, thus disrupting a person’s professional and personal life. Not only that, distrust and distances can appear between the team members, leading to discords. All of this, together, forms a bitter work experience that can also contribute to higher attrition which is an organization’s worst nightmare.

Virtual team building activities serve as constant reminders that employees are not alone, that physical distancing may not necessarily mean an absolute disconnect. These virtual activities serve as ice breakers, thus making space for free-flowing communication.

A healthy and conscious mind is important for an employee’s health and the overall well-being of the organization. Conducting virtual activities is a welcome step towards it.

Virtual Team Building Activities that You Can Try at your Organization

Online team building games are fun and don’t even take up that much time. It just leaves every participant energized and refreshed, by the end of it. Now that you know how important virtual activities are let’s take a look at a few.

Virtual Team Building Activities #1: Testing Affair

This one is pretty simple and can be done via two routes. One is a simple one of having tea or coffee together, once a week, discussing everything except work. A small game can be included therein as well. However, to make things more interesting, various tea and coffee samples can be sent to the employees, which can be transformed into a testing affair. Everyone tests the samples together and discusses their opinion. These teas can be of various flavours, with interesting stories and theories of their germination. Testing affairs can be an enriching experience even as one of the virtual ice breakers if executed well.

Virtual Team Building Activities #2: Team Trivia

As the name suggests, this is a through-and-through fun game involving questions and brain teasers. Pick up the themes via a vote to gauge the ones that the employees are interested in. There are various themes to pick from while creating trivia, such as movies, books, facts, general knowledge, and more. You can even form an office trivia basis on the lesser-known facts about colleagues and even office history. However, care should be taken that no employee’s confidential or sensitive information should be leaked out in jest. This can also be one of the virtual ice breakers if there are sufficient new hires.

Virtual Team Building Activities #3: Dance it out

This is one simple activity to plan but a sure-shot hit if implemented well. Send out the invitations well in advance. Create a high-energy playlist and make sure that the DJ is a person with the most advanced sound equipment and a soundproof room. It is important so that he can play the songs without any interruption, for everyone to enjoy. There you go, you have a virtual dance party ready. Get the party glasses on, munch on those poppers, and get the groove going. This is one fun team building activity that will give the employees a chance to let their hair down.

Virtual Team Building Activities #4: Debate to create

Debates are healthy and work well on communication skills. Conduct weekly debates and ensure that everyone participates at least once unless someone has a serious phobia. Either decide the debate topics or ask the participants to choose on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. Decide a convenient frequency. However, there should be rules set for the debates to not turn into egoistic disagreements that negatively affect work. The purpose of fun team building activities is to create harmony and not disharmony.

Virtual Team Building Activities #5: Book club

Bring out all the bookworms on one platform. A book club can be a weekly or fortnightly property with its own separate set of games and trivia based on books, whether classics or the latest bestselling titles. However, this should not be the only activity as not everyone in a working environment is a book lover. A book club can be one of those fun team building activities with characters and arc discussions. Take care that no groupism should form because of the group being niche. Remember the end goal; bonding and engagement.

Virtual Team Building Activities #6: 2 Truths, 1 Lie

This is a classic game that never gets old. There are virtual adaptations in the form of online games that are quite fun when in a small group. For office, remote team building activities; however, video calls work just fine. This game is quite easy, with only a few steps:

Step 1:
Create chits with employee names
Step 2:
One person should shuffle and call out names
Step 3:
That person has to say two true things and one false thing about himself or herself
Step 4:
The person who guesses the lie gets points

This is one of the best virtual ice breakers. Truth can be a lie and a lie can be the truth, anything is possible here. Mostly, it is one of the best remote team building activities.

Virtual Team Building Activities #7: Birthday Bash

This is one of the simple team building activities. All it requires is arranging for a virtual birthday party for an employee. However, let that not be a surprise as surprise video-calling an employee with the entire team can easily backfire. This can be a planned party with due intimations so that both the employee and the guests can enjoy it. Let the invitation be a surprise, not the event itself.

Virtual Team Building Activities #8: Munch your Lunch

This can be a weekly activity if not a daily one. While in office, people do have team lunches, in the remote working era when time and space boundaries are suffering a setback, people often wish to have their lunch with family, which is an obvious choice. However, a weekly lunch is an excellent virtual team building activity and good virtual ice breakers. Just eating and conversing about life, food choices, and what everyone is up to is a good activity that usually does not require much effort.

Virtual Team Building Activities #9: Workout Wonder

Team workout sessions can be fun. This can be in various formats. Send an invite for daily yoga, Zumba, or aerobics sessions, and those who wish to join can do that together for an hour daily. Starting the day with a light workout is a healthy exercise that will keep the body functioning and the mind alert, and doing it together will also foster team spirit and encourage the members to do better.

Virtual Team Building Activities #10: GIF Gaff

This one does not require video. Instead, this is a chat game. Just form a group and start. Think of it as virtual Musical Chairs. Only, this is a battle of GIFS. Start with an introductory GIF, and everyone then has to continue the conversation with GIFS. Whoever breaks the rule and breaks the game is out of the game. That doesn’t mean that the said employee should exit the group as that would simply be an isolating affair, but he or she should stop competing. They can put in cheers via messages, though. The winner in this one of the best fun virtual team building activities is the one who stands last.

Do not encourage difficult team bonding ideas. Just simple ones that can bring them all together are perfect.

Benefits of Virtual Team Building Activities

Team building activities, whether virtual or physical, serve many benefits. They create bonds within employees and fester loyalty for the organization as a whole, as the work environment turns fun and improves with every passing day. This is important in today’s remote working times when isolation can easily take over and mess with the mind. Here are a few benefits that virtual team building activities entail:

  • Create a support system for employees as they get to know each other better
  • Serve as multiple virtual ice breakers for new hires who may be a little awkward otherwise
  • Analytical and brain-teasing games fine-tune their skills and nudge them towards seeking solutions
  • A better bonding creates better team understanding and extracts a better overall performance
  • A relaxed mind leads to better productivity
  • A good work environment festers employee loyalty for the organization
  • Virtual team building activities also ensure healthy competition and lets the human resource find out who does not have healthy sportsmanship
  • These activities are also a good way of helping the managers understand the strengths, weaknesses, and communication skills or their subordinates

Do you Need Virtual Team Building Activities?

Yes. Virtual team building activities or remote team building activities increase employee bonding, productivity, engagement, and loyalty. These also serve as a great boost in mental health by acting as virtual ice breakers and reducing the feeling of isolation that remote working may foster. Virtual team building activities should be a part of every organization that works remotely.

Does your organization have virtual team building activities? Which one do you enjoy the most? Do tag us and let us know at @HarmonizeHQ.