Looking for meaningful and fun team-building activities? With so many companies going fully remote since the start of the pandemic, the need for quality connection is ever more pressing in the workplace. Traditional team-building activities don’t always carry over to a virtual world, but others can simply be modified for screen-based interactions. And once that remote team is able to meet up in person, the opportunity for team-building and connection grows multifold!
After years of offering both in-person and virtual team-building experiences for companies large and small, we have a pretty good idea of what works — and we love to share our knowledge! Find out more about our corporate wellness retreats and activities or get in touch directly anytime.
But First: Remote Work Isn’t Going Away
First of all, it’s important to realize that remote work isn’t going away! The pandemic might have forced some companies to go virtual before they felt ready, but this was the trajectory for office-based work regardless.
So, now that we’ve all accepted remote work as a full-time possibility (and opportunity!), how can we ensure our staff still feel connected to their work and to their co-workers? How can we build employee loyalty in a virtual environment?
And let’s not forget: how can team-building activities help a remote team when they suddenly come together in person for a conference or meeting?
The Importance of Staying Connected as a Remote Team
Remote teams need more nurturing and proactive team-building than traditional office-based teams. While office co-workers could enjoy casual conversations while getting coffee, taking the elevator, or grabbing lunch together, virtual teams never have those moments of bumping into one another.
This is where an employer (or HR Director, Office Administrator, Morale Booster, etc) needs to take the proactive approach.
Fostering a sense of community within a workplace helps with productivity as much as it helps with employee satisfaction. It’s an investment in your company.
Whether you think you have the time and resources or not, remote workers need team-building activities even more than your traditional office workers did. So you really just can’t afford to skip these!
The Best Team-Building Activities for Remote Teams
Whether you have hundreds of employees or just a handful, getting them together to share experiences and make memories is beneficial for everyone. Some of these are perfect for virtual team-building while others are ideal whether you’re on-screen or in-person.
Here are our favorite team-building activities for remote teams:
1. Virtual Quizzes and Trivia
Yes, these got a little old when everyone jumped on the trivia bandwagon at the beginning of the pandemic! But, at this point, we all know we shouldn’t be doing hours-long trivia nights back-to-back.
A quick lunchtime trivia session or an end-of-the-day gathering can bring employees from wildly different backgrounds and departments together for fun interaction.
2. Tarot Readings
Delve deeper and help foster true connections between your employees with a virtual tarot reading. While some conversations can get deep and personal, there is plenty of room for lighthearted conversation and fun during a group reading, too!
These have been hugely popular for remote teams (especially around Halloween, celebrations like birthdays, farewell gatherings, and leadership retreats) and we just love bringing a group together over the cards.
From good old-fashioned Scrabble and Tic-Tac-Toe to more interactive Pictionary and Charades, playing games together loosens everyone up and helps coworkers to connect on a more social level.
There are endless opportunities online to make these games a part of your regular workweek, playing a round as and when each player has time. Or plan specific times to get some folks together for a laugh!
Want to go beyond the traditional games idea? Try costume contests, scavenger hunts, messy desk competitions, or pet coworker photo contests for some extra fun interjected into your busy workdays!
4. Yoga Sessions
All the rage and for all the right reasons, yoga is one of the most popular corporate team-building activities for remote teams and for in-person conferences or meetings.
For any team that is computer-based, yoga can be such a relief from the often terrible posture and all-too-sedentary lifestyles that result.
Private group yoga as a team-building activity allows folks to feel relaxed and comfortable while sharing an experience. As a virtual activity, those who are new to yoga can feel comfortable learning a new skill without the social pressure of being in the same room as others.
It’s a great way to offer your team a stress-reducing activity while supporting their team-building opportunities!
5. Dance Classes
Ready to step it up a notch from the quiet calm of yoga? Try a dance class instead! You might just see some of those quiet team members come out of their shell when the stage is set. And for those who are still shy, a virtual environment lets them participate without any social pressure. It’s a win-win!
6. Guided Meditation
Going in the opposite direction, let your remote team get their zen on with a group guided meditation. Especially if you feel like the stress levels have been rising and team morale is running a little low, a guided meditation can help to recalibrate and rejuvenate your whole staff.
7. Create a Club (or Several!)
Bringing employees together over a common theme is a great way to encourage conversation across different departments and seniority levels. Maybe it’s a book club, knitting club, coffee-lovers club, or any other topic!
Creating casual, comfortable spaces dedicated to thematic activities allows your staff to connect and feel respected for their personal interests.
8. Lunch Dates
Remember those days of leaving the office to grab a sandwich with a coworker? Take that idea virtual! Encourage your team to enjoy an occasional lunch together.
Extra points if you send everyone vouchers for delivery of a special treat! Pizza, anyone?
9. Cooking Classes
What’s better than sharing a meal together? Cooking a meal together! Take that shared mealtime one step further with a special cooking class for the whole team.
Some of our favorite cooking classes recently have included Ayurvedic cooking (with accompanying dosha quizzes!), Plant-Based or Vegetarian Cooking, and competition-style classes where everyone shows their dish at the end and a judge decides which is “most Instagram-worthy” or “least/most likely to be eaten by a 5 year old” or other funny awards. The whole group enjoys these!
You’ll need to arrange this in advance to allow everyone time to get the ingredients together. It’s a fun way to learn something new and enjoy a practical experience even without being in the same room.
10. Happy Hour
Happy hour doesn’t have to be in person and it doesn’t have to be alcoholic drinks either! Getting the team together at the end of the day just lets everyone relax and unwind with casual conversation. It also helps ensure remote work doesn’t bleed into personal time at home. Encouraging your team to turn off work mode at the appropriate time helps strike that work-life balance we’re all after.
These are our favorite team-building activities for remote teams, but how about yours? If you have more suggestions, we’d love to hear them! Our menu of options for virtual and in-person corporate events is ever-growing as we find more ways to incorporate wellness and fun into unique experiences. Get in touch if you’re interested in continuing the conversation!