Transitioning your team from an office setup to a virtual workplace requires a fair bit of work. Extra effort must be taken to ensure that everyone is well, healthy, and capable of doing good work even if you’re far from each other. In addition, you have to take steps so that your team members can communicate and collaborate seamlessly, which can be a challenge if you’re in different places.
The good news is that you can still do team building activities even though your members have moved to a virtual working space, perhaps even permanently.
Below are some team building activities that can be done during work-from-home mode:
Just for fun…
Exchanging gifts with your team members can be a fun bonding activity. You may not be in the same building, but you can make your presence felt with a thoughtful gift that can make working from home a more pleasant experience. Think of themes that will suit a care package for people who are working from home. It can be something to decorate their office space with, items that will make it easier for them to concentrate, or things that will encourage them to live more healthily even if they can’t leave their house.
A small potted plant can cheer up anyone’s workspace, while a pair of relaxing socks for men by Burlix will help your teammates kick back and relax on their days off. Do a short unboxing at the start of a meeting or to mark a special occasion.
There are jobs where employees can listen to music as they go about their daily tasks. If your team can do this, why not share your selection of songs with your colleagues? You can compile your weekly jam into a playlist and forward a link to people who are looking for recommendations.
Who knows, the music you share might help motivate your colleagues to focus on the task at hand. Even if you can’t listen to music while on the clock, you can still share your songs of the week to help your team members discover new songs and artists.
Office Tour Guide
Working solo and then joining a Zoom meeting can be a bit jarring for some of your team members. To help lighten the mood and to ease everyone into an environment where they’re working face-to-face with other people, you’ll need an icebreaker.
An office tour guide is a great way to make everyone feel at ease with each other. In this activity, you can ask one of your members to give the rest of the team a virtual tour of their current workspace. The team member can show their current office setup, if they have pets that have decided to keep them company while at work, their indoor garden, or other places and items of interest in their immediate vicinity.
Make sure to give a heads up that you’re doing this activity so your teammates can tidy up a bit before the call.
Taking an online quiz can be an easy way to break the ice. Before the call, forward a link to a free online quiz and ask everyone to share their results. It can be anything from which Spice Girl member are you most similar to to the type of donut that best fits your personality. Sharing your results is a great way to ease the transition from doing serious work alone to collaborating and interacting with other people.
Ongoing team-building practices…
One of the perks of sharing an office is having the opportunity to eat together with your co-worker. Lunch is a good time to decompress and talk about stuff tangentially related to or completely outside of work. You don’t have to skip this practice even if you’re working at home.
Every now and then, you can schedule a call with the rest of the team and have a virtual lunch. Now that you’re all at home, you have a better chance of showing your cooking skills—or learning from others if you’re still a newbie in the kitchen.
Social Chat Channel
Establishing a channel purely for social chatting is another way to keep in touch with the rest of the team. Here, you can talk about the perks and problems that come with living and working in the same space, share non-work-related stories that can brighten up someone’s day, or offer encouragement to teammates who are still reeling from the recent changes at work.
Slack is a great platform for this.
The distance shouldn’t stop your teammates from learning new things together. You can set a weekly or monthly learning circle where you can tackle techniques and strategies that can make work easier. You can take a webinar together or even ask someone in your team to discuss their area of expertise. This will help your team members grow together even if you’re apart.
Like it or not, working from home will always be an option for your team members moving forward. The recent adjustments we have to deal with in the workplace have shown us that, yes, people can maintain the same level of productivity without spending a day in the office.
With a little bit of adjustment and initiative, you can also improve team dynamics even if you rarely see each other in person.
Pre-pandemic, did you work from home? Or is working from home new for you? Let us know in the comments below!