The pandemic has altered how we conduct our lives. The most significant change has been the shift in the workspace. More people are now working out of their homes than in offices.
According to a study conducted by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, over the last five years, remote work has grown by over 44% and over 91% since 2010.
But remote work comes with its own challenges of mismanagement, miscommunication, distractions, a feeling of detachment, and a struggle to stay motivated.
There is an overlap of work and personal life, leaving one drained and overwhelmed. Most people are overcompensating for the critical times with overtime.
According to the State of Remote Work report, the biggest challenge for remote work, with 20% (a 3% increase from 2019) agreeing, has been on the communication and collaboration fronts and managing a team virtually. Therefore, you must keep everyone in your team well-connected and in the loop.
Communication is a significant component in a virtual team. It is the management’s job to build a bridge of trust and understanding through open channels of honest communication.
Team building exercises for remote workers are crucial to bridge the chasm created by physical distance. When all of your employees work by themselves, it is very easy to lose cohesiveness and build a sense of disengagement. Team building exercises are significant in maintaining existing bonds and aid in developing newer, healthier relationships amongst virtual team members. With the altered nature of interactions, you need to find new team exercises that are inclusive and leave your employees feeling refreshed and light at heart.
Remote team-building exercises provide a creative way of breaking the ice after effective virtual onboarding. Here are some of our favorite picks of exercises and activities that managers can use to build better-engaged teams.
Best Team-Building Exercises for Remote Teams
Pictionary is easy and super fun to play. One team member chooses a random word from the word generator (or gets assigned by the manager) and has one minute to draw to the best of their ability. After the minute is over, everyone from the team has to guess what it was. The most right guesses by the end will take it all! It helps the team bond over poor drawing skills and laughs!
Time – 15 to 20 minutes.
Virtual video games are the best team-building exercises for remote employees. These games often have to be played in teams, hence, all need to converse with each other to stay in the game. It is a good gambit to get the introverts to open up and see who is a team player and who is not.
One can play the Virtual escape Room, which is about recovering a stolen priceless collection of precious jewels before time runs out.
Virtual Clue Murder Mystery: Teams will race against the clock as they try to solve the mystery behind a particular murder. They look for clues, review case files and do detecting. The team collaborates on problem solving and analytical thinking. This is a fun and exciting virtual team building activity you would want to try.
This is a fun and creative get-to-know-me game. The aim is to find three pictures that define you. The images have to be personal and not something you can google. These pictures can either tell your story or the three most important moments of your life. It helps you get better acquainted with your teammates on a more personal level.
Aliens Have Landed
Probably the most popular game of all among teams. The manager can divide the team into groups of two. You have to assume that the aliens have landed, and you need to tell them about your company through pictures; 5 is the upper limit. It can be funny, insightful and creative all rolled into one.
There is no better game to keep spontaneity and the creative juices going. Here one person starts with a sentence, and the next person has to add another sentence to the first and so forth. Every sentence should be coherent and should help the story progress. You have no time to think, and the person who messes up is out of the game!
A perfect opportunity for employees to show off their knowledge and prove that being smart is cool! You can decide on a topic—pop culture, books, celebrities, music—and prepare a questionnaire. Routinely, you can change the host for this.
Most Likely to
It is a good way to build tighter bonds. Most of us are aware of our colleagues’ quirks and habits and can predict if they are likely to do something or not. The host can make an absurd list of scenarios, and others have to vote on who is the most likely to do what.
This is a good way to get feedback on how people perceive you. You’ll learn how others perceive you. For example- most likely to jam the printer, most likely to be late for an assignment, most likely to overlook minute details, etc.
Arm’s Reach Show and Tell
This is probably the silliest but requires the least amount of preparation. Ask the members to grab the nearest thing and tell a story about it or make up one if you don’t have any. Everybody votes on the best one at the end.
Tip – Make it as dramatic and absurd as possible!
Two truths and a lie
Each team member presents three statements about themselves: two truths and one that is false.
The team members then take it in turns to guess the lie. The person with the most correct guesses will grab the win!
This team-building exercise is a good way to break the ice in a new team and also reveals some added information about each team member.
A look at the future
Create an e-newspaper with some futuristic headlines and ask the team to mark 5 headlines that they think would suit the company’s future. Headlines like “World’s first company to have a branch in Mars.” “The company that innovated xyz”. This helps you to understand each member’s goals and expectations from the company.
Team building exercises help to form a cohesive, engaged virtual team. They are good ice breakers and help foster some bonds, which otherwise would be difficult to form in a remote setting.