Virtual Team Building

Now that lots of offices are working remotely, co-workers are struggling to connect with each other (both because of all the other pressures in the home--kids, pets, stress, etc. but also because it's just not the same to have a water cooler conversation when the water cooler is your kitchen tap and you might not be wearing proper pants).

Strange times lead to a dearth of connection, and team building is a great boost to office morale--but how do you team build when everyone is in a different space? Here are a few ideas:

Online Competition: Many companies have dipped their toes in virtual competitions already. (Intel, for instance, does a widespread competition for retail salespeople.) Divide offices into teams and host online quizzes, competitions, scavenger hunts, etc. with weekly leaderboard results.


Virtual Trivia: Speaking of online quizzes; having a virtual trivia break at the end of a week is a great way to both review what has been happening that week--getting everyone on the same page even if they've been working remotely--and lighten the mood. Prizes may or may not be involved, but everyone plays along using virtual keypads (see www.learningware.com) for a great virtual (and classroom) game show resource.


Show your Talent: Virtual meetings are giving co-workers tiny glimpses into the personal lives of their peers. Capitalize on that by doing a bit of a talent show. Can someone play the guitar? Can they make up a parody song about virtual work? Do they have a cat that can meow on command? Time to find out!


Video Presentations: Co-workers (or management) can prepare short, entertaining videos, showcasing what's going on with their projects. One of our clients is sending out messages from their AniMated mascot--featured at their face-to-face events--to keep everyone updated in a fun, lighthearted way.


Hangout Happy Hour: My husband's company enacted a virtual happy hour--and combined this with a trivia/icebreaker game. It was a designated time to unwind a bit in a high-stress climate. Cocktails are optional, of course.
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