Games and activities at work should not be an end in themselves. After all, they obviously do not directly get any work done. Playing a game over Zoom means an accountant isn’t working on a spreadsheet and a sales rep is not making calls.
However, when used purposefully, online team building games improve attributes that may seem intangible but can actually be measured through metrics like employee retention. They can end up saving your organization hassle and money as well as making work more enjoyable and productive overall. Your games and activities can improve:
- Morale: When employees bond during virtual team building games, they often like each other more and feel an increased motivation to help each other with shared goals during regular work hours.
- Retention: When team-building games increase motivation and morale, employees feel more positively about work and have less reason to look for other jobs.
- Engagement: As team members get to know each other and work more closely to achieve organizational goals, they are naturally more engaged. They start to care more about your company and their teams.
Since more employees are working from home now, you may be part of a completely remote team or a mix of in-office and remote workers. This may continue for an indefinite period of time, so we encourage you to learn to keep your remote employees healthy and happy. The following 10 online team-building games can help your remote workers bond with each other better.
1. Getting-to-Know-You Quiz
Before your meeting, have all team members turn in several unusual or surprising facts about themselves and their history. Then the facilitator will read each fact (or state it in your own words), and have team members guess who it is about. Give a point for each correct guess, but emphasize that everyone wins by building camaraderie and understanding.
2. Real Life Pictures
Ask employees in advance to take a picture (or select one in their library) to share with the group. It should reveal something about them in their normal life, such as the view from their window, their family, a pet, their most-used mug, or their favorite TV show. Have them show the picture and explain why they chose it. This is helpful for getting to know new hires.
3. Zero to Hero
Using your video conference software’s breakout session feature, have team members split into pairs for a limited time. They take turns: One explains a negative incident from their past, and the other tries to reframe it to highlight a positive aspect or result from it. Then, the partners switch roles. Bring the group back together and briefly discuss what you all learned.
4. Solving Mock Problems
Create a simulation of a business challenge. Give the team a made-up (but typical) task or project, including goals, guidelines, and a time limit. Have them brainstorm possible solutions and make decisions. Then, give them feedback about the positive aspects of their process and solutions. Help them learn principles and practices they can use in workplace teamwork.
5. Truth, Truth, Lie
In a small group, have each member state a lie about themselves along with two truths, without revealing which is which (or write them down if they’re afraid of revealing the lie through their tone). The group uses what they know about each person, along with deductions and the process of elimination, to guess the lie.
6. Debate Club
Give pairs of team members challenging issues and opposing points of view to defend. They have a few minutes to think up arguments and then present them. Encourage other team members to applaud if they appreciate their effort. But the rule is that they must practice good manners no matter how much they disagree. Discuss how this skill can transfer to workplace disagreements.
7. Drawing and Acting Games
With your group, choose a popular drawing or acting game that can be played over video conferencing, such as charades or Pictionary, and play it. Alternately, have one team member at a time describe a photo only they can see while the other team members try to draw it from the description. Revealing their drawings often leads to laughter and insights.
8. Movie Night
SnackNation suggests giving your team the feeling of going to the movies together. Popular apps such as Netflix and Hulu have watch party features, which you can use to watch entertaining and/or educational movies or shows. Encourage healthy snacks during the viewing and have helpful discussion questions afterward to get team members to chat about what they saw for a short time.
This activity can be a short addition to any meeting. Before the regular and possibly difficult discussion, help people get into the discussion mode with fun and stimulating questions. Keep scouring the internet for new ones, such as:
- What is your morning beverage of choice and why?
- What is your favorite way of fighting distractions while working from home?
- In a zombie apocalypse, what three people do you want watching your back?
10. Reflections and Resolutions
At the end of a year—or any time—organize a virtual meeting with some snacks. Spend time allowing each person to reflect on an accomplishment from the past year and a resolution for the next year. Team members should encourage each other and show that they’ll support each other in their goals.
Try one or more of these online team-building games to improve morale in your business. Then, check out Eddy for the rest of your human resources needs. This software helps you stay compliant with laws, hire great employees, set up HR processes, and much more. This way you have more time to focus on your business—and your life outside your business. Find out why small business owners love Eddy.