The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed lives in a very short time. Schools are closed, businesses have shutdown, and more workers are reporting for duty without ever leaving their homes.
At the end of March, an estimated 16 million office workers in the U.S. started working remotely due to COVID-19—a number that its likely much higher now. At simplicityHR by ALTRES, we too have made the shift, from just a handful of remote team members to almost 90% of our staff working from home.
As teams get used to working remotely, the need to maintain a sense of connection grows more urgent. Frequent communication and a sense of shared identity within a team can soften the effects of physical separation.
Here are some fun, easy team building ideas to try with your employees—virtually!
Add a splash of fun to virtual meetings
Chances are you’re on a video call at least once a week with your team. Here are some quick, easy ways to add fun to your normal flow.
Best Conference Call Background
Challenge your team to find the best background possible for your next virtual meeting. If you use Zoom, you can upload your own background image. If you use something else, your team will need to get really creative and use things in their home.
Get the creative juices flowing! A classic game like Pictionary never goes out of style. Have team members guess what each other is drawing using Zoom’s whiteboard feature—or keep it old school with pen and paper that you can show on screen.
Name That Throwback
Nothing brings people together more than nostalgia. Compile a list of old songs, play snippets during your next video chat, and have team members guess the song name. You could choose hits from different music genres, decades, or even popular movies to keep it interesting.
Get social while social distancing
Connect with your team off-the-clock and help them maintain a sense of normalcy with these fun virtual activities.
Virtual Pau Hana
It can be hard to bookend the day when you’re working remotely. What better way to unwind than a with a virtual pau hana! Set a time, have everyone prepare their favorite cocktail (or mocktail), and jump on a Zoom call together.
Group Workout or Exercise Sessions
Finding the motivation to stay healthy and workout from home is tough. Spark that fire in your employees with group fitness classes, weekly yoga sessions, or even just simple stretching breaks and reminders throughout the day.
Water Cooler Talk Story
Take the water cooler talk from the breakroom to the chatroom. If your remote communication channel allows for it, set up a specific chatroom or online thread for team members to talk story about everything BUT work—kids, dogs, worthy Netflix binges.
Don’t skip special occasions
Just because you can’t physically be together doesn’t mean you should skip celebrating special occasions. This goes for everything from employee birthdays and anniversaries to holidays and company events. Make a special shout out during your next virtual meeting, send an eGift card, or offer time off when appropriate.
Managing a remote workforce is a new challenge for today’s leaders. It will require a bit of creativity, time, and effort, but the benefits of an engaged workforce will help carry your business through these uncertain times.
Have a question for one of our HR experts? To learn more about this issue or to schedule a free consultation on the advantages of human resources outsourcing, contact simplicityHR.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.