Remember the heady days of face to face team building activities? I’ve taken part in some fantastic team events over the years. The best included an office sports day and picnic in glorious sunshine, a weekend in Barcelona and a yoga retreat. I’ve enjoyed tapas tasting, team awards dinners (with categories such as ‘client schmoozer of the year’) and an extremely competitive sandcastle building competition. On the other hand, I’ve also attended long, mandatory days in dreary conference rooms with stale sandwiches and far too much PowerPoint.
Why are team building activities important?
There is no doubt that a great team building event can bring people closer together. Well-organised and genuinely enjoyable events enable us to forge real friendships and form lasting bonds with people who were merely co-workers beforehand. Team building activities encourage collaboration, increase communication, motivation and conflict resolution. Team members get to know each other better, foster a sense of team spirit, increased trust and bring out the best in each other.
Post pandemic, more of us than ever are working from home. While of course this is great news in terms of work-life balance and the environment, it does mean that we have to make more of an effort to compensate for the lack of water-cooler moments and spontaneous pub lunches. With this in mind, we’re sharing ten of the best remote team building activities that you probably haven’t thought of.
Awesome team building activities you can do from home
While this is not quite the same as going for ‘just the one’ drink after work with your team, it does come close. Each team member is sent a tasting selection of delicious craft beers, then everyone joins the Zoom ‘pub’ at the same time and is led through the tasting session by an expert host. Team tasters are invited to consider beer styles, breweries, tastes and so on in a fun, informal way.
Virtual escape room
Problem solving, communication and teamwork are crucial in this team building activity. Work together to solve puzzles, look for clues and beat the clock. There are lots of online escape rooms, with themes such as mystery, horror and time-travel, but here are a few of the best:
Run a race night
Going to the dogs was one of my favourite things to do as a child. The thrill of picking a greyhound and then rooting for them to win was like nothing else. Race Night UK run virtual ‘meets’ via Zoom, where you and your team can place bets (just for fun, no real gambling is involved) and then watch the races together. For added authenticity, enjoy some fried chicken and chips in a plastic basket and shout as loudly as you can while each race takes place.
This is one of the easiest to organise team building activities, yet also one of the most enjoyable. Shortlist some films that are available to everyone (for example on Netflix or Amazon Prime), then let your team vote for the one they want to watch. Everyone agrees to watch whichever film wins the vote at exactly the same time. Set up a Slack channel or WhatsApp group so that everyone can share their reactions in real time. Go the extra mile by sending everyone a big bag bag of popcorn and some bespoke ‘tickets’ in advance.
Gather around a (tiny) campfire
This may just be the cutest idea for a remote team building activity ever! The whole team come together around a ‘virtual campfire’, complete with ghost-storytelling, games and (the best bit) s’mores making. Visit tiny campfire for more details.
Five more unusual ideas for remote team building activities
- Get creative with an online painting party
- Complete an online jigsaw puzzle together during virtual happy hour
- Play a game of music, TV or movie bingo
- Try remote Pictionary using the Zoom whiteboard function
- Start a .gif war with your team!
You might also consider meeting in person outside if the weather is fine. Perhaps a team picnic in one of our favourite spots in Kent? And if you’re meeting up with your team virtually, be sure to declutter your desk first!