When employees share an office they easily form bonds and learn to trust one another. If someone needs help, they can simply walk over to a colleague and ask for a hand. Coworkers have an opportunity to learn more about each other, talk face to face, have meals together and chat by the water cooler.
But what does all of that have anything to do with work? Well, studies have shown that socializing and making friends in the workplace is an amazing way to increase productivity in the office. However, creating a friendly environment can be a little more complicated when teams work remotely and do not share the same workspace.
Regardless of whether a company has fully distributed teams or just a few employees have chosen to work remotely, it is important to build viable relationships and an atmosphere of trust and support among all coworkers.
Keeping a virtual team engaged is a challenge, which is why many managers turn to team-building activities. Aside from old-school activities such as sports, indoor and outdoor games, now there are digital activities suitable for coworkers who live far from one another. If you want to bring your team closer together and provide them with an outlet where they can socialize outside the context of work, here are several ideas you might want to consider.
Back to the roots
When people share an office they have time to chat about their families and their hometowns. However, digital teams usually don’t know anything about their coworkers, so giving them an opportunity to do so might be a home run. Simply by uploading a map of the world to an online whiteboard and asking the team members to put a sticker on the map to show where they were born, you will inspire them to share a short story about their hometowns and get to know one another better.
Finding something in common
Although this couldn’t be a simpler team-building activity, it will create a bond, encourage a discussion and inspire team members to be more creative. Divide your team into small groups and have them create a list of ten things they have in common. Regardless of whether you choose the topic to be more business oriented or not, this activity will create a dynamic atmosphere and keep the coworkers engaged. When the small groups have all created their lists let them share them with the rest of the team and see the magic happen.
Snapshots of life
This activity has a little more personal vibe than the previous ones since coworkers have the opportunity to share a photo of something from their life and tell the story behind it. This can be done every day or every week on an online meeting board and it will allow team members to get to know each other more and help set the casual atmosphere needed for the brainstorming sessions.
If the members of the team live in the same area, organizing a scavenger hunt might be a great idea. Divide your team into two or more groups, give them a map and let them look for the hidden treasure. No matter what it is, the employees will have a great time and even the shyest of wallflowers will be able to step out of their comfort zone in this relaxed and playful atmosphere.
This activity is not just for kids anymore! Actually, it is a great team-building activity that promotes problem-solving, crucial decision-making skills, communication, and team trust. In this healthy and fun atmosphere, your employees will be able to engage in a group activity that encourages playful bonding and let’s be honest, nothing brings coworkers together like teaming up against their colleagues. Not only will team members have amazing stories to swap, but they will also feel more relaxed since laser tag allows them to release all that build up stress and frustration. If your employees enjoy adventurous indoor activities, laser tag might just be what the doctor prescribed.
No matter where your office is and if your team members live in the same area, helping the less fortunate is always a good and noble activity. Regardless of whether they decide to volunteer at a soup kitchen or just raise money for some righteous cause, this type of activity allows coworkers to work together in ways they may never have expected to be able to. Not only will they do a good deed, but they will grow together as a group, gain self-esteem and self-worth.
Team-building activities are definitely in the company’s best interest. After completing these tasks together as a team, coworkers will be able to better understand each other’s strengths and interests, which will help them work even better together on future projects.