Virtual Team Activities:
The following list of team-building activities may be helpful for keeping teams that are working remotely or in different locations, engaged and connected. Whenever you are using any team building activity it is important to consider how the activity you are choosing is inclusive of all and is respectful of diversity.
Take into account that there are different levels of abilities, cultural and individual preferences around comfort with personal sharing that also extend to personal space. In addition, consider the context for why team is working virtually. If it’s under unexpected and unusual circumstances, employees will be adjusting to transition and to external stressors. Know your team, check in, and think about timing.
Consider the following tips:
- Be aware of how this activity could affect others
- How can team members collaborate in choosing and developing activities?
- Could everyone fully participate in this activity? Could you adapt or provide options?
- Would this activity potentially expose someone in any way?
- How will you gather and act on any feedback?
Video of the Day
A team member submits one brief, funny or inspiring video of the day to open or close the meeting.
Show and Share
Depending on how much time is available, one or more team members could potential choose an item from home and briefly share its significance.
Could be done individually or in teams (a good option for those who don’t use step counters) over each week. Points count could include steps taken, stairs climbed, kilometers ran, this could also include upper body exercises as well. Teams check in with overall counts each week at subsequent meetings.
This requires devising a (simple) points system. An example of this can be found on the UBC Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge page.
Personal Facts Guessing Game
A sheet with a list of personal facts is sent to each team member. Next to each personal fact there is an empty column where each team member will guess which member the fact belongs to. Once all guesses have been submitted, an answer key will be provided so that team members can see how well they guessed. The facilitator will have the sheet open on their computer and will share their screen while participants try to guess the answers. As each answer is guessed, the facilitator can fill in the empty column. When asking for personal facts, it is important to frame personal facts as being light, simple, and within comfort levels.
In picture sharing set aside designated time, perhaps at the beginning of each meeting, for a team member to share one personal photo that is unrelated to work. This photo can contain pets, hobbies, gadgets, family members, etc. Then have the team member explain the photo.
The Sit to Stand Challenge
Challenge the team to this research based test for healthy aging. Check in at the next meeting.
This could be done indoors or outside, but does require some time. Facilitator generates a short list (i.e. household items) first person to collect and show all items wins. Outdoors could be about locating items or taking pictures of doing actions and sending to the facilitator. If time and interest allows, a combined indoor and outdoor hunt may be an option.
Use the office, team member facts or UBC overall as a source of trivia (i.e., what holiday decoration is still up in the office?).
This one might appeal more to competitive and fitness oriented team members. Conducted off line, this could be done individually or in teams for a total combined length of time hold. Check in at follow up meetings. For more information, check here
Communication- Drawing Exercise
Have participants try to replicate a simple drawing that you have. They can’t see it, and the facilitator can only describe the drawing in terms of lines, directions, angles and measurement (e.g. instead of saying circle, say “draw a 360-degree angle”). Share results at the end, see how close participants got to replicating the drawing. For some simple drawings, check here
Self Care Challenge
Participants are given a heads up in advance to share one new self care practice or healthy habit that they are going to practice daily. Accountability and support is fostered by a check at the following virtual meeting.
Game of Possibilities
Facilitator shows a random item (e.g. a pencil). In rapid fire, one at a time, participants come up with a use for that item completely unrelated to it’s intended use. Points for creativity and laughs.
Two Truths and Lie
Depending on time, one or more participants will share in random order two truths and one lie about themselves. The rest of the group decides what the lie is.
Whomever is the ‘drawer’ will need to have paper and marker and show drawing every few seconds or have a flipchart and position camera to capture. Use this tool (recommend level- hard) to generate words for others to guess at what is being drawn.
The Deserted Island Scenario
In this virtual team building game, team members are given the scenario that they are stranded on a deserted island with seven objects, but they can only choose three. Make these objects as obscure and strategic as possible so that members are challenged to really think and plan.
Then split the team into groups and allow them to collaborate on which items they want to choose. Once all collaborations have finished, get onto a team video chat and discuss the results. Examples of items are a bag of fruit and vegetable seeds, a pocket knife, a 100 ft. rope, a bed sheet, a bucket, 2 liters of kerosene, a lighter, and so on.
If you could have a song, or piece of music play every time you entered the room what would it be? A team member submits a song or some music that they consider to be their “anthem”. The facilitator plays a snippet of the music in the virtual meeting but does not share the identity of the team member. The rest of the team guesses at whose theme music it is.