During these tough times, it’s normal for employees to experience some frustration with the current situation we all find ourselves in, which makes it very important for you to focus more attention than usual on their sense of job satisfaction and general well-being. One way you can do that is to take steps to improve your company culture by organizing some remote team fun!
What’s Wrong with Icebreaker Games?
Well, to be honest, there’s really nothing fundamentally wrong with icebreaker games… as long as they are actually being used as icebreakers. When you’re setting up a new team or introducing a new employee to your existing team, it can be fun to play a word game or answer a few random questions to break the tension that comes from interacting with people you don’t know very well.
However, if your team has been working together for the past five years and no one knew that Lydia grew up in Prague and that Joaquin’s been fostering rescue ferrets since college, that random information that stems from icebreaker questions isn’t going to help make a troubled team more successful, and it’s not going to repair a toxic company culture.
If you’re looking to improve employee engagement amongst your remote workers or foster good relationships within your company, then take a look at these fun team building games and activities that your employees will love.
Activities That Require Minimal Set-Up (Yay!)
These activities can be organized by managers with minimal input from employees. Set-up takes a minimal amount of time investment, and your remote team members don’t need any specific items to participate.
Games like Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Scattergories, and Balderdash can easily be adapted to play via a Zoom meeting, video call, or conference call. Everyone playing just needs some paper and a pen or a drawing/notepad app. As long as you can explain the rules, your team is set to play.
There are two ways to do this: you can use a regular video chat service and everyone presses play on a preselected movie at the same time (good luck getting that to work), or you can use one of the dozens of apps that let you stream video to multiple users at the same time (like the Google extension Teleparty).
If you want your team to see something that might inspire their work, then look for a film centered around your industry. Just remember, there’s also nothing wrong with bonding over something frivolous and fun while snacking on some of our BondyYUM! Boxes. These are filled with all kinds of fun snacks, and we even have options for your employees who are vegetarian and gluten-free.
If your team is feeling stressed (and who isn’t feeling stressed, am I right?), then consider taking anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes out of the day to listen to a good ole’ guided meditation session together. There are guided meditations available across multiple apps and websites, and some of them incorporate binaural beats, which use sounds played through headphones to decrease stress and/or increase creativity.
To see the most benefit, we recommend hosting team mediation meetings at the same time but allowing employees to choose their own meditation session tracks to focus on whatever specific issues they want to target for themselves. If you want to go the extra mile toward ensuring your employees have a relaxing day, then you should invest in our BondyCARE: Stress Soother box!
Virtual Museum Tour
If your team works on anything creative, then take them on a virtual museum tour of one of the top museums in the world. From the British Museum in London to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul to the Guggenheim Museum in New York and so much more!
Break Room Chat
The one of the biggest differences people mention when it comes to working from home versus working from the office is the way casual chats just don’t happen as often, and, as it turns out, people really like having a virtual break room or a regular “chit chat” meeting. If you don’t have one yet, then get it set up as soon as you can. It’s the one of the easiest things you can do, and your remote team will love it.
Pro Tip: Start the meeting off with everyone sharing one piece of professional good news and one piece of personal good news to get the conversation going!
Activities That Require Some Planning (You Can Do It!)
These activities are more of an investment. Employees need to be provided with specific items or have specific items available in order to participate. Investing in your employees is the same as investing in your business, but just be aware of the necessary lead time.
Lunch and Learn
Remote working can lead some employees to working through lunch more often than normal—and sometimes working more extra hours overall—which can increase their chances of burnout. Shake things up by having occasional lunch meetings!
Send virtual gift cards so everyone can order lunch delivery and watch a TED Talk or informational podcast that relates to your industry together. In addition, if you would like to streamline their workday a little bit, then send them one of our BondyWFH boxes.
If your employees were inspired by their virtual museum tour (see above), then build on that by sending them a BondyTEAM: Creative Fuel and schedule a virtual art retreat! This Bondy (containing items like watercolor markers, a mixed media sketch pad, and fancy snacks) is designed to get those creative juices flowing. Encourage your employees to mimic the masters, follow a Bob Ross paint-along episode, draw their life—the possibilities are endless!
If you have employees that enjoy being more spontaneous, then send a small group of them our BondyTEAM: Afternoon at the Improv game. This is a virtual team building game that includes instructions and everything else you need in order to lead your team in a fun improv game that will get them thinking creatively and working collaboratively.
Employees who love reading may enjoy using that hobby to connect with coworkers. Choose books that relate to your industry, are business-minded, or are popular bestsellers in genres that your employees prefer. Send them gift cards to purchase the books, give them time to read, and then have a meeting to discuss the book.
Be aware of the time commitment you’re asking them to make, both for the book club discussion and the reading time. Consider designating some work time for reading and choose books that will enrich them personally or professionally in some way for maximum benefit.
Virtual Birthday Parties
Office birthday parties can be a lot of fun and they’re fairly easy to adapt for remote employees. Simply send party hats, cupcakes, and snacks to everyone and have balloons or flowers delivered to the birthday person/people.
Happy employees are hardworking employees, and hardworking employees deserve recognition for all they do to keep your company going strong. Whether you decide to do something bold and over-the-top or something more chill and lowkey, Bondy is here to help. Check out all of the Bondys we have to offer and start planning some good, clean remote team fun!