Every team relies on meaningful interaction – it helps strengthen relationships, builds trust, and supports personal wellbeing. You want all of your employees to be more than just coworkers, you want everyone to be supportive of one another in a positive manner.
But, creating such a bond can be especially tricky when you haven’t actually interacted with some of your employees in person. That’s why team building games for remote workers are so important.
Why is remote socializing important?
Remote employees are faced with a huge challenge because they aren’t a part of any direct in-person communication like a typical office worker gets. Research has proven that remote employees have weaker relationships with fellow colleagues than those who work in-house. And that isn’t so surprising when 65% of remote employees haven’t even had a group bonding session.
As a manager, you must make it a top priority for your remote teams to engage in regular team socializing. This will help to build a genuine human connection with remote workers and builds trust and inclusion. Plus, it will allow for remote employees to have an impact on company culture – just by being involved, remote workers will feel valued and like equal members of the company. Therefore, it is vital that you create time to socialize with all your employees.
Managing Staff Remotely: The Complete Guide (eBook)
In this free eBook, we highlight everything you need to effectively manage your remote employees. From communication tips to engagement ideas and more, this guide is filled with all the information needed to make remote work a success.
Communication with remote workers is a must during crisis management
Anytime your company is faced with a crisis, such as cyber-attack, workplace violence, man-made disasters, or a global pandemic like COVID-19, you must get ahead to manage the situation. Only through a communication app can your business be prepared, proactive, and communicate effectively.
A communication app allows you to control events in real-time: keep all employees informed with updates and announcements, share key information and protocols, get reports right from the field, enforce compliance, and much more. In addition, in order for you to maintain trust in leadership with your employees, you need to keep communication lines open, honest, and broad. Send an update or post videos about what’s going on, what expectations you have, and so on. Make it super easy for managers to know your thoughts and to contribute their own.
To get the most out of communication, attempt to cater to each individual as the standard one-size-fits-all response just doesn’t fit anyone very well. Make sure to ask every team member to describe under what conditions they perform best, about any concerns they may regarding their workflow and their emotional response to the disruption.
Additionally, set expectations and be crystal clear.
University of California Irvine professor Judith Olson found that the most successful remote work situations are those in which workers have similar work styles, know and like each other, have technology that allows them to collaborate, and know how to use that technology. You may not have time to create great working relationships — though you should try — but now’s the time to explore your digital options. That’s how people will meet the expectations you set.
At all times, give your employees and your managers your support, from a practical and emotional angle.
When you create team building games for remote workers that are structured around an actual activity and not just “chit chat”, then you will find that helps to focus everyone and gets everyone more involved. Here are 10 great team building games for remote workers that you can implement easily and immediately.
9 Team Building Games for Remote Workers
1. Revealing Quiz
Time: 10-15 minutes
Rules: Spark a conversation and complete this Revealing Quiz. Do the following exercises:
- Match the fact to the colleague (the more unusual or unexpected the better)
- Would you rather? (be tasteful though)
- Themed trivia (base it on a tradition, celebration, Hollywood, etc.)
Objective: Keep the game clean as the purpose of team building games for remote workers is to build comradery among your staff.
2. Photo of your life
Time: 15-30 minutes
Rules: Each group can share a picture of something of their life, anything that tells a story about the employee: their dog or cat, their favorite mug to drink coffee, their kids, a favorite TV show, or even the view from their apartment or house. Then ask the remote employee to share the story behind the picture they shared.
Objective: These remote team building games can act as an icebreaker when you play this for the first time or a new hire joins the company. It is a fun, surprising way to get to know one another and creates a casual atmosphere.
3. Virtual games
Time: 30 minutes
Rules: There are some popular games that are available online or can be adapted to be played virtually, such as:
- Charades via video chat
- Draw the picture – a communication game where someone describes a picture, everyone draws what they hear and it leads to a good laugh when everyone shares their artwork.
4. Words with Friends
Time: Ongoing game, at your own page
Rules: Download the app and pair up employees to have matches against one another. Each player gets tiles with letters and they need to combine the letters to create words. The player with the most points is the winner. (It’s an online version of Scrabble!)
Objective: Words with Friends is all about allowing employees to collaborate with one another as they build words, even managers can join as just another player.
5. Three truths and a lie
Time: 10-15 minutes
Rules: Host a video conference and ask each remote employee to tell three truths and one lie about themselves. Keep the lie realistic so it won’t be so easy for everyone to guess. The other employees need to guess which was the lie and whoever guesses right gains points.
Objective: Playing this game helps to rid of any awkwardness as it is light and fun. Plus, it is a great way to get to know one another, especially things that aren’t common knowledge
6. Bucket list challenge
Time: 10-15 minutes
Rules: Host an online/video conference and give all your employees five minutes to think about what would make their bucket list – what are some things they would love to do in their lifetime? Then have everyone go around and share their list. If you have employees who share the same activities, you can challenge them to work on it together! Like, running a marathon – if you have employees who live in the same city or have marathons at the same time in different cities or states, ask them to hold each other accountable to finish the marathon! They can push one another and can check in on each other’s progress.
Objective: Whenever you need a cool icebreaker, turn to the Bucket List Challenge as team building games for remote workers. It can be fun to hear what other people want to achieve, maybe some have ticked off an item and can share their experiences to the rest of the team.
7. Aliens have landed!
Time: 30 minutes to one hour
Rules: Split your employees into groups of three or four. Tell everyone that aliens have landed on Earth and are interested in learning about your company. But, the aliens don’t speak English so you need to explain to them about the company with five symbols or pictures. The groups need to talk among themselves to come up with the five necessary images. One group member should upload the five images that best describe the company. As a manager, take a look at the images and see if you notice any common themes as this will show you if all your employees understand the company.
Objective: You need team building games for remote workers that will encourage communication, build out-of-the-box thinking, and creative thinking. The more your staff talks and create ideas, the more at ease they will feel about their colleagues so going forward, working together won’t seem so intimidating.
8. Movie Night
Time: usually an hour and a half
Rules: Have employees vote on what movie they want to watch and stream the movie through a video conference call. Be sure to keep the instant messaging open so that team members can make remarks while watching the movie.
Objective: Team members can share a joke and bond over the movie while also offering an opportunity to relax and unwind.
9. Donut conversation
Time: 15-30 minutes
Rules: Donut is a Slack extension that randomly pairs up team members every 1-4 weeks so employees can bond better one-on-one with a non-work-related conversation. If team members live in the same city, then they can even meet up for coffee or lunch if they really hit it off!
Objective: Gets team members talking about anything and everything to better build working relationships. It can be a barrel of laughs too!
10. Total connection in real-time
Time: Short (10-15 minutes) or long (30 minutes to an hour)
Rules: Use Connecteam’s employee app to engage in multiple team building games so that you have a total connection with all your employees in real-time.
One, Connecteam is relevant for game #2, photo of your life. Create a dedicated group or channel where your team can share photos about things going on – a delicious recipe they created, their awesome home workspace, a funny photo of their dog, their Zoom fail, and more. In the tap of a button, your team can still engage in “a virtual watercooler” style conversation to boost productivity and get to know one another better.
Second, Revealing Quiz and Three Truths and a Lie can also be done via Connecteam. The Revealing Quiz – you can create quizzes on the app by using a ready-to-go template or creating one from scratch. Three Truths and a Lie can be done via updates or group chat as well, set it up per location, department, or job title.
Three, start a live poll! Live polls are an interactive way to gather information from the team and to get them engaged. Keep it anonymous or let others see what everyone answered, here are some ideas of things you can poll: who has the best work-station, new company outing ideas, cutest employee pet, the best recipe when working from home, gifts to get sent home, and more.
Objective: Take communication and engagement to the next level with Connecteam’s employee app. In a click, you can easily and effectively manage a productive and robust remote team.
For the parents working from home
There is no doubt that working from home when you have kids at home too is a challenge. But it’s do-able. With a little planning, you can find activities to occupy your kids while still getting your job done effectively.
See below a fun infographic we created that lists how to work from home with kids around!
Use any one of the team building games for remote workers on our list to create a stronger team, despite the fact that they aren’t in the same office building! And if you have office workers, then don’t leave them out either, there are plenty of team-building games for office staff. You don’t need to have everything mapped out to the last detail, just keep it simple. Chat for a bit before or after meetings and keep the team building games for remote workers fun and focused. You will easily help build open communication, friendships, and happiness in the workplace.
Use Connecteam to engage remote employees
Connecteam gives you have multiple ways to communicate and engage with your remote employees. From group chat or private chat to feedback surveys to live polls to sharing files to a suggestion box and so much more. Take communication to the next level with Connecteam’s chat app.