There’s a reason so many companies are going remote. Geographical freedom gives HR managers access to broader talent pools and enables teams to collaborate asynchronously, resulting in a significant efficiency boost.
But one issue has plagued remote businesses for some time and finding the remedy has long been a major challenge.
What is that challenge?
Developing a strong company culture and maintaining employee engagement.
The evidence in favour of strong company culture is irrefutable, it’s a statistical no-brainer. Bain & Company’s report, Time. Talent. Energy. Discovered that an employee who feels engaged and inspired is 125 percent more productive than the satisfied staffer, while another study conducted by Gallup found that 85 percent of adults worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged.
Improve company culture with online team-building games
With workforces scattered across multiple time zones, what can remote managers do to build an effective team and keep employees engaged? The answer is simple: Build relationships and improve team cohesion with online games using Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or any other video chat software.
The games you include in your online team-building event need to be energetic and stimulating to prevent your employees from suffering from Zoom fatigue. If you’re hosting a large group, you might consider kicking off the session with a series of dynamic ice-breaker games.
Our favourite Zoom games to keep your employees engaged
1. Lightening scavenger hunt
Lightening scavenger hunts are a tried and true favourite for company team building events. The game can be played by both small and large groups using your favourite video chat software. This game gets your team moving and energized for the remainder of the meeting.
Before starting the game, you’ll need to prepare a list of items that your team will need to find in their homes. The items can be completely random, or you can pick a theme such as “items beginning with the letter ‘R’” or “items that are blue.” For an additional incentive, you can offer prizes for the fastest people to return with the objects.
2. Guess the emoji board
This game doesn’t take very long, but it’s a great warm-up for the beginning of your meeting. It’s a great ice-breaker, especially for teams who already know each other a little.
To play guess the emoji board, you’ll need to ask each participant to send you a screenshot of their “most recent” emoji board on their phone. Once you’ve gathered all the screenshots, you can share your screen and display them one by one to the group.
It’s now the participant’s job to try and guess who’s board it is based on the emojis they see. Some will be easy, while others will test your team’s powers of deduction.
3. Virtual coffee breaks
Routine coffee breaks in brick and mortar offices provide the foundation for the development of employee relationships. Without this frequent interaction, remote teams can struggle to discuss topics outside of work.
That’s where virtual coffee breaks come in. Now, you can establish routine online coffee breaks for your employees, allowing them to unwind and socialise with their colleagues while sipping on their favourite hot beverage. You can use any kind of video chat software to do this such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams.
4. Online murder mystery
Online murder mystery events are just like their live-action counterparts, only, online! With the help of a professional third-party organiser, you can create an engaging murder mystery event for any sized group.
Murder mystery events have become a popular team-building activity because they facilitate interaction between employees and improve teamwork and problem-solving skills.
To make the experience more immersive, encourage players to dress up and gather props to match the theme of the event. Also, don’t forget to utilise the background features on zoom for added realism.
5. Company game show
This is your opportunity to recreate one of your favourite family game shows, think Family Feud or The Price is Right, to name a few. The idea is simple, create a list of questions, divide players into teams and let the games begin!
Company game shows are a fantastic opportunity for employees to foster new relationships while enjoying a light-hearted and engaging online game. You can create separate group chats for your teams so they can discuss their answers before giving them.
Charades is a classic family party game everyone knows and loves. It also lends itself perfectly to online team-building events, although beware, the game can become considerably more difficult due to the limited view provided by the camera.
Playing charades online also means you can eliminate any chance of cheating (all too common in the traditional game) by asking the performer to mute their microphone before starting.
7. The drawing challenge
This is a light-hearted team game that’s great for improving communication skills. Before you can start playing, you’ll need to divide the players into small groups, say 2-3 players per team—any more than this and things can become chaotic.
To play the drawing challenge, each team must first designate one player to be “the drawer,” while the other players will be “the describers.” The describers will be shown an image which they’ll have to describe to the drawer within a given time limit. The more accurate the description, the more accurate the drawing will be.
The game is guaranteed to spark some laughter among your group while encouraging the players to develop their communication and listening skills.
8. Online office debates
Regardless of how cohesive your team is, at some point, you’re going to encounter disagreements. Online office debates are a playful way of developing public speaking, communication and listening skills that will come in useful during real-life debates.
To organise an online office debate, select two people to go head-to-head in a meaningless debate. The topic could be silly, such as “No one should ever tell a lie” or “Pineapple belongs on pizza.” One person argues “for” the topic while the other argues “against.”
The two presenters can argue their case using any means necessary, they might want to create a PowerPoint presentation and share their screen or back up their points with YouTube videos. After the presentations have been delivered, it’s time for the audience to decide the winner.
Get team building on steroids with Surf Office company retreats
Team-building on Zoom is an effective way to facilitate purposeful interaction between your employees, but it can often feel clunky or cheesy if executed poorly.
What remote workers truly crave is time away from their computers, surrounded by like-minded colleagues in an epic location.
Surf Office company retreats are your one-stop-shop for fully integrated, end-to-end team building. We captain the entire planning process and work closely with you to devise a customised retreat that suits your needs. Whether you’re looking for a fruitful week-long hackathon or a 4-day team-building extravaganza, we’ve got you covered every step of the way.
Contact us now to get started.