In a traditional office setting, relationships are built naturally through face-to-face interactions. Employees get to know each other through daily conversations, jokes, and camaraderie. They also participate in fun activities like team lunches, holiday parties, and group outings.
For remote teams, the path to relationship-building is a bit more uphill. Without daily reminders of each other’s presence (i.e., a neighboring desk or cubicle), a feeling of disconnectedness can develop. And that can seriously hinder employee engagement.
Luckily, it is possible to turn a community of remote workers into a team through creative employee engagement strategies. Coworkers don’t have to be located in the same city, state, or even country to have fun together. There are plenty of team-building activities for remote teams to embrace.
If your employees are distributed across the globe, lean in. Here are 5 engaging (and virtual!) activities to try with your remote team:
#1: Scavenger Hunt
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to bring remote employees together—a good, old-fashioned scavenger hunt will do the trick! You’ll just have to do it virtually with a video conferencing software like Zoom.
Over here at Formstack, we recently participated in a virtual scavenger hunt and had a blast. (Check out the evidence below.)
Our Fridays are better than yours! 😜 Huge thanks to @kaycereed and @throughtheheart for organizing a company-wide scavenger hunt, full of awkward family photos 👨👩👧👦, Formstack pets 🐶🐱, twin selfies 👯 and a lot of laughter 🤣 • • • • #FormstackFriday #FormstackFun #teambuilding #remotework #companyculture #scavengerhunt #friyay #Fridayfun
We split into teams using Zoom’s video breakout rooms and used a Formstack form to police the game. In short, the form listed the scavenger hunt items and included fields where we could upload photos of the necessary items. Easy!
#2: Lip Sync Battle
Never underestimate the bonding power of employees collectively making fools of themselves. Consider hosting a virtual dance-off or lip sync battle to help your team let loose. You can do this live via a video conference, or you can have employees pre-record videos. Turn it into a contest with voting and a prize, and you’ll have yourself a winning employee engagement activity.
Lip sync battles have become an annual treat at Formstack. We pre-record videos and submit them for voting, which means we get to relive them over and over and use them to create some fantastic GIFs:
#3: Social Slack Channels
If your team is distributed, I hope you’re using an instant messaging tool like Slack. It’s a great way to spark daily conversations that don’t happen as naturally for remote teams. The best part? You can create separate channels (or chat rooms) for specific interests. For instance, here are some of the channels we have at Formstack:
We also have a #watercooler channel for anything and everything employees might converse about if they were face-to-face. And there are a lot of GIFs.
#4: GIF Challenge
Speaking of GIFs…you really aren’t doing remote right if you aren’t communicating with GIFs. (Just kidding…kind of!)
But seriously, you can create some really fun games using GIFs. For example, Formstack employees recently played a game of “My Life in GIFs,” which involved selecting four GIFs to illustrate our lives, jobs, families, and fun. We all hopped on Zoom and guessed whose life was being depicted by each group of four GIFs. It was definitely entertaining, and it helped us get to know each other a little better.
If you don’t have time to create your own employee engagement games, you can play virtual versions of games that are traditionally played in person. For instance, Drawful is a digital (and more fun) version of Pictionary. And Werewolf—a Formstack favorite—is a social strategy game that can be played on video with some minor modifications. It’s best if the moderator is familiar with Werewolf, though, because there are a lot of characters and actions to track!
While it may seem easier for traditional work teams to bond, remote teams aren’t left in the cold. Technology provides a lot of opportunities for distributed fun. At Formstack, we know how to work hard and enjoy ourselves. If you want to be a part of our fun remote team, click below to explore our openings.