Laughing over something funny your kids said. Sharing pictures of your family. Learning a new skill together. People who connect on a personal level tend to work better as a team. Connecting while many team members are working from home can be difficult, but it’s important to spend time together if possible. Remember, 50% of employees say social interactions outside the office improved communication among team members. If you’re looking for fun ideas to help your team connect virtually, read on.
Attend an event
With so many events being canceled because of the pandemic, online gatherings are taking over. Make the most of it by getting your team together for an art class, online concert or virtual cooking class. Or have the team leader host a virtual trivia night. Pick a theme—like movies or history—or make it easy by doing a game of true or false. Offer prizes for the winners like a multi-tool or a certificate of trivia excellence in a colorful holder.
Start a hobby club
Tap into team members’ interests for ideas. If they love to read, start a book club. If they love to craft, have each member give a demonstration of their skills. Or start a ‘try new things’ club, where each team member tries a new activity and then reports back on how it goes. Kickstart a garden club by sending everyone a planting kit or some seeds and a garden shovel. Appointing a moderator can help things go smoothly. They decide when to meet, makes sure everyone gets a chance to talk, and keeps the club active.
Work out together
Sweating it out in an exercise class is a great way to keep team members feeling invigorated and accomplished. If high intensity isn’t their thing, consider yoga or some simple group stretching instead. Be sure to keep everyone’s fitness level in mind. Tailor the class so people can pick and choose their intensity. Try:
- Having two people to lead the class—one person for the more intense version and one for a modified version.
- Reminding people to listen to their bodies. If they need to take a break or can’t stretch quite as deeply, that’s okay.
- Sending staff giveaways like a durable water bottle or a infuser bottle to remind them to stay hydrated.
Create a casual channel
However your team communicates, designate a specific channel for casual chit-chat. Did someone just get married or a have a baby? Ask for pictures! Did someone stumble across an awesome new show to binge watch? Let them rave about it. Keep this channel active by designating theme days. For example, Mondays could be pet days, where people share their pet’s latest antics or funny photos. Thursdays could be foodie days, where people post delicious recipes everyone can try. Keep staff connected inside the casual channel by entering participants into a drawing for staff giveaways, like a coffee mug, T-shirt or fuzzy throw blanket.
Help your team more deeply connect
It can be a challenge to keep staff members connected when they’re working from home. But with a little creativity—and a few fun giveaways—it’s easy to spend time together.