10 Virtual Team Building Activities to Boost Employee Engagement

May 30, 2024
|
7 mins to read
10 Virtual Team Building Activities to Boost Employee Engagement

Discover 10 virtual team-building activities to enhance employee engagement, boost morale, and improve productivity and satisfaction.

Why boost employee engagement? 

Employee engagement refers to work-life balance, work relationships, job fit, work empowerment, recognition and feedback, expectations, growth opportunities, and overall effects on how much an employee is committed to helping the organization achieve its goals. 

A boost in employee engagement can improve employee morale, and productivity, retention, and absenteeism. Furthermore, it boosts employees' overall job satisfaction and general well-being. A happy employee is an engaged employee! 

How to tell if your team is effective

Just because a team gets along doesn't mean they are effective. If the teams get along too much it may be unprofessional as they are more likely to “slack off”. When you go shopping and see employees chatting with one another, are they being effective? Here's a quick way to check if you lead an effective team. If your team meets these 10 requirements they work well together, are productive, and most importantly create an innovative environment.  

  1. Clear Expectations: As a lead, ensuring that everyone is on the same page when it comes to goal setting will let your employees understand what you expect of them. 
  2. Creativity: A team that promotes creativity will always succeed, the best ideas often come from a group. 
  3. Conflict: It’s expected that teams disagree, but what’s important is how teams handle this problem. 
  4. Conditions: A team that is aware of office/work policies, regulations, procedures, and rules is less likely to take longer on projects due to legalities. 
  5. Cohesion: Working as one big unit, ensures that team members are connected. 
  6. Continuous Improvement: If a team member goes out of their way to improve their professional growth through a certain opportunity or course it also positively affects their team's overall growth and ability. 
  7. Communication: When team communication is discussed it usually revolves around communication of tasks. But more importantly, how feedback is given largely affects employees' attitudes and work-life satisfaction. Try to avoid “good job” feedback. 
  8. Collaboration: A team that works together succeeds together.
  9. Competence: For a team to succeed each member must be able to execute their delegated duties and tasks.
  10. Commitment: Passion is the driver in whether employees decide to remain engaged or fall out of interest. When employees have emotional attachment to their work they are more likely to go above and beyond. 

What’s a virtual team-building activity?

Ever since the epidemic, companies have been more open to hybrid and online work environments. Online work environments present a dual challenge for employers. While they ensure employees are consistently reachable for work-related matters, they also mean employees might find it harder to separate personal enjoyment from work-related activities, due to constant work demands.

Through virtual team building activities, the gap between personal life vs work life can be shortened. Virtual team-building activities allow employees to make more meaningful connections with other employees in the same company. In-person work environments allow for office conversations but through online work environments, these small interactions do not exist. When employees can make connections with one another they feel more motivated and responsible for completing their tasks, leading to more effective teams. 

Note: Team building activities should never be forced, it’s unprofessional to expect your employees to constantly meet your demands outside the workplace. Although this does differ from culture to culture. 

Virtual team building benefits

It’s all about transferring those skills and relationships from a game, quiz, or fun activity into their official work. If you learn how your colleague acts outside of work you are more likely to understand their mentality in the workplace. 

  • Team Cohesion and Trust: Bonding and building relationships through virtual activities in personal time may lead to trust in the professional environment. 
  • Improved Communication and Collaboration: Virtual team-building activities encourage effective communication through online platforms. If a team member can express ideas and actively listen during a virtual game they may be able to transfer those skills into those same relationships during work. 
  • Strengthen Team Problem Solving: The best ideas come from teams that work as one, they agree and disagree freely. Through games, they can learn to do this in a non-risky environment. 
  • Supporting Professional Development: Virtual team building activities include workshops or courses taken together, if done correctly you can foster an environment where employees feel welcomed and valued. 

10 Virtual team building activities 

1. Just Chatting

Virtual happy safe spaces where employees can freely chat about personal or work life, think of it as a virtual lounge. These can break down barriers quicker and cost-effectively. 

Hosting a successful just chatting event

  • Choose a platform that suits your team best, whether it’s Zoom or Discord make sure your employees are familiar and comfortable with the chosen platform.
  • Set a theme, this may be the ice breaker that reduces anxiousness and awkwardness as sometimes employees are not familiar with each other's interests and therefore find it difficult to start a conversation. 
  • Plan an activity, talking activities are engaging to people with high interpersonal skills
  • Encourage participation, inviting team members to showcase that they are welcomed 

2. Online Escape Rooms 

Online escape rooms are a more exciting way to promote teamwork, who doesn't like a good challenge? The satisfaction from completing a team goal is a way you can show your team that they are capable in a fun way. 

3. Trivia Night 

Friendly competition can be a great way to ease your team into a competitive work environment respectfully and encouragingly. It’s also a great way to look at how each team member manages competition. 

  • Choose a trivia host like Kahoot or QuizUp
  • Select a category that will be fun for everyone, anything with general knowledge or company information is usually the best
  • Create teams of 3 - 5 to promote friendly competition 
  • Keep score of points and offer small prizes

4. Digital Scavenger Hunt 

Lighting scavenger hunts are designed to be fun and quick team-building activities that are fun. These are made for remote teams and start in a virtual meeting where you will receive clues such as “Breakfast food”. The first person to complete each clue gets a point, this could easily be turned into a team-based game as well. 

5. Online Book Clubs

Does your team consist of introverted peeps or readers? Maybe a book club is the right choice for you, this allows employees to do the bulk of the activity on their while still talking to colleagues about their favorite parts of the book or what they found intriguing. 

6. Virtual Fitness Challenges 

Fitness leads to a healthier mindset, this activity is great as online work environments often have employees who don’t get those extra steps that you would in the office. There are plenty of mobile apps that allow group challenges and goals. 

7. Online Games

Classic games such as UNO allow employees to connect in a comfortable setting. If you are familiar with the game you can focus your attention on connection with your colleagues instead of spending your time learning instructions or game mechanics. Simple party games are best for this. 

8. Solve a Murder Mystery 

Murder mystery cases are all over social media as a trending way to bond with friends or colleagues. Not only are they physically available on Amazon but they can also be found online. 

9. Coffee Chat

Some team members may struggle with naturally creating conversation, coffee chats can be a great way to know someone more and perhaps even delve into more of their interests and hobbies. 

  • Politely ask for a coffee chat through email 
  • Prepare some questions or topics you’d like to talk about
  • Go with the flow and feel free to go off-topic

10. Ultimate Game Shows 

There are plenty of companies that offer whole game shows inspired by Office Feud, Jeopardy, and Price is Right to create a perfect game show for your team to participate in. Teams strategize, compete, and work together to complete a variety of challenges and questions.

Kimmy Dinh
Kimmy Dinh

Kimmy Dinh is a young professional interning at Litespace with experience in various industries. Specializing in marketing, Kimmy uses that experience to share her industry insights on the hiring process.

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