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7 team building activities for remote teams


Over the past few weeks, several people have asked me for ideas for team-building activities to do their remote teams to keep them motivated.

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Introduction

Over the past few weeks, several people have asked me for ideas for team-building activities to do their remote teams to keep them motivated. After over a month of quarantine, it's perfectly normal to notice signs of fatigue within your team. The question is now - what can you do to re-energize your troops? My intention in this article is to give you an easy-to-apply recipe that will have an immediate impact on motivation levels of your team.

But before I start, why is motivation less and less present? The quarantine honeymoon lasted one or two weeks, but the reality is that your team is now facing several challenges that drains away their motivation:

  • They receive less recognition and feedback than usual.

  • They have no one to share their daily life stories with, they feel isolated and alone.

  • Since they are working from home, they have no one to hold them accountable for their work.

  • They no longer have daily human interactions, in other words - the workplace’s vibe.

In addition to work-related factors, your employees face several personal issues: anxiety, uncertainty and a feeling of helplessness in this COVID-19 situation. In reality, what your employees need right now is a space to be heard and to express themselves. At Hubu, we believe that the best gift you can give them is a space to connect, chat, laugh, so that all together, we can improve our situation. After all, we are all in the same boat and the key to motivating your team is in creating moments that "feel good".

Make the first step

If your team works remotely, schedule a Zoom call twice a week (minimum). The number of calls may be higher. We suggest Zoom because the quality is excellent, and you can create subgroups of 3 to 6 people to allow them to express themselves fully. Give these team calls a name, create a clear intention, and set it to the agenda by inviting the whole team.

team building activities for remote teams

Here is an example of the intention for these calls: "create a space to discuss, laugh, be together so that, we can all improve our situation together." When you start your team calls, start by reaffirming the intention. This will let everyone know why they are participating in the meeting and they won’t feel like they are wasting their time. If time allows it, go for a warm-up period. Like in sports, the warm-up period allows you to prepare for the contest that will follow. Here are some warm-up ideas for your activity:

  • A quick roundtable to check-in and see “how it is going”;

  • A breathing, meditation or visualization exercise using the power of inspiring music.

Now that you’ve taken the first step in bringing your team together that everyone is in a good mood, you’re ready to start your team building activity. Here are 7 ideas for team building activities to increase remote teams' motivation.

Activity #1: Discuss a Question Related to the Current Situation

remote team building for teams

Choose a question from the list below. You can also create one that appeals to you. Ask it to your team. Create subgroups of 3 to 6 people in the Zoom room to allow participants to share their thoughts. Define a timekeeper in each group and allow each participant a few minutes to speak. Here’s the list of questions you can use:

  • Do you prefer to work from home or the office? Why?

  • What are you most worried about in this whole situation?

  • What do you find most difficult working remotely? The easiest?

  • What is your biggest challenge during this crisis?

  • What does a typical day look like for you?

  • What does your office look like? Let us see it!

  • What is your morning routine like?

Once back in a large group, take some sharing and reflections. You can make several rounds and/or recreate new subgroups. If you want to take the exercise further, you can ask a question that involves a solution so that the team can find answers to the current situation. You can then group everyone's responses in one document to have a list of ideas. Then, decide on group or individual commitments.

  • How do you stay motivated at home?

  • How do you stay productive even when working remotely?

  • How do you stay in shape at home?

Activity #2: 2 Truths and 1 Lie

2 truths and 1 lie

This activity is a classic and comes with fun and lightness. Ask your team to prepare in advance 3 stories about them. Ask them to prepare 2 truths and 1 lie. On their turn, the participants tell their 3 stories. The group must then guess which of these 3 stories is the lie. You can use the chat in Zoom to vote after a participant has told their 3 stories. The winner is the one who manages to fool all his colleagues!

Activity #3: Meaningful Picture

meaningful picture team building for remote teams

Ask your team to prepare a picture of something meaningful to them. Group participants into subgroups of 3 to 6 to share why the picture they have chosen is meaningful to them. After the sharing in subgroups, return to the large group. Ask a few people to share how they identify with another person’s picture in their group.

Activity #4: Presentation of Your Favorite Room at Home

favorite room home team building activity

Ask your team to connect via their cell phone. Divide your team into subgroups of 3 to 6 people and ask each participant to present their favorite room in the house. Each person should tell a story about the room and why it is meaningful to them. Once you are back in a large group, ask for one sharing or more by subgroup. One person in the subgroup should tell another person’s story.

Activity #5: Team Roundtable

This activity is another classic that comes from the Gazelles method. Go around the table as a team by answering the following statements:

  • Best accomplishment of last week.

  • Priority of the week.

  • One roadblock that prevents me from moving forward.

If you have a large team (> 15), choose only 1 or 2 of the 3 statements, otherwise it may take a few hours. Another option is to divide your large team into random subgroups or department subgroups.

Activity #6: Take a Personality Test to Get to Know Yourself Better

personality test team building remote teams

An online personality test is a great way for your team to get to know themselves and each other better. Here is the one I recommend : the 16 personalities test. This test is inspired by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) model. To follow-up the test, you can ask the following question to encourage your team to think further:

  • What surprises you most about the test?

  • How does this test reveal your behavior during this crisis?

  • What strengths have you discovered about yourself? How will you continue to promote them?

Ask everyone to answer the test in advance and send you their results. With the results of the whole team, create a graph to see what type of personality you have most in the team. You can also take the analysis a little further by comparing the number of introverts / extroverts or even sensation / intuition.

Activity #7: Jokes Game


What's the best thing about Switzerland?
I don't know but the flag is a big plus.

This activity is a great activity to end the week with humor and lightness. Gather the whole team on Zoom and select the theater mode allowing you to see everyone in the Zoom Room.Ask the "team's funniest person" to lead this activity. The host begins by telling jokes. For participants, the goal is to be the last person to laugh. If you laugh, you're out of the game and you have to turn your camera off. Once eliminated, participants can tell on their colleagues if they see them laughing.

You can easily go online and find directories of the best jokes of all sorts for this activity (as the link provided further up).

Go Further

By creating team building moments like these, not only will you have fun, but your employees will be more motivated and engaged than ever. Start with a first step, put the activity to the team's agenda. This will be a nice gift that your employees will be grateful for.

If you ever want to go further with your team, we have something special for you. We built a 10 day Together Remotely Challenge. This challenge aims at connecting your team together, even remotely. Check it out by clicking here.

Hubu : Because We Are.

1 comment

  • Super votre page ! Merci !

    Villette

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