Worldwide, many organizations moved quickly and unexpectedly to a virtual work environment. Working from home introduces struggles, such as effectively keeping work connections and relationships in the virtual world. Thanks to technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, organizations have the platforms to keep their teams connected professionally and personally.
Following are 12 creative ways to stay connected while having a little fun!
Sharing fun icebreakers is always a great way to get people talking and laughing. You’ve got your classics, such as “Two Truths and a Lie” or "What would you do with a million dollars?” You can also do icebreakers around the current COVID-19 situation like, “What is one activity you’re doing to keep the mind stimulated?”, “What are your favorite Netflix shows, documentaries, or movies?” Additional icebreakers include, “What’s your top advice for adjusting to a new virtual environment and staying productive?”, “What’s the first thing you’ll do once out of quarantine?”, and “Name a silver lining you’ve experienced as a result of this quarantine?”
You can even try some of the ideas and example questions presented via Concept Board.
2. Guess Who and What Games
Teams within the Apex organization are remaking some favorite childhood games, such as “Guess Who?” The Apex San Antonio leadership team collected pictures of the shoes people were wearing that day, displayed them on screen, and teammates guessed who was wearing what. The Apex D.C. team also did this activity using baby pictures for a riveting game of “Guess That Baby!”
3. Show and Tell
During your next team call, try something new with your colleagues. Give a tour of your kids, pets, view, or virtual workspace as part of the daily or weekly show and tell.
Who doesn’t love a little trivia action? Many teams mix in trivia to their weeks, including a weekly question about their organization and even full-blown trivia games that span 30 minutes to an hour.
5. Exercise Classes
Taking care of our bodies is especially important when working from home (WFH), as our movements are typically more limited during the day. At our organization, the Apex Portland team engaged in a virtual exercise class and is now hosting a couple each week with different team members conducting the 30-minute classes.
Another favorite is a fun round or two of Bingo! There are so many ways you can take this, whether going the bucket list route of the states or countries you’ve visited or even making it goal-oriented. You can create bingo cards with goals and suggested training to complete for the week. Apex staff enjoyed creating bingo cards. Check it out by selecting Bingo Generator; it’s free and easy to use.
7. Virtual Collaborative Learning Sessions
A well-known trend includes people taking advantage of learning and developing new skills. The LinkedIn Career Resources page offers several resources for quality training and career development. Employees are watching more virtual training, such as our Toolbox Talk recordings, Ted Talks, YouTube videos, LinkedIn Learning, and podcasts. They’re then having a “lunch and learn reflection” with team members to talk through their key takeaways and how they could apply. If you’re interested in partaking, you can access over 135 training recordings that Apex has hosted.
8. Daily Contests
Who doesn’t love a good challenge, especially if you work in a competitive environment. Check with your colleagues; they may enjoy an exercise challenge. Who can do a wall sit the longest or hold the longest plank? Try a step challenge, a top chef challenge, i.e., style food competitions, or work-goal related contests.
9. Spirit Week, Funny Hats and Masks
WFH is challenging; take those that struggle with merely getting out of their pajamas in the morning. If you and your teammates can resonate with this, try mixing it up and adding fun spirit day and spirit week elements. Include fun hat days or rock your best onesie.
10. Virtual Happy Hours and Coffee Breaks
Meeting with your teammates doesn’t have to be centered on 24/7 work and projects. A fun way to take a break and get face time is to participate in a virtual happy hour or coffee break via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Most people love games, and there are so many that can be played virtually such as, Heads Up and Family Feud via Zoom. You could also do the Loaded Questions game, charades, Say Anything game, “What’s Yours Like?” or “What Do You Meme?”
12. Sharing Support Local and other Fun Things to Do
Many businesses are getting creative with things you can do virtually. The Escape Game offers remote adventures that include virtual escape rooms for small and large group team buildings. Check out your local escape rooms, as certain locations may offer specials with restaurants.
If your team isn’t interested in virtual escape rooms, encourage them to share ideas or provide your own for supporting local businesses and restaurants. Still not sure? Try Eater for food news and dining guides in your area. Some local small business and restaurants offer gift cards. You can help them by prepaying for products or services in advance.