Highly effective strategies to optimize your hybrid workplace for team collaboration
Friday? Fri-YAY! Having special office rituals on Fridays is customary for many workplaces – whether is be casual Fridays, providing a catered lunch, afternoon happy hour, a shortened work day, or taking the team out for an after-work activity. Friday is a way to celebrate all of the work you and your team have achieved throughout the week. Doing something special shows your team that you appreciate them, boosts employee morale, and cultivates and creates a great workplace culture. So, how do we translate these Friday in-office rituals to a virtual setting? Here are 5 Friday team building activities to do with your remote team.
Although we may not be able to provide a catered lunch through a Zoom call, we can still order delivery to each of our team members’ homes individually. Pair a home-delivered lunch with a weekly learning topic, and both you and your team are happily holding a lunch and learn together – virtually. Browse through your local food delivery service options in advance and plan accordingly, as restaurants have select delivery zones. Make sure each of your staff members can have access to a lunch and are within the delivery zone for the restaurant you end up choosing. And, if your team is too large to get the delivery options properly sorted, provide them with a stipend to order a lunch of their choosing within their delivery zone.
There might not be a boozy cart being rolled around the office late Friday afternoon, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t host a virtual happy hour! Invite your team near the end of the work day on Fridays for a casual drink (or two!) from the comfort of their own homes. Keep the setting professional, but informal, so that you and your team members can let loose a little after a long work week. Enjoy each other’s company outside of a structured, work environment and prepare some ice breakers or mini games to complement the virtual happy hour. This will allow you to get to know your team members better outside of their work roles and to develop a stronger team relationship.
Everyone loves a good pub trivia night out. And, since none of us can actually go to the pub during social distancing for a brain-exercising evening, why not host your very own trivia event with your remote team? Invite your team members to a conference call and split everyone into smaller groups or allow for individual play if you have a small team. Prepare a few rounds of questions, following a common theme, such as: history, geography, pop culture, science, arts, or get creative and think of a more specific topic. Keep the game play to about an hour and have fun testing your team’s knowledge of some fun, trivia facts.
Take the exciting elementary school level activity of Show and Tell and bring it to your colleagues in your virtual workplace. As most of us are working remotely from our own homes, finding an object around the house that is meaningful to us or tells an interesting story shouldn’t be a difficult feat. Have each member of the team talk about something they find in their house and why it is important to them. This is a great activity to get to know your colleagues better and to develop an understanding of each your team members on a more personal level.
You might not be able to take your staff our for a team outing, but you can certainly get creative and take you team on a virtual adventure tour. Choose between a museum, a gallery, exploring a city or country through Google Street View, or get a bit more personal and have some fun exploring each other’s homes. Of course, consult your team beforehand to gauge everyone’s level of comfort if you are going to be giving each other home tours. Lots of museums and galleries are open for business online and allow free access to their exhibits. Click here for a list of museums offering free tours.
Just because we are now working remotely during the time of COVID-19, doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to have fun and let loose with our colleagues. It is a stressful time for all of us, so incorporating some team building activities into our work week is a great way to redirect our focus and energy on to something positive and socially-driven. Each team is different in personality and size, which will dictate what types of virtual activities are appropriate for your group. Keep it simple at first, then build upon the activities as you go through the initial trials and errors. Engage your team members and ask for their feedback and input into your weekly Friday activities. Most importantly, have FUN and be CREATIVE – Fridays are a time to celebrate your team’s hard work throughout the week. Show your team members that they are each individually appreciated and organize an awesome Friday team building activity, remotely.