Work From Home Team-building

Thinking about how to offer team-building activities for your work from home team? At our physical office we used to do different group activities – catered group lunch, potluck, group training or learning something new. We all started working from home in early March and closed the office in July so our team-building activities need to be a little different now.

When the pandemic forced the closing of our offices, we immediately scheduled a daily morning video meeting at 8:30. This meeting occurs before anyone has meetings booked and takes advantage of what used to be commuting time. When we had an office it was the time for morning hellos, getting your coffee or tea, asking for help on a project or looking for new assignments. Now it’s a quick “hello” and going around the “room” with updates.

We also booked work from home video “team time” around lunch time on Fridays. Team time can take on many forms: learning new things, sharing or playing a game. I consider it important for morale and a good way for new people to better connect with the existing team. Here are some examples:

  • We all ordered take-out (using the company card) and turned on video while we ate, sharing what we chose. (Support your local restaurants!)
  • One team member takes the lead and teaches the rest of us something new. So far we have learned about Canva from our designer; our social media experts provided advanced Instagram instruction and a comparison of Instagram Reels and TikTok; we’ve discussed optimal use of press releases and taken a tour of some of our own platforms. We learned more about Microsoft Teams, our office platform.
  • We’ve done some get-to-know-your-co-workers sessions where we randomly picked ice-breaker questions from a list online. Another Friday we shared some of our favorite recipes. [Here’s my contribution – Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (or muffins)]. One recent popular team time event was “Bring your favorite song to share.” Everyone had a blast sharing their favorites and learning what music their coworkers liked.
  • We also play games. There are several interesting options we’ve discovered online and we’re always looking for more.
    • One of our more creative associates created her own Jeopardy game on Google Slides and used an online “buzzer” for the contestants to compete.
    • allows each person to play on their phone or computer. Share a game and catch the spy before the spy discovers where everyone else is.
    • Zoomjam is a contest to develop Zoom games so it has dozens of options – we particularly liked the storytelling game here.

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