Work From Home Team-building

At our 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 activities need to be a little different now.

We immediately scheduled a daily morning video meeting at 8:30 – before anyone has meetings booked and taking 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 group 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 team has 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)].
  • 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.
    • Spyfall.app 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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