As we all adjust to working from home, it is difficult to maintain the same level of connection with your team. From the quick catch-ups while filling up coffee or the routine Wednesday Chipotle runs, all those daily interactions are now gone. Yet, like with all other business activities, we must actively create new ways to cultivate team camaraderie.
As the face-to-face communication is replaced with glitchy video calls and meme-filled Slack messages, there are still numerous ways to continue team positivity, it just involves a little more creativity.
To get you and your team started, we’ve listed some fun ideas sure to rumble up some laughs and virtual high-fives.
1. Check-In Contests
First, we all have our daily team check-in calls which start and end with sleepy, monotone recaps but what about making those just a little more upbeat! Such as, have a contest during your call to get everyone excited to dial-in and be a part of the conversation! Challenge your team to see who has the funniest hat or the wackiest shirt. This is something that gets the whole team laughing at the crazy stories behind each incredibly bizarre hat, because if there was ever a time that needed more laughter, it is now.
2. Move It and Groove It
Another great way to get your employees to participate is by having a virtual work out. You can make this a push-up challenge (and see what innovative things people do to “win”), have a predetermined YouTube video that you all participate in, or even something as easy as who can get the most number of steps in a week! Not only does it encourage some healthy competitiveness, but it also keeps us all moving and grooving.
3. Show and Tell
Have a “Show and Tell” once a week where the team shows something silly or strange at their house! It gives you a chance to learn more about your team outside of the office. You might be surprised by the crazy items tucked away in the garage or even proudly displayed on their wall.
4. Comical Zoom Backgrounds
Zoom is filled with wacky filters, effects, and backgrounds that allows for awesome video calls! Host a funny video check-in where everyone picks a silly background or applies a hilarious filter, and see who gathers the most laughs as each person takes turns talking. It builds the excitement and anticipation before the call to both show off your amusing background photo and see what Steve from accounting came up with.
Since happy hour is no longer an option, it doesn’t mean you need to lose that end of the week cheers with your team. Plan something that is more relaxed and non-work related at the end of a long week to celebrate with your team. It is important to encourage communication among each other outside of just tasks and deadlines.
6. Bring Your Pet to Work Day
As hard as it may be for us to stay home all day, our pets have never been happier! Have your team send pictures of their new work from home colleagues, from dogs to cats to chickens, everyone enjoys seeing pictures of adorable animals! This can be done by sharing cute photos, making a guest appearance during a video call, or even hosting a pet meet-and-greet. People love their pets, and showing them off is a great way to build connections and support effortless conversation.
7. Share Your Workspace
One great way to boost productivity is to have a stellar office setup from home. Have each team member show their makeshift workspaces and what their favorite part is, such as their grapefruit scented essential oil diffuser or their cherished couch cushion. Ultimately it brings normalcy and consideration to working from home, even from the impressive 5-screen setups to the cluttered dining room table spread. Also, it is a great way to share ideas for motivating and lively workspaces.
8. A Remote Cook-Off
Working from home means always being just a short distance from your kitchen, so why not host your own British Baking Show! Or at least present a new recipe everyone tried, because we all know we are baking and cooking way now more than normal. You could even consider raising the stakes by rewarding the person that received the most votes for the “Best Dish” with a gift card to a local restaurant.
9. TikTok Videos
This one is a little more niche, but have a TikTok competition to see which employee can make the most spectacular video! It doesn’t need to follow a trend, but this is a fun way to encourage people to flaunt a cool skill, tell some terrible puns, or show off their dance moves. While it does not have to get a million views, it gives the opportunity for each person to freely express themselves.
10. “Hero of the Week”
Have a “Hero of the Week” and give it out on Friday to the team member who went above and beyond. Instead of passing them a crown, give them the honorary background that they can use during video check-ins during the following week. This is the kind of lighthearted attention and reward that will boost morale and spirits. Such a simple act will go a long way to remind each team member just how awesome and appreciated they are.
It is easy to have team connections face a standstill because of the current working conditions, yet camaraderie remains a critical part of workplace productivity and enjoyment. Therefore your team must actively contribute and partake in the fun ways to continue those daily jokes and genuine smiles.
How is your business virtually building team camaraderie?