If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that Zoom is not just a virtual meeting space for work. Very quickly, people around the world began to convene online to celebrate birthdays, attend graduations, or catch up over coffee. Although many complain about ‘zoom fatigue’, the second wave of the pandemic means social interactions will continue to take place online, and team engagements are no exception.
Remote teams cannot solely rely on their morning stand-ups or video conferences to inspire strong cohesion or engagement. Intentional, scheduled time to socialize, interact, and engage about non-work matters is essential to building strong remote teams.
To help you with this, we compiled a list of 5 fun ways to socialize and help your team stay engaged and connected outside of ‘work’:
AirBnb Online Experiences offer a diverse range of activities to choose from. You’re guaranteed to find one that the whole team can enjoy. From cooking Mexican street tacos with a Pro Chef, to Solving Mystery Escape Rooms, or even a lesson in the meditative art of forest bathing, there’s definitely something for everyone. You can filter to see which experiences are best suited for groups, find something within your price range, or tune into an upcoming pre-scheduled live session with the team.
Games are an easy and simple way to bring teams closer together. In the absence of a ‘games night’ or lunch-time scrabble at the office, Drawize is a fun Pictionary-like alternative. It’s free, easy to play, and does not require intense planning or scheduling. It’s also a great option for multi-lingual teams, after all, pictures are universal!
Start a movie or series club with your colleagues, but instead of meeting to debrief and deliberate, you can watch and comment and share your opinions with your team in real-time with Netflix Party. This online tool synchronizes video playback and adds a group chat feature to your favorite Netflix shows. This activity also allows you to get to know people across the organization who have shared interests. You can create different Netflix Party groups based on genre, language, or even by actors/directors you love.
Similar to AirBnb Online Experiences, Alacazu is a new tool to book online talent for your next virtual gathering. Whether your team wants to set up a happy hour with a mixologist, do an early morning yoga class or enjoy a fun night of magic, it’s a great way for remote teams to enjoy shared experiences.
Your team wraps up the end of the week with a round of drinks at your local pub, and you somehow end up at a Karaoke bar, belting your heart out with Sam from finance. Sound familiar? Yeah. We miss it too.
The good news is there are a ton of virtual karaoke experiences to choose from. Lucky Voice, SingSnap, Karafun, Smule, and Sunfly all have options for groups with different prices, languages and song catalogues. We suggest taking it one step further, set a theme (either by era, genre, artist), and make sure everyone is dressed for the occasion.
These fun, light-hearted team activities are an easy way to onboard new team members and break the monotony of daily work calls. For a deeper, team building reflection exercise, check out our worksheet on Team Retrospectives. To learn about short, easy rituals you can integrate into your team, check out our Ritual Bank.