Working from home can be a positive experience for many: we are more productive, less distracted, and less stressed by a daily commute. Working from home can also bring challenges, especially for teams who are used to collaborating in an office together. Remote workers can often miss those in-person “water cooler” moments that build relationships with their colleagues and teammates.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year finding ways to engage my client’s association members and find practices for those members to use to engage with their teams. While getting the job done is the primary purpose at work, a dispersed, remote workforce needs some scheduled fun to establish and build trust – creating a more collaborative and productive team in the process.
Here are some of my favorite tried and true activities to bring a little more connection back into the workspace – even the virtual one.
Who doesn’t love this good, old-fashioned game? I can’t even begin to tell you how excited – and competitive – our members get about Bingo. It’s an easy game you don’t need any skill for that people just love. Offer e-gift cards as prizes – in addition to bragging rights – and people will definitely have some fun.
This is a personal favorite and can be done easily with large or small groups. Select several people or small teams and read off one random object at a time. They then have to run and find the object in their home. This is fun for those playing, and just as much fun to watch people scramble and shout things from off camera. Pro tip: tie it to your organization or mission with the choice of items you ask that they find – even better if you can ask for branded items from previous association events.
Trivia is a fun way to engage your teams, especially when you’re not sure how to virtually celebrate a holiday or other event. Break people into teams or play individually. It’s a fun way to get everyone competing and still learn something along the way. Pro Tip: create trivia questions that encompass facts about your association and industry to build knowledge in a new way.
Virtual happy hours may not be appropriate for every organization. If it works for yours, go beyond the BYOB and find ways to make it interactive. Exchange cocktail recipes or bring in a mixologist to lead everyone in making their own beverages.
A great way to get to know your teammates and have a little fun looking at baby pictures or old prom photos. We had a lot of success doing themed weeks.
The opportunities are endless, and don’t have to be complicated or extravagant to be successful. I’ve participated in virtual family feud – and even wagered (not real money!) on a virtual horse race.
Regardless of how you choose to engage right now, it’s important to touch base and offer an occasional escape. Even if they aren’t able to attend, your members and team will appreciate the connection.