Virtual Team Building Activities
1. Regular one-on-one Online Laser Virtual Team Meetings
It’s important to keep communication lines open in-between scheduled team meetings. Schedule REGULAR, short, one-on-one laser meetings (15 min max) with key team members. Encourage team members to communicate with each other directly via laser meetings also. Laser meetings are especially important when online team project tasks need to be handed over from one team member to another.
2. Virtual Team Feedback Friday
With an online team you don’t have the luxury of seeing how your team interact and communicate with each other in-person, face-to-face. Although virtual workers often work from remote offices, “office politics” will still occur (you don’t always see it because of the online team environment). Introduce a way for your team to provide real honest feedback regarding key issues, challenges, suggested improvements, communication issues etc. within the team. Issue them with an anonymous survey to complete and you’ll find out the true problems developing in the team. www.myvaspace.com offer a survey service for small online businesses. They will send out a survey and provide a weekly/monthly report for you based on the questions and responses.
3. Online Team Building Games
To build trust and improve team morale within your virtual team, arrange a session for fun online team building games. For some great online team building game ideas click here: Team Building Games For Virtual Teams
It’s important virtual team members have time to interact with each other at a social level. Open up your online meeting platform 10 minutes early and encourage team members to show up for chit-chat. Host an online happy hour, or coffee break. Quick digital team building activities can also be a great way to encourage your team members to get to know each other better.
5. Promote Health & Wellness in the Virtual Team
Virtual workers can spend long periods of time working on their bottoms. Encourage your team to stay healthy by introducing a wellness program. Think about how much time your team are sitting at their desks and encourage them to get up a move around regularly. Register with a wellness program that will work with your specific online team needs. If you don’t have the budget for a wellness program – then there are plenty of free online videos available that your virtual team can use and follow together.
6. Virtual Team Reward and Recognition Program
Virtual team members can at times feel unsupported, isolated and unrecognised. Make sure you remember to recognise the efforts of individual team members, no matter how far away they are located from the main office. A thank you note will be appreciated, as would receiving a surprise gift either in the “snail mail” or electronically. It’s a great idea to reward TEAMS as well as INDIVIDUALS.
7. Host Special Online Team Celebrations
Just because your team isn’t located in the same office at the same time doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your online team successes. A celebration could be as simple as coming together online to acknowledge and celebrate team success or if you want to really party online try these suggestions Celebrate Your Success With Virtual Workers & Clients
8. Appoint a Virtual Team Champion
Your virtual team champion will be responsible for making sure these online team ideas are implemented in your day-to-day online team activities. It’s so easy to read a list of great ideas, only to go away and try them once or to forget about implementing them altogether. Appoint a virtual team champion for an assigned period of time and let them get creative in implementing your online team ideas.
Here is a simple and effective game that you can play online with your virtual team. Play it as a virtual team building activity to highlight the importance of communication within your virtual team or use it as a virtual team ice-breaker game. The game is called Broken Picture Telephone.
The game qualifies as an excellent virtual team building game for the following reasons …
- While having fun and playing together your virtual team will also be learning something about how they communicate with each other. The game is really a game that focuses on communication (or miscommunication). Playing this game shows the importance of clarifying our understanding of information that is communicated between virtual workers. It shows how easily miscommunication can happen (especially in the world of virtual teams).
- The game is fun; it encourages your virtual teams to connect and have a good laugh together – which in turn will help build stronger virtual team relationships.
- The game can be played online from anywhere in the world (obviously remote workers require internet access) there are no special downloads required and it’s totally free.
- This virtual game suits remote teams of various sizes and can be adapted to the amount of time you have to play the game.
How Your Virtual Team Can Play The Game …
- Broken Picture Telephone is a web game where your team can have fun while testing their artistic-interpretation skills. As highlighted on the BPT site … as you attempt to draw someone’s thoughts, or interpret their drawings you journey deep into the hilarious human psyche and the way we receive and interpret information
- Access the online game board here http://www.brokenpicturetelephone.com/#!Main
- You’ll need to register the virtual team members that will be participating in the game. Each user requires a username, password and email.
- Start a “Private” game for your own virtual team by clicking “Start a Game”. There you have the option to select how many rounds you want to play (this will determine the amount of time to play) and also gives you the option to select a private game. You can then select your virtual team members who will access the online board and participate in the game.
- The virtual team players should be online, ready to receive their invitation to the game. The first time you play, you should allow time for your team members to view the game instructions and watch the demonstration video.
- At the end of the game your team will enjoy looking at the results. They will see how differently we interpret and perceive information while having a great laugh together at the same time.
More fun virtual team building games and activities available here:
Have some fun with your virtual remote teams while helping them to develop better problem solving skills with this lateral thinking virtual team building activity. Note: This virtual team building activity can be adapted to the size of your virtual team, the amount of time you have available and the location of your various remote workers.
When preparing for the team building activity, consider these questions presented by Paul Sloane in his book The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlocking the Creativity and Innovation in You and Your Team. “How can you energize people to see problems not as obstacles to success but as opportunities for innovation? What practical techniques can you use in your everyday work to lead by example, to inspire and to motivate people around you to become more creative?”
Lateral Thinking Virtual Team Building Activity
- Select a suitable lateral thinking puzzle, challenge or problem for the virtual team to tackle. Paul Sloane, author of The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlocking the Creativity and Innovation in You and Your Team has some excellent lateral thinking puzzles along with the right advice on how to get the most out of the sessions with your team.
- Explain the purpose of the activity to the virtual team. You want this to be an opportunity for the team to interact together in a fun and creative way, while developing their lateral thinking skills. The ultimate goal is to help the virtual team to work together to achieve the very best solutions to problems as well as to achieve their goals in an inspiring and creative way.
Why Virtual Team Building Activities?
Small business owners are tapping into the benefits of a global talent pool. Just like big companies such as IBM, Pepsi, and Sony, small businesses are successfully running from remote locations all around the world. These businesses use virtual team building activities as a way to keep their teams feeling truly connected and united.
Are you running a small business from a virtual office? We’ll use the small business www.myvaspace.com as an example. Myvaspace provides online implementation services to e-marketing professionals. The main office is based in Australia. The business is supported remotely by a range of professionals located in Australia, UK, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. Clients are based in the UK, US, Australia and South Africa.
What can this business and other small global businesses (even those virtual small businesses) do to create a team atmosphere in an online environment where people may never have the opportunity to meet face-to-face?
Virtual Team Building Games
In addition to regularly using online communication technology, one way to build trust and create a close-knit working virtual environment is to introduce your team to virtual team building games. Virtual team building games will bring your team together ready to break down barriers and have fun! Continue reading
Most people working on virtual teams do not enjoy video conferencing. However, if you want to build trust in your virtual team you need to be using video conferencing on a regular basis to communicate. Web and video conferencing is an essential tool you need to use as an alternative to the face-to-face communication you would usually get in a typical work team working environment.
For your next virtual team building activity gather your virtual teams together online to watch Patrick Dixon’s video presentation “How (not) to do video calls: virtual teams management advice”. The video presentation is less than four minutes long, is highly entertaining, especially for virtual teams and is full of great advice to build trust, and confidence within your virtual team.
Topics covered in Patrick Dixon’s four minute clip that will help your virtual teams include …
- How to make your virtual team video conference dynamic
- What position or postures work best when communicating
- Why you absolutely must have eye contact when communicating with your virtual teams
How to conduct the virtual team building activity:
#1 Open up your online conferencing room and start the discussion by asking your virtual teams to talk honestly about how they feel about video conferencing, how often they video conference with other virtual team or remote team workers and how important they believe video conferencing is in developing trust across the virtual team. Continue reading
Try this fun Virtual Team Building Activity to help your remote workers get to know each other and get a better understanding of how each other works. This activity is a great way to build virtual team trust while at the same time break down barriers with a good laugh between virtual team employees.
The Virtual Team Building Activity >>> Remote Teams Video Presentation
Ask your remote virtual teams to collaborate together to produce an entertaining video presentation inviting other team members into their “world” virtually. Invite the teams to be creative and entertaining. Instructions can be given to your entire team via video conferencing or an online meeting room like ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support.
Things Remote Teams could include in the video presentation >>>
- Fun and lively introductions of each virtual team member – what they do and how they work together.
- Daily life activities with visuals that “show” the rest of the team what country the remote team comes from and the kind of daily life experiences each member of the virtual team faces.
- Virtual teams should share entertaining and interesting information about their culture, language, music, food, arts etc.
- Share scenes from a typical work day as a virtual employee (and any challenges they face)
- Talk (or sing) about life, hobbies, aspirations that each person cares to share
- Shoot footage of the virtual team in the “office” – how you work together, socialize together and communicate together
- Show the rest of the virtual team who you really are. Show off your sense of humor; have fun sharing your style, thoughts and feelings!
If you need inspiration here is a great example from the IBM Hanoi Virtual Team. What ideas can you take away from the IBM Hanoi VirtualTeam presentation?
When giving out the virtual team building activity instructions, include things like how long the presentation should be, what to include in the presentation, when, how and to whom the video will be presented and where the video should be posted etc. After the presentation, invite other virtual team members to share and comment on the video presentation.
The important thing is that the virtual teams have the freedom to get fun and creative with and for each other. The objective of the virtual team building activity is that while producing the video, virtual team members have the opportunity to; work together in an exciting way, get creative together and have fun sharing together. At the same time we want the virtual team members who view the video presentation to better understand other remote team members and to build a connection to a team whom that rarely meet with face-to-face.
Want more Virtual Team Building Activities then click here to read “3 New Quick, Easy and Fun Virtual Team Building Activities for Work”
Help your virtual employees to connect and collaborate with each other more effectively by facilitating a fun virtual personality profiling session. This is the first game in a series of 10 Virtual Team Building Activities that you can use to help your team build trust and develop a stronger connection with other virtual team members.
Step 1 >> Each member of the virtual team should complete their own personality profile …
There are various sophisticated personality profiling models available like DISC and Myer-Briggs where a consultant will lead you in the personality profiling session. However, if you want an alternative that you can facilitate yourself as a fun online virtual team building activity, you can use a book like Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself (copies available for as little as $2 each) Each member of the virtual team can complete their own personality profile.
If you opt to facilitate the session yourself, then the game facilitator and each virtual team member should also be familiar with the personality plus model and how it impacts on their work as individuals (also covered in the personality plus book above)
Step 2 >> The virtual team meets to reveal their dominate personality traits and how this will impact on the virtual business and virtual team dynamics …
Set the time and open up the virtual collaboration room where the entire virtual team can gather together. To get the “reveal” session going the facilitator will need to be prepared to lead the discussion to encourage participation. After explaining the personality profiling model you could start with some “ice-breaker” questions like …
- Do you agree with what the profile revealed? Discuss why you agree or disagree?
- What surprised you about your profile?
- What questions did you find difficult to answer and why?
- Talk about each individual personality style and how it impacts on their work styles.
- Discuss each personality style and what positives and strengths each style brings to the virtual team.
- Discuss how different personality styles will communicate and work with each other?
- Does each virtual team member feel they are suited to their role? If not, what can be done to improve the virtual team dynamic?
- Discuss what communication techniques can be employed in the virtual team to improve overall team dynamics and cohesion
- Discuss what conflicts could arise and have arisen within the Virtual Team and how understanding the personality traits of fellow virtual team members will help the team overcome potential conflicts in the future.
Step 3>> Continue reading
Creative virtual team leaders are coming up with new virtual team building ideas to encourage their remote workers to work more productively together, build trust, collaborate and develop a sense of identity as a collective group. Popular team building games can be easily adapted to become “Virtual Team Building Games”. Just by getting creative and using your every-day virtual collaboration technology you’ll be able to facilitate fun virtual team building games with your virtual employees and remote workers.
Business Management Quiz becomes Fun Online Virtual Team Building Game
Here is an idea of how a simple team building activity can be turned into a fun virtual team building game online. What’s more, it’s free! We are going to take a typical business quiz and turn it into a real virtual team building activity that will …
- Bring members of your virtual teams together in a fun and relaxed way
- Encourage virtual employees to connect more regularly using online collaboration tools
- Help your virtual team employees to learn more about working virtually, cultural differences and improve their overall business general knowledge
What’s great about this virtual team building activity is that it is so adaptable. The timing and quiz topic can be adapted to your specific virtual team dynamics and needs. Depending on what you would like your virtual team to “take-away” from the virtual team building activity you can adapt the timing, the team allocations and subject matter accordingly.
What you’ll need to play this virtual team building game … Continue reading
Why Digital Team Building Games?
Savvy global businesses are tapping into the world of virtual games, digital team-building activities and business simulations to improve their business productivity in many ways. Think IBM, Pepsi, Sony, Canon, Nokia, Merrill Lynch. These global businesses are using virtual games in many aspects of their businesses from virtual team building, virtual team collaboration through to talent acquisition to engaging customers online in an exciting way.
Digital Team Building Activities for Virtual Teams
As global integration moves into a wider working virtual space, businesses are looking for virtual team building activities that parallel the virtual workplace and the digital world that is surrounding us. Virtual leaders of smaller global teams are also looking for quick and easy ways to execute virtual team building activities that are keeping pace with our growing digital world.
Introducing 50 Digital Team-Building Games: Fast, Fun Meeting Openers, Group Activities and Adventures using Social Media, Smart Phones, GPS, Tablets, and More
Author John Chen, brings you 50 Digital Team-Building Games. 50 Digital Team Building Games offers fun, energizing meeting openers, team activities, and group adventures for business teams, using Twitter, GPS, Facebook, smartphones, and other technology. The digital games can be played in-person or virtually, and range from 5-minute ice-breakers to an epic four-hour GPS-based adventure. Designed to be led by virtual team leaders, managers, facilitators, presenters, and speakers, the digital activities, help teams and groups get comfortable with technology, get to know each other better, build trust, improve communication, and more. No need to be a “techie” to lead these games—they’re simple and well-scripted.
Virtual team leaders can use these digital team building activities to liven up their virtual team meetings, break the ice, and improve communication and productivity. Using digital team building games can form part of your overall virtual team building plan. Use the games to build buzz for your business, build critically important relationships and communication internally, and keep your team talking about it for weeks afterward!
For more Virtual Team Building Activities enjoy reading our article: Ultimate Remote Team Building Activities
If you’re looking for new ideas to include in your virtual team building activities try these 3 very easy to implement remote team building ideas ….
1. Use Music to Liven Up Your Virtual Team Meetings
Before every virtual team meeting select a motivating theme song to be played as people arrive to the meeting. Music is a great motivator. You can even ask your virtual team to vote on their favorite motivating songs and change the song each month.
2. Host a Virtual Team Happy Hour to Celebrate Your Remote Team’s Success
At the end of the month, or in celebration of your virtual team project success – it’s time to have some fun and reward yourselves as a Virtual Team. For one hour, open up your
virtual meeting room, turn on the music and web-cams, and get some virtual team games happening. If you really want to delight your team, send them each a bottle of champagne to “pop” together during the event. Note: Depending on their religion or culture some virtual team members will not drink champagne but you could send an alternative.
This virtual team building activity doesn’t have to end there. You can ask remote team members to decorate their offices and take photos. Each team member could send in their photograph and a presentation can be created to share with the entire virtual team at your next virtual team building happy hour. Turn it into a virtual team building game by playing “Guess Who”. As the presentation is shown, remote team members can guess what office belongs to each person.