There is little doubt that over the past 18 months that more people are working remotely, either away from the office or in their own home. Some have even adapted a hybrid working environment, combining visits to the workplace with time working at home. It’s become something of a ‘new normal’ for people as we edge out of the pandemic.
Being able to undertake much of the work away from the office was arguably something new for most of us. It was difficult for businesses in terms of ensuring work was completed and it became vitally important to support the needs of the remote workers too as for them, juggling home life whilst working became another task in itself. Video conferencing has become part of the workday more than ever, with 2020’s most used phrase seemingly being, ‘Sorry I can’t hear you, you’re on mute!’
So in this article, we are going to take a look at how teams can be encouraged to bond remotely, now they may not have that tactile, personal interaction they used to experience in the office.
1. Virtual Book Club
A digital space can be somewhere that people can relax and during this separation from our colleagues many more people have been picking up books than ever before. There is a suggestion that there is a 35% increase in the number of people who are taking to literature as a method to relax. There is an opportunity to connect with colleagues who may have also taken up reading, or of course introduce them to it. It doesn’t need anything other than the conferencing software of choice and a book.
2. Break Time Breakout Room
Many people meet up with work colleagues over lunch to shoot the breeze, chat about their day and generally socialize. Be it in a lunchroom, a walk to the coffee shop or even in the park. This can easily be replicated virtually. As staff will have their break times working from home too there’s the option to head out of the company video call and into a more informal space.
3. Get Out the Virtual Chips
Does your work social sometimes involve heading to the casino? Or is it a trip round to a colleague’s home for a poker night? If that’s the case then don’t worry if you think that you can’t get your game on. Online video poker is so easy to setup with some video conferencing software even having the platforms built into them. It’s so easy to setup and for those not so familiar with the card game it’s not a difficult task to get people involved. For the most part, beginner poker players tend to find it relatively easy to pick up the basic rules. A game of online poker is a fun way to introduce a little healthy competition and brings people together.
4. Virtual Board Game Night
These interactions with colleagues don’t all have to take place over video conferencing, as there are other gaming options available for colleagues to bond over on mobile platforms or even an iPad. Classic games like Monopoly and Clue are available for people to play with friends virtually too. So, you don’t even have to worry about putting on a virtual background to hide that you haven’t tidied the living room yet after work!
5. Escape Rooms
There has been a real growth in escape room experiences around the globe in the past decade with many people taking up the pastime and many suggest they’re ideal for team bonding. Escape rooms are the epitome of teamwork, they motivate team members to achieve the same goal and of course there’s nothing better than that sense of achievement of doing it together. There are a number of options online for virtual representations of these escape rooms, with some themed around Harry Potter to more traditional themes around investigating a crime, Sherlock Holmes style.