Team building sessions can achieve many things: they boost morale, build camaraderie, hone useful skills, and provide a way to wind down after a long working week. Cultivating this sense of trust and togetherness will make each individual worker feel more valued, thus improving team performance along the way.
And for remote workers, having something that can provide a sense of togetherness is much more necessary. According to a survey by UK job board Totaljobs, a whopping 46% of workers dealt with loneliness in their remote work setup because of the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. Fortunately, if you’re looking for a way to help your team foster a sense of togetherness, the digital world provides a whole host of team building exercises you can do virtually.
If you’ve ever heard of the critically acclaimed mobile game, Among Us, then you’re probably familiar with its predecessor: Werewolf. The rules of the game are straightforward. Basically, you get to play one of many different roles. As a villager, you must work together with fellow players to identify and vote off werewolves to keep your community safe. Werewolves, on the other hand, blend in with the majority so they can kill the village folk without being suspected. There are special powers depending on your role, such as psychic abilities of the seer, all of which come into play later on.
Most of the fun comes from the social reduction rounds, where players get to put their collective knowledge together so they can vote off potential werewolves. The werewolves are able to participate in discussions, so figuring out who to side with can get a little tricky at times. Sussing out lies and deciding who to believe can be a real exercise in trust, so not only will these processes hone individual reasoning skills, they’ll also test your team’s ability to work together effectively.
To play this on Zoom, you have to designate a moderator who will assign the roles. Most of the game revolves around talking, so you don’t actually need any fancy apps to play.
2. Texas Hold’em Poker
Werewolf sessions on Zoom may require you to master your poker face — but that’s a skill you’ve probably already perfected if you’ve already played poker. A good round of Texas Hold’em will satisfy your desire for action and unpredictability. Here, players have several rounds to bet and assemble the best possible combination of cards, while beating or bluffing their opponents. The player with the most valuable hand each round takes the pot.
It’s a zero-sum game that relies on mettle as much as it does skill and luck, making it a good outlet for fostering your coworkers’ more competitive sides. It’s also a great way of raising team morale. Not only will playing such an action-packed game bolster everyone’s spirits, for anyone who comes away with a win, it can also provide a decent confidence boost.
To play online poker with your team, everyone needs to first sign up for an online poker platform. There are even free-to-play platforms such as PPPoker that are perfect for ‘play money’ games that you can play with your team across Zoom. First you need to create a private tournament, then set up a Zoom call with the whole team, and start playing. That’s literally how you start virtual team building.
3. Cards Against Humanity
If you’d rather play a card game that’s a little less luck-based, then your best bet is Cards Against Humanity. The game is simple: each round, a player draws a black card that contains a question, and everyone else answers with a white card from their deck.
With the way the cards are written, answers can get politically incorrect or even downright offensive. But having this outlet for inappropriateness can easily bring your team closer, as the nature of the game encourages players to be more open and uninhibited. You get to know your team better by seeing what makes them laugh. And it can also give them some a decent confidence boost — it’s impossible not to feel good about yourself after having made a Zoom room full of people laughing.
There are Cards Against Humanity clones available for free online. These usually come with additional Cards Against Humanity expansion packs, which can help you cater to your team’s specific sense of humour.
Distance doesn’t have to be a barrier to building a closer team. Though fostering a sense of togetherness seems nearly impossible under remote working conditions, the many avenues for virtual team building can make your virtual work hangout both entertaining and productive.