Ideas for virtual social activities for remote teams

Keeping teams socially cohesive can be a challenge even when we’re all physically together. This becomes even harder in a world where we’re all apart, such as now with COVID.

I’ve gathered advice from friends and colleagues to see what tactics have been most effective for folks to keep building community with teammates while apart.

Here are my favorite ideas that I saw. Feel free to try them out for your teams!

Digital board games

  1. jackboxgames.com has tons of fun virtual games that can work well on a Messenger Room. These are games similar to telephone pictionary and deceit games

    1. Someone has to buy a game pack for $20-30 or so, but then it’s free for everyone else to participate in

  2. drawasaurus.org is a virtual game similar to telephone pictionary

  3. codenames.cards is an online version of the popular party game Codenames. Works well with up to 12 or so players

  4. dominion.games is an online version of the popular board game Dominion. Works for 2-6 players

Virtual team outings

  1. Reason hosts elaborate virtual escape rooms​

  2. Offsyte is a marketplace for company offsites, and since COVID they’ve pivoted to focus on virtual outings​

  3. Airbnb Online experiences is a similar marketplace to Offsyte with a variety of virtual group activity options

  4. Do a virtual murder mystery

Going beyond the “virtual happy hour”

  1. icebreaker.video is a fun platform for virtual hangouts that gives the group sets of prompts to talk through. Can make for more meaningful conversations

  2. Set up “hallway chats” with folks not on your immediate team. Once every several weeks set up 30 minute meetings with XFN/partner teams you don't necessarily work with on a daily basis but who in an office setting you would see roaming the halls

  3. Incorporate improv exercises into some team meetings

  4. Set up a Messenger Room every now and then while doing solo work and invite your team to drop in and say hi if/whenever they feel like it

  5. Do AMAs for team members. Set up a poll ahead of time to gather questions and then host a live event where team members can join in to answer all the questions

  6. Host a Talent Show for your team

  7. Host a Show and Tell with your team

Miscellaneous

  1. Great thread by GitLab’s CEO (a pioneer of remote work) on “formally designing informal communications”

© 2020 by Hadar Dor

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