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Getting a team to gel has never been an easy task for a manager or company owner. The more people you hire, the more distinct personalities you need to get on the same page. There will inevitably be conflicts and disagreements: clashes that lower productivity instead of boosting it. It takes a delicate approach to overcome those obstacles and achieve meaningful unity.
When (almost) everyone had to start working remotely, this task became even harder. Having team members in the same room forces them to communicate and collaborate to some extent. Being in the same situation brings them together — while being distant allows them to stay apart, largely keeping to themselves when not required to do otherwise.
And yes, you can require people to work together more closely, but it’s fairly likely to prove counterproductive. Their resentment will push them in the other direction. Instead, you should suggest some activities that can be enjoyed through Zoom calls.Providing fun activities is an effective way to keep coworkers together in spirit when they can’t be together in person.Click To Tweet
If you can get people to enjoy some online social time, they’ll end up feeling more comfortable with one another. In this post, we’re going to take a look at four great activity options that you should consider prompting. Let’s get started.
Online card games
The great thing about a game like poker is that it can be as silly or serious as you want it to be. If your company has a lot of avid players, they can enjoy a competitive round with real stakes (ideally light, though: you don’t want huge sums being wagered). If it has beginners, they can just play for fun with nothing but pride on the line.
For added effect, you can invite participants to dress up as though they were visiting a classic casino to play some blackjack and knock back some cocktails. With real-world options limited due to social distancing, you can try a new online casino: the most prominent are the new casinos in the UK (largely due to the laws being relatively suitable), so take a look.
If you don’t want to get that involved, though, you could just find a more casual co-operative card game to enjoy. Something like Uno could be good, for instance — and since you can get great versions of it on PCs and gaming consoles, you could certainly go down that route (and have some thoroughly relaxing and entertaining games).
With so much more free time and many fewer ways to usefully spend it, people from across industries (even the most in-demand ones) have turned to literature to expand their horizons and lift their spirits. And while this is fundamentally an individual activity, you can make it a group activity by setting up some book discussions. Each month, you can invite everyone to read a particular book.
You can invite them to agree on one if they don’t much want to go with your choice, of course, but it isn’t really about the specific book selected. It’s about having an excuse for a detailed discussion in which people learn more about how their coworkers think, what they value, and how they approach life in general.
Not being able to enjoy social drinking is something that’s frustrated many people throughout the world during this time, and one of the reasons for that (aside from the obvious alcoholic incentive) is the common appearance of low-pressure trivia games. Having some drinks and answering questions about popular culture is a great way to spend an evening.
Well, this activity is something that’s extremely easy to replicate online, which is why quizzes became so popular soon after the first lockdowns hit. You can take one of two routes: you can come up with a quiz that’s relevant to your industry and attempt a half-baked training session, or you can forget about work-related things and just ask assorted trivia questions.
The latter will probably be more effective since the former would make people feel pressured to get things right and compete with their colleagues. If team members feel tense, they won’t want to communicate freely, and it’ll damage cohesion. The point should be collaboration. If you can come up with a way for them to team up against you, that’s likely to be a solid option.
Another activity many people have taken up this year is baking. It’s great because it allows for near-limitless creativity while being extremely accessible since anyone can follow a recipe. Done well, it’s also delicious. By having a banking challenge, you can get people sharing tips and looking to impress one another.
How can it work? There are two options. You can have people bake beforehand and simply show off their finished goods, but that’s a little dull. The more interesting option is to have people take their laptops into their kitchens and live stream their baking (it’s surprisingly popular on Twitch). If things go well, that’s great. If things go horribly, that’s even better because it’ll be funny and guards will come down.
Additionally, this is a great way to build up to when people can once again meet in person (which has to happen eventually). At that time, they can bring in their best-baked goods and have a celebration, providing a neat coda to the whole remote-working ordeal.
Wrapping up, then, providing fun activities is an effective way to keep coworkers together in spirit when they can’t be together in person. Each of the activities we’ve looked at here can prove successful if handled well, so think about what might be the best fit for your team and give it a shot.