It’s officially been over a year since many of us have been working from home. Although there are many perks of WFH life (no commute, more family time, sleeping in, & elastic waist bands), I do miss those water cooler chats in the break room about weekend plans, stopping by someone’s cubicle to share pictures of our kids, or laughing with a co-worker over something weird that happened in a meeting.
I remember reading something a few years ago about how your work friends know more about you than your personal friends, which in many instances, was true for me. Pre-pandemic, I was with my colleagues more than my family and friends during the week; it’s a special bond you form with work friends. Overall, I miss my co-workers!
We know that sometimes virtual team events can feel forced or awkward – here are some tips for activities to get everyone involved and help keep office culture alive and fun!
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Get the adrenaline pumping with a virtual scavenger hunt! Separate your group into teams, and the host will start each round by calling out three objects to find. During each round one person from each team has 90 seconds to run around their house to look for those three objects.
Example: You have 90 seconds to find…
Each item a person brings back is worth one point. The person who returns first to the video screen with all three items gets a bonus point.
Virtual Word Games
Who doesn’t love a good word game?! Create your own version of virtual Taboo®. A player is given a word and needs to give clues to get their teammates to guess the word without using the five “Taboo” words listed.
Example: How do you get your team to say APPLE?
- You can’t say RED, FRUIT, PIE, CIDER, or CORE. They’re “TABOO!”
- You may say, EAT ONE OF THESE A DAY TO KEEP THE DOCTOR AWAY
You can use this website to help find cards to play. Keep it interesting and create a few personal cards related to your business/office, like creating clues about other people in the company. A team member not playing the game can send three pre-selected “Taboo” cards to each person right before their turn. Each person then has 60 seconds to give clues to their team.
Other similar options would be:
- Catch Phrase
- Charades – This isn’t a word game, but a similar concept. People could act out the clues on camera.
- PICTIONARY™ –You could use the paint feature to draw and share your screen. You would definitely need to separate out the graphic designers on the teams for fair play!
This website has some great tools and ideas you can use to help create your game.
Virtual “GUESS WHO?™”
Many of your co-workers will remember this classic game. I looked up the original game board characters and was instantly brought back to the good old 1990’s. Ask your team to come on camera with a little disguise to make it more fun, maybe a silly hat or a newly grown mustache in true W.B. Mason fashion?
Break the group up into two teams, and one person from each team will represent each round. A person from Team One will choose a co-worker on the video call as their “Mystery Card” and a person from Team Two is asking Yes/No questions for clues on who Team One is thinking of.
- Team Two: Does this person have on glasses?
- Team One: No.
- Team Two: Calls out the people who are wearing glasses to turn off their cameras.
Keep asking questions to narrow down the people still on camera. You get five questions to try to “Guess Who” the mystery card person is.
2020 was quite the year, which like a high school yearbook full of awkward hairstyles and braces, may be a time of life we choose not to remember. However, as a memento from this crazy time and to reflect on this year of work-from-home life, you can put together a virtual yearbook. It can be a compilation of funny photos from remote work life, best memories, accomplishments, and even some superlatives! This is fun because you can tailor the superlatives to your group (like most likely to have technical difficulties with XYZ software). A few of my personal favorite superlatives are below.
- Most likely to have a background on a virtual call
- Most caffeinated
- Team clown
- Most up to date on office happenings
- Most likely to mute themselves while talking
Coordination for these virtual bonding ideas would need to be squared up to work for your group, but I hope these ideas help spark some much-needed virtual bonding! GO TEAM!