On Thursday, March 26, two weeks after the pandemic was declared, our team of merry marketers sat down to happy hour and raised a drink to the phenomenal work we’ve accomplished in spite of current circumstances.
Twelve local watering holes hosted the shindig – secluded corners of our individual homes where the drinks poured freely and our GoToMeeting video grid made us resemble a boozy Brady Bunch.
Pursuing team building activities while social distancing can be tricky, but that sense of community and camaraderie is a critical reminder of why we do the work.
So many other companies are facing similar challenges right now. But with some ingenuity and a video chatting program, such as Zoom, distance doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker during quarantine.
- Let the games begin: A co-op, web-based party game is a great way to build rapport (and raise some havoc) from a distance. Launch MS Paint and a shared screen and may the best stick figure win in Virtual Pictionary or find new ways to harmonize with rounds of “Name That Tune.” Who among you can make the most obnoxious buzzer sound? Trivia is always a popular way to kick back while collaborating. With a spreadsheet as your scorecard, you’re well on your way to the next championship.
- Reinvent the water cooler: Instant messaging platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams have been doing gangbusters over the last month, as more and more employees began to work from home. Such tools allow co-workers to designate various channels to brainstorming sessions and other innovative ways to stay connected. Get silly and creative and have a little fun while growing closer as a team, not further apart. IMPACT, for instance, is creating our own to house our monthly “bad pun” contests.
- Grab the popcorn and put those cell phones down, dagnabbit. Cineplexes may be closed for the time being, but fortunately there are about eight-zillion different streaming networks to choose from in the interim. Find some common ground with your co-workers and select a film for a communal review or follow along with the latest trending series and host a weekly water-cooler style chat. Apps like Discord and Netflix Party make watching a flick together possible – and are just the ticket if you’re in charge of scheduling movie night.
No one ever said virtual team building was easy, and it’s all the more challenging now. But a regular dose of levity and lighthearted fun are perhaps more critical now than ever before, and preserving team building activities while social distancing will ensure that everyone is able to reunite with enthusiasm and focus when the world regains its footing, and your success as a company will grow even stronger.