With teams working online, in-person, or a hybrid of both, team building is more important than ever. And bringing everyone together doesn’t have to break the bank. Nurture your employees’ work relationships by engaging them in cost-effective activities. Here are 18 Free Activities for your hybrid team to try!
Sharing food has been connecting people of all cultures, since the beginning of time. With a hybrid team, we can still connect over our favorite eats. Put a digital twist on the classic sit-down meal and create a Virtual Cookbook.
Have your team submit their favorite recipes to a shared channel on your digital workspace. Categorize recipes like a real cookbook–meats, sweets, salads, kid-friendly, etc. Consider recipe sections for seasons, holidays, and even countries (especially for global teams). Create a PDF to distribute amongst the staff.
You can learn a lot about someone through their taste in music. Invite your staff to create playlists to share with the team. Ask them to title it with their name (e.g., Tim’s Playlist) or as a mood (e.g., Focus Playlist, Pump-it-up Playlist, Classical Playlist, etc.). Use a music streaming service to easily compile songs, like Spotify or Apple Music.
Gather the team online or in person, for some good old-fashioned board games. For in-person gaming, ask your team to bring in their favorite game from home, sit around a table and get playing. Otherwise, there are plenty of services to help facilitate virtual games online. GameApart and Jackbox provide multiple game packages. Or find classics, like online Pictionary through skribbl and trivia through TriviaMaker.
Block off half an hour in your team’s calendars for Virtual Lunch Club. Grab some food, sit in a comfy spot, and get to know the team. Encourage daily social drop-ins!
Facilitate fitness amongst your team with a workout class. For those in the office, give everyone enough floor space for movement and encourage them to bring personal yoga mats for extra comfort.
Play a workout video for instruction and get the team moving. There are countless workout videos on YouTube, like Fitness Blender and Yoga with Adriene. Include all remote workers by streaming the workout on a video chat, through a service like Zoom or Google Meet.
Take your team’s wellness to the next level with a group meditation. Easily host a session by playing a pre-recorded guided meditation to your group in-person or online, through a video call.
Cheers the end of the workweek with your colleagues at Virtual Happy Hour. Invite the team to bring along their drink of choice and log into the video call for some lighthearted banter.
Mix things up, by introducing themes, like Yappy Hour with pets, Fam Jam with the kids, or dress up for special events like Halloween.
For leisure or learning, book clubs ignite conversation. Select a book for the month–be it fiction or educational–and send an e-book link to your team. Schedule discussion groups each week to deep dive into themes, learnings, characters, plot, etc. Come prepared with questions to kick off the discussion.
Add flavor to a workday with a recurring Debate Channel on Slack. Choose a new topic every week for your team to respond to with opinions, photos, and GIFs. Consider your team’s interests when coming up with debate questions or ask your team to submit topics. If you’re stumped, check out conversation starters online.
Did you know that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs say that ‘lack of appreciation’ is their reason for leaving? It’s so important to make sure everyone–no matter their role–feels valued. Implementing weekly shout-outs is a simple solution. Ask your team to submit words of praise for a teammate to a meeting leader. At the end of the week, gather in a virtual space and let the meeting leader read out the shout-outs. Open the floor for last-minute kudos.
Have fun learning about your team’s coolest, weirdest, or most awesome personal items. Ask everyone to bring something to show. Suggest items that have a good story behind them, significance, or sweet memories. Take turns showing and telling in an online meeting.
Tag on an Ask Me Anything (AMA) segment at your next company-wide meeting. This is a great way to get to know each team member through a focused lens.
Highlight an employee and get them ready to answer questions about themself. This is a chance for colleagues and peers to find out more about professional journeys, personal likes and dislikes, and anything else that might be of interest.
With COVID-19 still impacting our daily lives, we need to think about workers facing danger every day. Send thoughtful e-cards to front-line workers, showing your support and gratitude for all they do. Put together a virtual card through programs like Canva or InDesign. Write to organizations like local hospitals, care homes, schools, public transit, and grocery stores.
Have everyone bring along their furry, feathered, or scaly friends to a virtual team gathering. Meet each other’s little pals and talk about life with them.
Who’s your doppelgänger? Invite everyone to bring a picture of themself and a celebrity that looks the most like them to a virtual team meeting. To figure out matches try an app like StarByFace. Have fun looking at the results together.
Learn together and from each other with a Staff Speaker Series. Invite teammates to speak about their expertise. Encourage work related topics to benefit your entire organization. Instill a Petcha Kucha format for visual aids and consistent timing.
Pick up a pencil or paintbrush and get your creative juices flowing. Host virtual Art Sessions with your team over a video chat. Pin an object–like fruit or a sculpture–on the chat screen and have everyone draw it. Or follow a free art class on YouTube from vloggers like Zyra Bañez or SchaeferArt. Share your works of art with each other and see who has natural skills.
As you can see, there are many affordable ways to bring your staff together. Try these activities and see what your team likes the most. Maybe you’ll learn something new or share some laughs.