Why are Fun Friday Virtual Activities Valuable?
The pandemic has sent work online, and we’ve all had to adapt. Remote work presents a lot of new possibilities, but it’s also challenging. You’re probably not the only one asking yourself how to improve teamwork and communication when everybody’s working from home.
This is because there are huge differences between online and offline teams, especially since remote teams can be widely geographically distributed in a way that in-person ones cannot. Leading a multinational team presents unique challenges and opportunities, especially when cultural differences are at play.
Even if it’s logistically difficult due to time zones, social connection still matters, especially in remote teams. That’s why team building activities are crucial: the team needs to find common interests in order to work together.
For that reason, our Exadel Agile experts provide Fun Friday virtual activities every month for three hours. Fun Friday is a team-building activity for employees to meet their colleagues and spend time together playing online games or doing other activities.
Preparing Fun Friday Virtual Activities Step By Step
Before you choose the best Fun Friday themes for work at your company, keep these general recommendations in mind.
- Choose the right time for a team-building activities meeting. Remember that your team members are situated in different time zones, so you need to pick a comfortable time slot for everyone!
- Start by choosing interesting topics for discussion. Be conscious of what is and isn’t appropriate in each of your team members’ cultural contexts. While you may think it’s fine to discuss politics or religion in the workplace, it’s possible that not everyone will share that view, so it’s best to avoid heavy discussions during team-building communication activities.
- To break the ice, start your Fun Friday virtual activities with an introduction. Each person should quickly introduce themselves, including their name and job position. Then try icebreaker questions so everyone can get to know each other better (think of things like “what’s your favorite drink?” or “what fictional character is most like you?”).
You can also use the following activities to break the ice:
- The aliens have landed (20-30 minutes). Imagine that a group of aliens has landed near your office. You’ll have to figure out a way to communicate with them. Split the team into small groups and ask them to provide five symbols or pictures to explain your company, planet Earth, your product, etc. Then ask one person from the team to present it. This team-building activity is good for breaking the ice, encouraging teamwork, and generating innovative ideas.
- Picture of your life (30-60 minutes). Ask team members to share one photo that represents an important aspect of their life. Everyone should explain to the group why this photo really matters. This exercise is especially useful when everyone is still getting to know each other.
After introductions, move on to games that are focused on destressing and uniting the team Here are some examples of Fun Friday themes for team-building games and activities that have worked well at Exadel meetings:
- Bucket List Challenge (15-30 minutes). Each participant has five minutes to think about things that they want to do over the course of their lives. Then everybody presents this list to the group. If more than one person has the same goal, they can team up!
You may find that you and one of your teammates are both trying to run a marathon in the next year. You’ll have found a great accountability partner to help you both get there! This game is a great way to improve teamwork.
- Draw and guess. (30-60 minutes) Using Multiplayers Drawing Games, draw something and ask other team members to guess what you made. This Fun Friday virtual activity is a great way to de-stress at the end of a long work week.
- Charades or crocodile (30-60 minutes). This is an online version of the popular game charades. To make it easier to play online, you only use synonyms. Each team member makes a list of 10 words and passes them on to the captain of the team. The captain has to use synonyms to help the team guess each word without using the word itself. This game is one of the best team-building communication activities.
- Two truths and a lie (20-30 minutes). This is a classic party game made virtual. Team members take turns revealing three interesting facts about themselves, one of which is false. The rest of the participants try their best to figure out which is which. It’s a fun way for everyone to get to know each other!
Benefits of Fun Friday Virtual Activities
What benefits do all these team-building games and activities bring? First of all, team members find shared interests or action items. Before long, you’ll find that some of your colleagues are playing online games or planning vacations together.
Fun Friday games for employees also let everyone showcase their individuality and unique cultural context. Cultural diversity is an asset, not a risk, but it increases the importance of working closely across a team.
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Fun Friday Virtual Activities to Avoid
We’ve described the most effective games for uniting a team, but there are some things to avoid.
Sometimes people confuse Fun Friday with a drinks party. This isn’t our intention here. Our goal is to provide team-building communication activities, not drinking buddies.
Avoid becoming intrusive by having Fun Friday virtual activities too often. When your teamwork games are too frequent, they become an Agile ceremony that people want to skip.
We hope this has helped you learn how to improve teamwork and find effective instruments to help your team bond.