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Office Life

Team Bonding Ideas Your Employees Will Love While Remote

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Jeff Gapinski

A woman using her hands to communicate while laughing in front of her laptop screen

It’s officially been one year of the work-from-home grind with nearly 62% of Americans working remotely either part-time or full time from their kitchen tables and home offices. Although there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s safe to say that everyone is feeling burnt out. 

Employment website Monster found in a July 2020 survey that 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home, which is up from 20% back in May 2020…not great! 

Burnout doesn’t just mean you are working too much and you’re exhausted from your job. It can also mean loneliness. Usually, we associate burnout with physical or mental symptoms like high blood pressure, anxiety, etc. But loneliness?

“With remote work, which socially isolates people, there is an added component to consider: loneliness. Research demonstrates that while obesity reduces longevity by 20%, drinking by 30%, and smoking by 50%, loneliness takes the cake, reducing life expectancy by a whopping 70%” says Forbes.

Burnout is no joke. It’s important that companies do whatever they can do to make employees continue to feel like part of the team and cultivate company culture. Out of ideas? We can help.

Ideas for cultivating company culture while remote

While nothing truly replicates the hallway “Hello!”, casual water cooler convos, coffee runs with co-workers, or lunch-time laughter, recognizing that burnout is real is the first step. Cultivating company culture while we are still remote is so important not only for collaboration and communication but employee mental health and wellness. 

After a year, it’s tough coming up with ideas to keep the team engaged and morale high—we get it! We compiled a list of helpful ideas to get your team through the last few months of remote work before heading back into the office, or if you’re remote full-time, just some new ways to spice things up a bit.

Friendly competition, anyone?

Bear Ninja Cowboy 

Bear, ninja, cowboy is an awesome, super easy remote game. All you need is yourself!  Imagine rock, paper, scissors—but it gets you up out of your seat. Turn it into a bracket-style tournament and get the whole company involved. Then, invite everyone to watch the final showdown between the last two competitors and the winner takes home a prize plus bragging rights as the reigning champ. 

Virtual Escape Room Experience

Prepare your team for an adrenaline-filled hour! These virtual escape room experiences pair groups with someone on-site for a hybrid experience. While someone is escaping the room for you, the group has to work together virtually to guide the person to use the right clues, solve puzzles, and successfully escape in under an hour. Choose from adventures like stopping a nuclear bomb, getaway from a runaway train, or race to get a vaccine in time for a deadly disease. Nothing says team bonding like saving each other’s lives! 

Jackbox Games 

Jackbox Games are a perfect way to get the team together and play new, fun games that are really easy to use remotely. At Bevi, we love Fibbage, the “lying, bluffing, fib-till-you-win game”—so much so, we’re hosting a company-wide Fibbage tournament. Purchase a game pack and your team can choose from Quiplash, Split the Room, Word Spud, and more.

For the employ-foodies  

Virtual Cooking Class 

Always wanted to learn how to make pasta from scratch? Grab your team, some red wine, and your laptop and you’ll all be transported to Italy in no time. Eatly offers virtual cooking classes at affordable prices with the ingredients included. They’ll send them to you ahead of time so all you have to do is log-in and throw on ‘That’s Amore’ by Dean Martin. Voilà! Team bonding.  

Virtual Happy Hour 

Everyone loves and misses office happy hours. Set up monthly virtual happy hours with the team or if that is soo large of a group, smaller groups so everyone can get the chance to chat via zoom. If budget allows, send some fun cocktail makings ahead or the same bottle of wine so the whole team can enjoy the same drink together!    

Coffee Chat Roulette 

We love this idea from the Zapier team. Play a little coffee chat roulette and randomly pair up two team members every week to encourage some casual conversations on a regular basis. You’ll learn what coffee or tea your co-workers indulge in and chances are, you’ll learn something from your really sophisticated coffee-drinking co-workers.

A little less conversation, a little more action

Hiking or Running Clubs 

We agree with Miro—slack channels for mutual interests are great, especially when they get you outside! Start a slack channel for those interested in hiking or running and try to organize a group of co-workers that live close by that can go out for runs or hikes together. At Bevi, our #bevihike channel is one of our most popular as we try to get out and explore the beautiful hiking trails in New England. 

Fitness Challenge 

Sunshine and summer are around the corner and what better way to motivate one another to get in shape than a little friendly competition? If you’ve got them, use your tracking devices like WHOOP to hold teammates accountable, or go with honesty is the best policy. Set a timeframe, goals, and prize for the top 3 winners, and remember to encourage one another. It’s about being healthy, not about beating your co-workers. Yes, we’re looking at you, you crazy 6 AM runners!  

Beat the burn(out) with some learn(ing)

Lightning Talks 

At Bevi, we do what we call monthly Lightning Talks. Our Co-Founder, Frank Lee, hosts these hour-long sessions where employees spend no more than 15 minutes talking to the company about a topic that they are passionate about. Topics have ranged from mushroom foraging to music production, to the art of fire spinning! It’s a great way to learn more about your co-workers, their passions outside of work, and cultivate company culture beyond spreadsheets and PowerPoint decks.

Book Club

Already enjoy reading? Why not do it with your co-workers and get a book club together! Get a slack channel going or send out a survey to get the group together and figure out what book everyone wants to read. Then get together once you’ve finished reading and discuss the book over some wine and cheese (because who doesn’t like wine and cheese).

We hope these ideas help you and your team feel a little less burnt out and a little more connected to one another. Oh, and don’t forget to stay hydrated—that always helps too!

What other tips do you have for team bonding while working remotely? Re-share this article and let us know your ideas on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

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Jeff Gapinski

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