Remote work is the new norm. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of confusion, and until things get worked out, much of the workforce will be forced to work at home from a computer. This represents a major challenge for human resources departments and managers. But there are new services popping up left and right that can help managers keep productivity and morale high.

The greatest difficulty with working in a virtual office is the lack of comradery. With workers scattered all over the US, and a lack of face-to-face interaction, teams can start to break down in terms of communication.   The usual solution to this issue is team building events. But how can events like this occur with a pandemic raging? Luckily, there are now many digital services that provide virtual team-wide events and team building activities.

Here is a list of a few virtual team building services that managers & HR departments can consider using.

Watson Adventures

Perhaps the most intriguing of these services is Watson Adventures. This company has been providing team-building exercises is the form of real-world scavenger hunts since 1999. Now that the pandemic is here, the company now offers virtual scavenger hunts, in addition to other games team members can play with one another to build trust.

Some of Watson Adventures’ most popular virtual team-building games include a murder mystery game, a trivia slam game, and a virtual city tour game. Although these are games, and the games are designed to be fun and humorous, they nonetheless offer real opportunities for coworkers to get to know one another and let down their hair. Most of the games include puzzle-solving, which is a great way to increase cooperation between coworkers.

Yaymaker

Another fun digital team building service is Yaymaker, which is used by companies such as Google, Facebook, and Netflix. Like Watson Adventures, Yaymaker offers team building games, but the company also offers events centered around creative activities, fitness, and food and drink.

One activity that Yaymaker offers is ‘Virtual Paint Nite’, which provides the feeling of painting together with friends while in the comfort of their own home. Another event Yaymakers offers is a ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’ event. Coworkers can learn to cook and healthy and hearty meal together, while safely social distancing from home.

Retreatify

Retreatify offers a host of activities and workshops for coworkers to experience together. Some of their clients include Microsoft, Bell, and Salesforce. Like Watson Adventures and Yaymaker, Retreatify started out offering team-building exercises in person, but due to the pandemic, they have quickly switched to offer virtual activities too.

Some of Retreatify’s new online activities include a ‘Virtual Feud Game Show’, which encourages teams of coworkers to compete against one another to build teamworking skills. But not all of Retreatify’s virtual activities are focused on fun and games. They also offer ‘The Art of Empowered Relationships’, which helps team members communicate with one another more effectively.

Despite the severity of this pandemic, not all hope is lost, and the work must continue. There are many new alternatives for team building offered online that can be just as effective as in-person activities. There are multiple services out there, and each of them takes a unique approach to team building. Find which virtual team building activity is right for your office today!

If you are interested in upping your remote management game, check out this how-to article: Manager’s Guide to Telecommuting

Marie Zolezzi, CEO and Founder of ZM Ventures has contributed to the HR functions of many large firms in the Silicon Valley, Intermountain West and the Pacific Northwest. Marie is a skilled HR practitioner with unique expertise in HR business partnering, conflict resolution, employee investigations, one-on-one coaching and organization management. She is also a skilled board advisor to the Board of Directors needing input from an HR thought leader. To contact Marie Zolezzi, send an email to info@zmventures.com

 

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