Team Building Milano – one of our associate companies – has been in business for exactly ten years. Ten years devoted to the creation of business events and team-building experiences for big corporations and small firms alike. As you might imagine, our world – much like everyone else’s – has been turned on its head by the Covid-19 pandemic and we had to rethink our work from scratch. We had to go back and ask ourselves what our job is about and how we do it. We realised that, at the root of all our project, there was always one element, one starting point: listening to our clients’ needs and trying to meet them. So that’s what we did: there are still companies working at full speed, new teams are forming and telework communities are re-arranging themselves. What do they need and how do we provide it? We tried to come up with an answer – or several – by redesigning our most popular team building activities to work for remote teams and employees too. We came up with several engaging and easy-to-organise online team-building experiences. If your team is finding it hard to adjust to the “new normal”, we suggest you try these activities, to help your employees practice remote project management while letting off some steam.
Try these online team-building activities to engage remote workers
Paint your Company – Home Edition
This crisis put Italy in the spotlight for a long and uncomfortable time, but it also showed that the Italian response to a major problem will always bring out our best and most creative side. This is a curious side effect of the prolonged lockdown, not just in Italy, but all over the world: it made most people want to do art, to show off their creativity, to try new things for the fun of it. This led us to adapt one of our most popular team building classics to fit these troubled times and work and as an online team-building activity. The goal, much like in the original version, is to create a piece of visual art to represent the company, the brand and everything it stands for. Unlike the IRL-version, however, this online team building activity doesn’t end with a painting or a collage, but rather with an animated sequence or comic strip. Each participant will need to be equipped with some creative tools: paint, brushes, sharpies, pencils, or markers – anything will do. The workforce is divided into teams, with each team coordinating on a separate conference call, and each participant creating and submitting one frame or one element of the team’s final sequence. Once every team has provided their artwork, all sequences can be edited and streamed, with a voiceover explaining the action when needed and telling the company’s story. This activity is designed to improve remote project management and coordination skills while engaging the whole team in a few hours of light-hearted fun and banter.
This is the ideal online team-building activity for those who resent being stuck in and unable to go to the gym, party, or hang out in parks and bars. We took our inspiration from the ongoing trend of social media challenges, in which young users challenge each other to beat the most outlandish records. In this case, we will set challenges based on individual inclinations and passions: it may be a garden football challenge, a toilet-paper throwing challenge (if you panic-bought enough at the beginning of the crisis), or a plank challenge, for those who have managed to stay fit enough through the lockdown. No challenge will require special equipment. All performances will be live-streamed with a commentary worth of a major league match! Once again, what looks like plain old fun is actually a carefully designed way of improving remote coordination within your team. This is particularly useful for teams that were not working from home before the pandemic and that were used to managing projects while staying in close quarters. Having to work with your colleagues without the constant feedback derived from sharing a workplace can be hard and it requires specific abilities, even technical ones. All of which can be easily acquired by playing around and having a good time.
Music video Challenge
Yes, this is about unleashing your team’s musical talent! Those who do not believe they have one don’t need to worry though: the goal of this exercise is to have fun with your colleagues, to try and overcome your limits and fears, and to manage a project online as a group, not to win awards on your debut album. Each team will record their own music video, based on a popular song. The lyrics will be changed to fit the purpose of your company or brand – and don’t forget to add some banter to the mix! Inside jokes are welcome and everyone is invited to chip in! After the song has been selected and the lyrics have been re-written, each team member will record one or two bars of the song. All individual clips will then be edited into one sequence (we can take care of it if nobody in your team is familiar with video-editing tools) and all entries will compete to become the new company video. And this will not be your usual, run-of-the-mill corporate video: it will be something to remember and cherish, and a memento of how your team pulled through during this difficult time.