02 Apr 2020
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Team Building While Social Distancing

So, you’ve implemented your first work from home policy. But running a good team is more than managing productivity. Social elements are important as well. That’s why colleagues get together for a post-work pint at happy hour. Or gather in the break room for board games on Friday afternoon. Or why there are corporate outings to the ballpark. 

But how do you get your team to socialize while we’re all social distancing? Well, you could try these ideas. 

Virtual Happy Hour

The easiest thing to do is fire up Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or your preferred conferencing tool and get chatting. Set a time, show up with your beverage of choice, and it’s not that different from a regular happy hour. 

Of course, you could do something besides drinking and chatting. We know of offices where co-workers knit together, do yoga, meditate, make DIY crafts, practice calligraphy, and more. 

Maybe you’d like to mix productivity with a social activity. In that case, why not try a class together? There are a number of virtual cooking classes that could be group activities. Or you could do something more challenging like learning a language together. You could even try channelling your inner Bob Ross and paint along to one of his episodes. 

Play Some Games

People bond over games. It’s too bad that we can’t have company softball teams or office Dungeons and Dragons night right now, but we’re in a golden age of online gaming. And here’s a really important point: you don’t have to be a stereotypical “gamer” to participate. 

Are you card players? Online bridge culture is fairly robust, and there are tons of other apps and sites that let you play the card game of your choice with friends. 

If board games are more your speed, know that there are dozens of sites like Tabletopia, Board Game Arena, Pogo, and Arkadium that offer the chance for online play. 

And of course, if your team happens to have gaming PCs or video game consoles, you can always try an office tournament. Just remember, though: Smash Brothers has the potential to damage relationships too. 

Watch Something Together 

It’s a good thing that this is a golden age of video content, otherwise being stuck at home would be even more of a challenge. Thanks to the Chrome extension Netflix Party, groups of people can all watch the same thing and hang out in real time. 

Of course, you aren’t limited to Netflix. By using normal video conferencing tools, you can all watch the same video content from platforms like YouTube and chat at the same time. You can even combine this with happy hour. Add in some snarky commentary and you have your own version of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Is virtually drinking with colleagues while self-isolating the ideal way to watch 2019’s worst movie, Cats?  Probably yes. 

The Last Word

Remote teamwork is by definition isolating, so it’s important for teams to take the time to maintain their relationships. Even though we can’t see each other in physical space, we can still get together in virtual space. 

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