Spruce Up Morale with these 5 Team-Building Virtual Event Ideas
Regardless of how much you love or hate the “new norm,” chances are your team has experienced the Zoom blues at one point or another. Let’s face it... we all have! One of the challenges of a work-from-home environment is that having a direct pulse on culture and morale is a lot trickier than before. When you’re in the office, everyone can feel the natural ebbs and flows of buzz, collaboration, stress and stagnation. Without music playing, phones ringing, conference rooms filling and water-cooler chatting, it requires us to be more attentive to how people are really feeling.
So, based on the faces in those tiny squares, you probably notice days where morale seems better than others. (Pro Tip: if you’re not sure, ask your employees directly or send out a survey to find out!) If you’re feeling like your team could benefit from a morale pick-me-up, we’ve pulled some creative ideas together, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. And no, a team happy hour over Zoom at 4pm on a Friday is not all that creative... it’s time to spruce it up!!
1. Paint Your Pet
If your team is anything like ours, there may be some furry friends who are new to the scene. Can’t blame your employees – what better time to adopt a companion than now? Paint Your Pet is the perfect event to bring team members together. Here’s how it works: employees send in a photo of their pet and in return they receive a sketch of their pet on a canvas with all the supplies needed to paint their pet’s portrait (basically coloring within the lines... or not!). You can do this over Zoom and invite employees to take a break from work, unwind with a glass of wine and paint their furry friends.
2. Team Book Club
Before you think we’re old- school and you’ve already “been there, done that,” hear us out. As a leader, it’s up to you to lead by example and empower your team to take the time away from their screens to curl up with a good book (and yes, a physical hard copy!!). Zoom fatigue is real and so is forgetting to take a break away from your computer. Let your team know you are supporting and encouraging them to close the laptop, put on the tea kettle and head to the couch. Trust us, your employees will thank you for this quiet time to escape from reality and practice wellness.
As a way to honor Women’s History Month and Black History Month, our team decided to read a novel written by a female black author. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid was the perfect read for a team book club: an unintimidating length, a relevant and timely read, superb writing that pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages, and endless discussion topics around themes like race, class, privilege, friendship and family dynamics.
3. Travel the World (Virtually)
Tell everyone to throw on a beret and grab their favorite wine & cheese duo and schedule a virtual tour of Paris. Together your team can explore the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower rather than staring at the same Zoom backgrounds and having the same small talk. When there’s not a whole lot going on, there’s not a whole lot to talk about. Sweet Farms in Half Moon Bay is also holding virtual tours of their farm, so if your team loves all things turkeys, goats and llamas, this is a great option. Sure, this is still a Zoom happy hour, but around new and exciting topics that spark new discussion with much better visuals.
4. Health + Wellness Challenge
Put your employees into teams and create an opt-in wellness challenge with a prize at the end for the team who accumulates the most points. For example: this week, focus on intentionality. Encourage your employees to plan a “date” with a loved one, friend or even a pet, or carve out time on the calendar for employees to take a screen break and focus on things like breathing, meditating, praying and intention-setting. The next week’s theme might be on physical health. Challenge your team to take a 30-minute walk, make a meal using all plant-based ingredients or participate in a 30-minute dance class.
5. DIY Charcuterie Board
If you’re at all in the loop on the latest trends, charcuterie boards are on the #trendy rise. Jazz up any happy hour by sending supplies and ingredients to your employees and spark a friendly competition to assemble creative charcuterie boards. We recommend Caroo's Sip + Snacks Box. This is basically the “adult” version of a gingerbread house competition (which we also encourage during the holiday season).
If you haven’t picked up on it already, the common theme here is empowering your team to take their eyes off the screen and spend their time on something that will improve their wellness, to carve out time to do something unique, fun and exciting together, and to plan an event that’s not so basic. And when you feel like you’re fresh out of ideas, phone a friend... aka, invite your team-members to plan the next virtual team-building events. You likely have co-workers who enjoy things like culture-building, event planning or simply flexing their creative muscles. Happy planning!
Written by: Haley Garrison
May 7, 2021