How to do Team Building for Free During Coronavirus
Everyone’s in lock down. Doesn’t mean team building stops! Here are some quick tips to help you keep up team morale, spirit and unity- all while being isolated!
It starts with communicating and opening up the communication channels. There are three tools we’ll talk about. And all are free- woohoo!
Most people have WhatsApp now. If all your team members have it then great! The good thing I’ve found with WhatsApp is it’s convenient. If most people, even if some people don’t use it, then you may want to use something else.
I’ve seen good success with getting engagement from team members on WhatsApp as its convenient and people usually aren’t flooded with spam on the platform. So it’s easier to use than something like Facebook messenger.
Because people primarily use it for personal messaging, there’s a little bit of fun or light heartedness. Therefore it’s important to keep communications not too serious here. I recommend maximizing your use of funny GIFs at this point.
Step 1: Ask people if they use WhatsApp and if they want to be part of the group. If this is a fail – then try the next option (Slack). If this is a pass – then great, continue with the next step!
Step 2: Create your group
To create a group:
- Go to the CHATS tab in WhatsApp.
- Tap the three dots
- Select New group.
- Search for or select contacts to add to the group. Then tap the green arrow.
- Enter a group subject. This will be the name of the group that all participants will see. There are three mandatory rules here,
- Pick something fun
- Throw in some emojis
- Add a group photo by tapping the Camera icon. You can choose to use your Camera, Gallery or Search Web to add an image.
Step 3: Invite more people
If you don’t have all contacts on your phone, you can invite people to join the group by sharing a link with them. To share a group invite link:
- Go to the WhatsApp group chat, then tap the group subject.
- Alternatively, tap and hold the group in the CHATS tab. Then tap the three dots and tap Group info.
- Tap Invite via link.
- Choose to Send link via WhatsApp, Copy link or Share link via another app.
- Share using email or any other app you deem reasonable
Cons of using WhatsApp: Yeah, well most people use it for personal use and not work or businesses. If you don’t have the best team unity, then team members may not want to get messages on their WhatsApp – especially in the middle of the night. Having said that, people are free from having to join the group and you shouldn’t need to make anyone join it.
Also notifications and messages outside of work hours can be plain annoying *cough* talking to you night owl. So try to avoid those. Please.
The good thing about Slack is that it lets you create multiple work spaces and channels (think groups). Not only can you have a Slack for different teams, but you can drill down and have multiple channels under each team.
I find Slack more useful on PC or laptop. You can use the slack app as well on mobile, making it easy to communicate with team members on the go – or while isolated!
Once again maximizing the use of GIFs is highly recommended. In case you’re struggling to find some good ones, check out Giphy.com.
Although Zoom isn’t ideal for quick communication and messaging, it allows for better interaction with individuals or teams. Zoom is much more effective for team building
Here are a few things you can do in zoom:
Hold your daily standup meetings as a group
Open up your team meetings and daily stand ups using zoom. Bring a bit more interaction by sharing screens, allowing others to share screen, and bring a bit more visual element to your remote working. It beats having to dial in on the phone, staring outside a window.
Do happy virtual hour
Parties are fun. Mostly. Unless you’re introverted. Fortunately, virtual parties are fun for the extroverted and the introverted! Why not hold an after work party, get everyone to bring along a drink of their choosing, and just let the conversation flow!
Do themed happy virtual party
Let’s get the party started! You can turn your happy virtual hour into a full on party…. well, a virtual party at least.
Zoom lets you pick various backgrounds and filters. So it makes it easy to chose a theme. Even better, get people to dress up!
How about bring a pet along and introduce your pets to the team. If you’re daring enough, you can try to bring your kids along. That can only be fun.
Conduct a virtual lunch and learn
Learning is optional, oops, I mean lunch is optional! Get another stakeholder to provide some learning to the team. Or you can get team members to volunteer to provide training. You can even make this a regular event where a team member gets to pick a subject and teach their team about it.
This is great, because it let’s members show case their hobbies and other out of work skill sets too, like cooking.
There are so many games you can play with your fellow team members. It will help break up the isolation. Games like Bingo can be played over zoom. Here’s a list of some games you might want to seriously consider:
- House Party
- Heads Up
Only because people are working remotely, doesn’t mean they have to feel isolated from their team members. You can not only keep conversations going, but create some engagement using a plethora of tools available- and most are free.
Start with the above, and if you want more ideas to make your company a better company to work for- then sign up to our community.
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