A cohesive team is a productive team
Playing online team games with your colleagues increases productivity! Although this statement may sound somewhat contradictory, it is not, and the key is to choose the right games for your team!
We all know how important it is for teams to work together and make quality bonds between people that reach far beyond just working together. We spend a lot of our time working, and it is best for us personally and for productivity to have deeper connections with people we spend so much time together.
Cohesive teams where each team member has a strong feeling of belonging are the teams that can leverage an individual's strengths and potentials to make great things together.
Going from classic to online work environments
But, it is not as easy as before to create these deeper connections in today's online-first work environments. We physically separate from each other, not sharing the same working space, skipping watercooler talks, not going for lunch together, and missing all that small but essential opportunities to bond.
Going from classic office workflow to online-first is a real nightmare for Team leaders and HR specialists who are usually in charge of facilitating better interpersonal relations between both teammates and teams. And it is even worse when onboarding new people who have never been face-to-face with their new team and colleagues.
Team games are one of these little things that can help in such situations. While virtual games may not be the silver bullet to solve all your team bonding problems, they are certainly one powerful tool to make teammates better know each other and have fun together. Games by design include the interaction between players and should be fun and evoke positive emotions. That's why we should leverage games for online team building. But, it is essential to select appropriate games that people will enjoy.
Our game ideas for your online team building
If you are going to organize online team building for your team or just looking for a brief online team activity you can use day-to-day, our list will help you with excellent team game ideas! Actually, we wanted to make a list longer, but it is was really tough to find online team games that are fun and don't suck! There are many similar lists on the Web containing 10, 20, or even 50 entries, but most of the games on such lists do not pass the utter test: "Would I enjoy playing this game?". We are always for quality over quantity, so this list contains only five games, but these 5 are online team games that are actually fun to play.
1. Online Pictionary - Drawize
Drawing boosts our imagination and creativity - and these two are vital ingredients for creativity. At the same time, it is fun and will make the whole group laugh. So, not only because Drawize is ours :), but for the reasons mentioned and because it is easy to set up as an online team game, we put it in the first place.
Another plus is that Pictionary is already well known, and everyone has some good memories related to the game - playing it as a team game can evoke these memories and create new ones with our colleges.
For those not already familiar with it - Drawize is an online drawing and guessing game similar to Pictionary. It supports up to 100 players, and it is ideal for online work environments.
Drawize has a special mode designed for company events where players can be grouped into teams and play in
team vs teamgame mode, read more in our blog post on Drawize Teams game.
2. Three truths and a lie
This game is a great one when introducing a new colleague to the team, but you can also play it to discover some fun and not so well know facts about your current teammates. It will help all team members present themselves in a fun way and spark more personal conversations after the game finishes.
And, you don't need anything special to play, just your video-conferencing software you already use. One player says four statements about themself - three of which are right, and one is a lie. Other players have to guess which one is a lie, and whoever guesses correctly gets the point. Once all players offered their answers, the next players give statements about themselves, and the game continues until all members have spoken.
3. Waffles vs. Pancakes
This one is the real gem, and contrary to the most of games that start high and then fun collapses, this one becomes better with each following round. And, you will need only the video-conferencing solution you already use.
The game starts with a question: "What should we keep in the World: Waffles or Pancakes?" followed by each player substantiating his choice. Then, all players vote for either Waffles or Pancakes, the winning word stays, and the losing word is eliminated forever. For the next round, the leader adds a new contending word. Let's say Pancakes won; then you can add Cars, now we have "Pancakes vs. Cars", if Cars win, then we may have "Cars vs. Computers", after that "Computers vs. Medicines"...
As you can see from the example, the game progress fast, stakes become higher with each next round, and in the later stages, serious debates will start, and everyone will have a chance to argue their positions. This way people will learn a lot about each other, their opinions and values.
This game is also very versatile; you can focus it by narrowing the domain, let's say, to talk only about features of your product or sales process or anything other significant for the company.
If you are a software company, it can be: "Performance vs. Design"; "Performance vs. Features", "Performance vs. Security"... Or, if you produce furniture: "Cost vs. Build Quality", "Build Quality vs. Design", "Build quality vs. Usability"...
People love quizzes and trivia, and that is the fact. In this article, we are not going into full details about why this is the case, but here are some reasons:
- they help us learn something new
- allow us to show our knowledge
- when taking the quiz as part of the group, we learn how to leverage individual potentials while running for a common goal (collecting points together)
So, we can leverage these facts and make some fun and relevant quiz for any topic our company or team may be into, or run any general topic trivia just for fun!
You can organize it in many ways, being it you as an event organizer coming up with questions and answers and then take a role of presenter asking them and keeping scores. You can also use many available online solutions to solve points keeping or even designing questions for you, for example: Kahoot! or Quizbreaker
5. Online Escape Rooms
Escape Room is another well-known concept from our offline world brought online by some bright developers. The Escape Room is a great team activity because it requires tight cooperation between members, it is fun, and it has a common objective that all have to achieve together.
It usually requires more time (one hour or so) and more effort to set up, so it is excellent for bigger online team-building events organized occasionally. There are several online options to choose from, EscapeLive, The panic room, or Escape hunt
That's it, our short but actionable list of 5 online team games that your teammates will love. And that's the whole point; it must be fun in the first place. If you are choosing an online activity for your team, first ask yourself, "Would I enjoy playing this with my team"?
Once you are sure it is fun for you and your colleagues, you can try to include other elements that you may consider useful such as learning something related to your company, products, or more general values. But keep in mind the primary purpose of team building and team games: it should be fun, and everyone participating should have fun together. If you succeeded with that part, your team building was a success, and your team will come out stronger!