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What is Employee Engagement?
Covid is certainly a huge bother, but the trend of remote work was gaining a significant uptick before the pandemic. What the pandemic has done is increase the traction this trend has been gaining. With so many people working from home and so many businesses rearranging their models, it’s more important now to shift our time to proper employee engagement activities. It’s time to rethink the workplace experience and adapt to new ways of thinking in how we can evolve the culture of the work/virtual experience.
Employee engagement via virtual team building is a fresh approach to retaining your company culture and curating the talent you already have. With the crisis showing no signs of slowdown, it’s important to share these strategies and ideas to help gamify the workplace and keep this new territory moving forward while our workforce stays properly engaged.
Why Is Virtual Engagement Important?
Working from home comes with its own baggage, challenges and needs. This new normal has its own share of motivational issues, with many employees having to juggle their home life at the same time that they are trying to operate as competent employees. Virtual engagement seeks to remedy this problem by crafting new methods by which employees can stay motivated, challenged, and on task.
What Are Examples of Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement can exist in many different forms and be presented in many different ways. From team building activities to actionable games online office trivia to morale boosters, employee engagements are supposed to be fun and inspiring and curb the boredom and monotony of the work day. Your company wants to keep the best talent, especially right now, and while these sorts of games can sometimes feel silly or a misuse of time, they are actually important tools of the workplace.
How Do You Keep Virtual Employees Engaged?
First off, it’s important for your managerial team to measure employee engagement and how it looks in your business and office environment. The levels of engagement are different for every group of people and every business environment, and the selection of virtual activities you choose for your employees might be different from another’s.
The most important factor, first and foremost, is fun. The purpose of these activities run the gamut of morale boosters to boredom destroyers, and should be utilized to create a sense of camaraderie no matter how scattered your team might be. These activities are collaborative efforts that will support your core company values and create employee recognition.
Eight Actionable Work From Home Employee Engagement Ideas
In order to simplify this process for you, we’ve put together eight work from home employee engagement ideas that are fun, exciting, and promote necessary growth!
Online Office Games
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Objective: To build coordination and growth among your team
These games are meant to be simple and fun by combining a variety of different activities into one single competition. Divide your employees into different teams, depending on the size of your group. Try and create a fun mix of different employees—possibly even employees from different departments or teams. Attempt to keep your groups to about four members.
After your teams are created, list out some ice breakers that can be played in online multiplayer mode, easily accessible via Steam or other video game distributor app (some suggestions are Among Us or Fall Guys). There are many different kinds of video games out there, from card games to creative team-based games. You can even make the Online Office Game a weekly occurrence, playing near the end of the work day on Thursday or Friday. Take the healthy competition further by offering incentives for participation. If you can find a game that everyone enjoys, you will quickly see strong relationships built among team members (and due to the popularity of video games these activities can be shared with at-home families).
Team Health Challenges
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Objective: Encourage a healthy lifestyle among your remote team members and employees
Show your employees how much you care by maintaining their wellbeing. Your organization, like every organization, desires a healthy workforce that thrives both physically and mentally. Corporate wellness programs are important, but at home it can be much more difficult to maintain.
One of the most effective ways to ensure quality health is to create health challenges that exist as part of your employee engagement remote team building activities.
Consider some of these possible tasks:
- Completing “X” pushups/lunges/squats
- Run for “X” miles per week
- Complete “X” number of daily steps
- Complete “X” meditation or work out videos per week
- Complete “X” mental health exercises or conversations per week
Use your available corporate platforms to create flexible healthy contests, track your employees’ progress, gather insights about overall health, encourage healthy competition, and motivate your top performers. Any opportunity to gamify your workplace in a healthy and engaging way will benefit everyone overall.
Virtual Coffee Breaks
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Objective: Bridge the communication between your work from home employees
We’d all like nothing more than to grab a cup of coffee with a coworker and catch up on some meaningful chit chat. Coffee shops are dearly missed, as are morning catch-ups with colleagues. For us remote workers, these things feel like luxuries. Coffee breaks have always been great ways to enhance both personal and professional relationships, and they can still serve as ways for your employees to destress and bounce back productive and refreshed.
Scheduling virtual coffee breaks has become an important part of remote team building. You can treat these breaks as informal meetings, conference calls, remote ice breakers, or whatever you want! Let your employees engage in random conversation with their colleagues and even join in for group conversations that can break up the workday or workweek.
Meetings over Lunch
Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Objective: Boost employee relations
Colleague socialization is extremely important for curating a healthy workplace that is thriving with meaningful relationships. Your employees probably miss going out to lunch with peers, ordering food, or just catching up with one another during their breaks. Sharing food is one of the best ways to socialize.
Similar to the virtual coffee break, you can amend this loss by organizing meetings that take place over lunch via Zoom or other video conference source. Your employees can meet together, catch up and chat, and you can even present new ideas or fun prospects for the business while everyone relaxes. Even if there are no important matters to discuss, there’s no maligning the importance of some fun chats that bring everyone together. Try holding a lunch virtual meeting once or twice a week to boost morale.
A Slack Channel To Post Cute Pictures of Pets
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Objective: Boost engagement and foster relationships with cute pet pictures
This one is often a company favorite! Create a Slack channel to post pictures of family pets and show off the antics of your furry friends together. It takes very little effort to set up a channel like this, but there’s huge payoff in the amount of team building it provides. This channel can serve as a quick serotonin boost throughout the day and can be a great communication asset. Team scavenger hunts are the perfect activity for employee engagement.
MTV Cribs: Remote Team Edition
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Objective: Show off your personal lives to create intimacy between team members
Many of your remote team members might never meet face to face (at least, not for a while). Colleagues can still open up their homes to one another and participate in some fun. We can all embarrass one another by showing off our messy workstations and offices.
Create a Zoom call and show off where you live! Try to curb the hesitance of participation by creating incentives for this, as it can be a really fun and charming experience! We all want to get to know one another better, and this ice breaker can lead to interesting looks into one other’s personal lives.
Typing Speed Race
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Objective: Fostering relationships with friendly competition
It’s time to flex those fingers! Typing speed races are a free and easy resource that can be extremely effective for employee engagement. You can start your competitions at any time and then post the results by email, company message board or other means. The more people you can convince to join, the more will follow. This can create more than a healthy competition; typing events are a fun and useful exercise for everyone.
You can host typing speed relays or create groups that add up cumulative scores during a time period to see which team wins. Make sure everyone is taking the same test or using the same website, and offer tips such as “if you miss a word keep going.” Typing speed races combine the best of online office games and skill building.
Never Have I Ever: G Rated Edition
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Objective: Employee engagement and team building
Most of us have played the infamous Never Have I Ever, but this time we are going to keep it safe for work. Play this remote friendly version, where you can organize several topics in advance or have team members submit their own topics to the group at large.
Never Have I Ever:
- Adopted a Pet
- Working in a Restaurant
- Made Pizza Dough from Scratch
- Seen a Double Rainbow
- Traveled to More Than Three States
- Left the Country
Never Have I Ever is usually a competitive knock-out game that is played until you have one final winner. Mix up the way you play it, offering incentives to create a fun, stress free gaming experience.
Keep Everyone Engaged
We hope you can use some of these fun activities to keep your employees engaged and build a healthy environment, even from home! We have even more ways of creating fantastic virtual experiences, with a slew of activities available. There’s no end to office fun when it comes to motivating good work ethic and keeping everyone together as we weather this storm.