How do you keep your team spirit high with only digital contact?
First of all: The corona virus affects everyone. A lot of people work at home, but the people who don’t work at home, we have a lot of respect for that! They keep our society going, they care for our sick and the elderly, they teach our children.
Thanks for that.
By working remotely as much as possible, you and I also contribute. We at Raccoon Serious Games usually work with our team mainly in the office. We develop experiences with a learning objective with a lot of creativity and inspiration. Our team spirit is high, energetic and social. Now we work at home. We have been looking, and will continue to look, for ways to maintain our team spirit in the digital world as well. Together we have come up with and tested a lot of things for this. We will continue to experiment with this in the coming period.
I would like to share with you how we stay connected, how we provide creativity and inspiration, and how we continue to have fun together. With these ten tips, you too can keep your team spirit and energy high!
We can help you with online escape rooms and games!
Tip 1: Daily stand-up
Working from home every day is new to many people. Social control can be lost and it can be difficult to maintain your rhythm. You cannot tell from someone’s appearance whether they are too busy and it is more difficult to ask for help.
To counteract all this, you can organize a daily stand-up. Even if you normally don’t. You do not need to have any experience with it. Try and experiment. It works really well to just check in briefly with everyone. Share briefly:
- Win moment and / or setback from yesterday
- What you are going to do today
- If you still need help with something
The latter is especially important. At home you sit alone, and it can feel as if you are on your own. The threshold for asking for help may seem greater. you are less likely to talk to someone for a moment, and your colleagues do not see you. That is why it is very nice for everyone that a moment is facilitated where you can ask for help. Helping each other in this day and age is the best thing to do!
Lots of fun!
Tip 2: Keep meeting each other
There are a lot of times at the office when you can meet each other. “When you arrive in the morning, people often have a chat, at the coffee machine, during lunch and so on. These are all moments to talk to someone briefly about personal things, or just to spar about a problem you encounter. These natural moments of contact are more likely to disappear when you work at home. So make sure that you proactively recreate these moments as a team. And fortunately that is easy.
For example, we organize digital coffee moments during the day at fixed times. Between 10:30 and 11:00 and between 15:00 and 15:30 there is a standard video chat open where you can say “hi” to others. Just while you make your own cup of coffee. In addition, you can let people meet each other with smart apps such as donut. This app connects all participants in a slack channel in pairs every period (eg every week). Then you can meet for a moment to make video calls. In this way you also talk to colleagues who you normally don’t speak to that often and you build new friendships!
- Facilitate (digital) coffee moments
- Use tools like donut to speak to new and familiar people
Enjoy the connections!
Tip 3: Organize a day sprint together
When you are together and work together a lot, you really have the feeling that you are building your product or company together. You can lose this feeling, of putting your shoulders together, if you don’t see each other toiling. That is why it can be good to organize a sprint day together. One day, where you all work on the same thing. One clear goal to achieve. Making a new feature, a new product, updating the website, you name it. Together the shoulders underneath. Pop! That can ensure good team spirit. Actually a kind of hack-a-thon, only for something that was already planned. Good luck!
Tip 4: Organize a digital house tour
If you collaborate digitally and make extensive use of video calling, you will already get a little insight into someone’s living environment. To get to know each other even better, and to strengthen the team, it is nice if everyone gives a short tour through their house. Make it extra fun by turning it into a kind of MTV-Cribs, where everyone tells a nice story about his or her house. That way you will also get some nice inspiration for your own home. Plenty of time to work on that now that everything is closed! Have fun watching and living!
Tip 5: Play online games together
Playing games together is a very fun and accessible way to have fun with your team. At our office we often play cards, and of course we try serious games every now and then. You can also do this digitally quite easily! Consider, for example:
- 30 seconds via video calling
- Pictionary via for example letsdraw.it or skribbl
- Werewolves play via slack, for the programmers among us
- Snake, online, tegen elkaar. Hilarious, very simple, fast and competitive game where you have to try to eliminate each other as quickly as possible by drawing lines and not touching each other’s lines
- Spaceteam, a mobile game perfect for team building where communication is everything. A huge challenge, is that also possible if you have an open video connection?
Enough fun games that you can easily play together online. Nice as a team building activity, or just to unload at the end of the day and end the day in a cozy way! Game on!
Tip: have you ever played an online escape room?
We see that our online escape rooms and games also bring a lot of energy. With our technical system we can have large groups (100+) compete against each other in real time. That really gives the feeling of being together!
Tip 6: Watch (and analyze) a movie together
Have you ever had movie nights with your colleagues? At Raccoon Serious Games we do this with some regularity. Because we like that, but also because we like to analyze how a good story is built. How the makers of a film take you into another world, just like we do with our escape rooms. We always talk and discuss the film.
This is also very easy to do digitally, and you also have useful tools for that:
- Netflix Party for netflix movies
- Sync Video, also for online videos
- Kast for online videos (tip from Bas!)
Enjoy the movies!
Tip 7: Do a workout or other sports activity together
Now that everyone is working at home at the dining table, often with a less good sitting posture, it is important to keep the muscles moving properly. Since all gyms are also closed, you depend on what you can do at home and outside. Fortunately, this can also be done together! For example, start the day together with yoga twice a week. Or do a home workout for example. Doing this together makes it more fun and gives you extra motivation. A fit team is a strong team! And that can easily be combined with the daily stand-up in tip 1, and with the video tools in tip 6. Because, there are plenty of instructions available online.
Have fun exercising!
Tip 8: Explore the neighborhood together
Also tasty! You spend so much time at home, take a walk now and then. That is of course possible on your own, but it is also great fun to do this with your entire team. Everyone put on a jacket and get out! All connected via voice, for example by using whatsapp group calls. Have a nice walk and tell each other what you meet. A very nice walk full of surprises and pleasant conversations is guaranteed! In addition, you also immediately got a breath of fresh air. Very important! Enjoy nature!
Tip 9: Show clothes
As more and more physical stores are closing, we will buy more digitally. Did you just need some new clothes? No problem, just buy it online. And what’s nice, you can immediately show it to your colleagues! Put a whole unboxing show around it and enjoy the excitement of what’s in your clothing package together. Do you have a large number of eyes that look with you to see if something looks good and nice on you. And especially if you use a service such as outfittery, because you don’t know in advance what you will get. This way you look forward to what is in the box together and you can turn it into a fun show. Have fun trying on!
Tip 10: Experiment!
So, those were a lot of ideas to keep the team spirit together. Most importantly: Keep in touch with each other. Help each other, discuss what you encounter and experiment with the different possibilities. Because it works differently for every team. Everyone has different preferences and manners. Good luck and have fun with these tips!
Have you done any ideas or activities yourself? Let us know!
This post is also available in: Nederlands