Remote work has become the new normal for millions of employees and it’s here to stay. However, working remotely can limit the comradery of being in an office around your fellow teammates. Here are 11 Virtual Games to Play With Coworkers when working from home.
Connecting with Coworkers is harder, right?
Working from home quickly became necessary as the pandemic swept across the globe. Now, working from home appears to be here to stay with many companies reporting they intend to keep huge swaths of their workforce remote even when things return to normal.
While working from home has largely been well received – even enjoyed – by employees, it can introduce some interesting dynamics that make employee life more difficult at times.
In fact, working remotely can be lonely and difficult at times. How do coworkers connect and build rapport without the convenience of the water cooler and break room? How do leaders build a meaningful foundation for teamwork and cooperation when trust is harder to establish with a largely dispersed workforce?
These are hard questions that leaders and companies have been struggling with and employees have lamented. One way firms can help create connection points between their remote staff is through the use of virtual games.
- You might be interested in additional virtual team building activities here.
Virtual Games to Play with Coworkers
After the migration to virtual workspaces occurred, employees quickly found themselves living the Zoom life each and every day. Virtual backgrounds became popular (and were occasionally used to lighten the mood during uncertain times earlier in the pandemic). Employees invested in their home offices, adding gear and accessories needed to support an effective work from home experience.
But in many cases, it still left a void with employees, teams, and their leaders. Establishing the necessary bonds and comradery often necessary for high-performing teams got harder. A lot harder.
Burnout was a real thing, and new employees struggled to find their footing. One method that teams used to help repair some of these challenges was virtual happy hours and even virtual games which provided a way for teams to engage with each other remotely, learn more about their colleagues, and have a little fun.
What are the most popular virtual games for teams? There are many and we’ve built a list of the best 11 virtual games to play with coworkers.
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War of the Wizards
Developed as a planned team-building effort, War of the Wizards takes a group of coworkers through a board game approach to coming together for a common goal. Team members of wizard apprentices try to unite the world for peace and stop their warring wizard bosses from fighting. The 90-minute activity is priced based on team size, and other criteria.
Virtual Escape Room
Prior to the pandemic, escape rooms had become a common activity for small groups of family and friends. Virtual Escape room continues with that trend for teams spread out across the world. Entering a similar environment, teams come together in a virtual room where the group will work through riddles and seek clues to solve the mystery and unlock the room. The best time to escape the room wins (making the activity extendable to entire companies.)
One of the easiest games to play while social distancing from coworkers is Pictionary. This random word generator will allow team members to use video chat calls and dry-erase boards to draw the words they see while coworkers guess. Itâ€™s a very easy, lo-fi party game that works well online.Â
One of the coolest approaches to a virtual game night is Jackbox games. The Trivia games allow those playing online to participate with any system they choose including Nintendo Switch, XBox, Playstation, Apple TV/iOs devices, Windows/Mac computers, etc. Its party pack trivia night goes well beyond the bounds of other virtual games.
Itâ€™s not just adult teams that need to connect, sometimes online classrooms need an innovative approach to connecting students who are learning without the classroom. Kahoot games are geared toward children and add an educational element to the concept of virtual games.Â
Water Cooler Trivia
Available as either a pop culture quiz game or for policy education, Water Cooler Trivia is an online game that coworkers can use as an icebreaker when face-to-face conversations arenâ€™t possible.Â
Itâ€™s often the overlooked simple solutions that are the best ones. Online Bingo is easy to use, easy to play with friends and can be conducted over a video call if so desired. This allows players to contribute in a casual way without heavily concentrating on results.
Virtual happy hour
Many teams connect outside the office at a bar or pub nearby, but when coworkers donâ€™t physically meet, this presents a challenge. Social Hours achieves just that, though any drinking games are played at home. This app sets up â€œtablesâ€ with topics and each table has a number of participants from a video conferencing call who interact with each other on the topic for that table.
This might be one of the best ways to approach the comradery that develops after work among coworkers.
Virtual Team Scavenger Hunt
Watson Adventure Games publishes a virtual scavenger hunt for work from home coworkers. This 60-minute activity utilizes technology to introduce participants to famous locations like the ancient city of Pompeii and the streets of Paris, where specific items must be found.
A virtual scavenger hunt allows teams to work together toward a common goal and interact outside of the work environment.
Build A Story
World building can be one of the best ways to see teams working together. Practical team members can be recognized for their important contributions when, for example, they think of things that others do not. Creatives can let their imaginations grow when they help to build stories, and premises and showcase their sense of humor.Â
One software tool that enables this is Imagine Forest. Originally developed for children, the software helps anyone to create stories together. The real challenge is to add enough parameters and creative requirements to make the process clever and naturally funny.Â
One novel idea is to do a watch party with your team. Sure, it may be a little more difficult to pull off, but using Apple’s Share Play Party technology it could be a slam-dunk way to build trust and improve morale.
Wordle (or Quordle, etc.)
Wordle swept the internet by storm and this simple, but challenging game (or the many variants that have followed) could be an easy, low-touch way to build teamwork, cooperation, and spirit with your colleagues. A simple chat room where folks post their daily scores is enough to get the fun rolling.
There’s no “I” in Team!
Teams that donâ€™t yet know each other as well as they could, will find some easy icebreakers in this simple online tool. Sample starter questions are things like, â€œTalk about a single topic for two straight minutes.â€ In so doing, participants are most likely to speak about things they know best and are passionate about. That allows others to get to know each other without realizing they are doing it.
Final Thoughts on virtual team building games
Working from home is here to stay. But that doesn’t mean your teams have to suffer. Use the Zoom games for coworkers noted above to mitigate the effects that WFH life can sometimes bring. Your teams will be performing at their highest levels in no time.
Be sure to check out our other great work from home content including:
- Work from home gift ideas
- Free Zoom Backgrounds
- Free Google Meet Backgrounds
- Free Skype Backgrounds
- Free Webex Backgrounds
- 7 Work from home accessories you will definitely want
What do you think? Do you have virtual games your team has discovered?