Online team building activities can feel challenging to host. You’ve got to keep your team excited and interested the whole time. It can be a challenge, to say the least. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you manage to avoid these 6 mistakes, your online team building activities will not only be a success, but will have your team asking for more. Here’s an infographic roundup of mistakes you want to avoid:
You didn’t gauge enough interest beforehand.
Attendance should feel like a given if you’re planning online team building activities— after all, most of your team members will be working from home. They aren’t exactly going anywhere! But attendance is still tricky when it comes to hosting virtual events. Make sure you’re asking your team if they can attend the activities you’re planning, and that they are actually interested in what you’re doing. A simple vote or email will do the trick. No one wants to plan a party that no one attends!
The activity isn’t interactive.
Your online team building activities should encourage just as much interaction as an in-person event. You want your team to connect and talk, especially since they aren’t doing so in the office. But planning something that requires a lot of reading, sitting, watching, and listening doesn’t really build camaraderie (unless you’re hosting a book club or movie night!). Staring at each other on a video call can get pretty awkward— plan something that gets the team talking.
You don’t encourage your team to keep their cameras on.
This one is a little hard to enforce. Your team should always do what they are comfortable doing. While there shouldn’t be pressure to keep your camera on during your online activities, you definitely want to encourage it. This helps add the in-person elements that are missing. Plus, if you’re doing something like a paint class, you’ll want to see what each other is doing! Adds to the fun of it.
Making it feel like another meeting.
An online team building activity should have a hard line between work and after work. You don’t want to make your virtual event feel like an extension of the workday. Try to limit presentations and any work-related messaging, in addition to asking your colleagues to sign off of work apps like Slack and email. Help build the separation of working from home to after-work fun.
Picking the wrong platform.
Whatever video conferencing platform your team uses, just check that it will work with the activity. Does it have all of the capabilities you need? Can you screen share? If you play a video, will your team be able to hear the sound? These are all questions you want answered before you host your team event. Technology problems happen to everyone, all the time— prevent a little bit of awkwardness by ensuring your tech works.
You do the same online team building activities.
It’s great if you find online team building activities that work for your group. You want your team to be happy! But avoid doing the same activities over and over again. This might lead to people not joining the events over time, and doesn’t add any excitement to another workday. You might also want to consider a different host from time to time—hiring outside companies helps break up the monotony.