Thriving companies know team building is key to their success. Strong relationships between coworkers enhance collaboration and productivity. Team building also promotes a spirit of camaraderie, which makes for a more harmonious workplace.
It’s easy to hold team building activities in person, but what do you do when everyone is working from different locations remotely? Fortunately, you can leverage technology, along with some creativity, to come up with hybrid team building exercises your employees will enjoy and want to participate in.
Benefits of hybrid team building
We already know that it’s vital to incorporate team building into your employees’ schedules when everyone’s in the office—and that’s even more true during this time when they’re working from various locations.
A report found that the new normal shifted the corporate morale focus to well-being, with 80% of surveyed executives claiming that employee happiness — including overall wellness, remote support, and flexible leave policies — was very important to the success of their organization. Developing ideas for hybrid team building activities will help boost your employees’ well-being and ultimately increase your company's growth. Creating valuable opportunities to keep colleagues connected and give them the chance to check in with each other will help create a stronger sense of community.
Team building is also a powerful motivator. These activities inspire employees to work together and achieve their goals. When they work as part of the team, your employees will not only have a sense of mission and purpose, contributing to the greater good of the company but will also feel more fulfilled in their roles.
And when they are satisfied with their jobs, it reduces the rate of employee turnover. One survey found that companies with engaged employees had up to 59% less turnover compared to businesses with employees fully invested in their roles. Conversely, a company focusing on teamwork is attractive not just to its current employees but also to prospective ones. In turn, it results in a deep pool of job candidates.
You can also see the impact team building can have for your company’s bottom line. One study found that businesses whose employees were motivated in their jobs bring in twice the amount of annual net income compared to companies with less-motivated employees.
Finally, team building can improve communication—and productivity. Clear communication is key to teamwork. Organizations that want to enhance team performance and create a strong company culture often have a strong meal program in place. For instance, a Cornell study found firefighter platoons who eat meals together have better group job performance compared with firefighter teams who dine solo. According to Kevin Kniffin, a professor at Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, “From an evolutionary anthropology perspective, eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue. That seems to continue in today’s workplaces. [...] Eating together is a more intimate act than looking over an Excel spreadsheet together. That intimacy spills back over into work.” Given the findings, organizations that want to enhance team performance should seriously consider offering DoorDash for Work to their employees.
Ideas for hybrid team building activities and games
Before getting started, figure out your digital communication strategy. Make sure you have the tools to notify your employees about upcoming team building activities, as well as the digital video conferencing services you’ll use to host these group events. For instance, you may want to set up a dedicated Slack or private Instagram account for company-wide events and announcements. Once that’s lined up, try these hybrid team building activity ideas:
Host a team meal or happy hour. Food builds strong bonds. Focus on social connections, not shop talk. It’s easy to feed your team while they’re working from home with DoorDash for Work, a meal ordering platform built for the modern workforce. Employee Meals give your employees the opportunity to order food anywhere, anytime.
Plan a fun activity. Host a virtual version of the popular paint-and-sip events. Purchase painting kits and deliver them to your team. Everyone can paint together while on video conference. You can deliver wine or a nonalcoholic beverage, or you can make the night BYOB. Other fun options include wine or cheese tastings, employee talent shows, dance parties, or karaoke nights. A low-key event that gives everyone the chance to hang out together is a virtual dinner party. It’s easy to organize when you give all your team members a DashPass for Work membership. They can order from the restaurant of their choice and get $0 delivery and reduced service fees on eligible orders. If creating these events is outside your company’s comfort zone, hire a business that specializes in these virtual events to handle all the logistics for you.
Create a virtual office. If a small team is working on a project, or just wants to spend time connecting, they can hop on Google Meet or Zoom and work “together” for a few hours. If someone has a question about work, or wants to chat for a minute, their coworkers are right there.
Work out together. Find a studio or teacher who can lead a virtual group class in yoga or meditation. It’s also great for stress relief and relaxation.
Re-create the office water cooler experience online. Did your employees typically gather in the office to talk about the big game they watched last night or the latest TV show they binged? They can still do that on a communication channel devoted to interoffice conversations. You can also post a question or topic each day and encourage everyone to add their responses throughout the day. Alternatively, organize a regular video meeting where employees can gather and talk about the books, tech, or websites that are inspiring them. Keep these sessions informal and free-flowing—they may even lead to some great ideas for your company.
Bring in a coach for fun webinars. If there are certain skills you want to strengthen during team building, have an expert lead a motivational, educational session. Sharpen public speaking skills with an acting teacher, or encourage problem solving and collaboration with improvisational games.
Hold regular ice-breaking sessions. At the beginning of video conferences with your team, divide your employees into small groups and have them go into breakout rooms armed with a few simple icebreaker questions. After about five to 10 minutes, bring everyone back together to share what they’ve learned about each other.
Make a game of it. This can be simple, like a trivia quiz, Never Have I Ever, or the either-or game Pancakes vs. Waffles. It can also be more elaborate, with large-scale online escape rooms or murder mysteries packed with puzzles and challenges. One of the most popular virtual group games is Among Us. Every player takes on a spaceman character and needs to complete tasks—while also not being murdered by a fellow teammate whose character is an undercover imposter. As the virtual bodies pile up, the surviving players have to vote on the murderer’s identity. The internet is full of options for hybrid team building games, or find a company that can put together complete game night experiences for your employees. Winners can receive employee gift cards they can use at their favorite restaurants.
Go on virtual excursions. This is a great way for your employees to experience a team building activity they could never do together in person. Want to explore the Louvre, tour the San Diego Zoo, or visit Disney? You can do it all thanks to the wonders of online video.
Make videos. After countless video meetings, everyone is probably very familiar with their colleagues' home offices. Ask your team members to make a video of another room in their home and explain why it’s their favorite space, then watch them all together. Or create a private TikTok account for your company, organize weekly challenges, and have your employees make videos.
Flex the creative muscles. Hold an invention contest, with employees only allowed to use tools and objects they have around the house. Ask everyone to make a work of art with pen and paper, and then have a virtual exhibit.
Enjoy the unique virtual team building opportunities available when working from home. DoorDash for Work meal solutions can be an effective tool in making these activities a success.
Contact us to get started with our meal ordering platform or download Building a Remote Work Culture: How to Help Your Employees Thrive to access a comprehensive guide on building a strong work from home company culture.