May 7, 2020 Team Collaboration

Bonding Remotely

Bonding Remotely
It’s time to face the music: the world has changed. As one of our users put it: “Uncertainty ahead!!”, and it’s true. We don’t know where we’ll be by the end of the year. We don’t even know when we’ll be able to get back to our offices!

But until we do, teams are still working together, just not physically in the same spot. And we kind of miss each other! So, we’ve come up with ways to keep up the banter.

1. Pictionary online

Social distancing makes it impossible to have a group of people in the same room, drawing weird socks and relentlessly pointing at a specific piece of it to help others guess what the word in question is.

However, you can do all this online instead. We tried Scribbl, and with the addition of a (video) call, it works like a charm. Not everyone is a talented artist, and we surely let them know while we try to figure out what that striped triangle could be. Comments such as “Oh no, not you again” were heard more than once!

2. Would you rather…?

The game is pretty simple, you’re offered two choices, and you need to pick one. When you’re on a call with several other people, a consensus has to be reached, so the person sharing the screen knows where to click. This decision-making process usually starts a discussion, and it’s a great conversation starter. Questions like “Would you rather be a cat or a dog” will probably bring out stories about a childhood trauma involving a very nervous cat, or the latest picture of someone’s Schnauzer.

“Would you rather be eaten by a zombie or be burnt at the stake?”, on the other hand, flares up the imagination and recommendations on apocalyptic movies and tv shows. Whatever pops, it will surely help you get to know each other better.

3. Watching something together

Speaking of tv shows, there’s nothing quite like bonding over a good piece of drama or comedy. You’ve probably already heard of the extension Netflix Party. It lets you and your friends or colleagues be synced up while enjoying a show.

We were not as advanced, and used the good old “Ok, ready? Three, two, one… Play!” method while on a call, and then commented and laughed together as we watched. As far as choices go, maybe you could start with half-hour-long episodes and then decide if you’d like to carry on with another or hit Pause, chat a bit, and then carry on with your life.

4. Online video games

We’re a software company, so obviously we have quite a few gamer boys here. Many of them used to spend a lot of time playing video games as teenagers (some of them still do in their free time). Nowadays, staying safe means spending a lot of time at home, which sparked up the FPS flame in them again.

For those of you who, just like me, have no idea what FPS is, try one of the first three team building activities, because experienced players probably won’t even let you join in!

As the writer of this article has never ventured into this world, what follows is their take on it. These are First Player Shooter video games that involve a number of players, so in a way, it’s an activity similar to sports. There’s the adrenalin rush, teamwork, and required skills not related to work.

Call of Duty 2 has been chosen specifically because of its familiarity. Everyone played it at some point in the past, and everyone remembers it. Younger, more avid players chose CS:GO instead. Either way, the goal is the same: playing as a team, sharing an experience, bonding over it, a lot of nerve-wracking and fun. Depending on the number of those who are available to play, “Capture the flag” or “Free for all” is picked. The game lasts until all the stress is released, and the time comes to go back to real life.

Many of us would love to go out for drinks, play some basketball or darts, but for now, online games combined with video calls will have to do. We hope our experience helps your team building activities stay active, and your team members close! 

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