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The year 2020 will go down in history as the largest remote workforce experiment due to COVID-19, and this trend is only going to increase. It’s estimated by the year 2028, 73% of all teams will have remote workers.

Remote teams have many advantages, but one key aspect puts these teams at a disadvantage—the ability to feel and be connected.

Why does feeling connected matter, and what are the benefits?

Team building is an important component of strong and cohesive teams. It can reduce stress and conflict because it allows teams a chance to have some fun together, get to know more about each other and their interests, dislikes, and thought processes. When team members understand one another, they develop a strong sense of connectedness and trust. Games and team-building activities can also help boost morale and increase productivity. Remote teams are quickly becoming the norm, making them more susceptible to feeling isolated and disconnected.

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Here are some virtual team-building games that can help keep your teams connected. Each can be modified to fit your goal or team interests.

How well do you know your team?

Before the virtual meeting, each team member is asked to answer a few interesting questions or fun facts about themselves—nothing embarrassing, harmful, or too personal. Then during the virtual meeting, their responses are shared, and each team member gets a chance to guess who the answer matches best. If a team member guesses correctly, then they also have to share why they matched the response to the person.

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A point system can even be assigned for the total number of correct matches, to show they “really know their team members.” The person with the most points might receive a prize. If no one guesses it, then the leader or meeting facilitator reveals who gave what answer. This is a great team-building exercise that encourages teams to get to know more about each other’s likes, dislikes, and behaviors.

Solve a mystery

Send your team a short clip or summary of a mystery and outline the potential suspects without tipping your hat on “who done it.” Ask them to come prepared to discuss who they think committed the crime and what their motive was. They then share their initial answer with the group and are assigned the same number of points for their response. Then, allow everyone to discuss further for a short period to allow them to change their answers if they choose. Then go around the group one by one and get everyone’s new response.

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If they change their answer and their original response was correct, they lose all of their points. If they changed their answer and their second guess was correct, they have to forfeit a small percentage of their original points to the other team members who had that response as their original response. The person(s) with the most points wins and could be assigned a prize. The nature of the game and point system can be modified.

Virtual trivia

Gather a list of movies, sports, music, or other types of trivia that may interest your team. To make the game fair, it’s a good idea to ask everyone to send in a list of categories that represent their interests. Based on the areas of interest submitted by the team, prorate the number of questions to each category. Make sure to have more questions in each category than needed since multiple people might select overlapping categories more than once. Each person should have an equal number of turns to select categories and answer questions. The person with the most correct answers wins.

These are just a fraction of the types of games and activities that remote teams can take advantage of to keep connected and engaged. As more of the global workforce shifts toward adopting partial or fully remote teams, team-building exercises and games will need to play a larger role in helping everyone stay connected.

For more options, check out: 7 best Zoom games for some virtual face time during the coronavirus pandemic