The pandemic has drastically altered most workplaces, limiting social interaction and—for many offices—moving many work tasks virtual. This has left some employees feeling isolated and disconnected from their coworkers. Even more, some workers with children continue to make adjustments when it comes to childcare, juggling virtual work tasks, and maintaining social interaction.

While traditional holiday parties and post-work happy hours may not be safe during a pandemic, it doesn’t mean that company team-building must completely stop. In fact, there are plenty of ways employees can still get together for some fun and social interaction to bolster company culture and team connectedness. As a help, we put together a few ideas for you to consider with your team.

Team Building Activity Ideas

1. Virtual Gatherings

Video conferences don’t have to be reserved for business meetings only. Companies can still meet up virtually for happy hours or icebreaker games via Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. Taking work off the table gives workers a chance to reconnect with teammates they may not have seen in a while. Structure is usually better for these kinds of activities so that employees can have equal time to share and to keep the setting professional. All in all, it’s best to keep these virtual gatherings small and organized.

2. Exercise Activities

Pandemic restrictions and working from home have made it difficult for many employees to maintain their previous exercise routines. Commissioning a daily or weekly virtual exercise class for your employees is a great way to give them time to interact and break up their day with something positive for their health. Many gyms and yoga studios now offer online classes and private sessions for groups, so don’t hesitate to explore some of the many fun wellness options that can be an added benefit to your employees during this unique time away from the physical office environment.

3. Create Office Interest Groups

Many people are picking up new hobbies to fill their time at home during the pandemic. Help your employees find their mutual interests by encouraging the formation of clubs or activity groups. This could be an office book club that meets online or a baking group that swaps recipes over email. Maybe there are quite a few gamers in your office who would be interested in a weekly session. Facilitating non-work activities gives employees a chance to explore their own interests, while still building connections with their coworkers.

4. Get Outdoors

Though it depends on the viral spread in your area, small, distanced gatherings outdoors are generally safe. Many workers are exhausted by virtual meetings by now, so planning a team picnic or a hike is a great way to give workers a chance for some social interaction offline. Set the safety ground rules ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page when they arrive, and keep gatherings restricted to small groups.

5. Get Competitive

Keep employees engaged and excited with some friendly competition. Online board games or trivia challenges are a great way to bring a team together for something besides work. Lifestyle contests that encourage employees to exercise or try a new activity can also help boost morale.

6. Show Your Appreciation

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone and has left many employees feeling burnt out. Show your employees how much you appreciate their continued dedication with some added perks. Some ideas could include hosting a team lunch with a gift card for a delivery service or giving away extra vacation days during a team-building activity. Any small gesture or added benefits can go a long way in showing employees that their work is appreciated.

Looking for Some Safe Team-Building Tips?

We can help your business find the right tools and programs to keep your team engaged during the pandemic. Contact us today to learn how LBMC Employment Partners can help through a variety of HR outsourcing, payroll, or PEO services.