Five team bonding activity ideas during the pandemic

The pandemic has given organizations a chance to explore things like remote work, virtual team dynamics, change management in a new light.

Post-pandemic, as employees return to offices, organizations are scrambling to keep employees engaged and rebuild in office team dynamics. Some employers are experiencing backlash from employees for asking to return to offices, and some employees have switched to new roles for perks like flexible and remote work.

And it’s not just roles, but new work models like hybrid work and global remote teams have also emerged from the pandemic. 

Employee mental health also seems to be a top concern post pandemic as employees reported feeling isolated, burnt out, stress and depression.

To help employees adjust to the post pandemic world and improve collaboration, employers can explore indoor team building activities such as escape rooms, scavenger hunts, trivia, movie night, etc. Team bonding activities are a great way to help your employees bond with each other and rekindle the joy of working together.

Here are five team bonding activity ideas that you can host indoors as your employees return to offices.

1) Scavenger hunts

Scavenger hunts aren’t just great for kids or picnics. They are a perfect corporate team bonding activity. Team building scavenger hunts foster communication, collaboration, leadership, teamwork, and responsibility.

Typically, during scavenger hunt activities, some team members take charge and steer the direction. It is a great activity that can be customised to suit all types of teams and moods. Without the need of an elaborate setup or planning, scavenger hunts are also great last minute planning activities. And they can be hosted virtually as well.

All your teams need is smart phone to take pictures of the objects. A facilitator can be of great help to make the virtual scavenger hunt as good as a normal one. 

2) Escape rooms

Escape rooms are another great indoor team bonding activity as they bring together the entire team to collaborate towards a common goal, for example, to escape the room.

It is an activity that improves collaboration, communication, trust and a team camaraderie while having fun. Many times, executives search for activities that serve more than one purpose. Escape room activity can fit the requirement as it requires a multitude of skills.

Escape room activities also involve a lot of other skills like problem solving, time management, creative thinking and decision making. It is an action oriented activity that can break barriers, remove hierarchies and make great memories. Moreover, it can be hosted virtually too. Virtual escape rooms are as much fun as physical ones and can be enjoyed with global teams. 

3) Movie nights

Netflix is indeed the lazy time of the weekend everyone looks forward to. You can host a movie night to let your team members bond over shared interests. Although a movie night is a passive team building activity, you can warm it up to bring more engagement. Let team members write down a list of movies to watch and schedule them.

Spice this up with your team’s favourite snacks to binge on. If it’s a remote event, ship out your team’s favourite snacks as a surprise. Movie nights are mainly intended to not make it too serious and let the team members take the lead to bond with each other. But, if your team prefers something more active or engaging online board games or quizzes can be more fun. 

4) Photo sharing, memory lane activities

If your teams have been with you for long enough this activity can help rekindle great memories and spark among your teams. Every team has memories whether good or bad. You can organize a photo sharing session and ask your teams share their best memories with your organization. This helps employees not only rekindle those memories again but also warm up to their teams again.

You can also host this remotely by asking your employees to share a photo of something about their remote work routine. It could be a pet, a dish they cooked, indoor plants on their work desk or an outing on the weekend.

This helps the most in remote work as remote workers are more at risk of feeling disconnected from their teams. Looking into the ‘human’ side of their colleagues will help them to develop better interpersonal relationships. 

5) Truth or dare

Let’s admit, truth or dare games can rock even the most boring party. Likewise, a truth or dare game whether hosted over zoom or in your office can bring alive even the most boring teams.

Sharing each other’s personal stories can connect each team member emotionally. When team members connect on an emotional level, they will be more open to be empathetic and communication even in times of conflict. Managers or leaders can join in too on this fun activity.

Although some managers may feel sharing personal info makes them vulnerable, it does not necessarily do so. Drawing up boundaries and being honest can help managers retain their integrity. However, caution your team members not to make any other team member uncomfortable during this. Don’t forget to make this witty!