By now, remote communications should have become a normal way of working for most employees, and all the signs are that this is likely to continue being the case for a significant time yet.

However, as the weeks go by, it may become harder as colleagues miss the social aspects of being in the office. But there are ways you can use the latest technology to keep up this part of your company culture and ensure your employees remain engaged.

While ideas like virtual Friday drinks via Video Conference can be a great way to do this, it’s only scratching the surface of what’s possible with an effective solution. Tools like Microsoft Teams offer much more than a face-to-face connection, so why not take a look into its features and see what you can come up with? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Run a better quiz

Virtual quizzes have become a mainstay of many firms’ online socialising since the lockdown, but there are many ways you can shake things up with Teams. Instead of just reading questions into your camera, use the screen sharing function to run visual aids or a picture round. You can even create quizzes beforehand in Forms, or on third-party platforms with Teams integration like Kahoot!

2. Play Pictionary

If trivia isn’t your thing, how about a game of Pictionary? You can take advantage of Microsoft Teams’ whiteboard feature to show off your art skills as your colleagues try to guess what you’re drawing. Make things easier by using a touch-sensitive device like a tablet with a stylus and taking advantage of the whiteboard’s wide range of sketching tools, or team up with a partner and try in pairs for an extra challenge. 

3. Learn a new skill

We’re all good at something, so why not share the knowledge when we’re stuck at home? Perhaps someone in your office has French or Spanish skills they’d be willing to share, or can run a tutorial on something they’re skilled in. Teams is a great place to run these types of lessons as you can access a variety of resources to share in order to add colour and context.

4. Show and tell 

Admit it, we’ve all spent some time on these enforced video calls nosing over someone’s shoulder to see what they’ve got on the bookshelves or display cases in the background, so how about making it a regular part of your team building? Have people show off something they’re passionate about – such as a cherished trophy or a memento from a favourite event – and explain why it’s so special. This is a great way to learn more about your colleagues and build strong bonds between your team.

5. Shake up your meetings

It’s good to catch up via videoconferencing on a regular basis when we’re all working remotely and missing the day-to-day interaction, but that doesn’t mean these check-ins have to be a bore, or follow a rigid format. Have a ‘hat meeting’ where everyone has to attend wearing the most ridiculous hat they can find, for instance, or a Hawaiian shirt meeting. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination.

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