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How to Create Connections Virtually

Jon Conelias - May 26 2021, 3:32:30 PM

If you, like the rest of the world, are getting Zoom fatigue, what are some ways to spice it up and make genuine connections with teammates that don't feel forced? In the pre-COVID-19 world, we found that, time and time again, the top thing employees would say are their favorite memories at a company were not business achievements but things they did with each other — scavenger huntsescape the roomsHalloween parties, and so on. So how do you replicate that virtually to make connections in the current pandemic environment? Below are five tips that make the difference between a group event that people look forward to versus an obligation they are dreading. 

Think teamwork

Create events during which employees are doing a common (read: team-building) thing together. Sure, it's another Zoom call, but the big difference is utilizing your other senses beyond just looking at a screen and rather doing something together collectively that will make it more engaging for those involved. Depending on your team, this may mean practicing a new wellness activity as a team, participating in a cooking class together, or getting to know your coworkers better through a game night.

Plan ahead

Before getting on everyone's calendars, make sure the event appeals to at least the majority of the group. If you know someone on your team doesn't drink, maybe a beer tasting isn't in the best interest of the group, but a coffee tasting might get people engaged and talking. Also consider an event that will even bring the most introverted person out of their shell, like a paint party. No matter what you decide, having a structured event (that you don't have to plan!) will surely make some team memories. 

Foster skills

It is possible to have a learning experience that your whole team will value and enjoy. If you work on a creative team, constructing a vision board will surely inspire, or consider a fine skill like pinhole photography. Or even improve your workspaces by creating a desktop garden. Consider sending out a survey ahead of time to figure out what new skills your team wants to expand upon. Hopefully, you'll get everyone out of their comfort zones and learn something about each other along the way. 

Make accommodations

Above all, a team event is only successful if it is convenient for everyone to attend. It can be hard to sacrifice productive hours during the workday, but think of it as a necessary way to get everyone working together and bonding in a way they might not have before. Nights and weekends aren't always convenient for everyone and would make scheduling more difficult, so be sure to poll your team before getting on everyone's calendars. 

Enlist help

You have enough on your plate already. Let Elevent do the legwork so you don't have to, from serving as personal event planners to shipping any necessary supplies ahead of time to your team. The best part? You get to reap all the benefits and compliments.

Originally published at May 26 2021, 3:32:30 PM. Updated on Sep 27 2022.

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