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7 activities for work-from-home employees that are actually fun
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7 activities for work-from-home employees that are actually fun

Explore engaging, fun activities for work-from-home employees to boost team morale and productivity.

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Imagine an orchestra where the musicians are spread across continents and time zones. Now picture each player, each note, in perfect harmony, synchronized to create a unified symphony. Sounds impossible, right? Imagine the level of communication, coordination, and team building you’d need to achieve something like this.

Yet that’s the kind of coordination leaders of remote or hybrid teams need to pull off every day.  

Every conductor knows that an orchestra's team spirit isn't built during concerts but in rehearsals. Similarly, fun activities for work-from-home employees and hybrid teams help set the tone and get everyone in sync so they can work better together. 

Done right, team-building activities help build strong social connections that feed into great company culture. This is even more important for remote or hybrid workers who may lack opportunities to hang out together. But nothing screams fun like a “fun” activity imposed on you from above, right? That’s why you need to look for activities that tap into employees’ interests and personalities—so they’ll actually want to do them. That means out with the tired old icebreakers and in with innovative ideas that truly engage your team, create connections, and bring in some much-needed (real) fun. We’ve put together a list of seven activities for you to choose from, including why they work, how to use them, and how they bring your teams together.

Just like a conductor needs a great platform to coordinate their musicians, we’ll also show you how Switchboard is the perfect digital workspace for your team to connect, collaborate, and have fun together. 

Want a place to run fun activities with your remote team?
Switchboard’s digital workspace lets you bring your people together and get more done. 
Learn more
.

Overview 

Here’s a visual overview of our seven team-building activities, broken down into when and how you can do them. 

Switchboard table of fun activities for work from home employees

To learn more about these activities, and how they benefit your teams and build trust and connection, keep reading!

7 fun activities for work-from-home employees

If you’re scratching your head trying to find creative ways to maintain team spirit in the era of remote and hybrid work, read on. There's no one-size-fits-all solution here, though: Every team is unique, so it’s all about figuring out what motivates your people and grabs their interest. 

Here are some fun activities that you can introduce to your remote teams:

Activities you can do together at the same time 

Real-time activities play a huge role in connecting team members, reducing feelings of isolation, and keeping spontaneous human interactions alive. Here are four ideas you can do together:

1. Donut chats

an image of a #watercooler-chat channel where a person shared a hiking image under the question, “What’s the most beautiful place you’ve been?”
Connect your team with Donut water cooler chats. Source

Donut is an innovative app on Slack that’s all about using water cooler chats to engage remote teams and give them a space to socialize. This app randomly pairs two people for a chat, allowing team members to get to know each other better, understand each other’s roles, and even learn about their lives outside of work. Netflix, for example, uses a Donut water cooler to create bonds between team members from different departments. This helps build empathy and trust, which makes them more inclined to work well together. 

What makes Donut Chats particularly effective for remote teams:   

  • Compatible with various time zones
  • Team members can share anecdotes, photos, or GIFs in the Water cooler channel anytime during the workday
  • Allows for asynchronous participation—everyone can join in on their own schedule

You can also use a software platform for virtual meetings as a digital auditorium for your WFH orchestra to gather and connect. For example, using Switchboard’s persistent rooms you can set up a dedicated space for water cooler chats that you can return to any time and share materials to liven up the discussion. 

Pro tip: With Switchboard, you can have a "virtual lounge" for those cherished water cooler moments. Team members can drop by at their convenience and engage in some relaxed icebreaker questions about their colleagues.
Screenshot of a game room on Switchboard
With Switchboard, you can create a dedicated water cooler room for spontaneous chats about your team. Source: Switchboard

2. Team member spotlight 

An image of four people in a Switchboard room with multiple apps open.
Engage your team by opening multiple web-based apps and sharing visuals. Source: Switchboard

Imagine this: during your monthly all-hands meeting, one of your team members (voluntarily) steps into the spotlight during a 10-minute window where everyone can ask questions in real-time about their lives, opinions, hobbies—anything that comes to mind. It’s a fun way to break the ice and get to know each other better.

Team member spotlights are a relaxed and fun way to dig a bit deeper into your colleagues' lives and personalities. More importantly, it gives all team members a chance to express themselves and share more about their lives outside of work, which helps build connections and understanding.

You can easily set up a spotlight during your next face-to-face meeting in Switchboard. The ability to open multiple web-based apps means they can even share relevant visuals, like a family photo, making it more engaging and memorable. Give it a try in your next team meeting. Not only can it boost engagement and connection, but it also feeds into best practices for virtual meetings by making them more engaging and interactive. 

3. Problem-solving activities

Screenshot of four remote employees playing a virtual escape room game online. Source: Switchboard

Who says team-building activities can’t be both fun and intellectually stimulating? Problem-solving activities are fun team-building games that use and develop important skills while encouraging teamwork. These activities are ideal for those teams who enjoy a good challenge and some friendly competition. Examples include:

  • Geoguessr: Let your team test their geographical knowledge and observational skills with this online game. It drops you at a random location on Google Maps and each person gets a few minutes to explore before guessing their location. You can see each other’s facial expressions while playing it on Switchboard’s virtual platform, which makes it more engaging and fun.
  • Virtual escape rooms: Take your team to a virtual world where they must get together and solve puzzles to "escape." This helps improve critical thinking and promotes teamwork. 

4. Trivia Games

Screenshot of four employees playing a trivia game. Source: Switchboard

When it comes to bringing a team together in a fun and engaging way, nothing beats a good trivia quiz. Hosting trivia games is an excellent activity to boost team morale, unwind in each other’s company, and encourage friendly competition among team members.

One option is to run a company-themed trivia game. You could throw in questions about your organization, its history, employees, and culture. Not only does this make it more relevant, but it also helps existing employees reconnect with the company's roots and values. It’s also a great way to welcome new hires and get them familiar with the company. 

Using Switchboard, you can set up a dedicated "trivia room" to hold these quizzes. The chat function lets team members discuss, debate, and congratulate each other, and the room will save your previous trivia games in case you want to recycle them in the future.

Fun activities you can do async  

When you’re working from home, you may not be online at the same time as others due to time zone differences or flexible work hours. However, this doesn't mean you have to miss out on team-building activities. Next, we’ll explore some async activities you can do at your own pace while still building team connections.

5. Shared interest Slack channels

Sourdough recipe shared on social-eats channel
You can share your favorite recipes with your team on #social-eats for safekeeping.

Does your team love discussing the latest songs they’re listening to, sharing adorable pet photos, or recommending their last great read? Shared interest Slack channels are a great way to create informal spaces where team members can connect over their common passions—and discover new ones.

Examples include:

  • #social-music: Perfect for those random discussions about the latest hits, sharing Spotify playlists, or discussing classic albums.
  • #social-pets: A space for pet owners and animal lovers to share cute photos or jokes about their furry, feathered, or even scaly friends. 
  • #social-bookclub: A virtual gathering place for book lovers to recommend good reads, discuss intriguing themes, and even coordinate a book-of-the-month discussion group.
  • #social-eats: Where foodies can share their favorite recipes and food photos or just chat about their top food experiences.
  • #social-snaps: A photo-sharing space where team members can post images from their daily lives and share experiences.

Not only are these channels great for creating a sense of community, but they also provide opportunities for remote team members to bond over non-work related topics. 

6. Featured team member  

a screenshot of “spotlight on Kate” in a newsletter
 Intro to a team member feature in a company newsletter. Source: Flying Cat Marketing newsletter

Featuring team members in your company newsletter is a great way to recognize their contributions and learn more about them personally. Each month, a different person can tell their story or share a “day-in-the-life” snapshot or a glimpse into their life outside work. As well as being a fun distraction from the usual corporate newsletter fare, it’s a great way to create deeper bonds between team members and build a company culture that celebrates individuality and diversity. 

For example, one month could feature Matt, the web designer who is also a beginner astronomer. Matt shares some stargazing tips and photos of stars he’s taken himself. The next month might spotlight Cindy, the content writer who's also a dedicated musician, sharing her training routine and the story of her first concert. Team members can even create a presentation or video that you can store in a dedicated Switchboard room to revisit anytime.

7. Virtual cook-off

Cooking has a way of bringing people together, even if they're worlds apart. Organize a virtual cook-off or a shared online lunch where your team members can exhibit their culinary skills. Each week, select a different dish or a specific ingredient that team members have to use or throw open the theme for discussion on the relevant Slack channel.

Participants can also share photos, recipes, or even cooking videos in a designated Slack channel or Switchboard room. It’s a fun way to learn about different cultures and a good opportunity to spark conversations about each other’s food traditions. You can even use Switchboard polls to let people vote on the winner.

Fun activities for work-from-home employees: A great way to connect your teams

Just as a well-tuned orchestra creates great music that’s more than the sum of its parts, a well-connected remote team or hybrid can achieve great things together. You need to put in the work to bring them together, though, which isn’t always easy when people don’t get to interact in person.

To do this, look for fun activities for work-from-home employees and hybrid teams like the ideas on our list, which you can do async and together. For example, a virtual cook-off, team member spotlights or features, Donut chats, problem-solving games, or shared interest Slack channels. Be sure to avoid forced fun, though. It's essential to tap into the things that really motivate your team to get them excited to participate and create genuine connections. 

With its persistent rooms, Switchboard is the ideal platform to conduct your remote orchestra. You can all chat, vote, and explore any web-based app, file, or document as you share fun stories and recipes, solve puzzles together, or compete to win a trivia quiz. It encourages team bonds and a positive company culture people will want to be part of. And it even solves the challenges of virtual meetings by making them more engaging and interactive. 

Sure, orchestrating your remote team can be a challenge. But, done right, and with the right activities and tools, you’ll have your remote work orchestra playing in harmony in no time. 

Want a place to run fun activities with your remote team?
Switchboard’s digital workspace lets you bring your people together and get more done. 
Learn more
.

Frequently asked questions about fun activities for work-from-home employees and hybrid teams

How can I have fun with my employees working from home? 

To have fun with your employees working from home, try real-time Donut chats for casual conversations, problem-solving games like GeoGuessr, or a virtual escape room to boost teamwork and build connections. Even async options like shared-interest Slack channels or a virtual cook-off can create an engaging vibe, making remote work both enjoyable and stimulating.

What team activity can be done virtually? 

You can do team activities online by using virtual office tools like Switchboard to host virtual games, a team member spotlight during your all-hands meetings, or team-building events where team members share their lives and interests. For asynchronous activities, a virtual cook-off can be a fun way for team members to show off their cooking skills. 

How do you unite remote workers?

You can unite remote workers through great communication, understanding, and shared experiences that help build bonds. Celebrating and acknowledging each team member's unique qualities and contributions–perhaps through a featured team member spotlight during a video chat or by making them the subject of trivia questions–helps create a sense of unity and mutual respect. 

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Want a place to run fun activities with your remote team?

Switchboard’s digital workspace lets you bring your people together and get more done.