Colleague Connections during COVID-19

Have an virtual team bonding idea or experience that you would like to share?  Submit it here! 

  • Book club - Like in-person book clubs, the basic function is to organize team members around reading the same material, and plan a virtual discussion.  Depending on your group’s interests, you might read a novelette, short story, essay, scientific publication or news article.

  • Celebrate uncommon holidays - Combat quarantine monotony and boredom by taking advantage of the opportunity to celebrate uncommon holidays.  From National Pickle Day to National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, there is always something to look forward to and celebrate with your team.

  • Cleaning challenge - Take a “before” screenshot of your desk (or even desktop!), then get to work cleaning your space.  At the end of a specified period (day or week), take a picture or screenshot of your progress to share with your team.  The participant with the cleanest desk wins productivity for the week!

    • Twist: This challenge can be made to work with any space!  If your desk is already tidy, challenge yourself to tackle your laundry room, pantry, etc.

  • DIY craft challenge - Select a simple craft that team members can try and create using materials that they have at home.  Compare results and pick a winner! 

    • Twist: Get housemates, kids or other family members involved!

  • DIY workshop - Showcase team members’ talents and interests while providing an opportunity for others to learn a new skill.

  • Game night - Playing games, joining teams, and even encouraging a little friendly competition can be a great way to build connections and camaraderie with your team.  Whether you are using a multiplayer app, simulated tabletop or simple video chat, there is no shortage of virtual game night ideas to choose from.

  • Home scavenger hunt - Boost creativity and fun with a team scavenger hunt!  Create a list and set a time limit for team members to find a items or fulfill challenges that can be done at home before time runs out.

    • Twist: Besides straightforward, concrete items (coloring book, pet selfie, striped socks, etc.), consider including abstract and conceptual items (something that you've owned since childhood, something borrowed) to help make the game more interesting and engaging.

  • Movie night - Pop some popcorn and kick back with your team for a digital watch party featuring the film or television show of your choice!  There are a variety of free online services available to help you facilitate your viewing party.

    • Twist: Dress it up with a costume, bingo or trivia element.

  • Museum bingo - Take advantage of the incredible virtual museum tours being made available right now (like Penn Museum, Rx Museum, or The Louvre). Prepare this for your team by creating bingo cards that include features present in one or more of the tours or exhibits.

  • Paper plate awards - Awards can be a great way to boost team morale and make each member feel appreciated and valued.  As the name suggests, paper plate awards are written on decorated paper plates and can range from the heartfelt and sincere to the silly and ridiculous.  Collaborate with team members to create awards and then hold a ceremony to bestow the honors.

  • Pet hangout - Encourage team members to grab their pets for a special hangout!  Introduce your team to your pets and show off any special tricks or talents.

  • Recipe roundup & cook off - There’s never been a better time to dive into the joys of home cooking!  Submit your favorite recipes and have team members try out and share their culinary creations with the group.

  • Share your space! - Get a behind-the-scenes look at team members’ personal styles, prized possessions, quirky habits, housemates, significant others, pets, and more.

    • Twist: If live video streaming is not your thing, consider uploading pictures featuring work spaces, pets, etc. where team members can comment and interact.

  • Show and tell - A childhood classic revisited!  Have each team member choose a personal item and explain to the group why they chose that particular item, where they got it, and other relevant information.

    • Twist: Establish a theme like vacation/travel, childhood photos/items, favorite book, etc.

  • Talent show - Set up a time for team members to share their secret talents, however obscure or ridiculous they may be.  Whether musical, magical, or silly, the opportunity to showcase team member talents is a fun way to highlight interests and talents outside of work. 

    • Twist: If live video streaming is not your thing, consider compiling prerecorded submissions to be featured at a team watch party.

  • Team playlist - Collaborate with team members on a playlist to help power through the pandemic.

  • Throw a party! - Any excuse will do!  Whether it is a team member's birthday, an uncommon national holiday, or just a Tuesday night, virtual parties create an opportunity for team members to connect, hang out, and create new traditions.  Select a theme and incorporate costumes, games, snacks, and decor - from a Halloween costume contest to trivia night to virtual karaoke, the possibilities are endless.

  • You’ve got mail - Match everyone on your team with a pen pal or host a postcard exchange.  Exchange jokes, recipes of the week, etc.

    • Twist: Get pets, kids, housemates or other family members involved!

DISCLAIMER: Please note that all activities are subject to the same expectations for appropriateness and professionalism required by the Perelman School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania.