Sharing unique ideas and activities that your team can adopt to preserve and strengthen your culture in a virtual environment. Here are a few initiatives our team has started – and some ideas on how to incorporate culture into your remote team.
The kids club is aimed primarily for kids aged 4 to 9. How it works is that each kid club member signs up for two 30 to 60 minute virtual sessions each week with an older volunteer counsellor. During that time the pair might to play a game, read a book, complete a craft, or learn a new skill such as karate, cooking, making hand puppets, and so on. We’ve also ran a few group story time sessions and sing-a-long sessions.
For free online resources for kids, check out
- Learn at Home with YouTube: YouTube has partnered with learning creators offer live streams and videos on topics such as physical education, math, coding and writing. There are also story times, dance breaks and read-a-longs (with Michelle Obama).
- Scholastic Learn at Home: Resources for parents and students ranging from pre-K to grade 9. The site offers projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing.
- Time for Kids: A free digital library from Time Magazine offering teaching tools, worksheets and quizzes for kids ranging from kindergarten to grade 8.
- Netflix Educational Documentaries: Netflix has made a selection of their documentary features and series available for free on their YouTube Channel.
- Teachable Moments from NASA: Offering a range of activities and lessons about our universe suitable for kids in kindergarten to grade 12.
- Sea Otter Cam at the Vancouver Aquarium: Kids can go behind the scenes to learn more about the sea otters ad get a hands-on training session with the marine mammal training team.
- Shark Cam at Ripley’s: Kids can watch the sharks in their aquarium to observe their daily routines including feedings.
For the book club, we selected three book options – one business focused book, one fiction and one real-life story from a local author (see below). We had people vote on the top two books and then created two groups. The groups meet every three weeks to discuss the chapters assigned. To accommodate everyone’s schedule, the leader of each book club group offered two time slots – one over the lunch hour and one in the evening (at 7pm).
Business: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (updated edition – 2017), by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Fiction: Where the Crawdad’s Sing, by Delia Owens
Local: Love Lives Here – A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family, by Amanda Jette Knox
For free online books, check out:
For book recommendations, check out:
- Heather’s Picks
- Oprah’s Book Club
- New York Times Bestsellers
- Reese’s Book Club
- Once Upon a Book Club
- The Readheads Book Club Podcast
Fitness Classes and Challenges
We’re offering Zoom fitness classes at lunch, organized by our CEO’s teenage daughter. Each week she sends an email with the class times and fitness target (i.e. ab workout, HIIT Training, cardio, yoga, etc). Those interested sign up and receive a Zoom link to join.
We’ve also been organizing mini health / fitness challenges that include step goals, sharing nutritional recipes, going “dry” (alcohol-free) for a day, etc. Those participating track their progress with pictures and fill their results via a shared Google Doc.
For free online fitness classes, check out:
- Lululemon: Offering online yoga and meditation practices.
- Movati Athletic: Offering free live and recorded workouts on their Facebook page.
- Fitness Blender: A popular YouTube channel featuring over 600 workouts that can be searched by length, difficulty, training type, calories burned and muscle group.
- Planet Fitness: Hosting “Home Work-Ins” – a series of free fitness classes streamed live on their Facebook page at 7pm daily.
- Do Yoga With Me: A YouTube channel offering at-home yoga workouts for everyone – including little ones.
Every Friday at 4pm, our teams are hosting socials via Zoom. Some teams have gotten rather creative and started playing games. Here is an overview of a few of our team’s favourite FREE and paid games:
- Virtual Escape Rooms: Participants solve clues to open digital locks. The clues include math problems, word puzzles and tests of general knowledge. Players can choose their preferred theme (i.e. Minecraft, Hogwarts, Jumanji and Disney World).
- Geo Guesser: Using Google street view images from around the world, players have to guess where the image is located.
- House party: Team members can play interactive games while video conferencing. Games include: what’s up, trivia, chip and guoc (which is similar to cards of humanity), Pictionary, etc. There’s a maximum of 8 players per game but participants can come and go as desired.
- Mural: A free online whiteboard where you can play Pictionary with team members.
- Themed Zoom parties: Our teams love doing this – they assign themes to their Friday socials. For example, Mexican fiesta – everyone dresses up and preps a drink and snack of their choice to enjoy while they engage with their team members (think chips, salsa and a margarita). Other themes have included: pirates, mafia, disco and pajama party.
- Guess the baby picture game: No app or website needed here – just pictures of everyone as a baby. Assign one organizer who collects the pictures and displays them in a random order for people to guess.
- Get to know you game: Again, no app or website needed here – just cards with questions. Ask every team member to pick a question they want to ask and then have everyone take turns responding. This is particularly great if there are newer team members who are trying to get to know others.
- Jackbox Games: An online game pack for multi-player fun. All it requires is one person sharing their screen with the main game board and everyone uses their cell phones as their game control. ($7.00 / 6 month subscription)
- Trivia Maker: Teams can create their own games using one of four formats: grid (think Jeopardy), list (think Family Feud), trivia (think Who Wants to be a Millionaire) and wheel (think Wheel of Fortune). Games include music, clapping, booing and a scoreboard. ($30 for the game pack)
- Netflix Party: Teams can also pick a show or movie to watch together. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and includes a chat feature for discussions. ($13.99 for a monthly subscription)