If you want to ensure that your remote teams are as strong as possible while also battling the loneliness that can accompany remote work, you might consider hosting a regular virtual lunch for your team. Whether you all used to work in the office together before the pandemic or you've never met face to face, virtual lunches are a perfect little social opportunity to get to know each other, learn, laugh, and relax. Stick with us while we explore 25 ideas to ensure that your team's remote lunches are a hit every time.
While there are a lot of benefits to remote work, one of the downsides is that it's easy for distributed workers to feel socially isolated from their colleagues. Not only can this reduce employee motivation and engagement, but it also can mean that your team isn't as strong as it could be.
If you want to ensure that your remote teams are as strong as possible while also battling the loneliness that can accompany remote work, you might consider hosting a regular virtual lunch for your team.
Whether you all used to work in the office together before the pandemic or you've never met face to face, virtual lunches are a perfect little social opportunity to get to know each other, learn, laugh, and relax.
Are you searching for some fun ideas to incorporate into your next virtual lunch with the team? Then, stick with us while we explore 25 ideas to ensure that your team's remote lunches are a hit every time.
Are you planning on having weekly virtual lunches for your team? Consider starting a book club to help jumpstart conversation each week.
It's hard to go wrong with a wholesome game of 20 questions. If you want to show up to the virtual lunch with a fun but simple game, consider going with a classic.
If you're having a special lunch get-together, consider asking your attendees to create a short little presentation on a topic that interests them. If your team has weekly lunches together (virtually, of course,) maybe have each team member pick a week that they'll show up with a lengthier presentation.
Looking for a brainteaser to serve as a team-building exercise while your employees enjoy lunch? Consider doing a virtual escape room together.
Do you have a team that is interested in personal growth and development? Are there topics that you feel your workers would benefit from learning about? Are you interested in infusing your projects with outside ideas that could boost innovation and engagement?
Hiring a speaker doesn't have to mean getting an econ professor to put everyone to sleep over lunch. Instead, you could bring in comedians, motivational speakers, or nutrition experts to give your team some food for thought over their lunch break.
If you're looking for a group activity on the quieter side, consider doing a group meditation. This is a great idea if your team is confronted with a strict deadline or an intense project. Meditation can help improve stress management and relaxation, and the most important time to step back and remember to be present is when the pressure is high.
Whether earnest or hilarious, an award ceremony can be a great way to bring the whole team together. You can use this as an opportunity to recognize people's strengths and accomplishments, or you perform a Dundie's-style ceremony to keep the whole team laughing all week.
Looking for a quick game to start your virtual lunch with a bang? Two truths and a lie can help your team get to know each other better and break the ice.
Riddles and brain teasers are another great addition to a virtual lunch with your remote team. Sometimes, you want to bring something to the table, but you don't want to sign everyone up for an immersive experience like a speaker or a virtual escape room. When you show up with some riddles in your pocket, it can help get the conversation going while leaving time for everyone to socialize casually.
Does your team have a refined taste? Do they sniff their wine before imbibing? Are their pinkies always sky-high when they're enjoying a cup of tea?
This is a great way to enliven the spirits of a team of foodies. You can either choose to send out a box of goodies to everyone ahead of time or hire a company that specializes in this type of tasting experience.
If you're a super-cool boss, you might not mind the occasional happy hour before the workday is over. Obviously, you probably don't want your employees drinking on the job with any frequency, but maybe you're having lunch to celebrate an achievement or someone's birthday. If that's the case, you might consider letting everyone put their feet up and have a beer.
Looking for something simple that can jumpstart or complete your virtual lunch? Ask everyone ahead of time to show up with some recommendations for great music, films, books, articles, or, well, just about anything. Not only is this a great way for everyone to get to know each other better, but you might just walk away with some awesome ideas for your next movie night.
Another fun (and affordable) idea for a virtual lunch with your remote workers is to have everyone take a personality quiz and compare the results. You might want to think about your team and whether or not they will feel like this is a riot or a bit invasive before setting it up.
If your team is generally more extroverted and open, this could be a great way to break the ice and start some interesting conversations. On the other hand, it might not be the right move for a group of shy and private people.
If you're looking for a simple project your team can work on together, consider having them create a birth map. This can be done easily using Google maps.
One of the great things about remote teams is that they can be comprised of an incredibly diverse group of people. By pinpointing where everyone on the team was born, it creates a visualization of this reality.
We've been talking about lunch ideas for a while now, and other than talking about some stinky cheese tastings, we haven't even really touched upon the most important ingredient in a successful lunch: food.
We're more than happy to organize a virtual lunch meeting for you and your team, with a menu that allows your team to choose between a pizza, burger, or salad. If you can tell by our name, though, we're slightly partial to the pizza option.
Make sure you don't get so caught up filling the schedule with motivational speakers and icebreakers that you forget to let people enjoy their food. When you're team knows each other well, ordering some pizza might be the only step you need to take for a successful virtual lunch.
Another fun idea is creating a theme for your virtual lunch. For example, if you have weekly or monthly virtual lunches, you can set a schedule of themes and allow your team to suggest ideas for future lunch themes.
You can then have your members set their Zoom backgrounds to reflect the theme, and they can even dress up. Music, topics, and activities can revolve around the theme, giving the lunch a cohesive and eventful feel.
For an informal lunch of one where you're not looking to get into a drawn-out icebreaker, Zoom charades can be a great option.
You can let your attendees know ahead of time so they can select a background based on a specific theme that their teammates will then guess what it is. This might be a favorite vacation (guess the location,) a favorite movie scene (guess the movie,) or their favorite meal (guess the name of the dish.)
This is another fun little activity where each attendee can share the songs they simply can't stop listening to. Pretty much everyone loves music, so this allows your team to talk about something that they're interested in and share their recommendations with others. As a bonus, you might just walk away with some new tunes to add to your morning playlist.
Do you have a relatively new team that isn't very familiar with one another? Breaking the ice can be hard, but this activity can help. Of course, if everyone is working in the same city, this game won't be very fun.
For distributed teams, though, this is a blast. It allows team members to describe where they live without being too obvious about it, and other team members get to use their thinking caps to try and figure out where in the world their coworker is.
What's the best thing about working from home? Other than the ability to order pizza whenever you want without risking judgment from your coworkers, we'd have to say it's being able to spend tons of time with your pets.
During your virtual lunch, consider giving everyone a chance to show their pet during the video call or share pictures. Each team member can also share a short little funny story about their pet or the story behind adopting/buying the pet. If some people don't have pets, they can share a picture of a pet they used to have or what their dream pet would be.
We all know that check-ins can get long and drawn out, and it can be hard for people to know how much or how little to share. With the two-word check-in, there's no ambiguity. Everyone picks just two words that describe how they're feeling today.
This is a great idea for regular lunch meetings to serve as a check-in for the team. Everyone takes a term and shares the best thing that happened to them that week and the worst thing. Since it can be difficult to know how all your coworkers are doing when working remotely, this can help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share how they're feeling with their other teammates.
If you're searching for a seriously casual way to spend a virtual lunch with your team, consider streaming a show together. This is probably best suited for fairly tight-knit teams that have similar interests; otherwise, you might find that not everyone is very excited about participating.
Who doesn't like trivia? Not only does it give everyone the ability to show off just how impressive their noggin is, but competition can be a great way to bring the whole team together.
You can choose to organize a trivia game yourself or have us take care of it for you.
Taking your team on a virtual lunch adventure can mean everything from exploring Google Maps street view on a shared screen to hiring a virtual tour guide to show everyone around an exotic locale. Another option includes finding live webcams from places like wildlife sanctuaries, zoos, and other fascinating locations.
As you can see, there's no shortage of fun ideas that you can incorporate into your virtual lunch with the team. Whether you've known each other for years or your team is relatively new, adding some activities can help create structure and give everyone a common theme to jumpstart a conversation.
However, there's one important question we've only briefly touched upon when it comes to your remote lunch. What are you all going to eat?
You could have your team bring their own lunch and eat it together virtually, but that's kind of a bummer if you ask us. After all, who wants to sit around and eat ramen noodles together?
Turning your virtual lunch into a pizza party can really take the energy and enthusiasm up a notch. Everyone loves pizza (seriously– it's a fact), and buying lunch for the whole team can be a great way to show your appreciation.
Since everyone on your team is remote, it can be hard to overcome the feeling that you're all far away from one another. When you're all eating pizza together, it really can create a sense of togetherness that's hard to achieve otherwise.
If we're speaking your language, this is probably a good time to tell you that it can be a real bear to order pizza from pizza places all over the world to be delivered at precisely the wrong time. If this sounds like a headache to you, let us organize your pizza lunch for you.