If you attended pep rallies, cheerleading and game events back in school, you’d agree that spirit week was one of the best weeks of the school term. The nostalgia is probably making you wonder if it’s possible to bring this traditional practice to the workplace by conducting a virtual spirit week.
Since most of us are distanced while working remotely for the foreseeable future, it’s more important than ever for us to enable remote employees to bond over team-building activities.
The best aspect of hosting Virtual Spirit Week for the workforce is that it stimulates dialogue and pleasant discussions, no matter where they are joining in from.
In this post, I’ll be taking you through a list of the best virtual spirit week ideas for adults that are guaranteed to entertain your geographically dispersed remote teams.
1. What is Virtual Spirit Week?
Spirit week is a week-long event conducted by various organizations to promote employee engagement, celebrate company culture and so much more through fun activities. Since remote work has become the new normal for most desk jobs, traditional spirit week is out of the question. Therefore, hosting a virtual spirit week event is ideal. It can be conducted online by hosting theme days and team-building activities over virtual meeting platforms like Skype, Meet, Zoom, Microsoft teams, and Zoom.
Virtual spirit week breaks up the monotony of remote work life, boosts company culture, and bonds coworkers with a week of fun. It is an excellent way for people to get out of their comfort zones and get to know their colleagues better.
2. Virtual Spirit Week Ideas 2021
2.1. Costume contests
Organizing online dress-up contests is one of the best virtual spirit week ideas. Employees can also join in groups or participate individually. They may choose outfits in accordance to the theme. Some examples include vintage, Halloween, superheroes, sports, celebrities, villains, historical personalities, etc.
Teammates can vote for the best dressed or the most creative dressed for each category by using the poll features of collaboration tools. The winning team grabs a prize. It will help employers to spot creativity, leadership among the workforce and improve inter-departmental cooperation and communication.
2.2. Host game shows
Online office games are a great way to have a blast with your distributed team and managers. You can even be on opposing teams to start a little friendly competition! You can choose games like trivia challenges, mind games, virtual scavenger hunts, scribble games, virtual jeopardy, etc.
These game shows can also be customized depending upon the team size and age groups. With fun gaming competition, employees can lighten their mood and strengthen communications and remote team relationships.
2.3. Virtual volunteering
I recently had a great experience hosting a virtual fundraiser on Instagram and Facebook. Team SIWOM created copy for awareness posters with a built-in fundraising call-to-action feature that helped to successfully raise about a fifth of the goal online.
Dedicating a day to virtual volunteering activities will help you give back to the community as an organization. Since COVID-19 has impacted our entire community, it’s definitely time for us to not just help people to survive but thrive through the pandemic successfully. Companies can steer their workforce into that program specifically by partnering with many non-profit organizations. It will also inculcate social responsibility as a vital component of your workplace culture.
2.4. Organize ‘Spirit Awards’
Employee recognition is a wonderful method to boost morale during the spirit weeks. But it would be more fun if you create certain out-of-the-box award categories instead of the traditional awards like “employee of the year/month,” “service awards,” etc. A few suggestions for awards can include ones for
- The best tech wizard,
- The person who responds the fastest
- The office memes finder
- Who most likely forget to mute/unmute the mic, etc.
You can further plan a live stream with the winners, a social media shout-out, or a virtual wall of recognition. This not only promotes positive company culture but also benefits your bottom line.
2.5. Host group yoga session
Online yoga sessions serve the dual purpose of getting fit and enhance peer-to-peer interactions during solitary workdays. The group yoga session can be a short stretching session, high-intensity cardio, or a themed yoga class. It can generally range from 15-20 minutes or an hour-long session.
For instance, one person can spotlight themself and lead the session by playing a yoga video or performing in real-time. The purpose of this activity is to counter remote work stress and provide health benefits such as increased mobility and flexibility. Not to mention, when teammates synchronize poses and breaths, it provides a team-building experience.
2.6. Dressed up in company brand palette
Remember how fun it was to show up to work in a dress code or when you and a coworker twinned for the day by coincidence?Dedicating a day from virtual spirit week when all employees can dress up in a company brand palette would be fun.
Dressing up for a day unifies the entire staff like a cohesive unit and promotes equality. This will also instill employees with a sense of pride and responsibility towards the company. Remember to click pictures of the entire team and post it on the company’s social media channels to create memories!
2.7. Have a “job swap” day
Why not have your teams walk in each other’s shoes for a change? They’ll experience the joys and challenges that go with the territory. For example, have your writers swap with graphic designers.
Don’t worry about the exchange impacting work or disrupting the existing routine. The team doesn’t have to actually carry out the role or work on existing projects. They just get to ask questions about what a typical day in the week looks like, who else they work with and the tools they use.
Swapping jobs is an empathy cultivating exercise. Distributed members understand their colleagues better and how their role contributes to the business goals. If they have an interest in the role, they can also learn something new and find out what skills they’ll need to build, enabling personal and professional growth.
2.8. Plan a virtual movie day
Remember the pre pandemic times, when we thought nothing of going to watch movies like the Infinity Wars and The Joker? Times are different now but this doesn’t mean having to skip movie days. You can plan a virtual movie day to help relieve work stress. Knowing that there’s a screening to look forward to gives employees the motivation to complete their tasks and free themselves up on time!
The organizers can stream a film (horror/thriller, etc.) via video conferencing platforms or using Netflix Party. It’s just a chrome add-on that allows as many users to watch anything on Netflix together. You can also ask everyone to bring popcorn and their favorite refreshments drinks to enjoy a great virtual movie day.
2.9. Eat-together initiative
Humans have always bonded over food as it is something that brings people together. Thus, organizing an eat-together or lunch and learn initiatives are a great way to foster connections virtually and strengthen the bond among teams. Plus, it takes down any feeling of corporate barriers that may arise.
If your budget permits, think about getting some real treats for your remote team. This could be sending a meal box or even sending some candy to their address. This adds a nice personal touch, instead of everything being done online.
2.10. Dance/music challenges
According to HBR– “Social challenges boost team performance and exhibit positive changes in communication patterns.”
Humans are evolved to move and have fun. So, why not host a dance or singing competition or a virtual team karaoke? It’s a great way to find out who’s got some real talent in your remote office.
After the end of the challenges, you can also get everyone to vote for the performance they liked the most and offer the winners and runners up cash or voucher prizes. Organizing these social challenges will have a powerful influence on people’s productivity and wellbeing at work.
2.11. Plan a superhero day
We all idolize a superhero, be it someone in reel or for real. Ask everyone who their hero is and organize a day where everyone suits up! They can rent, design or buy their costume depending on their preferences..
Further, employees can share their favorite inspirational superhero quotes, put on a short superhero movie, and quiz each other on random Superhero facts.
2.12. Face-Painting contest
Just imagine a virtual room full of painted faces staring back at you. How much fun would this be? You can ask your employees to paint their faces beforehand or paint in real-time during the virtual call.
Employees will have a fun time laughing with their colleagues at their crazy face paint. In addition, you can also take headshot close-ups of all teammates together and post them to social media channels.
2.13. Social media post challenges
The benefits of social media for any business are a well-known factor. Therefore, supplementing your virtual spirit week activities with fun social media challenges adds a lot of fun. You can instruct employees to post a story or tweet on social channels by tagging the company’s account and using a unique hashtag or the company’s hashtag. To make it more fun, employees can customize it with the company’s logo and tagline.
This facilitates open communication and helps to develop a collaborative workforce. Plus, these social media posts are also a great way to advertise your company’s work culture to a broader audience.
2.14. Virtual talent show
This is a great way to know about the hidden talent of your co-workers and double the entertainment factor in virtual spirit week. To host a virtual talent show, you can ask teammates to book their names individually or collaborate with other employees for entertaining group acts. This can usually be a five-ten-minute session via any video conferencing platform.
At the end of the virtual talent show, team members can cast their vote for the best performance of the day. You can also have a panel of judges to give scores for each performance.
2.15. Virtual coffee break sessions
Virtual coffee breaks retreats are calm yet quirky online events that can be organized with remote teams. Employers can also ask employees to bring their own refreshments and reimburse them for the expense. You can also include some fun and creative games and talk on interactive subjects so that the flow of the session doesn’t break.
This helps to restore energy and create engagement Including a customized background of lush gardens and coffee shops will also add a pump to the overall coffee break sessions.
2.16. Home/workspace tours
Workspace and home tours are great for teammates to peep into colleagues’ personal space and have fun. You can also ask employees to either pre-record the videos or showcase them in real-time. In addition, it gives people a chance to showcase their decorations, furniture, art, and instruments.
To get into a more creative side, you can ask your teammates to share their favorite spot in the house. This activity helps remote teammates learn more about each other and may reveal shared interests and common ground.
Organizing virtual spirit week for work is an excellent way to enhance team collaboration and communication. So, why not give it a go? Bring some fun to remote work culture by adopting the aforementioned ideas for your next virtual spirit week event.
3. How do you host virtual spirit week successfully?
Finding the perfect way to engage employees can be a challenge for many businesses, especially those that have large teams.
Here are some steps to plan out spirit week celebrations virtually.
3.1. Step 1: Pick a Week
The first and most crucial step is to choose an appropriate spirit week. It should be carefully done so that it does not conflict with any other upcoming events or holidays. Thus, the event should be planned and conducted diligently so that everyone has an uninterrupted fun time.
3.2. Step 2: The more you encourage employees, the better
Start posting on the company’s social media channels a week before and share the excitement. You can also send out mass email invitations to the employees and encourage everyone to participate in this event. The objective of the event is to get everyone involved and show their true sportsmanship spirit. Therefore, the more people you have sharing their enthusiasm, the more significant impact on your company’s spirit and culture.
3.3. Step 3: Create engaging themes for each day
This can be challenging because there are so many alternatives, plus over the entire virtual Spirit Week, you also need to focus on your company’s principles. Therefore, you can plan for activities that are full of fun and practical to implement especially via virtual platforms. However, it is also recommended to let your employees have a say in choosing a theme for each spirit day of the week.
For instance, Kick-off virtual spirit week with a fun opening ceremony where all teammates can gather together through a virtual platform. Then the organizers or managers can introduce the themes and share the week’s goals with all employees. You can also create specific theme hashtags for each day. Some examples are as follows;
#EasterMonday- Wear pastels bunny costumes, play easter egg hunt games
#MathleteMonday- Conduct math quiz for teammates
#MerryMonday- Dress up in Christmas colors
#MusicMonday- Ask your team to share their favorite songs and let everyone have an impromptu dance party
#MondayBlues- Let everyone dress up in shades of blue.
#TouristTuesday- World trivia quiz
#Tuesdaytalks- Organize TEDx talks
#TuesdaySelfie- Ask team members to share a weird selfie of them
#TuesdayTreat- Organize virtual coffee break sessions
#WaybackWednesday- Dress yourself in any decade/retro
#Wednesdayworkout- Organize a yoga session for all teammates
#Wednesdaywisdom- Host a session where the senior-level executives share their career experiences with newbies.
#WednesdayWines- How about toasting a glass of wine with team members virtually?
#ThrowbackThursday- Share a childhood picture or dress up as you did in high school
#ThursdayTruth- How about playing a truth and dare game with teammates
#TravelThursday- Create a slideshow of employees’ most memorable trip pictures.
#ThankfulThursday- Host an award show for employees
#FairytaleFriday- Wear Disney dresses
#FoodieFriday- Host a virtual lunch session for all teammates
#FridayFace- Host a face painting event and let the colors do the talking
#FridayFun- Organize a virtual game shows
I didn’t plan themes for weekends. On Saturday and Sunday, we rest, right?
On Friday, there could be a virtual closing ceremony. This ceremony aims to end the week with a high spirit and showcase the positive work culture. It can have a slideshow of photos and videos from the week, some closing words from organizers, a vote of thanks from employees, and more. If you ran talent shows or various contests, then the winners can also be announced.
3.4. Step 4: Make the experience interactive
The objective is to make an ordinary week more special by motivating staff to do something outside the “norm.” While this virtual spirit week is different from the traditional one, still it will create great memories for distant teams to look back and grin.
4.1. What are some virtual spirit week ideas?
The best virtual spirit week ideas for adults are the ones that help geographically dispersed teams to simulate team engagement and have fun. From hosting theme days, virtual talent shows, games events, and yoga sessions to conducting virtual volunteering and fundraising activities. Employers can organize different fun activities to celebrate spirit weeks in remote offices.
4.2. What are some benefits of virtual spirit week?
Virtual Spirit Week for work is a great way to celebrate company culture and enhance team engagement. It helps people to come out of their comfort zones and expand professional connections. Some organizations also take spirit week as an opportunity to make charitable donations and support social causes. Overall, it helps to boost employee morale, collaboration, and productivity.
4.3. Why is spirit week so named?
Initially started by educational institutions, this popular week-long ritual is applied to various corporate sectors. Spirit week is so named because it depicts the spirit, creativity, and culture of an organization. Different team-building activities are hosted to break out the monotony of everyday work life to boost company culture and inclusiveness.
4.5. How do you get people to participate in spirit week?
Organizers can send email invites to employees in advance and encourage them to participate in Spirit Week. You can also give special attention to the introverts and make them understand the value virtual spirit events bring in both personally and professionally.
4.5. Why should companies promote virtual spirit week during COVID times?
Working from home in COVID times and the sudden change in difficult circumstances is stressful, not to mention the limited contact. The lack of intentional engagement can make employees feel even more alienated, which impacts their productivity. Therefore, conducting virtual spirit week for adults gives dispersed remote teams a chance to come together on a virtual platform and just have fun.