As we stay physically distant, to stay in touch with each other, as well as with our visitors and members, requires a little creativity. Enter Teambuilding.com’s Online Office Games event.
Like most organizations around the world right now, the Gregg Museum’s staff is trying to adapt to a new normal where our museum space is closed, and we are working from home to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. We are also working hard to stay connected through social media and technology.
Team building in the time of COVID-19
For the past year, each quarter we have gathered as a staff to celebrate our accomplishments and milestones over the previous few months. We call those gatherings “ToA.S.T.” (To Acknowledge Staff Thoughtfully). This event usually involves a meal or snacks and the chance to spend time together talking and sharing with each other, all of which is not possible at the moment. The kind of camaraderie and team dynamics built through events like this are important in building vibrant and resilient staff, especially when we are physically apart, so we wanted to find a way to hold our April ToA.S.T.
After researching a number of options, we were delighted to find teambuilding.com’s Online Office Games event. Our funny and energetic hosts, Kevin and Bryce, led us through 90 minutes of trivia, drawing, and guessing games that not only helped us get to know each other better but also taught us about the meeting technology (Zoom) that has been vital to our connectedness in this work-from-home time. This event gave us the opportunity to learn more about the program, like breakout rooms and renaming our display windows, in a relaxed setting. My favorite part was getting a glimpse into each person’s home and personality. The host would occasionally ask us to bring a specific item to the screen to earn points for our teams. It was surprising to learn that a few folks do still have VHS tapes but that only one of our team members has a copy of a Harry Potter book!
Communication is the key!
The final game was the most challenging, but also the best lesson in communication. In smaller teams, we had to describe everyday items to other team members using a limited set of words. The game forced both the listener and the describer to be creative and careful in how they said and interpreted the information. (Left: take a look at the various interpretations of my attempt at getting the team to draw a mermaid.) This activity revealed a lot about what we assume when talking to each other and how those assumptions can skew what our listeners take away.
Going into this event, I know that some of my colleagues were not sure what to expect; some may have even been dreading yet another Zoom meeting! Afterward, many expressed thanks for the event especially the laughter, which was most welcome during this stressful time. In the end our group walked away with smiling faces and a bit more information about who we are as individuals and as a team.
-Mary Hauser, Associate Director and Registrar