Corporate Improv Training: Remote Operations Team Building 4 New Times

by Samuel Van Wyk and Walt Frasier

In a time when most companies are working remotely, getting your employees to work as a strong team is more important than ever.  

Research has shown that improv can be a fun and effective way to encourage teambuilding, improve both communication and collaboration, and cultivate better problem-solving skills.

As improv professionals during the time of Covid 19, we have had to adapt from working in person to performing and teaching improv solely in an online setting.

This has given us the tools to share these same benefits of improvisation with your organization, even with the constraint of team members being in separate locations.

The Problem is Not New

Before COVID-19 forced millions online, this was most challenging question faced at team building workshops. We worked with many international firms, meeting in New York for annual bonding and strategy sessions.

Teams from Twitter, BDO and BING play improv games at our Times Square New York Theater

After an amazing session, we always allowed time for a Q&A, mostly to discuss ways to implement their new skills and tools. The biggest challenge facing these teams was their remote access to each other.

improv class
Sam Van Wyk plays Catagories with team from JP MORGAN CHASE

As improvisers, we developed some strategies but had zero hands on experience online.

Until Now….

The whole world is online now!

Since March 14 our classes and shows have operated solely online. Improvisation via Zoom, at first, was like learning to walk or ride a bike again for the first time.

By May we had adopted many of our classic games and began creating new ones for the platform.

We have worked with a number of teams from NY Life, Milbank, Accenture and more.

We have now created a system specific to serve this growing need in your firm. Thanks to hundreds of shows and thousands of class hours, we have decoded online team building. Let us bring this program to your teams.

The New Normal?


Moving forward, even long after COVID-19 is a daily concern, companies are moving to remote learning. Recent survey of 500 tech company founders revealed up to 70% will be permanently moved out of the office.

  • See article regarding Remote Work Trends
  • See WeWork article regarding Remote work Trends before COVID-19

We now have the tools you need to make this transition smooth and maintain strong team bonds from around the world.

Virtual teams are not just a temporary fix. We are in for the long haul. Online collaboration is the New Normal for millions. In the short term, teams are seeing more productivity. Less time commuting, less distraction, gives individuals focus.

Over time this will deliver new team collaboration challenges. The trick will be to meet the problem before it becomes one.

While keeping teams connected is a challenge, that is only a small piece of the puzzle.

We have worked with recruiting and orientation teams this past summer. Accenture and Milbank are both having us back for a second round of events this month.

Make Improv part of your internship, recruiting and team formation process. The best way to create team success is with a solid foundation on day one.

Quick note about Psychological Safety

The secret to success starts with creating a safe space. “YES! And…” is a practical application of Psychological Safety, determined to be the #1 factor in Team Success by Project Aristotle.

Together we enter the Learning Zone, where no challenge is insurmountable. We learn each other’s strengths. We catch each other’s mistakes. We bounce nimbly off of each other’s contributions, without judgement. We feel part of the team and share in its successes.

Team Building and Leadership Training with EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH!

Our workshops are a launching pad to greatness. While we are happy to work with your team in multiple sessions, we teach you to play these games on your own. We give you tools to use in every meeting to continue the work long after our time together. We remove the fear of unknown, opening up new levels of communication and collaboration.

Our shows deliver much needed laughs. We specialize in a PG13 style comedy that includes the entire team in creating a show. The professional cast create original skits and songs improvised based on your team’s suggestions and participation.

Studies at Johns Hopkins, Stamford and other top universities show laughter builds these walls of trust, increases cardio pulmonary activity and reduces stress and depression.

Be our guest at an upcoming show to introduce you to our team. We also invite you to audit one of our online classes to see our teachers in action. Email Walt Frasier for more information regarding booking our programs.

Check out our publication now available FREE on KindleUnlimited. While marketed to a YA audience, the book outlines dozens of games, with our tips to using online. This book is the culmination of the past six months teaching and performing via zoom, plus 18 years working with corporate teams, colleges and k12 schools.

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