While remote working offers proven benefits, the lack of face-to-face interaction makes it more difficult to foster a positive working environment.
Virtual team building provides an effective method of turning a remote team into a cohesive unit that communicates and collaborates effectively.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about virtual team building and offer a few tips on team building activities to help make your business more productive.
Team building describes the ongoing process of increasing your workforce’s efficiency by encouraging employees to communicate and co-operate with one another.
Placing a group of employees in a situation where they must work as a team allows them to bond to pursue a common goal. Building strong relationships between team members helps create a positive working environment.
There are numerous established team-building methods, from specifically designed activities and events to informal get-togethers where employees can learn more about each other.
Each activity offers a proven route towards a happier, more motivated and more productive virtual team while encouraging employees’ professional development.
A harmonious work environment is vital to running a successful company, with a recent study showing a direct link between employee happiness and productivity. With that in mind, a manager must do everything they can to ensure their team is happy at work.
Team building has many benefits. Not only does it lead to improved relationships between employees, but it can also enhance individual skills such as leadership and planning.
Successful team building can also lead to a more motivated workforce – and it is easy to see how a tight-knit, motivated, and highly skilled team will deliver better results for your company.
By encouraging your employees to communicate effectively, develop trust in one another and work together as a team, you will foster a positive atmosphere that should increase your company’s productivity. These are all things that are all big challenges in a virtual world.
A particular challenge is integrating new people into a team. Icebreakers are a great way to introduce them and start the process. However, you will need to think of other ways to build on this and help them develop meaningful relationships with other team members.
To summarise, team building offers several critical advantages to your company:
Historically, the concept of team building has focused on face-to-face communication, building relationships through social interaction either within the workplace or at an outdoor event.
The recent increase in remote working means team building is more important than ever, but managing a virtual team provides a unique challenge. After all, how can your team bond effectively if employees are rarely in the same room?
Virtual team building operates entirely online, using remote team building activities to improve your employees’ communication skills and encourage greater teamwork. These events can be anything from structured activities to develop skills to casual chats over video conferencing software.
Through the implementation of these strategies, employers can ensure that team morale stays high. This, in turn, will lead to a more efficient and successful business.
Having established what virtual team building events can offer and why they are important, you should consider what type of activity would suit your business.
There are many virtual team building activities available, each with its own unique set of benefits.
Here are a few popular options that you may wish to consider:
The after-work social on a Friday night has long been considered a team-building staple, but it isn’t for everyone. Prior engagements, childcare responsibilities or even the onset of a worldwide pandemic can make an evening in the pub impossible.
A virtual team social provides a more convenient opportunity to socialise with workmates away from the stresses of the job, allowing colleagues to get to know each other better.
Whether colleagues enjoy the fun, competitive atmosphere provided by virtual team building games or just want to meet for a casual chat, virtual team events offer an easy way for employees to bond and build team morale.
The remote host invites employees to a virtual room where they can interact via video (or audio if they prefer), helping to foster a positive, collaborative environment.
One of the most popular in-person team-building exercises is the escape room. In an escape room, you solve a series of clues to unlock the door of the room in which you’re trapped.
Escape rooms require problem-solving skills, communication and teamwork, making them an ideal option for team building – and they translate to the virtual world seamlessly.
Virtual escape rooms take place through video conferencing. They split your employees into competing teams and introduce them to a fictional setting that they must ‘escape’ from.
Teams must complete their escape as quickly as possible, with puzzles designed to encourage cooperation between players in a fun but challenging way.
By working as a team focused on a shared goal, players develop interpersonal skills that transfer to the workplace.
One good way to build morale and help employees understand each other better is to set up a virtual club.
Book clubs have always proven popular, but virtual clubs can just as easily be based around movies or even television programmes – the key is finding a subject that everyone is interested in discussing.
Discussion of shared interests is an effective way of increasing trust and rapport between colleagues. It can also help to boost team morale by allowing people to engage with their passions in a social setting and learn more about their colleagues.
Any activity that encourages team members to collaborate will offer spillover benefits during work. You will find that people will naturally become more collaborative at work as well.
Hosting a quiz as part of a virtual team social is a particularly effective way of encouraging collaboration between colleagues while also providing a fun setting that will boost morale.
While in-person quizzes can be great fun, some people find the competitive element intimidating, particularly when prizes are available.
A virtual quiz’s more relaxed environment can help bring quieter staff members out of their shell.
You can even create bespoke quizzes based on people’s interests, helping everyone feel like they are part of the team.
Murder mysteries provide an excellent platform for team building. They allow colleagues to interact socially and do so in a fun, competitive context that encourages teamwork and lateral thinking.
Virtual murder mysteries work in a similar way to their real-world equivalents.
The remote host sets the scene, explaining that a murder has taken place and providing you with a series of clues.
While working in teams, employees are encouraged to collaborate and discuss their thoughts to solve the case.
Virtual team games of this type have been shown to improve communication and inspire greater creativity in employees, leading to a more efficient, productive business.
Keeping your team happy and motivated is essential to running a successful business, and, as we have seen, team-building exercises have a proven positive effect on office morale.
Remote working poses a challenge to your business, but it also brings new opportunities. The flexibility it provides allows everyone in your team to engage with virtual team building activities – you just need to find the right one that suits your team’s needs.
With such a wide range of virtual team events, games, and activities at your fingertips, the opportunity to increase your team’s motivation, morale, and cohesion is at your fingertips.
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