Team building is essential in any work environment and it becomes more of a necessity in remote teams due to the lack of or minimal physical interaction which can be isolating and lonely.
While there are people that foster relationships easily, there are others that need help connecting with other colleagues.
In supporting professional relationship building in your virtual world, it is necessary to establish and maintain a positive and open-minded company culture. This will be a great foundation for rolling out various team-building activities which will also help boost the morale of your team and create a sense of togetherness. Depending on the goal, team-building activities can take a variety of forms.
Here are different team-building methods and ways to implement them in your virtual workplace.
Problem-solving and communication-based team building
These first two methods are interlinked and are all about getting your team working together to achieve a common objective as well as challenging them on an intellectual level. Teams get to know and assess each other’s strengths and can use them when collaborating for great results. A perfect example of an activity here would be online escape rooms. This puts the team in a situation where they need to communicate with each effectively and clearly and collaborate with each other to escape their ‘prison’. There are several escape rooms available on numerous sites such as:
Skill-based team building
In cases where your team needs to improve certain skills such as communication, leadership, conflict management, etc., this type of activity could just be what you need to kill two birds with one stone; improve your team’s skills while they bond. You can either contract an external person to deliver training or find an online training session for example Masterclass and watch the needed sessions together. If not covered in the session, have the team engage in a practical session together afterward to build their communication and teamwork.
This type of activity may cost and so you need to evaluate the need and expected outcome or gain before you jump in.
Companies can also encourage and give employees experienced in a subject matter the opportunity to deliver training to their colleagues. People often find it easier in some cases to acquire a new skill or knowledge when it’s taught to them by their colleagues. This may be due to the fact that they find the trainer more relatable.
Sometimes all that is needed to improve working relationships is to spend time with your colleagues in a relaxed environment. Having virtual social activities such as:
Workout; there are countless workout videos you can use on YouTube by sharing your screen with the team and working out together.
Movie Nights; video streaming apps like Amazon prime video provides a watch party feature or use Netflix and press play at the same time while on a virtual call with the team. Yes, that second one could spell disaster but hey, where’s your sense of adventure? There are now loads of other watch party apps available so select what works best and have fun!
On the off chance that you find clusters of teams in particular geographical areas, you can explore some in-person activities such as team dinners, hiking, and paintball to name a few.
It is essential for business leaders to invest in team building. The most obvious thing that comes to mind when we talk about invest is money but this also includes time. There may not be high adoption of certain activities if leadership is absent from them. Taking out time to engage with your team in certain activities like team bonding tells them you care enough and are willing to go the extra step to get to build better relationships with them outside of work.
Leaders or culture drivers cannot build that connection if people do not want to get involved so remember, although you work remotely, you’re not an island. Building camaraderie amongst teams takes an “all hands on deck” effort.