Due to the pandemic, many companies have employees working remotely. There have been perks and downfalls of remote working, especially regarding team building. Virtual Team building activities turned out to be more challenging to keep employees engaged. “trust falls” don’t work over Zoom.
What is virtual team building?
The term virtual team building means that you create a human connection between team members that are working remotely. It is important that these bonds not only promote teamwork but can also help increase the team’s overall productivity.
How do you do team building virtually? During the pandemic, the best way to connect remote teams is by incorporating virtual team-building activities into meetings. These events help the team members collaborate and problem-solve while creating stronger bonds.
A recent survey on remote work found the pandemic greatly impacted an individual’s view of their employer and team members. Employees feel less connected due to the new barriers in organic collaboration and having less or no direct interaction with managers and co-workers.
The most challenging part of working remotely due to the pandemic is being physically isolated from your coworkers. Working from home as much as it sounds comfortable, it can also make you feel lonely. An office environment has always had a great impact and being void of those built-in opportunities to build trust and bonds with colleagues is all lost. One of the most common repercussions of this is that it can lead to disengagement which furthermore, can result in poor work performances.
Here are 3 ideas for virtual team building activities:
1. The icebreaker questions
Type: casual and motivational
Time: 5 minutes
Tools required: video conferencing
This may feel like the most obvious answer for virtual team building. You need to understand that some of the distributed teams can do an icebreaker at the start of every team meeting in the week. Even though teams have been used to working physically together before the pandemic but virtually it can be difficult and challenging. There are many team building activities on zoom that you can use to start the meeting like a drawing or guess the emoji challenge.
You can start off by using questions such as mentioned below:
- What kind of music you’re listening to?
- What’s your best childhood memory?
- What is your everyday routine at home?
- How are you coping with mental health?
2. Have an online lunch date
Type: real-time, just for fun, on the regular
Time: 60 minutes
Tools required: video conferencing
For this, you can use a team-building app called “Trello”. Once a month or fortnightly, the team links through video conferencing during lunchtime. Team members can either go to their favorite cafés or cook something delicious and enjoy these lunchtime meals face to face with their teammates, however, over the screens of their computers or phones. If you only have 15-20 minutes of free time, no need to worry. It is a great virtual team-building activity to virtually enjoy coffee chats or virtual happy hours. Team members should not talk about work during this time, in fact, focus more on catching up with each other.
3. Socialize over group chat
Type: for fun
Tools required: various virtual apps
Creating a group chat while working remotely is a great idea for virtual team-building activities. It can be an ideal way for distributed teams to stay connected with each other. There is no rule that says that the chats have to remain strictly towards business. applications such as Slack are also known as #social-remote applications where employees working remotely pretty much all company employees during the pandemic can stay in touch and maybe talk about what they had for lunch, compare notes, motivate each other and generally discuss anything they want. One team member may feel demotivated and can share how the remote working routine is taking a toll on their mental health.
Virtual team-building activities have become crucial for employers to keep their employees motivated and maintain the work progress. Remote work can often lead to a decline in work progress but these activities can help keep the morals of your employees high and, in return work consistency is not affected while working remotely.
Read more: How to manage virtual team building in 2021