Virtual Team Building Activities
— December 14th, 2021
Virtual team building is the process of bringing remote teams together and creating bonds between teammates through various communication technologies. According to Gallup, virtual team building activities lead to an increase in employee performance rate, claiming 41% lower absenteeism and 21% higher profitability.
Remote employees often find it difficult to build strong relationships with their co-workers when they never meet in real life. Team building activities help to nurture these relationships while helping to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are common among remote workers.
When virtual teams begin to bond and develop a connection it increases employee motivation, efficiency, and collaboration, making workers more dedicated to their tasks and their organization in general.
According to recent Gartner research, by 2030, the demand for remote work will increase by 30% as Gen Z enters the workforce. This means it’s never been more important for employers to pay attention to virtual team-building activities.
Communications Planning Template for a Hybrid Workplace
Why is team building important?
Effective employee communications distinguish great companies from good companies. Poor communication lies at the root of many problems in the workplace and not only does it lead to big mistakes but often results in conflicts, missed deadlines, and lost opportunities.
This is why it’s essential for employees to learn to communicate effectively. Thankfully, implementing the appropriate team-building activities can greatly improve employee communication skills.
Trust is essential when it comes to building a strong and effective team because it provides a sense of safety. When team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable to open up, take appropriate risks, and expose vulnerabilities. In fact, Google’s study on what makes their teams successful found that the number one factor for team success is psychological safety.
Promotes positive company culture
Company culture can be explained as the values, norms, goals, and attitudes that exist within an organization. Regularly scheduled team-building events help improve a company's culture while providing an effective way for leaders to find out the wants and needs of their employees. Team-building events also help employees build trust, better understand one another and learn to be more effective team players, all of which are essential to cultivating positive company culture.
Makes employees feel valued
Over 91% of HR professionals believe that recognition and reward make employees more likely to stay in their jobs. Employees who feel valued at work are happier, more productive, and less likely to look elsewhere for employment opportunities.
Companies can show their staff members they appreciate them and the work they do in many different ways such as hosting events, volunteer opportunities, retreats, paid time off, awards, etc.
When employees feel valued it:
- Builds trust
- Raises productivity
- Increases morale
- Reduces turnover
- Improves brand reputation
Boosts employee morale
Employees with high morale are engaged, motivated, and efficient. They willingly put in more hours and are more productive on the job. According to Forbes, employees who think they have a positive work-life balance are more productive and dedicated by 21% than those who don’t believe this to be the case.
On the other hand, workers who are under constant pressure from their bosses to meet deadlines will likely suffer from low morale and even burnout. To avoid this, leaders should try team-building activities such as group discussions, online meetings, brainstorming, casual meetup, and more.
Communications for the new world of work
Virtual team building examples
Virtual company events
Virtual company events provide the opportunity for participants to engage in a variety of different team-building activities from the comfort of their own homes. Organizations must remember that virtual company events should be given the same effort and preparation as real-life events. Company events are a great way to build team morale and this is particularly important when it comes to remote workers.
Online office games
Offering workers the opportunity to play fun team games online is a great way to do team building and create meaningful relationships among coworkers as they work from home. Many of the challenges in-office games are specifically designed for remote teams and to help develop the essential skills for working from home.
Online team building games are any games that are played virtually to help foster collaboration and team spirit with employees. Some fun examples include virtual charades, a trivia quiz, and head-to-head sudoku.
Virtual escape room
Online virtual escape rooms are a fun activity that brings teams together while also helping them improve their communication and collaboration skills. To play the game virtually, instead of gathering in groups in person, each player logs into a digital escape room from their remote location.
According to zenefits, some of the most popular themes for digital escape rooms include a prison break, murder mysteries, haunted houses, and fictional stories.
One in 10 Americans says they’re in a book club, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. Putting together a remote book club is probably one of the easiest ways to go about creating a virtual team-building activity as the steps are ultimately the same as hosting an in-person event.
To keep the meeting on track, the meeting leader should make an agenda to outline what the group plans to do throughout, it might look like:
- Greetings and check-ins
- Impressions of the book
- Discussion questions
- Snacks and drinks(virtual, of course)
Any organization seeking to build and maintain a stable remote workforce must understand the significant role virtual team-building activities play in achieving this goal. By implementing fun and collaborative virtual environment where open and honest communications are encouraged, employers will help their teams thrive in their roles no matter where in the world they are working.
Just because remote teams don’t get the same in-person contact that other teams get, doesn’t mean they have to feel disconnected from one another. When virtual teams have the opportunity to bond, it not only makes them better collaborators and team players but increases their overall motivation, value, and connection to their role. This in turn makes them highly dedicated to their tasks and the organization in general.