The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the creation of global, fully remote businesses and digital transformation. Nowadays, it is common for someone to join a company and never meet their colleagues in person. As such, it’s more important than ever to emphasise positive virtual team building.
Team building virtually brings challenges but can lead to great results. Read on to find our ideas and suggestions to help you run events smoothly.
Why Is Team Building Important?
Communication is vital to ensuring a team works together effectively and productively. That can only happen if individuals feel comfortable around each other and are able to express their ideas.
People might find it harder to build a connection with their colleagues remotely. The naturally occurring office interactions (bumping into someone at the coffee machine, having lunch, etc) are obviously inexistent virtually. It’s important to make the time for these casual chats to happen even virtually for teams to get acquainted on a personal level.
Working remotely, especially if it isn’t a choice, can be isolating and lonely. Virtual team building activities can counteract that. Team building also can develop trust between individuals and improve team efficiency.
How to Run Virtual Team Building Events Effectively?
It’s tempting to select an activity for a virtual team building event and just go into it unprepared. This might be successful, but it could also lead to awkwardness, individuals losing interest, and just not realising the full potential of the event.
Below, we’ve listed a few things which can help you plan the perfect activity for your team:
- Define objectives. Is the aim of the task for people to get to know each other? To work on negotiation skills? Selling? Communication? Choose a goal and communicate it to the participants.
- Set aside enough time. A quick game to introduce team members will take a lot less time than an intricate sales workshop, for example. Make sure you’ve set aside enough time in your employees’ days for them to make the most of the activity.
- Focus on the activity. As much as possible, tell your team members to turn phones off, stay off emails or messaging apps, and focus on the task. You might think it’s obvious but telling staff it’s okay not to work during the activity will make sure they don’t.
- Consider the participants. Not every activity will work for everyone. Some people might be more introverted and not feel as comfortable speaking up as others. Some people might not get popular culture references from your home country. Before you decide on an activity, make sure you take all these factors into account. Divide teams into groups so everyone has the time and capacity to speak. Avoid any topics not everyone will be familiar with.
Virtual Team Building Ideas
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next virtual team building event, we’ve compiled a list here:
- Outsource to an external provider. In our age of remote teams and virtual businesses, there are plenty of companies specialising in team building activities. Teambuilding is just one of them: they organise a range of games, icebreakers and fun activities.
- Trivia and quizzes. A classic, but one that will unite players into teams and encourage camaraderie. You can make a themed quiz specialised in your area of work.
- Show and tell. This is best suited to small teams who are trying to get to know each other. Each participant chooses one or two objects they love and explains the backstory behind them to the rest of the team.
- Escape rooms. There are plenty of providers of online escape rooms and mystery games. They are stimulating, encourage collaboration, and most of all, they are great fun!
- Building a story. Think of this as a more elaborate game of Mad Libs. Someone kicks off by saying the first line of a story, and participants take turns to continue it
- Guess the personal fact. Prior to the event, ask everyone to send in a few facts about themselves. Anonymise them and make people guess which fact belongs to who.
- Brainstorm solutions to simulated problems. Debate issues and topics big or small, ranging from Pizza vs Pasta to simulated PR crises.
Here at EWOR, we think a community is one of most important things for budding entrepreneurs. As well as great resources and practical advice, our programmes give you access to a network of like-minded individuals, wherever you are in the world.