For most companies, 2020 started on a high note. Productivity was high, the economy was rolling along, and employee morale washigh. Then Covid-19 hit. The economy tanked, and millions of workers lost their jobs. Those that still held onto their positions were now working remotely, especially office workers.
A recent global workplace analytics report found that 30 million employees work from home at least once a week in the US. They also predict that that by 2022, up to 60% of office-based employees in the US may be working from home. The pandemic has placed a cloud of uncertainty on the horizon. The fear of Covid-19 and its repercussions has lowered employee morale.
Humans Crave Social Interaction
Workplaces and co-workers are negatively affected by the pandemic. Teammates are missing the camaraderie of their coworkers. Gone are the days of chatting around the water cooler or taking a break with work friends. It’s affecting people’s psyche. Study after study shows that social interaction is essential to humans. Social interaction affects every aspect of our health. Before Covid-19, there were conventions to attend, in-person meetings, and team-building events that boosted team morale. However, how organizations conduct team building activities in the Covid-19 era looks so much different today.
Now that we’re several months into Covid-19, we’re getting used to a rush of changes. We’re not just getting more comfortable with our new remote work situation. People are learning to communicate via Zoom and other video conferencing apps. It’s also changing the virtual team building landscape. One thing about team building that hasn’t changed is the power it has to boost employee morale.
Virtual Team Building in the New Normal
Managers, leaders, and team leaders all know that it’s always essential to build long-term relationships. They also know that team-building activities engage employees and uplift morale for remote employees.
There’s lots of power in teamwork! A 2015 Gallup study shows that a “highly engaged leadership team can boost employee engagement by up to 39%. Company leaders can improve engagement by setting individual and company goals in collaboration with employees, being transparent about company progress and creating a company culture.”
When organizations invest in virtual team building, they tend to have a more creative workforce, better communication, and a more productive environment overall. Virtual team building events are a solution to bringing people together in the virtual space. Here’s what the experts have learned about the top virtual employees:
Good virtual teammates will have the following traits:
- Share information (19%)
- Collaborative (18%)
- Proactively engaged (17%)
- Organized (14%)
Virtual team building events can help companies hold onto their top virtual employees! The remote workforce is thirsty for human interaction, and virtual team building activities can help fill the void.
Challenges of Virtual Team Building in 2020
Communication is the key to success when it comes to virtual team building. That’s why it’s so important to have a steady internet connection. Because some video conferencing apps have limitations on how many can attend, it’s also wise to pick a video conference app that can handle the number of employees.
Other challenges include misunderstandings, which typically arise from miscommunication. Then there is a lack of clarity and direction, difficulty with the delegation, and a bunch of second-guessing.
Online Team Building Activities for Remote Teams
Remote team building comes in many forms. Experts that study companies confirm that online team building activities can help boost morale for remote employees. Plus, virtual team building events can help make remote teams as tight-knit as working on-sight. Of course, the challenge is in finding virtual team building activities that have a vision and a company that can make the virtual team building event a success.
Organizations and team leaders may want to consider the following virtual team building activities:
Online Office Games: Games are fun, no matter how or where you play them. SpyGame from AdVenture Games team building is one such game that any remote worker can play. SpyGame is a leadership activity and workshop game that, according to their website, tests and builds each participants’ skills at strategizing, cooperating, and thinking on their feet. Other office games to consider including having typing-speed races and even having remote teams create spreadsheet pixel-art.
Virtual Happy Hour: Yes, the good ole days of meeting up at a bar/grill for happy hour are on hold. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get together and have a drink. You can still have social time, only now it’s a home, at a safe social distance.
Virtual happy hour allows teammates to share how they’re doing outside of work. Happy hour with co-workers is a great way to build camaraderie, whether you’re mixing a margarita or sipping on tea.
Virtual Yoga or Fitness Class: Bust out the yoga mat! Keeping fit is an essential part of any daily routine. During the Covid-19 era, exercise is especially vital for good physical as well as mental health.
Because of social distancing and Covid-19 restrictions, getting your workout on is a bit more challenging.
However, if you’re all about being social while working out, you can host a live group with your co-workers. Doing this can also encourage healthy habits. Plus, it’s always cool when you have someone else supporting you do get fit, no matter where you are in your exercise journey.
Start a Book Club: Starting a book club is an easy team building activity. It’s also a great way to connect with your remote teams to discuss stories and how they made you feel.
Harry Truman once said that “leaders are readers,” so it’s a good idea to encourage reading on a company-wide level; it can set your organization up for success!
Remote Team Bingo: Bingo! You can break up the workday playing virtual bingo!
This fun virtual team building activity builds trust and, of course, is lots of fun! Instead of using numbers, try making the squares related to your work area situation at home.
Ideas for squares can include things remote workers do daily, such as:
“Did you wear pajamas to a video meeting?”
“Used an emoji in an email”
“Took a stroll to stretch your legs”
“Did you see someone other than a co-worker in a video conference?”
These are all fun ideas that are sure to bring on the laughter.
Talent Show Competitions: Can you balance on your head? Play the guitar? Juggle more than three objects?
Talent show competitions are a great way to show the skills your co-workers never knew you had!
These are just some of the ways to bring virtual teams together.
So, whether you choose to do virtual team-building events yourself or hire a professional team building company, you’ve got options.
Hire an Experienced Virtual Team Building Organization
Things are far from normal, no matter what you do. The good news is that there are innovative ways to bring positivity into the remote workplace. Virtual team building activities can be a great way to get your teams to interact with each other, even if they’re working 100% remotely. You can learn more about organized team building activities and how they can help boost productivity and morale for remote employees.
AdVenture Games and their team of masterminds have conducted team building for smart people since 2005. They’re taking the baton and helping build incredible teams, pre-Covid-19 and beyond. Learn more about our remote and virtual team building games here or simply request a quote, we’d be happy to help.