In a time when more and more jobs are becoming semi or fully remote, it may seem like it’s harder to really connect with your coworkers. After all, if we’re all working from home, how are we supposed to build meaningful connections with the other people on our team? Thankfully, there are ways to bring your team closer together, even if you’re not doing so in person. Virtual team building activities and events come in a variety of forms, and they can be a great way to bring your team closer together in a remote work environment. Read on to find out what exactly it means to host a virtual team building event, and how they can benefit your remote workplace.
What Is Virtual Team Building?
The goal of any team building exercise is to bring your team closer together through some sort of activity or challenge. This can come in many forms, and a team building event can range from everyone attending some sort of facility or event to just simply getting a meal together. Sometimes these events are meant to help your team members learn a new skill. Regardless of what the specific goal is, every team building event should be both fun and engaging for your workers. They’re meant to be just as stress-relieving as they are educational. Virtual team building can be just as engaging and fun as regular team building exercises. Instead of attending an event, or going somewhere, everyone simply needs to log onto their computer and be ready to engage with their teammates virtually. If there are new members on your team, then this can be the perfect time to get everybody to say a little something about themselves to break the ice. You can also have your workers research a topic that excites them and then have them present it to their colleagues so they get a chance to spread their knowledge about something they’re happy to talk about. You can even share a meal online. Have everyone bring their lunch, or a coffee to the zoom call and chit-chat with their coworkers once in a while. Even something small like this can help bring your team closer together.
Virtual Team Building Benefits
Many amazing benefits can come out of hosting virtual team building events. Everything from the work output of your team to each member’s mental health can be improved by planning some virtual team building events.
Whether you’re the head of your team, or not, it can be hard to cultivate workplace connections in a remote role. Even in the office it doesn’t just happen overnight and cultivating these relationships can take time. Virtual team building events give everyone a chance to formally meet in a stress-free environment, which can open the door to the creation of workplace connectivity. Once everyone on the team is properly acquainted, it can be a lot less isolating for someone who’s working at home. Once they put a face to the screen, it can help the team feel more connected, which is always going to be a positive thing for any workplace environment. These online events can also involve every member of your department. If your workplace has fully committed to a remote setting, then it’s quite possible that you have teammates that live in far-off places around the country, or even around the world. If these events are timed properly, you can end up fostering connections between people that live miles and miles apart from one another. That’s the best part about remote team building events specifically, no one needs to do anything tiresome to attend them. No traveling, no major time commitments, just a fun, online event that’s easy to attend as turning on the computer.
Once everyone has formally met, it’ll be a lot easier for everyone to collaborate and communicate when it comes to any future projects. When everyone has gotten to know one another, even in a remote setting, it’ll be a lot less anxiety-inducing to reach out to another member of the team for help on a collaborative project. Zoom calls may be less intimidating when you’ve seen someone outside of a professional setting, even though it still a good idea to look professional on Zoom. You’ll be more familiar with someone’s personality once you’ve seen them in a virtual team building session, which will make it easier to work with them. Also, many of these sessions can feature some sort of leadership or teamwork training. Even in a remote setting, this will allow everyone to get a better idea about what it means to work as a team.
Many virtual team building sessions involve some sort of fun activity. Letting your workers cut loose and just enjoy some relaxing events together can be a great way to improve the overall morale around the virtual workspace. Hosting something like a virtual office Olympics will not only get employees involved but will also help develop relationships between coworkers. Try to host these events on a semi-regular schedule so that everyone has something to look forward to. These events should be a way for your team to relieve some stress and make some new friends, so you should definitely see some improvement in the mood of the office if you host them often enough.
Creates An Overall Positive Work Environment
To add onto the point about morale, relieving stress among your workers is a great way to create a more positive work environment. No matter which field you work in, virtual, and physical office life can be exhausting. When tensions get high, it can be easy for people to lose patience with one another. Virtual team building events can help create a positive work environment for your team. This will ensure that everyone continues to work with an optimistic outlook.
With all of this improved morale and positivity, you're bound to see a boost in the overall productivity of your department. Workers who participate in virtual team building events are typically able to get back to work in a more meaningful way due to their newfound connectedness. They’ll be more willing to work together in a more efficient way if they know each other better. If you’re willing to give your staff a much-needed break once in a while they’ll be more willing to work harder in return. Treating your workers with respect and helping them connect with one another can only help your work output. Another benefit that can come from these events is an increase in creativity among your workers. When your workers build new relationships with one another they’ll be exposed to new ideas and that could lead to them looking at things from a new perspective. Giving your workers a fresh perspective is a great way to boost their productivity and it gives them a new way to approach obstacles at work.
Mental Health Benefits
It’s no secret that mental health awareness has slowly been on the rise for the past few years, and for good reason. Working a full-time job can bring on a number of stressful situations that can negatively impact someone’s mental state over time. Remote working, though it has its perks, can also add to someone’s mental health struggles. Feelings of isolation from one’s coworkers and feelings of loneliness run rampant in the remote work world. That’s another reason why these virtual team building events are so important. Combating feelings of loneliness in your workers is a great way to improve not just their work lives, but also their lives outside of the office. Even just giving them a small social outlet online can be a great way to boost their productivity and overall satisfaction. These events are also great for battling work fatigue. Doing the same job for a long time is sure to bring out some fatigue, and this fatigue can sometimes come on sooner when working from home. Fun online events are great for breaking up the workday, and they give your workers something to look forward to at work. The mental health of your team matters, not just for the sake of productivity, but also for the sake of their overall wellness. These events are a small thing that can be done to help everyone feel a little better about going to work every day.
Virtual team building events are amazing activities that can help you improve the overall condition of your team. With the benefits that they provide to both your team’s productivity, and quality of life, they can bring a much-needed breath of fresh air to your workers. Remote work culture isn’t necessarily new, but it’s definitely more popular now than it has ever been before, and with it has come to a variety of challenges that employers and workers alike are still trying to work through. Though remote work can come with a lot of perks for each individual worker, there are unique obstacles that come with working from home that you simply would not see when working from an office. Virtual team building events can help take some pressure off of your team members as they work their way through what is undoubtedly a very new experience for most of them. Start planning some virtual team building events for your team today.