Your complete guide to virtual team building
What is Virtual team building?
In simple terms, virtual team building is all about helping remote team members connect and improve their teamwork skills using online tools and technology. Typically, it’s the team leader’s responsibility to kickstart activities that facilitate this bonding. These activities can range from icebreakers and games to challenges or even sending fun packages to everyone’s homes. When done effectively, virtual team building not only boosts employee engagement but also enhances the overall job experience for every team member as they build meaningful connections with one another.
Why is virtual team building so important?
Virtual team building activities are not a thing of the pandemic. They were here before, and they are here now. There are simply so many benefits that every single corporate would be glad to have them, if they could find affordable and interesting virtual team meeting fun activities.
We all know the many benefits of online team building activities. Virtual team building activities have all those, and some more too. For those managers who are sitting on the fence, wondering whether to try team building games online or not, let us look afresh at some of these gains.
The first and most obvious of course if boosting employee morale. Virtual team building services always helps team members feel a part of the larger organization. Online team building activities really help corporates build their brand internally. They are one of the best ways to make staff identify with their employer. They build pride in belonging to a particular firm.
This presupposes, of course, the right kind of virtual team building activities. Remote team building activities that just put people on long video calls, in which everyone gets to speak once in a few minutes or more, are not what we refer to at all.
What are the Cost Benefits of Online Team Building Activities Over In-Person Options?
Next comes the cost benefit. Especially for large teams. Until now, their only option was to go to resorts, with all the per person costs of food and travel. A corporate outing to a team outing resort in Bangalore or corporate outing places in Gurgaon definitely has a higher per person cost than remote team building.
When you take a team to a resort, you would buy them breakfast, lunch and high tea. Or at least lunch and hi tea, if you plan that they reach only by mid morning. This is the pattern of a typical corporate team day out. Not all resorts are suited to corporate day outs, you need places that have halls to gather, not for conferences, but just for the team to sit down somewhere, talk and get to know each other. These come at a cost in most resorts, as otherwise they are sold for MICE events.
If you decide to hold activities for team bonding in office, there is still a high cost incurred here. To manage a large group of employees in your office premises, you will need a number of facilitators. One anchor with a megaphone will leave many wallflowers in your team – that is, people who are shy and therefore stay quiet and do not engage. The transport and facilitation fee of such a large team, as well as the logistics involved, such as amplifiers, mics, suitable office spaces etc, also come at a cost to company.
Online team building activities like a virtual escape room, or icebreaker games online, all come at a much lower cost. Physical logistics cost are avoided altogether. Conference rooms and banquet halls need not be blocked. We know of companies where teams have had to wait for days to be able to block a suitable conference hall in office. This is why virtual team building services are more in demand now.
Managing large groups successfully online is not easy. It is quite hard to ensure that a majority of online attendees, if not absolutely all, do keep their cameras on and participate actively. But it can be done, by a good virtual team building services provider with skilled facilitators
what should you do to run a high impact virtual team building programs?
- Find a common time when your team members across different locations can be free. Maximum participation is always key. The larger the attendance from amongst the populace that needs to bond, the better the reach.
- Identify the right virtual team building activities. Or the right provider of these activities. Your session should be fun and interesting. Your team must feel that it was time well spent.
- You could also choose an occasion. Like when your team has more new joinees who need to integrate. Or a day after a long patch of heavy work. Your virtual team building event could even become a celebration of sorts.
- Make sure the activity or games are well structured and planned. They could provide opportunities or reasons why team members should deep their cameras on. Or share information about their passions or skills with colleagues.
- Props and costumes could add to the fun. If they are not going to be hard to find or require your team to go shopping. These could contribute to great team pictures and memories.
We would love to hear more about your own experience of virtual team-building, do add your comments or best practices to our knowledge pool.