Remote work is becoming increasingly popular and is experiencing a real boom, especially post-pandemic. More and more companies are realizing that their employees don’t necessarily have to go to the office to work. The work culture has changed, from a 9-to-5 job to a new model of work that allows your workplace to be anywhere you are, i.e remote work.
Remote work refers to professional activities that do not necessarily require presence in the office, but can be completed from home or at another location.
However, compared to traditional teams, managing remote teams requires a special approach. The communication and coordination effort is significantly higher with remote work. It is important here that all employees know their tasks, competencies and responsibilities.
Benefits of team building for remote teams
Building trust and relationships
Especially in exclusively virtual environments, it is important to build trust between team members and develop close relationships with colleagues. Team building is exactly the right thing here. Because a long-term successful company depends on teamwork and the ability to build trust amongst team members.
Good starting points are sporting activities that promote team spirit, or group games, as well as group activities such as eating pizza or having a digital coffee session.
Better communication and collaboration
In almost all remote teams there are conscious and unconscious communication barriers, and these need to be filtered out and overcome using team building.
There are many team building exercises and games that aim to improve communication and collaboration within a team and make it more transparent. Team leaders have the opportunity to improve communication within the entire group or the communication between specific team members. Through games and tasks, even group members who otherwise rarely get to speak can develop their communication skills.
Increased motivation and engagement
One of the biggest problems with remote working is that team members feel isolated and disconnected due to the distance. In this case, the aim of team building exercises is to promote a sense of belonging and to highlight common goals. Team building can be used here to motivate and connect employees through shared experiences. Joint excursions promote team spirit and sustainably increase performance.
Better problem solving and creativity
Team building exercises encourage different perspectives and ideas and bring out different skills to find innovative solutions. Companies can benefit from team building activities and company outings if specific goals are set for the respective activities and they are used to promote individual skills.
One exercise, for example, is the so-called “Design Thinking”. Your team will be supported by uncovering problems as a team and developing new solutions in a creative and playful way. Design thinking helps to form and develop your team in different phases.
Stronger team identity and shared goals
Your employees will approach their tasks with much more enthusiasm and motivation if there is a good working environment and atmosphere amongst each other, which is also beneficial for your company. Through team building, you ensure that there is no friction or conflicts among your employees because a sense of unity is created in the group.
In order to carry out successful team building, specific goals for the event should be defined in advance in order to achieve long-term success. This could be, for example, activities to get to know each other better, or for an already existing team, you could do activities to strengthen the bond. This can also make a team even more efficient in all aspects of their job, including boosting productivity when on the road for business.
Strategies for effective remote team building
Regular virtual team meetings
Especially when a team works predominantly remotely and in the home office, it is crucial to set up consistent communication channels. For example, you can introduce regular team check-ins and updates to keep the group in contact and united.
This is especially important in your team’s daily Zoom meeting madness. Calls should be scheduled in advance and not be overwhelming in frequency. Otherwise, you run the risk that the meetings will not only discuss topics and projects, but rather serve as a replacement for the lack of social life in the office or conversations at the coffee machine.
If team members are overwhelmed by the frequency of meetings, managers should accept this and seek a mutual compromise. One suggestion could be, for example, the formation of tandems in which two members of a team always work closely together and discuss and compare their results with another group. This way you promote activity and motivation and your team feels even more connected to each other.
Virtual icebreakers and team building activities
Trust and effective communication play an essential role in increasing the productivity of online teams. This requires effective methods. Virtual icebreakers offer remote teams the opportunity to build trust and understanding, thereby increasing their productivity. The goal is to bring teams closer together and improve collaboration.
Virtual icebreakers are short online games and activities that help members of remote teams connect with each other on a personal level, whether through anecdotes or shared interests. This way you can bring teammates closer together and avoid tension during Zoom meetings. From quiz questions to puzzles to “guess who”, everything is possible here.
Goal setting and shared objectives common goals
In order to motivate team members and increase commitment, it is very important to define goals, and especially common goals. Team goals strengthen cohesion and team culture, and employees can identify with them.
As long as team goals are aligned with relevant company goals, they ensure clarity and transparency and help employees prioritize their tasks. This means everyone can work remotely based on their individual responsibilities.
Defining roles and responsibilities clearly
In order for a team to work well together virtually or remotely, the respective roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined. Team building activities can be used to help teams work better together, taking into account strengths and weaknesses, knowledge and experience. There are different models to help you and your team with the analysis. For example Belbin or Myers-Briggs personality quizzes.
Utilizing collaboration tools and technology
Of course, team building activities can also be used to try out new technologies and tools, such as virtual whiteboards, project management software and travel management platforms. Anything that could promote real-time collaboration and document sharing should be considered here.
More reasons to get going with team buildings
Team building exercises are of central importance for remote teams in order to strengthen team togetherness. Teams must constantly adapt and improve, especially in the virtual world. And working from home or on the go should be no different. As this world of opportunities opens up, it is therefore important to address this topic comprehensively.
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