Time to Read: 5 minutes
Virtual Team Building Summary:
- Before COVID-19, remote work is touted as a preferred method of work with employees citing better productivity, loyalty, and more likely to refer potential employees. However, with staff not in office, how do business leaders keep the workforce engaged on a human level?
- Leadership and company culture is the foundation for building a strong remote staff and must be established and lived by.
- Virtual Happy Hours are the most widely practiced form of virtual team building, however, we touch a couple more ideas that will break up the workweek.
Remote work has been the phenomenon of the century. Numerous companies in today’s workforce have taken advantage of this workplace shift. The number of employees who work from home at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010. With that, employees cite benefits, such as better productivity and more likely to stay with the company as well as recommend the company as a great place to work – to name a few.
What It Takes to Achieve Virtual Employee Engagement
Employee engagement starts with culture and leadership. Culture is what fuels employee engagement. With that, it is up to leadership to guide staff and practice good communication and trust. Without communication and trust, a remote team is not set up for success. Communicating behind a screen can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations, which means each member of the team needs to practice effective communication skills when not in a video conference. Nevertheless, face-to-face interaction is the key to maintaining morale and employee relationships. Set leaders up for success by training and providing all the tools necessary to lead and guide the team from afar.
Technology is crucial to a remote work setup as well as maximizing employee accountability and productivity. However, processes and procedures are what will keep the ship smooth sailing, and processes are nothing without enforcement (and reinforcement). These processes aim tp keep business moving but allow for all instances. Think about the various forms of office interaction; watercooler chat, lunchtime walk, desk drop-bys, etc. What tools or processes can be implemented to mimic those instances? Choosing the right tools and implementing the appropriate procedures gives the staff confidence and security in doing their job.
Lastly, it is always the little things that make the biggest impact. Sometimes it might feel like the workload has doubled when working from home – more creative flow, time gained with no commute, etc. The day can easily get away from you. However, it is beneficial to take time and connect with employees on a human level, be it one-on-one or in the team building activities we touch on later in this article. Other practices to consider for achieving virtual employee engagement is to celebrate all the wins (big or small) and show appreciation.
Top Virtual Team Building Activities
In the case of the coronavirus, the entire workforce was sent home. Companies adapted and continued; business as usual, with many implementing team-building activities to keep staff comfortable and engaged during this uncertain time. Here are a few virtual team building activities to shake up the workweek:
- Virtual Happy Hours: This one is easy and most widely implemented. Grab your favorite drink and rejoin your team in the comfort of your home.
- Virtual Lunch Breaks/Coffee Breaks: Grab some grub and join the team for lunch. Another great way to gather with your co-workers and break up the day.
- Training: Ramp up training and learning opportunities. Bring in guest speakers and/or have a different member of the team present on a topic of interest and relevance to the business.
- Company Game Hours: There is a crazy amount of online group games. Turn your virtual happy hour into a company game hour. Think Bingo, Pictionary, Charades, and more!
- Fitness Challenges: What a better way to get moving? Create a challenge for everyone to partake in, such as 30 seconds of pushups every other hour or a Zoom meeting for a desk yoga sequence.
Closing Remote Work Thoughts
As the country re-opens and lockdowns come to an end, will companies stay 100% remote, meet in the middle with flexible work options, or go back into the office?
COVID-19 Updates with Profiles
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