Updated: Jun 7, 2020
Let's be honest, working remotely has some great benefits, from allowing for flexibility to more efficient time use. However, the emotional connections we have with our team members and colleagues is not something that we can easily replace when working from home. It is even so that virtual teams that lack a strong bonding can leave team members feel under-valued which can impact productivity and effective contributions. This way, the physical distance of remote teams can quickly turn into emotional distance, so it’s important to create a safe team culture that virtual workers can rely on.
So what can we do about this? Easy. Spending enough time on strengthening the connection within the team when working remotely. It's key for a successful collaboration as well as an important part of the emotional well-being of your team members.
Benefits of doing online exercises with your team
Firstly, it creates engagement in your meetings. In remote settings, it’s much easier for participants to become disengaged or distracted, just for the simple fact of not being physically present in the space, and the potential of having other tabs open in their browser. It can also be difficult for a facilitator to effectively gauge the energy levels of the room without the benefit of physical cues and body language. Why not shift the dynamics from time to time while doing exercises that work on that team bond?
It helps create empathy in the group. If the participants of your online workshop don’t know each other well, working in a remote environment can be challenging. Furthermore, for those introverts or sufferers of anxiety on your team, speaking up in an online meeting with the whole company present can be daunting. Online team building exercises are great for encouraging people to speak up and engage, and can often help lay the groundwork for more difficult conversations later on. In some online team building energizers, you might end up looking a bit silly, but if you’re doing so with everyone else on your team, it can be an equalizing force that helps people get on the same page. This can be particularly useful if you have people at different management levels interacting in the same session. Seeing your executive team be silly, or working together with your CEO on a simple exercise can really help make those later conversations easier to initiate.
It's fun! Online meetings can be notorious for being a drag. Particularly under challenging circumstances such as self isolation, helping inject some fun and creating space for teams to bond and get to know each other can really help elevate a workshop and make a team more cohesive and motivated.
Good online team exercises are great not only for boosting energy levels but for helping boost the tone of the entire session and improving the perception of remote meetings in your organisation overall. If you are facing tough organisational challenges and have workshop tasks to match, it can be good to provide a counterpoint and balance in your agenda.
Are you convinced that investing in building a strong and safe team online will lead to better results? Go check out our e-book with 20 online team building exercises!