Virtual team building – the recommendation that addresses companies to furthermore let their employees work from home gets extended over and over. It will still take a while until a normalisation in working as usual occurs. In today’s article we want to show how to unite a team by the help of participating in online team events.

Working from home is quite a challenge for teams. It means only seeing each other online, working together virtually and being on ones own. According to surveys, this way of working quickly leads to subliminal conflicts and misunderstandings which in turn may cause disturbance within the team.

The more important are team activities today. They encourage the feeling of togetherness and provide a motivating change. Some hosts have specialised in organising such activities for teams virtually. Therefore, they arrange a time for employees to break out from their workplace at home.

Everybody can participate while the communication and having fun together is giving priority. It is ideally as an action for using gestures, mimic, and body language again and for interpersonal relations among the team taking place.

Although it may not replace small talking in the hallway or kitchen, it can be seen as a first opportunity to become closer and connecting through emotions and fun again!

Virtual team building: some opportunities despite the lockdown

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Virtual team activities forge a bond

Although now, it is not possible to organise team activities in fancy hotels with modern spas, companies should consider how to fit team building methods in the daily working routine at home anyway. They would take care of maintaining or even increasing the motivation and team spirit.

After all, there are new employees joining the team during Covid too. They can only catch on if they experience the whole team as a unit and are able to re-orient themselves altogether.

Organising a team activity virtually seems almost impossible for most people, but it is not. Several hosts have specialised on that and offer parcels perfectly suitable for initiating a virtual team activity happening out of the employees living rooms or kitchen.

These include creative sessions taking place through the various software providers for video conferences. Therefore, working in groups is possible ensured by meeting in a break room. But some real activity with the team which no one will forget means even much more. And it is definitely possible in a virtual way!

One exemplary host is Heycater. They offer a catering service, so everyone can sit in front of the monitor and unwrap his lunch parcel or dinner and enjoy together. To round this off, excellent wines, beers or a gin tasting are offered as a highlight.

An alternative would be a wine tasting of several hours that is presented by winegrowers. Beside the actual online activity, waiting for the parcel stuffed with delicacies in anticipation is quite nice. In such case, everybody receives it at home and can therefore get in the mood for the event.

Yoga sessions or a spiritual and virtual trip are also very popular. Just like a mediation session, they lead to a brand-new feeling of team spirit.

When action is desired for the team and therefore strengthening the cooperation and achieving specific goals, a virtual paperchase or online escape room might be appropriate. From this, everybody will profit for sure and at the same time share experience together which will be remembered for a long time.

There are many different possibilities for a virtual team event. Doesn’t matter if it is a challenge, focuses on culinary delight or relaxation. Most important is the appropriate organisation and to send an official invitation in advance to everybody. Plus, to set a virtual agenda to give it some structure. This ensures that the implementation succeeds, and everyone knows what to expect. It should also be made clear how to prepare for it from home. This will ensure that everybody has the necessary food, drinks, or other things ready and can set themselves up appropriately at home.

Musik hören am Arbeitsplatz - ist das erlaubt?

If the team event is well-organised, every employee working from home will want to attend.
Foto: UBER IMAGES / fotolia.com

 

In addition, technical requirements should be clear and tested in order to single persons not withdrawing due to their insecurity. Participants should have the required media at ready and in fully working order. If necessary, access to virtual reality rooms and break rooms and the use of the whiteboard as well as sharing the screen should be tested. What can’t be missing too is the corresponding access for each participant.

A team event should also start with a good icebreaker that reveals something new about the participants, away from everyday life so that the barrier is as low as possible right from the start. Activators are also important to keep everyone in a good mood and attentive, because sitting in front of the PC also requires breaks for activation, as you might know from seminar rooms.

The ordering of food and drinks, as well as the dispatch, must be well planned and preferably done just in time, especially in case of food. A good moderation is also important, as this is the only way to ensure that the event retains its structural framework and unleashes its full effect. It also guarantees that everyone is equally integrated and gets to speak and act during the event.

Meetings should be well timed and not too long, but still allow enough time for greetings, farewells, and time for social talks.
Virtual team events are beneficial for all teams, whether small or large. Here, employees share a common experience, far away from the daily routine.

This creates positive moments and feelings of happiness. In addition, one or two things usually happen that you can smile about together for quite some time. After all, mastering Covid and working from home is also an achievement that can be celebrated together and that will certainly be talked about long. For the team, it can be a lasting bonding experience.

Provider tools and requirements for virtual team events

The positive effects of virtual team buildings are obvious. Having fun together and getting to know each other in a new situation strengthens the team and increases motivation. It also shows the employer’s appreciation for the work done, which makes it all the more fun.

The range of virtual team events is diverse. For example, Theyo offers a chocolate tasting, where you not only learn a lot, but also your senses of delight can be satisfied. The beautifully wrapped package and the participant documents are sent in advance and whet the appetite for more. Lovingly designed information and delightfully wrapped chocolate bars stimulate the senses.

Those who are planning a larger dinner can send a cooking box to all team members. This cooking event involves chopping vegetables together, preparing the ingredients and the 3- or 4-course menu, which, after being prepared with a laptop in the kitchen, can finally be enjoyed online with colleagues in a nice place with candles and flowers.

Of course, there are also creative team-building measures. These include painting courses, for example, where the techniques for a painting of Monet or a special graphic representation are taught and then transformed into a work of art. The equipment comes to the house in advance and at the end of the event there can be a raffle for the best painting or a draw to see who wins which painting.

Virtual events such as a pub quiz or riddles created by colleagues can also be fun. These can also be used to great effect between the individual courses of a menu and can extend and amuse the shared virtual evening perfectly.

Which team event suits which occasion is up to the individual. The key thing is that it is fun, appreciates the work of the employees and stimulates creativity. This automatically creates moments of happiness that strengthen the sense of togetherness and, incidentally, the team spirit.

Because fun and joy can also be experienced virtually and bring people together again. Because in the end, it is the time spent together and doing something together that brings people closer together and allows them to learn more about each other. At the same time, it ensures more productivity, solidarity and fun at work.

The post "Virtual team building: events for remote teams in terms of Covid19" written by:

Stephan Forstmann

Experte für Home Office und gesunde Büroarbeit

Stephan is from Dresden, Germany. He is a founding member of Deskonia since 2009.

Stephan is a home office worker since 2013 and became a home office expert. He shares his experience and publishes various tutorials for a better life at the office und creates tutorials on topics like ergonomics and communication.

In private, he is also very passionate about photography. He loves to chat about photography-gear and composition an. Stephan also published a lot of photography tutorials.

If you want to get in touch with Stephan, you can easily reach him via e-mail: forstmann@bueromoebel-experte.de.

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