COVID-19 has completely tossed the current world order and has caused major displacement and disarrangement across geographies.
Countries are following the norms of nation-wide lockdowns and social distancing to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. In a scenario where the concept of a physical workplace seems to be fading (at least for now), employees face the challenge to tuning themselves to the new normal – remote working.
Leaders (and internal communicators!) have to make sure that people can smoothly adapt to this work transition, ensuring employee engagement levels remain high, and employee productivity also does not face an irrevocable dip. This is where remote team building activities step in …
Social distancing and working remotely are not easy transitions for humans. We are social beings after all. Prolonged work from home can make people feel isolated, depressed, lonely, and low on morale. Now, when we look at the present times, we have a few extra challenges:
This is why team building activities and initiatives for remote workers are important, now more than ever. Leaders need to focus on taking up appropriate measures to keep up employees’ spirits and boost employee morale.
Interaction and communication with teams helps strengthen relationships, build trust, and support personal wellbeing. Engaging your remote team in some sort of socializing is an imperative.
Virtual events help reduce feelings of isolation and promote a sense of belongingness. Here are a few team building activities to keep your teams committed and connected:
Ice breakers are a great to ease awkwardness and ensure an engaged audience. When you have virtual meetings, kick the session off with a quick round of ice breakers. This will help to create an instant connection and ward off any awkwardness that may exist. Virtual icebreakers work best when supported by video and sound platforms for seamless and smooth experience. Shy of the camera? Video communication is vital for remote teams, here’s why.
One example of a virtual icebreaker could be to have everyone share something that makes them feel grateful; as well as something that seems like a challenge. This could be work related or at a personal level. Remember the aim is just to break the ice and bring the team closer, in the most congenial way. Here are a few more creative ice breaker ideas to help.
Quizzes are among the simplest ways to get people together. You can manage the process on a videoconferencing tool or a focused quiz tool like Mentimeter, depending on your goal and company size. How do you run the quiz? There are two ways you can go:
The reason why fun and informal sessions are important, is because it lets your employees spend some time with their colleagues and relax in a casual conversation. Allowing such breaks helps people lighten up and better their moods and keep up their productivity.
A tool that can come in handy here is Donut. Donut is an extension made available by Slack that randomly pairs up team members everyone to four weeks so employees can bond one-on-one with a non-work related conversation. Connect, engage, and have fun!
Working remotely can affect the mental, physical and psychological health of employees. Encourage and support your employees to lead a productive, safe and healthy routine while they work remotely.
Advertising company Incubeta, started a daily five-minute afternoon dance party with a dedicated Spotify playlist hosted on Google Hangouts to boost employee morale and health. Have a quick boogie with your colleagues to dance the stress away!
Another idea is from fitness and wellness startup CureFit, which has launched a whole range of workout, meditation, and yoga classes that can be taken from home. Encourage your team to enroll in one of them, some of these sessions are for just 15 minutes. You can also join sessions live, facilitating a greater connect.
An effective team building initiative to bring your remote team together, is to brainstorm on a problem-solving challenge. It’s simple, create a challenging work-related scenario, group your employees in teams, and ask them to collectively work on a solution.
You can either create a fictional scenario, an experience, or something current to the organization. These activities can help participants build management, teamwork and decision-making skills.
It can also prepare you for an unforeseen situation while maintaining cooperation to increase team effectiveness. This becomes all the more important, seeing what’s happening in the world today.
Who knows what kind of challenges businesses might face in the future? At least you’ll be ready for the challenge!
Garima Sharma is a guest contributor for IC Thrive. She is the assessments and surveys lead at GreenThumbs, a recruitment and talent assessment agency. She is a subject matter expert for personality assessments, 360-degree appraisals, employee engagement, and feedback surveys.
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