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It is incontrovertible that the 21st century dramatically transformed our daily activities including the day-to-day work life. 

However, constantly growing cloud computing makes the whole thing easier and far simple. 

Unlike earlier, now professionals and teams can collaborate in real-time using collaborative mechanisms. The utilization of these collaboration tools suddenly spiked after the outbreak of COVID-19 as employees started preferring the work from home strategy in order to make social distancing. 

But forming a team bond without breaking the rule of social distancing isn't an easy process. 

On one side, the online world made things easy going for businesses, but on the other, online-first environment makes it difficult to form a strong relationship.

If you are also handling a virtual team (which is quite common nowadays) and want to build a solid relationship, here are some tips for you to follow:

What is Virtual Team Building? 

Virtual team building is a continuous process of bringing the remote employees together with the help, in order to induce profound bonds that help to create collaborative and enjoyable work culture as same as in-office. 

Why is Virtual Team Building Important? 

Remote work means the physical distance between the team members gradually turns into the emotional distance with isolation. Once team members started feeling isolated and get accustomed to working in silos, it can become troublesome for them to work along with their fellow teammates.

And this is why virtual team building is crucial to create an effective remote environment that remote workers can rely on.

Tips to Organize Virtual Team Building:

The virtual team-building process encompasses several strategies and activities. These strategies and activities more likely help teams to connect profoundly even after being virtually present. 

Let’s focus on the tips to organize virtual team building.

Tip #1: Set the effective communication strategy 

One of the fundamental pillars to establish excellent virtual team building is communication. Thus, an effective communication strategy is required to keep your employees on the board. 

Communication acts as the most prominent component when the whole team is physically not available at a single place. The communication element goes to the upper level with remote workers. 

In order to motivate, encourage, empower, coordinate with your team, and bring transparency, communication is a must. 

Unlike the non-remote days, employees are unable to socialize at lunchtime, by the coffee machines, and missing the water cooler conversations. In a study of 70 virtual teams, almost 82% fell short of their goals, and 33% rated themselves as often unsuccessful. 

Your communication should be spin around the below points: 

  • Share the information that is accurate and relevant. 
  • Data should be presented in a clearer way so everyone can understand. 
  • Information should be delivered to each employee who is entitled to it. 
  • Provide training to your employee for communication skills.

Tip #2: Invest in the right communication tool/technology 

The office environment creates an easy way to communicate, but communication amongst the virtual team is the biggest challenge for the employer as we discussed above. 

Without having face-to-face interaction, transferring the small things broadly hits the bottom line of productivity. Thus, that is why having functional communication technology is essential for your dispersed team.

Before choosing any communication tool for your remote team, make sure that it has the following functionalities:

  • A great video conference software must have excellent features to conduct virtual meetings amongst remote employees. Some of the best video conference tools are Google Hangouts, Zoom, Meet, and Skype.  
  • Instant messenger is the tool where a remote team can quickly message each other and efficiently perform the activity of sharing and communicating via chat. This helps employees to build a continuous relationship and ensure continuous conversation.
  • Another thing that you should include in the list is meeting scheduling. This allows remote team members to stay updated about the upcoming meetings.   
  • Sharing and saving documentation is the massive segment of remote work in order to deliver the information to each individual. Thus, choose the tool with a wide range of resource accessibility.  Google Drive is the highly used resource accessibility software.

Tip #3: Give weightage to virtual team building activities 

Work from home might be the fresh thing for the heap of employees, and adopting new things is never a cinch. To make your employees feel comfortable with the new trend of remote work, team building activities are the best approach. 

Virtual team building activities on a regular basis, help the workforce to adopt the new working lifestyle quickly. Also, it diminishes the negative impact of online work cultures such as being unable to form a thick line between the personal and professional lives, loneliness, and the stress of ongoing global cases. 

According to Gallup research“Virtual team-building exercise leads to an increase in employee performance rate, claims 41% lower absenteeism and 21% higher profitability.” 

Here are some benefits of virtual building activities: 

  • Increases the productivity 
  • Support innovation management 
  • Promote remote force collaboration 
  • Boost employees’ morale 
  • Encourage visibility 
  • Reinforce the new work culture

The benefits of virtual team-building activities are substantial. Hence, if desire to create a productive and motivated virtual team, consider day-to-day virtual activities that improve the employees’ productivity and help achieve the organization's smart goals. 

Prefer the virtual team activities according to your team size and a particular time of activity session. 

Tip #4: Appreciation matters the most 

Remote employees require more appreciation compared to in-office employees. To maintain the balance between the professional and personal lives, remote employees need much more appreciation and recognition from the team.

Another reason for the need of appreciation is the on-going pandemic we all are going through. Where all four walls are full of negative news and circumstances, even the smallest gestures of appreciation go a long way.

If not significant, this recognition and appreciation definitely create a difference in their working life. 

Appreciation for their work and action not only define their healthy functioning but also reflect your gesture of caring toward them. 

Here is the list of some exciting virtual team building activities: 

  • Four facts and a fib 
  • Escape room 
  • Scrabble scramble 
  • Lost at sea 
  • Icebreaker quizzes 
  • Team travel quiz 
  • Remote chain reaction 
  • Personality test 
  • Code break 
  • One word and I’m in 

Many more virtual team activities are available over the internet; you just need to do some research.

Final Thought about Virtual Team Building 

Above are the 4 most prominent tips to organize virtual team building. These tips will help you to form a strong bond and close links between the team members. Which, in turn, will increase employees' motivation, and they'll encourage each other and enhance collaboration.  

Virtual team-building exercise is the key element for improving communication, trust and enhancing creativity, and decreasing the possibility of conflict and dispute. Moreover, these exercises allow a virtual team to understand each other in a better way. 

Virtual team building also reduces the feeling of isolation, anxiety, and depression in a remote team. Thus, team-building exercises are equally important for a virtual team to build trust and increase team effectiveness. 

To know more about creating a holistic remote work environment, you can check out our Remote Hiring 101 guide here.

Pankaj Deshmukh
Pankaj Deshmukh
Pankaj Deshmukh is in the field of digital marketing. He works with imocha and produces content for the variety of blogs that cover topics from recruitment, social media hiring & candidate assessment. He believes that learning is never ending process and stays updated with the latest trends that are useful for producing valuable content.
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Topics: Remote Hiring

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