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The Significance to Create Online Team Bonding Activities to Encourage Teamwork and Improve Communications
Remote work has been characterized as the epitome of employee well-being. There was a euphoria surrounding it when the pandemic began. But it soon faded away as remote work proved more stressful than physical office work. Organizations were appalled at unengaged and stressed employees in remote work.
For example, in the USA, 76% of workers reported feeling burnout in December 2020. This has also led to a great resignation phase in the USA, in which 4 million Americans left jobs in April 2021, with 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July 2021. Employers have thus resorted to retention strategies like pay rises and career advancement proposals. However, monetary strategies can only provide short-term relief to employers and employees.
To build a motivating work culture employers need to identify the root cause of employee stress and focus on building a close knit organizational culture. Team bonding activities can be a great strategy for this. And online team building can be as much creative as offline team building.
For example, online team building games in Singapore have gone from virtual escape rooms to fun cooking classes. These games can be greatly beneficial for reducing stress, engaging employees, or improving team communication. Although there are many ways in which online team building can have an impact on the team, here are the most significant ones:
Improve personal bonds
Effective team communication requires bonds that are beyond routine work. When team members connect personally, they can communicate more openly. In remote teams, there are fewer opportunities than physical teams to exchange personal bonds or get to know each other. There might also be barriers like culture, experience, diversity that prevent team members from interacting comfortably in a remote environment.
Team bonding activities help in breaking these barriers and bringing the team closer personally. Examples of remote team bonding activities that improve personal bonds are ice breakers, virtual parties, Netflix nights, virtual truth or dare, etc.
Employees are more productive when the organizational culture is nurturing and empathetic. When employees believe that their employer is committed to their well-being, they are more dedicated to their employer and motivated to do better. In a remote work setting, employers are often challenged with building an empathetic organizational culture given the fewer in-person meetings. In remote work, thoughtful actions are more impactful than conversations to build the culture.
Organizing online team-building activities, sending gift hampers, being flexible with family time, providing mental health assistance can be great ways to emphasize your commitment to employee well-being and fostering a good organizational culture.
Creates a trustworthy environment
Trust is one of the most important underlying factors in teamwork. Teams that acknowledge values, trust, empathy, and integrity create an environment for openly sharing ideas and collaborating productively. In remote work, although collaboration is mostly being facilitated with technology, an underlying sense of trust can spark engaging conversations.
However, remote teams often interact through scheduled meetings or email. This does not allow for engaging conversations or trust-building exercises. Remote team-building activities enable team members to spark these engaging conversations and build trust.
However, these activities must be organized with a purpose to enhance their benefits. For example, online puzzles may not be great as trust-building activities. But games like a blindfold, activities that involve eye contact communication, or mindfulness activities can be great for trust-building.
Research on remote workers has shown that remote workers are more stressed than office workers. Causes have been attributed to lesser work-life balance, juggling between family and work, and expectations to be always accessible.
Although reducing stress requires more effort from employers, like being empathetic towards family commitments, team bonding activities can help reduce some stress too. When stress is due to overworking or lack of communication with fellow team members, organizing an online team bonding event like a virtual escape room can be a stress buster.
Aligns the team towards a common vision
To be productive, team members need to be aligned with and work towards the organization’s vision. In remote teams, this can sometimes be difficult as remote employees are less connected with the organizational culture.
Therefore, there is a need for more communication, teamwork, and motivation for remote teams. Online team bonding activities like virtual escape rooms, murder mysteries, and other leadership development activities can be great.
Online team bonding activities can have a significant impact on remote teams when conducted with a purpose. Often virtual team bonding activities are considered boring or unproductive. This can be avoided if these activities are carefully planned with a goal. Contrary to common misconceptions, virtual team bonding can be engaging and fun while boosting employee morale.