So many things have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic began that sometimes it can begin to feel like things will never get back to normal. From canceled holidays to remote working, we can feel very distant from our friends, families, and colleagues.
However, this does not need to be the case. With restrictions easing, it looks like team-building events will be back on the roster. But heading back into a group environment might not be possible for a while.
Offering a virtual alternative is a great idea. Read on to find out more.
It is easy to assume that everyone is available nowadays, but with restrictions easing, people may be busier than you first think. Not to mention that everyone’s workload is different, and some employees may have families to account for before taking part in a team-building activity. Ensure that your whole team is available before choosing a date, time, and activity.
Account for everyone
While thinking about timing, you should also consider the personalities on your team. There are virtual team-building activities for everyone, such as teamtactics.co.uk, from escape room scenarios to cocktail-making classes and everything between. No matter what age and lifestyle bracket your team falls into (and this is likely to be a diverse spread of people), there will be something for them to enjoy. Just try to make sure that no one feels left out if an activity is contrary to what they would usually like.
Split into smaller teams
If you are really struggling to find a time and activity to suit everyone, or you have a large team, a virtual event can actually work to your advantage! You can split into smaller teams for team-building activities, encouraging your employees to bond with each other in a more intimate setting. Don’t worry – you can always finish off your team-building event with a casual Zoom chat at a time that suits everybody.
Relax and enjoy
When you are organizing a team-building event, it can feel pretty stressful. Don’t forget that this is meant to act as a treat and offer some relaxation for teams who may have suffered from isolation over the past few months, or are coming back from furlough. Remember to relax and let your team bond naturally during a fun activity. While we might all be back to the pub together soon, virtual team building is the perfect way to help your team reconnect.
While there is a fine line between asking personal questions and knowing boundaries, a few general questions can be asked. Regularly asking questions that may seem mundane like “How’s the weather?” or talking about nature or neighbors at your respective places can be quite mood-lightening. There might be funny anecdotes that you all can share and have a laugh at. Talking like this about each person’s take on a common topic can bring everyone together. It may be a little unorthodox, but in this COVID-19 situation, such personal connections actually help a lot to relax mentally and psychologically.
Conduct exercises that require physical activity
Sitting in meetings completely bored has been the new norm nowadays. In order to break that routine, conduct some activity that requires active use of hands or legs. An example would be origami. Many people come to meetings expecting something grueling, but a fun episode of origami that takes your mind off other issues would be welcomed. This would also connect people in the meeting as they see or joke about other people’s craft or be proud or praise them and it would be a wonderful and enriching event. These are recommended now because people are never physically active in meetings and this would be quite refreshing.
Conduct healthy discussions
Every team would have a goal. The team needs to be reminded of it constantly and some of them may have creative ideas but they would be hesitant to put them forth. This is even harder in virtual meetings. Hence, creating an atmosphere where people can convey their opinions comfortably is key. This can be done by promoting healthy discussions and assuring them that the meeting is a safe place and it can be taken off the record. This would give them confidence. Do not let virtual meetings stop your team from being hesitant giving their ideas.
Change leadership often
Everyone would have various types of pressures, now that they work from home. Productivity would differ massively. There might be familial issues to attend to, housework, or other commitments and it could be too tedious for them. Hence, healthily switch roles from time to time to allow your team members some breathing space. This can be done weekly and would give some relaxation to everyone. This could be done only during the virtual work-from-home situation and is done only to accommodate personal life issues. This would open up your team to one another and lighten the burden of work for them.
Find out their hidden skills
Work from home requires a few additional skills like being tech-savvy and other extra skills. Some people may or may not have these as they were never required in real life. Now, it is important. Certain aspects of your work depending on the type of work would require skills to handle it from home, make sure you help people learn that. Conduct training sessions online to guide them. There might be a team member who would be adept at it, involve them too in the whole thing. In the end, work is all about learning, and doing this would reduce their confusion and would increase productivity.
In the new normal, brainstorming about team-building is very important. Your team getting comfortable with each other is the biggest step that should be taken. Bringing everyone together to bond over a silly game, fun quiz, or even some personal activity could be the ideal way to ensure that your team is strong, healthy, and happy together, especially in these trying times.