As organizations have started adapting to a new normal with remote work, employee engagement, collaboration, and cooperation were key concerns for executives. Months into the pandemic, poor employee mental health led organizations to ramp up efforts in connecting with employees better. The search led many organizations to fun virtual team-building activities that boost morale, help in connecting executives with team members, and improve employee mental health. Although virtual team-building activities have existed pre-pandemic, they were not the preferred strategy for employee engagement.
Contrary, to misconceptions and fears that virtual team building is not as impactful as physical team building, virtual activities are intriguing, exciting, and fun. They can also be organized with fewer resources than physical activities. They can be customized for teams of any size spread across geographies. There are many case studies of how organizations of every size from small to large have benefitted from virtual team building.
Here are 4 examples of how virtual team building activities have added value to remote cooperation:
1. Improving employee engagement: Virtual Amazing Race by Jambar Team Building, Singapore
Singapore-based Jambar Team Building has conducted a unique virtual team building activity, “Amazing Race” in December 2020 for their client Swiss Re. The organization’s objective was to boost employee morale and engagement amid the pandemic. With over 200 participants Swiss Rethought it was challenging to host an engaging, convenient, and fun activity virtually.
When they approached Jambar Team Building, they hosted a unique virtual activity that not only achieved their objectives but also made it memorable for the team members. During the activity participants were creatively engaged by being assigned specific roles, traveling to different destinations virtually, and learning about the culture while completing a set of challenges. This ensured 100% participation from all team members and meaningful interactions between them. The activity was concluded with a debrief on the objectives by an expert facilitator and seasoned event crew.
2. Lifting spirits with virtual team building: Microsoft Azure activity by Outback Team building, Canada
During the midst of the pandemic, employee morale and engagement were very low in Microsoft’s Azure teams. The leadership team quickly identified that team members need to re-connect with each other and be actively involved in lifting spirits. They have reached out to Outback Team building, Canada for organizing a virtual activity for all their remote team members. The outback team facilitated a virtual clue murder mystery activity. The leadership team and the participants were skeptical of the event as it was to be conducted virtually.
However, during the activity, the teams had fun, connected with each other personally, and the management witnessed participation from everyone in the team. The team also shared the feedback that all of them were able to connect with each other feel more positive in the days following the activity.
3. Keeping energy high: Deloitte activity by Funktion events, UK
Deloitte’s leadership team wanted a fun activity that keeps energies high post a zoom call. The Funktion events team suggested a virtual horse racing event to engage employees with a fun activity. The activity was a fun live racing night where participants can train horses, bet on them, discuss betting strategies, or cheer for the winning ones. As the leadership team puts it, the activity was a huge success with infectious enthusiasm.
4. Boosting morale for a diverse team: Noah Media Group activity by WildGoose, UK
Noah Media Group is a UK-based production, distribution, and technology company specializing in international documentary films. After Noah’s team has spent over a year working virtually, they approach the Wildgoose team, the UK for a fun virtual activity that boosts team morale and improves engagement for their 20-member team. One of the challenges was to find an activity that is engaging for all age groups as Noah’s team has a diverse mix of participants. Wildgoose team suggested a virtual spy training activity that not only keeps employees engaged but also improves collaboration and strengthens social bonds.
The participants were divided into teams of 5-6 members with a captain for each team. After an initial briefing, participants were asked to solve a set of challenges based on clues to identify the criminal. This activity involved a lot of observational skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, leadership, and decision-making skills to complete. At the end of the activity, the Noah team expressed how the activity not only improved collaboration and boosted morale but also helped in building cross-departmental relationships.
The above examples clearly reflect that virtual team building activities can be engaging, intriguing, fun, and memorable just like physical team building activities. They need to be well-planned and organized with the involvement of the leadership teams and clear objectives. Lastly, virtual team-building activities are not only great for remote work culture. They can be quickly organized to rejuvenate team members after a long day.