In the year 2020, we saw the number of remote workers increase as the pandemic caused offices to shut down and many to work from home. The increase meant employers and human resource personnel had to find a way to keep their staff engaged. Consequently, it led to the introduction of virtual team-building games for remote workers.
Virtual team-building exercises are famous among telecommuters who worked remotely before the pandemic. It is effective for increasing productivity and team spirit. This article will look at five reasons why virtual team-building games are essential for remote workers.
Types of Virtual Team Bonding Exercises
The first thing to note is that every team-building exercise is designed for a specific work environment. It simply means that you have to find the type of game that works for your staff. If you use the wrong game, it will not have the required result.
Below are some common types of team-building games:
- Synchronous and Asynchronous Games: Synchronous games are what you play in real-time. It means that players take part in it at the same time from start to finish. There can be pauses as long all the players stop at the same time.
An example of synchronous games is breaking the ice. In this game, your staff gets to know each other beyond their job descriptions. Like in online dating, they get to find out more personal information, hobbies, etc. Gift swapping during the holidays is also an example of synchronous exercises.
In asynchronous games, the play sessions do not necessarily overlap in real-time. The players can join and leave when they want, and they do not have to play the game simultaneously. An example is starting a social media thread and sharing a playlist.
- Regular Practice and Single Time Learning Exercises: Here, you can plan to do an activity together like you would if all employees were coming to the office. You can choose to take your lunch at the same time as you would when everyone converges in the office’s cafeteria.
This exercise works for onboarding new hires. You can ask older employees to take turns explaining different aspects of the company’s manual and rules. Another thing you can do is recognize high performers and reward them.
- Business Oriented and Simple Fun Games: These games are for teams that appear exhausted, lack motivation, or are not productive. To combat either of the three, you can opt for open task challenges or strength-finder games.
Team members can share their strengths and weaknesses and come up with ways to balance each other. You can also pair colleagues and ask them to learn things about each other. Other things you can do here are video streaming with live chat and sharing of house pictures. The latter could be their home workstation.
5 Reasons for Using Virtual Team-Building Games for Remote Workers
Whether you’re a start-up or an established brand, one challenge with having a remote workforce is keeping everyone engaged and not feeling left out. Team-building games help you deal with this problem. It gives you insight into the mental state of your employees and helps them bond with each other.
Below, we outlined some of the reasons you should put your team on the virtual game team-building train.
It Promotes Workforce Engagement
As mentioned earlier, keeping your staff engaged with each other can be tricky if they are working remotely. It’s even more difficult if your team works in different time zones. This makes virtual team-building games a must-have.
The exercises would keep your employees connected and help them deal with that loneliness that plagues remote workers. It improves team understanding and helps to explore each other’s strengths and weaknesses. And it also aids coordination, thereby saving time and getting things done faster.
It Boosts Employees Morale
Working remotely often affects the morale of the team. But with team-building games, you can put your workforce in the right mental state, where everyone is happy to achieve the company goals. It builds mutual respect and eliminates feelings of conflict. Overall, it improves cohesion and promotes a positive work environment.
It Increases Productivity
When your employees understand each other and develop relationships beyond work functions, they will work better together. Online team bonding activities help you achieve this by putting team members at ease with each other. Consequently, it will improve productivity and increase the ease of communication.
If your employees share a strong relationship, they communicate better, work better, solve problems faster, and manage conflicts without escalation. Virtual team-building games strengthen the ties your employees share with themselves. That way, they go from seeing themselves as individuals to a part of a whole. Also, you’ll have employees willing to do more and committed to their jobs.
It Combats Loneliness
Most remote workers start feeling lonely after being home for a long time. They miss the stop-and-chat moments they have at work with their colleagues. For others, going to the office is the only form of social life they have, and losing that hits them hard. Introducing team-building games gives your staff the chance to communicate and chat with other people, especially if they live alone. It reinforces their sense of belonging and also helps them socialize.
In the times we’re living in, remote work will remain an option for many people and continue for a long time. Thus, you need to introduce virtual team-building games to keep your employees engaged at all times and for all the reasons stated above. It is more beneficial.
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Autor: Karl Murphy
Karl Murphy is a professional journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. After obtaining his Master’s degree, he’s launched his career and over its course, Karl was contributing to the popular publications for men.
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.