For any team to work at its optimum level, there has to be a greater degree of team bonding within the members. Companies come up with different team building activities to help create greater bonds within the team members. But with the COVID-19 situation hitting us all at different parts of the world, employees have no other option but to work remotely for their organizations. So, for remote teams, virtual team building activities have become important to keep the same spirit of collaboration alive within the teams.

With the team bonding activities, employees develop trust and a spirit of unity with each other. You cannot just form teams by appointing employees to a manager and other colleagues to work on some projects. You have to develop the feeling of team-bonding from the core. Only then would they feel like a part of a greater whole and would be motivated to work together. Team bonding exercises are the small lessons people get through games or other engagements, which requires them to solve a puzzle or any situation through team efforts. These lessons get imprinted in their memories and help them derive learnings in their regular day-to-day activities in the longer run.

Benefits of virtual team building exercises

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Whether your team has a distributed structure in just one city or various locations, virtual team building is necessary for you to function as a team at your best level. There are massive benefits to it, but a lot of companies are yet to realize them at their best level. So, let’s see those benefits from both the employee’s as well as the employer’s viewpoint.

For employees

When employees are working remotely, there is a lack of support system they need at work. They won’t know who to discuss their challenges if they are not too official to be taken up to the managers. Employees share this bonding at every workplace, and that’s what keeps them motivated and feels positive towards their work.

Through virtual team building activities, employees can get a chance to feel the presence of that support system, even though everyone is working from a distance. It is also useful for a new employee to join the team when they see that they are becoming a part of a virtual team through the immense support they receive from everyone. Many games and activities that are a part of team-building exercises require each member to collaborate and work together as a team. Through these exercises, employees develop more trust towards each other, and that helps in forming a deeper relationship between them that will help them in the longer run.

For employers

Remote team building activities are a great way for the team leaders and managers to evaluate and manage their employees. They can gauge each employee’s strengths and weaknesses, which they can use later to delegate tasks and responsibilities. This also opens a gateway between the two levels, the employee and leader, through which they can know what each employee needs or expects from their managers.

Best virtual team building exercises

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So, having learned about the various benefits of remote team building activities, let’s dive straight into some of the best team building activities that you can implement at your workplace.

#1 Sneak peek into colleague’s home

This is the best virtual team building games for getting personally connected to a team member. In this, you need to show a live walk through of your home to your team members through a webcam. You can also show a recorded video where you show around different places at your home.

You can tell how you usually go about in a day at different parts of your home. It can be more suitable for a smaller team, but it’s a great way of knowing each other beyond the boring desk job you have been doing for months or years.

#2 The desert island game

This is another remote team building activity wherein you make everyone in your team assume that they are in a remote desert. You divide the team into two or three different groups, based on the size of your team. Then you present them with 10 to 12 random objects out of which each group can choose only 3 or 4 items.

These objects can be anything ranging from a bag of vegetable seeds, to a shovel, to the pair of scissors. After giving them some time to decide, you call upon the whole team together and ask them what items they chose. Each of them present the items they chose along with the thought process behind them.

This exercise helps the team to work in a collaborative manner. Through this they would know that they are dependent on other team members or groups to perform the tasks through the items they chose.

#3 Sharing your bucket list

A bucket list is the list of things you want to do in your life. This is one of the best ways to know your team-mates through what are the things they would like to do most in their life. It can range anywhere from climbing the mount everest to seeing the northern lights near the north pole or may be to own a Ferrari.

Each week, you must give a chance to each member to share their bucket list. Then everyone in the team would spend a few minutes discussing their shared items in the list. This is a great way for making every member feel special and connected with the team because of sharing their deepest desires among the team members.

#4 Show and tell

This is another one of the very simple virtual team building games that you can play in your team. In this all you need to do is to ask everyone in your team to show any object in their home and talk a little about that. It could be anything like a hair-pin or a straw or may be just a toy. Set a time limit for everyone to discuss the things they show otherwise it will go on forever.

This activity shows a deeper side of your team member which you wouldn’t have thought was ever there had they not shared the story. The intimate possessions sometimes help them uncover funny stories too that are an integral part of their memories. Sharing such stories makes them feel more connected with the team members.

#5 Future tellings

This is a fun activity but reveals deeper insights. In this activity you give a piece of newspaper to your teammates and ask them to mark the headlines that can be the one about your company in the future. Different people would be attracted to different headlines like “2020’s best place to work” or a company bagging a million dollar deal.

Notice what kind of news catches everyone’s attention. Through this you would be able to guess the different levels of commitments they have towards your organization along with their aspirations that are in alignment with yours.

Enhance productivity of remote team

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All the team building activities you implement at your workplace are directed towards one final goal. That is to enhance productivity of the team. So, to do so, what better way to implement than using a productivity enhancing tool in your company? One such tool easily available in the marketplace is EmpMonitor. It is one of the most preferred productivity measurement tools by many fortune 500 companies. Since its inception in 2013, it has acquired a great fame in its niche.

Through EmpMonitor, you can manage your remote team much easily. It will give you a holistic report of all the programs your employees are running on their machines. You can pre-assign those programs as productive or nonproductive programs and the reports will generate the total productive and non-productive hours for each employee. And what more? It works exceptionally well in a distributed team spread across multiple locations. The reports can generate data from different locations and also based on different departments that are present in those locations.

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Wrapping up

Remote teams may not work at the same level of intimacy which physical teams get, but that doesn’t mean we cannot do anything about it. Virtual team building activities are a great way to bring everyone feel connected with each other and supported at all times at work.

Through virtual team building you can achieve team bonding, support and collaboration at a much larger scale, sometimes even more than what you can get physically. This is because there is no limit to how much you can scale at a virtual meeting setup.

From the comfort of your home, managers and team leaders can get a refined view of their teammates behaviour and that helps them a lot in evaluating their capabilities for future assignments. This is a great must have aspect of work for any manager who is aspiring to build a strong team with ambitious deliverables. After all, a strong team is the greatest asset for any organization.

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