Remote working has become the new normal. This is because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing. Its prominence has grown exponentially in the last few months. On the advent of the pandemic, Gartner, Inc. conducted a survey. They found that 88 percent of businesses around the world have managed to transition to remote working.
Companies started believing that it’s best to stay at home and conduct all business transactions online. This is due to the quarantine restrictions and increasing concerns for health safety. Ninety-seven percent of businesses also canceled all business travels for the time being.
Remote working helped in keeping us safe from the coronavirus. It also helped with the productivity of employees. CoSo Cloud found that 77 percent of their responders said that they’re more efficient in delivering results when they’re working from home.
But there is a drawback to the remote-working setup. They’ve lost their opportunity to bond and build office camaraderie. And it’s because employees are staying in their own homes. Team building is essential to any business. So you shouldn’t let the remote-working setup stop you from engaging your employees in fun activities.
Benefits of Team Building Activities
Some might say that team building activities aren’t essential. Businesses are already struggling with the changing economy because of the pandemic. But the struggle of businesses is exactly why team building is essential, now more than ever.
Employees have shown an increase in productivity. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t the least bit disheartened by the fact that they hardly interact with their colleagues anymore. Engaging your employees in team building activities helps with improving efficiency and productivity. This is because the very nature of team building is rooted in these three important Cs in businesses. These are communication, creativity, and collaboration.
Alex “Sandy” Pentland from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab conducted a study on this matter. He found that, in a call center, there’s one solution that led to a 20 percent decrease in each call center agent’s handling time of calls. And that’s scheduled coffee breaks. Schedule breaks let the agents interact with one another. As a result, they became refreshed and ready to take on their work. Thus, they became more efficient.
These are some of the ways you can conduct team building activities. It won’t matter that your employees are working from home.
One of the things that your employees develop when they start enjoying their work is a pride for the company. Feeling proud can be good fuel for them. It’s even better if it’s because they made a significant contribution to the growth of the company.
So what you can do is to send out some office merchandise that they can enjoy. The best examples are shirts and hoodies that bear the logo of the company. The logo could be printed by trusted brands such as Insta Graphic systems.
Even though your employees are at home, that doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy some of these office perks. They may not be physically present in the office. But, with such merchandise, they will always remember the value of their work in the company.
Sometimes, it can be hard to keep your employees engaged in virtual meetings. What you can do is hold mini-games before meetings. You can have trivia games to sharpen their minds before you get down to business. You can play virtual Pictionary to draw out a few laughs from your employees. This would put them in a good mood before you start the shoptalk.
You can even hold full-blown game nights after work. This replaces the traditional after-work drinks on Friday nights. Now, you’re all trying to practice social distancing. So it’s good to fill their social calendars with virtual activities.
A tried-and-true way of getting to know your employees is by simply letting them talk about themselves. More and more people are getting hired into remote working jobs. So it can be a bit hard for them to assimilate themselves into the company if the people they’re working with hardly know them.
You can hold virtual meetings where employees can just get to know the employee in the spotlight. They can ask about their interests, passions, and goals in life. This would help them build a bond that can lead to more fruitful collaborations at work.
As a company that’s scattered all over the country, it can be challenging to keep a strong workplace camaraderie. But with simple solutions, you can overcome these challenges. Investing time, effort, and resources in these activities will lead to the biggest payoff that a company could have: a happy, hard-working, and successful team.