5 Virtual Team Building Tips
Since the global pandemic that began in 2020, remote working has become increasingly popular.
In fact, many business owners decided to keep their employees working from home on a permanent basis following the lockdown. According to Forbes, around 13% of employees currently work at home full-time, and almost 30% work part-time at home and part-time in the office.
Despite being beneficial in many ways, remote working presents a lot of challenges for business owners and employees alike. There is a risk of siloing, where employees feel isolated and unsupported, and it’s harder to keep staff members talking when they’re working from multiple locations.
One of the best ways to prevent silos is to host ongoing virtual team-building events to bring your employees together, keep them informed of the latest company updates, and complete regular team evaluation processes. Below, we’ve got three top tips for virtual team building.
Host Great Team Building Activities
You’ll want to keep your employees engaged during virtual meetings, so they’re listening when you share important information. One of the best ways to engage your team is to host virtual team-building activities during your meetings.
Even though you can't enjoy in-person interactions during virtual meetings, you can still bring your team together and allow them to chat on a personal level without a main focus on work.
There are lots of great ways to promote collaboration and foster stronger connections across your team. Consider activities like online games, quizzes using a remote whiteboard, recipe swaps, funny stories, or eating lunch together over a video call.
Use Effective Virtual Communication Tools
The use of online communication tools and platforms increased significantly during the pandemic, and they are still hugely popular in 2023. Implementing such tools into your business enables your remote workers to talk regularly with you and your in-office team.
Since there are so many virtual communication platforms available, you might need to try a few different ones to identify which suits your team the best. Each one offers unique modules and features that you may find particularly useful, such as video calling, instant messaging, and virtual whiteboards.
With a great virtual communication tool, your in-office and remote team members can message their colleagues when they need advice or want to provide updates regarding team projects. Your remote employees can also liaise with you via the online platform if they have any queries or concerns but can’t make it into the office.
Most online communication platforms work via a subscription model, where you pay a fee each month to maintain the platform’s features. Usually, you can choose between a few different subscription plans to find one that aligns with your company budget but also offers everything you need to keep your team talking.
Provide Regular Feedback During Team Building Activities
Feedback is essential for remote employees to keep them on track toward reaching their work goals and deadlines. Regular feedback also encourages your team members to continue pushing themselves and giving it their all.
Turn some of your virtual meetings into feedback sessions, where you provide both positive feedback and criticisms if necessary. When providing negative feedback, do so in a kind and gentle way that encourages your employees and fosters a sense of collaboration instead of accusation.
Make Sure Everybody is Involved
It’s easy for the more confident employees to take over during virtual meetings, leaving the shyer team members with less input. This usually isn’t done on purpose but is, instead, just the natural process of human interaction.
As the host of the virtual team meetings, it’s your job to ensure everybody gets involved and feels included. Consider taking turns for each person to speak and input their thoughts or ideas so all of your employees are able to contribute to the meeting.
If you’re hosting couple-based or group-based activities, you could pre-determine the groups, so nobody is left out of picked last for anything. Again, this is another tactic to ensure all of your team members are equal during virtual team-building meetings.
Lead By Example
As a manager or business owner, your employees will look to you for guidance and examples on how to act and what to say in the workplace. Make sure you lead by example when hosting virtual team-building meetings by making every person feel welcome and getting everybody involved in activities.
Even if you’re in charge of leading virtual sessions, you can provide opportunities for your employees to speak up and contribute their thoughts or opinions on certain topics. Doing so will showcase to the rest of your team that you want to foster a collaborative and accepting company culture.