The increase in remote work and the number of physically distant teams has been a direct response to the pain of the modern workplace. Some companies have chosen to offer benefits related to “extravagant offices”, but which often end up not compensating for what employees are most ambitious about: flexibility.
With the forced implementation of quarantine periods and “work from home” resulting from COVID-19, thousands of workers and teams now have to adapt to a different and in many cases unknown reality. A large part of the “normal” corporate dynamics is being affected [events, meetings, training, teambuilding … all more circumscribed, with fewer people, if possible done remotely, or at the limit to be postponed].
If it is certain that some employees will be more productive, it is also known that for others it will be difficult, due to lack of means, adequate physical space, technological illiteracy, loneliness. The unavoidable issue is that, regardless of location, the requirement will remain: Companies will continue to demand that teams plan, execute and communicate effectively and that leaders commit to the development, feedback and inspiration of their employees.
The focus then turns to this new challenge: How do we continue to develop teams and leaders, but now remotely, after having postponed 5,000 face-to-face training scheduled between March and April?
There are robust solutions in the e-learning market for individual development, but where are the solutions for making “remote teambuildings” … do they exist? Of course, let’s see some examples.
It is from the relationship between team members that the true culture of the company is created, and not having them in contact personally is one of the main challenges of remote teams. Activities with the Remote Team Challenge or a Thematic LARP [Live action role playing] are extraordinary to bring the company’s values and culture to life and can be implemented now, if themes such as the feeling of belonging are a current challenge.
There are many messaging and video apps and tools, but none provide the level of communication that people experience while sitting in the same room or sharing a coffee break. In this way, it is understood that communication is another challenge for remote teams. A virtual Bomb Squad or the Video Cartoon Network are fabulous exercises that amplify the communication skills of the teams, without requiring that they’re all in the same space.
Remote work is also associated with the theme of “loneliness” and “working alone”. In this way, it is normal for another challenge to be the development of relevant skills for teamwork. The “Envelope Escape Room” and the “Online Treasure Hunt” are just two of the solutions that develop skills such as planning, articulation, creativity and the ability to solve problems in teams and that are available to organizations.
In practice, managing virtual has a lot to be said. It’s about mastering the complexities of remote professional relationships and ensuring that you improve how well teams collaborate. For this, customized solutions for team learning [distance feedback, goal building, co-development, brainstorming, team communication, etc.] are even more important to master today … and are designed according to current needs.
These and other solutions allow companies to respond equally effectively to team development challenges, even with the restrictions currently in place. The need for constant growth is an unavoidable reality for organizations, and should not be put on “stand-by” by containment measures that are imposed today … or in the future.
Article for INFORH, written by Luís Rosário Immersis Partner.