Teambuildings in remote teams


The increase in remote working and the number of physically distant teams has been a direct response to the pains of the modern workplace. Some companies have opted to offer benefits related to “fancy offices”, but they often end up not compensating for what employees want most right now: flexibility.

With the forced implementation of quarantine periods and “working from home” as a result of COVID-19, thousands of workers and teams now have to adapt to a different and often unfamiliar reality. A large part of the “normal” corporate dynamic is being affected [events, meetings, training, teambuilding… all more circumscribed, with fewer people, if possible done remotely, or at the very least postponed].

While it is true that some employees will be more productive, it is also known that for others it will be difficult, due to lack of resources, adequate physical space, technological illiteracy, loneliness. The unavoidable point is that, regardless of the location, demands will continue to be made: Companies will continue to demand that teams plan, execute and communicate effectively and that leaders are committed to developing, giving feedback and inspiring 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 trainings planned between March and April?

There are robust e-learning solutions on the market for individual development, but where are the solutions for remote teambuildings? Of course there are, let’s look at some examples.

It’s the relationship between team members that creates the real company culture, and not having them in contact in person is one of the main challenges of remote teams. Activities such as the Remote Team Challenge or a Thematic LARP [Live action role playing] are extraordinary for bringing the company’s values and culture to life and can be implemented right away, if issues such as a sense 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. It is therefore understandable that communication is another challenge for remote teams. A virtual Bomb Squad or the Video Cartoon Network are fabulous exercises that amplify teams’ communication skills, without requiring everyone to be in the same space.

Remote working is also associated with the theme of “solitude” and “working alone”. So it’s only natural that another of the challenges is to develop skills that are relevant to 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 as a team and which are available to organizations.

In practice, managing virtual teams has a lot going for it. It’s about mastering the complexities of remote professional relationships and ensuring that you improve how well teams collaborate. To this end, customized solutions for team learning [remote feedback, co-construction of objectives, 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 just as effectively to the challenges of team development, even with the current restrictions. The need for constant growth is an unavoidable reality for organizations, and should not be put on stand-by by the containment measures that are imposed today… or in the future.

Article for INFORH, written by Luís Rosário, Partner at Immersis.

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Teambuildings in remote teams