Team building for remote employees
Team Building Activities For Work-from-Home Employees
‘Work From Home’, a concept that facilitates an employee to continue his/her job from home with the help of a mobile, desktop, laptop, or any other way, in an emergency. The concept of work from home is not a new/novel concept that started in recent years, but it can be observed in the history of mankind also.
During the 1960s, a few creative job opportunities were found in metro cities like London, New York, etc. These were jobs of Content Writers, architects, tele-caller executives, beauty experts, food experts, fashion experts, etc which were completely a home-based job. Gradually, with the development of civilization, it was frequently observed that people were spending more time at the office and an effective outcome was not found. As a result, people choose to intentionally take work from home strategy to produce more effective outcomes than the outcome found in-office hours.
According to a survey it was found that around 43% of workers in the US choose to work from home occasionally in 2016. Even in modern days of the pandemic COVID-19 outbreak situation, every working sector is forced to implement work from home concept to increase the safety of their employees and to keep the socio-economic condition alive. However, working as an online team member to satisfy a target is quite tough for a long time. Sometimes, they get exhausted from their work too. That leads to depression. Therefore, it becomes necessary to engage the employees in different kinds of online activities which will keep them joyful during their work as a team member.
‘Virtual Team Building Activities’ can be performed through teleconferencing, mobile, through computer or laptop. Employees can interact with each other which helps them to reduce the feeling of loneliness or isolation. This process can build affinity, communicate with each other, solve difficult problems, and collaborate well. There are different types of virtual team building activities, which include, Online team debate competition, Online team quiz competition, Problem-solving, Online group discussion, Activity-based learning, Health fitness challenge, Knowledge Sharing, Watching motivational movies, Word power challenge, etc.
Online Team Debate is a debate competition that can be performed through video conferencing apps (like Zoom or Cisco WebEx) among the employees of a team. A random topic can be chosen related to their work, current socioeconomic conditions, or any current affairs. It is always better to avoid topics related to politics or any specific sports as all may not be interested. Such debate activities are helpful to the employees in developing communication skills, self-confidence, knowledge related to their work, and current affairs. It also works as a stress reliever for some time. Such events do not take much time and they can wind up within 2-3 hrs. An online e-certificate can be provided to the participants and winners to motivate them as well.
Online Team Quiz competition can be conducted through video conferencing apps (like Zoom or Cisco) to test the knowledge of the team. The topic can be chosen from business, technology, general knowledge, economics, etc. Different questions can be given to the team to solve within a fixed time. The game facilitator divides the team into small groups. Each question will be displayed on the computer screen for a fixed time frame. If one group is unable to answer they can take help from other groups also and then the point will be divided between two groups. But one limitation can be implemented such as one group may take help from other groups twice only during the entire competition. This kind of event also can be concluded within 1-2 hrs. E-certificate along with a prize like a gift voucher, food coupon, e-cash can be provided to the winner group at the end.
Problem Solving is an online activity specially designed for technical employees. The team needed to be formed into small groups with a maximum of 2 members. There should be a first-round for each group which will consist of 5 puzzles among which at least 3 needed to be solved to get selected for the next round. The next round should be an elimination round where a group will be removed if they are not able to solve all the problems given to them. In this way, this can be an exciting event for a team. In the end, winners will get their certificates mentioning their skill level. Such kind of activity will help a weak candidate to develop his/her skill by other skilled members in that team. They can learn to solve complex problems together.
Online Group Discussion is such a virtual platform where an employee learns different concepts. They also learn to keep patience during other's speeches though it may be the opposite of his/her concept. The discussion topics can be chosen from any topic. The candidates learn not to dominate others' views; they also learn to be tactful while sharing their views. There can be 3 levels of competition. On different levels, different speakers can share their positive or negative views. The compiled marks of each group will be calculated at the end of the competition to choose the winner group. Online e-certificates can be provided to all the participants and winners to galvanize them.
Activity-Based Learning is a concept that is also considered as a process of learning by doing. In this method, employees are given any certain technical or non-technical problems which they need to solve and submit within a certain time frame. They need to exercise the problem group-wise and develop meaningful ideas by themselves before submission. A prize of any variant can be given to the winner group upon successful completion.
Health Fitness Challenge is an activity that every member of a team needs to fulfill. In this challenge, team members need to do some physical exercises every day and need to send the compiled video to the coordinator of that challenge. The physical exercises may include walking every day for a fixed kilometer, doing some push-ups, performing yoga and meditations, etc. The best performance of a particular member can be declared at the end of every month. In such a way encourage them to maintain physical fitness for workflow intact.
Knowledge Sharing activity describes that any member of a team will choose a topic depending on their deep knowledge or ability and shares their detailed knowledge on that particular topic. Those topics can be related to anything whether it can be work or others. In each month or at the end of a week, a webinar can be arranged to discuss a particular topic. In this way, different creative concepts can be shared between all, which may improve their knowledge and sharpen their skills. The best concept may be awarded at the end.
Watching Motivational Movies every weekend with a cup of coffee can create fun with all employees. A video conference or streaming of a selected movie will be the most exciting part of your online team. This movie time will help them to feel cozy and de-stress. During the movie team members can chat, comment related to that movie, crack jokes over anything. In this way, team members get closer to each other and a strong relationship can be made.
Word power Challenge activity can develop knowledge of words. In this game, four words will be displayed on the screen and one word will have to be made from there. It will develop word stock and improve vocabulary.
The Wealthy Family Challenge is an activity that reflects the employee’s personal life. They may be single or family persons. But as a wife, as a husband, as a son, or as a daughter how they are maintaining their family life online and/or offline can show about their mental wellness. Employees can create videos with their family members and can submit them to the organizers. In this way, they can create fun in their family life too. That may lead to mental peace for effective outcomes in official work.
Memory Challenge is an activity that can help team members to check their memory power. In this activity, the host will say some words or one sentence and the participants will answer the same words or sentences in a reverse way. The winner will be awarded at the end. It creates fun among remote employees and sharpens their memory power.
Favorite Picture Challenge is an activity in which each member can be asked to share their favorite picture in the group before the start of the game. Everyone in a team has to say a few words or the story behind their picture. It will help a team to build a strong relationship, trust. It also can be very effective for extrovert employers as they get a chance to open up and connect with everyone there.
One-Line Story Challenge activity defines that each member of a team needs to say one line at a time to create a story. Some random words can be provided on the screen to help them. They need to pick those words and make a sentence. The first one starts the first line of a story and passes the next line to the other member of that team. Thus one by one will say one sentence to make a complete story. Any member can be disqualified if he/she is unable to form a sentence for that story. In such a way the team will enjoy a lot and develop their creative thinking skills.
Last but not the least, arranging some Motivational Speech Series will help the employees to get in touch with divine spirituality. In this scenario of the pandemic, where exasperation has become a common part of everyone’s life, only spirituality can be a way to stay calm. According to a recent survey, people are committing more suicide during this time due to exasperation. The reasons are quite notable like insecurity in the workplace, frustration in family life, frustration due to the downfall of the career graph, and not getting a chance to make it up. Through arranging some motivational speeches will help all to stay positive. They may be allowed to enjoy the sessions with their family members also so that everyone related to the employee can make themselves rich with spiritual beauty.
Apart from these profound team-building activities, there are many more activities that may create fun as well as develop knowledge, skills within employees of a team. While conducting such activities online, some measures should take care to avoid any ambiguity. Any activity should not be related to community hatred or caste-based. Organizers should avoid activities related to sports as all may not be interested in sports like cricket, football.
Moreover, political debate or quiz should be avoided as different perspectives will be there in between the employees and it may create a never-ending argument, which may lead to political rivalry in the future. Instead of making them as a family, it can make them opposition members. The primary need for modern ‘Work from Home’ culture needs more teamwork to accomplish a target in a given time frame. Employees are habituated and trained to work together, as a team from the beginning of their career. Inculcating such team building activities in day-to-day regular work will result in a healthy team that produces effective output in a target time frame.