The digital nomad Andy Stofferis offers some helpful ways to bring your virtual team together – even if it’s geographically dispersed.
- When you work with remote workers and digital nomads, you have to work harder to build the team spirit.
- The effort is worth it: a committed team is more networked and productive, which usually leads to a better result.
- Digital nomad, Andy Stuff, offers some helpful ways to bring your virtual team together – even if it is geographically dispersed.
It’s safe to say that remote working is a new reality in today’s world. Teleworking isn’t just an option – it has become a necessity for many businesses since the pandemic began.
Interestingly, despite many challenges transitioning to home work, many employees report being happier and more productive than ever.
On the other hand, not every manager has embraced the concept of working remotely.
Some struggle with overseeing their remote workers, and most importantly, creating a connected team of individuals working from different locations and bringing them together.
Here’s why it’s important for managers to keep their remote teams busy and some of the ways they can do it:
1. Boosts eEmployee’ IOrally
Even if the team is working on a project remotely, and sometimes from different parts of the world, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to work cohesively and interact with each other to achieve the common goal.
Your employees should understand that they always have their backs no matter where they are. If your team members get along well and trust each other, they will not be afraid to discuss the challenges of the project and exchange ideas and know-how.
Mutual support and respect among employees strengthens their morale and encourages them to work enthusiastically for the common goal.
2. Facilitates customization
It’s hard to get used to the “new normal” of working remotely on your own. Your team can experience feelings of fear and isolation. Team building activities help your employees understand that they are not alone on their transition journey – they have their teammates who are all in the same boat. If you bring your employees together in person or via a team video call, it will be much easier for them to adapt to the new virtual work environment by sharing their experiences and honest advice with one another.
3. Improves collaboration among employees
When working on a team on a specific project, coordinating and understanding each other’s role on the team is essential. If the entire team works in a traditional office and sees each other every day, the tasks can of course be easily distributed and coordinated with one another. What if your employees have no idea what others are doing and how the project is progressing?
Team building activities not only help employees to get to know each other’s names and positions, but also to find out each other’s strengths and weaknesses or even to discover hidden talents. This makes it easy to assign and set tasks based on the competency of each employee, encourages efficient collaboration between employees, and helps them understand how their role fits into the overall picture of the project.
4th Promotes innovation
Innovation is key in today’s competitive marketplace. Successful team building not only promotes creativity, but also motivates employees to learn from one another and share their individual experiences. Every team member feels involved in achieving the company’s goal and can contribute something new.
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Through simple sharing and brainstorming, your employees can see different perspectives, see challenges through the lens of innovation, and generate new ideas while interacting with each other in a fun and friendly way.
5. Healthy ccompetition
It is well known that competition in a workplace can motivate employees, encourage them to work harder, and ultimately achieve better results.
Playful team building activities can make a task look like a competition and encourage employees to achieve more. Another benefit of competition in the workplace is that it fosters team spirit among employees and develops new skills, such as problem solving and thinking outside the box.
You can also introduce something like a “30-day challenge” to your team members, which assign them to achieve a specific goal within a certain number of days. This will encourage them to acquire a new skill and achieve a set goal, which will benefit both themselves and the company.
6. Build diverse relationships
The fact that you have a lot of digital nomads / remote workers on your team can mean they are all from different cultures and backgrounds.
By organizing team building measures that promote close cooperation, different experiences, skills, perspectives and personalities are brought together. This, in turn, can increase the team’s problem-solving capacity and lead to out-of-the-box thinking, help companies embrace diversity, and build meaningful cross-cultural relationships between geographically dispersed teams.
So what’s the best way to build team spirit and build strong connections between your virtual team? Here are a few ideas:
- To organize virtual coffee break with your team members via video conference. The aim of this activity is not only to drink coffee, but to learn more about each other in order to build common ground and trust. It can also help recharge the mind while talking about something unrelated to work. Start a conversation around an icebreaker question – this will encourage people to talk to each other and get to know each other better.
- A … create special chat channel for your team. Having an informal thread where your staff can share jokes and memes creates a sense of connectedness and helps them feel more involved, like being part of a big family.
- Celebrate together. Building mutual trust is a big part of building a team. So when your colleague has achieved something, take note of it and don’t stop at gifs and emojis! It is a good idea introduce a special cheering system where everyone can access the achievements of their colleagues, congratulate them on a special event or simply thank them for their support and positive energy.
- If you want to go one step further, introduce a rewards program for employees who have contributed the most to the success of the team or who have received the most recognitions from their teammates. The same applies to team performance. These can be vouchers, special gifts and awards that can be presented at special company meetings at the end of each month or quarter. Or celebrate together online. Either way, partying is a great way to motivate each other to achieve new successes while relaxing and having fun together.
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