The Team: Which team bonding exercise should be adapted by companies for employees working remotely?

Let’s begin this with an anecdote. It’s a story that you have heard before but probably forgot. It is a story about a farmer and his 6 children. On his death bed, he called all of them for his last words. He asked the eldest child to bring a few sticks and try to break one. The man brought the sticks and was confused about his father’s motives as he broke one stick very easily. He asked him to break two sticks together and he did it easily. Now, all of them were confused. He asked him to break 6 sticks together. He couldn’t. The father asked everyone to give it a try and everyone failed. The father smiled faintly and said, ” If you children fall apart, anyone will be able to break you. But if you stick together as a team, no one will be able to break you.” He closed his eyes with a smile on his face.

Team Dynamics has always been an important aspect of our lives. Be it sports or be it business, we can’t achieve anything on our own. The Formula One Championship is a sport of just one driver but the driver cannot win without thousand other team members who work the whole year to get the million parts pf the car together and design a complex car. Just listen to Lewis Hamilton’s post-win speeches and you will know. Let us see why team bonding is important for any organisation.

The Why

Strengths and Weakness

A team can only excel if they know each other well. By knowing each other well, I mean the strengths and the weakness. This will allow the team to divide the job in a way that everyone can pull out the best with their key strengths. And when the task is accomplished, this team can critique each other and work on their weaknesses, so that they can aim for the best in the next task.

Healthy Competition

This competition can be between two teams and also two teammates. Now, the competition between teams will always create a positive impact for the company because both the teams will strive to win and eventually, company’s productivity is increase.

The competition between the teammates can be tricky sometimes. There might be a possibility of more than one leaders emerging from a team, which can divide the team further. But most sensible individuals take it with a pinch of salt and work towards company’s progress rather than against each other.

Environment of creativity and innovation

Working in teams is like giving a little spark to an idea which makes a fire of innovative products. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each other , one can work on his strength and pass on the weak point to someone who excels in it. The continuous flow of this process can result into earth shattering innovations.

Enhanced Productivity

The sole purpose of any business is to make profits. And high profits can only be achieved through high productivity. The amalgamation of the above discussed points will result into high productivity and companies make high profits off it.

The How

Virtual Team Meetings

Team meetings are essential for any company, whether it is location-based or remote. While team meetings are often focused around work, it is important that virtual work teams use them as a tool for building team cohesion.

Why?

Because team members who work remotely aren’t able to take group coffee breaks or lunch breaks like those in co-located teams.

Fun tip:

Suggest that each employee bring coffee, tea or another beverage of choice to the online meeting so it feels more like a coffee break.

Taking online courses together

Employees can do various courses together to upskill themselves in quarantine. This will help them through peer learning and understand the course better. This will enable them to bond better and work efficiently through the tasks given ahead.

A Peek Into Each Other’s Homes

This virtual team building exercise requires that team members virtually open their homes to one another. Think House Hunters or MTV Cribs. Each team member will take a short video showing off their home and some of their favorite things. This activity allows team members to get to know one another on a more personal basis, and can lead to feelings of welcomeness and friendship. This game may be better suited for small teams, but it’s surely a great way to get the personal feels going. Another way this can be done is by allowing one team member to show off their home at the beginning of each week’s work meeting.

 Movie Night

When team members are able to come together for a non-work related purpose, they tend to relax and open up more. Hosting a movie night every so often is a great way to get the team together to do something fun outside of the virtual office.

You may be wondering:

“How do we do this when we live in different cities?”

Stream the movie through a video conference call and keep an instant messaging chat box open so team members can comment and make remarks during the movie. Experiences like this give remote employees something to bond over and joke about later on. Plus it forces team members to take a little down time and relax.

Virtual Storytelling and Workshops

Storytelling is a useful skill for a wide variety of roles, from marketers to sales reps, to HR, managers, leaders and more. These training workshops will empower your staff to higher levels of productivity and performance, and even give you remote team meeting ideas for your organization.

Avinash Somjani is an intern at utobo and he is currently pursuing his MBA at SIBM Bengaluru. He is passionate about sports, science fiction, history and the ever changing colour of his pen.