Over the past year, the world has experienced a significant shift towards remote work. It has been estimated that by 2025, as much as 75% of the global workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month. As popular as remote work may have become in recent times, it also poses a range of unique challenges for managers. It is particularly difficult to keep a remote team motivated and engaged when traditional meetings and team building are not an option. To address these concerns, a range of virtual team-building activities have been developed to keep global remote teams inspired. Although many of these exercises have been found to lack substance and have no real impact on team morale, a carefully curated range of team-building exercises can have various benefits.
Strong relationships improve collaboration
Managers often wrongly assume that, because remote team members are not located in the same office building, that they are not interested in and can’t benefit from building relationships with their colleagues. Remote workers may, in fact, find it considerably easier to collaborate on future projects when they have a strong pre-existing relationship with one another. Building strong inter-office relationships will also promote more effective communication between team members, decrease workplace conflict, and improve the overall level of job satisfaction among workers. Additionally, strong relationships also reduce workplace conflict, ensure optimal workplace culture, and improve confidence and trust.
Team building can boost productivity
Remote workers often experience a slump in productivity that can have a negative impact on the entire team. Engaging in team-building activities can boost productivity considerably by addressing the ‘three Ps’ of productivity (policies, processes and procedures) in a fun and interactive manner. Productivity can also be impacted in a positive manner when remote workers are able to take a break from their regular work to engage in enjoyable yet beneficial activities. Managers can combine team-building exercises with other engagement-enhancing methods to give productivity the best possible boost. These alternative methods include praising employee input and giving unbiased feedback, as well as holding productive online meetings.
Social interaction improves job satisfaction
According to the 2020 State of Remote Work Report by Buffer and AngelList, as many as 20% of remote workers experience severe bouts of loneliness, which when left unaddressed, can lead to anxiety and depression. Although loneliness may seem inconsequential in a work environment, it can have a dire impact on employee mental health and productivity. Having remote teams engage in virtual team-building activities can help to combat social isolation considerably. When workers feel less lonely, their job satisfaction will automatically increase, which, in turn, will have a positive effect on their productivity levels and loyalty towards their employer.
In order for remote teams to perform to the best of their ability, an effort has to be made to keep them engaged. Virtual team-building activities have proved to be very effective in boosting job satisfaction among global remote workers.