Thanks to innovative technology, the global work environment has seen a colossal shift over the last few years, with even more changes rapidly evolving now. We are very fortunate to have to this technology at our fingertips, especially with UK employees currently stuck working from home.
I consider myself as very fortunate, for being exposed to remote working throughout my career and personally I think it’s great. Working from home allows me to have flexibility, have the right work/life balance, be diverse in my ideas and most importantly be more efficient with my use of time.
From an organisational perspective, having a remote working team is just as beneficial – when it’s done right.
- Improved employee satisfaction
- Fewer absences
- Increased productivity
- Cost saving
- Enhanced collaboration
- Extended talent pool
There have been times when I’ve missed being in an office environment, not being able to build relationships or an emotional connection with my colleagues and co-located companies whilst grabbing a coffee in the kitchen. It was the simple things, general day to day interactions with people.
Remote working teams that lack the ability to form a strong bond can leave employees feeling undervalued and demotivated. This can hinder productivity levels and make it difficult for team members to contribute effectively.
For lots of people, working from home is a new experience and many employees will have already built a degree of companionship between colleagues. However, how do you maintain and nurture these relationships outside of the normal office environment?
At MyPeople we participate in virtual team building activities, these fun and unique experiences can boost employee happiness, engagement and retention. Remote team building doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, either in time or cost – it’s more important that you consider different ways to develop your company culture whilst your entire team are dispersed.
Here are some suggestions that we’ve tried out…
- Online office games including activities; typing-speed races, spreadsheet pixel-art and print-paper origami. How about a tea vs coffee taste off?
- Remote storytelling workshops or virtual improvisation contests that focus on fast decision making and public speaking.
- Lunch and learn sessions, problem-solving activities that involve entire group participation, focusing on developing practical problem-solving, leadership, communication & teamwork skills.
- Online quizzes that help you and your team get to know one another in a fun way. It’s easy to have light-hearted conversation with people in an office environment, but a lot harder to do from a remote perspective (we’ve done a few of the emoji quizzes recently, with varying results!).
We’ve also recently committed to incorporating one of The Body Coach (Joe Wicks) fitness classes into our morning routines, before our first scrum meeting of the day. Prior to business fully commencing, it’s a good common ground for general conversations, as we’ve all just taken part in the same activity. The Body Coach has pledged to host a free workout aimed at kids live, every morning on his YouTube channel – if you have children, it’s a great way to get them involved in your new morning routine!
If group fitness isn’t your thing, there’s still no reason you can’t organise a celebratory drink at the end of the week with a virtual pub get together on a Friday – to discuss non work-related things and keep the banter going with your peers.
One size doesn’t fit all, but it’s about finding the right mix for your team. Team building activities are a great way to boost morale and humanise what can seem a very disconnected world, during the current crisis. Another factor to consider when trying to strengthen your company culture remotely, is to understand if your employee’s trust each other, trust their leaders and trust the organisations. Trust forms the basis of all relationships and interactions, It’s as important in remote environments as it is in a physical office space.