The pandemic lockdowns forced many businesses to go online. According to Forbes, by 2025 almost 70% of jobs will be remote.

This is a historical change, and it has permanently revolutionized the way we work and collaborate. Team managers face a big challenge: how to bring team members together if they all work from home? 

Luckily, every challenge brings both difficulties and opportunities, and post-pandemic workflow is no exception. Despite the fact that it is no longer easy to gather everyone and go to a pub on Friday evenings, there are alternatives. 

Many managers already perform team-building activities online. According to them, online team building still works in favor of mutual trust and collaboration. Also, a variety of virtual team-building activities manage to serve different niches. They seem to be successfully applied in the IT, eCommerce, or digital marketing world.

In this article, we will check how team building can be done online, and list benefits it could bring to your team.

What Is Online Teambuilding?

The purpose of online teambuilding is the same as before. The idea is to make sure people know each other better so that they can communicate more efficiently. 

However, going online changed how teambuilding activities are understood and performed. Managers had to think quickly and come up with new employee engagement ideas. New activities included entertaining video meetings, online small-talk and “water cooler” sessions, company culture workshops, quizzes, games, etc. 

This was necessary to keep everyone on the same track while they were experiencing severe changes in their workplaces and everyday lives.

Although online teambuilding is a new concept and is still in the process of refinement, it has proven to be essential for remote teams’ productivity. In the following section, you will find some of the benefits reported by managers so far.

Online Teambuilding Boosts Cohesiveness

In order to be as efficient, effective, and productive as possible, team members have to share the feeling of belonging. People are brought together by the same values, goals, and experiences. 

Their job-related tasks are, of course, their main common experience. However, informal gatherings also significantly contribute to the sense of togetherness. Informal or semi-formal events allow them to show more of their characters and interact on a more personal level. 

These events, online or in-person, are crucial for creating a sense of familiarity and cohesiveness in the team.

Breaks Routine and Maintains Focus

If people are constantly dedicated to one specific action, or set of actions, for a long period of time, there is a risk of losing focus. As the brain needs rest just like muscles do, it performs much better after a break.

Teambuilding is of course not a break, but it is a little bit more relaxed way of being at work. Whether or not the employees like it, it has a significant role in breaking the routine. It allows a fresh perspective on the workflow and boosts employee engagement.

Helps Resolve Conflicts

Conflicts among employees can seriously undermine the productivity of the teams. Additionally, misunderstandings arise much more easily in online correspondence. 

Since online teambuildings function as substitutes for in-person meetings and discussions, managers can use this occasion to supervise the conflicts. Any arising conflicts among members can be spotted on time before they put team productivity in danger. 

Also, virtual team-building activities can help managers resolve disputes. They can help conflicted sides put their shields down and hear each other better.

Boosts Productivity

Unplanned and forced shift to remote work challenges productivity. As general living conditions changed dramatically, employees were under a significant amount of stress. Additionally, team members couldn’t communicate with their colleagues as fast as before.

Online teambuilding allows managers to keep everyone updated on the goals and milestones achieved so far. On the other hand, online teambuilding can be extremely important for nurturing cross-department collaboration. 

Enhances Leadership and Skill Development

It has become increasingly difficult for managers to spot natural leaders in their teams since communication went online. Actually, it is hard for managers to spot any additional qualities of the employees through email or chat correspondence. 

At the same time, employees aren’t motivated for further development if there is no space for their qualities to be recognized and valued.

Therefore, any form of team-building activity is a precious opportunity to spot workers’ unrecognized qualities while engaged in informal virtual activities.

Improves Communication

Perhaps we didn’t realize the importance of that small-talk next to the watercooler until it became impossible. Instant messaging requires more effort and time than face-to-face communication. Also, it lacks mimics and body language. 

However, online teambuilding can improve this by allowing people to see each other through a video call. Some entertaining activities, such as games or quizzes, can be convenient occasions to get used to new forms of communication. 

Fosters Brainstorming, Creativity, And Innovation

In the world of fierce competitiveness, innovation drives success. In order to allow innovative ideas to emerge, it is necessary to create a good climate for brainstorming and creativity.

Creativity is crucial for businesses, whether it is for creating a new product line, discussing sales and marketing outreach strategies, or troubleshooting. As brainstorming works on the principle of trial and error, the working atmosphere has to be safe, accepting, and as relaxed as possible. 

The market is changing rapidly these days, and we have to be creative in order to keep up the pace. Therefore, we need a supportive atmosphere in teams now more than ever.

Breaks Barriers And Creates Trust

Members of teams that have worked online since the very beginning can have a problem opening up with each other. This can create trust issues, so remote team-building activities are even more relevant for these teams. For them, there is no other way to learn more about each other.

At the same time, online teambuilding is a great way to welcome new members to the team.

Enables Work Culture Implementation 

In times of remote work, online teambuilding might be the only way to implement a work culture. Before it was partially passed on by observing other employees and older colleagues in their mutual interaction. This is no longer possible.

Therefore, online teambuilding is the only occasion where work ethics and the remote team culture can be discussed and brought into life. 

Helps Celebrate Success

After overcoming so many difficulties and obstacles the current market puts in their way, people want to celebrate their achievements. Their effort and success should be properly recognized, praised, and awarded by the management.

Online teambuilding is a great way to do that. Presenting the good news, praising overachievers, and sharing the joy of common success are all great appreciation ideas for remote workers’ teambuilding parties.

Conclusion

Online teambuilding is as stimulating for managers as it is for the employees. It enables the former to keep track of productivity, learn about their workers and oversee any emerging issues. 

Many businesses started providing their employees with online training and wellbeing programs. Such programs are supposed to help people cope with the changes and adjust to the new work environment. Also, managers use various online collaboration tools to further inspire people and keep their spirits up. 

It is a challenging time for managers. However, with enough patience and creative solutions, teams can achieve the desired productivity.