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Article4 Surprising Benefits of Virtual Team Building Activities

The familiar rituals of happy hour on Friday, trivia in the break room, and chitchat by the water cooler are going extinct. COVID-19 has changed the way the world works, and remote or hybrid models are becoming the new normal.

Although many tools, routines, and processes have been developed to ease the transition, many employees are still struggling. Pandemic-related isolation and anxiety are coupled with rising work demands.

With a full schedule of Zoom meetings and never-ending email chains, "getting back to normal" feels cliché and unattainable. Managers and business leaders are looking for solutions that provide relief and results now. Maybe it’s time to shift the goal.

TeamDynamic is committed to making "normal" conversations and meaningful activities more accessible for remote, hybrid, and disconnected teams. Here are four surprising benefits of virtual team building games along with data-driven advice to help you maximize engagement:

1. Improve Productivity with Culture in Mind

Genuine relationships are one important element of a positive, productive workplace environment. Countless surveys prove that your office culture and productivity are linked.

In 2013 Gallup reported that close work friendships can boost employee satisfaction by 50%! Plus, the same poll found that having a best friend at work increases engagement seven-fold.

Many team leaders focus on a top-down approach to relationship building, but it’s more important to create the opportunity for authentic relationships to grow.

It’s tempting to use plug-and-play games or basic, free team building activities, but will your employees resonate with them? Do they match your office culture and values? Are they age-appropriate?

Pro Tip: Look for online team building tools that provide a library of games and quizzes to choose from – bonus points if the activities are customizable! Your team shouldn’t just be inspired to talk and connect; they deserve the opportunity to make real friends.

2. Reduce Burnout with Asynchronous Tasks

Flexible, independent time management is one of the preferred perks and redeeming qualities of remote work. It’s also one of the top priorities for Gen Z and millennial workers. Unfortunately, schedules are even more gridlocked and full of meetings than before.

According to Microsoft’s annual Work Trend Index, there were 148% more meetings over the course of a single year, from February 2020 to February 2021!

Don’t ruin the fun by taking up more of your team’s scheduled time. Meeting fatigue is a growing concern, and it’s one of the reasons that employees are reporting higher levels of burnout this year.

Pro Tip: Asynchronous team building activities are a better option for virtual employees. With realistic time limits, engaging game prompts, and automated notifications, you can give your team the freedom to participate on their own time.

3. Increase Retention with Authentic Feedback

In 2019, BetterUp found that a strong sense of belonging can reduce turnover risk by 50%. Listening, learning, adapting, and collaborating all add up to a stronger sense of belonging.

Employees don’t need perfection in every part of their job, but they do expect that things will continue to improve. When leadership is open and accountable to feedback, it proves that employee voices matter – they play a vital role, and they belong.

Pro Tip: Team building is an effective way to foster a sense of belonging among coworkers, but you can also use the same tools to spark vertical conversations. The best remote team building activities allow you to create custom quizzes and feedback forms.

By gamifying the process, you can reduce feedback anxiety and get more honest answers. Easily alternate between team bonding activities and pulse-check quizzes in the same platform to get a more accurate sense of how your employees are feeling.

4. Open Communication with Wider Circles

The pandemic didn’t only change how we communicate – it also altered who we talk to. Microsoft surveyed more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and found that remote and hybrid work considerably shrank communication networks with more one-on-one chats, smaller conversations, and less collaboration.

Virtual team building is a great way to facilitate introductions and help team members increase their social capital. Their paths might not cross online like they used to in the office! Remember, innovation stems from fresh perspectives and diverse ideas.

Pro Tip: Be intentional about the groups and conversations that you create. Who is linked up at the center and who is at-risk on the outside?

Unlike in-person team bonding games, online activities provide valuable data to track and reward engagement. Plus, you can share results more easily with competitive leaderboards, customizable reports, and answer highlights.

TeamDynamic turns unmotivated strangers into productive teammates. Our 5-minute activities increase engagement and give everyone a reason to smile. With scalable pricing and customizable team building activities, you can bring people together and get better results – starting today!

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