The year 2022 has witnessed a groundbreaking rise in the remote hiring of employees. Companies now onboard remote teams to take over their managerial or administrative roles. The diversity of the workforce has greatly benefitted organizations but has also brought in some challenges. Like, organizations supporting hybrid work struggle with integrating their on-site and remote teams. They need a unified platform that becomes an online workspace for employees operating from different locations. Sadly, the platforms such as Slack, Google or Facebook Workspace fail to replicate the office experience. For that matter, a virtual office is considered the best choice to ensure team building among remote employees.
Are you looking for an online workplace for your remote employees? Create a virtual office to mimic an office environment for remote teams operating globally.
Importance of Remote Team Building
From the moment you step into the office, you meet and greet your teammates. Sometimes you get a chance to work collaboratively in teams. By all means, the office environment gives you enough room to get to know each other and build a strong team. Good teamwork is what your company expects from you. Also, we have observed that close-knit teams perform better at work. This particularly works well for an on-site team.
But, the question here arises, how would you build remote teams? Your teams residing at far locations do not get to interact face-to-face. The long-distance might become a hurdle for them to gel in and work collaboratively. Besides, the off-and-on skype chats fail to inculcate teamwork within remote employees. Realizing the need for an integrated system, the virtual office becomes the unified platform for remote teams to work together in a 3D replicated office environment. Above all, it ensures that the teams use the workspace and work productively all day long. Indeed, it has everything you would find in a physical office building.
Learn more: The complete guide to a virtual office
Virtual Office Features
To support the virtual team building of remote employees, virtual offices offer the following features:
- Easy log-in system for remote employees
- Personalized workspace for team building
- Custom-designed virtual environment
- Replica of an office building from the entrance to meeting rooms
- 3D animated company representative avatars
- Lobbies, halls and rooms depicting the company culture
- Booths and desks with integrated chat systems
- Live or recorded webinar hosting available for employees
- Virtual roundtable and workshop rooms
- Audio/video conferencing options are available
- Networking lounges to move about and interact with others
- Employees can book meetings with each other within the platform
- Gamification, happy hour and other team building activities
- Allows hosting meetings, conferences, workshops and round table discussions,
All in all, a virtual office is a personal workspace for your remote teams. It is an integrated platform that supports live official interaction, employee engagement and team collaboration.
If you wish to learn how to keep your remote employees engaged and immersed in the company culture, then incorporate virtual team building exercises for positive results.
Virtual Office Team Building Activities
Your remote teams are joining from their homes, probably sitting comfortably in their living rooms. However, they might get bored staring at their laptop screens all day long. So how would you make their online work experience worthwhile? In order to add life to their dull working environment, you need to spice up their virtual working experience.
With a virtual office at your disposal, your employees have ample live networking and engagement opportunities. However, it is teamwork that would help remote employees push tasks out the door. But to give them a little push into a collaborative work environment, you need to employ team-building activities. For instance, the activities could range from an online happy hour to structured programs. These activities are specifically designed to make the office environment more fun and ensure the productivity of each employee.
Follow these fun virtual office team-building activities and watch your remote teams connect and mingle at its best.
1- Virtual Icebreaking – Meet and Greet
The first step to effective team building is the live meet and greet. Remote employees should get a chance to know each other, though, maybe from over the screen. When a new employee is onboarded, a good practice is to introduce them to the team members. For instance, you can begin your morning meeting by introducing a new bee to the team. This works as an icebreaker among the team members.
Some effective icebreaker activities are:
- Live quizzes
- Two truths and a lie
- Whose story is it?
- Share a joke
2- Virtual Breakout Room
Just as the employees get to chit-chat on the office floor, a virtual breakout room becomes their virtual networking space. It has all the elements that would support the live interaction of employees who may be on a tea or lunch break. The employees gather in the break room and engage in text, audio or video chats with each other. This offers them a chance to catch up on life just as they would in physical face-to-face interactions.
To top up the work experience, an animated representative avatar is created for each employee. The moving avatars give a sense of realism when the employees move about the space and interact with other avatars. These avatars clutter the workplace mimicking the scene of a real-life office building.
Separate Break Rooms: Virtual breakout rooms simply act as the office floor where remote employees spend their free time. But separate breakout rooms are allotted to each team to ensure strong connections among the teams. So it becomes the ideal space for employee team building. Although, the team leader must ensure that the entire team is present and uses the break rooms. This shall become a part of their daily remote work routine.
3- Personal Workspace Tour
A great way to know about a person is by visiting their home. Since your remote teams are mostly operating from home, it is a good idea to have everyone give a personal workspace tour. It may be their living room, coffee shop or any working space. Let each employee know about their co-workers’ personalities, likings and hobbies by virtually being in their space. For instance, employees can introduce the team member to their favourite spot in the home and show off their trophies or pets.
The personal workspace tour helps team members to relate to each other and engage in friendly conversation. Which, as a result, helps build a strong-knit remote team.
4- Virtual Office Games
Virtual office team-building activities can be fun for remote team members. We all know that games are a way to bring out the child in us. So in order to spark healthy relationships among the remote teams, you can engage them in virtual office games. There are tons of team-building games available online. Like, here’s a list of games that your team members can play on a regular basis:
- Print-paper origami
- Online board games
- Scavenger hunt
- Murder mystery
- Escape the room
- Fun puzzles and more
The games also inculcate a sense of competition among the members, which encourages them to look better as a team. You can also keep a scoreboard to help employees track their performance on the games and play wholeheartedly.
5- Spill Tea About Weekend
When wrapping up the week’s work, you can encourage the team members to share their weekend plans with the group. For instance, some may be travelling to other cities or spending the weekend with friends, which would help everyone feel included within the team. This is a good activity for team members as they get excited about their time away from their hectic work routine.
Or you can adopt this ritual on Monday mornings when everyone gathers for a meeting. Then, team members can share how happening their weekend was. Undoubtedly, this team building activity would help you with a fresh start for the week. And this is how you smoothly welcome remote teams back to work.
6- Virtual Recreational Events
Recreational events bring a sense of community and joy. Virtual recreational activities are hosted to bring teams closer to enjoy their time together. These activities should be shortlisted by live polling. Here’s a list of team-building recreational activities:
- Staff parties
- Movie night
- Sports gala
- Birthday celebrations
- Joint eatery
- Fun meetings
- Online concert
- Musical night
To enhance the experience, let your teammates dress up as per the occasion and feel confident during zoom calls. Overall, these activities help the team members to relax within the virtual workspace and feel proud working at your organization.
7- Celebrate Employee Achievements
Celebrating the achievements of employees also helps induce a sense of team building among remote teams. Appreciating the employees for their achievements may be small or big, would encourage them to keep up with the good work. It collectively encourages team members to clap for each other. Basically, appreciating employees uplifts their morals and overall builds a positive work environment.
Here’s a tip to practice employee achievement among your remote teams. Host awards for:
- Employee of the month
- Work anniversaries
- Project completion
- Teamwork award
- Performance award
- Years of service
- Sales Achievement
- Attendance awards
Include these employee appreciation awards in team-building activities to let employees celebrate their hard work.
8- Share a Peak of your Day
One way to make your team’s bond stronger is by asking them to share a peek at their day. Each day, your remote employees can connect with the members by sharing a picture describing their day. For instance, a picture from their morning walk, lunch plate, the weather outside the window, or a new CD they bought. Because pictures are an easy way to spark informal conversations among the group. They get to discuss life on a lighter mode amid busy work meetings or tasks.
This daily peeks into each individual’s life builds a sense of compassion for each other, which consequently helps build a fantastic team.
Undoubtedly, virtual office will be the next big thing when it comes to engaging remote teams.
Once you learn the art of virtual team building, you can easily mix and match remote employees. The virtual office acts as a unified working space for your remote teams joining from different parts of the world. Basically, the remote working space is used to connect, engage and collaborate with employees to work productively. But it all comes down to how effectively you apply virtual office team-building activities.
The world is pivoting to online workspaces where remote teams take the lead. Virtual Days leverages its feature-rich platform for organizations to smoothly run their virtual office. Above all, it is an all-in-one solution provider platform for remote team building. So, join us to bring your remote teams together at one place!
Sign up for a demo and learn more about our virtual office platform.