Virtual teams are now common. But how about completely virtual team building? is it possible to build team spirit and a sense of community without getting together?
Now let’s be clear first of all. We don’t think that remote or virtual team building is as good as getting face to face. There is something about that intensive face to face interaction that allows you to build relationships and trust much more quickly.
The kind of team building events I have done with my team in the past include horse whispering (fabulous), stunt days (dramatic), circus school (painful), and the intensive shared experience of these type of team building events really can make a difference to a team. But when costs are tight and travel restricted, some form of virtual team building to get the team kicked off is better than none.
We adapted a team building task we have run for many years where three distributed sub teams have to cooperate, compete, communicate and solve problems across cultural differences using technology. We delivered this to a remote and virtual team through web and telephone interaction.
What the virtual team building exercise lost in the lack of face to face interaction was to some extent replaced by the novelty of working with the technology. We were able to use webex, Internet search, shared documents and other tools to really embed the use of technology.
Some small group physical presence in the different locations turned out to be important for the success of the task and the learning was impressive. So virtual team building is definitely better than no team building.
If you can’t (or even if you can) get together face to face this year and you want to inject some fun, some relationship building, some leaning and team building into your virtual remote team meeting, why not give us a call.