With social distancing becoming a daily norm to us all, it is no surprise that this has had an impact on the way we work. Many companies have opted to shift to a work from home model which leads to a new reality of juggling home responsibilities with work responsibilities. This leads to the clear lines that separate the two being blurred and thus, this combination can be the perfect recipe for stress amongst virtual teams.
Furthermore, communication becomes impersonal and detached as individuals only have the opportunity to communicate with their colleagues through online portals such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Miscommunication leads to misunderstandings and misunderstandings lead to conflict. Conflict within a team reduces productivity and hence a team of individuals that may have been a well-oiled machine before the pandemic can now deteriorate.
So how can you help manage the stress that comes when dealing with your remote teams?
Stay Connected Through Frequent Updates
When managing a virtual team, it is essential to have frequent update sessions with each other in order to ensure that everyone is on track and not struggling. Having quick and short huddles during the day is a virtual team building activity that can help the team members feel heard and will make individuals comfortable enough to speak up when they are faced with hurdles while performing their work tasks.
Participate In Online Team Building Activities
“Alone we can do little. Together we can do so much.” – Hellen Keller
A strong bond amongst a remote team is essential to ensure productivity is maintained. Virtual team building activities provide a break for individuals and gives them a chance to socialise. This can lead to them feeling more connected and at ease with each other. Remote team building games also allow for a different way to learn about employees under a fun ambience.
Modify Policies In Order To Be More Flexible
Based on a study done in the Harvard Business Review, it is stated that companies must update their policies and practices to facilitate the new norm in our post pandemic world. Depending on the individual, stressors will vary and thus, managers need to be aware and understanding of hurdles individuals may face and must be willing to be flexible in order to manage them and find a rhythm that works for everyone.
Have The Team Invest In Frequent Wellness Practices
According to research done by the Mayo Clinic, it is stated that 30 minutes of exercise a day can help boost an individual’s mood and reduce their stress levels. With activities such as Yoga and Meditation becoming a popular way to reduce and manage stress, setting aside sometime during the work week for the whole team to do some form of work out together through Zoom would immediately boost morale. This could be a virtual team building activity that can be open to the entire office to participate in.
Celebrate Your Team
Before the days of a pandemic, when a team makes a win, there are high fives to go around and pats on the back; in our new norm, when working as a virtual team, there is little to no human connection. This is why it is imperative to celebrate with a virtual awards ceremony or investing in online team building games. This provides as a refresher for your colleagues and can aid in team bonding.
While it is a common dream to return to life before a pandemic, the reality is that we may have to accept that this is how we will function from now on. Engagement and social interaction are imperative for humankind to thrive. Thus, it is necessary to open channels of clear communication in order for individuals to feel comfortable when engaging within a remote team.
Above are only a few ideas of how you can build a stronger and lasting bond with your virtual team. You could build on these ideas and modify them to best fit your team’s individual needs. As Henry Ford once said, “if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” and a team that is de-stressed is a productive team.
At Rush-A-Way we have helped over 200 organizations build stronger team bonds. Now we have combined our award-winning concept with unique and creative online team games to provide a fun and effective virtual experience which engages and motivates remote teams. Our sessions are 98% effective in strengthening bonds between team members and boosting team morale, based on participant survey.