Virtual team building in times of the coronavirus crisis
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
How organizations in Asia can ensure their teams remain energized while forced to work from home.
Covid 19 has caused havoc to the business community. Across Asia, business travel have come to a halt, all non-essential stores and shops have been shut down, restaurants and pubs closed, and employees are put on self-induced quarantine; to work from home.
For many, remote work is a new experience. Workers are used to the social networks provided in their offices, to meet colleagues and friends in coffee breaks, and to spend endless hours in meetings face to face with co-workers, bosses, customers and suppliers. The sudden change to be socially isolated have many left alienated and detached.
This detachment, if not addressed, can lead to mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.
So what should organizations do to energize their teams? To get the feeling of harmony, team work, and unity back?
Virtual team building, or team building for employees who are not physically at the same location, is not a new concept. But it's fairly new to Asia, and in particular Thailand and many organizations do not know how to start. So we have done some research:
First, you need a very fast internet connection, 4G or 5G, but most firms in Thailand should have this. Then, a teleconference app, and there are many free to download, like Lifesize, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom and many more. Even using What's App LINE groups is an option for small teams.
Secondly, you should set yourself an objective of what you wish to achieve. Is it that you wish people to be more connected, to exchange ideas about work in an interactive and engaging way, to have more fun while working at home, or to minimize stress and anxiety in this difficult time.
Thirdly, activities that may achieve your objectives may have to be shortlisted, and at this stage consider hiring a team building provider who comes up with fun ideas, and has the expertise to facilitate virtual team building games.
At this point reflect about the duration of the games, and the intervals you wish to do virtual team building. This could be every morning for 10 minutes, once a week for 60 minutes or once a months for half-a-day or anything really that fits your work schedule.
If the games are played indoors, which is a must in heavy Covid19 infected areas, the duration could be anywhere between 10 minutes (like an ice-braker before the morning brief), and 90 minutes. Scavenger hunts, Amazing Races, Treasure hunts and Walking Discoveries are likely to take 1 to 3 hours or more, are typical outdoors, and should only be organized in areas where Covid19 is on the decrease,and officials have given the go-ahead to travel around town again. Check how many Covid 19 infections your country have before you decide to organize this outdoors at Worldometers.
More about individual virtual team building games in our next blog post.
After the games, it is advised to get some feed-back. One of the best free apps is Mentimeter. A survey through Mentimeter is a one-minute job and easy to implement. This gives the organizer the necessary feed-back whether the participants enjoyed the games, they feel the games are useful, meaningful and achieve the objectives that are set out before the start of the virtual team building.
Virtual team building is not rocket science, but it needs a bit of planning and preparation to do it well.
For more information, please contact info(at)beunite.com or call 084 629 05 07.
And workers who feel they need professional counseling about Covid-19 related mental illnesses, please get more information on Rehab4Addiction.