Virtual team building activities took the world by storm when COVID struck the UK back in 2020 and have been adopted by countries throughout the World as a way of keeping their teams motivated, engaged, and connected whilst working from home.
As restrictions are beginning to lift and people start to head back into the office, are virtual team building events going to become a thing of the past? Will companies revert to running traditional face to face team building activities once again?
It is my belief that virtual team building activities are here to stay. That’s not to say traditional face to face events won’t make a solid comeback – they most certainly will. But I think that COVID has created a market for virtual team building activities that will remain.
The circumstances of the last two years have caused many individuals and companies to change the way in which they work. With many employers now embracing the ‘work from home’ philosophy for their staff, employees are no longer restrained geographically by office locations as they once were. As a result, many are moving further away from towns/cities and placing an emphasis on quality of life rather than an easy commute. This in turn means it can be even more difficult for employers to bring everyone together for team meetings or events. The result is that virtual offerings remain a popular and sensible solution.
I firmly believe that virtual team building activities are here to stay. Here are my reasons why:
One of the great things about many virtual team building activities is the cost. Virtual team building activities have far fewer overhead costs compared to traditional face to face activities which require lots of equipment, transport, and multiple staff to deliver and run. As a result, this makes virtual events much more cost-effective than a face to face alternative.
2. They remove geographic barriers
As has been demonstrated over the past few years, virtual team building events can be run across the globe with relative ease. It has never been so easy to connect teams in multiple countries, all taking part in the same activity. Of course, there is the time difference to consider but once you have decided on a time to suit everyone, the rest is simple.
3. Quick and easy to plan and organise
A vast majority of virtual team building activities can be booked and planned in a matter of minutes. In a majority of cases, once you have booked your event all you will need to do is send the relevant information to all those taking part (this information will usually be provided for you by your chosen team building company), and then look forward to the day itself. More often than not, you don’t even need to split the group into teams!
4. No need for expensive venues
Venues can be a huge expense when it comes to team building events and coupled with catering and participants travel to/from your chosen venue, will take up a huge chuck of your budget. By their very nature, virtual team building activities have no requirement for a venue (or catering for that matter) and so a huge cost can immediately be removed from your event budget. Win!
5. Time efficient
Everyone is busy and time is a valuable commodity for everyone. Although there are genuine benefits to team building activities, sometimes it’s difficult to justify a whole day (or even half a day) out of the office. Virtual team building activities are incredibly time-efficient and can be run from start to finish in as little as 1 hour, although most activities will last for approximately 90 minutes in total.
6. They provide a great way to engage with colleagues and have fun
Whether it’s face to face or virtual, this is what team building is all about. It’s a chance to spend some time with your colleagues and have some fun, doing something unrelated to work. It’s an opportunity to build relationships, get to know that new team member, and let your hair down a little.
7. They are the ultimate eco-friendly team building activities
When it comes to carbon-neutral team building activities, virtual team building events are as good as it gets. With Zero waste and no travel requirements (for both the participants and the team building operator), virtual team building activities are the most eco-friendly option available.
8. They can be run for large and small groups alike
Whether it’s a small group of 5 or a large group of 300, virtual team building activities can easily be scaled to accommodate. There’s no need to panic about finding a venue large enough or worrying about what will happen if there are more people than expected.
9. Super flexible
If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that flexibility is key! Virtual team building events are no different and typically super flexible. Need to start at a certain time? No problem. Need to shorten the duration of the activity by 30 minutes? Not a drama. Want to pre-allocate the teams? Sure thing.
10. Almost unlimited availability
One of the major upsides of virtual team building activities is the near-unlimited availability. Unlike traditional corporate team building activities which depend upon van loads of equipment being transported across the country, multiple virtual activities can be run at the same time without any problems whatsoever.