I remember when I first started to get into online gaming, I had always had a Playstation in the house but never really bothered with multiplayer until my older brother moved to Japan. We always organised catch ups because we were quite close as family, but found that we usually ran out of things to talk about pretty quickly. I think this was because we never did a ‘catch up’ when we were at home so were hardly going to start now!
We started then to organise our calls around an activity, normally a Playstation or PC game and it was just a lot more fun, we had something to talk about and focus our attention on for a couple of hours. I’m glad to say that we still do that to this day, and it works just as well, even with my nephew interrupting things on his side!
(Incidentally, my business name is a nod to this intercontinental bond with ‘Manabu’ literally meaning ‘To learn’ in Japanese – My brother is an early years teacher in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture).
The point is that activities work online and the purpose of this blog is to give you 3 reasons why:
1.It connects remote teams
Your team may be working from home at the moment because it is not safe for them to be in the office, or indeed they may be working from home anyway as a more permanent situation. Either way, it is difficult to re-create the office social buzz which is why attempts have been made through virtual coffee breaks and quizzes. People want to socialise and get to know their colleagues, a simple google search will show that (see below) and the best way to achieve it is around an activity.
A wise person once told me that ‘relationships are everything’ and anyone who has worked in an office will recognise a healthy team relationship from an unhealthy one. If you are working remotely consider how important it is for people to understand the benefits of good teamwork and good communication and then how this affects your bottom line.
2.It gives you access to different experiences
I have already described how gaming connected my brother and I across time zones and continents, this works for your teams as well. As a business owner who has had to transition services online I can speak with authority that it is a good space to be in. Where previously my core delivery method was through outdoor education, I am now able to get teams to participate in virtual reality and online escape rooms.
The restrictions with vendors in the past meant that the physical space only allowed for 4 / 5 players at a time - we are now able to accommodate 25 / 30 online, meaning more value for your organisation, more networking opportunities for your people alongside participation in activities that suit their skills and experience.
3.Its more cost effective
Consider for a moment the costs that go into planning a staff away day, there are considerations to be made for time away from the office / workstation, the cost of travel and then the cost of insurance & hire of premises which are going to form part of your quotation. That is not to say necessarily that there are zero costs with doing something online, but the flexibility and convenience that it offers both the trainer and participants help to make it more manageable for everyone.
Typically, a good session outdoors will be 4 hours (2 hours in the morning, stop for lunch, with 2 hours in the afternoon). To achieve learning outcomes online you may still be participating for 4 hours but more than likely this will be spilt across multiple sessions and you are virtually eliminating travel time.
In summary, online team building works & while we will never move to a completely virtual experience it is important to consider it as a viable and meaningful alternative for your people.