There’s no denying that for the last year, the world has been a very different place. Work from home went from a perk that few enjoyed, to a necessity in every company, of every size, in every industry. It has meant rethinking not just how to run a business, but how to foster and nurture the bonds between co-workers to create stronger teams ready to face whatever new challenges or changes each day might bring.
In the Before — the time prior to COVID-19 and its sweeping consequences — TeamBonding was (and still) the go-to resource for companies both large and small to create meaningful and fun ways for employees to connect with one another outside of daily responsibilities. Demonstrations, parties, workshops, and more were ways to get teams talking, creating lasting relationships that were then funneled back into the business in the form of more productive teams that worked together with fewer seams.
Everyone — including us at TeamBonding — is ready and excited to get back to in-person events, you don’t have to completely abandon all team bonding efforts. In fact, our catalog of virtual team bonding events and has grown exponentially, with a massive range of options to ensure that there is something suitable for every team, joining in from any location.
While we are now completely confident and deem ourselves experts in our abilities to provide excellent team bonding opportunities virtually, doesn’t mean there weren’t obstacles along the way that we needed to overcome. Between lockdowns and adhering to new COVID regulations, going virtual was a growing pain we all experienced, and remote team building activities were no different. At TeamBonding, we worked with partners, our facilitators, and customers to constantly analyze what was working, what needed improvements, and what we could do to continue making virtual team bonding as good as (if not better) than live events pre-COVID. Here are a few things we learned along the way.
Lag is Not a Drag
Is there anything more frustrating than waiting to be let into a virtual waiting room, or worse, lag times between what you or someone else in the event says or does, and seeing it show up on the screen?
Merriam-Webster defines lag time as “an interval of time between two related phenomena (such as a cause and its effect)” which is a simple definition for something that causes so much frustration. Examples of lag you have probably experienced include a video freezing while you can still hear the audio of the person talking, the video and audio not being synchronized, videos stopping to buffer or load in the middle of a viewing, or audio stuttering in and out.
There are many reasons you might experience lag, from the Internet connection of individual participants not being strong enough to accommodate the traffic, to too many devices on a network all trying to connect at the same time, or even trying to download or upload a large file while also trying to watch a video or participate in a virtual event.
That said, there are ways to help account for lag, and TeamBonding has created workarounds to diminish them as much as possible, and make the lag something that won’t cause annoyance. Our events team along with your designated host/facilitator, have state-of-the-art equipment to make sure your event runs smoothly from start to finish!
Adding New Dimensions
While we’re all getting used to seeing one another on screens, it’s hard to remember sometimes that the world isn’t flat. That’s why 3D video conferencing can be a huge benefit for those looking to add dimension and depth to their events.
Animated backgrounds, green screens, icebreakers, facilitators, and sometimes even kits, not only increases the production value, but it also lets participants feel more like they are together at an event than just watching someone at home give a presentation. It creates a more cohesive total package, which in turn makes it easy for employees to get comfortable and enjoy the time together bonding and networking.
But it goes beyond the backgrounds. TeamBonding also takes pride in not letting any detail go unexamined. A few things that help make the events feel more natural and flow easier (that you can use to improve your own meetings as well!) include:
- Have natural lighting sources that are bright enough to illuminate the area without feeling harsh or washed out.
- Have the right sound systems in place — you should be able to hear everything the presenter says crystal clear, without any volume issues.
- Professional attire — sure, working from home we are all enjoying a bit more casual wardrobe choices, but this is a time to break into that part of the closet you haven’t seen in a while, and pull out the more professional and put-together outfits.
Beyond the basics, TeamBonding has a worldwide team of diverse experts ready to go whenever and wherever you are — it doesn’t matter where you are based, or what time works best for your team, there are events and experts excited to lead your event and help your remote team building exercises turn out perfectly.
Our Favorite Virtual TeamBonding Events
Now that you know how hard we work to produce the best virtual team building events possible, we wanted to share just a few of our favorites out of the hundreds of virtual options we provide.
At the Races is a unique experience that brings teams together to try and win a horse race. After a short introduction video that sets the stage and explains how to participate, teams come together to bet, train, or sabotage horses before coming back together in larger groups to cheer on their picks, taunt their opponents, and celebrate their wins. No two races are ever the same, and it’s sure to get everyone on your team laughing and working together.
If you’re looking for a way to encourage your entire team to get involved, consider the WFH Scavenger Hunt, where teams break out into small groups to see who can solve trivia questions, find objects around their houses, and win the most points on the night. The event will be sure to foster a lot of laughter, collaboration, and creativity, and will be a topic of conversation for months.
With 60 seconds on the clock, check out Virtual In It To Win It, our fast, fun, and action-packed series of 60-second challenges that will ignite laughter, spirit, and joy!
If your team is more of a puzzle-solving sort, the VCSI — Virtual Crime Scene Investigation event is a good choice. With escape rooms still closed, this is a great virtual alternative, getting your team to work together to find clues and solve mysteries, using creative thinking skills and collaboration to find the answers.
Finally, who doesn’t like a good cocktail? The Virtual Happy Hour & Mixology event brings your team together to learn how to mix a pre-determined cocktail from an expert, and then enjoy raising a glass to enjoy together! To make it even easier, you can choose to have participants provide their own ingredients, or TeamBonding can ship them out a kit with everything they’ll need to follow along, so all your employees have to do is show up and have fun.
As the world begins to slowly return to in-person events, TeamBonding will not forget the lessons learned in the past year. We will continue to offer our battle-tested virtual events to companies who remain remote, and teams that reach worldwide and host hybrid events that bring together elements of both live and virtual experiences. Regardless of what your team’s needs and expectations are, the experts at TeamBonding will be here to help you exceed them and propel your employees to the next level of productivity and resourcefulness.