Team building in the modern work environment can be a real challenge. With multiple office locations and the advent of telecommuting, rising travel costs, and unpredictable limitations like virus scares, it’s as if the universe simply doesn’t want us to connect.
Yet, developing a strong corporate culture relies on continual face-to-face interactions and collaboration. What are we to do? Remote team building is quickly becoming a feasible and cost-effective solution to connecting teams creatively and collaboratively even when the universe gets in your way.
Team building used to be much more straightforward — planned activities during annual meetings, regional or local team events, or even daily interactions like popping over to a coworker’s desk, grabbing coffee together, or taking a team lunch. And, for the most part, all of these activities still take place. The challenge is that we have more variables than ever to contend with these days.
Telecommuting is fast becoming an accepted norm in the modern work environment both from an efficiency and an employee benefit standpoint. Around 85% [source: Fortune] of today’s top companies offer a telecommuting option as an alternative to working in an office.
Travel costs aren’t getting any cheaper either. Although they are predicted to increase at a lower rate than in 2019, both flight and hotel rates are expected to increase globally by approximately 1.0% in 2020 [source: MeetingsNet].
And then there is global concern over unforeseen factors like the recent COVID-19, which is postponing, if not entirely grounding, many large events across the Industry. Not to mention that traditional annual or semi-annual events only get teams together a few times a year at best. Team building needs to be a year round effort, and this is where remote team building can help.
Video conferencing platforms aren’t just convenient, they offer a better way to connect than traditional conference calls. Take it from the experts at Harvard University,
“We know from dozens of studies and our own experience that face-to-face interactions are more effective than phone or email, because non-verbal cues play such a significant part in our ability to relate to and understand others. This aids in everything from establishing trust to how we comprehend information.” [source: Harvard Business Review]
Team building using virtual platforms is relatively new, and while a number of virtual team building activities are beginning to surface, most take the form of basic icebreakers, trivia and games, which do not make optimal use of the platforms’ capabilities. Here at SongDivision, we felt there was a lot more we could do.
Using SongDivision’s award-winning methodology for uniting teams using the science of music, we developed a virtual team building solution — Remote Team Anthem — that engages your teams in an online interactive songwriting experience. Together, your people decide on a musical style and write lyrics to their very own song communicating the team’s purpose, all with the help of our premier facilitators who have worked with top international artists. As always, no musical experience is required.
With team members across four continents, we’ve learned a thing or two about staying connected. A regular monthly meeting is one thing, but when you need an energy boost for your team that fuels collaboration and creativity, remote songwriting sessions deliver in ways you can’t get from a conference call or even a traditional video conference.
“The phrase ‘phoning it in’ exists because people can sit back, be less engaged, and less focused on a phone call. Research indicates that teams who utilize videoconferencing technology reported experiencing higher levels of collaboration.” [source: Harvard Business Review]
Combine the benefits of videoconferencing with the powerful collaborative traits of music and you have a recipe for one unforgettable team building experience!
Now before you go eliminating all of your physical events in favor of remote meetings, know that remote team building is not a replacement for live human interaction. Rather, it presents an opportunity to continually advance your corporate culture goals in the moments when you can’t physically be together.
Whatever you do, just don’t phone it in.
Unite your teams, remotely, using the science of music!