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Online, Remote or Virtual Team Building?

Different clients come to us for similar reasons yet call what they are looking for different things. Some are looking for online team building, some remote team building and others for virtual team building. To us, they are all the same thing. But could they be different? Well, yes. They could. Certainly, each word describes a different aspect of a team event.

Elements

Thinking about it:

  • Online describes the mechanism used to deliver the activity
  • Remote describes the group topography
  • Virtual describes the type of activity

So, all three are important elements in describing what we do for and with clients. Let’s delve deeper into each of them.

Online

Each of the three elements are important, of course. But online is perhaps a broader element that the other two. Why? Because as well as describing the mechanism used to deliver the activity, it also describes the main characteristic of the group’s workplace. That is, people are not all together in one place. Whether that is because they are spread across a few offices, working from home or some combination of the two, they connect using technology.

For us, for a team building activity to be as useful to the group as it is fun, it needs to have as many parallels back to the workplace as possible in how the group need to tackle it. We want the action to be different to what the group does day-to-day. But we also want the way in which the group goes about the action to be as similar as possible to the way in which the group goes about its day-to-day work. That way, the activity is relevant to the group. And, with relevance comes learning potential. Yes, it’s more than possible for a team building activity – online or otherwise – to be useful in helping the team improve in the future as well as fun at the time.

To add to the potential for relevance and learning, our options are accessed with a standard browser and an Internet connection the only requirements. When it comes to connecting team members, they can use the same tools they normally use to connect with one another. Some clients have even used our activities to help people get to grips with their standard meeting tools!

Remote

People are surely only interested in what we do if at least some – maybe only one – of their people are not together as they work. This may be because of changed working approaches as a consequence of Covid, with some or potentially all now working from home. Or it may be because the nature of the group is that it is spread across locations. Most of our pre-Covid clients were within large organizations with teams that operated a follow-the-sun methodology for a 24-hour operation of some kind. So, their teams were very widely spread.

Team building activities for remote teams should offer enough variety to draw out everyone’s strengths

Whatever your group topology, you’re surely only reading this because your people are spread geographically. Whatever the reason and however far they are spread. The good news is that our options are suitable for just about any topological profile we can imagine.

Virtual

A virtual team building activity is one that happens in cyberspace. Nothing is real other than team interactions. For example, within our MiniScavenge activity, teams need to collect items of various types within a 3D scene. The items are no more real than the places they are positioned in. Yet team members need to work together to access them and collect them. In much the same way as team members need to collaborate within a Teams, WebEx or Zoom meeting to achieve things for the team back in the real world.

Similarly, within our Space Rescue activity, team members need to collaborate to solve a variety of puzzles to save a fictitious crew on board a fictitious spacecraft when a ficitious explosion has crippled the spacecraft’s fictitious systems. It’s all virtual, yet the actions that team members have to take and the manner in which they work together will determine whether or not the spacecraft’s crew are saved.

Combined

So putting all three elements together describes what we offer clients in total. Online, Remote and Virtual Team Building. No “or” required! It’s holistic. All three are important.

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