Helping you leverage the power of your Virtual Team

Virtual Team Tips

Virtual Team Building Activities for Work

Here are six easy to facilitate virtual team building activities for work:

 

#1 Virtual Team Project Initiation Meeting

This virtual team building activity should be top of your list.   Too many virtual team members are showing up for work online without the proper training and preparedness for working as part of a virtual team.  Each virtual team member working from a remote location needs to be aware of the challenges they will face and the special advantages and requirements of working on a virtual team project.

Part of the virtual team building activity should include virtual team ice-breakers to help team members get to know each other, discussions over possible challenges the project will face as a virtual team and solutions to overcome them.   Virtual teams need to clarify the “virtual team” ground rules and be fully aware of the project responsibility structure and virtual collaboration tools available to them.  Yamma is one collaboration tool gaining popularity within Virtual Teams.

#2 Regular Virtual “face-to-face” Online Team Meetings

Whenever possible, a real-life, face-to-face direct meeting between virtual team members is the BEST virtual team building activity you can initiate.  However, just because your virtual team members are remotely located around the world DOES NOT mean you cannot meet face-to-face on a regular basis.  Face-to-face virtual team meetings can be facilitated through video conferencing.  Platforms like Skype (free) and Go-To-Meeting will deliver a face-to-face experience without you needing to be in the same room as your team members.

#3 Ice-Breaker Activities for Virtual Teams

Add some fun into your virtual team meetings by starting out with some ice-breaker activities.   As a fun virtual ice-breaker team building activity  you can ask each team member to take “the office character” quiz.   The team can discuss the results together online and talk about why they think the quiz results were accurate/not accurate.  For more ice-breaker team building activities check out this article here:  http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-building-activities/virtual-team-ice-breaker-games/

#4 Take Coffee Breaks with Your Virtual Team “Virtually”

Set aside time to have coffee with your virtual team members.  The activity can be done as a collective virtual group OR you can have personalized, individual “coffee breaks” with the members of your virtual team.

If you want to really get your team members excited and supporting this virtual team building activity, you can order Starbucks vouchers for them here – http://www.voucherexpress.co.uk/verse/starbucks/

#5 Incorporate Regular Virtual Team Building Exercises into your overall Project Plan

Conducting regular virtual team building exercises can help build stronger relationships within your team.   Providing the virtual team opportunity to have fun and get to know each other will improve the virtual team performance and dynamics.  Get ideas on the best team building exercises here:  http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-building-activities/ultimate-remote-team-building-activities/

#6 Remember to celebrate your Virtual Team project success and thank your Virtual Team for a job well done

Here’s the easiest and quickest way we’ve found to reward your virtual team for a job well done.

These are just six easy virtual team building activities for work that are very simple to implement.  Take the time to discuss these team building activities with your Virtual Team.  Get your virtual team excited about WHY you want to implement these virtual team activities and ask them to add their own ideas into to the team building plan.

Happy Virtual Team Building!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Team Building Tips – Overcoming The Challenges

With the increasing rate of globalization, a demand for a more efficient workforce and with the introduction of online collaboration platforms we have seen an increase in the development of virtual teams across the globe.   Many questions are being raised about Virtual Team Building and how to get the best out of virtual teams.  One question that arises is how virtual team leaders can overcome the unique challenges facing Virtual Teams.

Though the introduction of virtual teams presents many benefits and opportunities, as a virtual team leader you’ll need to be aware of and address the challenges you will face.   Some of the challenges facing virtual or global team leaders include:

Lack of feeling of connectedness within the Virtual Team.

Without regular interaction, individual virtual team members can feel isolated and unsupported.  This leads to high virtual team member turnover and ultimately high expense to the global company.  Virtual team building activities need to be introduced into the team.   Just as team building activities are important in traditional working environments, even more so they need to be a regular part of your virtual team building strategy.

Virtual Team Communication breakdown. 

Without the opportunity for face-to-face meetings, it is difficult to develop personal, one-on-one relationships with individual team members.  In addition to this, if the right tools and resources are not made available to the virtual team, then communication breakdowns can cause entire projects to perform poorly.   It’s imperative the virtual team is provided with the necessary tools and resources (specifically designed to support virtual global teams).

Lack of customized Training to prepare people for working in a virtual team environment. 

Just because you have a bunch of employees working together online across the globe, does not mean they are functioning as an effective virtual team.   Just as there is a unique working environment and unique challenges facing a virtual team, specific training needs to be introduced to the virtual team to ensure they truly are effective and functioning as a high performance team.

For more Virtual Team Building Tips >>>  VIRTUAL Team Success – A Practical Guide for Working and Leading at a Distance.

 

 

The Perfect Gift Idea for Remote Team

Why Gift-Giving Should Form Part of Your Overall Virtual Team Building Strategy

When you’re leading a remote virtual team, building your team and bringing them together with a feeling of connectedness and purpose requires thought and creativity.  Finding unique and original virtual team building activities can be a challenge for the Virtual Team leader.   Helping each individual team member working remotely feel part of a unified group can also present challenges.  It’s easy for virtual team members to feel forgotten, alone and unappreciated if they are not reminded they are a valuable member of an overall virtual team (if you don’t believe me, then just ask them).   This can lead to very high staff turnover in virtual teams so this challenge definitely needs to be addressed as part of your overall plan for virtual team building activities.

One way to help each individual remote team member feel part of the virtual team is to continue to reward and recognize your  virtual team members by sending them a gift.  Though they may not meet with you regularly face-to-face, you can help them feel like you are with them each step of the way by sending thoughtful reminders and gifts.

It doesn’t take a lot of time or expense but you will reap the rewards if you implement a reward and recognition strategy into your overall virtual team building activities.  Sending each of your team members a simple thank you gift or a gift on special occasions is a way they can feel part of your virtual team.

As a virtual team leader this should be important to you.   It’s also important to make the process of purchasing and sending the gift virtually as pain-free as possible.  If it isn’t, you’ll end up putting it in your “too hard” basket and forgetting about rewarding your virtual team altogether >> with disastrous consequences.

So, if rewarding your team is an important part of your virtual team building planning, then …

What is the The Quickest and Easiest Gift Solution for Global Teams >>>

  • A gift that can be used across the globe, no matter where the virtual team member is located
  • A gift that gives each individual virtual team member the opportunity to use their voucher to purchase items THEY want
  • A gift that that can be delivered online
  • A gift that can be arranged quickly and easily online
  • A gift that represents a trusted brand that speaks quality and choice
  • A gift that can be personalized to each individual remote team member
  • A gift that reflects the occasion and overall virtual team culture
  • A gift that can meet the needs of your virtual team building reward and recognition strategy budget

The gift idea that ticks all the above 8 requirements is the Amazon.com Gift Cards – E-mail Delivery OR Amazon.com Gift Cards – Facebook Delivery.

We especially love the personalized video feature.    It’s quick and easy to access and simple in online delivery.

Click below to check out some of the humorous themes that can be adapted for virtual teams including: Elf Office Party, Farting Office Birthday Party, Crazy Congrats Song.  They’ll have you and your virtual team laughing and having fun!

For more virtual team building activities click here to enjoy reading our article “Ultimate Remote Team Building Activities”

Ultimate Remote Team Building Activities

When selecting remote team building activities or virtual team building activities for your virtual team, what are the key elements of the game or activity you need to consider?

First of all you need to determine what kind of remote team building activity you want to deliver.  If it’s a simple “water cooler”, quick catch up game, you’ll be more interested in reading this article  about Virtual Team Building Games … http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-building-activities/big-book-of-virtual-team-building-games/.

However, if you’re looking for REAL virtual remote team building activities that deliver real results to your virtual team – here are 3 important considerations…

Remote Team Building Activities need to deliver real results.

Remote Team Building Activities need to deliver real results.

1  The remote team building activity needs to mirror your virtual workplace.

If your remote team is global, then the team building activity needs to be facilitated online so that all members of your team can participate.  If you have 20 remote team members all working virtual – then your remote team building activity needs to reflect that working arrangement.  If your team works virtually, then the remote team building activity should be delivered virtually.

2  Remote team building activities need to reflect your own unique virtual working environment

When analyzing what remote team building activities would be suitable for your virtual team, you need to ensure that the same virtual working environment is used to facilitate the activity.  That means the same tools and resources your virtual team uses to work as a team should be employed throughout the game.   That way you can measure how your virtual team performs in regard to your key team performance indicators.  Things you’ll need to consider …

  • The number of people that will participate in the remote team building activity
  • Working Time zones of remote team workers
  • The Language abilities and language barriers faced by your remote team
  • The kind of communication tools your remote team uses to communicate
  • The technology accessible by your remote team workers
  • How much time you’d like to spend delivering the remote team building activities

3. REAL remote team building activities should address the core team skills you want to develop within your team.

  • Virtual team leadership skills
  • Organization skills within a virtual environment
  • Remote team communication skills
  • Problem Solving and Decision making

As a virtual team leader you can search for hours looking at various remote team building activities or new and original team building activities.   Many of them lacking in at least one of the 3 areas outlined above.  You want to find a remote team building activity that delivers REAL virtual team building results?

Looking for a remote team building activity for your virtual team?  Check out this brilliant resource to find the virtual team building activity game that suits your team >>>

For more virtual team building activities you can do with your remote team click here to read our article 3 New Quick, Easy and Fun Virtual Team Building Activities

Easy Gift Ideas for Remote Virtual Teams

When was the last time you actually rewarded your virtual team or remote workers for a job well-done?   You may have thought about doing something a number of times, but put it in the “too hard basket” or the “I’ll do it later” basket.

The reasons WHY virtual team leaders don’t reward their team working virtual

There are a number of reasons you might fail to reward your virtual team workers.  Do you fit into any of the following categories?

  • You haven’t even thought about it
  • You have thought about it but, haven’t actually got around to doing it
  • The virtual worker could be a sub-contractor so you don’t feel the need to reward them, because they are just doing their job and you’re paying them anyway.
  • You’re stuck for ideas on what to send someone who is working virtually

The reason Why A virtual team reward and recognition program should be incorporated into your overall virtual team management plan

Virtual team members often feel isolated and can be easily forgotten because the virtual team leader and other remote team workers are not connecting with them face-to-face on a daily basis.

Building a sense of unity amongst remote virtual workers can be a challenge.  By rewarding your team, you help them to focus on a united purpose and share in the rewards together.

By rewarding your virtual team workers you’ll build team morale, the virtual team will WANT to continue to work with you, you’ll be seen as a true virtual team leader and virtual team turnover will be reduced, helping you to retain valuable skill­-sets and information within your team.

When you are looking to reward the efforts of your virtual team, you need a gift solution that …

  • Can be quickly and easily purchased online
  • Can be delivered to your virtual team member no matter where they are located in the world (online or in person)
  • Available in a variety of prices ranges

QUICKEST AND EASIEST Gift Idea for Remote Virtual Workers:   The Ultimate Virtual Team Gift Idea

Here we have the ultimate virtual team gift idea that ticks all the boxes above.   Start building your virtual team morale and arrange a gift for your remote workers now – it’s easy, quick and will give you great return on your virtual team investment …


 

What will happen to your virtual team if you don’t start introducing team building activities?

this is what will happen if you don’t start virtual team building with your remote team (I’ve seen this happen over and over again with virtual teams) ….

  • You’ll just have a bunch of people working remotely trying to work together, you won’t have a real virtual team at all.
  • There will be A lack of “togetherness” with a sense of misdirection within your team.   Sure, you’ll have individuals working well as individuals but they won’t have a clear, united purpose or mission.
  • Diminished virtual team morale will lead to high virtual team turnover – with that comes a loss of skills and knowledge across your team along with the cost and expense of re-training
  • Showing up online will cause you and the rest of your team distress and anxiety.  It will be a case of virtual team “all work and no play” – leaving individual virtual team members feeling isolated and unsupported.
  • You’ll be dealing with Frequent Miscommunications between different members of your virtual team.  You’re projects will be clumsily executed.  You may still achieve results, but you’ll be achieving results the hard way!
  • Major frustration caused by Mismanagement and mistakes within the remote team, even though you feel things have been thoroughly explained and clearly outlined to the entire team.  Mistakes will happen that may cost you substantial sums of cash and loss of your valuable time.

Click below to find an easy solution to your remote virtual team building activities:

Big Book of Virtual Team Building Games

Quick, Effective Virtual Team Building Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Big Book Series)

 VIRTUAL TEAM CHALLENGE:   As a VIRTUAL team leader or as a leader of a remote team you need to work even HARDER than the average manager to help your remote team to work together as one united team.

This is especially challenging for you if your team is made up of individual contractors who run their own businesses from various parts of the world.   Virtual Team Building is absolutely essential to your virtual team success.   As a forward thinking virtual team leader you must have a regular program of Virtual Team Building Activities prepared for your remote teams.

If you really want your team to be effective, if you want your team to see and trust you as their virtual team leader, if you want to bring your virtual team together with a spirit of unified purpose then you need to be proactive.

VIRTUAL TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITY/SOLUTION:   Facilitate frequent, quick and simple virtual team building games.

Big Book of Virtual Teambuilding Games: Quick, Effective Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Big Book Series)

For more Virtual Team Building Activities click here to read “Ultimate Remote Team Building Activities”

Virtual Team Building Ideas for Remote Virtual Teams

Help your virtual team to connect and communicate with you and each other with these 8 simple, Easy Virtual Team Building Activities >>>

#1 Host a virtual team building session with a REAL team building activity.  We recommend this book of virtual games designed for remote and co-located teams -> Big Book of Virtual Teambuilding Games: Quick, Effective Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Big Book Series) Loads of suggestions for virtual games with real team building results!

#2  Introduce a 10 minute virtual social session prior to starting your online virtual team meetings Get creative with your virtual team meetings.   Open up the online virtual conference room  10 minutes early, so the team can chat and catch-up informally.   Some virtual team members may find the “chatting” a little difficult or awkward to start with, so come prepared with virtual team “ice-breakers”.  Get the virtual room warmed up first, and the interaction will become easier and beneficial with time.  Get virtual team “ice-breaker” ideas.  Click here:   50 Digital Team-Building Games >>  50 Digital Team-Building Games: Fast, Fun Meeting Openers, Group Activities and Adventures using Social Media, Smart Phones, GPS, Tablets, and More.

#3  Establish a Virtual Team Reward and Recognition program Invite your virtual team to contribute their ideas to a reward and recognition program.  Private and public recognitions should be included.   Sign up with a corporate gifts online site to make sending gifts and rewards to virtual workers easy.   An Amazon.com Gift Card – $25 (Classic design) is a great easy gift idea to send to virtual or remote workers.

#4  Have fun virtual celebration sessions with your virtual team before or after a project starts, give your team the chance to have some fun together.   Play a team team building game to “kick off” the project and give out rewards at an end-project party.  Just because your team is virtual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate together!

#5 Assign virtual “open door policy” time slots where team members can contact you during set periods via phone line, video conferencing or direct messaging (IM). Virtual workers can feel isolated and disconnected from other members and their virtual team leader.  I’ve seen some virtual workers go weeks without any communication with their virtual team leader.  By assigning virtual “open door policy” time slots, your team will know when they can connect with you and know you are available to them.

#6 Arrange a Personality Profiling session for members of your virtual team. Personality profiling is a fun, yet very informative way for you and your team to get to know each other.   Virtual team personality profiling will help your team understand how each individual team member communicates and their preferred working style.   Continue to follow-up from the sessions by discussing the strengths and weaknesses within your team and how the different personalities, communication and working styles are impacting on the virtual team performance.

#7 Provide a platform for your virtual team to interact on a DAILY basis.  Encourage frequent communication to discuss wins and challenges openly without judgement.   Social Media groups can be set-up for your team to interact.  As a team, discuss and agree on the terms of use.   There are many virtual team collaboration tools you can use to keep your team working together.  The key is to make sure the platform is USED.   This takes some commitment in the beginning – but once your individual team members start to use and see the benefits of the interaction, they will embrace the communication concept.

#8 Host a quarterly virtual team “happy hour” Show your virtual team and remote workers how much you appreciate their efforts.  Hosting a regular happy hour will not only bring your team together, it will boost virtual team morale and help the more isolated team members feel part of your group.   Click here for the plan:    http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-building-activities/celebrate-your-success-with-virtual-workers-clients/

Virtual Team Ice-breaker Games

Virtual Team Ice-breaker Games

It’s the first time you’re bringing your virtual team together.   You’re gathering your team of experts from various locations all over the world.  It’s the start of a brand new project and you want to help your virtual team have a sense of unity.    You’ve got John from Australia, Rishis from India, Ryan and Cassandra in the US all waiting in the online meeting room.   How do you help this team really “gel”?  As a virtual team leader, how do you direct your team to have that real sense of “teamwork” even though they may never meet face-to-face?  What virtual team building activities can you introduce to ensure your team works creatively together towards a common goal?

Here are our top 3 virtual team building activities to ensure your team comes together as a truly united team from the very first day they meet online…

#1  The Virtual Team Honesty Game:    Be honest with your virtual team about the special challenges they will face as a virtual team.  Encourage discussion around this topic; invite ideas and possible solutions to the problems faced.   Being honest about the typical challenges facing virtual teams and learning to trust in virtual teams is paramount to long-term virtual team success.

If you’re short on ideas, here are 3 Challenges your new virtual team will likely face:

  • Individuals feeling isolated, rather than having a feeling of being connected with a common purpose
  • Communication challenges associated with time zones, language and cultural differences
  • Sharing, management and retention of information in the virtual team

#2 Virtual Team Ice-breakers:   Having fun with your virtual team, and getting them to relax with each other is another important way to break-the-ice and get your virtual team members feeling connected.   Virtual team games liven up meetings, break the ice, and improve communication and productivity

Get creative using social media, smartphones and other technology.  It only takes 5 minutes to break-the-ice.   We recommend – 50 Digital Team-Building Games.

This virtual team resource offers fun, energizing meeting openers, team activities, and group adventures for business meetings and teams. Using Twitter, GPS, Facebook, smartphones, and other technology, the games can be played virtually.
50 Digital Team-Building Games: Fast, Fun Meeting Openers, Group Activities and Adventures using Social Media, Smart Phones, GPS, Tablets, and More

#3 Virtual Team Personality Profiling Sessions:  Personality profiling can be fun as well as highly beneficial to the virtual team leader as well as each member.   Personality profiling will help the team to understand the unique way each person works and communicates.   Discussing personality differences can be a fun journey of discovery, bringing the team together, while really impacting on the team in a positive way.

When you bring your virtual team together you need to make special consideration for the fact that your team do not have the advantage of meeting face-to-face.   Without that face-to-face meeting you are faced with the unique challenges of a virtual team.   The challenge of feeling connected, united and part of a real team.   These challenges, with a little time and forethought can be overcome.

If you want to know how to conduct your own personality profiling session with your virtual team, click here to read our article “Easy Virtual Team Building Activity for Remote TeamsContinue reading

What is a Virtual Team?

What is a Virtual Team?

What is a Virtual Team?

What is a Virtual Team?

A virtual team is a group of people that while working together on one or various projects, do so from various geographic locations throughout the world.  Individuals working in a virtual team generally do not work face-to-face, but use technology to facilitate direction and communication – most often provided online via the web.

A virtual team may have a number of remotely located team members dotted across the globe.  The virtual team can be made of people working from different locations, time zones and cultures.  As an example a team may come to together to complete a marketing project.    The team leader maybe located in the United States, while the research team could be located in Australia and the design team working from India.    They all come together as a virtual team with one desired outcome.

Q.  Just because you bring a bunch of people together in an online space, does it mean they are automatically going to operate as a united virtual team?  A.  May SURPRISE you.

How does a Virtual Team Communicate?

A virtual team will interact using a variety of communication channels.  Available technologies close the boundaries that timezones and geographic locations bring.

Online Meeting Facilities – Online tools like ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support enable virtual teams to meet and collaborate together.

Video Conferencing –  Platforms like Skype, ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support allow people to meet face-to-face without being in the same location.

Collaboration Tools –  Online collaboration workrooms, enable virtual teams to organise tasks, track progress and communicate with each other.   Social Media  is another platform closing the gap for online virtual teams and remote workers.

Instant Messaging, Email and Phone Conferencing – are also tools, easily accessed by virtual teams.

Check out some other cool tools here:  http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-tools/15-x-handy-little-tools-for-remote-virtual-workers-virtual-teams/

 

Key Benefits to Working With A Virtual Team

While working virtually does bring its challenges (for another discussion) there are many benefits.  Especially with a workforce that is now demanding greater flexibility.   What does a Virtual Team provide for that a typical face-to-face team won’t?  Here are just 3 key benefits …

  • Ability to draw on the expertise of people from every location across the globe.  Giving you a greater talent pool to draw from.
  • Potential reduction in costs in relation to office space, commuting, travel expense etc.   Using offshore labour where appropriate is another way to reduce expenses.
  • Virtual team members are free to work from their location of choice (provided there is internet access).  This offers greater freedom, flexibility and lifestyle choices (including work and travel)