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Virtual Team Building: The Ultimate Manager Guide

Everything you need to know about building trust for remote/hybrid teams.

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Chapter 2

What is remote team building?

Team building covers all the processes for building a close relationship with a coworker and a sense of belonging as a team. Remote team building takes these processes and adapts them to a virtual environment. The end goal is trust.

As a result, team building goes far beyond a birthday party for a coworker. It touches every part of a manager-teammate relationship from the first interview to their last day of work. We can’t talk about team building without talking about employee experience.

Picture Credit: Jacob Morgan

A People-First Revolution

It wasn’t long ago that a boss meant something very different. Companies measured employees by their productivity. A manager needed to optimize an employee’s production, much like Ford’s famous automobile assembly line. Employees were a cog in a well-oiled machine and the idea of professionalism ensured they left their personal life at the door. Terrible bosses were rewarded so long as they hit their numbers.

Picture Credit: Dezeen

These productivity-first companies lost talent and burnt out their workforces. It didn't take long for companies that focused on culture and employee happiness to outperform the well-oiled machines. Leaders have realized the value of treating workers as holistic people. In the last twenty years, an emphasis on culture sparked luxurious tech offices. We’ve seen work perks that would make our grandparents furious: child daycare centers, sponsored chefs, and areas for napping.

The Hybrid Revolution

Last year, the pandemic caused another massive shift by sending everyone home. We adapted to a forced work-from-home environment for over a year. Now, with vaccines and re-openings, the majority of companies are considering a hybrid model in the oncoming months. A survey by Accenture revealed that 85% of people were more likely to stay when offered a remote flexible work situation. Another study showed 70% of workers preferred hybrid work.

There’s little doubt that the Future of Work is location-flexible. As a result, managers can no longer rely on office perks to build a strong company culture. In a remote environment, they have to leverage their team relationships. Trust and team relationships determine whether entire company cultures sink or swim. 

Next Chapter – What are the benefits of team building?

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