The world of work is a continuously evolving environment, recently changing faster than ever before. As more organisations adopt a remote working policy, the employees who make up those organisations must adapt to being part of a virtual team.

While there are a host of benefits to working at home for both the employee and the company, it can be difficult for individuals to make those crucial connections with their co-workers when working from home.

They say trust is hard-earned, if so, how do you build trust in a virtual team during these socially distant times?

How to build trust in a virtual team

Team building activities have long been relied on as a means for team members to create bonds of friendship and develop trust between one another.

Team building also promotes creative thinking, improves communication between team members, develops problem-solving skills, and highlights strengths and weaknesses - all of which have a lasting impact on overall productivity.

Given the restrictions in place due to Covid19, the traditional away-days and challenges that companies usually adopt will be difficult to achieve.

We’re here to reassure you that all is most certainly not lost and that virtual or hybrid events provide ample opportunity for teams of all shapes and sizes to build trust between one another.

Online team building has to differ from the activities expected normally, on account of a lack of physical attendance. However, that isn’t to say that virtual versions are any less effective or engaging than in-person activities.

The keys to keeping all stakeholders invested in virtual team building activities are variety and pace. It could be easier for participants to take a backseat or lose interest when they’re used to the pressure of being there in person, so by keeping virtual team building games diverse and relatively fast - you can ensure maximum engagement.

Why leverage virtual team building in your organisation

Virtual team building activities have the same objective as their traditional counterparts; place a group of relative strangers in a compromising situation, so that they have to work together to solve the task.

In doing so, team members learn to rely on each other outside of the context of ‘work’. By working with their co-workers in an informal setting, trust is nurtured, and friendships created.

These relationships can then be relied upon in the workplace, increasing team efficiency and productivity for business leaders, as well as improving job satisfaction for employees.

Feeling like ‘part of the team’ is perhaps more critical now than ever before. With more of us feeling isolated in our everyday lives as well as our working ones - promoting a feeling of inclusivity is an effective way to combat the feelings of loneliness that many of us have suffered from in recent months.

How remote working has changed the traditional ‘corporate’ team

Throughout last year, all manner of businesses were coerced into adopting a remote working policy. Initially out of necessity, as the coronavirus pandemic restrictions put the breaks on the infrastructure in which we all rely on.

But as the year progressed, many companies began reporting impressive statistics relating to productivity and workforce efficacy.

This study, carried out at the height of the first lockdown, revealed that two-thirds of employers reported increased productivity for remote workers than in-office workers.

While 95% of respondents involved in this study reported at least the same, if not higher productivity levels than if they had been in the office.

One year on and many businesses are now committing to remote working policies in the long-term, offering their employees the option to work from home either part or full-time.

There should be little surprise that employees would prefer to work remotely when both the convenience and financial savings on offer are considered.

How online virtual training differs from traditional in-person training

As more teams are becoming increasingly virtually-based, it seems only natural that workplace training and development would move further online as well.

Here at MDA training, we have leveraged virtual elements within our training for over thirty years. Our experience in traditional in-person events has enabled us to create both hybrid and completely-virtual training courses that can be adapted to suit a wide variety of training requirements.

The difference between in-person and virtual training is simple. The latter is viewed through a screen whilst the other is physically attended.

Compared to traditional methods, the benefits to online learning are plenty and well documented, like convenience and efficiency, increased information retention, and improved productivity.

By taking an experiential approach to the courses that we provide, we create highly immersive experiences for our learners that offer equally as much if not more opportunity to put their learning into practice.

We do this by implementing digital business simulations. These are carefully crafted, sector-specific activities designed to test the main learning objectives of each course purposefully.

We’ve talked at length about the benefits of business simulations on the MDA blog before, whatever your industry or sector - we have a tailored solution to test your employees’ learning.

Through utilising the most up-to-date video conferencing software, combining with expertly crafted content, led by thought-leaders and industry experts - we were able to transform the way hundreds of businesses trained their staff throughout 2020.

Our approach enables teams to build trust within their activities, learn new skills, and apply knowledge to be used in the workplace.

Though the face of business is undergoing massive change, with remote working policies and teams connected only by virtual means - we’re here to prove that this is an opportunity, not an obstacle for your business in 2021.

Despite the distance between us all, we’re confident that our training and team building methods will bring your people together. For more information, get in touch with the MDA team today.