On Friday, December 10th we will be releasing our second virtual team building game, Secret Agent: The First Mission. As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, we are very proud of this game, and we feel that we accomplished a lot in terms of pushing ourselves to improve on our earlier online game, Tabitantei.
In this two-year process of pivoting to online team building, we’ve also learned a lot about online team building in general. We’ve come to realize that there are a lot of things to love about online team building, some of which were unexpected.
While we’ve all learned that being online all the time is not as easy as it looks, online team building has many great benefits, and can provide opportunities for certain types of team building that other forms of activities can’t.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why we should stop worrying and love online team building. We’ll also give you some insights into how our online games at Invite Japan work.
1. Learn how to be an effective online team
The best part about virtual team building is that it shows you how to become a more effective team. That’s pretty obvious. But online and hybrid teams have slightly different needs than regular teams: they lack the same kind of in-person communication that other teams take for granted.
Virtual team building activities like Secret Agent: The First Mission use online tools to facilitate communication among team members. So online teams actually get to practice communicating in the same sort of environment in which they work.
But aside from just communication, virtual team building exercises bond team members together and increase trust, which is essential to all teams, and online teams in particular. With greater trust, online teams can easily adapt to new challenges and continue to succeed in a remote or hybrid work environment where members are separated.
2. Reconnect with your remote team members
Another reason we believe virtual team building is so great is that it lets remote and hybrid teams reconnect with each other (or meet each other for the first time, depending on the team). With online teams, there is the weird sense of working with your team members every day but never really getting the chance to interact with them.
In the office, personal and work interactions are seamlessly blended together. But online, interaction needs extra thought and attention. That’s why virtual team building can be a good way to get the gang together and reconnect. Teams need to laugh, share, and celebrate together. These kinds of bonding moments are the glue that holds teams together, and online teams shouldn’t feel excluded from them even though they’re separated physically.
3. Explore fascinating virtual worlds together without leaving your room
One of the best ways to bond with someone is to explore something new with them, whether that’s going on a trip or learning a new skill together. Leaving your comfort zones behind and trying something new can allow you to open up more with your team. And with virtual team building, that’s exactly the sort of thing that you get to do.
At Invite Japan, both of our online team building games are related to traveling in some way, as well as having fantastical storylines. In Tabitantei, players get to explore different areas in Japan while following a mythical adventure. In Secret Agent, players get to “travel” to cities like Paris on an international sleuthing mission.
In both, players get to explore exciting virtual worlds without leaving their homes. They may also get to learn some new skills along the way, like how to use online tools better, and more abstract skills like problem solving or decision-making as a remote team.
4. Planning is relatively easy and any kind of team can join
Since participants don’t have to leave their houses to join in virtual team building, it makes the planning process way easier. You don’t have to look for venues or figure out how everyone is going to get somewhere. This is especially true for larger teams. It can often be hard (and expensive) to find a place that accomodate large groups of people.
Online team building games can more easily accomodate large groups (our virtual programs can be played by up to 170 people at once). Even smaller teams will also have an easier time planning and scheduling a virtual team building activity, since they don’t have to worry about logistics as much.
Something else we’ve discovered about online team building is that they really open up the possibilities for global teams. We’ve quite a number of teams participating at the same time from different countries and even different time zones, something that was not even imaginable before. Now however, international teams that are physically separated can easily take advantage of the benefits of team building without any complicated travel planning.
5. Let loose and have fun
The biggest reason why we love virtual team building though, is that it’s fun. Online team building can show you that there is a way to enjoy the experience of working online. And having fun with team members can allow you to learn more things about them and be more open with them.
Plus, we all need a little more fun and enjoyment in our lives right now. Virtual team building gives you the ability to have fun with your team members anytime, anywhere, and no matter what the current restrictions may be. Which means there’s no excuse for not having a memorable and fun team building experience with your team.
Invite Japan will soon have two (!) online team building games available. Our newest game, which will be released on December 10th, is called Secret Agent: The First Mission and features an international mystery to catch an art thief. Our first online game, Tabitantei, involves a magical adventure across Japan. Both of these games are highly recommended for end-of-year and new-year parties.