During this time of remote work and online learning, it is important for teams to build community and continue engaging with one another. While some departments have orchestrated their own team building activities, the Adventure Team in Campus Recreation has been working hard to transition team building to an online format and is now offering innovative virtual team building programs through Zoom.
In these virtual programs, facilitators guide groups toward set goals through interactive activities and facilitated reflections. All activities encourage communication and relationship building in ways that are fun and engaging. Each activity builds on the previous one so skills can continue to be developed, practiced, and translated into the groups’ routine work or learning spaces. Programs range from 20 minutes up to a full day, with breaks.
Team building offers numerous benefits, many of which are even more appealing during this time. Select learning outcomes include practicing goal setting, developing resilience and perseverance, and increasing social wellness through relationship-building. Each of these skills can be particularly helpful while we continue to adjust to remote work and online learning.
Many people assume that team-building programs must include some sort of physical component. However, at its core, team building is designed for participants to learn more about themselves and who they are when faced with a challenge, which can also be accomplished using other non-physical skills. For example, activities may focus on problem-solving, diversity and inclusion, and decision-making.
Team building requires an understanding of each other’s values, a willingness to listen, to advocate for your team, and to compromise, all of which are essential skills in decision-making. As we are all facing challenges in this new reality of remote work and online learning, it is especially important to recognize that we are not alone. Team building experiences offer an important lesson that others are available to support us and help us thrive together.
A number of students have already tested the virtual team building programs provided by the Adventure Team and have greatly enjoyed their experiences. “I’ve learned that even though we are not physically together, we can still have fun and challenge ourselves. Being able to connect with everyone and perform the different activities has brought a smile to my face and I’ve looked forward to it every single time,” shares Ema Kolb.
Other students appreciate the opportunity to utilize different skills.
“I like how the video call platform allows us to build different challenges,” Zay Latham said. “A lot of common team building activities have a goal that is based on a physical task, but with team building on Zoom we can do activities that utilize other skills.”
The opportunities to engage in team building virtually offers new and creative ideas that were not always possible in-person. By participants engaging in the activities in their own spaces, teams learn more about each other’s hobbies, passions, and interests. For example, in one activity, participants are asked to retrieve five random items around their house to share with their team in the session. Through this guided activity, teams may learn about the musical capabilities, passion for fishing, or painting skills of team members that they never knew before.
For more information on the Adventure Team’s virtual team-building programs, including pricing structure, visit the Campus Recreation website.