This July, Inman’s editorial theme is Teams — what it takes to build and join one, how to optimize your team for summer 2020, and even when to consider leaving one. And if you’re not already a subscriber to our Teams Beat email newsletter, sent every Thursday, sign up now.
Team building activities are a great way to bring colleagues closer but can be challenging to organize during this time of social distancing. With teamwork, a critical component for being successful in our competitive industry, organizing a range of activities, strategies and tactics will enhance social relations between team members and motivate for optimal results.
Setting aside time for team building allows employees to connect on a personal level, identify each other’s strengths and ultimately form the building blocks of your business. Here are three ways in which we come together as a team.
Our team is small, but we are mighty. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we make sure that, each step of the way, we are there for each other to share advice, change tasks or pull together to tackle something that might prove to be a challenge.
In order to have this seamless flow that we have created where team members know exactly what to do when a task comes in, we remain connected throughout the day. We might be running a million miles an hour all over the city, but we all make sure that we provide real-time updates to each other on our group text thread.
We also like to be copied on all emails, so we are aware of what is going on with each other, which helps keep us closely connected, aware of what our team as a whole is experiencing and on top of who is working on what. This helps us all stay on task and focused as one unit striving toward the same goal.
Virtual face time
Team building activities are a must to make ensure that teams are getting along well and that members understand their roles and responsibilities and are motivated to perform their absolute best. Although we are connected all day via text, it is also important to put in some face time with each other.
As soon as we began working from home, we shifted our weekly meetings to videoconferencing. We review daily and weekly tasks and make sure we are all caught up on larger initiatives for the week. Carving time out to connect in a way that’s as close as you can get to being together in real life is important for a team to stay close and connected.
Out of office
At the end of the day, we always have each other’s back and have true friendships. We genuinely care about one another, both personally and professionally, and we enjoy spending time away from the office together.
During this time, it is difficult to meet up as often as we used to or as we would like to, so we got a little creative. Instead of catching up over a meal or at a social engagement, we meet up and go for walks and hikes together. While we are getting our heart rates up, we try not to talk too much shop, but sometimes we just can’t help it — especially if we are hitting the pavement in a residential area.
We also always made sure we pause and celebrate birthdays and personal milestones and achievements as a team. Again, we adjusted our normal procedures, packed a picnic and headed to the park for a socially distanced fete.
Getting to know each other on a more personal level and enjoying time together all contributes to the strength of the team. It connects and bonds people and allows team members to open up to one another and their seniors, which can foster new creative ideas and opinions. Teams are also more productive when they are cohesive, connected and collaborative, and finding common ground off the clock is crucial in making that happen.
The value team building brings is tremendous. Keeping the team connected, even if only virtually right now, allows work to go as smoothly and efficiently as possible and creates a positive work environment. Team building helps to develop a bond with colleagues on both a personal and professional level.
Get creative in finding ways to connect and know each other better. Prioritizing this will make work more enjoyable for all, in addition to creating a positive atmosphere, a place for creativity and connection.
David Parnes is a director at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram. James Harris is a director at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.