If you have a business that employs or involves a group of over 100 employees, then it can be a Herculean task to help them feel connected. More especially as many will be working some distance away from each other. We would suggest that the larger the group becomes, the more difficult it is to involve everyone in the conversation. But for the purpose of business, it's super important that all members within your organisation or team are able to communicate and work together effectively. One way of achieving this is through the wonders of virtual team building.

Why Do Large Groups Need Virtual Team Building?

It doesn't matter how big or small your team is, all groups can benefit from a team building exercise. With Covid-19, many workers needed to social distance and work from home, so it's equally important that a business lets the workers know that their well-being is its number one priority. In other words, team building is not just about connecting people with each other. But also about promoting mental well-being. In doing so, the whole team can benefit from a healthier work environment, even if they're working from home.

Research has shown that teams who participate in regular team building events have:

·  Greater trust in each other

·  Better and more effective communication skills

·  A noticeable Increase in productivity

·  Better connections with one another

·  More creative problem-solving skills

·  Better conflict resolution skills

·  An increase in open mindedness

When it comes to organising any form of virtual team building events, then it's important they are planned out well in advance. With many employees working from home they will also have other home duties to take care of, whether this involves their children or other day-to-day activities. Of course, it goes without saying that on the whole, a smaller team is probably going to communicate with each other at least every other day. To that end, it's so much easier to have a small team that communicates and collaborates on issues on a more regular basis. Unfortunately, with larger teams, many members may go for some weeks without speaking to another member of their own team. It's quite possible that this lack of connection and communication could very well be reflected in their work, along with a decrease in their performance. On the whole, the more our team understands how to interact and work well with one another, then the better the results would be for both the team and the business as a whole.

Organizing a virtual team building activity that can support a large team is no easy matter.  Essentially, you're looking for an activity that will promote communication, healthy competition and a great deal of collaboration. At the same time you want an activity that will involve and engage each member of your large team. So it should be no surprise that here at ExitTheRoom, we would recommend an escape room game played as a virtual team building activity. 

Escape Rooms For Team Building

You've probably heard of these escape room games as, over the last couple of decades, these exciting activities have started popping up in cities all around the globe. Essentially, a group of people go into a room with a single goal in mind: to make their escape from a locked room before a predetermined time, normally 1-hour, has elapsed. But in order to make this escape, they will have to find clues, puzzles, mysteries and riddles that will all need solving. Because of this, the team has no option but to work as one. At the same time, they will need to communicate quickly and clearly if they hope to crack the code and escape the room. Today’s escape room games are probably one of the most popular activities for team building. In some ways, the game is perfect for this as it helps develop leadership skills as well as bringing a team together. If they do make it out successfully, then it acts as a massive morale boosting exercise as well.

Thanks to modern technology it's possible to take part in an escape room game online. This allows remote teams who can be situated on the opposite sides of the Earth to compete in a single and exciting virtual activity together. 

Competitive Team Building

Not surprisingly, many of today's virtual escape room games will be played over the conference app Zoom. This allows large teams to take part in the game and for a single game to be able to commentate a huge number of players. In some ways, you can look upon this type of escape room game as being one huge Zoom conference. Before the game starts, the teams are briefed by a Games Master who will explain the overarching narrative, which will give the game some flesh and bones. After this we prefer to break the teams up into smaller teams. This promotes some friendly competition, which adds another level of excitement to the game. There are all sorts of game narratives to be played, some featuring the usual tropes such as horror or exploration. The sky really is the limit with online virtual worlds.

What To Expect On Event Day

At the appointed time of the beginning of the team building exercise, all players will meet in a main Zoom conference room. This will allow the organisation/business to address everyone before they head off to their different virtual breakout rooms.

It's at this point that the business should make clear as to why they've chosen to take part in a virtual team building exercise. It may be for the purpose of a celebration or a simple social event. If it's for the purposes of assessing your employees, then it's important you let them know at this point. In other words, be clear about the business motives.

When it comes to setting the time, it's important that you keep in mind that all team building exercises including escape room games should be both productive and fun. We suggest that you do not ignore the fun element of the event. Don't make the whole activity something of a test. This will make employees feel tricked into playing. And later you will be hard pushed to get them to take part in any sort of team building in the future.

Once the separate teams have been sorted, then they will move to that respective Zoom breakout rooms. They will be briefed on their mission and a Games Master will inform them of clues, as well as answer and questions they may have, either before or whilst they are playing. Once the game has been completed, the teams will return to the main Zoom conference room where the winner will be announced and everyone can chat excitedly about their experiences.

After The Event

It's important that once the virtual team building event is over, the event organiser should address the team. Winners should be congratulated. We suggest that at this point you have a team hang out by encouraging people to hang around for an extra 30 minutes or hour in order to discuss their experiences. It's a good idea if team members are able to reflect on their performance and the group leaders should encourage them to to discuss the things they learnt along the way. You might even push it to encourage employees to talk about how that you experienced can help them in the work situation. But please keep things light and as we previously mentioned, the name of the game is to take a break and have fun together.