Running an organization starts with embracing team efforts to achieve common goals. Whether you already have an established business or are looking forward to building your dream company, you’ve come to the right place. As a business owner, you cannot do everything on your own and hence, need a talented team of professionals to work by your side. Even after setting up the crucial stepping stones of a successful organization, it can still be challenging to keep the team members together and engaged as they work for your organization.
In a world where low employee engagement costs around $450-500 billion every year to organizations (Source), it is important to consider team building seriously for the greater good. Now that remote work opportunities have become widespread, even team building has taken a virtual shape and is regarded as ‘digital team building’ in the present and future of remote work.
Indeed, forming a great team virtually requires a lot of skills and experience. If you are responsible for digital team building, you want the right mix of individuals with different skill sets to join your team. Wondering how to proceed in the right direction to develop your digital team? This complete guide is meant for you.
What is Digital Team Building?
Digital team building, at its core, refers to the process of settling a group of individual contributors in your organization into a cohesive team that works together to accomplish various business goals. In the current digitally-advanced world backed by the power of the Internet, digital team building aims to create stronger bonds amongst the team members. On an individual level, each member learns to respect others in the team and their differences under this process as they work towards sharing common goals and expectations.
From daily interactions of different team members to fulfill different tasks to structured activities, digital team building encompasses various elements to encourage communication and interaction. Even in the non-digital form, team building, as a whole, is not a one-time act but a long-term process that aims to bring a desirable change in your organization.
When it comes to understanding the advantages of digital team building, there is a lot of confusion in relation to how they differ from building and growing teams in general. Some of its primary benefits include:
- Identification of strengths and weaknesses of employees while working remotely
- Direction of different teams toward a common mission and vision of your organization
- Development of communication between team members
- Enhanced collaboration
- Improved focus on creative thinking to solve problems at work
- Streamlined delegation of tasks
- Improved productivity at work
Technology Used by Digital Teams
Amidst the ongoing transformation, 87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a priority in 2022 (Gartner). With the constantly evolving workplace and rising consumer expectations, it is critical for organizations like yours to equip themselves with innovative digital technology. Those who failed to support team building to define the future of remote work now take the necessary steps to get the desired results.
By considering the following high-performance technologies as a long-term investment, you can stay ahead of your competitors and ensure a sustainable business:
- Cloud-based collaborative suites meant for employees to access data and resources
- Digital communication tools or platforms for better circulation of information
- Next-gen intranet platforms for integration with various business applications
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to obtain the right information and data about your customers
- Content Management Systems (CMS) to create and manage digital content
- Cloud storage to support a flexible, mobile workplace
- Project management tools to create and schedule tasks, track progress and stick to project timelines
- Digital accounting tools to mitigate risk and save money
- Payroll management tools to reduce manual, repetitive work to pay employees
- Recruitment management tools for candidate shortlisting, sharing interview feedback and organizing hiring steps
Challenges of Working with Digital Teams
Virtual teams, as you may call them, work together but are not located in the same place. They are now popular options for forward-thinking organizations. However, besides the benefits of having a virtual team over or along with traditional employees, you cannot leave the challenges aside, some of which are:
Differences in communication preferences
While focusing on digital team building as a part of building the foundations for the future of remote work, lack of communication becomes a bottleneck. Some individuals may prefer to get notified via instant messaging apps while others look for work emails to get things done. Understanding and developing the required level of communication then becomes a necessity to pull things together.
Lack of the right tools in the tech stack
While working in a physical office, the obvious gaps in the technical capabilities of business tools are hard to ignore. But the same may not be true when you have your eyes fixed on digital team building. The lack of required tools affects your company’s efficiency to deliver great services or products.
Distrust arising from workload
Consider this situation related to managing virtual teams – One of your teammates points out the instant availability of Team Member A, wondering if he is working more than others. This makes Team Member B, the best talent in your team, feel defensive and withdrawn.
Such situations often lead to distrust between team members unless supported by rigorous digital team-building activities.
Virtual teams struggle to deal with distracting environments. Whether it is an individual’s baby crying in the cradle as he works from home or the noise from surroundings while sitting in a cafe, every form of distraction then diminishes their efficiency. This is where setting certain standards and guidelines for every employee to maintain work hours and quality can be beneficial.
The Evolution of Remote Work Culture
Remote work opportunities were rare around a decade ago. Working from home was only available in specific cases. This was because the required technology didn’t exist. In case you wanted to get in touch with an employee when you were away from the office, things worked with alternative phone numbers and pagers. However, digital team building has now advanced to the point where some organizations thrive more with remote teams.
It is the technological evolution that has allowed employers to extend remote work environments to their employees. Whether it is through instant messaging, video conferencing, live video feeds, or data-backed calls, everything is now possible with tremendous Internet adoption across the globe.
As of April 2022, more than five billion users have Internet access – which accounts for 63.1% of the global population (Source). Because of the advancements in communication technology, the modern workforce is mobile, collaborative, dynamic, and includes multiple generations. To support digital team building in the modern era, you also need a sophisticated yet advanced approach to hiring the best talent for your organization.
Is remote working effective for your business?
Previously, most employers balked at the idea of allowing employees to work remotely. They were concerned that employees would lose productivity when working from home if not kept under the direct supervision of managers and co-workers. To better understand the validity and usefulness of remote work, here are the results of a survey conducted among both remote and full-time employees to analyze their work habits and productivity:
- Remote workforce worked for nearly 17 additional workdays a year as compared to in-office employees.
- While remote employees take longer breaks (four minutes longer than the office goers), they work for an additional 10 mins a day.
- Employees working traditionally in their offices are unproductive for an average of 37 min a day, which is quite higher than 27 min of unproductive time related to remote employees.
These statistics may encourage both you and your employees to benefit from a remote work program. When implemented correctly, remote work can increase employee satisfaction, which will ultimately reduce the turnover rate.
To benefit from the effectiveness of remote working, it has to be put into practice in the right way, keeping the fundamentals of hiring the right people intact as you proceed with digital team building.
The Future of Digital Teams and Remote Working
Team building methods have adapted to the seismic shifts in how teams now work and what to expect. They must be scalable enough for efficient delivery through organizational layers in a remote work environment. Whether it is about the integration of tools into the daily workflows or enabling connectivity across locations/time zones, the approach you select must be designed for inclusivity with a focus on building relationships across a diversified workplace culture.
Smart organizations recognize that relationships are built at the team level and make it a priority to focus on improving team culture. Digital team-building activities can be designed to help your teams work better together. If you feel the urgency to sustain strong team relationships and optimize both performance and retention, hire right with Connect Tech & Talent. Learn more here.