Team-Building

Why Hosting A Virtual Team-Building Retreat Is Great For Companies

By March 18, 2022April 1st, 2022No Comments
Team Building Retreat

“Oh, no! Not another team-building retreat!”

Yup, if team-building isn’t engaging, inclusive, and entertaining, this is the kind of response you may expect – but probably not to your face. 

Your team-building retreat needn’t be a chore to your staff though, even if you do it online. Engaging your team and building that all-important sense of camaraderie is a lot easier to do when the activities on offer are memorable, interactive, and inclusive. For many organizations, Friday night drinks are a thing of the past in the wake of the pandemic and the rise of remote and hybrid working. But there is no reason it can’t happen in the virtual world. 

Wired For Socialization

team building retreat brain cutout

A sense of “belongingness” enhances individual mental health at work. The need to belong – among family, friends, colleagues, a church group, or any other social dynamic, is a basic human need, according to research.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow cited the sense of belonging as a significant factor in driving motivation. In fact, he framed it as one of the crucial pillars in his famous hierarchy of needs. So, how could you foster a sense of belongingness in a remote working world? 

Your team may not be able to bond over a meal and a couple of beers at your local steakhouse anymore. But they can still connect over a meal, even at a distance. British Chef Heston Blumenthal once said, “To me, food is as much about the moment, the occasion, the location, and the company as it is about the taste.”

A virtual team-building retreat brings all those factors together, and the location is the most comfortable, familiar place of all – home. A virtual team-building retreat is a face-to-face get-together hosted via an online platform like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. These platforms have become widely used in the virtual world for hosting meetings, workshops, webinars, and team-building events

Humans are agile and adaptable. We were faced with unprecedented changes during the pandemic. As social beings, we had to find ways to strengthen bonds, particularly in the workplace, where the economy was riding on making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The team dynamic was under threat, but our tech-savvy minds discovered that team-building could happen and even thrive in a virtual setting.

The Age Of Online Team-Building

Digital Nomad Team Building Retreat

Sporadic team-building activities and virtual happy hours have their place, but they can’t take the place of a team-building retreat. Enduring experiences create long-lasting benefits that flow into the dynamic long after it is over.

Traditionally, physical retreats would take place over a few days, but the virtual realm makes this challenging. Digital burnout has limited our attention spans, and the last thing anyone wants is to compound this with a virtual retreat. Instead, the aim is to motivate and invigorate.

While in-person or physical retreats often run for a couple of days, virtual retreats are different. Let’s face it; no one wants to sit glued to their computer screen for days on end, especially with dwindling attention spans and Zoom fatigue. Hastily put together virtual retreats can contribute to digital burnout instead of reinvigorating your remote team. Having said this, the virtual retreat is here to stay, and it comes with many benefits that aren’t achieved in the physical realm.

Five reasons why team-building retreats should move online.

1. Diversity

The world has become smaller. We no longer need to take a long-haul flight to attend a business meeting or engage with colleagues and employees across the globe. A virtual retreat makes it possible for employees around the world to connect, build relationships, and have fun together. Teams can learn from each other and compare their approaches and mindsets that may differ according to culture and location.

2. Work/Life Balance

Physical retreats can be challenging for employees with family responsibilities. School runs, bedtime rituals, and family meals are an essential part of the family dynamic, and virtual retreats allow these to take priority still. Overnight childcare is unnecessary, which can save families money, particularly if a paid child-minder is the only option.

3. Cost-effectiveness

Economically, no one has been left unscathed by the pandemic. Companies are tightening their belts and are focusing on essentials. There isn’t much budget for extravagant trips and accommodation. Virtual team-building is far more cost-effective. Without worrying about venue hire and meals, companies can put all their effort and energy into the intended outcome.

4. Moral support when it is needed most

Remote working has left many of us feeling isolated and lonely. This can impact communication and productivity. Remote team building can remedy this and allow employees to feel connected even though they are physically apart. In addition, if you nurture the team dynamic, there is more resilience, and teams will bounce back regardless of whether they move on-site or remain remote.

5. Learn to think out of the box

We are used to engaging in the physical world, and there are so many activities and workshops available in that space that they don’t require much thought and effort when putting them together. Brainstorming ways to connect virtually focuses people on thinking out of the box and being creative. Bouncing ideas off each other connects the team and inspires creativity.

For The Love Of Food

Rockoly has introduced a whole new take on grabbing a bite after work, bringing teams together to bond over a love of food through virtual team-building retreats and tasting experiences that foster a sense of belongingness and inclusion. 

Rockoly’s virtual team-building retreats bring your team together through the spirit of collaboration, with interactive cooking classes that cater to every palate, culture, and personality.

Team-building with food is a positive, tasty way to bring your employees together, boost morale, and increase motivation levels. It takes the stress out of interacting by putting the usual office dynamics aside and nourishing your employees. At the same time, they bond over the love of food and the interactive process of preparing it, driven by an expert chef

An Oxford University survey conducted in the UK found that people who eat together socially are more likely to feel good about themselves and have a more comprehensive social network capable of providing social and emotional support.  

To quote the survey results:

“76% of those questioned said that they thought sharing a meal was an excellent way to bring people closer together…

A third of weekday evening meals are eaten in isolation, and the average adult eats 10 meals out of 21 alone every week. Busy lives and hectic work schedules are the leading causes of this solitary dining trend.”

Overworking can be a significant contributor to mental health problems. But even over workers can take a break to catch up with their colleagues and have some fun by participating in a virtual team-building retreat. 

Another survey says:

“No matter who you are or where you live, eating together is a practice that is universal. Surveys show that eating together has multiple benefits, both for the individual and society as a whole. Eating together makes us feel happier and generally more satisfied with life. It fosters trust, makes us more engaged with our community, and reminds us that we have a support system.

“Sitting down to share an evening meal bonds us with those around us. We laugh, reminisce, and create a relaxed atmosphere. It is the act of eating together that creates the bond, not the bond that encourages us to eat together. Eating together evolved from a need for social boning, when man was still evolving into the social creatures that we have become.”

Rockoly will bring your team together with a fun and interactive cooking class. Tell us about your team, select your menu, and let’s get started! Your team-building event is fully customizable and we will deliver all the necessary ingredients. Through video conferencing, a professional chef will guide your online team-building workshop, helping everyone create exciting meals together.

Rockoly events boost morale, build up teams, and create a space for socialization. We even add fun group games and entertainment for your team during the workshop!

Get in touch today if you’re ready to bring your team back together. Your team members don’t need to leave the comfort of their home, no matter where they are in the world. Select from Rockoly’s exciting workshop menus, or create your own. 

Nicola Killops

Nicola Killops

Nicola is a former teacher and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. She now writes full-time, with her partner, Justin. Nicola loves food, music, travel, and is a proud human and pet mom.

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