How online games can contribute to increased collaboration, communication & cohesion within a team of remote workers.
As we move further into 2021, social distancing is still the norm, prompting many companies to stick to remote work management for the time being.
This can lead to employees’ disassociation with their teams and feelings of isolation, poor motivation and lack of productivity across the board. However, the upside of working as a remote team is that you can easily integrate various online games into your team’s free time.
Based on published data, teams that are engaged showcase 21% higher profitability and 41% reduction in absences, with 96% who believe that empathy is essential.
Playing online games as a part of your team building can provide you with just that, and allow seemingly distant individuals to find common ground. Whether it be an accessible MMO game or a simple browser-based quiz which everyone can participate in, let’s discuss their benefits for remote team productivity.
Given that we still live in the COVID-19 era, online games are one of the rare activities which are completely safe and easily accessible. According to recent reports, 40% of people who picked up a video game during the pandemic intend to continue with their new-found hobby even afterward.
Dubbed as a “social lifeline”, video games have achieved a newfound status of a go-to channel for communication, teamwork and engagement akin to social events. Online games can provide your team with a cathartic feeling in a stress-free environment, both physically and emotionally, allowing them to momentarily be somewhere else.
Odds are that not all of your remote team members will see eye-to-eye when it comes to work or lifestyle choices. Making online games a mandatory part of team bonding can start to dissolve those barriers and allow individuals to find commonalities between one another.
Online games such as Minecraft or Among Us require very little in terms of CPU power and can easily be run on older laptops or desktop computers. These games are oriented toward creativity, problem-solving and teamwork — elements which are crucial to a remote team’s productivity.
Speaking of problem-solving, working in a remote environment can make dodging decisions and obligations fairly easy for your team. We can’t help it — as people, we don’t want to take the burden of responsibility onto ourselves if we can avoid it.
With online games, your coworkers will be far more inclined to make decisions and think on their feet thanks to the virtualized team training beforehand.
Furthermore, they will be encouraged to discuss ideas and solutions with one another and keep their cards on the table instead of making decisions autonomously.
Opinions are mixed as to how effective traditional team-building activities really are. A company will always consist of people from various walks of life, backgrounds and lifestyle choices. Forcing everyone to participate in controlled office exercises may or may not make them work better as a group. However, introducing games such as Fall Guys or even Fortnite can mitigate that by engaging every person equally, simultaneously.
Linda Ferguson, CEO of Subjecto, an essay sample database platform, spoke on the topic:
“Team building is only as effective as the people involved in it are comfortable. For some, writing creative papers and presenting them is fun, for others, basketball or yoga may be preferred. That’s why you should look for common denominators and activities suited to most employees — send out a poll in writing and ask for their suggestions.”
There’s no denying the positive impact certain online games can have for your coworkers’ creativity and motivation to work as a team. Games such as the Jackbox Party series or the recently-released Deep Rock Galactic can prove tremendously beneficial in regards to building your team’s creative skills.
The creativity developed through online games will seamlessly translate to other facets of your workflow, including coming up with new project ideas and solutions. Likewise, visually-pleasing online video games will help your team stay motivated and focused on the task at hand in anticipation of playing games together again.
The best marketing your company will ever get comes from your employees. As such, introducing video games, a modern and widely-accepted form of entertainment into your team activities, will resonate throughout the industry.
Embracing new trends such as online games will reflect not only on your team internally but also on the perception of your company from outside.
Your brand image will improve and you will have a much easier time attracting new talent for your remote team the next time you hire. Likewise, other companies which use online games for their team building might reach out to you and offer unique collaboration opportunities with mutual marketing benefits.
Playing online games with your remote coworkers can be seen as a natural evolution of traditional team-building often associated with office seminars and road trips. Given that we still live in the social distancing era, video games can provide your coworkers with the vent they so desperately need to relax.
Look for easily-approachable casual games which anyone can plug into and play in short bursts while also video or audio chatting as a team. You should check out Hi5 Games and their assortment of puzzle games which your co-workers will gladly dive into given their accessibility. While it may seem surreal at first, playing online games with the people you work with is a worthwhile investment that will increase your productivity.