Virtual teams become more and more the norm in the global business world. However, one field that is in my experience not so developed yet is the idea that virtual teams can also conduct virtual team building activities without being together face-to-face.
One great such activity is digital storytelling: The way I have implemented it with virtual teams is e.g. via video.
How does it work? A dispersed team separately shoots short videos and then creates a joint video from the different takes in e.g. an online working session.
What could be topics of these videos?
- A short overview what the office environment look like for everybody
- A short introduction of everybody
- A short ‘hello’ in the native language of all members of an intercultural team
- A description of the different project elements that the team members own
The benefits are that the remote team can do a joint activity, have a tangible outcome, and have lots of fun. And with today’s digital technology this activity can be done at almost no incremental cost.
If you want to take it to the next level you can of course tell a digital story in-depth, e.g. about your project status etc.
Here an example of the ultimate digital storytelling. Look at the TED talk from Eric Whitacre: “A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong.”
I admit that the extent of this joint virtual music project might be stretching it a little bit for the average virtual team.
However, the creation of a digital story in the form of a jointly created video is quite do-able, fun and a really efficient remote activity.