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Remote Company Explains: Team Bonding, Virtual Retreats, Online Christmas Parties

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Virtual workation © The Remote Company

As businesses increasingly go into remote work mode, team-building activities and even festivities now take place in online platforms. To make the team stronger and improve the communication, The Remote Company shares their remote work experience, knowledge and effective practices for organising virtual events such as retreats, workations, and even holiday parties.

December 8th, 2020. World-wide spread of global pandemic forced the working environment to adapt and evolve accordingly. It has been discovered that 97 % of companies had to cancel all business trips and 88 % started encouraging at-home work. To keep employee spirits high during the upcoming holiday season and create conditions for advantageous team-bonding activities, companies have already gone online to implement virtual practices - retreats, staycations, and parties.

“The Remote Company is a network of remote-first tech companies that connects over 100 people from 35 countries. Having based its activity on a remote-first model, the network has learned what employee-oriented practices work best especially in times like these. We can most certainly say that team building is as important in remote work mode as it is in physical workplaces, and the necessity for virtual retreats, staycations, and even remote Christmas parties should not be undermined,” says Ilma Nausėdaitė, COO at The Remote Company. So, in order to avoid losing valuable time by postponing team building exercises, companies are turning the in-person activities into virtual all-company events.

Since Christmas parties at physical venues are likely to be cancelled this year, businesses can go in a new direction by organising virtual get-togethers. To make Christmas parties cheerful but at the same time beneficial for the team, The Remote Company shares some already tested ideas:

  • a virtual escape room is not only fun but makes the team members strategize, think outside the box, and communicate their ideas more clearly;
  • as a tribute to party snacks, the team members may be asked to cook their favourite Christmas dishes and share the recipes with their colleagues;
  • to make the virtual Christmas party more family-friendly, employees may be encouraged to dress up and join in the fun together their families and even pets;
  • using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet or even entertaining video-calling spaces such as Gather.town allows a large number of people to connect to the party.

As the pandemic-related travel bans put an end to company getaways, The Remote Company used the expertise in the remote work field gained prior to the lockdown, and this year organised virtual staycations instead of destination trips. The events that turned out to be the most successful during the company’s staycation were the ones that made the entire team get out of their comfort zone: for example, rock balancing meditations and Pecha Kuchas presentations that showed a more personal side of each colleague. To help the team grow closer, the members were asked to come up with short movies and show them during a movie night. The company even managed to organise “Sangria with Drag Queens” party which was a hit among those who participated.

“We organised our first-ever virtual workation during the first lockdown and we have to say - the feedback by our team was outstanding. Everybody said that virtual activities were great fun, but most importantly, they provided opportunities to connect with the colleagues and gain a better understanding of the core values of the company,” adds Ignas Rubežius, CEO at The Remote Company.

For businesses willing to go the extra mile and organise a virtual retreat for the entire company, The Remote Company suggests designing and customising the activities as per each company’s policies and values but preserving the most important aspect - practices where all members of the team get involved, work best.

Considering the current situation, it seems that remote work is here to stay, therefore, companies are invited to take into consideration the lessons learned amidst the pandemic, and create a remote work environment which would not only be efficient in terms of actual work, but allow the employees to carry on with their personal and professional growth, unite as a team, and have a better vision of the company’s goals through virtual activities.

ABOUT The Remote Company

The Remote Company is a network of remote-first tech companies with a team of over 100 people from 35 countries. The network focuses on online communication, remote work practices, and connects remote-first companies such as MailerLite, MailerSend, MailerCheck, and YCode.

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