Health crisis’ impact on working within companies, and the future of team-building
The recent events that have shook the world will have an undeniable impact on the future of work in companies. And therefore how to work on team building. In the short term, many companies have had no choice but to make their employees work from home. 25% of the French workforce has done so. This figure explodes in Île-de-France with no less than 41% of the working population working from home!
TELEWORKING IN FRANCE
Tested and approved? According to an Odoxa-Adviso Partners survey, 76% of French people are in favor of the development of this practice in the long term. It must be said that there is no lack of positive points. Indeed, telecommuting drastically reduces pollution, allows greater autonomy and avoids the loss of travel time for employees. The time saved offers workers the possibility to spend more time with their family (or jogging, which suddenly seems to be the new pastime for most Parisians).
From the employers’ side, many were reluctant to have their employees telework (which explains the low rate of people who had already used teleworking before the public transport strikes last December). There are several reasons for employer’s mistrust of teleworking. One of the most frequently highlighted reasons is trust; a dogma strongly anchored in France, is: if people are at home, they will do as little as possible. The difficulty of managing a team long-distance is also a factor. However, some managers were already convinced by the efficiency of teleworking. These team leaders were particularly interested by gaining autonomy and flexible working hours.
After many weeks of teleworking, the number of those who are convinced seems much higher! Many companies are already thinking about the long-term benefits of teleworking. This is the case of PSA. Employees who are not linked to physical production will telework most of the time. They will only have to be in the office one and a half days a week. This concerns around 80,000 employees. A huge change!
A NEW CULTURE
Faced with this change in culture, one thing seems more essential than ever: we will have to strengthen the links between employees and collaborators. If they no longer physically see each other every day, a close-knit team with a good level of communication and understanding of each other is necessary, in order to ensure that teleworking works in the best possible way long term. It will also be necessary to avoid the multiplication of burn-outs caused by lack of socialization, and isolation.
How is it possible to imagine hiring somebody and starting to work with that person having never been able to meet his future colleagues? What format could the integration of somebody into a company take on if after a few days the employee finds himself at home with a limited knowledge of how the company works? How can we imagine that colleagues who used to get together on a daily basis, to exchange ideas throughout the day face to face, hardly see each other anymore? By what means can we organize and understand the new communication tools and channels? And above all, how to avoid dehumanization while ensuring that the morale of the troops remains high?
TEAM-BUILDING AS A TELEWORKING PARTNER
Varied methods of team-building events are undoubtedly the best solution to the problems, ultimately caused by teleworking. Let us argue in favor of that being the case.
It’s no longer necessary to prove it; team-building allows us to reinforce the bonds within a team quickly and effectively. It offers the possibility to break the ice in record time. This solution has been favored by many companies long before lockdown confinement. In this period of ‘un-lockdown’, and vast change in the world of work, team-building is one of the solutions to these new problems.
Team building at a distance…
What better way to learn about a communication tool or new software than to do it in a playful way? With an online Criminal Quest, employees will be able to approach and understand various software programs whilst reinforcing their team cohesion. The game is generally played using a videoconferencing software used by companies like- Zoom, Teams, etc.… and a Game Master guides the participants through the online quest. Depending on what each company has as an objective, it’s possible to incorporate software use and other applications for teleworking (for example, a solution to a riddle could be in an Excel spreadsheet or a person could have to search through a computer drive to find a clue).
Of course, we can go further by imagining the development of digital on-boarding. This practice would consist of building an online pathway for integrating new employees. This could be done almost systematically through gaming, which allows a faster and more efficient learning process.
At the same time, team meetings, brainstorming sessions or remote management could be done through gaming. Gaming would take a central place in company exchanges in order to make them more fun and more efficient.
Socially distanced team-building is necessary, especially when learning communication, along with digital tools. But physical links will remain important in the years to come (at least let’s hope so). This is why we are certainly moving towards democratizing team-building in real life.
Team building IRL (in real life)…
If teleworking develops, real team-building will improve communication, and certainly in knowing better how your colleagues work. Exchanges are always more direct and efficient with people we know.
By teleworking, the feeling of belonging to a company could be reduced. Events in which the participants invest themselves from the beginning until the end in order to win allows those bonds to be fortified. Even more so if the company decides to get its messages across through such an event. They may concern possible innovations or values.
It is also more complicated to discover hidden skills in people via a screen. Team-building has always made it possible to discover the hidden talents of many employees. By giving our best and by pulling in the same direction for something where nothing’s at stake, we discover surprising qualities in others! This very often proves to be a rich learning experience for managers.
Gaming when recruiting is becoming more and more frequent. According to a study carried out by Le Monde, 12.7% of trial periods for permanent contracts are non-successful. Hence the importance of selecting the right person. Especially if we have to work with them via teleworking afterwards (which requires a much greater capacity for autonomy). Playing, therefore, could save a considerable amount of time. It involves observing the candidate’s personality, his or her ability to work in a team, his or her leadership or even his or her sense of reflection. Game playing offers the possibility of putting the candidates into real case work situations. Unlike a classic job interview where the theoretical aspect is often prioritized.
Beyond the fact that game playing improves the conditions of teleworking, it has many more advantages. We’ve referenced this article on the interest of gaming or this one on the metrics to calculate the success of a team-building event.
To look to the future in a new light, with team-building or custom-made games; all is possible! The future is waiting for you.