How we reinvented team building remotely.

Author
Bart Numan
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Team building is particularly important for teams in all disciplines. Whether you are working in software development or working in a warehouse, you need to be able to work together as a team. Within VI Company, we used to do this quite often as well. But under the current government regulations, this has become a challenge. In this article, I will take you into a way of how we reinvented team building remotely.

Real-life interactions often increase teamwork significantly. Whether it is being in the same room together when conducting meetings, informal water cooler talks, having after-work drinks, or going on a team-building trip, people tend to bond both in a professional and personal way. This builds mutual understanding and trust, which are some of the pillars of great teamwork.
Once these bonding opportunities occur less and less, for example during a pandemic, it could also have an impact on teams.

A lot of people working in the tech industry are interested in other computer stuff, more than average. The same goes for a lot of colleagues within VI. Gaming is one of the things that I enjoy outside office hours. Like a lot of other software companies, we not only have a pool table and foosball table but the inner gamer is also served by a couple of big TV screens and gaming consoles. We have multiple camps. Some of us favor the Nintendo Switch, playing Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros., and some of us favor the Xbox One, playing FIFA. So, every lunch break, colleagues rush to their favorite consoles and line up, to enjoy their favorite games during the break. This is both competitive and a way to bond, with colleagues across teams by competing or playing together.
Also, every Friday we close off the work week with drinks, snacks, and again, games at our very own bar.

And then, in March 2020, our office closed for obvious reasons and most of these bonding activities became unavailable or moved online in some other form.

While we are enjoying game consoles like Xboxes and Nintendo's at the office, at home, most of us adhere to the PC Master Race. Every Wednesday evening, we do cross-team building in the form of the online first-person shooter “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”, CS:GO in short. While there are several game modes, the most played game mode is competitive 5 versus 5, or 5v5 over a max of 30 rounds. This is one of the greatest games in e-sports as well, and prices go over 1 million dollars for the champion nowadays. This game requires a team of 5 to cooperate, discuss strategies, communicate, support, and coach each other in the heat of the moment. Just like our “normal” office jobs, skill is important, but to win, you will need teamwork.

So, in our own way, these Wednesday evening sessions help us to build team spirit and respect amongst team members and transcend the VI development team boundaries. We all work for the same company, building teams and trust contributes to team spirit and growth.

Are you interested in working with or at VI Company? Or just want to join in on our weekly gaming sessions? You are hereby challenged to defeat our most skilled players!

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