Although remote work has always existed and dominated the offshore business models, it took the corporate world a pandemic to accept and adopt it widely. The pandemic has shattered many stereotypes around remote work and organizations embraced it during the pandemic to stay resilient and avert economic crises. This paradigm shift has led to a new normal in the corporate work environments. Technology and team collaborations have experienced unprecedented shifts and new work modes like the hybrid mode have evolved. However, as we progress past the pandemic, executives and large corporations across the world are expressing the need for employees to return back to offices. The Singapore government too has recommended workers to start returning back to offices as vaccination rates increase. Some of the concerns executives have expressed about remote work are being unable to build organizational culture, lack of interpersonal team relationships, and strong team collaborations.
Although executives are excited about returning to offices, employees aren’t. In the Future Forum Pulse survey by Slack with over 10,000 people surveyed, 76% of the employees have indicated their preference to work from home or to have flexibility in where they work from. In contrast, executives are three times more likely than employees to return to full time office work and indicated their preference for employees to work from offices. Employers therefore are trying to entice workers to return to offices with perks like improved organization cultures, extra paid time off, work-life balance, offering wellness programs etc. While these perks might bring employees back to offices, they cannot motivate and engage them to collaborate with their teams or contribute to the organization’s culture.
As your team members start returning to offices, you can consider organizing team building activities to build the momentum and create synergies between them. Team building activities can be great for breaking the ice and rekindling personal bonds that were lost in remote work. These activities also improve employee mental health and bridge the gap between executives and employees. Some employers have also been organizing retreats to bring together their teams and create a sense of belonging. Team building activities also have other benefits like improved communication and morale among team members. They energize teams and invigorate team bonds that improve collaboration and reduce employee turnover. Team building events also help employees network with their colleagues from other teams that they have not worked with. This can be highly beneficial in organizations with agile and cross functional teams.
Team bonding activities in Singapore have always been popular with organizations being proactive in organizing them during the pandemic too. However, post pandemic many small and medium companies too started to incorporate team building activities into their culture as they welcome employees back to offices. Mental health is one of the key themes in Singapore with many mental health apps too experiencing a surge in the number of corporate clients during and after the pandemic. Singapore being a global business centre also has a greater need to focus on inclusion and diversity at workplaces. Team building activities are one way to do so. These activities help in building a more inclusive and empathetic work environments.
To conclude, team building activities must be a part of employee engagement and retention strategies in the new normal. Unlike the pre-pandemic world where employers were using monetary perks to motivate employees, the new normal calls for finding purpose and positive work environments. The millennial workforce is inclined to find organizations that closely align with their personal values and ideals. Therefore, team building activities add immense value to your organization in the new normal.
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