Team Building Activities for Deskless Workers - TheEMPLOYEEApp

Discover the Best Team Building Activities for Deskless Workers

Discover the Best Team Building Activities for Deskless Workers

Last updated on April 24, 2024 at 04:56 am

As businesses continue to evolve in today’s fast-paced digital world, the way we work has drastically changed. With the rise of technology and remote work, more and more employees are no longer bound to their desks, but rather working in various locations such as on the go or within a specific project. These “deskless workers” may include field technicians, sales representatives, healthcare professionals, and many others who spend a majority of their time outside of the traditional office setting. 

While this type of work arrangement offers flexibility and freedom for employees, it can also present unique challenges when it comes to team building and fostering a sense of camaraderie among colleagues. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of team building for deskless workers and share some effective activities that can bring these individuals together despite physical barriers.

Also Read: 10 Practical Tips for Boosting Productivity for Deskless Workers

Challenges of Team Building for Deskless Workers

Team building comes with its own set of challenges for deskless teams. Below are some of the more common ones:

Scattered Schedules

Deskless employees frequently operate on irregular schedules, posing a challenge in synchronizing the availability of the entire team. Their work hours are often unpredictable and subject to change, presenting a significant hurdle for team cohesion and collaboration.

Different Work Locations

Deskless employees seldom remain in one fixed location, instead fulfilling diverse roles across multiple customer sites and service regions. Consequently, they encounter fewer opportunities for casual relationship-building and collaboration that are typical in office environments.

Lack of Access to Technology

Deskless roles often lack access to essential technology like computers, collaboration tools, and communication channels. This limitation inhibits activities such as video conferencing or file access, hindering virtual team building. Consequently, traditional office-based team-building activities may prove ineffective for deskless workers, necessitating innovative approaches to foster team cohesion and performance. A report by Owl Labs reveals that 41% of remote workers struggle to adapt to company culture, highlighting the importance of equitable access to video conferencing, messaging, and project management tools for remote employees to actively engage in team activities and company events.

Creative Team Building Solutions

Over 80% of employers and employees believe creating a sense of community at work is important. Here are some of the best team-building activities for deskless workers that your organization can adopt:

Remote-Friendly Activities

In global offices, remote activities are a lifeline for team building. These free virtual team-building activities do not require physical attendance. Specific activity ideas that can be done virtually include:

  • Virtual Escape Rooms: This engaging team-building exercise sets up team members to work together, maintain critical thinking, and develop a line of communication as they try to “break out” of a strictly digital situation. Digital vendors provide interactive virtual escape rooms that are playable from a distance.
  • Online Game Nights: These can be described as good team exercise rather than a strange habit. Classic family board games on online platforms can be played digitally, injecting some lighthearted fun into team interactions.
  • Virtual Coffee Breaks/Lunch & Learns: Whether arranging informal learning sessions or allowing for casual interactions during virtual coffee breaks, these opportunities can promote more shared experiences and amicable association.
  • Remote Team Challenges: Interactive tasks that involve problem-solving, such as some online gaming sensations or trivia platforms. Many platforms provide suitable instruments and experiences.
Also Read: How To Create a Positive Work Environment For Deskless And Frontline Employees?

Micro-Activities throughout the Day

Since deskless workers have limited free time, microlearning activities, which can be done during short breaks or shift changes, are one way to incorporate team-building exercises into daily activities.

Examples of such activities include:

  • Two Truths and a Lie: It is an icebreaker game in which one person states three facts about themselves, two of which are true, and one is a lie. Their colleagues must guess which is the false statement. Teams could play this during short breaks or shift changes.
  • Team Trivia Challenges: A short trivia may boost general communication and work-related information exchange while maintaining friendly rivalry among employees.
  • Photo Contests Based on Daily Activities: This idea is based on sparking the participants’ inventiveness and workplace camaraderie. They will be asked to photograph a job-related issue and present the best or most creative photos—suspects for each participant during pauses or shift adjustments.
Also Read: Innovative Tools and Technologies for Enhancing Frontline Employee Operations

Location-based Activities (When Possible)

On-site gatherings, despite being hugely restricted for deskless teams, can have a drastic effect when organized. For breaks or shift changes, you could incorporate the following team building activities for deskless workers:

  • Short Group Fitness Challenges: Simple exercises or stretching can boost confidence and well-being through a fun, active approach. Team members can stroll for five minutes, partake in a yoga experience, or take a brief dance break. This fun activity gets everybody up and conversing or spending time doing physical exercises together.
  • Volunteer: Volunteering in a company can help develop a shared feeling of giving back and cooperation. For example, a team can do a beach clean-up, a food drive, or other local volunteerism on a break or during their free time.
  • Potluck Lunches: Creating a meal that reflects each person’s background and enjoying it together in a casual setting, both during and after work, can help reduce cultural differences. Hold a brief potluck during planned or intermittent breaks, such as changeover instances for specific teams, so team members can try each other’s culinary heritages and learn more about their coworkers.
Also Read: How to Foster Open Communication: 10 Tips for Organizations

Additional Tips for Success

The examples provided offer just a glimpse into the realm of team-building activities tailored for deskless workers. Below are additional strategies to further enhance team cohesion among this dynamic workforce:

  • Customization & Adaptability: Tailor activities to suit the unique needs and schedules of your team. Remain flexible, ready to adjust plans to accommodate the realities of deskless workers’ lives. Collaborate closely with employees to ensure activities are meaningful and aligned with their goals.
  • Engagement & Enjoyment: Foster engaging and enjoyable team-building experiences that spark meaningful conversations. Avoid mundane activities and instead focus on those that promote interaction and enjoyment, creating a positive atmosphere where participation feels natural and rewarding.
  • Feedback & Participation Tracking: Encourage participation through incentives and actively solicit feedback from employees. Utilize surveys, suggestion boxes, or focus groups to gather insights on the effectiveness of team-building events. This feedback loop enables continuous improvement, helping to refine future initiatives and address any areas of concern or improvement.

By embracing creativity, flexibility, and a genuine dedication to nurturing a vibrant team culture, organizations can unleash the full potential of their deskless workforce through impactful team-building endeavors.

Also Read: The Role of Training and Development in Streamlining Frontline Operations

Summing Up

Implementing team building activities for deskless workers can significantly enhance workplace morale, foster stronger bonds among team members, and ultimately improve overall productivity. By recognizing the unique needs and challenges faced by deskless workers and tailoring activities to accommodate their work environments, organizations can create a more inclusive and cohesive team culture. From outdoor adventures to virtual challenges, the key lies in fostering communication, collaboration, and a sense of belonging among all team members, regardless of their work settings. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can managers ensure that team building activities are inclusive and engaging for all deskless workers?

Managers can ensure inclusivity and engagement by involving deskless workers in the planning process, considering their preferences and limitations. It’s essential to choose activities that accommodate varying abilities, cultural backgrounds, and communication styles. Additionally, providing multiple options for participation, such as virtual and in-person activities, allows everyone to join in according to their comfort level and availability.

  1. What if some deskless employees are reluctant to participate in team-building activities? 

Resistance might be a reason for the lack of perceived value or a belief that team building is a waste of time. There are a few steps to this. First, ensure they benefit from better communication, collaboration, and job satisfaction. Second, specifically explain how these activities affect their work experience. Finally, get feedback and suggestions from team members who resist to ensure the activities are engaging and relevant. 

  1. How do you measure the effectiveness of team building activities for deskless workers? 

While the impact may be difficult to quantify, the success of team-building activities for remote teams can be measured in several ways. These might include utilizing leaderboard feedback surveys, monitoring participation rates in activities, and observing changes in team dynamics, communication, and collaboration before and after. 

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