Technology has allowed the workforce to contribute from virtually anywhere on the planet. This has transformed both workforce flexibility and productivity. Some of the pitfalls of not being co-located are slowly being removed with various tools. Virtual Ice Breakers has been developed to help address some of the isolation challenges and the reduced ability to have “water cooler” with the geographically distributed workforce. As the ability for humans to physically connect in different ways evolves, the psychological connection must also evolve.
The staff at Virtual Ice Breakers have researched the remote working culture from both empirical and practical perspectives. It is well known that, with in-person communications, non-verbal cues account for a very high percentage of a message. In a world where audio is now the primary medium, any method to improve communications is vital.
Good relationships with co-workers become vital for great teamwork. We, as humans, are wired to connect. When an individual has an insight on fellow team members passions and drivers, common interests can be very beneficial. A recent study that took place within a branch of the Swedish Postal Service concluded that, “social relations between colleagues are at the root of employee willingness to take on responsibilities beyond their formal job description.”
There is likely not too much to debate on the trend for remote working. The number of off site employees is growing every year. Both the workforce and employers are demanding more flexibility. The workforce wants more choices for life balance and employers want employees available outside the traditional working hours. Both of these trends can be achieved with a remote working methodology.
The challenges of remote working are becoming better understood as more information is collected in the workforce. This is the exact reason Virtual Ice Breakers was created. Studies have revealed the number one pitfall is the feeling of isolation. The opportunity to have informal discussions by remote team members becomes much more challenging. Informal communications is where we typically share our passions and desires. When team mates have a shared passion for something like rock climbing, they form a connection that is very beneficial for team building. By having activities where similar bonds can be created, the team as a whole benefits.
As remote working evolves, the benefits to both employee and employer become more obvious. With services like FlexJobs.com providing the medium linking workers with companies, WFM (Working From Home) has become an industry on its own.