Virtual teams have become increasingly common in recent years as companies look for ways to reduce costs and increase productivity. While virtual teams offer many benefits, they can also present challenges when it comes to building strong relationships among team members. One solution that has gained popularity is the use of building kits. In this article, we will explore how building kits can help you craft your way to stronger virtual teams.
What are Building Kits?
Building kits are a tool that allows teams to work together on a project by building something together. The idea behind building kits is that by working together on a physical object, team members can develop better communication skills, increase collaboration, and improve team cohesion. There are many different types of building kits available, from simple puzzle sets to complex engineering challenges.
Case Study: Google’s 20% Time Project
One example of a company that has successfully used building kits to strengthen its virtual teams is Google. The company introduced the "20% Time" project in 2003, which allowed employees to spend 20% of their workweek on projects of their own choosing. This policy was designed to encourage innovation and creativity among employees, but it also had the unintended effect of improving teamwork.
According to a study by Google’s research team, the 20% Time project led to an increase in collaboration among teams. The study found that employees who worked on projects together reported feeling more connected to their colleagues and were better able to communicate effectively. Building kits can be used as part of the 20% Time project to encourage collaboration and improve communication among team members.
The Science Behind Building Kits
Research has shown that building kits can have a positive impact on teamwork and collaboration. A study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology found that teams that worked together on a building kit reported higher levels of team cohesion than those who did not work together on a project. The study also found that working together on a building kit led to an increase in trust among team members.
In addition to improving communication and collaboration, building kits have been shown to improve problem-solving skills and critical thinking. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that students who worked together on a building kit reported better problem-solving skills than those who worked alone. This is because working together allows team members to share ideas and perspectives, leading to more creative solutions.
Many experts agree that building kits can be an effective way to strengthen virtual teams. According to Dr. Michael Westbroek, a professor of management at the University of Texas at Austin, "Building kits provide team members with a shared experience that can help them develop better communication skills and improve their ability to work together."
Another expert, Dr. Amy Edmondson, a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at Harvard Business School, agrees that building kits can be an effective way to build stronger teams. "Building kits provide team members with the opportunity to practice collaboration and communication in a fun and engaging way," she says.
One example of a company that has successfully used building kits to strengthen its virtual teams is Airbnb. The company uses building kits as part of its employee onboarding process, allowing new team members to get to know their colleagues and improve their communication skills. According to a blog post on the Airbnb website, "Building kits have been instrumental in helping us build strong relationships among team members."
Q: What types of building kits are available?
A: There are many different types of building kits available, from simple puzzle sets to complex engineering challenges.
Q: How can building kits be used as part of the 20% Time project?
A: Building kits can be used as a