This is all well and good and while I’m obviously a champion of remote working (what VA isn’t?) there is one area where it really can’t compete with face-to-face contact and that’s when it comes to team-building. Zoom, Teams and all those other online tools work to maintain the connections that have already been built in the office at people’s desks, bumping into each other while getting a cup of tea, those ‘water-cooler’ moments where chance snatches of conversation enable colleagues to get to know each other and build relationships. And if we’re going to see increased flexible working then the humble team-building day will be ever more important.
Go Old School
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel – ten pin bowling, mini golf and Laserquest may scream 1990s, as does the good old treasure hunt, but that’s not a bad thing. They’re fun, relaxing activities that most people enjoy and can take part in. For a more modern take and to really bring in the team aspect consider an escape room or a cocktail making experience. Follow this with a meal out and a few drinks in the evening to bring everyone back together, chill out and take stock of the day.
Bring in an outside company to perform team-building tasks, tests and training. More formal than the social get-together, this type of day often involves learning about individuals’ personality types and putting different types together to see how they perform a variety of tasks. Often illuminating, and always interesting, it can be a real insight into why some people work so well together while others just don’t seem to ‘get’ each other and in the long term can positively affect the dynamics when you get back to the workplace.
Prior to lockdown the team-building experience industry was just bursting with new ideas and different spins on team day activities. Some of these are essentially updates of tried and tested pursuits: a spy mission (treasure hunt), team wipeout (obstacle course), zombie evasion (paintballing, but with zombies). But there are many genuinely out-there ideas from the rugged survival experience, to flash mob dancing, to fire breathing (really!) to name only a few. If you want to really embrace a new normal then one of these more off-the-wall ideas might be for you.
Many businesses will have been hit hard by lockdown and we won’t all have the budget to fund an expensive team day. Luckily there is a whole range of team-building activities that you can do in the office – for a quiet one try an afternoon of board games or a Lego masters tournament, creative businesses might want to stage their own Dragon’s Den, while for those with a mild sadistic streak blindfolded food tasting should be a riot.
If you’d like more information on team-building activities click here to request my 10 Top Team-Building Day Ideas.