Team building activities can be a lot of work to set up and sometimes a little uncomfortable to execute. We know you’ve asked yourself, do I really need to take a whole afternoon off to do some weird escape room thing with my boss? When people are so resistant to coming out of their comfort zones, the question is, are team building activities really worth all the hassle? The answer is a resounding yes. And when you really think about it, it’s obvious why. So when team building time comes round for you and your team, don’t be a stick in the mud. Give team building a chance!
#1 – It shakes up the space
The best thing about team building activities is that they get people out of their everyday environment. No matter how progressive your office culture, no matter how inviting your snack wall, getting people out of the office is invaluable if you want to have a genuine team building experience. Doing so makes it impossible for you and your co-workers to rely on ways of thinking or being that have become, for better or for worse, crutches.
You can’t rely on the relationships that you’ve come to take for granted if you and your pals get put on different trampoline dodgeball teams. And that’s a good thing. It means you need to forge new relationships with co-workers that you may not have otherwise, people who could be invaluable resources to you back at the office.
Perhaps even more appealing, changing up the environment smashes our old friend bureaucracy. When you’re trapped in an escape room, desperately trying to crack the code and beat the clock, it’s hard to get hung up on chain of command, which helps employees shake off unproductive ways of thinking and may lead to innovation and creativity back at work.
#2 – It fosters some trust
When you shake up the space you’re forced to deal with each other in new ways. Instead of hiding behind the well-established (and sometimes borderline dysfunctional) relationships of office-land, you need to interact with your co-workers in a whole new way. And you need to rely on them. You may not be totally comfortable being pitted against the accounting department in an archery tag showdown to the death—but you’re going to need to work with your team to beat them all the same.
In a team building event you foster new, stronger relationships with your co-workers that will reflect back on your working relationship at the office, making you more likely to reach out to your co-workers to share ideas, ask for help, or even just have a friendly chat.
Added bonus—the more people you know at the office, the larger the pool of people you can ask to babysit your cat when you’re out of town. Obviously.
#3 – It creates a sense of urgency and accomplishment
Another great aspect of team building is that it creates a sense of urgency among the group. No matter what activity you choose, there is an objective and you have a set period of time to accomplish it. You have to learn how to throw axes and develop the confidence and accuracy to eviscerate your boss’s team, all within a few short hours. There is no time for lollygagging—no time for spooling around on Instagram or taking another spin around the office to see if you can drum up a companion to your procrastination.
The sense of urgency creates an excitement and focus between you and your team which may not be present in the day-to-day. That sense of excitement is so important. We’ve all be there of course—when the payoff to a project comes so late, you’re already up to your eyeballs in the next one. It’s hard to really feel good, really celebrate your accomplishments with your co-workers, when that happens. But in team building activity land, you can hold up your chalice of mead* and unleash your battle cry unabashed when you defeat your boss in the ultimate axe throwing challenge.
*a.k.a. pint of beer. Dream with us, people!
#4 – It’s all about togetherness
Because you’d be surprised what you and your co-workers can accomplish when you get down to it. When you are working together to achieve a common goal, when you’re right down to the wire, when you’ve reduced the noise of the everyday office environment, you can really get something done. You can dominate at archery tag, bust out of a four-part escape room without breaking a sweat, and chuck a real-live axe with confidence and genuine lumberjack prowess, earning you untold cool points for months to come.
And that creates an instant bond, an instant sense of togetherness, that you may not have been able to find in the office environment. It’s this sense of togetherness, of belonging, of strength and accomplishment, which will make you and your co-workers feel like valuable members of the ultimate team—the company you work for.
This sense is definitely solidified, we should add, if you go out for snacks and drinks afterward. We’re just saying. Maybe mention it to your boss.
#5 – Good team building = good office culture
Ultimately, a well-executed team building activity is comprised of all the best things you want to cultivate in your office culture. You and your co-workers will emerge a tightly knit team, unified by a sense of urgency to work towards a common objective, hard-wired with newfound trust in your colleagues and a robust sense of your own agency and worth.
So why team build? We hope the answer is obvious to you now. Just shaking up things alone is invaluable, but additionally the relationships you build during team building exercises will help you to perform better and have more fun in your everyday job. And remember, you’re worth it. You are not a gear in the bureaucratic machine, nor are your co-workers. You, all together, are a mosaic of individual people—and it’s always worth investing a little bit of time and energy and money into creating an event that helps each and every one of you remember that.
So turn that frown upside down! And direct your boss to these essential team building tips before you embark on your next adventure. They’ll help all of you have a stellar time!
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Our Corporate Concierge team has spent years building our expertise in planning fun events, corporate team building experiences, and group activities. We know the value that the right experience can bring to your group. Let us take care of the details for you.