We get it. Your colleagues aren’t necessarily your best friends. You might exchange cursory greetings next to the water cooler or awkwardly try to make conversation over a cup of coffee in the kitchen. But usually, it takes a while to build a strong bond with your work team, if you even build one at all.
Knowing your teammates is essential for good teamwork, especially in a corporate environment. So how can you encourage your team to bond over shared interests and rid the workplace of that stilted water cooler chatter forever? How can you bring your team closer together? Keep reading and we’ll tell you why corporate team building activities are essential in making a good team.
What Makes a Good Team?
Research shows that optimizing teamwork requires multiple factors. These include a supportive environment, strong structure, clear direction, and a strong mindset within the team. But how can we go about laying the foundations for all of these enabling factors?
The key is communication. Communicating with your team members can reveal a wealth of useful information and give a clear picture of your team’s dynamics. Communication can help to figure out how your team members operate, how they interact with one another, and how they work together to overcome obstacles.
Now, you could sit your team down for a long and boring meeting and force them into communication. Or, you could make the process engaging, fun, and memorable for everyone involved.
Corporate Team Building Activities: Why They’re Important
That’s where team-building activities come in. Team building activities provide a neutral space, free from office politics and reminders of work, for a team to really get to know one another.
Plus your team will be able to bond over a shared activity, getting to know one another and how everyone works in the process. Depending on the activity, your team might even be put under a bit of pressure and be forced to work together to overcome an obstacle. These activities are great practice for the workplace and a whole lot of fun for the team!
We could go into more detail about how effective teams mean better business and lead to a big boost in productivity – which is all true. But the bottom line is, being on a team with people that you know, understand, and like can make the workplace environment a really pleasant place to be.
Before You Begin Planning
Before you begin planning activities there are a few things you should consider to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for the team.
Make sure that you organize your team-building event at a time when your team isn’t swamped with work. No one will be able to unwind and enjoy themselves when deadlines are looming.
When looking for a venue, try to find somewhere close by. There are tons of venues for team-building activities (that also come in handy when organising a conference) that have all the resources you need for a successful event. These places usually cater to corporate events and corporate meetings but are great for team-building exercises too. Try to find a place close by so that it’s convenient for the whole team.
It’s also a good idea to chat with your team before planning an activity. Some team members might have difficulty with physical activities or lower fitness levels than others. You want everyone on the team to have a good time. So if you have a fun idea in mind, make sure your whole team is willing and able to partake.
Dream Team Building Activities
To assist in your team-building endeavor, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite team-building activities for any corporate team.
These ideas range from slightly off the wall, to more professional activities. However, they all have one thing in common and that’s fostering an environment for building and strengthening connections among team members.
Visit an Escape Room
Escape rooms involve locking your team in a room where they have to work together and play a game to escape.
Escape rooms are great team-building activities because they throw teams into the deep end and force them to figure out the best way to work together and achieve a common goal. Teams will be put under a bit of pressure, be forced to communicate effectively to succeed, and experience wins and losses as a team. It’s kind of like a challenging day at the office, but a whole lot more fun.
Make Something Together
Attending a workshop as a team is a fun way to bond, and have something at the end to show for it! Whether it’s beer-making or a cooking class, team members will work together and learn how everyone operates to achieve their goals.
This option isn’t as fast-paced as an escape room, but it has similar results. Plus, you can sit together at the end of the activity and marvel over your creations.
Go On a Picnic
A picnic is a nice and gentle option and is great for newly-formed teams where members aren’t quite comfortable with each other yet. Make it a potluck picnic where each member brings a dish, or go for a more professional catered picnic spread.
The most important part of the picnic isn’t the food, but the activities that accompany it. Turn this time into an opportunity for some ice-breakers and short introductory games. Here are some tried and tested options.
Finally, if your team members are up for it, do something that requires movement and endurance. Obstacle courses can be great team-building activities particularly when members are required to help one another through the obstacle course to succeed.
Other fun and physical activities include soccer matches, kart racing, hiking, or even canoeing. Your options depend entirely on your location and your team members’ abilities.
Level Up Your Teamwork
Corporate team building activities are an essential part of building happy, healthy, and successful teams. There are tons of options to choose from, but make sure you do your research and speak to your team before planning anything so that everyone is on the same page.
Want to know more about best practices in business? Check out the rest of our business section for some extra insights.