Whether the task involves cooking, sports or puzzle-solving, the idea behind team building activity days is to increase the sense of togetherness of those involved. The individual and the team benefits from these activities in the following ways:
In medium to large size companies it is likely that most communication is done by email, telephone or other non-face-to-face means. There may even be individuals in the office that some have never spoken to, even after many years of service. Team building exercises break down the walls of work departments so that everyone mixes together; marketing, accounting, human resources, sales all become one. People who are not used to working together get to participate and work as a team, interacting with each other, establishing a rapport and building strong relationships.
Getting away from a desk and daily responsibilities can boost creativity, as your mind is no longer occupied on those tasks that are yet to be completed. Being in a new environment lends itself to thinking in new ways. A job may restrict someone from going beyond its roles and responsibilities; for example working in accounting tends to keep creativity to a minimum.
Team building activity days actively encourage creativity. Being given tasks that are different to those at work forces the brain to think diversely, and look at things from an alternative angle. These new ways of learning can then be transferred to the work environment leading to greater productivity.
Improves motivation and morale
Repetitive tasks can hamper anyones motivation to get through them, and constantly doing the same thing day in day out can quickly make the work environment stale. Stepping away from this and coming together as a team to complete an activity can give you and others a much needed boost in morale. Team building activities can often identify barriers to positive morale, and when employees succeed in these activities, they become more confident, which boosts their motivation.
Time to develop skills
When under a heavy workload there is little time to develop skills or learn new ones. Team building activities offer the opportunity to showcase abilities that may not come to the fore in a typical role at work, and allows people to focus on what they are best at. These activities are also a great way to learn new skills and discover things people didn’t know about their colleagues; you may find out that Christine from human resources is a brilliant designer, or Phillip from IT is a natural leader. These newly found skills can change company dynamics and improve productivity.
In a busy office environment there is often little time to build relationships with colleagues. The fun nature of team building activities allows employees to get know each other in a casual environment, whether inside or outside of the office. People may find that they have a common interest with someone from another team; this consequently makes them more likeable and trustworthy, and leads to easier future communications. Developing better relationships with colleagues also means that employees are more likely to look forward to coming into the office.
These are just a few of the many benefits of team building activity days. The key to these days is to make the most of them and get involved from start to finish.