Going remote has challenged the staples of traditional working life. Tapping away on computers in silence, doing important decision-making with colleagues’ profile pictures, and a blurred boundary between work and personal time have become the routine of many working professionals.
And while remote work proved more productive and cost-efficient for companies and employees alike, lack of personal communication, physical activity, and socializing is taking its toll.
Namely, a 2021 study found that most employees working from home experienced negative mental health effects, such as feelings of isolation, loneliness and difficulty getting away from work at the end of the day.
To alleviate the adverse impacts of remote work, companies need to foster employee connectedness. And what better way to connect your teammates in a close-knit, relaxing, and fun way than by organizing a team-building activity.
Read on to discover the benefits of team building for your brand image and employee motivation and find out the best outdoor team building activities for 2022.
Team Building – The Foundation of Your Employees’ Happiness & Company Culture
Competitive salary, engaging projects, company benefits, the opportunity to learn and advance – these used to be the things that make or break employee satisfaction at work. But not so much anymore.
Namely, a recent study found that 58% of job seekers regard culture as more important than salary. The trend of good company culture started a few years back when the Millennials became the bulk of the workforce. As a result, professionals today pursue working in collaborative, mission-driven companies that fuel change and growth and provide mentorship and teamwork.
But how do trust falls, board games, and field trips fit into this image of the ideal corporate culture?
Team building is crucial to good organizational culture as it enables employees to communicate, solve problems, and organize teams in an outside-of-work setting. In addition, different research has suggested that team building facilitates your employees’ work satisfaction, improves communication patterns, and boosts group loyalty. For these reasons, companies like Escapely were born, aiming to bring together coworkers of all teams and nationalities from companies looking for a fun, easy, and effective way to teambuild.
Besides fostering a good company culture by making employees feel like part of something bigger, team-building activities allow managers to identify the weaknesses and strengths of coworkers.
The Role of Team Building in Assessing Employee Skills
Think of your company’s team-building activities as a regular working day, only outside the office. Why? Well, it’s because employees behave pretty much the same at a team-building activity as they do when at work.
Let’s say you’ve organized an obstacle course team building.
Some of your employees will divide the teams, organize the order in which they compete, and set the game’s rules. Others will keep a low profile and take their turn once designated.
Some team members will take the initiative to try the course first, while others will want to wait and see how their colleagues overcome the obstacles.
So, a simple activity such as an obstacle course can be eye-opening in determining your employees’ personalities and skills.
Through team-building activities, employees exhibit their skills in leadership, organization, communication, creative thinking, problem-solving, listening, and more.
The roles your teammates assume at a team-building are most probably the ones they’re fittest for in real-work circumstances.
Therefore, team-building activities can be an amazing source of understanding your employees as individuals, analyzing their mutual relationships and collaboration, and assessing which role fits whom the best.
9 Most Effective Outdoor Team-Building Activities to Organize in 2022
The quarantine and remote work that ensued from the Covid pandemic caused a nearly 2500% increase in interest in online and virtual team-building activities. Yet, now that most Covid restrictions are lifted, it’s a good idea to set up an outdoor team-building get-together.
Outdoor activity will provide the much-needed exercise and time outside the work setting for your employees but in a safe and healthy surrounding.
Moreover, outdoor team buildings lower stress, improve focus and creativity, and help workers take their minds off work.
So, here are the best outdoor team-building ideas to try out in 2022.
#1 Scavenger Hunt
This is a great outdoor activity to promote your employees’ teamwork, observational and deduction skills, and enjoy the fresh air and warm sun. Although the game itself requires elaborate planning and prepping scavenger hunt promises good fun and an unforgettable time.
A scavenger hunt is an amazing team-building idea because it’s relatively low-cost, adjustable for teams of different sizes, and doesn’t require a special setup. You can organize this activity within your company’s neighborhood, city center, park, or suburban woods.
Some companies are wary of team buildings because they can be costly and demanding.
On the other hand, not all employees are keen on spending their free time with their colleagues and bosses. Yet, team buildings needn’t be that elaborate at all.
For those not really into full-scale team buildings, a walkathon is a simple and effective answer.
Take a team rest break from work, or leave the office a bit early and go for a 30-minute walk together. Walkathon is a relaxing physical activity that doesn’t require much effort but offers a way to stay fit and get to know your teammates a bit more.
#3 Rifle Shooting
If you wish to blow off some steam and relieve your coworkers’ stress, organize a corporate team-building rifle shooting. This is a great outdoor activity for those who like adrenaline and adventure and seek new experiences.
There are many outdoor shooting ranges to take your teammates, but you can also design your own shooting team building in nature.
Make or print out shooting targets, order the right equipment suitable for beginners, and buy quality rifle ammunition to ensure all participants’ safety.
Are some of your employees harboring grudges against one another? If yes, allow them the opportunity to “avenge” in a fun, exciting, and civil manner.
You can organize a paintball team building in woods or a field, though many paintball centers have custom-built fields with unique layouts.
Paintball is a fantastic team-building idea that boosts physical activity, increases adrenaline, relieves stress, and encourages fast logic and thinking. You can also check out these gel guns by Gel Blaster, a safer alternative to paintball.
#5 Sports Day
Display your healthy, corporate competitive spirit on a sports field and get the chance to brag about your victory until the next team building.
You can opt for a popular sport such as football, baseball, soccer, or volleyball, or try out some less physically demanding like darts, pool, or bowling.
Sports activities are a great opportunity to create teams of people of different seniorities and from diverse departments. That way, you’ll encourage a relaxed and friendly connection between unacquainted colleagues.
#6 Outdoors Picnic/BBQ
Everything’s much better when there’s good food involved, so why not replicate your dream Sunday into everyone’s favorite team building?
A picnic or BBQ is an amazing opportunity to get to know your colleagues in a less formal setting. You can learn more about your teammates’ passions, hobbies, and life in general, which can be a great starting point for future friendships.
Moreover, you can welcome your colleagues’ spouses and children to the team-building picnic. By opening your company’s doors for their families, you’ll make your employees feel more integrated into the company’s community.
Team buildings aren’t necessarily about having a laid-back day with coworkers. They are about connecting people, making them feel fulfilled, motivated, and working together for a shared goal. And volunteering is an excellent source of all these.
Dedicate a day to volunteering at a dog shelter, elderly home, or soup kitchen. Visit a children’s hospital, organize a park clean-up, or give free classes to children interested in your vocation.
Corporate volunteering activities will bond your team members to work together towards making others’ lives a bit better. Moreover, your team building can help raise awareness about an issue and perhaps push others to act as well.
#8 Make Something Together
Is anyone in your team skillful in painting, carpentry, or cooking? Unleash your coworkers’ creativity and make a thing for your company, teammate, or charity.
Ask them to help you in organizing a team-building activity in which everyone will gain new experience and knowledge – plus, make someone else’s life better.
Your employees can make a meal to share with their families, build a crib for a colleague who is soon to be a parent, or help refurbish a poor family’s home.
This form of team building might be rather tiring, but once everyone sees the results, the sense of accomplishment and team spirit will win over.
#9 Show and Tell
Did someone on your team recently climb a mountain top, visit their dream country, or learn pottery making? Some people aren’t keen on talking much about themselves until asked. So, show and tell is a great way to help your more introverted colleagues share interesting life stories.
This team-building activity will allow your teammates to learn more about the people they spend time with. Some may discover they share a passion or perhaps get inspired by a coworkers’ story and take up a new hobby.
Make the show and tell activity more engaging by inviting your colleagues to ask questions or share their experiences on a similar topic.