A close-knit team is crucial to a business’ success, and team building events are a great way of building those relationships, as well as developing key skills such as communication and problem solving.
Conducting your team building activity outdoors can bring added benefits – enabling participants to escape the workplace and open their mind to new perspectives. Furthermore, research has shown that access to green spaces can have a significant positive impact on mental wellbeing, resulting in a healthier, happier workforce.
Here are some suggestions to inspire your next outdoor team building event
Dragon boat racing is one of the fastest growing team building activities in the UK – and with good reason. It involves teams of people racing on a river by paddling large ‘dragon boats’ and is a hugely fun and exhilarating experience. But more than that, it necessitates excellent team work and communication skills, and rewards participants with a real sense of achievement.
Head to the Coast
Not for the faint hearted, coasteering can nevertheless be an effective team bonding experience, pushing people out of their comfort zone and creating some great memories. It’s also an opportunity to get back to nature and explore some of our beautiful coastline. Most organisers can adjust the adrenaline levels, so that even the more cautious people in your group can get involved.
Get on your Soap Box
A corporate version of Wacky Races, the Soap Box Derby provides teams with basic materials and tools with which to build, and ultimately race, their own vehicle. It’s a competitive team building activity designed to get people working effectively together under pressure. With an array of skills needed including design, engineering and driving, there is something for everyone to get their teeth into.
Go back to School
Introduce some nostalgia to your team building activities with a ‘school sports day’ themed event. The egg and spoon race, tunnel ball or to a relay – the possibilities are endless (and fancy dress is optional!). By splitting your colleagues into separate teams or ‘houses’ you can encourage camaraderie and healthy competition in a fun, laid back environment.
Hunting for Treasure
Many people remember treasure hunts from their childhood, but they can also be a lot of fun for adults. Creating a treasure hunt allows your team to work together and think outside of the box in order to solve the clues. It also introduces some healthy competition – especially if you offer a prize for the winning team.You can devise your own hunt, or go hi-tech with a GPS treasure hunt where participants use smartphones and tablets to navigate their way around the clues and challenges.
Take to the Trees
Rope courses or ‘tree top adventures’ have surged in popularity, offering an experience that is both fun and challenging. This kind of activity encourages teammates to respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses and to work together to overcome challenges and achieve a common goal. By successfully completing a rope course, participants will end the day with a sense of accomplishment.
Give Something Back
Volunteering in your local community can be a fantastic way of bringing people together and building team morale. Whether it’s creating a community garden or engaging in an environmental project, enabling employees to give something back to the local area has a great impact on motivation. It also has the added benefit of helping you to achieve your CSR objectives.
Take on a Challenge
Taking on a physical challenge such as a local 5k run or even the Three Peaks Challenge can really help people to pull together to achieve a common goal. This kind of activity will also require several months of training, giving people the opportunity to get together and build relationships outside of a work environment. Why not also use the opportunity to fundraise for a chosen charity?
Survival of the Fittest
Capitalise on the popularity of television shows such as ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ and organise an event that will teach your team how to survive in the wild . These kind of events typically include activities such as fire lighting, constructing shelters, foraging for food and orienteering. It is an opportunity to leave the office behind and really test your team’s decision making abilities and resilience in the face of adversity
Keep it Simple
A successful outdoor team building event doesn’t have to be complicated or adrenaline-filled. Simply hosting a company picnic with food and outdoor games can really help people to interact and get to know each other in a more casual environment. Holding it on a workday will make it seem like a special treat or extra holiday, leaving your staff feeling positive and motivated.
When it comes to outdoor team building activities, there is a plethora to choose from. Some require more commitment or physical fitness than others so it’s important that you know your team and what they will respond best to. But if you select the right one, it can have a really positive impact both on your team and on your business.
Charlie Berry is the Event Director for London based Zing Events, a corporate event company that delivers innovative and creative team building activities.