7 ways to take your team building outdoors
This summer, escape the office and take advantage of some outdoor team building activities.
Spending time outdoors, particularly in green spaces, has proven benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing. So as spring arrives and summer approaches on the horizon, why not take advantage of the warmer weather and head outdoors for your next team building event? Many London businesses especially like to get out to the home counties for some team building fun, and Essex is always a popular destination. From helping the local community, to reliving your childhood with a school sports day, there are plenty of outdoor team building events to help you engage and motivate your employees.
A successful team building event doesn’t have to involve a couple of days at an expensive country retreat – spending a fun afternoon outdoors can be equally effective. Take advantage of all the green space London has to offer by organising a company picnic in a nearby park, perhaps with some fun outdoor games thrown in. This type of event can really help people to interact and get to know each other in a more sociable, relaxed environment.
Dragon boating continues to be a really popular team building activity, and it’s easy to see why. With teams of people racing on a river by paddling large dragon boats, it’s a fun and exhilarating experience – and perfect for the summer months. As well as being great fun, dragon racing is also an effective way to develop strong communication and team working skills, and participants end the day with a sense of real achievement. The ESSA Water Activities Centre do dragon boat race days.
School sports day
A classic for a reason, the school sports day team building event encourages competition, camaraderie and is great fun to boot. Split your staff into teams or ‘houses’ to compete against each other in traditional childhood games such as the three-legged race, the egg and spoon race, relay races and tug-of-war. After all that strenuous work, why not reward your employees with a team BBQ or drinks reception?
Much like spending time outdoors, volunteering has been proven to be good for our wellbeing. So, for a double whammy of positive benefits, consider an outdoor team building event that allows you to give something back to your local community. There are many charities who could do with the extra help, and you can choose from a range of activities, from helping to create a community garden to helping out on one of London city farms.
Take on a challenge
Taking on a physical challenge can be really effective at pulling people together and is worth considering if you’re looking for a longer term team building activity. London has plenty of sporting challenges to choose from, such as the Royal Parks Half Marathon or, if you’re feeling brave, the London Marathon! It’s important that everyone feels included, so be sure to create roles for any non-athletic types. This could include coordinating the fundraising effort, forming an official cheering squad or organising the all-important after-party.
We may walk through the city every day on our way to work, but how well do we really know it? This can be put to the test with a treasure hunt team building event, which pitches teams against each other to search for clues and / or specific items throughout the capital. As well as enabling participants to see the city in a new light, it’s a great way of encouraging employees to work together and think creatively- and a prize for the winning team is sure to up the motivation levels.
Survival of the fittest
To test your team’s decision making abilities and resilience in the face of adversity, put them through their paces with a ‘survival of the fittest’ challenge. Inspired by television shows such as ‘Bear Grylls: The Island’ these team building events teach people how to survive in the wild, helping them to learn a range of skills such as orienteering, food foraging, lighting fires and constructing shelters. It’s certainly a change from sitting at a computer from 9 to 5!
As well as being good for your health, spending time outdoors can really help your team to escape the workplace and open their minds to new perspectives and experiences – all of which has positive impact on your business. So, choose an activity that suits your team, leave the office behind and start reaping the benefits of outdoor team building.