Market Engineering has recently increased its efforts to ensure more time is spent as a team enjoying moral boosting activities together. From curry nights, to a day out karting, more is being done to help employees take five, and spend some time together outside the office. Having worked here almost four years now, there has always been a pleasant working environment: everyone is approachable, trying to achieve individual, yet common goals. However, the recent increase in social activities got me thinking, what are the benefits of team building exercises for both employee and employer?

My ‘work self’ is slightly different to my ‘personal self’. By this, I mean many of us perhaps tone things down at our place of work. For example, I’m not as shouty here as I am on Twitter and I certainly don’t act like I do when watching Coventry City Football Club. Interestingly, these examples made me consider the first positive of team building exercises: being able to see people in a different light, appreciate how this might change their interaction with a task and also colleagues.

Unfortunately for me, this exact example transpired at a recent company bowling night. In all honesty, the less said about it the better, but to cut a long story short… The stupid electronic scoring system didn’t work and despite me knocking down ten pins, it would register eight or nine, so when it reset for my second throw, there was ZERO pins and I had to throw the ball down, obviously hitting nothing and getting eight points instead of a strike.

Anyway, it is fair to say that my colleagues saw a disgruntled and frustrated side of Anthony that evening, even though we did all have a good time (I suppose). It is also fair to say that team spirit was increased after this activity, thanks to the enjoyment we shared (at my expense).

Team building activities offer opportunities to work together and can help boost office-based performance. This is achieved through employees better understanding each other’s strengths in different environments; perhaps noticing when someone might struggle with a task and need guidance or encouragement. When choosing the activities for team building it’s important to consider how partaking in them can help to foster innovation and creativity, alongside having fun and raising morale.

Trust can be built during these days out; any potential conflicts can be mitigated and office culture can be positively increased. All of this can reflect positively in the work and projects that employees complete back in the workplace: that added motivation to meet a deadline or help another colleague out with a project stemming from the increase in team spirit and positive experiences shared by the collective workforce.

A further benefit, and perhaps the most obvious, is an increase in communication throughout the company. Completing team building activities together generates a positive, more open atmosphere in the workplace, enhancing the office culture and also helping to increase morale.

So, when considering ways to increase productivity, communication skills, motivate a work force or just make employees feel valued, consider a team building exercise. Not the build a raft and make it across Windermere sort (unless you’re up for that), but just the everyday stuff that makes people feel comfortable, allows them to open up more and has a positive effect on the workplace as a whole.