Team Building

Team Building

 25 Jun 2020

You may have seen a post from us a few days ago talking about your virtual night in.  Due to covid-19 we couldn’t do our annual team weekend away but we felt it was still important to get the team together (virtually) so we opted to try an online escape room and turn into Crime Scene Investigators for the night.  It was a little bit different to our normal celebrations but I think it is safe to say that we all still had a lot of fun and as we expected we worked pretty well together as a team to solve the mystery!!  Whilst it was completely a night for just letting our hair down and having a good catch up it was also a great team building exercise and it got me thinking how important team building is, especially if more and more people continue to work from home. 
 
You spend so much time with your team mates when you are in the office and for me I am missing them all like crazy (even the debates over when to turn the air con on/off and the smelly lunches that people bring in, which to be honest was usually me!)  At the moment it looks like working from home is going to be the norm for quite a while yet and likely to some extent be the new normal going forward.  So team building is going to be even more important than ever.  Even if you are not going to be in the same room quite like we used to be it important to keep lines of communication open and to ensure you are still building those all important internal relationships. 
 
Communication
Now that you may not be sitting in the same room as your colleagues you need to make sure you continue to communicate.  I am pretty sure in every office one of the first things you talk about when you get into work is….’how was your evening?’ or ‘what did you do last night?’…Sometimes it may just be general manners that make you ask those questions but most of the time this chit chat in the office is how colleagues get to know each other. It’s how they learn about each other and build their relationships.  It can highlight what things you have in common and also it shows that you care by asking what is going on in there life.  So now that you are maybe not going to see your colleague in the kitchen whilst making a cup of coffee, its important to still reach out and still work on that relationship as you normally would.  Think about any colleagues on furlough too, it won’t be long before they are back working with you so keep in touch, make sure they are still included so when they come back to work it will be like they have never been away. 
 
During this Covid-19 situation we have had a number of people that have joined clients remotely which means they have not been able to physically meet their new team yet.  If you are in this situation don’t hesitate to reach out to them.  Drop them an email and welcome them to the team, start up a group WhatsApp chat and make them feel involved.  It’s important to make them feel like part of the team and then when you do finally get to meet up (hopefully soon when all the pubs/restaurants can open again) then you will already feel that you know them. 
 
And remember just because you are work colleagues doesn’t mean all you need to speak about it work.    
 
Morale
According to research conducted by Oxford University people are 13% more productive when happy.  Team building is a great way to boost morale, firstly it shows employees that you care and they are important to your business but it gives the employees time to connect and engage outside of the workplace forming stronger working relationships and learning more about each other and the way each person works and takes on a challenge. 
 
Collaboration
Being part of a team, no matter how big or small the team is, means you need to all be able to work together.  Team building events are a great way for managers to see how the team gel together.  It will show different strengths people have and this can be helpful to know when delegating tasks or looking for the team to work together on projects.  But colleagues/employees need to understand their team too.  Quite often you will find you have a small direct team that you work with but within the company you are within another bigger team aswell.  So it’s important to know people outwith your direct team.  You never know when you may be working with others in the company in the future so get to know the wider organisation too.    
 
Trust
When working in a team you need to have confidence in each other otherwise it will never work.  The more you know someone the more you can build that relationship and the more trust is gained, which then in turn creates a more stress free environment for everyone.  The most effective team building strategies are likely to be completely outside the workplace as people are generally more relaxed and outgoing in a social setting.  It’s hard to trust someone when you don’t know them so get to know your team, understand them, learn about them and build a solid working relationship.

 

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