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When you take the time to think about it, the realisation of just how long the majority of us spend with our colleagues is astounding. Those of us who work as part of a team will usually spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week working in close quarters with others – that’s a huge proportion of our lives!
There are so many benefits to having a strong team environment at work. If everyone feels part of a unit, they’re more likely to take ownership and want to pull their weight – it helps individuals to feel like they’re part of something and that they are valued. Productivity can also increase with teamwork as employees feel much more motivated when working with people they’ve built relationships with and there will be a network of support amongst colleagues.
Some workplaces have a really strong team ethic and everyone seems to get along. That being said, in other circumstances, many co-workers drift by each other daily, disconnected from one another. All work and no play makes it hard for a team to function to the best of its ability.
A great way to bring your team together is by arranging regular social activities that everyone can get involved in. Such events are great for staff morale, employee satisfaction (and therefore retention) and can feel like a well-deserved break from all that hard work! More importantly, they give your team the opportunity to get to know each other better, see a different side to each other and strengthen their relationships. Having a great time together outside of work makes a huge difference when you’re back in the office.
Here at Bridgewater, we understand the importance of bonding as a team; each month we have a team social where we can have fun together, along with other events such as our Christmas and summer parties. We’ve been trampolining, climbed mountains, indulged in team lunches and dinners out and been bowling to name but a few examples.
One of our Business Coordinators, Melissa Jones, had this to say about our social activities: “We’re a busy business and we work extremely hard. However, I don’t think that we could achieve as much as we do if we weren’t such a strong team. Our team socials are essential when it comes to creating the great working atmosphere we have here – having a laugh together and getting to know each other on a personal level really helps us to work better together.”
Different kinds of activities can have a different effect on your team, but the overall result will be happy co-workers and a stronger team. Here are some examples to consider:
The possibilities are endless when it comes to physical activities your team can do together: bike rides, walks, hikes, fitness classes and other activities such as bowling or laser tag are all great ideas and are usually relatively cheap!
The great thing about these sorts of events and sporting activities is that they encourage teamwork, and give co-workers a shared sense of achievement. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition amongst colleagues every now and then! (Just be sure to keep it light-hearted.)
We can’t all be ‘go, go, go’ all the time, and unwinding with your colleagues doing something a little more relaxing means that you have the chance to take off your ‘work heads’ and be yourselves. Workplace friendships can really flourish once you’re out of the formal work setting and know each other better.
Again, there are a huge number of activities you can indulge in as a group: going for a meal, having a few drinks, watching a film at the cinema or getting outdoors for a day trip or company picnic can really help your team to unwind together.
Shared experiences bring people together and learning something new is a prime example. Doing something completely new can challenge and stimulate employees, and again teamwork can be promoted in such environments.
Some fun things to do together include: language classes, pottery classes, cooking lessons, a cocktail masterclass or instruction in a new physical/outdoor activity.
Coordinating team activities may take a bit of time and money, but the payback will more than make up for it. A happy team works so much better together than a group of individuals who share a work space. Invest in bringing your team together and success will surely follow!
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