5 Most Popular Physical Team Bonding Activities To Increase The Team Spirit
Ever since the pandemic, team building has not been a priority owing to remote work norms. Although some companies eventually started organizing virtual team building activities to keep employees engaged, employees still reported feeling isolated, stressed and burnt out. As employees start returning to offices post pandemic, you might be pondering ways to keep your teams in good spirits and motivate employees. Outdoor team building activities can be a great way to do so. Unlike virtual team building or indoor activities employees have a higher chance of interacting and participating in outdoor activities. Moreover, outdoor activities require more physical movement and involvement than indoor activities. Outdoor team building activities such as scavenger hunts, gardening activities, camping, hiking & outdoor sports are ideal to boost self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, and self-awareness in employees as they start getting back to work. Since these activities can also be more challenging, they can bring a sense of balance and focus.
Here are a few popular ones you can host:
Scavenger hunts are among the most popular team building activities. Although they can be organized indoors too, outdoor scavenger hunts are more exciting and fun to be a part of. It can create a relaxing and picnic type of environment where team members not only align towards a common goal but also bond personally. Scavenger hunts foster a sense of collaboration, camaraderie, and leadership skills. They can be organized in a short time frame without an elaborate setup. Customizing scavenger hunts can also be done easily as there are many kits available online.
Gardening has always been touted as a relaxing, pleasant, and mindful activity. It is an activity that is cherished by people of all age groups and genders. Organizing a gardening team building activity such as tree plantation, seed sowing, harvest etc can be refreshing to your teams and improve their mental health. Post pandemic as employees are reporting poor mental health gardening is a great activity to help connect them with nature. Also, one of the most important lessons gardening teaches is to be patient and work through it regularly. What has been sowed requires nourishment and care regularly to grow into a beautiful garden. Your team can learn this skill of working through challenges, nurturing their fellow team members and being patient. Gardening is also greatly beneficial to the community and your green thumb will be admired. It can also be considered as a discretionary CSR initiative by your organization that aligns with sustainability and community wellbeing.
Sports are the perfect physical activity that can be inspiring, motivating and engaging. An outdoor sports day for your team members can bring out a competitive and collaborative spirit. Individual sports like athletics can be engaging, competitive and motivating while group sports like volleyball, football or badminton can nurture team spirit. Sports is also an intensive team building activity that can help employees handle stress better, be dedicated, collaborative and confident. Most importantly, sports can keep your employees fit physically and mentally. Organizing a sports day once a month can be thrilling and exciting for your teams instead of regular team building activities.
Camping, hiking, or kayaking
Not all team building has to be preachy or strategic. Some can simply be about allowing the team members to take a break from work and get to know each other personally. And what can be better than a picnic, trip or vacation for this? Outdoor activities like camping, kayaking or hiking can be fun, refreshing and exciting. These activities help your team members build lasting bonds between each other. Although these activities might be considered as informal and more personal, these are effective when employees need to be revitalized from stressful work. These does not have to be expensive. See if they can be organized in your own town or city for a short and refreshing experience.
Employees love to find purpose and make an impact with the work they do. And this does not have to be direct impact. Incorporating activities like community service into your team building strategy can show your commitment as a purpose driven organization. While also generating the goodwill of your community and other stake holders, community service activities inspire your team members. This also makes your team to be proud of how their work is meaningful and makes them socially responsible. Community service unlike other activities is suitable for all personality types. One can be an introvert or extrovert, young or old etc. It might be helpful to partner with non-profits in your community to engage in this kind of activities regularly. You can also encourage your team members to discuss on the causes they would like to work for. Creating a year round rooster to participate in community service can be ideal.
Outdoor team building activities in general are more refreshing than indoor ones. However, they require more time, patience and structure to be organized in order to be engaging.