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Team building is a worthwhile endeavour for companies and organizations alike. Challenge events and group exercises strengthen the cohesion of an office unit by encouraging communication and creating a general understanding among its participants.

Team Building

Research has brought the importance of team building to light, showing that workers that have interacted with each other outside the general work environment tend towards higher productivity. However, a recent study by the global software giant ‘Citrix’ has proven true what we all already know – not everyone enjoys team-building exercises. The study revealed that 31% of office workers dislike participating in team-building activities despite their immense benefits. However, corporate events don’t have to be dull or monotonous.

Into the unknown - Make Or Break
Into the unknown – Make Or Break

This is where the importance of good leadership comes into play. It’s not always the begrudgers that are at fault. By regularly planning inclusive, active, and memorable exercises to bolster up team spirit, a leader can ensure that their employees will get the most out of team-building activities. It’s not surprising then that employers are increasingly opting to take their employees out of the hustle and bustle of the regular office environment and into the calm and serenity of nature.

“What’s the reason behind this shift?” you might be thinking? Because it’s fun. It’s enjoyable. It even promotes mental and physical wellbeing while solidifying bonds between those that brave it together.

Nature is filled with challenging terrains and demanding climbs that very often require teamwork to overcome. Fortunately, we’ve done most of the groundwork for these challenges.

Challenge Events

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is making a name for itself among employers and event organizers. Don’t take this challenge lightly with its 24-mile route and 5200ft total ascent. The route stretches over three mountains: Pen-Y-Ghent, Whernside, Ingleborough and crosses rustic yet welcoming villages along the way.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Event
Horton-in-Ribblesdale

It is expected that participants complete the challenge within 12 or 24 hours, making it just the right amount of time spent doing team-building exercises. Navigating the challenge route is no mean feat either and requires a well-working knowledge of map and compass reading. If your team has little previous knowledge in these domains, they’ll need to exercise their cooperation and communication skills to make progress.

Bonding

But it’s not all hard work and strategy, with such beautiful surroundings and long stretches of terrain, there’s plenty of time to get to know one another.

Completing challenges like the Yorkshire Three Peaks allows co-workers a better understanding of their respective strengths and weaknesses. By observing where their colleagues excel and where they require extra help, an understanding of when to step in arises.

The intricacy and duration of the challenge can also show in what environment someone is comfortable taking the lead, and when they prefer to take a step back. All of these learnings are conducive to a smooth-running and polished work environment. Not only will colleagues feel more at ease, asking for help, but they may not even have to. Furthermore, ease of communication and thus problem-solving skills will be significantly improved. Not to mention that the feeling of being valued can considerably boost office morale.

However, some team leaders may find that something a bit faster, and exhilarating would captivate their team’s attention. Or perhaps they’d like to treat their team to something a little extra after a laborious challenge and what better way to bring people closer together than getting their hearts racing with bungee jumping or ziplining?

The work environment can often be a fast-paced and stressful one. Doing fun and exciting activities together can let co-workers see each other’s ‘out-of-work-mode’ and fun side.

Group Solidarity and Giving Back

Charity events are often at the centre of corporate team-building exercises. The feeling of giving and working in unison towards a good cause can create a sense of solidarity among workers. This aspect of team building coincides with the often charity-focused outdoor challenges found across the UK.

Group wild camp before Scafell Pike
Group wild camp before Scafell Pike

Think of the Yorkshire Three Peaks or the National Three Peaks. A large number of participants undertaking these immense treks do so in the name of their preferred charity. Not only do the participants have to be sponsored by their family or friends, but they can also be sponsored by their co-workers.

The Beautiful Outdoors

There is a vast array of options for team building exercises or excursions that don’t involve challenges or exertion. For some offices, it’s simply more enjoyable to sit back in nature and enjoy each other’s company while taking in the scenic surroundings. The perfect fit for such a team camping getaway is Cumbria’s Lake District.

With so much to look at and a choice of walking routes, activities, or surrounding villages such as Kendal and Derwentwater to visit – the Lake District is worth looking into for any team event planner. The Lake District is lined with rugged mountains, ribbon lakes, and England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. The beauty of the Lake District famously inspired works written by Samuel Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and many other well-known literary figures.

Going further afield and setting sites abroad is also an option for team-building exercises. Co-workers often begin to view each other in a new light when experiencing each other’s company in a completely different environment. This renovation can bring new light to a workplace, injecting it with a newfound creativity and innovative streak. There’s plenty of nature excursions to choose from with Via Ferrata being one of the most popular.

Group Events for the Brave

Via Ferrata is a protected climbing route that is known for its steep inclines. Equipped with steel cables and strong ropes, climbers set off across the wooden walkways and suspended bridges that make up this mountain.

Climbing the Via Ferrata in Honister
Climbing the Via Ferrata in Honister

This route is not for the fainthearted and will require substantial preparation by co-workers and leaders alike. However, the sense of communal reward and solidarity that comes from completing such a difficult excursion is indispensable. Teambuilding activities as gruelling as Via Ferrata can instil co-workers with a healthy sense of competition paired with increased respect for one another.

Focusing on team building truly is the way forward for any business. It’s an invaluable chance to improve workplace morale that no business should overlook. So, it’s time to smash the stereotype of dull teambuilding exercises and truly bring workplaces together.