It’s easy to get stuck in a routine at the office where coworkers fall into a rut with poor communication, lack of teamwork or personality clashes. A positive step toward getting people in the workplace out of their comfort zones and into a better work environment is to utilize the right team building exercises. Done properly, team-building exercises can promote positive work relationships and help to guide people toward common goals.
One way to get employees out of their comfort zones is to change the environment, forcing people to see each other and relate to each other in a new and different way. A good team building exercise is volunteering for a worthy cause that team members mutually agree upon and care about. Positives that develop from volunteering include better leadership and a sense of renewed energy. Other possibilities include attending work-related conferences together or going on a field trip to relax and observe other environments and communities.
In office environments, the work atmosphere is likely sedentary, so doing a physical activity is an excellent change of pace. It’s important to take into consideration each person’s skill and fitness level, but a team sport such as softball or a bowling league promotes teamwork within a group. Other active possibilities include yoga, a hiking group or volleyball. Getting everyone to participate can encourage a fun, friendly, atmosphere and a more collaborative environment in the office.
A good way to encourage coworkers to get out of their usual routine is by organizing a scavenger hunt focused on getting to know each other better. Each member of the team writes down five facts about herself. Then, the lists are handed out randomly to other team members. People then circulate around the room to match their list of facts with the appropriate people by asking questions. Playing a fun game such as this scavenger hunt breaks down barriers in the workplace. People are more apt to work cooperatively with others when they know them on a personal level.
Office Team Building
Getting everyone involved in a team exercise such as the creation of a company’s marketing materials can foster a united sense of purpose. It can also be an opportunity to discover hidden work skills such as an aptitude for graphic layout, capturing photographic images or creating a written document. The key is to involve everyone at a level that best utilizes her skills, and to focus on how each person’s contributions add value to the company.
C.E. Chan has been a writer since 2003, contributing to magazines, online publications and education organizations. Her work has appeared in "Popular Dogs," "Dog World" and "The Architect's Newspaper," among other outlets. With a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California, Chan worked in the architectural field for several years before becoming a writer.