Are expensive team-building ‘bonding sessions’ organised at work a waste of time? A new survey suggests they might be and worse, are toe-curlingly awkward.
In fact British workers would much prefer to go out for a drink or a meal (23%). This is followed by volunteering and charity work (11%). Least liked is being forced to participate in adrenaline experiences like speed-boating and bungee jumping (cited by 18% of partipants). Trust exercises such as being blindfolded and led by colleagues (17%) are not popular either.
The research by Vodaphone UK and YouGov surveyed more than 1,000 British employees with colleagues. It uncovered some unusual ‘team-building’ activities. These included bikini-clad ‘bed baths’ and massages from colleagues, holding lingerie parties, and eating crickets as part of a ‘bush tucker trial’ style event.
Meanwhile it might be worth not doing team building activities at all. More than half (54%) don’t feel that doing more would help them work better with their colleagues. And only 26% of respondents feel that more team-building would help them work more effectively with their colleagues.
“British companies are spending a huge amount of time and effort in building more effective teams,” says Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK. He suggests rather than potentially waste money on team-building exercises, companies should instead focus on providing a more supportive atmosphere at work, enabling better team communication and offering tools for flexible working as their top three priorities.
Younger workers might also enjoy team-building exercises more. Only 10 per cent of people aged 55 and over say they help improve team working, compared with 42% of 18–24 year-olds.