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Down in the forest, something stirs...

Teambuilding is a word often banded around and conjures up disturbing thoughts of colleagues being forced into uncomfortable situations. A good provider will structure a teambuilding day in to enjoyment and fun with the people you spend 70% of your life with. 

It’s proven that time away from the office creates a whole new platform to get to know each other. 

Tracey Davey from Mars Drinks and Emma Staplehurst from Thrive Tribe, two very different companies, talk about their experiences taking their teams to New Forest Activities.

 

Why choose an outdoor activity?

Tracey Davey: We knew we weren’t working very well as a team. We had done some work that week on MBTI personality types and had some frank conversations with each other.

We wanted variety and something that was going to be a bit of a challenge for everybody. We’ve got people in the team that don’t necessarily like being outside, and we were trying to get everyone out of their comfort zones. 

Emma Staplehurst: We do a yearly weekend for a number of staff to take part in, which we like to be a challenging but not beyond our abilities. The year before we’d gone up to the Lake District which was really good, but the feedback was that the distance was too far. So someone suggested the New Forest. 

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What were your aims and objectives?

TD: It was about keeping everyone together as a group as much as possible and having fun at the same time. We wanted to get to know each other in a more relaxed environment outside of work. 

ES: We’re a healthy lifestyle company so we promote healthy living. We help people and the general public to get active and that kind of thing. So that’s the reason that we like to do the physically active things, just to show that we also live up to those values as well. 

 

Which of the activities you took part in did the group enjoy the most?

TD: Everybody enjoyed the variety of the sessions, but I think the archery was the one that people loved. It had a bit of competition to it, but it was fun competition.

ES: I enjoyed the kayaking and canoeing. We had really bad rain, so I think if that hadn’t happened I would’ve enjoyed the cycling more. Most people’s feedback was about the cycling.

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How did teambuilding influence the quality of work, output and camaraderie back in the office?  

TD: We now work much better as a team. Although a cliché, I think it was having to build trust. I knew during the ropes course that the ropes were secure - but there’s still an element of trust. Is somebody going to be holding that rope properly? So I think it gave us a bit more trust in each other and finished off what we had been talking about earlier on in the week about personality types and the conversations we had had. 

ES: It built relationships and something to talk about back in the office. Colleagues that didn’t come were really intrigued and interested about it and were asking lots of questions. It’s quite a bonding thing to have done that with people you work with. You’re more relaxed and open with them.