Team building in 2022 requires thought and careful execution. With hybrid working, restrictions changing across the world as new variants develop and people’s desire to work asynchronously, it’s never been more important to reconsider any team building exercises based off of predicted trends for this year.
With such a variety of options now on display, from virtual reality to outdoor based activities, the opportunity to team build in new and creative ways has never been more possible. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the old way may not be the best way.
Understanding the purpose of team building
Team building, as well as providing an opportunity for teams to work together, will often help to meet other business objectives such as overcoming a problem, creating a strategy for the upcoming year or more.
It’s an opportunity for people to detach from their day-to-day roles, and come together to find solutions, as well as providing an opportunity to work with people they may not normally. Queens University asked employers about the importance of teamwork and collaboration, and three out of four employers said they would rate this as a very important priority in their workplace. But without developing this skill, how can we work together effectively?
Team building is such an important part of any work culture, but what are the trends looking like for 2022?
The data surrounding teambuilding searches
As the pandemic forced us all to pivot to other sources of team building, and balance the need for collaboration with people’s need to get off Zoom to prevent Zoom fatigue, data analysed by Foxhills shows that searches for new ways to team build were up considerably in 2021, as we rebuilt the new normal post lockdown.
The search ‘online team building activities’ was up 100% year-on-year, when comparing 2021 to 2020 worldwide. 2020 was a year of getting by and reacting to an ever-changing world. As businesses adapted to lockdowns, changing restrictions, business grants, furloughs and so much more, team building didn’t really have a place. Instead, our teamwork came from comforting one another and finding ways to remain positive throughout the bizarre months.
However, as the data shows, in 2021, team building went online and became more of a priority. Variations like ‘virtual team building’ also saw a 40% increase, showing a desire for people to connect in ways that they felt comfortable.
The data also shows that searches for ‘outdoor team building activities’ rose 80%. As local restrictions in countries allowed for larger groups to meet outdoors, employers looked for easy ways to build teams in environments that kept their teams safe.
Turning data into ideas
Looking at this data, it can be hard to visualise exactly how this turns in to functional future trends. We have found the three top things that employers can do to realise team building that is not only safe, but successful in 2022.
Taking it virtual
Virtual is one of the easiest solutions here. It allows for anyone, regardless of where they are located, to feel connected and part of the company. Virtual team building should have a balance of independent activity and connected working to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to look away from a screen and discover something outdoors or away from their desk.
Sites such as Zoom, Teams or even VR workplaces, where a fully immersive office can be created, provide ways to connect. These can form the basis for your day, while activities around it should provide opportunities for people to step away from their desks.
Here’s some activities that encourage remote and virtual team building:
- Encourage employees to visit a local shop or café, and note their ordering practices, and share one takeaway related to their job role.
- Get employees to go for a walk or outdoor activity and ask them to present an idea using natural materials they find outside only.
- Send employees a kit for toasting marshmallows and have a virtual ‘campfire chat’. You could ask each employee to share a story and use it to find an opportunity to grow together.
Outdoor activities that cater for all
Heading out into the great outdoors is fantastic for everyone. It provides a way to connect with nature and give our eyes a break from staring at a white screen all day.
Activities, where you balance a meeting or conference with outdoor activities, provide the perfect way to break up a day.
Choose a unique sport that doesn’t require too much physical activity or previous knowledge that everyone can do such as:
- Croquet, on a specialist croquet lawn.
- Segway tours of an area of natural beauty
- Alpaca walking, for a more humorous trip
- Garden darts, or a range of gentle garden games
- A round of golf, followed by afternoon tea
Wellbeing focused activities
As well as outdoor activities, team building can also be a chance to rejuvenate in peace and quiet. This could be focused on giving employees a space to breathe, or a gentler place to recoup after a busy quarter.
Think introductions to yoga, guided meditations or tours of local wildlife, all set in surroundings designed to get people to relax. Simply bringing someone into the office doesn’t provide an opportunity to completely switch off. It’s best to take your team out of the office, and into a space that feels calm.
Gamifying team building
We all love a good bit of friendly competition and making team building gamified is a perfect opportunity to get people to engage with one another, while having a good time.
Virtual gamified team building ideas:
- A scavenger hunt with household items
- Kahoot for all the family!
- A fixed budget challenge, where people have to bring the most ‘something’, whether that’s bizarre, interesting, or random collection, of things and share it with the team. A grown-up show and tell.
- A quiz based on TV gameshows, that incorporates company specific questions.
Author: Kitty Bates – MICE Content Creator at Foxhills