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Team building: a new era for corporate activities

De Vere Wokefield Estate
Laurie Nicol, Chief Operating Officer at De Vere, looks at the benefits team building can have to a business.
A recent study by Warwick University found that happiness in the workplace increases productivity by 12%. Investing time and money into team building activities can help contribute to this, as it will not only help build relationships but also can lead to a more open collaborative culture.

Think outside the box
Team building can be exhilarating and present team members with thrilling and fun new experiences. De Vere Wokefield Estate offers cocktail masterclasses with the award-winning Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery, allowing employees to engage with each other but more importantly follow instructions, experiment with a new challenge and try something new – an interactive experience that leaves guests feeling motivated all whilst having a good time.  
br> For those looking to embrace the great outdoors with some on-site team building, De Vere has a range of options.  De Vere Wokefield Estate is set in 250 acres of Berkshire parkland - which includes an 18-hole Championship golf course - and offers delegates onsite team building activities with Graham Robb Associates. Their wide range of team building activities, including swinging in the trees on the high ropes, are proven to maximise team interaction and boost self-confidence. Participants can also undertake the challenge of surviving in the bush or enjoy a strategic game of woodland laser combat, with programmes designed to fit a range of budgets.  
br> De Vere Beaumont Estate, located in Old Windsor, is surrounded by 44 acres of parkland and can host outdoor team building activities ranging from geese herding to large scale scavenger hunts and, with outdoor Wi-Fi, delegates can ensure they are always well connected.  
br> De Vere Selsdon Estate, located in Croydon, just a 15-minute train journey to central London, is surrounded by 200 acres of grounds and is home to an 18-hole Championship golf course. Delegates can take advantage of the grounds and have access to private paddocks lending themselves brilliantly to team building and outdoor training.  
br> There is no I in team
Attitudes to team building differ; some employees enjoy it and find it beneficial, while others find the concept makes them feel uncomfortable. Get the best out of your team and ensure your team building event suits everyone by working with experts to create a balanced programme with activities to suit everyone, allowing employees to bond outside of a work environment comfortably.  
br> De Vere offers an array of team building exercises to suit a variety of personalities and group sizes, from large team games including inflatable assault courses and life-size table football, to smaller team building activities such as geese herding and bush survival. De Vere offers large and flexible indoor and outdoor spaces, so team building activities can take place come rain or shine. Planners also have the added benefit of being able to see the venue before the activity through De Vere’s virtual tours to help to build excitement.   
br> For those who are less enthusiastic about the thought of an energetic team building event, don’t forget there are other ways to get your team to connect. Arrange a relaxing spa retreat, private dinner, an evening drinks reception or a night away so the team can bond in informal and relaxing surroundings.  
br> Communication is key
LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report highlighted that 97% of employees believe communication plays a key part in how everyday tasks are performed. Team building can play a crucial role in improving communication within the workplace and Real Business states that teams that complete a team bonding exercise are more likely to ask for second opinions and are more efficient in driving innovation.  
br> A great team building session can break down barriers in communication and allow employees to utilise both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. For example, The Land Rover Experience, Eastnor Estate, close to De Vere Tortworth Court, offers a blind-folded driving experience, which aims to improve team communication, by forcing employees to be clear and concise with directions and encouraging complete trust between teams.  
br> As well as creating a team bond, lifting team morale and building employees’ confidence, there are several additional benefits to investing in a professionally run off-site team building session. A good team building activity can help identify team member’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to work together to develop strategies to ensure that everyone learns from each other.  This will allow the team to draw from the best talent for certain activities and utilise each other’s skills to best advantage. It can also give some team members the opportunity to be a team leader for the day and to practice and showcase a broad range of their skills, which they may not usually get the opportunity to do in the workplace.  
br> With many corporate companies having such a fast-paced environment, it’s important not to forget about your employees, their relationships with one another and how they work more effectively as a team. By taking them out of their everyday setting you can build on communication and trust, producing more engaged and productive employees that help to drive your bottom line.

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