Take Your Staff Outside: The Relationship Between Outdoor Team Experiences and Productivity

Considering the new wave of technology and its impact on effectiveness in the American workplace, businesses can get more objectives accomplished in less time than ever. Although advanced productivity can be packed into the traditional eight-hour workday, this still naturally impacts how employees feel about their careers and work-life, and the expectations can be heavy. 

As we know, team experiences are one of the most impactful ways that modern offices are shaking up the office and sparking the fire in their employee’s work ethic- and we can elevate this time by choosing an activity outside like hiking or picnicking. If you read my recent article on How Getting Outdoors Influences Productivity in the Workplace, you already know how escaping the fluorescent office light can help us independently feel grounded. After digging into this topic a bit more, I wasn’t surprised to find how it can bring employees closer to each other as well.

A Better Team Together
Team building should play a foundational role in corporate culture, or any work environment for that matter. According to Amaury de Saint Blanquat, a Human Resources expert and headhunter, “One of the reasons team building activities and corporate retreats are met with scrutiny is that some companies believe they lose out on valuable office time. In reality, this time away provides employees with a moment to step back and reevaluate their work. They head back to the office with renewed energy and vigor which transforms into happier and more productive employees.”

By simply being together outside of an office setting and routine, employees subconsciously fine-tune their problem-solving techniques and improve their communication skills. Researchers Mahdi Roghanizad and Vanessa K. Bohns found that one face-to-face conversation is the equivalent to thirty-four emails in the workplace. Employees can spend decades working alongside another and not understand how to most effectively communicate and work with their coworkers, and team experiences can help mend these gaps in communication.

Boosting Company Morale 
Most business managers and owners have a dream that individuals on their staff will work with the mindset and sense of urgency as if they are also an owner. If employees put as much emphasis and passion into their part of the bigger picture, the business can run like a well-oiled machine and accomplish more. 

Experiencing other parts of life besides work with coworkers makes employees feel like they are involved in something bigger, and gives them a sense of belonging. This translates to introducing employees to the mentality that their job is something that they should have pride in and pursue relentlessly, no matter how they fit into the equation- because realistically, every employee and position adds a different element of value to a business.

Perception of the Office Space
It is easy to get into a funk at work, and we have all been there. Another reason why outdoor team getaways are so valuable is that it can simply change each employee’s perception of the coworkers that they interact with daily. Getting away from the daily 9-to-5 can help employees come back to the office feeling energized and ready to work.

Choosing to take your team on a hike, retreat, or simply walk in a nearby park is an investment in not only workforce relationships but your business, ultimately increasing profitability. Having proactive initiatives to give employees the time and rest that they need to be successful comes back around in the workplace, plus, corporate leaders can rest easy at the end of each day knowing that their employees have spent time dedicated to health and inspiration.

Company excursions do not have to be a forced, overpriced lunch paired with tacky team-building exercises. When choosing an office getaway, think about how you can create opportunities for your employees to connect in meaningful ways with a simple walk downtown and a breath of fresh air. Think about how hiking together can grow your team’s skills to think strategically about initiatives moving forward. Flip your thinking from a reactive management style, to a proactive style of investing in those around you and watch your team flourish. 

Cheers,
Madison Ford

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