Employees think team-building days are a waste of time

Team-building days that involve activities such as bikini bed baths or bungee jumping do not always have the required motivational effect that employers are hoping for, according to research by Vodafone UK and YouGov.

The research found that while 66% of workers have been made to take part in some sort of activity, 54% feel that doing more would not help them work better with their colleagues.

This could perhaps be down to some of the examples that the research uncovered, which included bikini-clad ‘bed baths’ and massages from colleagues, holding lingerie parties, and eating crickets as part of a ‘bush tucker trial’ style event.

The survey found that adrenaline experiences such as speed-boating and bungee jumping are considered the least effective team-building activities, followed by trust exercises such as being blindfolded and led by colleagues.

Those deemed most effective are social events like going out for a drink or a meal, followed by volunteering and charity work.

Rather than potentially waste money on frivolous team-building exercises, respondents with a negative view of team-building suggest that employers 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.

Peter Kelly, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, said: “Many genuine team-building activities can be valuable, but ultimately, to achieve better teamwork businesses need to get the basics right first.

“Employers need to focus on how their employees work day-to-day, and give staff the tools they need to be able to do their job best. Employees also want to be able to work smarter – and that means easy access to customers, colleagues and information wherever they are.”

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