The idea behind most office away days is sound. They are generally held to encourage team bonding, enhance cooperation, enthusiasm and feelings of unity, and ultimately drive up productivity; however, away days can fail to achieve these things if not planned well, or the wrong activities are chosen, by increasing competition and negative emotions amongst staff.

The new normal

For a successful event, it helps to give staff things to do that will engage them to practise the dynamics you want to see replicated in the office. Choose a goal, such as encouraging all members of teams to engage and participate with projects, and select an activity where everyone is called on to help shape the structure of the activity and then take part. If the goal of the away day is to assist with clarifying responsibilities, choose an activity that facilitates this, both coming up to and on the day of the activity itself.

Group spirit

Try to avoid allowing old office dynamics to take over or get in the way of developing new behaviours. Rather than let employees choose, or stay in the comfort zone of their skills, assign roles for the away day randomly. Try not to get bogged down in the strengths or objectives of individual team members; instead, foster an atmosphere of group collaboration that can be called on to be creative, resolve problems, or deal with the demands of deadlines and stakeholders. An article in the Telegraph looks at effective collaboration.

There are many exciting and inspiring activities for away days that increase collaboration, such as learning how to drive a tank. If you want to find out more, it would be a good idea to consult a company that offers this type of activity, such as A reputable organisation will be able to supply advice and tips for organising a team bonding experience based around what you need to know when teaching employees how to drive a tank.

Assessing options and thorough preparation for your away day will contribute to its success. In many ways, the individual personalities of team members are less important than how they function together. To get better functioning together, plan away days around activities that will encourage them to do just this.