The benefits of learning through outdoor team-building activities

The team-building exercise is a concept almost as old and well-trodden as the Christmas party, but it’s arguably a lot more productive and has perhaps earned a bad reputation in recent years. The idea of building towers out of newspaper and allowing your team members to fall and catch one another in trust exercises are cliches for a reason and are unlikely to foster the right kind of results.

For businesses and schools that wish to really help their employees and students get the most out of these experiences, they need to start looking outdoors. Now more than ever, in a world that is increasingly connected and yet increasingly experiences through our phones, people need to learn and experience activities outside and get out of the office or the classroom for an afternoon.

But what are the key benefits of corporate outdoor activities?

Smells like team spirit – Many outdoor activities (from Go Ape to white water rafting) require people to work together in order to achieve a shared goal. This is obviously beneficial for workers who might not be pulling together in the right direction in the office or for kids who are reluctant to share their workload in the classroom.

Breath of fresh air – Routine can be comforting but it can also be suffocating. Getting out of our weekly routines and experiencing a different location that is completely alien to us can result in a quite literal breath of fresh air. This is particularly true if you’re exposing your teams to something they have never tried before, like orienteering, climbing or abseiling.

Cheap and cheerful – Whether your booking an afternoon in the forest for your Year 5 class building wood huts or are taking human resources to the beach to play volleyball, these are not expensive activities by any stretch of the imagination. As for transportation, renting a minibus through a company such as Allied Fleet is simple and flexible too and there are various vehicle types and sizes available.

Futureproof – For young people and kids, outdoor activity days can nurture skills that will set them in good stead for their future. There is a certain amount of discipline required and many activities (such as scavenger hunts) also require participants to use critical thinking. These are all skills that will be helpful later in life.

Communication breakdown – In an office environment particularly, communication is key. A breakdown in communication can, in fact, prove incredibly damaging to a business and its employees, especially when there are deadlines to be met. Outdoor activities are designed to focus on communication channels and help everyone involved discover how best to work those channels.

Travel is its own reward – Finally, an outdoor activity day might be something the class or the office actively looks forward to. They can see it as a reward for a job well done and that in and of itself might provide some added incentive for them to work better and be more productive.

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