Our company went glamping, and we think you should too
In the early spring, Boston Magazine published an article teasing the opening of a rather new experience, particularly to the New England region: a Glamping experience. Glamping, for those of you unfamiliar with the concept, is a luxury camping experience, typically involving electricity and beds rather than sleeping on the ground, all while still being in a campground setting. After seeing this article, our summer party was determined.
Each year, we do something different than the previous ones. In 2016 we took a booze-filled party bus to a Jimmy Buffet concert and the year before was a water park adventure. As a small company, it is imperative that we all not only get along but understand each other to work well together. Google very recently came out with a study that they have been researching for two years on what makes a good team. While many think it would be obvious: smart, hard working people make a productive team, Google found that it was much more than that. They concluded that there are "group norms" that a cohesive team collectively understands that makes them compelling. These are grounded not entirely by work ethic, but mainly on group dynamics, trust, dependability and psychological safety. I suggest you read more about this study; however, I won't go into much more detail on it in this post. This study, although it was finalized subsequent to our outing, is the foundation of why we do team bonding outings regularly.
While there are many benefits to team bonding events, of course, there can be downfalls. For this particular one, I was the organizer of the glamping experience, from making the initial plan to choosing everyone's tent (they were all uniquely designed). I thought glamping, in a beautiful area of Maine, would be a home run with everyone. It works for those who don't like the rugged aspects of camping and would appeal to those who enjoy nature. Unfortunately, there will always be some that are apprehensive of going away for several nights with your co-workers and superiors. Although there was one person who didn't want to go at all, most people got excited and involved in the planning process. The "bonding" began before we even set foot on the campground. Planning the itinerary, reviewing pictures of the tents on each other's computers and choosing who will bring what was like planning a mini vacation with people you wouldn't typically travel (for pleasure) with.
The outing turned out to be fun bonding time with minimal work talk. Games were played, ghost stories were told, and many drinks were had. Bringing a diverse group of people together with different job standings allowed us to connect on a more personal level, viewing different ways we behave and have fun outside of the office. For employees to be able to play drinking games with their bosses, it allowed people to eliminate the boundaries that are typically implemented in an office.
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