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How team building activities can give your brain a boost!

Team building away days are sometimes thought of as an excuse to escape the office and have a jolly. However, if you delve into the results, you’ll understand that there’s many more benefits than simply having fun with your colleagues.

Team building activities are recognized for their ability to improve cognitive function and ultimately enhance productivity. Traditional team challenges like ‘walk the plank’, physically demanding obstacle courses, and more unconventional activities like axe throwing can encourage synaptic growth, creative thinking and effective collaboration

So how do these team building activities lead to tangible improvements in brain power?  

People taking part in walk the plank team building activity

Walk the plank

This classic team building exercise requires participants to work together as a team to simultaneously walk two planks of wood across a flat course. It’s crucial that everyone in the team coordinates their movements to keep the planks moving smoothly forward. Mistime your step and the whole team could end up toppling to the ground! This seemingly straightforward task requires balance, coordination and trust. it needs an agreement to leadership – usually one person calls the rhythm of the steps. ‘Walk the plank’ is most successful when the team develops the ability to work together as one. This helps to strengthen bonds as well as stimulating neural pathways associated problem-solving.

Obstacle courses

A team-focused obstacle course offers an activity that challenges participants physically and mentally. They could be scaling climbing frames, crawling under nets, manoeuvring through tyres or sliding down a wet inflatable. And there could be mud involved! Tackling an obstacle course as a team requires participants to adapt to different environments, think tactically and communicate with each other. Every obstacle is different and teams need to think creatively to work out the best way of tackling them. As every participant will have strengths and weaknesses, the collaborative nature of an obstacle course means team members have to help each other out and not simply think of their own performance. This helps with cognitive performance and group unity.

Axe throwing

Axe throwing is an example of the more unconventional activities that have been introduced as innovative team building options. You may ask what relevance throwing an axe has to workplace skills! But if you think about it, throwing an axe at a target requires focus, precision, and coordination, which can all be invaluable in the workplace. Physically, team members improve their hand-eye coordination and motor skills and will also benefit from better spatial awareness. The competitiveness of the activity encourages friendly rivalry and camaraderie. All this and the chance to hurl an axe as the boss?

Teambuilding image

Overall, as team building requires participants to get involved with new hands-on challenges and working as a group, there’s the chance to learn new skills and reinforce existing ones. This all helps to improve cognitive retention and the ability to problem solve.

Not forgetting that the social interaction and fun aspects of a team building day will go a long way to promoting interpersonal skills and effective communication. It can even help to alleviate stress and help improve job satisfaction and productivity.

Escot House and Estate is a brilliant resource for your team building event. We work with our onsite partner Devon Country Pursuits who put on the activities while we provide an indoor space for a morning seminar if required.

Not forgetting that food is vital to give the brain a boost! We have plenty of catering choices made on site in our kitchens using fresh, locally sourced produce. You may like to consider a barbeque, cream tea, picnic-style refreshments or buffet. Get in touch to discuss your ideal team building day.

Team building buffet

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