This past Wednesday we embraced a much needed break from the office for our annual team outing. Following lunch and our quarterly meeting, we hit the streets to put our best detective skills to work for a scavenger hunt sprinkled throughout Blue Back Square in West Hartford. We broke into color coordinated teams and donned the appropriate ROY G BIV attire as we tackled various challenges ranging from brain teasers and word puzzles to taking group photos with ridiculous poses and props.
A scavenger hunt is pretty straight forward: you have a list of items to find or challenges to complete under a time restraint with other minor restrictions. Yet, while every team had the same exact challenges thrown at them, I guarantee no two teams had identical results. The challenges were left open for interpretation spurring creativity and hilarious brainstorming. Whether it was asking a complete stranger walking down the street if you could pose with their dog or putting on used hockey equipment in a local sporting goods store to get the perfect picture and check another item off the list, it wasn’t so much the end result of each challenge, as it was how you worked together to get there using a combination of gut instinct, creative thinking, wit, and general problem solving skills.
It’s interesting to see what makes your teammates tick, and as a result, how everyone’s different strengths bubble up to come together as a whole and get the job done. Not only do you learn fun things about your coworkers and see them in a different light (literally – those office fluorescents are not flattering!), but what you carry back with you into work life are new found bonds, inside jokes, and an increased respect for one another. These activities really do create a camaraderie that can only be attained outside of the office walls, improving overall productivity and motivation. And while it’s always nice for a scenery change and an afternoon away from emails and phone calls, these team building activities most importantly give us an opportunity to work closely with those we don’t normally have the chance to on a regular basis and hone some skills that may need dusting off.
The office retreat concluded with a happy hour and awards ceremony (go Green!), with everyone feeling recharged and ready to tackle what’s to come in the office work flow!