Outdoor Team Building Tips
As life slowly begins returning to a pre-Covid normal, outdoor team building activities are on the horizon. Indoor activities are a ways off, but the prospects for getting your colleagues together, in person and face to face, if you can imagine it, are bright.
You’ll need to do some careful planning, of course. We’re not entirely out of the woods yet, so there are some safety considerations to make and some logistical hurdles to leap. As we gear up for a return to in-person outdoor scavenger hunts—in addition to our virtual games, which will always be available—we put together some tips on how to safely run outdoor team building activities.
Keep Numbers Manageable
Compete in teams, but keep those teams small. We keep team sizes down to five or six players. That’s enough to build a sense of camaraderie and foster teamwork, but not so many to interfere with social distancing among teammates.
If your company consists of, say, hundreds of employees, you might consider how to divide and conquer. Break things down by department or some other metric, and have those groups get together on different days, or compete in different activities. For example, if you were a large company in the New York City area, you could send one group to explore Wall Street and another to Central Park.
And Spread Out
Speaking of social distancing, keep your teams away from each other for the most part. During in-person scavenger hunts in the past year or so, we have started teams in different places along the hunt route, staggering them to avoid overlapping teams. But with everyone scattered about, how are you supposed to give them their marching orders? Well, that’s easy…
Use Zoom (Just a Little Bit!)
We know, the excitement for outdoor team building activities stems partly from the opportunity to shake off some of that Zoom fatigue. But that ever-present app will still come in handy. Use Zoom on your phones at the start and end of your activity to connect and communicate with the whole group. You can also Zoom with individual groups during the game to check in and see how they’re doing.
On our in-person games, Zoom allows everyone to connect with a remote Hunt Host who launches the group on their adventure, and then reveals scores and the winners at the end of the game. It provides a level of safe, fun interaction for all your spread-out colleagues.
This is a simple one: keep your hands to yourselves and don’t share devices. Our games require each team to choose a captain who inputs answers on their phone, while all their teammates can follow along separately on their own devices, reading questions and working together to answer them.
Focus on Photos
Creating memorable photos will liven up your outdoor team building activities. Challenging teams to take group or individual photos posed in fun ways and situations is easily done outside, and sharing the best photos afterward will help bring your far-flung teams closer together.
Our games’ custom-built app includes functionality for a shared gallery that lets all players share in each other’s adventures, or you can always work out your own way of sharing your favorite photos from the day.
Gauge Everyone’s Comfort Level
Before you get too deep into planning an event, of course, you might want to consider whether your colleagues or employees are up for in-person activities just yet. Times are still uncertain, and everyone has a different level of comfort with real-world events, even if they are outside. Obviously getting a read like that is easier with smaller groups, but it’s something to take into account.
Follow the Rules
Above all else, follow your local and state guidelines for gatherings and events. Adhere to any applicable mask mandates, limits on outdoor gatherings, and so on. Getting your team into trouble is not a recipe for a successful outdoor team building activity.