Pictured: Canix Group Trip
In a recent Upwork survey, it was predicted that 1 in 4 Americans, over 26% of the total workforce, are forecasted to be working remotely through 2021. As remote work and telecommuting become the new normal, there is a list of benefits and set backs that have surfaced in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Some of the positives have included the largest drop of carbon dioxide emissions, with a fall of 7% (the biggest drop on record) directly contributed to the downward trend of people commuting to work. Sitting in the comfort of your own home in your new ‘office wear’ (a nice button down and pajama pants) sounds nice at first, but what’s the long term effects on employee’s health and personal connection? What is the impact on employee productivity?
Occupational burnout, a mental health crisis, a decline in effective communication, and lower productivity are just to name a few. Many employees are experiencing the the occupational phenomenon of “Burnout”. Classified by the World Health Organization, it encompasses chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Burnout is characterized by the feelings of energy depletion, increased mental distance from one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy. According to a July MetLife report on the mental health of the U.S. workforce, “two in three employers said they expect a mental health crisis in the U.S.” within three years.
Perhaps the most detrimental side effect of remote work has been the set backs of ineffective communication and lack of collaboration. With logging in and out of zoom calls being perhaps the extent of contact between coworkers, the emotional connection and bond we are all so used to has been taken away. Filtered through a camera and screen, it is hard to interpret emotion, build trust, and work effectively as a team. Telecommuting won’t be going away for a large percentage of the American workforce anytime soon.
So, the current business landscape requires updated communications and a team building strategy. As part of corporate social responsibility, it is imperative that organizations take new and creative steps to conquer this dilemma and improve the workplace for their employees and provide them with the resources to begin communicating effectively. A side benefit to improved workplace attitude, is increased productivity. There is no better place to do so than in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, enjoying the thrill and camaraderie of a Colorado whitewater rafting trip.
Whitewater rafting is one of the best, and most fun, forms of team building exercises. Every member has the same goal, to get down the rapid safely- and it requires teamwork to do so! The Adventure Company offers raft trips that combine fun team building activities for business and social groups alike. Developed by corporate psychologist, Dr. Michael Black, each exercise is specifically designed to teach your employees to improve communication and cooperation. While enjoying the thrill of rafting, this program seamlessly combines whitewater rafting with different exercises that promote cooperation, communication, unity, and trust. The catch about these different activities is that if the teams aren’t communicating efficiently and working together, the desired outcome will not be easily achieved. A short debrief after the trip reinforces each participant’s awareness of the value of communication and cooperation.
“Our team had a great time with The Adventure Company,” Stated Natalie Mercuri from Canix, “we really enjoyed the river guides and everyone thought it was a great bookend to an awesome company trip.” Natalie and her team have already joined us this summer for an amazing team building day. This activity was even the first time for part of the team to actually meet face to face .
This is the perfect way to build communication and trust, especially if employees are no longer seeing each other face to face. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you are in the middle of nature and get a chance to soak in some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, which in turn, will also help to combat burnout and improve engagement. If you would like more information about Team Building activities, drop us a line at 800-497-RAFT or at [email protected]