Image Credit: Northern Edge Algonquin Retreat in Canada
If you are a business owner or human resources chief who is weighing up their next team building trip, the road to a return on their investment surely lies in a glamping break. While camping might appeal to some of the more hardy employees on a team, it is realistically restricted to the summer months, and you might not see wholesale enthusiasm from those to whom a night in a sleeping bag is no idea of fun.
Throw in a wood burning stove or central heating, luxury king size beds, wide screen TV, and an on-site cinema, spa and pizzeria, and suddenly, you might find your team raring to go ahead of the day’s activities, instead of cowering in their tents, wishing they were still in the office!
Image: Inside a Glamping lodge at Love2Stay Resort in Shropshire.
Glamping can really deliver on your team building objectives, and that’s important. Team building is no longer seen as the chance for a ‘company jolly’. Research shows that some 66 per cent of employees in the UK have been invited to take part in team building activities. The fact that the study shows younger people aged in the 18 to 34 bracket value team building the most, suggests that it is here to stay. If you are an employee who has already tasted the joys of glamping, don’t be afraid to make the suggestion to your line manager.
It’s time to get serious about planning your team building trips. In this article, we look at specific activities you could arrange while on a glamping trip, provide some tips for taking larger groups glamping, get an industry figurehead’s view on glamping for team building, and list ten benefits which you can expect your work force to enjoy as a result of the activities.
Image: Love2Stay Glamping Resort.
Team building activities to try on glamping breaks
Whether you are a corporate group, creative company or a team which works with its hands – on a glamping team building break, it’s not about what you do on a normal day, but the new experiences your team shares on the trip. Here are some team building activities which are perfectly suited to glamping breaks
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Clay pigeon shooting
Shooting, with no wildlife involved, is a fun way to raise competitive spirits a little in your group, while challenging them with an activity which requires sound hand-eye coordination. You can guarantee a large share of your team will be beginners; so relax as your shooters spur each other on with shouts of encouragement, or alternatively, struggle to disguise their chuckles. Clay pigeon shooting is suitable for an afternoon slot after a more vigorous morning activity.
Nature trail orienteering
Image: Raft Building at Love2Stay Glamping Resort in Shropshire
The wide open spaces, forests and hills which typically make up the surrounding glamping landscape are ideal for orienteering. This will test your team’s willingness to work together, as well as their eye for finding solutions to problems. They can also get some good exercise and take in some stunning scenery!
There are plenty of quad biking sites up and down the UK, many of which are in close proximity to glamping resorts. While not so much a team competition, quad biking can still be a lot of fun, and give an opportunity for those who aren’t stars at more intense physical exercise to enjoy a level playing field with the rest.
A valuable team building activity needn’t involve wrapping your team in cotton wool. Why not throw them into the lion’s den with a full on assault course designed to test their determination, and fitness levels – not to mention their willingness to help other team members? The assault course at the Love2Stay resort will certainly get the adrenaline pumping – it’s an army style set up which demands strength, balance and perseverance.
Once you are into the evening hours, it is time to focus on the social element. What better way to crown a day’s activities than with a big barbecue for the team to dig into, and a few drinks to wash down the freshly grilled fayre? To add in a larger team building element, you can source, prepare and cook the food as a team, then sit down to enjoy the spoils of your graft together. After all, isn’t that what great teamwork should be about?
Glamping for large groups – some tips
Image: Glamping Lodges at Love2Stay Resort in Shropshire.
For many organisations, a team building glamping trip will involve taking a large group of people away. Here are some pointers on overseeing high numbers of glampers:
- Meet with management – in order to ensure your break goes without a hitch, plan to meet with management of the glamping resort face to face, in order that they can understand your requirements fully.
- Stick to teams, or mix and match? – it is likely that your glamping accommodation will locate at least two of your team members in every unit, and some glamping cottages and lodges can accommodate as many as ten. That means you should decide whether to match employees from different departments with each other, in order that they get to know each other better, or allow teams to stay together.
- Gender considerations – as a general rule, you won’t want to book shared accommodation for male and female employees under the same roof. First and foremost in order to preserve modesty! Exceptions could include if a couple wish to stay together.
- Don’t forget dietary requirements – the last thing you want is somebody going hungry because they aren’t able to eat the food on offer. Listing dietary requirements and factoring them into all your meal plans is vital to being inclusive of your whole group.
- Silent night? – while imposing a curfew would seem far too draconian, there are other ways in which you can ensure some members of the group don’t keep others awake after lights out. Including a simple ‘bedtime’ or ‘sweet dreams’ on the itinerary passed around the team can drop a big enough hint.
- Factor in ability – when it comes to team building activities, assess the importance of splitting up teams according to their ability. Depending on the nature of the activity, you might want to deliberately create mini-groups of mixed ability, or decide on beginner, intermediate, etc.
The expert take
Glamping only begun around a decade ago, but in 2018 it is a global movement with its own industry leaders. One of those is Linda Clark from Glamping.com, and she spoke to Love2Stay about how luxury rural breaks are ideal for team building.
Linda said: “Glamping experiences offer the idyllic setting for groups and teambuilding programs. Companies from across the world are selecting glamping resorts that offer a myriad of activities for outstanding incentive programs that not only motivate, inspire and reward but also increase sales productivity, build team spirit, provide education and strengthen loyalty.
“With wilderness adventures combined with luxury tented accommodations, glamping resorts offer a truly amazing setting for conferences and employee programs as well.”
Ten team building benefits
So much of the business world comes down to the good old bottom line – so what exactly is the return on investment which you can expect from a glamping break for team building activities? Here is a quick fire list of ten benefits:
1. Improve communication across your team by breaking down barriers between individuals.
2. Convince team members that having fun can be vital to producing good results, and feeding this ethos back into the workplace.
3. Come away with a greater understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, paving the way to better teamwork.
4. Encourage leadership and identify possible leaders within your organisation.
5. Develop confidence across your team through taking part in activities, and highlight the importance of confidence in the workplace.
6. Engender trust through team-based activities which place a large emphasis on collaboration in order to achieve common objectives.
7. See your team bond as they develop trust and their respect for each other grows.
8. Increase individual and collective responsibility via roles assigned as part of activities.
9. Improve morale through both enjoyable and challenging shared experiences.
10. Reinforce company values, culture and objectives by dedicating part of your team building break to an organisational theme.
So that’s our look at why glamping is so suitable for team building. Want to take a look for yourself at the kind of facilities which your organisation can expect on a team building glamping break? Love2Stay’s glamping resort is nestled in serene countryside straddling the Welsh border in Shropshire; it features luxury lodges with hot tubs, on-site amenities including a pizzeria and cinema, and team building options such as trail biking, fishing and an assault course. Get in touch for a show-around !