To build team bonds post-pandemic, companies turn to adventure sports and outdoor activities

In early June, fantasy sports platform Dream11 flew nearly 700 of its employees to Switzerland, where teams from all sectors spent nearly a week bonding over a host of activities including trekking, ziplining and parachuting.

For the startup, which grew from 260 employees before Covid, it was an opportunity to build relationships among team members who haven’t really had a chance to bond for nearly two years. of pandemic. “It was a great way for colleagues to collaborate without the pressures of work. In a different setting, a different country, the camaraderie seeped into every team,” said Kevin Freitas, chief human resources officer at parent company Dream Sports.

Team building through adventure sports and group activities – that’s what companies are betting on to energize employees and build bonding and engagement in the post-Covid normalcy. Even though many employees continue to work in remote/hybrid mode or return to the office, more and more organizations are focusing on such activities to foster better bonding between team members after minimal in-person interaction. induced by Covid.

According to companies and companies specializing in these outdoor activities. Pepperfry organized abseiling sessions in Garudmaachi (near Pune) for employees as part of its Trek To The Top initiative. About 10 sessions have been conducted so far in all teams. “In a hybrid work environment, it’s essential that employees can bond and we looked for ways to help them do that,” said Aditi Pareek, human resources manager.

Muddy Boots, an organization that promotes active holidays and adventure sports, said business demand had doubled from pre-Covid levels. “For the past two years, people have been stuck in their own cocoon. As the situation normalizes, companies want their employees to be motivated and work as a team with strong bonds. These types of sessions, which can last from half a day to three days, promote just that,” said Muddy Boots Director Pradeep Murthy. The company organized corporate getaways where people participated in team building activities including kayaking, rafting, ziplining, trekking, caving and more.

High Places Management, which specializes in outbound/outdoor management development programs, has had nearly 50 such clients over the past three months with approximately 1,500 attendees. “Our programs are offered to meet a variety of organizational needs including team building, effective team players, leadership, change management, and more,” said Premjit Magdum, its chief operating officer. Companies say these activities are paying off. “While we have adapted very well to the virtual world and embraced various means of staying connected over the past two years, we still miss the in-person conversations that were central to our culture.

Over the past few months, several teams have organized their relocations to take a break from their daily work and build team spirit,” Bhargavi Kakunuri, human resources manager at P&G Health, told ET. The company, which hired Muddy Boots for some of these sessions, said a session or offsite typically includes 5 to 20 employees, depending on the size of the team.

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