- Employees consider work-sponsored events with alcohol the most enjoyable form of team bonding, according to a poll of 1,000 full-time workers by Nulab. Respondents said they view company volunteer days as both the most effective and valuable form of team bonding, while ice breaker questions were seen as the least valuable on all accounts.
- A small majority (36%) said their employers host team-bonding events every quarter. Slightly fewer, 27%, said their organizations do so every month. Most employees (34%) said they prefer the frequency of such activities to be monthly, while 31% reported a quarterly preference. The three most common bonding activities are food-related, holiday-related and gift exchanges, the poll found.
- When asked if they'd rather participate in team bonding or complete work, workers were split; around 54% said they would want to engage in an activity and 46% said they would rather be doing work. Still, 96% of employees said they feel team bonding positively impacts their relationships with colleagues. Another 95% said it benefits their collaboration.
Team-bonding events such as happy hours, potlucks, sports outings and so on appear to meet their titular goal, according to Nulab's data. While fun activities as such do appear to increase office camaraderie, employers may want to consider how that can occur organically, as well. Popular events such as the Super Bowl, a hit TV show (take Game of Thrones, for example) and award shows can inspire office talk that provides a cultural boost, according to executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employers and HR professionals may encourage the bonding these events can inspire by organizing and providing funds for discussion groups, fan clubs and friendly competitions.
These events can prove distracting, however. The hubub around Game of Thrones may have cost employers as much as $3 billion in lost productivity, when factoring the average hourly wage of $27.77, Challenger said. Similar distractions have similar costs; March Madness 2019 may have cost employers $13.3 billion in lost productivity, for example. Employers should anticipate losing at least some degree of productivity when employees get caught up in the excitement and fervor of these activities and events, so setting some boundaries and expectations may be appropriate.