The pandemic has forever changed the way we work and live. Those of us who survived the changes forced upon us, causing the most consequential shift in human history, are likely better prepared to face any threat that lies ahead. In the business of creating challenges to mimic real-life experiences, Venture Up has itself shifted to a new era of doing business. No matter where they hail from, all of our team members share one common experience — surviving the pandemic, says Mason Lengyel, program director.
During the outbreak Venture Up was already on the cusp of developing its virtual team building programs and the business continued to thrive. “At one point during the pandemic we thought we’d be limited to virtual team building for good,” says Lengyel. ” Remote team building is booming, but the recent upsurge of in-person events has exceeded our expectations,” he said.
“Since April, we have had two to three times as many requests for in-person team building than before the pandemic hit.”
Keeping it fun is one thing that has not changed with Venture Up. Programs are designed to stimulate creativity, explore communication styles, and exercise flexible leadership. In some activities, participants are blindfolded to limit the resources they generally take for granted; thus forcing them to approach obstacles differently and tune into team members’ advice.
In the world of human resources and corporate training it is often said that we need to “think outside the box”, “Truth be told, there is no box,” says Lengyel. Boxes are boundaries and we humans have none. Boxes are for cats.”
Looking back on 2020 and where we are today in 2021, we’ve noticed a correlation between the
obstacles presented by the pandemic and the team building activities we offer. A year after
everything was shut down and businesses found themselves struggling to adapt, we now view
the last year as a crucial experiential challenge for companies large and small.
To continue to do business, companies have faced a real-life team building challenge that they
had to overcome. Today, we want to take a moment to highlight all of the ways that the
coronavirus has changed the way we work. Further, we’ll discuss what businesses must make a
conscious effort to continue doing after COVID restrictions are ended to ensure they keep
operating at their best.
The Changes Brought On By the Coronavirus Pandemic
With the abrupt closure of many offices and workplaces this past year, a new era of remote
work began for millions of employed Americans. With businesses worldwide having to adapt to
a “new normal” that saw the entirety of their workforce suddenly working from home, we now
expect a significant shift in the way that a large segment of America’s workforce will operate in
According to Pew Research, with only 1 in 5 workers stating that they worked from home pre-
pandemic, 71 percent of those employees are now working from home all or most of the time.
Further, more than half say that they would want to continue working from home even after the
pandemic if given a choice.
While the transition to remote work wasn’t easy for everyone, most of the American workforce
was able to rise to the occasion without much of a gap in operation. About three-quarters or
more say it has been easy to have the equipment and technology needed to do their job from
home. Most also say that it has been easy for them to meet deadlines and complete projects on
time, all while staying motivated.
Unfortunately, some unwelcome changes have come with the transition to remote work brought
on by the coronavirus. While working from home has invited a series of benefits to America’s
businesses, including flexibility, cost savings, and an improved work-life balance, there have also been hardships. Some of these challenges have included gaps in communication among
staff, feelings of social isolation, and management challenges.
When working from home, many employees in the country have reported feeling a lack of
connection with their co-workers. Rather than feeling like they’re part of a well-oiled machine,
they feel isolated and cut off from effective communication with their team. As those of us at
Venture Up know, when businesses experience difficulties with effective communication, the
organization as a whole suffers in their everyday operations.
In this way, one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses during the coronavirus pandemic
was how to continue working as a team despite separation due to COVID restrictions.
Fortunately, many companies rose to meet this new challenge head-on. The result? A silver
lining to the pandemic that none of us expected.
The Silver Lining None of Us Expected
So what is that silver lining that businesses have uncovered thanks to the changes the
coronavirus presented? Put simply, the pandemic has acted as one of the most significant team
building exercises the world has ever known.
Something we’ve discussed with clients over and over again here at Venture Up in the wake of
the pandemic has been what rising above challenges will mean for their business in the future.
After all, if our clients can learn to be successful and effective in the wake of COVID restrictions,
how much more successful and effective will they be once the restrictions have passed?
As we’ve said, the pandemic has offered a new opportunity for corporate teams to rise above
great adversity. To overcome feelings of isolation, businesses had to get creative. To work
effectively outside of the traditional office space, companies had to adapt. To work effectively as
a team despite separation, employees had to exercise their problem-solving skills.
We’ve witnessed our clients using team building strategies on an everyday basis since the start
of the pandemic. In this way, communication, trust, and productivity among their staff have
reached heights they never thought possible. The coronavirus has been the ultimate team
building exercise in that way.
Why Companies Must Prioritize Team Building Post-COVID
Although the pandemic has changed the way we work forever, and many have risen to the
occasion, a whole new challenge is about to present itself. Put simply, the challenge that is just
over the horizon for America’s workforce is maintaining the effectiveness they’ve learned during
COVID restrictions long after such restrictions have passed.
Here at Venture Up, we commonly use a team building exercise with our clients known as a
“trust dive”. In this exercise, a team member will volunteer to off of an elevated platform, trusting their team to catch them. Believe it or not, we’re always more concerned that a smaller and
lighter-weight woman will be dropped and injured during the exercise than, say, a 300-pound
man. Why? Well, when a 300-pound man takes his turn with the trust dive, all of his team
members get focused, prepared, and ready. After all, they know that they’ll have to work
effectively as a team to overcome what is perceived as a big challenge.
However, when a smaller woman takes her turn, the team tends to think, “this will be easy; she
weighs so little,” and they aren’t as focused. Without emphasizing effectiveness in this situation,
the team is more likely to make a mistake as a collective. As a result, they’re more likely to drop
the smaller woman during the trust dive. As we come closer and closer to a lift of COVID
restrictions and a potential return to “normal,” it is vital that we keep the lessons that the trust
dive exercise teaches us in mind.
When restrictions pass, it will be easy to take for granted the lessons we learned about
effectiveness during the pandemic. Once we no longer have to worry about keeping our teams
feeling connected or how to communicate effectively despite separation, we’re likely to place
our focus elsewhere. This is when mistakes will happen, communication will worsen, and
productivity will decline. For this reason, we must prioritize team building post-COVID. While the
immediate challenges we face now may pass, we can’t allow ourselves to forget everything we
learned during this period.
Venture Up For All Your Team Building Needs
Now that you understand the importance of prioritizing team building even once things return to
“normal,” it’s crucial that you plan now for the sake of your team. At Venture Up, we provide
team building exercises designed to keep your team sharp. There are so many benefits of team
building exercises for your team. Our team building activities and games boost communication,
improve trust, and encourage versatility. Workplace communication, trust, and productivity are
like muscles- they have to be exercised to stay strong. Prioritize your team, and you can expect
your business to run like a well-oiled machine.
You’ve proven that you can overcome and outlast in the face of adversity during the
coronavirus. Don’t let the return to normal weaken your team’s effectiveness. Learn more about
Venture Up’s team building activities and games today! We’ve served clients worldwide, and we
want to make you our next happy client. Call us 24/7 at (888) 305-1065 or
send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.