For those who work in the technology sector, no matter how passionate you are about your field and the digital age in general, it can sometimes seem like a chore to be so plugged in.
Spending all day, every day, working at an IT company and being glued to computers or mobile devices won’t normally be an issue – if tech is your thing and gadgets are your calling, working with them should (and usually does) offer plenty of enjoyment.
But even the most avid of tech fans will have times where they crave fun and relaxation, and they will assume that “unplugging” is the best (and only) way to achieve this; be it for a team building event or an evening spent at home, away from screens of all kinds.
Hold that thought though.
With such a diverse technological and gadgetry landscape – not to mention, infinite scope for more growth and development – no one need unplug and hole up hermit style to have fun.
Technology comes in all shapes and sizes, and with so many interesting and innovative examples out there, you can really take advantage and incorporate technology into all walks of life – work and play.
One area that benefits greatly from modern technology is the work and the office, or more specifically, the team. Of course, any team working within tech or IT will have access to all manner of technology, software and gadgets. But there are ways to utilize digital as a means of strengthening your team and injecting some fun into the workday.
Each office, and in some cases, each team within an office, will need and want different things from their “team tech”. To give you some idea of the scope, scale and impact of technology in teams though, here are a few examples of where and how to use it.
Clouds and communication (in and out of the office)
Communication is key. This is something everyone will hear more than once in their working life, and it is true. For an effective and productive team or business, communication needs to be open and clear.
What about team communication outside of daily duties though?
Team building events often focus on ensuring teams can break down barriers and communicate well when it comes to sharing ideas and opinions, or even constructive criticisms. In turn, this ensures a good team who work well together.
However, the best teams communicate well in and out of the work realm. Not everyone will end up best friends, but being able to nip out to lunch together or hold a conversation that is not strictly work related will strengthen bonds and even identify positive traits or weaknesses that could prove valuable back on the job.
Face to face is great, but with everyone out of the office and busy with their own lives, you will need a backup. So, for a digital solution to in and out of office communication for your team, look to social media and social apps.
Perhaps you could have a team group in WhatsApp to keep conversations and event planning going outside of work time. You may even consider a private team group on Facebook, where members can get to know each other, share funny memes to lift Monday spirits, upload photos of the Christmas party or simply post to each other. A similar idea would be to keep a team cloud, with separate sections for resources, social event plans, images and even a message board or Google Hangout.
Using tech to perk up the team huddle
The team huddle or team meeting is an important part of any working day, but when you’re busy itemizing the To Do list or running through the basics of business, it can get a little dry.
You can perk up your team huddle in just a few minutes, either at the start or the end. Boosting the mood is easily done with the help of technology like interactive (SMART) whiteboards, mobile devices and apps, or even interesting and informative quick videos.
As well as keeping your team engaged and on their toes first or last thing, these little bursts of digital fun will brighten spirits and energize everyone, encouraging communication and strengthening that all-important team bond.
Interactive white boards are a great way to get everyone involved with the core aspects of the meeting, and it stops the rest of the team glazing over whilst one person takes notes.
For shorter meetings or huddles, a simple smartphone or tablet app to encourage quick thinking, friendly competition and even a few giggles is ideal. Do a speed round of Countdown or have people compete for the best time in a ten-question quiz.
Once a week you can even use technology to build team bonds and team knowledge, all at the same time. YouTube is ideal for short and informational or educational snippets; TED Talks, Webinars, or even niche avenues like technology and science focused Solve-X are perfect.
Find technology friendly team building events
Team building events have long been a popular and invaluable method of improving teams and individuals. Not only do participants enjoy a fun day away from their normal work schedule, but they have the opportunity to identify and develop strengths and new skills, improve communication channels with their colleagues, and embrace new challenges and experiences.
Naturally, there are old favorites like inflatable assault courses, sporty challenges or intense competitions (soapbox derby or paper airplanes anyone?). For those who really savor the digital age and all it offers though, there are all kinds of new technologies available to enhance the team building experience.
One such technology is GPS, and more specifically, GPS assisted Interactive Treasure Hunts. Oh yes, you heard right. If you thought the nostalgic thrill of running around a designated zone looking for clue upon clue in search of the final prize couldn’t get any better – you’d be wrong.
Advances in GPS and interactive technologies means grown adults and gadget lovers can embark on an adventure like never before. These interactive team building activities mean you get to explore brand new (and even familiar) towns and cities, with fresh eyes.
On top of this, you have the chance to win prizes – and more importantly, gloating rights among your colleagues. Imagine working with your team, using your combination of technological prowess and quick problem-solving skills in one of these team building activities, as you uncover hidden gems in historical Edinburgh or new experiences in cosmopolitan London! Now that is something to talk about come Monday…
Go for it!
There really are no limits when it comes to technology and how to use it to enhance, improve and engage your team. For more great ideas on apps and tech for the team to use, you can check out these recommendations.
Of course, you could always set your team an initial challenge instead, tasking them to find new and fun ways to use technology.