As humans we thrive on social connection, and it is paramount to our happiness at work. Strong connections with colleagues fuel collaboration, decrease burn out, and help create a positive organizational culture. However, it is becoming more and more challenging to create meaningful relationships as our work lives become busier and busier. To get through it, many of us put our headphones on or our heads down. According to a recent episode of Work Life, Organizational Psychologist Adam Grant’s podcast, Americans are more lonely at work now than ever before because, as Adam puts it, “many Americans de-prioritize relationships at work.” In fact, a recent CNBC article called workplace loneliness a “modern epidemic.” Throw in a global pandemic, where teams are working and meeting remotely without the social interaction and people may be feeling unhappy as well as disconnected.
So, how do we fight this “modern epidemic” together so that Americans come to work excited to connect with their teams? How do we help build authentic relationships? We believe that companies have to intentionally create opportunities for connection and collaboration. In essence, they need to invest in the connection of their teams to combat the loneliness of the individual team members. One fantastic way to battle disconnect and help teams bond is team building through play! We at TheCultureBiz have witnessed first-hand the power of play to help build and nurture relationships. Unlike forced icebreakers, play inherently encourages people to connect without worrying about what to say or how to say it. A dynamic game or activity provides team members with shared experience, which can often be the foundation for creating a new relationship. Creative problem solving or some healthy play-based competition builds a foundation of trust and opportunities to practice conflict resolution, which helps to foster strong relationships. Play alone won’t lead to strong long-term relationships, but it can be the catalyst for encouraging new relationships to form, and adding in the ritual of play and changing partners throughout will allow your teams to continue to build dynamic relationships that can be translated into successful working relationships.
Looking for ways to help your team fight the trend of loneliness at work through building authentic connections among team members? TheCultureBiz has cost-effective team building crates to help bring play back to work through curated activities sent directly to your business. To find out more, click here.