Why Most Team Bonding Activities are a Waste of Time — Online and Off

What people really want is meaningful work and meaningful relationships.

Image for post
Image for post
  • Challenges.
  • Houseparty app sessions.

The Truth About Team Bonding Activities

The truth is that team-bonding activities ultimately take people away from important work, family, friends, and personal interests.

Meaningful Challenges Forge Bonds

Whether it’s business, sports or military combat, when you share a meaningful and challenging journey with other people, one that’s characterised by short feedback loops and some indication of forward progress, you inevitably will bond.

The Chicago Bulls, Netflix and Amazon

No doubt the Chicago Bulls team glorified in The Last Dance documentary share a unique and enduring bond thanks to their six-time championship-winning efforts on the court in the 90s.

Image for post
Image for post
Jeff Bezos, 1999

The Science of Human Motivation

You know who weighs up things like office perks when deciding whether to work somewhere? C and D players. A players want to work somewhere they can do meaningful work, and be rewarded for it.

Let My People Go…Surfing

Instead of dragging people along to more online events, at a time when they’re probably already suffering from Zoom fatigue, let them choose their path.

Infrequent High-Quality Events > Frequent Crappy Ones

This is not to say that we throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Infrequent events, where people can bond over learning, drinks, food, and entertainment, are something most of us enjoy, and it’s something that truly remote organisations like Automattic, Basecamp, and Zapier practice.

What Really Matters

What matters is doing rewarding work, and when outcomes are achieved, people should be free to do whatever the hell they like.

Image for post
Image for post

Founder: Collective Campus, Host: Future Squared, Author: Time Rich & Employee to Entrepreneur. Clubhouse: @steveglaveski Visit: steveglaveski.com #MELB

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store