Employee vs employer outlook on team building revealed in new survey

Employer and employee attitudes around team building activities – including the ideal outcome and favourite activities – have been revealed in a brand new business survey.

The Lunch Break Bonding survey, conducted by Just Eat for Business, delves into office workers’ perception of social lunch breaks, scheduled meetings and team building events, and is paired with expert commentary on the importance of positive office relations at work.

The results were collated from over 200 UK-based organisations, and were segmented by role (executive, management, CEO), region, and business size.

The survey found that employee and employer perceptions differed when it came to favourite team building activities, with business owners (42%) naming escape rooms as their preferred organised event.

Meanwhile, employees voted team lunches as the top organised activity (38%), followed by team vs team competitions (36%), escape rooms (29%) and mixology classes (29%).

When asked about the most important aspect of a team building event, employees believed it’s the team bonding potential (48%), while employers felt the level of enjoyment proved the most important factor (58%).

And while both the team bonding potential and level of enjoyment is important, the survey found that there are some obstacles that may deter workers from attending events.

More than half of office workers (51%) said they were less likely to attend a team building event if they’re required to pay for all or a portion of the cost. Within teams, it’s management-level employees that are the most put off by having to contribute financially.

On a regional level, workers in the North West were found to be the most likely (89%) to skip a team building event when required to pay towards it, while those in the North East were the least bothered by a cash contribution.

Another key aspect of the study was understanding how team building events can improve a workplace. For CEOs and business owners, the most important outcome was creating a friendlier work atmosphere (67%), while executives valued showcasing company culture.

Regardless of the ideal outcome, the survey also found that most workers at all levels (82%) would find their work more enjoyable if team building activities happened more frequently.

Interestingly, CEO and business owners accounted for the highest proportion of people (97%) who would enjoy their workplace more with regularly scheduled activities.

Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director at Just Eat for Business commented on the findings, saying: “It’s encouraging to see that office workers at all levels are eager to increase the frequency and quality of team building activities, particularly given that many organisations are either heading back into the office, or learning to operate remotely.

“The study shows that team building events don’t have to be extensive or costly, as team lunches came out as the favourite activity. Corporate catering services are designed to make organising office lunches hassle-free, so it’s never been easier to provide regular opportunities for teams to socialise during the working week.”