Teambuilding outdoors is an effective way to boost morale, promote communication, creativity and problem-solving – all of which go some way to reducing stress.
By meeting and teambuilding outdoors, your body releases endorphins, which in turn elevates your mood levels.
Research has found that the environment in which companies undertake learning can be one of the main factors in determining how effective the experience is. In a study by psychologists Bell and Dyment, it was found that students are more creative and civil to each other in green areas than urban ones.
Other investigations have shown that exposure to nature increases the ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities, while green plants and animal sounds can also reduce stress.
Center Parcs’ head of sales Ryan Gray says corporate teams visiting the sites can explore 400 acres of woodland in each Village.
“We have found that the lodge format works brilliantly as a refreshing change to the archetypal hotel. It’s inspiring for us to see delegates arrive at Center Parcs heavy with the stresses and strains of city life and instantly be put at ease by the natural charm of our lodges and woodlands.”
The natural environment, Gray believes, is a backdrop for minds to expand and relationships to bloom.
Center Parcs’ teambuilding packages (Activ8, Motiv8 and Rejuven8), launched last year, take this philosophy seriously and include use of a meeting room for the morning, refreshments, and then a 2-3 hour activity, says Gray.
A non-linear layout at Center Parcs, he stresses, has been designed to have a more inclusive, community feel, which he claims results in a more positive psychological effect on participants.
“The increased degree of fluidity helps breakdown inter-collegiate barriers and fosters greater engagement among staff,” he adds.