By Stefaan Eerdekens, UX Designer at Internet Architects
Last month we had our annual teambuilding at Internet Architects. I’d only recently joined the team, so I was really looking forward to getting to know the people I work with a bit better. I didn’t really know what to expect as I drove to Schelle to meet my colleagues early in the morning. Was it going to be a day filled with small talk, obligatory presentations and forced teambuilding exercises, or would I really get to find out what my colleagues and agency are like?
We kicked the day off by gaining some insights into the business side of things at Internet Architects, and seeing who some of their clients have been in the past. We also fiddled around with a piece of string, some tape, 20 sticks of spaghetti and a marshmallow. (Just look up ‘Marshmallow challenge’ if you’re ever looking for a cool but quick and easy teambuilding exercise at work.) We finished the indoor part of the day by discussing Internet Architects’ vision, ideas and goals together with the whole team.
After that we went outside and were divided into groups to continue our conversation about Internet Architects, but in a bit more detail: if we look at past and current clients, what seem to be the conditions required for building healthy long-term partnerships? How can each and every one of us help Internet Architects optimise our relationships with clients? Dozens and dozens of Post-It notes (and pizzas) later, we got ready for the ‘active part of the day’.
The active part of the day turned out to be more challenging than I expected: riding a tandem! It’s not really a fine art; more like a messy collection of wavy turns, wobbly lines and clumsy moments, especially on narrow forest trails. Anyway, add in some teambuilding activities such as creating a triumphal arch using only bamboo sticks and rubber bands, and drinking a refreshing Belgian beer, and you’ve got yourself a fun afternoon with colleagues away from the office.
We ended the day with a nice buffet and chats about all sorts of things, from holiday plans to how a good CMS should handle its content (nerds will be nerds). The teambuilding part of the day was undoubtedly a success. But it’s also great to know that everyone’s input on Internet Architects’ vision, ideas and goals didn’t fall on deaf ears, as I overheard David (CEO) on the phone in the courtyard a week later, still talking about the dozens and dozens of Post-It notes that everyone wrote. (David, if you’re reading this: sorry for eavesdropping :-))