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Why Team Building is Important for Geographically Dispersed Workers

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From L to R: Jamie Romanin, Bonnie Yeung, Indonesian traditional dancer, Bruce Downing, Lesley Rahme, and Frederic Gillant

While ShoreTel provides the technology for people to work, collaborate and communicate despite barriers of physical distance, we also realize the importance of meeting face to face occasionally.

That’s why the ShoreTel APAC team met in Indonesia for a team building, sales kick-off. It was the first time this group of ShoreTel employees from five different countries and seven different offices have connected as an APAC organization, having historically been grouped together as the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), and Asian theaters.

While we work together effectively as a dispersed team, meeting together offered a way to connect personally, better understand each other’s regions, share best practices, brainstorm, and develop ideas to improve business processes and develop our own unique corporate culture.

In the process, we wanted to give back to the local community by creating teams that competed against each other to build bikes that were donated to a local children’s orphanage. We had fun with it by wearing team uniforms, and it was the Princess Dancers who we felt really showed true ShoreTel spirit by sporting tiaras and tutus.

We were given bike pieces, a bag of tools and a completely assembled bike to use as a template. Each team had to build a bike together. To make things difficult, pieces of the bike were missing and teams had to perform small challenges to earn the missing pieces. These included building a wind chime, performing a traditional Indonesian dance and taking a team selfie.

And it was the Police Team who had the best put together bike, the most impressive dance moves, the most melodious sounding wind chime and the most ridiculous team selfie (think Charlie’s Angels with a side of Austin Powers). 

We ended up with six brand new, orange ShoreTel bikes, which to the untrained eye looked perfectly assembled. We also had the privilege of presenting the bikes to the principal of the orphanage, who reassured us that professional bike builders would ensure our shoddy work would be checked and double checked before any child would be allowed to ride the bikes.