Company away days and regular festive parties are the clichéd corner-stone of many modern organisations’ team building activities. Whilst these events do serve a purpose, by bringing everyone together in one place, do they really integrate team members? Moreover, are events that are often mandatory or taboo not to attend, the best way of prompting people to bond with one another? Or are they just an easy day out the office?
This October witnessed Volume sleeping rough for the third year running; raising money for Byte Night. Byte Night is the IT industry’s annual charity sleep-out, where each year thousands of teams from across the technology and business community spend a night exposed to the elements. It’s all in a bid to raise sponsorship and awareness of Action for Children’s work assisting to prevent youth homelessness.
Why do we take part year after year? The answer is twofold. Firstly, it supports a fantastic charity that helps over 250,000 people throughout the UK every year, with a cause very close to our heart. Secondly it is a great bonding opportunity for our rapidly growing organisation. With a total of 39 new employees in the last 6 months, the opportunity for the new blood, old guard and everyone in-between to get to know one another is fantastic.
One of the underlying reasons that charity events work is because they’re voluntary. A charity event, as opposed to a generic away day or a Christmas party, actually requires willingness from those involved to actively choose to participate outside working hours. Byte Night is the personification of that and really takes it a step further, requiring volunteers to continually fundraise for three months, followed by sleeping rough in October; it’s a real commitment.
The need for commitment from all volunteers creates a universal sense that all members are working towards a common goal. This commonality unifies team members and reduces the hierarchical boundaries between employees; no matter your position within the company, you’re all pulling towards the same end. All members being dressed in their ‘outdoorsy clothes’, coupled with sleeping rough in a park, really removes any notion that someone’s your boss. This removal of boundaries allows relationships to evolve from just colleagues or ‘work friends’; into something more authentic.
Such open communication is vital to our organisation and crucial in encouraging the creativity and innovation that we pride ourselves on. Furthermore, a likeminded willingness to engage with one another is a big part of Volume’s social and friendly culture; making for far more authentic relationships.
This year was another fantastic Byte Night for us and actually our most successful; managing to raise £9,760. Congratulations to all of our Byte Night team, who worked so hard to raise such a substantial amount of money.