This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.

A story about lawyers and law firms

join the conversation, learn and share

 

Episode 17 - The Away Day - "Teamwork in Action"

The Away Day –“Teamwork in Action”

A morning in late July at the Oak Forest Hotel and Country Club, somewhere in Nottinghamshire.  Everyone from LB Law (less a skeleton staff back in Leighton Buzzard) are on a team bonding day.

“Call this summer?” said Sue to no one in particular, “It’s cold and I’m cold and I don’t care how many times someone tells me this will be “a fun day”, I know I’d rather be at home, doing what I want to do!”

“Well aren’t you just a bundle of positive energy” responded Damian, one of the no ones in particular.  “Hey, it’s Friday you’re not at work, you are at a pretty smart hotel paid for by the firm and it might just be fun if you give it a go.” 

“Only a man could possibly suggest that standing around in a field getting shouted at by some jumped up, muscle bound, would be, SOS paratrooper could be regarded as “fun”.  What the hell were they thinking!”  She thrust her head in the direction of the hotel where the partners were still in a meeting.

“I think you’ll find it’s the SAS and no one has shouted at anyone yet”.  And risking all, Damian continued “And isn’t it just the tiniest bit sexist to talk about “only a man”?" He looked round for support but only met a series of averted eyes and ears.

The debate about the merits of the Away Day had been protracted and at times emotional. “We’re a group of legal professionals, not a rugby team for heaven’s sake!” …. “But in the survey our clients said that what they wanted was team work and a joined up approach” …. “But why does it have to be all macho, outward bound, Duke of Edinburgh revisited?” ….. “Because we want to put people in a different environment, outside their usual office comfort zone” …. “What’s so wrong with being in our comfort zone!”.  And so on.  But the decision had been made (“As a one-off, we can review it.”) and here they were, about to emabark on a series of team work activities.. 

With different degrees of enthusiasm, the partners got up from the table in the meeting room inside the hotel and prepared to join the rest of the firm outside.

It started raining.

Have your say

What do you think of this type of away day event?

Episode 17 - Away day

2108451089 [{"id":"36","title":"Yes \u2013 this sort of outdoor activity can be helpful. It\u2019s a good idea to get people out of their comfort zone.","votes":"7","type":"x","order":"1","pct":77.78,"resources":[]},{"id":"37","title":"No \u2013 lawyers deal with intellect, thoughts and ideas. Outdoor physical activity really is not relevant.","votes":"2","type":"x","order":"2","pct":22.22,"resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /component/communitypolls/?task=poll.vote MSG_ERROR_NO_SELECTION Please select either existing option or enter your own, however not both. MSG_THANK_YOU_NO_RESULTS COM_COMMUNITYPOLLS_LABEL_ANSWERS Votes ...

What’s your experience of “Away Days”, out of office activities and the like?  Is it a "boy/girl" thing or is that too simplistic/sexist?

Add your name and any contact details to your comment if you want.  Otherwise it will be anonymous.

Comments  

0 # Lise Seager 2017-08-02 15:41
Some of these activities are no more than an opportunity for public/firmwide humiliation of the poor soul who comes last or makes a complete hash of it all.
0 # Simon McCall 2017-08-09 11:37
But also an opportunity for people to discover and display hidden talents in terms of teamwork?
0 # Kevin Poulter 2017-08-10 12:27
Like it or not, unless you're a sole practitioner you have to work with people. It makes sense to get to know them away from the office and the distractions and constraints that the office holds. No one expects you to invite them round for dinner, but be a little bit sociable. I genuinely believe we work better together as a result.
0 # Mac Mackay 2017-08-10 14:25
The firm is trying: albeit it could do better. Good that it is holding this sort of thing during usual work time and not at the weekend and that the Partners seem to be getting involved. However, the firm is going to run foul of all sorts of diversity / inclusiveness issues. There are plenty of good team building exercises that can be run in office-like environments - and social activities that are much more inclusive than 'yomping' across a field (no matter how much I might like it - and I am over 60!)

Please sign in/register to post a comment