Invite Japan is excited to announce the release of its new Online Team Building game: Tabitantei. We have been hard at work designing and tweaking the game so that it meets our high standards: not only does it have to work as a fun game that people enjoy playing, but it also has to be able to bring teams closer together. Both of these goals are at the heart of Invite Japan’s programs, and we are proud to say that we have managed to accomplish them both with our online team building program.
Creating team building activities for remote teams comes with unique challenges and opportunities. Obviously, not everyone can be in the room at the same time, meaning that we can’t simply rely on the natural energy of interaction. We still have to bring the same excitement and “Aha” moments that people can share with each other but on a screen.
Of course there are some benefits too. We can have larger groups participate at one time without worrying about space or logistics. We have already run online team building events for teams that were physically separated across multiple continents (which is really great!). We never could have done something like that before, and it offers so many more opportunities for our multinational/international clients.
So, in the following post I will give you a good overview of the Tabitantei: Puzzle Tour experience and what to expect. If you want to know more about what Online Team Building is and why it’s necessary, check out our blog post about it here. And if you have specific questions about the program, I suggest you take a look at our FAQ on our service page. Without further ado, here is why Tabitantei is right for you.
1. Switch on the Fun
Let’s start with the most important part of team building–the fun! Team building should be about having an enjoyable time together, which allows you to break through the ice and get closer with your teammates.
The story of Tabitantei is an integral part of this engagement. Team members get to act as archaeologists searching for magical items from Japan’s Jomon period (prehistoric age). With help from some magical clay figurines (Doguu), teams solve puzzles in four different cities: Yokohama, Karuizawa, Sendai, and Asakusa (Tokyo). Utilizing maps, photo albums, and online white boards, team members get to explore an interactive online world together, and in the process, they also get to learn about Japan’s history and discover some of the real-life magic of existing local attractions.
As with any game, there’s a certain amount of fun that comes with competing to see who gets to the end. However, Tabitantei is really designed to draw everyone together in a safe space in which they can learn, grow, create, and discover. Much like with escape games, Tabitantei gives players the opportunity to really delve into an extraordinary experience that breaks them out of their established routines. Which is really what “having fun” is all about anyway.
2. Exercise Your Mind
Another aspect of having fun is challenging your brain. This is especially salient now with many companies shifting to remote work. While working from home has a lot of benefits for mental health like reduced commuting time–which means more time to pursue hobbies or spend time with loved ones– it also can sometimes lead to a sense of repetitiveness, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and a collapse of the boundaries between work and personal life.
One of the ways of dealing with these issues is through exercising the mind (planning more team building activities is another–which we will get to in a little bit). We often focus a lot on exercising the body, especially if we have shifted to a more sedentary routine, like WFH. But the mind is just as important for our mental well-being. By challenging and expanding our minds, we can continue to grow as individuals and learn new ways of processing information and experiences. Which means that even if we feel like our physical lives are more stationary, we can still gain the sense that we are moving forward.
A great way to exercise your mind is by solving puzzles, which can really be as invigorating as physical exercise–and can give you that same feeling of being refreshed afterwards. Indeed, puzzle-solving is associated with numerous health benefits.
Tabitantei gives your team a range of puzzles and challenges to accomplish. These include math and deductive skills, finding patterns, spatial reasoning and logic–sometimes within the same puzzles. This allows different skills to come to the fore at different times and for team members to combine their own skills together. And while the story and setting borrow elements from history and Japanese geography, the game doesn’t require any in-depth knowledge of these in order to complete the puzzles. Everything you need to complete it will be there right in front of your eyes (but that’s not to say that it makes any easier).
3. Change Up Old Habits
Invite Japan’s team-building philosophy is centered around trying to break groups out of their routines, allowing them to forge new experiences, relationships and memories together while they discover, explore, and succeed. This is the key to our maintaining a high reputation with clients for the past five years, and the reason why many come back to us multiple times.
For remote teams, breaking up the daily team is even more important. There is a certain monotony that comes with working at home, and the lack of spontaneous interaction and flows of creativity can present major hurdles for teams. Remote workers may therefore need more time to be scheduled for them to spend outside of the normal work routine–having fun, learning, and sharing together. This will help them recharge and reenergize sufficiently so that they continue to be productive during their remote work routines.
There’s another aspect to breaking routines though, one that has more long-term benefits. Any team can get stuck in a cycle based on previous habits, because it’s natural for people to want to do what is most comfortable, and what is known to have worked in the past. This is not always a bad thing, but it can lull teams into a sense of stasis, where it becomes harder and harder to try new things or new ways of problem solving. So breaking up the routine can inject some fresh perspectives into the team and give it a little push forward.
Despite the relative novelty of remote work and work-from-home schedules, remote teams have already locked in certain habits and routines, some of which could be changed for the better. It’s important to remember that remote work is always a work in progress, and that there is always room for growth and improvement.
Tabitantei helps your team locate and investigate possible areas for improvement by giving them the chance to practice working as an online team in a safe and encouraging, yet out-of-the-ordinary environment. By stepping outside of their normal online comfort zones, teams can work through their issues and frustrations in a low-stakes, high-fun virtual space.
4. Cherish Your Team Members
At the end of the day, what’s most important to us is to see our clients laughing and having fun together. We are a company that is always striving to bring joy to people’s eyes and connect people together through that joy. In this way, Tabitantei will bring your team members closer together.
Remote work has many benefits for individuals, but there is also no doubt that it can sometimes feel more lonely. Not to mention,remote teams tend to be spread apart across different countries, making it even more difficult to meet in person.
There is a certain spark that appears when people interact and work with each other, when new ideas are generated and bounce off each other. And because remote work is so new and still rather unknown, finding that spark there takes more energy, ingenuity, and trust.
Ultimately it means forging strong relationships among team members. Creating memories that they can share and events for them to celebrate together. It means laughing together, and it means being open with each other. These aren’t new team building ideas, but they require new methods to fit the moment.
Tabitantei utilizes a lot of new technology–teleconferencing, online white boards, websites–but at its core is the simple notion that human connection is the key to teamwork. Our relationships with our coworkers are vital, and the more we can do to improve these relationships, the more healthy and productive our teams will be.
Tabitanetiei gives remote and separated teams the opportunities they need to create lasting memories of fun and laughter. Exploring this virtual puzzle world, teams go on and adventure together, sharing in the sense of discovery and accomplishment along the way.
There are many benefits of Tabitantei Online Team Building for your remote team. While it may seem like your team building options are limited now, we at Invite Japan are here to work with you to create the perfect online event for your group.
At Invite Japan we have always encouraged teams to take the time to do team building regularly. This is because team building helps team members get closer and to see each other as individuals, not just coworkers. In this age of remote work, we can’t recommend it enough, and Tabitantei is here to help.
I hope you enjoyed learning about some of the reasons we think Tabitantei is right for any team (especially remote ones), and why Tabitantei is an excellent addition to your team building schedule. Invite Japan is constantly working on creating and designing new events, so stay tuned for more online (and non-online) activities coming soon.
If you would like to schedule a Tabitantei session, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 050-5583-3663
Some of our non-online activities are still available as well. Please check here for more information or contact us if you have any questions.