• troll posted an update 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    How to get out of doing Work “teambuilding” event at work?

    A bit of a mumsnet “AIBU” / first world problems style post here, so apologies in advance.

    Basically, work (small-to-medium tech firm) are doing a teambuilding / annual kick-off type event. Local venue, a bit of inspirational “our mission as a company” chat, a bit of building bridges out of spaghetti, a bit of drinking. The catch is that they’re running it on a Friday and it goes on until about 11pm.

    I suspect that I can probably claim some vague but unavoidable commitments to weasel out of the evening segment if I want to anyway, but I’d be interested to know whether people think this seems like a bit of a dick-move on the company’s part in general, and hence worth having a quick moan at my manager about? I’m generally okay with the idea that as a professional I’m occasionally going to have to take a hit on evening or weekends to deal with something important and businessy, but I’m kind of bristling at the idea that work think they can tell me how I’m spending my Friday night (and hence put constraints on my weekend) purely for some gratuitous team-building crap…

    • Is it supposed to be compulsory or optional? Compulsory they can whistle but optional then it could be seen as a nice gesture for a fun night.

      I’m running a team building event on a Saturday in June, fully optional. I’m paying for the Total Warrior obstacle course race but there is no pressure, it’s just a fun day out where we get to be a team and the stronger help the weaker on the obstacles.

      • It’s not been officially announced yet, but they usually make it sound like everyone’s expected to come to the whole thing but then don’t mind if you ask whether you can opt out of the non-core-hours part. I’d be surprised if there were any negative consequences for crying off, but I’m a bit annoyed that they’d consider it something that they can expect people to do by default.

    • Depends on your relationship with the bosses and if you think it might be necessary if you want a promotion.

      Like you I’ll do some work at evenings or weekends if absolutely necessary, or if someone at work I like suggests a few of us going out for a beer then great.

      Team-building bollocks on my own time? Nope.

    • It excludes primary carers so borderline discrimination in my book, depending on whether missing the session will impact on your ability to perform more effectively, get promotion etc

      At the least, it’s ridiculously inconsiderate.

    • I regularly pay for a social night out for my staff who attend en masse despite the small risk that I might bore them for a few minutes with a “motivational” address. These occur on any night of the week. There is broad agreement however that Friday night is a suitable choice because all acknowledge that the cost of the evening should not be compounded by a complete lack of productivity the following day. After all, free beer!

      No one however is compelled to attend, nor ostracised for absence. And we do help single parents with babysitting/taxis.

      Let’s be clear however. There are those who rarely attend such events, including midweek when the need to rise early and clear-headed for an iron man event does not arise. This does inform me where their priorities lie. I’m running a business after all and I need to know who wants to run it for me when I’m absent/retired.

    • There’s currently a disciplinary thing going on at my place of work after someone did something naughty at the annual do. That adds an interesting twist to work ‘social’ events – you’re not at work, but it is a work-organised thing with only work people admitted, so do work policies and procedures apply?

    • My place of work has a policy of not putting on compulsory events outside of the hours of 10am – 4pm.

      Many of my colleagues work in labs and consequently work all sorts of crazy hours, particularly when doing experiments that involve taking a sample every 4 hours or so. Informal social events outside of core hours are common too. The aim of the policy above is to avoid meetings that people would be disadvantaged by not attending from occurring at times when people are commonly picking up/dropping off children and thus prevent inadvertent discrimination against primary carers.

      My feeling about the OP is that the company would be better to do the inspirational chat and spaghetti bridge building during core hours, start the socialising around 4 to allow those to have to leave early to have a quick drink before they go and keep the evening purely social and non-compulsory – I would be pretty fed up with a compulsory Friday night event too – although I frequently work outside of core hours, I prefer to do so on my own terms.

    • I think part of being a professional is showing up for events like this and pretending to care. You can always sneak out early after the spaghetti bridges are finished and nobody will blame you.

      Moaning about it to your manager can only have negative consequences and I would not do that unless these events start to become very frequent. Your perfectly valid point will be completely ignored and management will only get one message : “your a clockwatcher and is sowing discontent “.

      Suck it up for one night.