Nowadays, it seems that companies are taking a more active role in employee engagement and activity. This often consists of team building exercises. I’ve heard of offices conducting these exercises in forms of activities like “Minute to Win It” and team outings. Hell, even trust falls. But, I’ve never been as shocked, disturbed, and confused at a team building exercise as I was earlier today. Why, you ask? Because I just learned that “cuddle a coworker” is apparently a thing.
And, if you’re first response wasn’t “what the…,” you probably won’t like the rest of this story.
My initial assumption was that this had to be a deleted scene from an episode of The Office. When I dug a little deeper, I found out that this was something implemented by Team Tactics.
Apparently this “exercise” is where groups of 4 to 20 people can get into a tent (say it with me, “what the…”) and have the option to cuddle. They also have different positions available in which to cuddle.
This team building exercise lasts for the entire workday (how?) and is based on science which shows that cuddling, specifically skin to skin contact, can encourage the release of Oxytocin and Serotonin. The tent used, referred to as a “relaxation tent,” is designed to reduce stress and encourage team bonding.
Each relaxation tent is based on Moroccan and Indian relaxation practices, which includes incense, oil lamp lighting, large bean bags, and relaxation beds. Sure, they’re in the UK, but the culture isn’t different enough to make much of a difference in this #MeToo era.
Regardless, the team building event begins with employees airing their grievances about negative traits of co-workers, and bringing up issues that they’d like to discuss. This is all designed to clear the air, and eventually will make way for “conflict resolution cuddling.”
Conflict. Resolution. Cuddling.
“Team building is at the centre of our business, and we’re always looking for new ways to help employees across the UK become more connected with their colleagues,” said Tina Benson, managing director at Team Tactics.“We know it’s something completely new and it might not be for everyone, but the science is already there – we’re just putting it to the test!”
I, for one, have never passed Tony in HR and thought, “Man, the way he chews his food is super annoying. But, I bet if we cuddled it out, I could get past his flaws.”
What are your thoughts on this… interesting concept?