Away from it all: Japan gets tough on team bonding
Life can seem tough for most of us at the office coalface, but spare a thought for growing numbers of Japanese company employees who are being forced to live off the land and even -- heavens, no -- ditch their cell phones in the name of increasingly popular team-building exercises.
The relatively new (at least, to Japan) practice is exposed in the “Nikkei” newspaper, an economy-tracking daily based in Tokyo.
Reflect on failure
It spoke to several firms that have been dragging staff into the woods and hills of Japan to toughen them up and encourage a little intramural cooperation.
One business, it seems, is partial to taking its human resources to a temple in Tokyo, where they get to hear from the head priest how, “reflecting on failure is to live.”
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Better yet, the lucky staffers are encouraged to stand under freezing waterfalls while they think about balance sheets and inventories, or to perform cramp-inducing leg exercises in the name of the common good.
Mind on the job
Elsewhere, firms like Nissin, of Cup Ramen fame, go for the uninhabited island option and pack people off to fend for themselves for three days with just a few bare essentials.
Naturally, those essentials include a few packs of Chicken Ramen instant noodles to keep spirits up. After all, forgetting to focus on the product catalog would make simply staying alive pretty pointless, right?
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