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Jonathan Hazley, co-director of one of the UK's leading corporate team building businesses, Team Challenge Company, on why forming a choir creates the ultimate team.

After a year of lockdowns with no major sport or music concerts, it will be an electrifying experience to stand in a stadium when they echo again with the sounds of the national anthem or sing out from the stands when stars turn over the microphone to allow us to carry the song. 

The benefits of group singing are 'plentiful and scientifically proven' so says David Hill, musical director of The Bach Choir and principal conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum. According to Sarah Wilson, a clinical neuropsychologist and head of the School of Psychological Sciences at Melbourne University, large parts of our brain 'light up' when singing. The physical exertion alone can energise individuals and release endorphins and the breathing techniques are a known stress buster.

Last year the news channels broadcast Italians singing from their windows in a show of togetherness. One American nurse's rendition of Amazing Grace went viral after she sang for her colleagues during a shift change on a Covid ward. Famous popstars felt compelled to reach out virtually and connect with fans with stars from Coldplay's Chris Martin, Gary Barlow and Elton John all streaming live from their living rooms. 

For many of us, we recognise the power of singing to make us feel good, and in a group, this is only amplified. In the last decade choir singing has no longer been confined to school halls and church pews. Pre-pandemic the rebirth in the popularity of choir singing was due in large part to the US hit TV show Glee and in the UK, the 'Gareth Malone effect'. The English Choirmaster's BAFTA award-winning BBC TV series 'Military Wives' led to a Christmas number one. Contemporary 'Rock Choir' groups sprang up across the UK, which required no auditions or musical knowledge and attracted members from accountants to firefighters. Having had such success with Miltary Wives, Gareth Malone went on to take singing into the workplace in 'Sing While You Work' with choirs featuring workplaces from Citi Bank to Sainsbury's.

The tenets of a good choir of listening, collaboration and cohesion have all the hallmarks of the ultimate team. Along with the well-known boost to wellbeing, a psychological study from Michael, Sebanz, & Knoblich in 2016 found that increased interaction and coordination was seen to enhance commitment to a common goal. In a choir, from the sopranos to the bass, everyone has a part to play, and when individual voices join to create a harmony the choir becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Like any great team, when working in harmony, they can achieve things that would not be possible alone. 

After being separated and working remotely for more than a year, supporting teams to reconnect is at the forefront of our minds. For many companies to successfully navigate the year ahead their teams will need to be focused and energised.

The tenets of a good choir of listening, collaboration and cohesion have all the hallmarks of the ultimate team. Along with the well-known boost to wellbeing, a psychological study from Michael, Sebanz, & Knoblich in 2016 found that increased interaction and coordination was seen to enhance commitment to a common goal. In a choir, from the sopranos to the bass, everyone has a part to play, and when individual voices join to create a harmony the choir becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Like any great team, when working in harmony, they can achieve things that would not be possible alone. 

After being separated and working remotely for more than a year, supporting teams to reconnect is at the forefront of our minds. For many companies to successfully navigate the year ahead their teams will need to be focused and energised.

E-choir has been cleverly constructed to circumnavigate the slight time lag online to allow remote workers anywhere in the world to have the experience of being in a choir. While many of us may restrict our singing to the shower, E-Choir is designed to be inclusive and allow everyone to feel relaxed and empowered to take part without fear of embarrassment. Participants stay on mute and can record their part individually, on their phone, Dictaphone or WhatsApp. No individual need ever be heard alone. In this non-threatening context, we have witnessed that even the most reserved are surprised by what they can achieve, going far beyond their perceived limitations. Those in a team who are keen singers and want to share can be selected and allowed to shine.


The shared moment of celebration comes post-event, where attendees are sent a final version of their song with all voices professionally mixed by skilled music producers. This final song, a powerful demonstration of unity, can be kept and replayed in future and the experience of singing together will create a talking point which will last far beyond the end of the event. 

Find out more E-Choir here: www.teamchallenge-company.co.uk/services/remote-team-building/e-choir

As a business, you naturally want to have the best employees working together to create the best teams that all work together to achieve one common goal. However, that doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes time to develop a dynamic within the team where every member is familiar with the role that not only they play, but that of everyone else, too. 

As has been the case in 2020, the move towards remote working patterns has seen the need for team building events to be more flexible than ever. Here at Team Challenge Company, we are proud to host our virtual escape room event, Escape the Mob, which challenges teams to work together via an app and online conference platform to solve puzzles, crack the code and escape. 

What is Escape the Mob? 

Escape the Mob is an online escape room game that is perfect for developing team-building skills for remote teams, regardless of whether they have been used to sitting side-by-side in the office or have never met in person. The game comes with a duration between one and three hours and is suited to a minimum of eight participants, but it can accommodate as many players as you wish. 

The game begins with a mysterious video which informs the teams that they have been incriminated with the perfect heist; being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Teams will compete against each other to solve puzzles, aiming to accrue the most points to win the game, but they will also collaborate in a joint effort to clear their name. 

An online facilitator will guide participants through the event and the Escape the Mob app will present different challenges for players, no matter where in the world they are. Teams must communicate and work together efficiently and effectively to solve the puzzles and win the game, calling on creative, outside-the-box thinking. 

The event comes to a gripping finale as teams that were competing against each other to win the game must come together to crack the final code and escape the mob. 

The Key Benefits of Escape the Mob 

Key benefits of the Escape the Mob escape rooms team building game include collaborative problem solving, thinking outside the box, recognising individual strengths and developing team dynamics and bonding. These are just some of the skills that are synonymous with all great teams that work together to achieve a common goal.

The Escape the Mob event helps teams and individuals to recognise their roles and help them piece together the different pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. No two people are the same, and if everyone had the same strengths, that likely means they would have the same weaknesses – leaving a considerable gap in the team. 

Teams that are unable to communicate and collaborate will be unlikely to succeed in the Escape the Mob challenges, forced to watch on as the other team claims victory. Ultimately, with the aim of the game being to crack the code and escape, the winning team will be reliant on the others to work as a unit to solve the final puzzle – all it takes is for one person/team to let the side down. 

Taking Back into the Workplace 

The lessons taught as part of the Escape the Mob team building game can be taken back into the workplace – or online workspace in the case of remote teams. Being tasked with communicating and working together across online platforms and competing against other teams will help your members of staff to learn how to communicate and work efficiently online without having the luxury of sitting in the same office. 

Taking part in the game can also help newer members of the team to come out of their shells and realise their place in the team, developing and improving the overall dynamic of the team. As walls begin to crumble, the potential of the employees and team begins to be realised and met which, ultimately, is a positive for the business - both from a human and commercial perspective. 

Contact Team Challenge Company Today 

To learn more about our Escape the Mob game, or any of our other remote escape rooms for team building events, please get in contact with a member of our team today and we will be more than happy to help. Team Challenge Company has been hosting team-building events for almost two decades, delivering more than 400 high-quality products. 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt their working patters, which is why we have created remote team building services that are designed to ease the bedding-in period as you adjust to this new way of working. 

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