Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Co-Authored by Danielle Diamond
It is quite safe to say that cooking comfort food has become the breakout star of this Covid- era. Experts agree. In a recent New York Times article,
How Covid 19 Is Making Millions of Americans Healthier, Hans Taparia shares:
"In one recent survey, 54 percent of respondents said they cook more than before the pandemic, 75 percent said they have become more confident in the kitchen and 51 percent said they will continue to cook more after the crisis ends. Interest in online cooking tutorials, recipe websites and food blogs has surged."
There are many reasons for food and home cooking becoming the newest trends. One example is that virtual cooking is not only therapeutic and of course, a delicious way to fix those palette cravings needed in the time of limited dining, it is also a creative outlet to connect during confinement.
But what does this have to do with Virtual Team Building?
Even before the crisis, the notion of 'company outings and socializing' was questioned to be a value add for teams. In a September 2019 New York Times article by Alex Williams entitled, Company Socializing Has Become Work: Two Words Mandatory Fun, Williams argues that people can become distant when forced to take part in activities not to their interests.
Most of us could agree there are many reasons for food and home cooking becoming the newest trend. Whether the chef in the kitchen is a beginner trying to tackle the basic baked chicken dish or the advanced culinary critic on the hunt for the perfect pesto, cooking has united the masses. It is as if the culinary world has added a new unspoken language of savory in numbers and the ability to unite and connect with the food lovers of the world. With social media platforms on provision photo overdrive with endless hashtags to match, the light bulb is perpetually lit, on the topic of cooking together - apart.
Learn how ChefPassport can help you create unforgettable Virtual Team Building Activities for your team
To cook online, a focused approach is ignited on how to get your point across. When you remove the physical connection of cooking together, the void is replaced with what one can control: communication. Whether you are following along with a class or sharing on your social media platform, dictating your process and message you want to land on your beloved viewers, is done through the many angles of communication.
This brings us to the topic of why online cooking is becoming the must have in virtual team building.
Now with enforced working from home policies in place - teams do not have access to meet in the classic corporate social environment or even for a chat in the elevator. Regardless of whether people loved or hated the corporate escape rooms, ski trips and bar hops - one thing we know for sure is that all these activities are on hold and teams are more 'distant' than ever. Consequently, creating a lack of team bonding and increased feelings of isolation.
Companies that have heavily relied on the team driven, open floor plan communication in the office, are now having to rapidly adapt to the remote working world. The shift from lunch gatherings, coffee breaks and happy hours, which had allowed teams to build some rapport outside of all things corporate are off the table for the time being. Now that the “known” element of team camaraderie is on hold, companies are on the hunt to fill the void. And this time with team building activities that have a universal and growing 'interest.'
Could food be the medium of connection needed?
When one sits back and breaks down the goals of team building, the similarities are comparable to the skills needed to succeed in the kitchen.
What are these synergistic bullet points and how can they merge business with “pleasure”?
Problem Solving and Decision making
Planning and adaptability
When one reads over these traits, it is very easy to see that they are also “key” points of focus used in many facets of life. When in the kitchen, not only is communication a given, but how many times have you encountered a recipe and did not have an ingredient! For those with allergies or dietary restrictions, modifying can be in some cases, life or death, creating the need to troubleshoot and adapt and problem solve.
The ability to take what is needed for business success and merge the underlying tactics needed in the kitchen is a win-win for individuals, teams and organizations.
Let's give the people what they want!
Why not merge the best of both worlds and allow teammates to bond, collaborate, and share through the platform of online cooking?
Here at ChefPassport, we are happy to offer the ability to virtually cook and share, online with your team. Breaking out of the traditional team building ice breakers and games does not have to be scary, instead can be deliciously rewarding.
ChefPassport tailors online cooking classes to teams' needs and allows for the elements used in every day workspace, to be practiced in culinary terms. For corporates and teams missing traditional communication-building activities, ChefPassport offers "tailored after cooking services” that include best in practice, in person, team building tasks in virtually real-time environments. These include but are not limited to:
Different formats, from small groups to town hall events
Virtual dine time - where teams can share a common after cooking experience
Pitch your plate - where teams can practice effective communication during online meetings
Virtual breakout sessions - where larger teams can be broken down to smaller groups and focus on particular topics
In a world of try, try and try again, where practice makes perfect and perfect wins all, we are thankful to know that cooking is the unique gift that bends all of these rules. Perfection lies in the eye of the beholder and beauty is seen in many shades. Cheers to your perfect dish and the ever-entertaining time in the kitchen, where sharing your love of all things decadent virtually is on the rise!
We believe that:
Food is a medium of connection
Food is a medium for developing life skills
Food is a medium of cultural learning
Attending our Live Interactive Online Cooking Classes as your must do Virtual Team Building Activity will not only help your team bond and build rapport, enhance virtual communication skills, learn culinary skills for life, but also gain cultural knowledge about the international cuisine of your choice!