My team and I wanted to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day at the office but we needed to get creative for our first year without an “on-site” crew. In years past we’ve ordered heart shaped pizzas, had chocolate goodies on people’s desks (or sent to their homes for our remote teammates), and we’ve had bowls of candies out for everyone to enjoy. Now we are working from home and celebrating looks a little different.
Our goal was to create a space for our team to share and connect with one another in a meaningful way. We knew we could ask everyone what they loved and we would hear the wonderful, but typical responses: family, friends, pets, etc. Since holidays can be lonely when we’re limiting who we see, and some people will not be physically sharing the holiday with their loved ones, we decided to focus on gratitude for the little things we love that bring us joy.
The activity was a simple Slack prompt, posted to our #watercooler channel so the team could participate when they had a break between meetings, calls, and project work. We posed the question, “In the spirit of Valentine’s week we wanted to hear about something you love! Before you say family or friends (which are big sources of love in our lives) we wanted to focus on some of the more tangible and simple things in our life that bring us joy. What are 3 things that immediately brighten your mood, or make you happy?”
The engagement on the post was more than we could have hoped for as the organizers of office activities. We had a huge range of answers including recommendations for the best cup of tea, tv shows to binge, music albums to brighten your mood, and even a whole thread on the best place to order French fries here in San Diego. We also learned about some of the lesser-known hobbies and interests of our teammates; Rochel plays guitar, Stephanie is an avid Scopa player, and Taylor loves crossword puzzles.
If you’ve been stumped on ways to create a fun office culture, especially if you’re not in the physical office, creating interactive activities that allow teammates to share about themselves is a great way to bond. Valentine’s day doesn’t need to feature roses, chocolates or personalized cards, use it as a chance to have a fun activity with one another. Let your creativity run free and enjoy hearing from others. I should note, I’ve been with the Academy since 2007 and many of my colleagues have worked at the Academy longer than I have, so don’t let that thought limit what you can plan. There is always an opportunity to learn more about your fellow teammates and create a space for fun.
Director, Projects and Event Planning
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128