Summer is in full swing and while the hot weather might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is no denying the fun and excitement summer can still evoke – family vacations, pool days, picnics. We may not have the freedom of those three month summer breaks like when we were in school, but there are still plenty of ways to get out and enjoy the weather. Making plans with our family is second nature, but what about your work team?
A recent poll indicated that 75% of employees see teamwork and collaboration as essential for success. But how can you build and foster teamwork and collaboration among your staff? Trainings are helpful in getting you on the same page in the office, but without organic connections, they risk falling flat. A great way to keep up your commitment to team building is providing spaces where these connections can happen. With the gorgeous summer weather as your back drop, here are some suggestions for getting your team out from behind the desk and working and playing together. Still working from home or want to include off-site team members? Don’t worry – there are virtual suggestions too!
- Movie Night: A movie night can range from a pop-up projector and pizza outside to renting out a local theater for the viewing of the latest blockbuster. Let your team invite their families (just make sure the movie is PG!), stock up on snacks, and watch the magic happen on and off the screen. If you’re going for a more DIY movie night, see if your go-to party planners would be interested in setting up concessions and snacks for the group.
- Happy Hour: Pick a weekday and have your team meet for a local Happy Hour. Getting to know your team and coworkers in a more informal setting can lead to some lasting relationships. Since you’re not at work, people have the unique opportunity to really get to know one another. Pick a place with food specials too for the non-drinkers in your group. If you’re feeling really generous, allow attending staff to pack it up early for the day. Bonus points for a beautiful outdoor patio space!
- Tourist in Your Own City: Every town has its history, but It’s easy to become jaded about the tourist traps in your city, especially during the summer. But what if you leaned into the things that make your city unique? Find that special spot that people flock to when they’re in town and make a day or evening of it. If you live near water, maybe there’s a special dinner cruise or tour by boat. Maybe it’s a walking tour through town square, or a hot ticket museum. Whatever it may be, reach out about group rates and get out to see your city in a new light.
- Picnic or Beach Day: This can be highly organized and feature games, or it can be as simple as a potluck on a sunny day. Either way, your team will appreciate the opportunity to soak up the sun and get to know each other. This is a great event to include families, too. There are many companies that will help organize office games and other team building activities which may be worth looking into. Or you can invest in your own corn hole game and some giant checkers or connect four and offer a more free flowing event. You can even encourage people to bring games their own family enjoys which is a great way to learn something new about those you work with.
- Scavenger Hunt: This is a simple way to get your online team working together with some friendly competition. Create a list of items for people to find, send the list right when the meeting starts, set a timer, and see who comes back with all the items first. You can offer a prize or do it just for fun. To get everyone chatting, have them pick the most interesting item in their lot and explain why it is important to them. They will love the thrill of competition and learning about each other.
- Hosted Trivia: There are several companies that facilitate online trivia for private groups. Find one that fits your needs and schedule an afternoon to close up work and have some fun with it. I recommend pre-selecting teams so no one feels left out. Be sure to decide on the rules (can other people in the home participate too?) and watch your brainiac team stack up the points.
While we may not have unlimited time in our schedule, setting aside a couple hours of one day and planning a team building activity is a great way to sustain and practice what you preach. Providing spaces for coworkers to mingle is essential to teamwork and has been shown to even increase productivity. So what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy the weather together!
Administrative Assistant, Projects and Event Planning
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128