Whether you’re the events planner for your company or you’re just a fun-loving boss, company gatherings are a great way to get everyone out of the office for some casual (but well-intentioned) fun. These events are the perfect way to help co-workers reconnect with each other after vacations and time off, but they can also help lower everyone’s stress! As a bonus, fun activities hosted by the employer can help to strengthen the company culture – an employee’s view of how the business is run and is succeeding.
There are many reasons to have several gatherings per year, so planning a few in advance might be a great way to start the year! You can always take a poll to see what everyone would be most interested in, but sometimes the greatest events will come as a surprise to your employees. We have ten ideas for you, in case you need some help brainstorming; think about the niche your business is in – this might help you narrow down the direction you want to go.
1 – Escape Rooms
You’re all locked (figuratively) in a room and can’t escape until you solve the puzzles! Look into some escape room places in your area and call ahead to see if they have a room big enough for your party size. If you are set on this as an event, you may want to break your group up into teams – random teams work best so that people can mingle!
2 – Tournaments
Any game you can think of can be made into a tournament; if your employees are strategic, pick a board game like chess or risk. You can also hold video game tournaments if your company is IT-based and the employees enjoy these kinds of games. Think outside the box and make sure to have a prize awaiting the winner!
3 – Laser Tag or Paintball
There’s honestly nothing more fun than pelting your team members with harmless lasers and paint. Teamwork will come into play here as the opposing sides must devise a strategy to beat the other half of the office. This will be a day to remember!
4 – Volunteer Work
If pelting and zapping aren’t your company’s forte, consider volunteering at a local food bank or another organization that fits your niche. For example, if you provide some software or service to municipalities, you could search for a way to serve the city your office is set up in – trash pickup, park maintenance… etc.
5 – Cook-Off or Cooking Class
How much fun would this be for the restaurant or catering staff? Get outside, pitch some tents, and light some grills; enjoy the summer weather with a day off. Nothing sparks conversation like good food! Plus, a cooking class could help boost some of your employees’ skills for the workplace.
If your business isn’t related to food, that’s fine, too; many people wish they could cook but don’t have the time to teach themselves. This would be a unique experience for everyone, including you!
6 – Go-Kart Racing
Does your team have a need for speed? Go-kart racing can be the perfect way to let off steam from a busy week at the office while building up some healthy competition. Few people dislike driving fast, tiny cars – this should be a hit with everyone!
7 – Egg Drop Challenge
Looking for an event that will pick out natural leaders and help build cooperation within a team? This challenge will be the perfect way to learn more about your employees’ personalities and leadership potential. Divide your group up into teams of 4-6 members, and ask each team to design a protective surrounding for a raw egg.
You can bring in any items you want, but here are some suggested items: tape, toilet paper rolls, rubber bands, tissues, and marshmallows. Set a repeatable distance that all creations will be dropped from. Whoever’s egg survives will be the winner!
8 – Sports Games
Is your team interested in sports? This can be a great way to meet casually outside of work while feeling connected as a team – ask everyone to wear something that supports the home team!
9 – Paint Classes
By now everyone’s heard of the beloved Paint Nite; it’s so much fun to see the skills (and lack thereof) of your co-workers! Plan an event like this for an evening, and enjoy painting with your employees!
10 – Shared Learning/ Skills Workshop
This is an extremely efficient way to spend time at a company gathering while keeping things low-key and casual. If your business usually requests professional clothing and attire, consider loosening the rules for the day to encourage more engagement with the workshops. You may even wish to ask some employees (who are proficient in certain areas) to hold a workshop of their own!
Regardless of what you choose to do as a gathering for your employees, keep it casual and light-hearted. Save the heavy information and obligation for team meetings and reviews! The best way to build company culture is for you to engage with your employees – if that means getting your hands into some paint or using them to toss meat on a grill, so be it! The most important thing is to show that you can have a little fun and kick back, too.