It’s true that you often spend more time with your co-workers than with your own family. However, in the age of COVID-19 and technology making it easier than ever to work from home, that fact may be changing. And that is great news for you and your family, but can it have a negative effect on your company comradery? Perhaps, but there are many ways you can still stay connected and engage in fun team-building activities whether you are in the office or out of the office.
At The Impact Group, we try to keep our company culture engaging and fun for the whole team. Here’s some ways we do that.
Team-Building Activities at the Impactagon
As a small team, we work together very closely, so it helps our working relationships to have friendships as well. To do that, we try to get to know each other on a personal level. Our work environment is literally a barn, or the Impactagon as it’s become known, and in it, we have a very collaborative and interactive work environment (especially pre-COVID but even during the pandemic too; although, we do have some team members working from home each week).
Question of the Week: One way we try to get to know a little bit about each other is through our whiteboard Question of the Week. These questions range from the frivolous to the contemplative to the downright weird. But they are always fun, create conversations and have a team-building feel. Some past questions include: Which Disney villain do you relate to?, What would be your last meal?, What movie can you watch over and over again?, What weird food pairing do you like? And who is your celebrity crush?
Cookouts/Potlucks: Like most offices, we like to celebrate holidays, work anniversaries or other notable events. Often, we do so on our patio, grilling out and enjoying lunch together. While this isn’t a unique team-building activity, it does serve the purpose of allowing employees to relax a little and talk as friends.
Stocking Stuffers: Every holiday season, employees hang their personalized stockings with care, and co-workers write holiday cards to put in the stockings. These are nice thank-yous for a job well done or a friendly reminder of why we like working together. They are a nice token to keep and make you feel appreciated by your co-workers. It builds the team up and brings people closer together because who doesn’t like being told they’re great to have around?
Team-Building Outside of Work
Teams Calls: During the pandemic, a lot of workers transitioned to working from home. Here at The Impact Group we followed suit to keep everyone safe. While we have since transitioned to a hybrid working model with some employees in the office and others at home, we have kept our biweekly, full-company morning Microsoft Teams video chats. In each call, we pose a question to the team. The questions can be business-related (What do you do to stay on top of marketing trends?) or more casual (What was your best childhood Halloween costume?), but they all serve the same purpose – team-building and getting to know one another better!
Pod Olympics: Another fun activity created during the pandemic was our Pod Olympics. When we first went remote, the company was split into pods to have daily or weekly check-ins for our mental and work health. From there, we decided it would be fun to come up with a list of silly challenges to partake in. The pod with the most points (completed challenges won). Everyone got to have a little fun while team-building!
Team Getaways: While it is important to ensure that you team can work together effectively in the office, seeing
how they get along outside of the office can be an indicator of future success. Pre-COVID, we would try to have a couple of outings a year, including one large group outing to a high-ropes course and zip-lining adventure. Facing fears along the way, our team encouraged each other and celebrated each other’s successes. And for those of us (this writer included) who didn’t
care to face our fear of heights, we still had fun and joked with the team and cheered our co-workers on safely from the ground. Thinking outside of the box and planning a getaway from the office for a day or half-day can reenergize the team and encourage better communication skills too.
Team-Building Makes a Difference
The events or activities don’t really matter. What is important is that your company prioritizes and encourages team-building. By investing in workplace team-building activities, you help establish trust, develop and understand communication styles, increase collaboration and improve employee engagement. The most important thing you can do when playing any team-building activities is get employee input about what you are going to do because that will create buy-in and engagement in the activity. Of course, some of the best team-building events will happen organically, and that is actually a great sign that you are creating a happy work environment! If you need help with team-building activities, finding better ways to connect with your employees or figuring out how your employees can better interact with each other, The Impact Group can help! Our professional development specialists assist numerous organizations to develop better communications plans and strategies. Contact us today!