I’m probably the first person to groan at the thought of doing work related things in my own time and like to get out of as many Christmas parties as I can! Why would I want to spend time outside of work with the people I see all week? But over the past year or so I’ve actually started to enjoy the handful of work events I’ve been to,
While Christmas Party Planning is usually the biggest event of the work year, there are plenty of things you can organise with your colleagues to encourage good working relationships. The summer can be a fantastic time to organise some outdoor events, from family-friendly picnics to exciting excursions. It doesn’t need to be focused on a venue or even be party-orientated. We’re doing a charity run in a couple of weeks with work, including a BBQ afterwards!
Team building events are great for uniting workers outside the workspace and there are some really cool ideas available. From treasure hunts to city exploration and we’ve even seen some companies offer a mountain climbing experience – wow! Find out how the interests vary across your group of work-mates, have you got some eager bakers or singing hopefuls. Maybe you could organise a BBQ or a night of karaoke.
Team building events are fantastic for bringing your team together and building strong bonds. You’ll also get a chance to know each other better and learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. These can be organised externally by a specific team building company or you could keep it personal and in-house. One particular exercise we’ve seen included attaching a blank card to everyone’s back and each of their colleagues had to write one nice thing about the person on their card. In the end, they can read through their cards and get an awesome confidence boost.
When your colleagues have got kids, it can be a bit difficult to organise a time to get together outside of work. However, consider hosting a weekend, family-friendly event. It can always progress into an adult-only evening but at least your family-orientated colleagues aren’t going to feel left out and miss out on some good times.
Getting together in a public space, such as a park for a picnic or even an amusement park for the day offers excellent children-included get-togethers.
Rock the Party
Maybe your colleagues are all party people and can’t wait for the Christmas do. Why not have a mid-year summer party? The bonus is you could even hold this outside! Party venues and hotels tend to be a bit quieter in the summer (excluding those glorious summer wedding parties) so you’ll likely to have more choice in picking a space. You could even decide a theme together and make it a bit fun. We’ve seen some amazing casino and movie party themes, even including some card tables and “photo opportunities” using high-quality cardboard models.
These days, it doesn’t necessarily have to be “either or”. There are plenty of options to make an all-inclusive event that attracts everybody. An evening meal could be broken up with some table games (or drinking games depending on your team!) designed to get to know everybody or just have some fun. You could even daisy-chain events, a lunchtime family picnic with some day-time games or sports, followed by a games/poker tournament in the evening.
Depending on the size of your time, it doesn’t need to fall to one person. You could encourage a small events team that can plan out activities or rotate around the office, so everyone gets some input. It’s not about forcing people to join in but instead encouraging contribution, so activities can be planned around varied interests.
Good working relationships have been shown to have a huge effect on our mental health. It’s important that even if your colleagues are extremely different people, that clashes between personalities are kept to a minimum. When you put it into figures, some of us spend 40-60% of our waking hours in their workplace. If you don’t get on with anyone simply because there’s been no opportunity to truly get to know each other, you are not going to have a good time.
Don’t leave it until Christmas, approach your colleagues and see if you can get some fun planned for the summer!