Craig Bulow, Corporate Away Days, explains why a little thinking outside the box can still allow employees to partake in team building events
Lockdown has proved to be a much longer period than any of us imagined but look at what you and your team have achieved! Many of us have got used to working from home, and will continue to do so for a while, as others gradually return to the workplace.
Your business is probably running relatively smoothly now but, as the proverb – and Jack Nicholson – might remind us “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Your team could almost certainly do with an injection of fun, as you would have done before lockdown, to thank them for their hard work and dedication. However, although they deserve a summer party or team away day, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. With social distancing, people who are still self-isolating or cautious about going out too much, and parents who simply cannot ask someone else to have the children – a in-person event is probably not on the cards.
Let me share some ideas for activities you can arrange that will boost morale and support wellbeing.
Most homes have a games console of some description. Whether it’s the latest XBOX, Playstation or even more interactive Nintendo Wii, dust it off and select some competitive games or sports for some healthy competition within your team. The latest models allow us to play interactively. Is it F1, Tennis, Football, Minecraft, Chess, Scrabble? A league leader board can even be set up to motivate those joining in the fun.
A field trip for the grown-ups
Most schools have a summer field trip, so why not your business? Firstly, make sure that work-supplied phones have plenty of data and encourage others to top up their data and pay for it for them, if needed.
Your team can walk in their local woods, nature trail, country park, river, park or beach. Keep the team connected on their phones, coverage allowing, while they walk and share their experiences live.
As well as sharing the what they’re seeing including the wildlife and the weather, they can talk about what the space means to them: did they grow up nearby, have a picnic with their other half when they were first dating, do they walk their dog here? A couple of hours where your team members can share their experiences can encourage better connections with nature – which is obviously beneficial for mental health – and work friends, but not talking about work.
Many celebrities have made dance classes available. Why not set up a team dance? You could learn a routine to do together when you are finally reunited! The exercise will boost endorphins and could cause lots of laughter. If you’re stuck for dance teachers, get in touch, we have some great teachers available who can bring their own music, routines and fun.
Comedy can be a great team activity. Perhaps you could all vote on a classic comedy sketch, a live stand up performance or an episode of a series. Share it with the group and watch together or separately. Then chat online to discuss the best bits.
Music is a great way to destress and connect with others. Do you have musicians in the team? Use Zoom sessions to share their talents. This is great way to build connections and talk about something other than work. Also, everyone could share a favourite song, one that always cheers them up.
Perhaps you could find an activity most of the group will enjoy remotely, such as yoga, body balance or a HiiT workout and hire an appropriate instructor to take the team from the basics, perhaps weekly, until they can all see an improvement.
If you have fitness bunnies on your team maybe they can share their expertise, perhaps taking it in turns to share their tips on sit-ups, stretches etc.
If people are into food, online cooking can be great fun. Celebrities are offering excellent classes, information and recipes for you to try at home. Getting the team together on Zoom, Facetime etc. to cook a chosen dish or bake a cake, whilst judging the end result on presentation, creates a Master Chef show that has never been easier to win. If you need some help or inspiration, we offer cooking classes with all the ingredients delivered to your door and a master cook from an award-winning cookery school taking you through each step on Zoom.
Golf and Cycling
Of course, not all activities have to be remote. As the lockdown restrictions continue to be eased, there are options for us to get together in twos and later in smaller groups. Now is a great time to build teams that logistically can meet with set of clubs or bikes and enjoy timeless banter and exercise either on the golf course or checking out cycle routes close to homes. As long as social distancing is maintained, this is a great way to improve skills and fitness levels until bigger teams can enjoy an organised company away day.
I hope these ideas will encourage you to talk to your team members and arrange events that can be enjoyed remotely by everyone. Activities of this kind are an excellent way to boost morale and wellbeing. Enjoy!