12 ways to bring summer fun to work
Woohoo, summer’s here! Plans to make the most of warm, sunny days don’t have to be restricted to your days off; there are ways to bring a little fun to the workplace for small- and medium-sized businesses. Plus, there are advantages to bringing fun to work: it boosts morale, lowers stress, and makes for a happier workplace. As a bonus, if you’re a client-facing company, your customers may enjoy an atmosphere where co-workers are having a good time.
1. Field trip : Is there somewhere relevant that it would benefit the employees to see, like the factory where your company’s products are produced? Alternatively, you can go somewhere fun for team-building, like a trip to the amusement park or to watch a baseball game.
2. Contest time : You could get everyone’s competitive juices flowing with a sales contest or skills challenge. Or find a contest in your community that you can collectively enter or challenge neighbouring businesses to a simple game.
3. Summer sports : Maybe your staff want to get together to play lawn games like Kubb, frisbee or croquet in the park, or maybe there’s enough of you for a regular softball game. Some might enjoy a relaxed outing to a mini-golf course, while athletically minded folks could plan to run a 5 km fun run together. The point is to get outside and have fun together.
4. Team barbeques : If your company has the space for a barbeque, plan an afternoon get-together that revolves around throwing some food on the grill and having a cold drink.
5. Fun dress code : Lighten up for a more relaxed dress code during hot summer months. Or take it a step further by adopting a theme like Hawaiian shirt days or flip-flop Fridays.
6. Ice cream sundae bar : On one of the hazy hot days of summer, bring in an unexpected surprise treat by setting up tubs of ice cream with a selection of creative toppings, such as syrups, candy, nuts, whipped cream, sprinkles, cookie crumbs and maraschino cherries.
7. Grow something : Adding a couple of flower pots to a balcony or indoors will add a summery spirit. Collectively deciding on what to plant in an outdoor garden plot could also be a way to grow team spirit from the ground up.
8. Virtual campfire : One fun summer idea for remote workers is to provide everyone a kit for making ‘smores (check local grocery stores), then find a fire video and have everyone tell ghost stories.
9. Charity event : Raise funds for a charity by hosting an outdoor event that promotes team building, like a car wash, lemonade stand, or ice cream social. You could also join a philanthropic endeavour organized by another group (does a local summer festival need volunteers?) or sign up teammates for a Habitat for Humanity build.
10. Cookoff competition : Everyone can bring in their favourite recipe for a standby like chili, or the most creative recipe to use fresh tomatoes or prettiest molded gelatin salad. Have fun inviting your “celebrity” judges, too.
11. Summer Fridays : Give staff a little extra time off, like the Fridays before long weekends, or every second Friday afternoon, and watch their energy levels boom.
12. Vacation time : The warm, hazy days of summer mean people’s thoughts are turning to long weekends and travel, so plan for a group lunch (or lunches) where everyone can share their photos and stories.
Summer won’t last forever, so take advantage of the season and think about adopting activities to bring a little fun to the workplace.