Traditional team-building activities are one of the most fun ways for employees to bond. They look forward to these activities because they are a respite to what is seemingly a merry-go-round of emotions back in the office. When the pandemic happened and employees were forced to stay and work from home, the excitement of team-building activities switched to dread. How can companies compel their employees to attend such activities without facing the risk of an outbreak?
Luckily, team-building activities are now possible because experts understand how the virus works and spreads. Whereas before employees needed to work from home, they are now encouraged to fill up the office spaces once more. With vaccination rates increasing nationwide and social distancing protocols at the core of every organization, face-to-face interactions are finally possible.
So how does a team-building event look like after the pandemic? What kind of activities can you organize? How are these activities going to improve your employees’ productivity and collaboration?
In case anyone isn’t comfortable yet with face-to-face activities, you can organize virtual events such as happy Fridays, virtual lunches, and fun online games. You can send a bottle of beer and some chips to your employees’ houses so that you can make a teleconference call after “working hours.” Make sure not to talk about work at all during your happy hour. This is a great way to know each other, especially the new hires.
You can also organize virtual lunches where co-workers can hang out virtually while they take their lunch breaks. Create a relaxed environment where people can build social relationships rather than purely professional ones. And finally, you can also host online games where co-workers can compete and team up. The games can run for a week. On weekends, announce who the weekly winners are.
A great way to treat your employees to team building is by renting a yacht or a boat where everyone can stay for a day or two. Some activities to do are board games, fishing, and diving. Everyone can have fun when you’re in the water.
But make sure to bring some natural seasickness remedies because being on the water for more than a few hours can make some sick. While there are a lot of activities that you can do post-pandemic, being in the open water can soothe away all the stress of the past 18 months. Water, as you well know, has such power over one’s mental health.
Do this only if you can create a “bubble.” This means that you and your employees should be vaccinated or, at least, tested before joining the activities. The worse thing that can happen after a team-building event is for you to cause an outbreak.
How many of your employees stopped going to the gym because of the pandemic? It’s harder to stay fit at home because there are so many distractions. Plus, not everyone has the equipment, space, and knowledge to do their exercise routines. As a way to build their camaraderie, you can commission a weekly fitness class for your employees. All they need to do is log in at a specific hour of the day to join their colleagues in doing yoga, meditating, and exercising.
Picnic or Hike
Many employees are exhausted with virtual gatherings. These don’t make sense anymore if they are taking the precautions needed to meet each other face-to-face. Why not host a hike or a picnic? The outdoors is a great place to hold small office gatherings because of the ventilation. The virus cannot spread outdoors. This much health experts agree on already. Make sure to keep the gatherings small. If you have a large organization, do this by department or unit.
Office Interest Groups
Another way to get your employees to bond is to create office interest groups. What are these? Basically, you will help employees find their interests and form groups and clubs according to those interests. Once you’ve grouped them together, it is very natural for them to talk about their love for sports, movies, etc. If there are gamers in the office, they’ll naturally talk about newly released games and strategies. They might even play together, albeit virtually.
Everyone has to make an effort to build camaraderie in the office, whether you’re still suffering the impact of the pandemic or you’re over the worst now. It’s one thing for the organization to feel the brunt of the pandemic, but it’s another thing entirely to let the team forget about the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Team-building activities are still possible if you take the necessary precautions and follow the safety standards.