Strengthen Company Culture with Summer Workplace Activities

Last Updated on August 6, 2020 by bigfish-admin

It’s that time of year when you think about dusting off your grill or coordinating a beach or poolside vacation. There’s no doubt that the “summer bug” has hit as you crank those tunes on your way to work, whether that’s at the office or working remotely. Summer is the perfect time to blend in fun and work to strengthen your team company culture.

In summer, our ability to focus on work seems to get shorter as the days grow longer. This is a fantastic time for employers to brainstorm seasonal activities to strengthen company culture and keep workers both refreshed and engaged.

How can you combine summer fun and work productivity? Here are some great (and relatively inexpensive) summer workplace activities for you and your employees to enjoy this summer.

Family Picnic

Not just a BBQ and social event, but also something that allows family members to see the inner workings of your workplace. Hold an open house or social event so employee’s family can come in and see what their loved one is up to 8 hours a day. Your employee’s family is part of their support team, winning them over can turn them into loving and loyal ambassadors for your business.

Friday Potluck

What’s better than everyone bringing in their favorite taste of summer? Imagine all the summer dishes for your team to feast on. BBQ and watermelon coming up! Make sure you have fun activities to promote bonding in-between all the delicious food.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Cool off with an ice cream sundae bar on Friday Afternoons. Who doesn’t love ice cream?! Ice cream bar on a Friday… best job ever…enough said. An alternative is hiring an ice cream truck to drive by your office. Suddenly we are all 12 again, bomb pops and big sticks for everyone!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Contest

Time to spark some creativity, with a bit of an incentive. Have employees share what their ideal day of hooky would look like; this is a great way to generate some laughs while learning more about your co-workers. Put names in a fishbowl for a draw, and the winner gets to live their Ferris Bueller’s daydream!

Hawaiian Shirt Day

Have your staff all dress up in Hawaiian shirts one day during the month. Use this as an opportunity to encourage employee engagement and bonding between your team. You can even turn this into a contest, possibly ugliest/tackiest Hawaiian shirt… does it get better than that?

Fishbowl Fridays

This is personal summer favorite here at Big Fish! To start off put the names of your entire staff into a fishbowl, every Friday during the summer draw a name to see who will get released from the fishbowl an hour early on Friday afternoon. Keep this going until everyone’s had an early catch n’ release.

Employee Appreciation

Summer is a great time to slow down and take the opportunity to acknowledge employees for the amazing work they do. Plan a special event or thank-you lunch, or even hangout company swag. Anything you can do to take a moment and show appreciation to the individuals who make it all possible.

Community Philanthropy

Summer is an ideal time to get out of the office and give back to your local business community. Go clean up a local park, bring lunch to your local first responders, or even volunteer your organization at a local charity such as a food bank. Involving your business in community philanthropy is great for team building and marketing exposure, but most of all getting your people out for an afternoon of bonding and giving back is the best perk of all.

Post Work Happy Hour

Use the summer months as an opportunity to bond with your team, both inside and outside of work. Meet for a post work happy hour, find a restaurant that has a patio and summer beverages, if appropriate for your industry and age of employees, invite everyone out for drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Field Trip

Summer is the perfect time to get your team outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather. Take a trip, this can be something as simple as a creative walk in the local park. Use this field trip as a time to give employees a break from ‘work’ while building teamwork and sparking creative ideas.

More Fun Activities to Get You Out of the Office This Summer

  • Go Kart Racing
  • Escape Room Games
  • Laser Tag
  • Mystery Dinner
  • Kayaking/Canoeing
  • Painting Class
  • Cooking Class
  • Sports Game
  • Yoga Class

Fun Activities You Can Do with a Remote Team

Office Trivia

Who says trivia night only takes places at the bar? Office trivia is the perfect way to bring a large group of colleagues together and challenge the brain in areas that don’t necessarily apply to their daily jobs. Write your own trivia questions, questions that apply to the staff working for your organization. Who used to live out of the country? Who can speak 3 languages? What employee has the most siblings? Questions that apply to your team are fun and engaging for everyone, incentivize this activity by providing a prize to the winner(s)! You can do this with your team via a zoom call or even over email!

“Suddenly” Story

Think campfire stories, this activity allows co-workers to collaborate outside of the office, piecing together a funny story. To tell the “suddenly” story, gather your team and offer three opening sentences to start the story, about anything. At the end of the three sentences, say ‘Suddenly…” and pass the story on to the next person. It’s their job to take your story and build on it, then passing it along with the suddenly. This activity helps people find ways of building on the content that came before them, while also being creative and receptive to the details others provide. Try this next time you are in the office (or virtual) and want to get the team together for a break and a good laugh.

What’s My Name?

You have likely played, or heard of this game before, but it goes by different names. What’s My Name is an activity where each player is assigned the name of a person, then displays that name on a part of their body such that only other players can read, the more people that play the better.

Once everyone is assigned a name, players chat with the intention of correctly guessing their hidden identity, or finding out ‘What’s My Name?’ This is a fun activity to promote conversations, also an empathy-builder, allowing employees to experience what it would be like to be treated as a different person. You can even take this to your remote meetings!

Disclaimer: Be aware that not every employee will be excited about an organized event, some may feel uncomfortable with the physical demands and pressure to socialize. Whatever the case may be, be sure to clearly communicate that activities are not mandatory. Perhaps also offer a variety of times both during and after work hours to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate.

Once you decide on events for the summer, make sure to devote enough time to planning and ensure leadership expresses enthusiasm. Poorly run or negatively talked about events can have the opposite effect of what was intended. Strengthening employee relationships and enhancing the identity of your workplace should be a year-round goal, but take advantage of the summer sunshine to create memorable activities for your organization.

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