Covid-19 made many employees realize that they could perform their jobs from home just as easily as they could from the office. This means that if employers want to get employees back into the office, the post-pandemic workplace must provide something that the home cannot. Interior Motions conducted a series of polls to determine which incentive would be most appealing to workers when thinking about returning to work. We asked LinkedIn users to pick which workplace amenity is most effective at attracting employees back into the office: catered lunches, wellness rooms, ergonomic workstations, or team bonding activities. Forty-one percent of voters selected team bonding activities. While we were initially surprised by these results, it makes sense that after a year of working in isolation, people are craving connection with coworkers. That is why we have compiled a list of team bonding activities that will make your employees want to come back to work!
Beyond merely providing a social outlet for employees, team bonding activities can be excellent tools to help your company reach its objectives. For example, if your company is struggling to provide innovative solutions to complex problems, try offering a team bonding activity centered around problem solving and creativity. This can help employees gain new perspectives and overcome any mental blockages that may be in their way. Depending on the activity, you can help unite coworkers towards a common goal, improve understanding of individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, and foster more meaningful connections in the workplace.
Crafts are always a super fun way to engage employees and let the creative juices flow. One thing that we have found helpful at Interior Motions is to set up crafts that people will actually want to take home/display. For example, when we were brainstorming Halloween activities for our internal staff, we considered having a pumpkin decorating contest in which people could hot glue googly eyes, feathers, glitter, etc. to a miniature pumpkin. However, we realized that regardless of how cute and silly the pumpkins turned out, they would most likely end up in the dumpster behind the building. Our team wanted a more sophisticated craft. Thus, we ended up making beautiful fall centerpieces out of pumpkins and succulents and they were a massive success.
Team bonding activities are great opportunities to understand your coworkers on a more personal level. A simple game of “guess who” or “guess the baby photo” is a fun way to learn more about the people you see everyday but may not know very well.
If you are looking to boost your team’s knowledge of a specific product or service, try a trivia activity. Interior Motions makes a furniture-industry-specific jeopardy board every week that our team plays during staff meetings. The categories are things like company history, product trivia, employee facts, etc. Our team has a blast racing to the buzzer while brushing up on their industry knowledge.
The way to a person's heart is through their stomach, right? Therefore, if you are simply looking to bring people together outside of a formal work setting, a pot-luck is the way to go. You can even encourage employees to bring their “signature dish” so that the activity doubles as a get-to-know-you event! Employees can appreciate the culinary experience while enjoying quality time with coworkers.
Team bonding activities that require movement are a great way to break up the workday and re-energize employees. Interior Motions often opts for bean-bag-toss competitions because almost everyone is able to participate. Divide your team into two lines in front of two cornhole boards (depending on the size of your company) and have each line keep track of how many bean bags make it into the hole. The winning team gets a prize!
Scavenger hunts are excellent catalysts for thinking outside of the box, collaborating with others, and working towards a common goal. You can hide things around the office and leave obscure clues for your team to solve.
Amid the hustle and bustle of the workday, sometimes what people really need is a moment to stop and breathe. You can use team bonding activities like yoga or meditation to help employees relax and come back to their center. That way, they can tackle the rest of the day with rejuvenated focus and a clearer mind.
We hope that one of these activities will resonate with your team so that you can better foster creativity, collaboration, and joy within the workplace. And as a result, more employees will happily hang up their pajamas and choose to come into work instead of working from home.
Also read: Hybrid Work