May 23, 2018
Estimated Read Time: 7 Minutes
With the weather getting warmer, and the sun being up a little longer, comes the desire to get outside more- especially if you are trapped inside an office all day. When summer comes around, you are more than ready to get out of your desk. Filling your summer with activities that can benefit both the office and your well-being can bring a sense of excitement back to work, and provide a lot of positive benefits to yourself. That is why I created this guide to help offices plan the perfect summer party or activity and bring a bit more life back to work. Here are my top 9 creative ideas for fun summer office parties.
Every summer, the employees of Validity Screening Solutions go out to the lake for a day full of food, swimming, games, and relaxation. Lake Day is a lot of fun and a chance for the whole office to just
unwind and enjoy some quality time with each other outside of the office. It is a chance for teams to intermingle with co-workers they don’t normally interact with. It is also a day which replaces an essential “workday” for employees and falls on a Friday. Although some companies might not have the luxury of going to the lake for the whole day, or even a lake alone for that matter, planning something outdoorsy is always a good way to get people excited about summer and work.
Farmers Bank & Trust Cookout
One of the challenges for retail and consumer-facing organizations is the difficulty of hosting employee parties when consumers come and go. Farmers Bank & trust came up with a unique solution that allowed them to engage their employees AND their customers. Farmers Bank had a cookout for their employees that was also open to the public. They made hot dogs, brats, chips, popcorn, soda, and even had Hawaiian ice snow cones. This is something that lot of companies do during the warmer months. Having an open house is a chance for you to get to know the community as well as friends and family members of co-workers. Having a cookout in your office parking lot or even having a food party is a must for summer office fun.
Sporting events are always a crowd favorite. The excitement and electricity always makes for a memorable experience for your team. Choice Solutions took all of their employees to a Kansas City Royals baseball game. Personally, I love going to baseball and football games. Even if you aren’t into sports, it’s still fun to go and kick back with your co-workers after work. Who knows, you may even go and discover a hidden love for the game. If you’re a total sports fan, this is a chance for you to bond with other co-workers who share the same passion, and hobbies. If you have a popular sports team in your area, think about buying some tickets and taking the office to tailgate in the parking lot before the game.
Inside Ventures puts on many ping pong tournaments throughout the year. While it doesn’t require nice weather, it’s still an opportunity to get the heart racing with some friendly competition. Having a ping pong tournament allows for the employees to get up from their desks and get a bit of activity in. It’s a simple and engaging way for the office employees to interact, have some fun, and get a little competitive with one another. If you don’t have a ping pong table, maybe think about investing in one. They are not that expensive, and can provide for a bit of entertainment at work- especially if you are zoned out at your computer all day. You could use it throughout the year and set up tournaments for your employees, maybe even have prizes for winners.
Another idea to get the heart racing and even the mind is to have a board game night or play board games during the day with your co-workers. TechHuddle threw a board game night for their employees as a way to have some fun in the office and get their brains thinking a bit about things other than work. They even had snacks and drinks to munch and sip on during the board game night. Board games are a fun and cheap way to get your brain thinking and stir up some entertaining banter with your co-workers. All you need is a few people in the office to bring in some board games that they have at home, pick an afternoon, maybe a few hours, divide into teams, and get to playing!
If you have nice weather in your area and have a group of people in the office interested in taking the game theme outside, then think about putting on a game of baseball, softball, or kickball for your employees. Pride Signs Ltd put on a softball game for their employees. Softball is a great sport for employees to play because it’s a chance for your team to showcase their talent and competitive spirit. Softball is also a good sport to play if running is not your strong suit. Plus, there is always a need for some cheerleaders on the team! Softball makes a great game to play with your co-workers because the field is smaller, and the pitch is usually slower, making it for some leisurely competition. Personally, I’m a huge fan of softball because I can actually see the ball coming towards me in time to swing the bat. On another note, a little friendly rivalry among co-workers is always a good time after work.
Companies like Cerner throw parties around most major holidays- typically involving food and drinks. Holiday parties are always good team building tools to have at your disposal because it allows for the employees to dive into their holiday spirit and share in the excitement of the upcoming holiday. However you don’t just have to throw a party at work around the holidays, you could just as easily have one on a Friday afternoon…because who doesn’t love Fridays? Something that we like to do here at Validity on the first Friday of every month is have a Beer Friday at the end of the day. We usually don’t have food at Beer Fridays, but it is pleasurable to have a drink after a long week of work with the people you spend so much time working with. Throwing an office party is simple if a majority of people can bring in some kind of food to share and maybe a couple of drink options. If you don’t have a budget for social activities within your company, maybe start talking with each other to plan something fun for your office that involves food, or drinks. Each person bring in a dish, and make it a party.
In relation to holiday parties, also comes the item of events going on in the world, and all around us- events such as the Olympics, World Series, Superbowl, etc. Planning an office party or even around
certain events going on in today’s world is a really creative way to not only stay informed on the major event, but you could also turn it into something of your own. Core3 Solutions took the Olympics to another level. They had their very own version of the Olympics right in the office. This is a cool way to engage with current events that are on TV and participate in it within your own workplace. In this instance, Family Feud was being played for one of the Olympic challenges. Validity has done this in our office in the past and had great results. All you really need to make Family Feud happen is come up with questions, divide into two teams, and get a buzzer if you really want to make the game interesting. If you don’t like the Family Feud idea, think of other creative games that you could play. Just make sure to award medals at the end.
Summer is a time to relax and enjoy the outdoors, especially if it’s the only time of year that the weather is nice. Summer can be challenging to appreciate and embrace, especially if you are inside a building all day. Having a variety of activities that your office plans can make the day go by a little faster as well as keep your employees engaged and happy. Employee engagement and company culture are huge aspects of an organization and can make or break your ability to create an enjoyable work environment. Company culture is one of the main reasons I chose to work here at Validity. The culture makes me want to come to work every day and do what I do. Yes, I love my job and I love the work I do; however, some days it does get hard and draining and all I want to do is not be at work, but having those little activities and outlets with your co-workers will keep you entertained and excited to come into work day after day.
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