By Craig Bulow, Corporate Away Days
Lockdown proved to be a longer haul than most imagined when it started but look at what you and your team achieved! The practical and emotional adjustments for working from home, juggling home-working and home-schooling, facilitating online meetings and keeping everyone connected when they are remote all seems rather old hat now!
While many non-essential workers have returned to work, with social distancing provisions in place, some of their colleagues are continuing to work from home.
Your business is probably running relatively smoothly now but, as the proverb – and Jack Nicholson – might remind us “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Your team could almost certainly do with an injection of fun, as you would have done before lockdown, to thank them for their hard work and dedication.
So, if you want to host an event to acknowledge your team and boost wellbeing and morale, here are six fun things you usually do in person that can be done remotely and involve everyone in the team:
- Grown-up field trip:
Most schools have a field trip in the summer, so why not your business? Firstly, make sure that work-supplied phones have plenty of data and encourage others to top up their data and ensure you pay for it for them, if needed. Then set a date and time for their trip.
Your team can go to their local woods, nature trail, country park, river, park or beach. Keep the team connected on their phones, coverage allowing, and they can go for a walk and share their experiences live. They can discuss and show what they see, the types of birds and plant life. They could even show a flower, shrub or tree to the team they haven’t seen before and see if anyone knows what it is.
As well as sharing how many fish have been caught by the anglers, the wildlife and the weather, they can talk about what the space means to them: did they grow up nearby, have a picnic with their other half when they were first dating, do they bring their kids or walk their dog here? A couple of hours where your team members can share their experiences can encourage better connections with nature – which is obviously beneficial for mental health – and work friends, but not talking about work.
- Remote Workouts:
While some gyms have opened for outside classes and others are putting in measures to reopen safely, this is another activity team members can get together to do remotely. Perhaps you could find an activity you think most of the group will enjoy, such as yoga, body balance or a HiiT workout and hire an appropriate instructor to take the team from the basics and progress them on, perhaps weekly, until they can all see an improvement. Alternatively, if you have fitness bunnies on your staff maybe they can share their expertise, perhaps taking it in turns to share their tips on stretches, sit-ups, planks and so on. If a plan can be designed for those looking for that extra push to do exercise, this will be much easier when collectively engaged.
- Zoom Arts:
If a gym workshop is not the thing, many celebrities have made dance classes available over lockdown and they are ones that we can all get involved in. Why not set up a team dance. Perhaps you could all learn a routine to do together when you are finally reunited. The exercise will boost endorphins and could cause lots of laughter. Perhaps it could start a new hobby for some people. If you’re stuck for dance teachers, get in touch, we have some great teachers available who can bring their own music, routines and fun.
Comedy could also be a great team activity. Perhaps you could all vote on a classic comedy sketch, a live stand up performance or an episode of a series. Share it with the group and watch together or separately and then chat online to discuss the best bits.
Music is also a great way to destress and connect with others. Perhaps start a remote choir where you can all sing the same song together. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the next Taylor Swift or Shawn Mendes, singing also makes you feel good and relieves stress. Perhaps there are a few musicians in your company? A Zoom session to show and share their talents with others is another great way to build connections and talk about something other than work. Or just get each team member to share their all-time favourite track or the one song that always cheers them up. Whatever you choose, music is powerful.
- Zoom Cooking:
For those who are more into food than drink, online cooking can also be tremendous fun. Much like the dancing, there are plenty of celebrities offering excellent classes, information and recipes for you to try at home. Getting the team together on Zoom or Facetime to cook a chosen dish, bake a cake or create their own whilst judging the end result on presentation – knowing that they all taste delicious – creates a Master Chef show that has never been easier to win. If you need some help or inspiration, we offer cooking classes with all the ingredients delivered to your door and a master cook from an award-winning cookery school taking you through each step on Zoom.
- Gaming Together:
I’m sure a lot of parents will tell you that their tween- and teenagers have kept in touch playing games online. But gaming is not just for kids! In today’s world most homes will have a games console of some description, either in the back of a cupboard or in the loft, if not under the telly. Whether it’s the latest XBOX, Playstation or even more interactive Nintendo Wii, now is the perfect time to dust it off and select some competitive games or sports to offer up some healthy competition within your team. The latest models allow us to play interactively with each other. Is it F1, Tennis, Football, Minecraft, Chess, Scrabble? The list goes on and a league leader board can even be set up to motivate those joining in the fun.
- Golf and Cycle:
Of course, not all activities have to be remote. As the lockdown restrictions continue to be eased, there are options for us to get together in twos and later in smaller groups. Now is a great time to build teams that logistically can meet with bikes or a set of clubs and enjoy timeless banter and exercise either on the golf course or checking out cycle routes close to homes. As long as social distancing is maintained, this is a great way to improve skills and fitness levels until bigger teams can enjoy an organised company away day.
Not all these options will be right for every team or every team member. If one of them isn’t sporty or doesn’t drink, for example, try encouraging them to join in a way that is comfortable for them. However, there is little point forcing them if they really don’t want to. Try to mix and match your activities and ask your team for their feedback.
Whatever activities you choose to undertake, I’m confident it can only be a good thing for you as individuals, a team and a business!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Craig Bulow is the founder of Corporate Away Days, a corporate wellbeing events company delivering engaging, inspiring and exciting events focussed on Wellbeing and Reward activities. Corporate Away Days also creates, designs and builds corporate wellbeing policies and provides leading experts for interactive workshops, seminars and talks on improving mental health and overall wellbeing.