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Top 8 Team Building Activities for Summer

It’s not uncommon for productivity to drop in the workplace during the summer months. People are less willing to stay late or work extra days, take longer or more frequent breaks, and stare longingly out the window at the sunshine. Can you really blame them? We can’t, which is why we came up with this list of fun team building activities that gets you and your co-workers outside, while also building corporate culture and strengthening the relationships of the foundation of your business activities: your people.

Some of these ideas are location-limited, but we’re sure you’ll be able to think of something similar that works. Let’s get to it.

1. THEMED POTLUCK PICNIC

Think of a fun theme like a tv show or movie, and plan an outdoor picnic party where everyone has to bring a dish that also fits the theme. Then create games around the theme where your team has to work together, and go head-to-head in some friendly competition. Our location pick for this here in Edmonton would definitely be Hawrelak Park.

2. RETREAT

If you’ve got the budget, take everyone to a resort or spa or something similar. Whether it’s to a cabin in the mountains, natural hot springs, or all the way to Mexico, a retreat can really rejuvenate your team and bring them closer together.

3. SCAVENGER HUNT

These can be really fun, but will take quite a bit of planning. It’s a great way to get your team strategizing together, and creatively looking at ways to solve a puzzle. Don’t make it too difficult because you don’t want anyone getting frustrated, but also don’t make it so easy — you want them to be challenged. Choose worthwhile prizes for the winners, and pick interesting or relevant (to your company or industry) items for the hunt itself.

4. ORGANIZED SPORTS

Get everyone involved in playing a big game of soccer or baseball, or any other sport. This one is obvious because you literally have to play as a team, but also encourages good sportsmanship and fitness. A fun spin might be to organize the even with another company you do business with, to build your relationships with them, as well. Don’t forget the trophies.

5. GROUP VOLUNTEERING

There are a lot of options when it comes to volunteering, including:

  • Old age homes
  • Food banks
  • Bottle drives
  • Animal Shelters
  • etc

Find one that fits your company and dive in. These can be extremely fulfilling (and often, emotional) days, and will definitely bring you and your coworkers closer together.

6. KAYAKING OR CANOEING

We Edmontonians are blessed with having the North Saskatchewan river run right through our city, which is ideal for both kayaking and canoeing. If that’s not your situation, there is likely a nearby lake or river that you can go to as a group and get paddling. Friendly races are another great opportunity for prizes, too.

7. GO-KARTING

Probably not for everyone, but this could be really fun for a big group. The team-building will probably have to happen at the food and drink part after the races, though.

8. SPORTS EVENT

Taking your team to a big sporting event like a football or baseball game is a great way to get everyone bonding. You can choose whether or not you want to pay for food and refreshments, and you’ll have a group of happy people in your office the next work day.

Well, that’s it. There are tons of other ideas out there — you just have to think about what you want to accomplish with the activity, and what your team will enjoy doing. It is likely easier and less expensive than you think, and your team will thank you for it.

Get planning!

Boost Employee Productivity by Offering a “Third Place” in Your Office

The typical office is changing. Employees aren’t satisfied with a standard office with four walls, cubicles, a water cooler and a microwave anymore, and for good reason: they completely extinguish creativity and productivity. If you are a conscious leader and care about your employee’s well-being, this post is aimed directly at you. There is always something you can do to improve morale and productivity in your office, and this one we call: “The Third Place”.

THE FIRST PLACE

Before we get into what this mysterious place is, there are a few things to discuss. The “first place” is simply your office, and your employee’s place within it. For most people, the first place is the only place at which they work. There is a shift occurring that allows a lot of people to also take their work home, or split their time between the two — this home office (or couch, for some), is what is known as the “second place”.

THE SECOND PLACE

The second place works for some people, but not for others. Those who are easily distracted struggle with working at home, and if they were to make the shift towards working entirely remotely, would fail miserably. Others find that they can concentrate better in their own space, where there is no expectation to dress a certain way, talk to co-workers, or even brush their hair in the morning.

THE MYSTERIOUS “THIRD” PLACE

Then, there are the people who recognize that they are easily distracted by their environment, which this “third place” is either a blessing or a curse for. The third place is somewhere that is neither home nor office: maybe a restaurant or a coffee shop. It’s a relaxed and comfortable place where people go to hold themselves accountable to their work. It’s a place that sparks creativity, and where the employee can decide which distractions they allow in, and which they deflect.

The third place is not just for the aspiring writer or self-employed anymore. It’s a place where someone can go if they are feeling uninspired or trapped in their normal workspace. Obviously, this type of situation doesn’t work for every type of employee or company, which is why we suggest that you bring the third place to your office.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T (THINK YOU) HAVE ROOM FOR ONE?

Most offices have a lot of wasted space — some more than others. Some people are converting old filing rooms (post-digitization) into third spaces. Others are opting to renovate their bathrooms into single, unisex stalls, which opens up a considerable sized space. Maybe you have an underused office kitchen or break room? Change it into a third place where your employees can go to change up their surroundings and get their brains working fully again.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, and can even be a work in progress. What it does need is:

  1. Accessibility to electrical outlets for laptop and phone charging
  2. Wifi connectivity
  3. A coffee machine, and potentially some snacks
  4. Comfortable chairs and cafe style tables
  5. Some sort of comfortable music or background noise, if possible. There are plenty of playlists on Spotify and Apple Music that do the trick for this.

OTHER USES FOR THE THIRD PLACE

The third place is also a great space for employees without a permanent desk, such as remote workers who aren’t always in the office, employees from another branch or province, or regional employees who are in town for meetings. If the conference room is booked or you just need a small, last minute meeting place, the third place also works.

It removes the constraints of the traditional office for those people who have trouble keeping focused in such, and offers their mind a place to expand. As the world moves into an age where we can essentially work from anywhere, adding a third place is a forward step for almost any company. Don’t know if it will work for you? Just ask. Your employees will appreciate that you are interested in their opinions and that you want to improve their lives at work.

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