After the holiday party and the New Year’s break, it’s something of an anticlimax to be back to work. Getting the pre-holiday excitement back in the office after the break is hard. And like most workplaces, yours probably suffers from slow days and distracted employees trying to get over the food, the booze and the stress of the holiday season.
Empty desks and absent workers are a common sight. Some employees may have made travel plans. Others may have families in town. Yet others may want to go back home early to watch reruns of their cruise videos. The rest may be at various stages of recovery from the many pressures of the holidays.
Let’s face it. The post-holiday slump is real. But your organisation doesn’t have to suffer for it. You can get your employees’ efficiencies back up to peak without being dismissive of the lows that come with cleaning up the holiday decorations.
The simple and elegant solution is to start the year with team building activities. If you were a small business, you’d likely take the team out for a few rounds of drinks and that would provide a much-needed dopamine kick.
But there are other ways of getting the team’s morale back up from the mood crash of the post-New Year days. It involves being flexible and understanding, and a little effort towards building enthusiasm.
Tips To Boost Team Morale With Office Group Activities
Buy A Round Or Two
It helps to keep in mind that enthusiasm is infectious. One of the best things you can do to motivate your teams is to build excitement for what’s to come in the new year. This means keeping everyone in the loop about what’s great this year in the company.
You could deliver this information at a meeting in the boardroom of course. But it would sit much better with everyone if you could organise team building activities with drinks at lunch. Just like the old days of three-martini lunches. If there’s a no-alcohol policy on your premises, organise it outside the premises. You’re likely to find reports of increased creativity after such lunchtime libations. And everyone is bound to talk about it to the colleagues that don’t make it.
Employers have reported better bonding over wine and spirits. And coming during the post-holiday slump, it will be more appreciated than ever. Buying a couple of rounds after work could be another way of showing you appreciate your employees, and that you value their happiness. Such a prelude to the resuming of work will even bring those who are on the fence about turning up.
Have Fun With Office-Group Activities
In companies with large teams, organising team building games can seem like a mammoth task, with too much to plan. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can plan a fun experience of a couple of hours in no time if you’ve got the right partner to help out with workplace team building activities.
Or you can pick something simple and silly:
- Send them recipes for Sangria in the mail or at their desks. There is bound to be someone who appreciates a new recipe for a familiar holiday brew.
- Encourage people to share their favourite holiday music or movies. If the nature of your work allows for broadcasting music all day long, you could set up speakers and play music for a week. Have a process by which songs are chosen. Maybe everyone can send in requests to a DJ you appoint.
- If you’re still working with virtual teams, have them decorate their Zoom backgrounds. Ask them to post pics of their decorated work-from-home spaces. This will be easier for medium-sized teams.
- Email fun videos for a week. Or you could send holiday memes. The working-from-home memes and lockdown memes are too old now.
Silliness is an absolute necessity towards the end of a hard year like this one.
Get Together To Give
There’s nothing that spreads good feelings around more than giving, together. Charitable team building activities make everyone feel good. They give us happiness and health and make us more cooperative. That’s exactly what you’re trying to achieve at the office. It’s a no-brainer than that in the season of giving, you can find people to send much-needed comfort, cash or essentials to. As a team.
You can pick an organisation or charity to offer your support. If possible, you can discuss with the team ideas on what to give. This could be money, canned food, toys or small hand-written notes for seniors or birthday cards for the depressed.
You could also hook everyone up with charity runs in your neighbourhood. Many employees will appreciate the opportunity to combine charity, health and team bonding.
Hold A Remote Holiday Gathering
Holiday gatherings have always been a time when colleagues get together to catch up or meet colleagues from other departments for the first time. But with virtual end-of-year meetings expected across workplaces this year, it’s important to not skip the gathering altogether.
Holding a small, intimate virtual Zoom session with your own team will not be the same as a pub gathering or socialising with families over catered food. But it is essential all the same. You could hold a virtual toast to the new year, or hold a virtual concert.
A small team is best for such gatherings. Small teams encourage socialising. Be sure to include messages of encouragement. And make sure to acknowledge that not having a holiday party is a loss but there can be other ways of celebrating.
Some Other Team Building Activities And Game Ideas For Work Post-Holiday
There can be plenty of other ways for your teams to recover from the post-holiday slump this coming year. Take your pick from the unique and fun team building activities for the workplace below. They are tried, tested and true to the fact that a schooner is not the only best team glue.
Some Team Building Activities For Large Groups
Make A Team Playlist
Have everyone come together to make a team playlist. You could have different teams do this each week. Let everyone on a team listen to the others’ choices and make selections that match the team somehow. The goal should be to make everyone’s personalities shine through the playlist.
Listening to everyone’s favourite music can be energising and rewarding. Getting to share your favourite music with others hits all the right pleasure buttons. And that’s exactly what everyone needs after a few weeks of listening to holiday music on repeat!
Yoga Or Mindfulness Sessions
With the stress of the holidays still fresh on everyone’s minds, what’s needed is a team mindfulness session. Have everyone bring their own yoga mats (or do this on Zoom if you want.) During a group meditation session, you may not be speaking or collaborating. But in breathing and syncing movements together, your teams will be harnessing some magical group support and energy.
Virtual Team Building Games
This Office inspired activity doesn’t need a camera crew. All you need are mobile phones and someone who knows how to stitch video clips together. If nothing else, an app will do. Then ask everyone to send in their best impressions of the mayhem of their work life.
The end result will be for the fun and entertainment of your team. Everyone will have fun making these videos, watching them together later, and laughing over them. This activity will make the teams collaborate and offer some good-natured fun to shake off the New Year blues.
Hold an event where everyone shows off their creative side with individual creations. Ask everyone to create and send in independent pieces of holiday songs, poems, paintings, stories, or anything else you like. Set up some simple rules, announce the contest and collect submissions. Then use a voting tool to judge, or if it’s possible, simply have everyone read or perform their pieces on Zoom. This will work best with small teams, of course.
This is one of those team building games that engage empathy and shows teams they can come together even when they’re sharing independent ideas.
Fun Comedy And Improve Night
Organising an evening of laughter will bring people together with nothing in common. You can plan a fun comedy night with a prompter in charge of calling out stand-up prompts. Though there’s no trust built on politeness, you can ensure the comedy night doesn’t turn out to be snarky. Set some rules, encourage inclusivity and good-natured comedy that spread laughter when it’s needed the most.
Make the prompts holiday-themed and your teams will likely have plenty of fresh material to make jokes out of.
You could organise fun team building activities for the workplace without having to splurge. And whether it’s online or offline, you can find something that will engage the entire team. Make sure to supervise and gather feedback after events such as these. Was it enjoyable? What did everyone learn? Did it chase away the post-holiday blues?