Off-Campus Team Building
We all know how important coworker comradery is to creating a productive and efficient workplace, especially one where interaction with your fellow employees is looked forward to instead of dreaded.
But getting to that place of real community and effective communication can be more than a little complicated. It also requires that everyone in the office be onboard with the mission at hand.
Well, fear no more. We’re here to help.
Welcome to the Idea Trader guide for fun things to do with coworkers outside of work. Getting away from the office is a great first step for getting to know your coworkers on a personal level.
Down the road, the bonds you make with your coworkers can be a huge bonus both for yourself and for the workplace as a whole.
They can also help make work a much more enjoyable environment, which can, in turn, lead to increased productivity.
We’ve seen it go down so many times in movies: the office karaoke trip. And we’re not suggesting that if you try this out things will get as buck wild as they do in the movies, but it’s still a great way to get to know your coworkers.
You’ll be amazed how quickly people open up and engage in conversation once they’ve stepped out of the typical office environment.
A good note to make here is to make sure you and your coworkers drink responsibly while at karaoke or some other bar-based activity.
One or two drinks is a great way to loosen up after a stressful week, but any more than that and suddenly you risk sharing a bit too much with your coworkers.
Many companies encourage their staff to engage in charity work. In fact, some large corporations have established methods for setting up a branch-wide charity event.
As a first step, ask your manager or supervisor whether such a system is already in place at your company.
If not, go ahead and clear the idea with your manager or supervisor ahead of time. That way, you can arrange to send out an office-wide memo or announcement explaining how others can sign up and get involved.
Look for local charities first. Organizations that run clothing and food drives or soup kitchens for the underprivileged are usually open to accepting volunteers for a single event, often on weekends when you won’t be working anyway.
Working events like these will give you plenty of time to have casual conversations with any of your coworkers who were kind enough to sign up.
Try talking about other charities you’ve worked with in the past and whether you should try to make office volunteer opportunities like these a monthly or bi-monthly occurrence.
You’ll get to know your office-mates better while also helping those in need. It’s the ultimate win-win-win.
Organizing one of these events yourself can also be a great way to show initiative in the office. If you’re looking for more tips on improving your standing in the office, check out guide here.
Setting up a fun run can be another way to contribute to a charity, but it’s also just a great way to give yourself and your coworkers an opportunity to get some exercise together.
If only a few people in the office are experienced runners, make the first weekend run relatively short, two or three miles max.
Over time, you’ll be able to up the distance to a 5K run, or maybe even a half-marathon if many of your coworkers improve their distance running.
It can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise, so making these optional office runs a habit can be a great way to keep yourself and your coworkers accountable to keep improving their diet and health.
After each run, you can all go to a nearby coffee shop or restaurant to chat and relax. Everyone will feel more accomplished and ready to share their own stories with each other.
Who knows, you just might become close friends after the 10th mile.
This is an easy one. Everyone loves brunch. Breakfast food and bottomless mimosas make for one of the most appealing meals of the whole week.
And since more and more restaurants are catching on to the weekend brunch craze, there are probably more than a few great brunch options near you.
Make sure to mention the idea to the whole office. You don’t want anyone to feel excluded by not being invited.
Find a location that’s relatively central to where everyone lives, possibly somewhere near the office.
Soon enough, you’ll be laughing and eating with coworkers on a monthly or even weekly basis. And once again, make sure to drink responsibly.
The great thing about business trips is that they’re already built-in to many office environments.
And while you might not have the choice to decide who goes on one and who doesn’t, once you’ve been assigned to a trip it can be an opportunity to make some office pals.
If the trip involves a lot of driving, think of a few questions ahead of time to ask your coworkers/travel buddies.
Don’t overload them with a string of icebreaker questions, just use the chance to find out more about their passions and hobbies.
You’re likely to find a few things you have in common, and in the future, these topics can be an easy source of casual conversation.
Whether seminars are part of your officially sanctioned office work or you decide to check some out on weekends and downtime, they can be the perfect place to have fun with your coworkers.
And if the seminar focuses on a topic that you all find interesting, then you have an automatic avenue for conversation.
Everybody can take notes during the session, and if you want, you can consider giving a presentation on the material back in the office.
The Final Word
Even if some of your plans to spend time with coworkers outside of the office don’t pan out, your fellow employees and managers will appreciate the initiative and effort to become better acquainted with the people you see five days a week.
So get out there, and look further into who your coworkers really are, and what makes them tick.