The Art of the Office Social
Social events at work are an all-round winner. For employees, it can mean the afternoon away from the desk, enjoying a few well-earned rewards and catching up with work friends. And for employers – a more bonded team works better together, and employees who feel valued are more motivated, more productive.
Plenty of workplaces now offer places for people to relax, whether it’s a quiet breakaway spot, or the roof gardens and ping pong tables favoured by a Shoreditch serviced office space like Proper Office. But few of these beat the time-honoured tradition of the work social. Getting to know colleagues in a less formal setting will allow workers to feel more comfortable around each other, and develop better bonds than they would be able to do during office hours across their desks.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to organising and designing a work event – so here are some tips to get you started.
Before anything else, you must work out the budget. This will inform what kind of an event you can offer. And work socials don’t need to break the bank – whether you’re looking to buy in a few pizzas and beers for a gathering in the breakout room, take everyone away for a weekend in the countryside, or anything in-between, there’s something to suit everyone’s budget.
Work socials are fun, but they are still business. And this is why it can be important to keep the objective in mind, as they will help with every aspect of the arrangements, and allow you to measure the impact and how beneficial such events are.
If the objective is to introduce a new team member, for example, then you probably want somewhere quieter where employees can have conversation, such as a pub or restaurant. If it’s to celebrate reaching a target, or a birthday or client win, for example, there’s less onus on making sure the environment is conducive to conversation.
It might sound obvious, but it’s important to ensure everyone is involved. For example, if half of the team are vegetarians, it’s probably not worth going to a steakhouse, while if most of your employees drive home to their families in the evening, you won’t want to arrange a late, booze-filled night in the middle of the week.
Physical activities can make for fun, memorable social events, but again, you must ensure
everyone can be included.
Keep it casual
It might be very tempting, but it’s better to try to not have too many references to the business. A fun evening of socialising isn’t going to be made any better by the manager giving a speech. It’s important that your team gets to fully relax and switch off; hourly reminders of their looming meetings and deadlines won’t end well.
Mixing it up
If you’ve arranged for everyone to go for a meal for your team, you could include a pub quiz personalised to your team. If you’ve gone for a sporting activity, you could include drinks afterwards, or lunch in the middle.
Whether you’re a department of a much larger company, or a startup operating out of a shared office space, Shoreditch style, taking the time to relax and enjoy yourselves should be an important part of your calendar – know when not to work is almost as important as knowing when to work.