Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
When they have been trapped inside of the office for too long, your employees can get restless and bored. Give your staff the chance to burn off some energy and enjoy a change of scenery by planning fun outings. By taking part in nonwork events, your staff can build relationships and bond as friends, which can strengthen their professional interaction.
Give your staff the chance to support their favorite teams by buying blocks of seats to sporting events in your city. In the spring and summer, when your staff is dying to get out into the sunshine, buy tickets to an outdoor event like a baseball game, a beach volleyball tournament or surfing competition. In the colder months, look for football and basketball games. By attending a game together, your staff can enjoy each other's company without the pressure of work and forge new relationships based on a common sporting interest.
For a civic-minded staff, plan volunteering activities outside of the office. Look for events that are already planned and volunteer your staff to take part: community cleanups or toy drives, for example. If you have an active staff, enter them in a charity race, either as runners or event volunteers. Talk to your staff to find out what causes they are passionate about so that you can plan events in which they will be emotionally invested. For people who are interested in the performing arts, set up the opportunity to help build sets for a local community theater production; later, the group can watch the show to see the product of their work.
To get your employees' competitive spirits going, plan an outing that centers around a contest. You can arrange a karaoke competition, form teams for a trivia night or hold a track and field day. Pit department against department in an interoffice sporting event like a softball game or flag football game. To avoid reinforcing existing divisions in your staff, form teams that put together people who don't have the chance to interact in a normal workday.
Give your staff the chance to interact on an informal level by planning office social events to mark special days throughout the year. Plan barbecues in the summer to introduce families, hold birthday parties for staff or set regular happy hour days with a free first drink. Celebrate holidays of all of your staff's religious and cultural traditions to encourage communication and deeper understanding. For the best results, hold social events out of the office.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.