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Employer Advice: How to Infuse Some Fun into Your Office this Summer

When the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the street festivals are in full swing, the only place workers want to be is in their overly air conditioned office … right?!? Not so much.

Now that the warmer weather months are upon us, expect potentially less motivation and lower productivity out of your employees, as they daydream about being at the beach instead of sitting around a conference table.

But if they can’t be out enjoying the summer, why not bring some summer fun to them?

Here are five ideas for summer workplace activities that can help your employees stay happy, focused and productive.

  1. Plan a summer outing

This is a popular, classic approach to getting away from work for a few hours and building camaraderie amongst your team. If you’re going for more of a team-building environment, you can work with corporate event planners to coordinate a scavenger hunt across your city or a field day full of grade-school style relay races and tug-of-war. Or, if you want to have a more relaxed outing where your employees can let loose (hopefully, not too much), then consider a boat tour or a mixology class.

Ask for employee volunteers to help plan the outing, too – they’ll appreciate that you want their opinion, and if they’re involved in the planning, they’ll get even more out of it. 

  1. Initiative a volunteer day

Organize a volunteer day (or half day) where you go out into your local community and help paint a school or clean up a playground. Not only will your employees get to soak up some sun, they’ll do some good while they’re at it. Plus, helping others has a way a boosting one’s own positivity, which can give employees a brighter outlook once they’re back in the office.  

  1. Hire a food truck

Food trucks are becoming a mainstay in cities across Canada, and they can often be found parked outside of busy downtown locations serving hungry workers during their lunch breaks. Score some points with your employees by renting a food truck – or trucks – and having them cater your next team lunch or happy hour. Sites such as Rent A Food Truck offer to help coordinate the logistics.

  1. Take meetings outside

It’s a simple concept, but one that isn’t often implemented in traditional offices. Instead of having your next meeting in a conference room, let the outdoors serve as your meeting space. Plan ahead, and find an area close to your office with space to fit your team comfortably. A shaded area is ideal to avoid sweating and discomfort (which will take away from the fun of being outside).

It may not be possible for larger groups or for more important discussions, but it could be a nice change of pace for a general team update meeting.

  1. Consider flexible hours

This may be more of a long-term goal, but it’s been shown that flexible summer hours can boost employee morale. Whether it’s letting your employees leave at noon on Fridays (like CareerBuilder does, yay, us!) or offering flex days throughout the summer months, employees will appreciate the benefit of being able to enjoy more time off and will – hopefully – repay you with enhanced productivity while they’re at work.

What are you doing for fun this summer at your organization? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Need to engage employees on limited resources? Check out, “3 Ways to Engage Employees Without Spending a Dime.”

Debra Auerbach researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder.

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