All work and no play is not fun. They say the family that eats together stays together and the same goes for co-workers. Social activities bring cohesion to the office team, as long as everyone is involved and feels included. These days people have a variety of religious beliefs, diets and hobbies. It is still possible to please the crowd, you just have to be creative.
For a small office – one with fewer than 50 employees – this is an easy option. Plan to have a catered breakfast or lunch from the birthday girl's favorite spot on her special day. If the budget is slim, simply offer a tea-time celebration with beverages and a sweet treat cake, cupcakes or cookies. Balloons, a wrapped gift or a desk plant are simple gestures that can go a long way. Use an outdoor space to play bocce ball, crack open a pinata, or host a barbecue. If you choose to go this route, make sure to celebrate everyone's birthday, otherwise you might ruffle some feathers.
In "The Feast of Love," novelist Charles Baxter describes a young couple that throws an outdoor wedding party on the summer solstice. The longest day of light is an excellent excuse to celebrate. With sunshine the possibilities are endless – grill, crack open a pinata, go out to an afternoon baseball game. Instead of a Christmas party, try throwing a winter solstice party. An afternoon at an ice rink or a hockey game incorporate the season. A karaoke night at a restaurant or a mystery dinner theater outing offer unique opportunities for the group to laugh and bond together.
Lend a Hand
The Administrative Office Complete Course notes that volunteer days sometimes replace office parties. Companies with philanthropic missions, such as Cliff Bar, hold days where employees can select organizations where they will volunteer their time that on a specific day or week. If your company and employees have relatively higher incomes then the average citizen, this can be an excellent way to give back to the community and foster positive relations.
Gift-giving expert Robyn Spizman says that most employees would love an extra day off from work. Management can pick a day, give at least a week's notice so people can look forward to the day, and then employees can rejuvenate. The pressure is off everyone to enjoy an event because instead they can sleep in or accomplish anything else they like on their day off. Wellness is essential to smooth work operations. Some office buildings bring in massage therapists and yoga instructors to give free sessions all week. Taking a breather is sweet and simple.
Kate Stepanski has been a professional writer since 2006. Her writing has appeared in media outlets like "The Oakland Tribune," “Mun2," “Not For Tourists," “Burner Magazine” and “San Francisco Bay Guardian." She holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from San Francisco State University.