2020 and 2021 found many businesses forced to cancel annual summer traditions, picnics and parties — With the goal of reducing large gatherings and encouraging social distancing.
This summer, the ideas for a little summer fun are much wider and there are many ways to treat your staff and encourage camaraderie:
1. A traditional company picnic — with a twist — While COVID conditions continue to improve, there are a number of ways to try and mitigate risk and minimize spread if you elect to have a company picnic: Look for food options that are easy to serve individually, such as pre-packaged snacks or individually portioned out salads, etc. in small cups. While not the most environmentally friendly, disposable serving goods and utensils will ensure single use only. Lastly, place hand sanitizer throughout all dining areas, especially at the start of any buffet or serving areas and encourage anyone to squirt a pump before heading down the line and handling any common use items, etc.
2. Beach, Lake or Park day — Summer is the perfect time to be outdoors, and no matter where you are located, there is likely a beach, lake or park nearby! Instead of a traditional organized company picnic, look at securing a shade structure or gazebo, take out some pop ups and invite employees to come play potluck-style! Creating an event that is more ‘open house style’ meaning employees and families can come and go as they please without a set program allows flexibility and greater opportunities for participation. As an added bonus, this is an extremely low-cost activity with no admission or large food purchases to cover.
3. Staycation at a local hotel or resort — Depending on your company size, splurging for an overnight ‘staycation’ at a local property allows everyone to relax and unwind with various activities and dining options at their doorstep. If a full overnight ‘staycation’ isn’t a possibility, check out ResortPass.com for day use options for local properties that can also give everyone a taste of summer escape.
4. Amusement park day — You don’t necessarily need to do this as an all-employee outing (although that could be fun!), but look at comping your employees and their families with tickets to your local amusement parks. Schedules and other family commitments with kids may make it impossible to try and get everyone together on the same day, but look at maybe trying to ‘cluster’ outings to a few specific days to encourage team building.
5. Unwind time at the office — You don’t have to necessarily leave the office to enjoy summer! Lighter evenings and slower workloads make a perfect combination for an end of week ‘unwind time.’ Close down operations early on Fridays and allow your team members to enjoy snacks and drinks on a nearby patio if available or even the conference room! Lighter evenings mean easier options in terms of where your staff can unwind without worrying about outside lighting or making sure everyone can get home before dark if need be.
6. Summer supply goodie bags — If your company is still not able to or not comfortable doing any sort of group activity or picnic, prepare your team for their own summer fun, whatever it may be! Boost morale and say thank you to your staff with a summer supply goodie bag, including things like sunscreen, bug spray, snacks, water or beach toys, etc. Many promotional companies have options for everything from branded sunscreen to beach pails; whenever your employee uses the complimentary item they will be reminded that you want them to enjoy their summer!
7. Be a tourist in your town — What fun thing do tourists love to do in your town that you have never done? Explore the best your town has to offer with your team members and create fun memories as a group. Live near the ocean? Try group whale watching or harbor/bay tours. Close to mountains? Explore local trails (if applicable), hit the famous bakery or syrup shops, etc. Try out a sea/land tour, famous trolley tour or even a walking tour of a historical section of your town.
Summer is a fantastic time to soak up Vitamin D and recharge for the coming (often stressful) 4th quarter — Make the most of it!