At CCC Events, we're big advocates of the benefits of regularly coming together as a team away from the stresses of everyday working life. The advantages of taking off your 'work hats' for a while and getting together in a relaxed environment are numerous - better working relationships, higher morale and increased productivity to name just a few. However, the number one reason many of our clients find it difficult to make this happen is lack of time; there's always things to be done and urgent tasks to attend to. Therefore, today's edition of Easy Office-Based Team Building Ideas looks at how you can slot fun team building activities right into your lunch break. Spending lunchtime with colleagues can strengthen bonds immeasurably, and having an activity to focus on will break the ice and carry the benefits over into the afternoon.
The key to lunchtime-based team building is to keep it light; it is people's free time, after all, so look at this more as 'lunch time entertainment' and make participation optional. You'll find that with enough prior notice, most people will want to get involved in something different to their usual deli run or desk picnic, and may even make it a regular activity off their own backs. Try any of the activities below or do a different one each week!
Simple yet effective, you can't beat the humble boardgame when it comes to creating light-hearted banter! Ask everyone to bring their favourite from home, then set up a designated 'arena' for the games to take place. To keep things relaxed, let people play whomever and whatever they like, but play against the clock - so when the lunch hour is up, whoever is in the lead wins, regardless of whether that game has finished. Our favourites are Jenga, Scrabble and good old Snakes and Ladders.
Pot Luck Lunch
For a lunchtime feast that'll beat boring sandwiches any day, hold a Pot Luck Lunch. Everyone brings one dish - easily portable things like pasta salad, cold cuts, quiches and cakes work best - and shares them out at lunchtime. It's a lot more sociable than going out separately, and if you have any culinary geniuses amongst you, you'll get to enjoy the best lunchtime treats you've had in a long time.
Getting artistic at the office actually works best for teams who think they have no creative skill whatsoever - taken with a big pinch of salt, creative lunchtimes can be a fun way of activating the parts of your brain you haven't used since primary school. Keep it simple with the materials - at the very least you'll need some paper and pens, but you can add felt tips or coloured pencils if you like. If you're already quite close as a team, a brilliant starting point is to pair up and draw one another's portraits - it's not for the easily offended, but in the right circumstances this activity can leave you crying with laughter.
The Great Outdoors
We know the weather can be grim, but that's even more reason to take advantage when the it's not raining and get outside for a bit. Office lighting and heating can make people sluggish and demotivated, and even just a short burst of fresh air and vitamin D can boost moods and productivity. No need to get the hiking boots out - a quick group stroll to a nearby cafe (we find the promise of hot chocolate can persuade many) works wonders. Blow away the cobwebs and you'll return invigorated and positive - we promise.
Start a Club
If you're an office of literature lovers, then a book club can be a great way of structuring lunchtime team bonding. Simply take it in turns to choose a new book each month (there are some great suggestions here), decide on where you'll all read up to before your next meeting, and get together one lunchtime to discuss! If books aren't your bag, then choose something that is - the sky's the limit on this one! Running, card games, crochet; whatever you're into, put the feelers out and form a club - you might be surprised at who shows an interest!
For professional, corporate team building events to suit your schedule - from one-hour icebreakers to full day programmes - visit CCC Events or call us on 0845 006 06 06.