The team that plays together stays together — right? We’ve all been on our fair share of business bonding excursions, from brunch to bowling, from workshops to drinking. Spending time with your coworkers that isn’t work per se is super important, but it can be difficult to come up with creative, affordable activities all the time. There are only so many times you can play crazy golf, right?
Here are four alternative ideas that are simple to pull off and easy on the budget for those times when you want to have fun together without breaking the bank.
1. Send Notes of Gratitude
Gather your group together with a pile of notecards and pens, and invite everyone to take some time to write letters of thanks to people who have been kind, patient, or inspiring in the past few weeks or months. Tell the person you’re writing to what you’re thankful for and why.
Play some music in the background and offer tasty treats on the table. In between penning your thank you letters, share stories of who you’re grateful to and why with your teammates. It’s quick, simple, and fills everyone participating with gratitude and love.
2. Game Day
Invite everyone to bring their favorite board game or card game into the office, and spend half a day playing games. Form teams, set up a tournament, and give prizes for achievement and participation. This idea is super simple, requires minimal set up and clean up, and it’ll create stories you’ll be retelling in the lunchroom for months to come.
3. Themed Potluck
Have you ever noticed that every food you can think of has a national day marked in its honor? National Pizza Day, National Guacamole Day, National Pie Day — pick one that speaks to you, and invite everyone to bring a dish featuring that food for lunch. For National Potato Day, each bring something made with potato and enjoy a carb-fueled lunch feast!
Have fun with it. For National Donut Day, invite everyone to bring in sweet treats from their favorite donut store and then have a blind-taste test and score each entry. The person to bring in the most popular donuts wins a prize!
4. Try Something New Together
Is there a new skill or hobby that multiple people on your team would like to try? Mastering a new language, perhaps, or learning to cross stitch. Dedicate a few hours to trying it out — and do it together. Have each person bring in the supplies you need and set up your own DIY lesson using tutorials on YouTube. The internet is awash with lessons on everything imaginable. Take the time and effort to do it together — and have a laugh while you’re doing it.
Time together doesn’t have to be expensive, forced, or involve a lot of effort. Keep it simple and take ideas from the group. Anytime you’re taking time to put away the to-do lists and have conversations that don’t revolve around the next deadline is time well spent. What creative ideas have you and your team used together?