The world has certainly been thrown into a ‘new normal’ none of us could predict. Most notable of all the changes is the increasing numbers of staff now working from home, at first this was seen as a temporary fix, but now it seems this could be a permanent change for many of us.
While working from home can come with its advantages, it appears there is one thing that most of us are missing, the social interaction with our colleagues. That’s why Cezanne HR has created a guide on how to continue with work socials during COVID-19 and remain safe from the virus at the same time.
HR departments and managers are dealing with unprecedented times and are having to find new ways to look after employees’ mental wellbeing and teaming this with continuing team socials can be tricky without an easy guide.
Socialising with colleagues is crucial to a happy work environment, it helps to build colleague relationships, boost morale, decrease stress and increase happiness. Employees are also more likely to remain loyal to a business if there is a good social element.
Below, we take a look at the most popular socially-distant workplace socials that are easy to organise, fun to be part of and help to continue those all-important social interactions while staying safe during the pandemic. All of these require each participant to have a device with a webcam and video calling software.
1. Pub Quiz
Pubs were one of the first to close during lockdown and were quickly identified as one of the most missed venues.
This is probably the reason why virtual pub quizzes are one of the most popular social activities during this time and it’s really easy to do.
Either find a virtual host who will be asking questions (check your local’s Facebook or Twitter pages as many are announcing dates and events on these platforms) or it can be hosted among colleagues.
A great way to inject some fun is to have each participant write a round of questions, this way there is a broad spectrum of interests and this makes the quiz far more engaging.
2. Team Dinner
One of the best ways to bond is over good food. Simply organise the team to sit down at the same time with each other and talk over a decent meal.
Organising takeaway delivery drivers to arrive at the same time to employees’ homes is a great treat and won’t go unappreciated. Pizza is always a winner, few employers can go wrong ordering this, just make sure to check any dietary requirements beforehand.
3. Escape Room
Escape rooms have always been a popular team-building exercise for the last few years, working together to find clues, beat the clock and escape is the perfect way to get everyone working together to problem solve whilst having fun.
Escape room providers were one of the first to adapt their services when lockdown was announced to ensure revenue was not completely lost.
Simply choose a provider and reserve a date and time, but be aware that these can book up quickly so best to book well in advance. Once this has been done, have all participants log in at the correct time.
There will be a host to talk through the rules and procedures and then it’s time to work together to find the clue that leads to escape!
4. Murder Mystery
Binging all those Netflix crime dramas during lockdown may finally come in handy this activity. An online murder mystery night presents a fun social of solving the mystery with some light-hearted role play, no acting skills necessary. However, props and costumes are always highly recommended.
Murder mystery vendors come with the bonus of no time restrictions, you simply choose your theme (anything from period drama to sci-fi) and download the information packs for each character.
Assign each colleague with a character, while they do not need to memorise lines beforehand, it is always recommended they have a quick glance over.
The scripts are written to fit with a virtual setting so everything should flow nicely throughout the evening. Time to channel that inner Sherlock and find out who the murderer was.
5. Cooking Classes
There’s always that one member of the office who lives off takeaways and ready meals, so now is the time to get them involved in something more adventurous while also including everyone else in the fun.
Online classes can be found all over the internet and vary in skill level. From baking a simple victoria sponge to getting experimental with exotic flavours and ingredients, there really is a class out there for everyone.
Check skill levels of the team before booking, it will be hard for anyone to enjoy something completely out of their depth, similarly, if everyone is a keen cook, they won’t enjoy anything too simple.
Provide lists of ingredients with plenty of notice and how this needs to be prepared, no one wants to be holding the class up having to chop an onion because they were prepared beforehand!
Then follow the teaching chef’s steps to create something delicious. This is a great activity to then sit down and continue the social with a team dinner, all made from scratch!
These are just a few of the most popular ideas for socially distant work socials, others include online zoo experiences, wine tasting, bingo, beer pong and even karaoke parties. Don’t allow staff to miss out on one of the most important elements of work culture just because they can’t leave their homes and give on the above a go.