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Effective & Inclusive Work Social Events Ideas (Avoiding ‘Forced Fun’)

A group of people socializing over a after work drink

In the UK, culture and the arts contribute over £10Bn to the economy. From theatres and museums, live music venues, to pubs and clubs, being able to visit a multitude of spaces encourages creativity.

At Bruntwood, our wide range of event spaces provide opportunities to host creative get-togethers, and social events, enabling people from all walks of life to come together and collaborate.

We value the service we offer in encouraging conversations, perhaps sparking a new business venture, solving a problem or creating a successful partnership.

We also understand that ‘work events’ aren’t enticing for the whole company. That’s why we’re continuing to look and promote effective work social event ideas that encourage a range of different options for socialising and team-building outside of after-work drinks.

Why Bother with Work Events? 

It is statistically proven that a happy team is 13% more productive. Company culture is growing in influence with employees, with 66% of people wanting to know about it when considering a new role.

A substantial part of that is the social aspect. We are human, even at work, and will flourish and be our best selves in an environment that allows us space for individuality and where we feel comfortable.

Getting to know your teammates accelerated by social events which allow people to show themselves and bond, rather than hiding behind their job role.

We’re social creatures and miss the interactions when working in the office - 70% of people say that friendship is the most important factor in their happiness at work, with 48%of workers who returned to the office reporting improved mental health.

Work events allow teams to cross-pollinate, learn from each other and get to know their colleagues in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Since the pandemic, there has been a mixed response to meet-ups - with people preferring to stay local when they go out, but showing an increased desire to see their friends and colleagues face to face.  

Hybrid working means that companies can balance employee happiness with the need, and option, for regular face-to-face gatherings and team events.

Staff Social Ideas: Striking the Right Balance

From Innovation Birmingham, The Plaza in Liverpool and 111 Piccadilly in Manchester, many of Bruntwood’s buildings are in the heart of some of the country's busiest, most vibrant cities. 

Whether you host or attend events in one of our spaces, or use them as starting points for a team-building activity, it’s key to ensure you provide an activity that’s fun without being hackneyed. 

For example - why not have a scavenger hunt? Pick a theme and divide the office into equal teams before sending them off to follow a set of clues. The final destination could well be a bar or restaurant, but you could travel to all of the Bruntwood locations in your city along the way!

Another option could be a variation of Ready, Steady, Cook! where each team has to create a dish using a selection of ingredients.

Or host a company awards night. Have some serious categories (Best Salesman) and some fun ones (Inspirational Haircut). 

Finding the Right Space 

Regardless of the activity, it’s important to be in the right environment. warm, open space with good acoustics, where people feel comfortable, is the best option to keep everyone inspired and engaged.

Utilising an events space, such as in some of our buildings, can be a good way of getting people out of the office and into a new area. This will stop them falling into the same seating patterns, finding their groove on the sofa, and is important to challenging and keeping up the energy levels.

Things to Consider When Organising Work Socials 

When considering your work social ideas you need to take into account: 

  • Any dietary requirements due to culture or health

  • Non-alcoholic drink options to cater for any non-drinkers

  • Personal social calendars

  • The purpose of the event 

  • Different activities that haven’t been overdone

An effective way to deal with most of these considerations is sending a survey out ahead of time to gather the information you need. Dietary requirements and drinking preferences are easy to ask about, as are preferred days. Most people don’t want a work social event to conflict with their own social life. Neither do they want it too early in the week. It’s a delicate balance!

One solution to manage this is a social committee. Having a group of people responsible for planning the event will generate more involvement and encourage them to feel a bigger part of it.

When it comes to activities - you don’t want to hear the words ‘organised fun’ being whispered by the team. When organising, consider the purpose of the event - is it team building, general socialising or a celebration? Knowing this can help identify appropriate activities.

Get creative! Do classes. Set up a quiz night. There isn’t a one-size-fits all solution, but there are loads of things to choose from. Team-wide volunteering is another fantastic option. At Bruntwood, all colleagues have 24 hours of volunteering leave through the ‘Bruntwood Cares’ initiative. Often, teams will take these days as a group, and in our experience the amount of bonding this can initiate is invaluable. 

Work social events can be scoffed at, but they offer a great option to try something new, build networks within the company and remind everyone what your work culture is like. Looking for somewhere special to host your next work social event? Get in touch with the team at Bruntwood.

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