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3 office summer games ideas proven to boost employee wellbeing

Published by: LifeWorks,

Summer is the perfect time to have fun with your team. You should make the most out of each day to guide your team to success in the workplace, but also to improve employee wellbeing.

We teamed up with HR.com to better understand how employers can support and develop their employees. Our research found that while almost two-thirds of employers think they are helping employees manage their health and wellbeing, only half of employees can agree. This is a major disconnect.

Employees also disagree with how employers prioritize their happiness — 41 percent of employees are willing to leave their jobs, in part, because their employer doesn’t prioritize their happiness over their performance.

It’s time to shift your mindset and realize that focusing on improving employee wellbeing and happiness can actually have a positive impact on performance.

Let’s take a look at some awesome summer games you can do to build camaraderie and make your employees happy:

Get out of the office

The weather is too nice to be ignored. Don’t make your employees feel chained to their desks while they stare out their windows, longing for some sun.

Center your culture on establishing a happy and productive work environment, and discourage employees who strive to be seen as work martyrs. A work martyr is someone who believes it’s better to work long hours instead of actually being productive while maintaining a healthy balance in their work and home life. They skip breaks and refuse to take their vacations, mainly because they fear they’ll be replaced.

This correlates with dissatisfaction at work. As Project: Time Off’s 2016 survey found, nearly half of employees unhappy with their job or company believe it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by the boss. Even worse, 65 percent of employees said their culture says nothing about, or sends discouraging or mixed messages about taking time off.

The best way to focus your culture on employee wellbeing and health is by encouraging an appropriate work-life balance. This is especially important in talent retention. Our report found that among employees who did not agree that their organizations respect work-life balance, 71 percent are looking for or are open to new job opportunities.

Get your employees out of the office for some fun. For example, go to nearby tourist attractions, pay for a day at the arcade, host employees in rock climbing classes, play laser tag, and race go-karts. This is the antidote to the toxic work cultures described in the Project: Time Off survey — you’re encouraging fun and time off, not creating fear around it.

Build awesome teams

Your summer games can also be geared toward team building. Create activities that get your employees to work together.

Examples include a scavenger hunt throughout the city or local areas, an improv class, and cooking lessons and demonstrations. Get your team to learn something new together, where they participate side-by-side and rely on one another to complete tasks and achieve goals.

Also, start fun summer-themed challenges. Here at LifeWorks, we started a selfie challenge. Employees take a selfie with their LifeWorks-branded gear, like a backpack or a shirt, then post it to our app. Whoever has the best selfies wins cool prizes.

Family games

When it comes to improving employee wellbeing, your efforts don’t just stop in the workplace. You want to empower your employees to live happy, fulfilling lives both in and out of the office. Show employees you care for them both in the workplace and at home by inviting their families along for games.

Host ‘family days’ in the office or outside, where your entire staff and their families gather for fun. For example, take them to baseball games or amusement parks, go on hikes in local parks, cater a nice dinner in a restaurant near the office, or throw a picnic outside.

Our U.S. location recently had a family day at nearby Piedmont Park, where they played games, like corn hole, and served everyone lunch. Not only was it fun, but it gave everyone a chance to connect on a more personal level.

Make your employees feel loved