Depending on your industry, you can spend anywhere from 40-60 hours a week with colleagues. That may be more time than you spend with your family or friends, so your interactions shouldn’t be limited to work tasks and meaningless small talk. What’s the last non-work related activity you did with your coworkers? And no, hour lunches and post-work happy hours don’t count.
The RPR team recently went to Escape Game Nashville, figured our way out of The Heist – a room with a 27 percent success rate – and strolled out like bosses. Why? Not because it was someone’s birthday or an exclusive activity for just a few coworkers after work. It was a part of our company retreat, a quarterly practice in which we set aside a day to refocus and regroup. Whether it’s a day at the pool that turns into a failed attempt at teaching me how to swim or gathering everyone to watch an epic skit from the account services team about our core values, we always make a point to have fun.
But it doesn’t stop there.
We’ve rock climbed, taken a company spa day, cruised around the city singing karaoke while looking at Christmas lights and a number of other outings that range from mental to physical and everywhere in between. The one thing they have in common – they have absolutely nothing to do with our work.
It’s easy to become so consumed with work that you think of your coworkers as just another part of the job. While your colleagues don’t have to be your BFFs, there should always be mutual respect, trust and support. Take these relationships a step further by incorporating team activities within your company – it will help combat those monotonous days and alleviate stress.
While some of the more daring women of RPR consider swimming with sharks and bungee jumping ideal activities, there are enjoyable outings for every work group, big or small.
Attend a sporting event
Paint and drink art gallery
Go to a festival
Wine and cheese tasting
Tour a historic landmark
Volunteer at a local charity
Activities don’t necessarily have to take place outside of the office to be effective. In October we had a pumpkin painting party complete with Angry Orchards and homemade trail mix to celebrate fall. We’ve also been known to squeeze in an hour of in-office power yoga. We’ve even implemented TEDTalk Tuesday, a casual biweekly discussion of our favorite TEDTalks.
The bottom line is you shouldn’t let your work relationships be characterized by business conversations, status meetings and countless emails. Want to help build a stronger-knit team? Invest some time, money
and creativity in occasional company activities. When done right, your team will appreciate you for it and your company will reap the benefits through improved performance and stronger bonds. At RPR, our close connection has created an even deeper respect for one another and provides reassurance that we have each other’s back.