15 In-Office Activities to Boost Employee Morale

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Employees participating in a morale boosting activity

Boosting morale is essential for fostering employee engagement and team cohesion, so we've gathered insights from CEOs, general managers, and various leaders to share one activity that made a real difference in their offices. From hosting weekly team lunches to promoting office-wide step or hydration challenges, discover the fifteen unique in-office activities that have successfully energized and united teams.

  • Host Weekly Team Lunches
  • Involve Employees in Change
  • Launch Creativity Fridays
  • Establish Wellness Wednesdays
  • Create TED-style Talk Series
  • Set Up a Gratitude Wall
  • Initiate Green Innovator Challenge
  • Empower Team-Led Discussions
  • Curate Collaborative Playlists
  • Conduct Energizing Office Olympics
  • Organize Office Scavenger Hunts
  • Celebrate Theme Thursdays
  • Upgrade Break Room Coffee
  • Install Office Ping-Pong Table
  • Promote Step and Hydration Challenges

 

Host Weekly Team Lunches

I believe bonding over meals is a healthy, lighthearted way of getting to know each other as coworkers, compared to other team-building activities that might feel forced. 

At my company, we have a weekly company-sponsored lunch, usually delivered to the office from a restaurant of the team's choice, and occasionally dining in when we're in a celebratory mood and need a good ambiance. No team member is obligated to join, but most do unless they prefer having their meal in private, in which case there are no hard feelings. People with lunches packed from home are also welcome to join with their own food.

I've noticed many employees look forward to these lunches, mostly because they're great socializing opportunities, enabling you to get to know your coworkers as actual people. It's common to hold grudges against colleagues who are difficult to collaborate with or have varying work preferences, but sitting with them in a non-work setting often melts the ice. Moreover, providing your employees with food once in a while is a courteous gesture in itself and can boost team morale significantly, from my experience.

Ben Lamarche, General Manager, Lock Search Group

 

Involve Employees in Change

Organizations today face a continuous stream of change, requiring them to navigate through ambiguity and uncertainty. Embracing a human-centric approach to change management can significantly impact employee engagement and team cohesion. During times of change, employees often experience disengagement and anxiety. However, involving them in the change process has proven highly beneficial. 

This approach allows employees to feel empowered, ensuring their voices are heard and enabling them to better understand the changes and their implications on their daily work. By involving employees, organizations can increase engagement, foster team cohesion, and pave a positive path forward into the future of work.

Kate DeGon, Founder and CEO, ChangeSync

 

Launch Creativity Fridays

We introduced “Creativity Fridays” at DasFlow, where team members dedicate the last few hours of their workweek to non-work-related creative projects or learning new skills related to our industry. This initiative significantly boosted morale, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation. It also enhanced team cohesion, as employees shared their projects and learned from each other, creating a more engaged and collaborative environment.

Nicolas Krauss, Founder and CEO, dasFlow Custom Sublimation Apparel

 

Establish Wellness Wednesdays

We introduced “Wellness Wednesdays,” where we transform our breakroom into a mini-wellness oasis. Employees enjoy free yoga sessions led by a certified instructor, healthy snacks, and guided meditation to alleviate stress. It's incredible to witness the positive shift in energy after these sessions. Not only does it rejuvenate everyone physically, but it also fosters a sense of camaraderie as colleagues bond over shared relaxation experiences.

Josh Ladick, President, GSA Focus

 

Create TED-style Talk Series

One initiative that we have taken is the establishment of "Toggl Talks," a series of internal TED-style talks where team members share their passions, hobbies, or expertise with the rest of the company. Ranging from coding best practices to personal development tips, these talks provide a platform for employees to shine in areas unrelated to their daily tasks. It is an excellent way for the team to get to know each other on a deeper level, fostering a culture of learning and mutual respect.

"Toggl Talks" has significantly impacted our office culture, deepening connections between employees and fostering a culture of open communication and continuous learning. Team members appreciate the chance to step into the spotlight and share something they are passionate about, leading to increased confidence and visibility within the company. This initiative not only boosted morale by showcasing the diverse talents within our team but also enhanced our collective knowledge base, contributing to a more cohesive and engaged workplace environment.

Alari Aho, CEO and Founder, Toggl Inc

 

Set Up a Gratitude Wall

One impactful morale-boosting activity we've introduced is the "Gratitude Wall." It's a space within the office where employees can post notes of appreciation for their colleagues, highlighting small victories, support, or acts of kindness. This simple yet powerful tool not only fosters a positive workplace culture but also visibly reinforces the value of teamwork and mutual respect.

The Gratitude Wall has significantly improved our office atmosphere, making it more vibrant and cohesive. It serves as a daily reminder of the positive interactions and support among team members, which in turn, boosts employee engagement and morale.

Alex Taylor, Head of Marketing, SEO Specialists, CrownTV

 

Initiate Green Innovator Challenge

In my journey with The Wastebox, where we have navigated through the ebbs and flows of the waste management industry, fostering a positive workplace culture has been pivotal. One innovative practice we initiated was the "Green Innovator Challenge." We tasked our teams to come up with sustainable, cost-effective solutions for waste management challenges specific to our industry. This was not just any brainstorming session; it demanded cross-functional teamwork, creativity, and a deep dive into sustainable practices.

The impact was both immediate and profound. We saw a remarkable increase in engagement levels, as measured by our internal surveys—there was a 20% improvement in employee satisfaction within the first quarter post-challenge. Furthermore, this challenge brought to light several innovative ideas that were practical and sustainable, leading to improvements in our operational efficiency. For instance, one team proposed a method to better segregate recyclables from waste at the source, which significantly reduced our processing time and costs.

Beyond the metrics, the "Green Innovator Challenge" enhanced our team cohesion in a unique way. Employees from various departments, who previously had little interaction, now shared a common goal and understanding. This cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives not only fostered a sense of community but also elevated our collective commitment to sustainability. It proved to be a powerful way to unite our staff under shared values, showcasing the tangible benefits of collaboration and proactive problem-solving.

Keith Kepplin, CEO, Wastebox

 

Empower Team-Led Discussions

In our office, we've set up a way for everyone to get involved during our regular meetings. Instead of just top-down presentations, any team member can step up to lead a discussion, present an idea, or even organize a fun activity. It's been awesome for boosting morale and bringing us closer together as a team. 

We've had some really interesting sessions, from sharing work strategies to delving into important topics like diversity and leadership. Plus, it's a great chance for everyone to brush up on their presentation skills while feeling like they're making a difference.

Bryor Mosley, Talent Acquisition Partner

 

Curate Collaborative Playlists

In our office, we really enjoy having some background music. Most of our employees are millennials and Gen Zs, so we've introduced themed, collaborative playlists.

Since we operate in an open-plan office, a well-curated playlist is key. Regular radio stations with their frequent commercials just don't cut it. We’ve designated a team member to create a Spotify playlist that everyone in the office can enjoy. The playlist ranges from classic '90s hits to girl-band songs, with each person contributing their favorite tunes to keep the office atmosphere lively. It's important, however, to keep the volume at a reasonable level. We also make sure everyone has a pair of headphones, so they have the option to listen to their own music if they prefer.

Precious Abacan, Marketing Director, Softlist

 

Conduct Energizing Office Olympics

We've introduced the concept of Office Olympics, which includes a series of fun and competitive games held during lunch breaks. Here, you can find everything from paper airplane contests to desk-chair races; these activities brought everyone together in laughter and camaraderie. It breaks the monotony of the workday and ensures a stronger bond among team members. This positive energy, carried over into our daily tasks, helps boost morale and productivity.

On the other side, friendly competition adds a healthy dose of motivation as everyone cheers each other on to victory. Overall, it was a simple yet impactful way to enhance engagement and cohesion in the office.

Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

 

Organize Office Scavenger Hunts

We don’t get a ton of opportunities to all get together in the office, so when we do get the chance to connect in person, we try to make the most of it. One way to do this is to schedule in some fun activities as well as work. If we have to travel into the office, we might as well enjoy ourselves while we’re there, right? I’ve found that competitions, silly tasks, and team-building activities are popular, particularly a scavenger hunt.

There’s something about working together to solve clues and find a prize that gets endorphins going, even if the reward is only something small. Dividing employees into teams encourages light-hearted competition, but depending on how many of us there are, sometimes I leave this as an activity for the whole office to work together on. Friendly competition can be fun, but it mustn’t get too fierce. Over-emphasizing the competitive aspects isn’t always conducive to a good atmosphere.

Everyone gets some sort of prize, although the fastest team gets something a little better. Employees also get to nominate one another for awards such as “fastest clue solver” and “most supportive teammate.” I feel it’s important to encourage employees to celebrate one another and build each other up. Activities like this always boost morale and remind people how well they can work together in any context. This translates into more collaboration and cohesion once we’re back to the grindstone.

Ryan Carrigan, CEO & Founder, moveBuddha

 

Celebrate Theme Thursdays

One activity we introduced was Theme Thursdays. Every Thursday, we encouraged everyone to dress up according to a chosen theme, like “Superhero Day” or “Throwback Thursday.”

It sparked excitement and creativity among the team. Our teams enjoyed planning their outfits and seeing their colleagues' interpretations. It created a fun atmosphere in the office, fostering conversations and laughter. This simple activity helped everyone feel more connected and brought a sense of unity within the team.

Aqsa Tabassam, PR & Brand Manager, RevenueGeeks

 

Upgrade Break Room Coffee

One simple yet surprisingly effective morale-boosting activity we've implemented in our office is enhancing our break room with a high-quality coffee machine. This might seem trivial, but it's had a notable impact on our team's engagement and cohesion.

Everyone loves a good coffee break, and providing a space where employees can make a quality cup of coffee any time they wish has been a game-changer. It serves as an incentive and provides a moment to relax and refocus—elevating the overall office environment.

Importantly, it also promotes casual, organic interactions and deeper connections among team members. People congregate while waiting for their brew, fostering spontaneous conversations that wouldn't otherwise occur.

This contributed not just to higher morale and productivity but also to stronger team bonds. So, though simple, creating a “cafe-like” experience in the office centered around quality coffee has proven to be a tasty recipe for enhancing team engagement and cohesion!

Craig Bird, Managing Director, CloudTech24

 

Install Office Ping-Pong Table

We recently installed a ping-pong table in our break room, just to liven things up at our mostly busy recruiting firm. Considering the dry, tedious nature of most recruiting assignments, this table has been a welcome addition to our office. I've seen around 60% of the staff play while I'm around, and I'm fairly certain more workers are using the gaming table as well. 

It has been almost four months since we got the table, and I'm certain it has something to do with the overall increase in camaraderie and the general sense of friendliness among the team. Workers sometimes schedule their games around lunch, stay late to play after hours, and are even encouraged to have a go at it mid-day if they feel like it. It seems like ping-pong is just the sport you need to clear your mind in between challenging recruiting assignments.

Joe Coletta, Founder & CEO, 180 Engineering

 

Promote Step and Hydration Challenges

Introducing wellness challenges, such as step competitions or hydration challenges, is a great way to encourage healthy habits among employees and bring the team closer. These challenges promote physical well-being and teamwork by sparking friendly competition and mutual support among colleagues. 

By participating in these activities together, employees can bond over shared goals, cheer each other on, and stay motivated to stay healthy both at work and outside. These challenges show that the company cares about its employees' well-being, creating a positive atmosphere. Wellness challenges are a fun and effective way to boost morale and strengthen team spirit in the office.

Kate Cherven, Marketing Specialist, United Site Services

 

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