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Do your company socials actually encourage team bonding?

Lucy O'Connor
Lucy O'Connor|Updated September 16th 2019

Company socials are not only a great opportunity to see your colleagues dancing on tables a great way to facilitate team bonding, but they are also crucial for maintaining a strong culture. Giving your team members a chance to get to know each other outside of the office can improve communication and relationships, which in turn, can help to create a collaborative and supportive culture at work.

At Hubble, “friends first, colleagues second” is a mantra that we hold close to our hearts. We believe that developing relationships with colleagues, and building a foundation of trust, is the key to happiness at work. We also recognise that fostering friendship takes proactive effort, which is why we place such importance on team socials, and we host a range of events and clubs throughout the year. 

Team socials can make employees feel valued, and keep them engaged and motivated at work. The thing is, if events are not inclusive, they can actually do the opposite. In this blog, we explore ways in which you can organise top-notch company socials that are enjoyable for everyone. 

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Common team social pitfalls

Company events often revolve around alcohol and going out in the evening, and whilst it can be fun to loosen up and have a few drinks with your workmates, it’s not for everyone. An all-expenses-paid night out in a fancy bar won’t necessarily appeal to non-drinkers or those with children. And let’s face it – who actually wants to have a hangover at work the next day? 

A study published in BMC Public Health Journal reveals that the proportion of non-drinkers among 16-24 year-olds rose from 18% in 2005 to 29% in 2019. And it’s not just Millennials, more than half (58%) of consumers are drinking more no and low-alcohol drinks this year than in 2018, according to a report by Diageo.

Whilst there’s no desire to ditch the cocktail shaker altogether, employees increasingly want alternative (not booze-fuelled) options. So it’s important to organise different types of events that appeal to everyone.

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Ideas for memorable team socials

At Hubble, we offer a wide range of clubs and host a number of events throughout the year that are inclusive for everyone. We have a “Club of Books”, a climbing club, a dungeons and dragons club, as well as a squash team, and we have regular golfing tournaments, poker nights and more.

Other fun team social ideas that don’t revolve around drinking (but equally can if you want them too!):

  • Board game marathon
  • Zorbing
  • Murder mystery evening
  • Outdoor cinema
  • Sports Day
  • Escape rooms

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Other things to consider when organising team socials

If you’re the lucky devil whose landed the hefty task of organising your next team part-ay, here are some helpful tips (though we’re sure you’ll do a cracking job):

Have an organising committee: 

The more the merrier…to an extent. Group discussions are always great for bouncing ideas around and having different voices and perspectives in the room encourages diversity, and helps to iron out any potential problems ahead of the event. Though try not to involve too many people into the discussion – “too many cooks” and all that. Perhaps choose one person from each team to cover all bases.

When we organise our company away days, we designate a different organising committee each quarter. We’ve found this to be a great way to get people involved and excited about the event, it’s also a good opportunity for different people to work with each other, and every event is different from the previous.

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Host the event during work hours:

Working around peoples’ calendars can be extremely difficult, but hosting an event during work time demonstrates that team bonding is a priority and this can make employees feel valued. Also, hosting an event during work hours can encourage more people to attend, as many people have other commitments/responsibilities outside of work – which is only fair.

Encourage collaboration, not competition:

If there’s a contest element, some of the more competitive employees will become so focused on winning that they may fail to learn from the experience. Instead, choose a fun activity that encourages your staff to work together to solve a problem. 

For tips on hosting a summer office party check out this blog.

Listen to your team’s feedback:

After the event, follow up with a feedback form to find out what your team members enjoyed. This can be really useful when it’s time to plan your next team event. 

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Search for your new office below, and you could be organising a welcome to the new office party before you know it… 

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