Webinar: Team Building Events that Work for Hybrid Workplaces

March 9, 2022
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Webinar: Team Building Events that Work for Hybrid Workplaces
OfficeTogether Team
March 9, 2022

As of this month, 74 percent of companies are moving towards a hybrid work model. (Source 1) So how can you create positive team building events for the hybrid workplace? Founder/CEO Amy Yin spoke with Nikki Herzog, author of Meetings with Cake, a book about office team building and culture building through events, which is set to come out later this year.

 

Some highlights from their conversation include…

 

EVENT STACKING

 

Nikki suggests building off existing events and chunking things together. If there's a board meeting or conference where people are traveling in from out of town, plan social or appreciation events around those pre-existing commitments. Take advantage of the fact many employees will be in town that week. 

You might host a welcome event to kick off the conference or a happy hour the night before people leave town. It's a way to work with employees' existing schedules and encourage attendance.

 

SPLITTING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON EXPERIENCES

 

Nikki suggests viewing the virtual and in-person experiences as separate events. It's often unfeasible to have the same event happening simultaneously for in-person and virtual attendees, so this is not a requirement. Everything doesn't have to be for everyone at all times. You might run a virtual happy hour an hour earlier or later than the in-person event. 

If you are hosting an event that has simultaneous in-person and virtual attendees, think about having one in-person host and a separate virtual host/emcee, who can guide the group's digital experience.  Save yourself the panic attacks from trying to do it all!

 

SPEAKER SERIES AND WORKSHOPS

 

Speaker series, workshops, and "Lunch and Learns" tend to be the most successful events in a hybrid setting. It's easy for a guest speaker to talk to in-person attendees, while virtual attendees watch via camera. Virtual attendees can comment in the chat to ask questions. It's also easy for employees to watch a recording, as their schedules allow. 

Guest speakers can discuss relevant topics like personal wellness, how to handle stress, or topics more specific to your individual workplace. With events that require objects or items for participation, these can be shipped to virtual attendees ahead of time or virtual attendees can be provided with a stipend to purchase the objects or items themselves.

HAPPY HOURS

 

Cocktail hours or happy hours tend to be the most difficult events to host in a hybrid setting. The in-person attendees will often focus on each other and get absorbed with in-person conversation, leaving the virtual attendees feeling left out. 

Even reminding in-person attendees to go over and say hello to their virtual peers does little to rectify the social imbalance. The exception would be any company with technology capable of including virtual attendees in a meaningful way.

If you do have a company party planned around a certain holiday, check out our last blog post with ideas for a virtual or in-person company holiday events.

FOLLOW EMPLOYEES' LEADS

 

Amy and Nikki discussed paying attention to employees and incorporating their ideas and interests, rather than planning "one size fits all" blanket events. You can even have employees take a proactive role in planning gatherings.

 

At OfficeTogether's New York office, one employee, who's a performer, organized a group of coworkers to go see Aladdin on Broadway.

 

Another OfficeTogether employee, who's an experienced photographer, led a headshot event where coworkers could receive new professional headshots.

 

EVENTS CAN BE LOW-KEY

 

Employee events can be super casual as well. The OfficeTogether staff went to a Cava bar, where you could bring in your own food and board games. It was super affordable, and the group was able to hang out and have fun for a couple hours.

 

At another casual event, a group from OfficeTogether played shuffleboard and got barbeque afterwards. It didn't require much planning, and employees even arranged their own transportation. 

 

An event can be laid-back and still be a very positive team building experience.

 

WELCOME BACK TO THE OFFICE

 

With so many companies returning to the office this month, Nikki thinks it's a great time to throw "Welcome Back to the Office" events. It's been a while since everyone has been able to socialize in-person. Employees hired over the last two years might have never even met their coworkers in-person or been to the office space. An event can encourage everyone to get to know each other and the space. 

Something simple like an ice cream social during lunch would work great. You can have name tags (for the benefit of the new employees), hand out new swag, and provide a tour for any new employees. You can even engage remote employees with a digital tour and have in-person employees socialize with them via video conference. The main goal is to build excitement for returning to the office.

 

To read more ideas from Nikki Herzog and stay up to date with the release of her book, check out her website Meetings with Cake.

 

Thank you Nikki for joining us for such a timely conversation! And thank you to everyone who was able to attend or watch at a later time.

Sources: 

1. https://www.zippia.com/advice/hybrid-work-statistics/

Share
More From The Hybrid
What Is a Virtual Office? (Advantages & Disadvantages)
Research from CBRE found that nearly 85% of employees would prefer to work remotely at least two to three days a week. On top of that staggering conclusion, Chicago Booth economists found that nearly 34% of U.S. jobs can be performed at home. What does this research mean for companies that have yet to adopt a hybrid or remote work model? Change is coming.
Read More
Office Space Management in 2022
Over the past few years, the office landscape has transformed into something entirely different from a traditional office. Instead of gloomy 9-to-5 days spent in a cubicle or conference room, employees spend their days collaborating with peers and clients from virtually everywhere. This change has made a difference—now, 77% of employees report that this flexibility benefits their mental health.
Read More
How to Disconnect from Work: 9 Ways
Over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent increase in hybrid and remote work have blurred the lines between home and professional life. As the stress in our work lives increases, our mood regulation skills become less effective. When this happens, work stress can bleed into our home and personal lives.⁸
Read More
Not sure which OfficeTogether product is right for you?
Let's Chat
Join our mailing list.
Stay up to date with news, product releases, and exciting updates from OfficeTogether.
Thank you! Your submission has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
© OfficeTogether, 2022. All Rights Reserved.
OfficeTogether has been acquired by Envoy to continue pushing forward the future of work. Learn more