Every year, millions of workers are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the “winter blues.” With autumn steadily approaching, your team is likely experiencing a lack of productivity and motivation, which can be easily remedied if you know how to re-energize them.
- A – Appetizing cookie decorating
- U – Ultimate costume contest
- T – Tea, coffee, and more corner
- U – Ultra bake-off
- M – Magical murder mysteries
- N – Nighttime trivia and movies
Luckily, a focus on team-building is just what your team needs in order to feel that spark and drive once again! By incorporating interactive and exciting activities into your work day, your employees are bound to feel better connected and more satisfied.
Keep reading, and I’ll use the acronym AUTUMN to share six of the best team-building exercises for the fall season.
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#1. Appetizing cookie decorating
With summer at our backs and the cozy autumn season approaching, it’s time to take a new approach to your employees’ happiness. After all, now that the warm weather is parting ways, your team might be feeling the inevitable drag of fall and winter.
If it seems like your workers are suffering from fatigue or it seems like they’re not they’re usual selves, your employees might be afflicted with SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This type of seasonal depression is often referred to as the “winter blues” and entails short periods of sadness, fatigue, or merely feeling “down.”
In fact, this disorder can heavily disrupt workplace communication, motivation, and productivity, costing businesses in the United States upwards of $50 billion each year.
The power of team-building activities
Finding ways to boost morale can be tricky at times. Your employees are likely battling with plenty of their own complications and facing challenges you might not know about.
However, it’s up to you to ensure that they feel excited to come to the office every day. And that’s actually simpler than it might seem!
There are a few surefire ways to support your team when the weather starts to change. And you should always start with team-building activities.
Taking it further than a few icebreaker questions
However, if you want the effectiveness of your team-building events to really work, you need to ensure the environment itself is uplifting and supportive. It’s hard to get your workers out of a rut if your workplace just consists of dry walls and a broken coffee machine.
First things first – try to revamp your workplace! Ensure there is plenty of natural sunlight, as this will help to combat the negative side effects of the winter months and SAD.
Even a few potted plants and more ergonomic chairs can really do the trick. By ensuring their physical surroundings are fit, you can slowly show your team that you appreciate them and that they deserve only the best.
A tasty and seasonal team-building activity for any workplace
Finding the perfect team bonding exercise for your employee can be a fun task. It’s nice to have a break from your regular routine!
When it comes to fall activities, there’s nothing more relaxing than cookie decorating. Plus, it’s so nostalgic and sure to get you into the mood for whatever holiday is nearing!
A perfect team-building event for any holiday season
Cookie decorating is a fun and lighthearted way to get people involved and in tune with the season.
If Halloween is right around the corner, you can’t go wrong with pastel pumpkin and pearly white ghost cookies. And when Christmas time rolls around, you can make them more festive.
Just know the sky is the limit. Just be sure you have plenty of materials like colorful icing, sparkly sprinkles, and freshly baked cookies. All that’s left is to let your employees test their creativity!
This is a great way to get everyone involved and bond, especially since there’s an extra-special treat at the end! And if your office usually hosts a spooky Halloween party, don’t forget to save some of these sweet eats for the evening.
Don’t forget to share it with your virtual team
Many people have the misconception that they can’t or don’t need to involve remote teams in bonding activities. But that is far from the truth, and even the opposite.
Your virtual workers likely feel much more secluded and withdrawn than your in-person staff. 40% of remote employees have stated that a virtual working situation has made it harder to connect with colleagues.
Luckily, it’s easy to bring this team-building activity to your virtual team. All you need to do is send a cookie decorating kit with some tasty sugar cookies to your employees and hop on a video call together when it comes time to let the creative juices flow!
#2. Ultimate costume contest
If we’re talking about Halloween-related, fall-centric, team-building activities, there’s nothing more enlightening and energizing than a costume contest!
Though your team likely sees this spooky holiday as something more for their own kids, why not make it a thing at your own office?
Reawaken the imagination and creativity of your team
This is a fun and nostalgic way to bring some positive energy and motivation into the office without going overboard. Plus, you can make it a recurring event!
Making a contest out of it is a great way to introduce some friendly competition while encouraging your team to try their best.
#3. Tea, coffee, and more corner
What’s more “autumn” than some spiced hot beverages? Your team likely enjoys indulging in a cup of coffee or two year-round, but this season is especially unique for its ties to steamy mugs of flavored joe.
Now is the time to set up a new and improved coffee station in the office, complete with all the fixings that your employees need to make it exactly how they like it.
Don’t forget to have some options for herbal teas for those who aren’t a fan of caffeine.
Upgrade from a coffee station to a latte bar
Even better? Outfit your office with a latte station! That way, your employees can enjoy a festive pumpkin spice latte when they come to the office.
If you want to do something a bit more immersive, you can host a latte art workshop. That way, your team can finally learn how to make that perfect cup just in time for autumn to kick into high gear.
#4. Ultra bake-off
Everyone knows that the fall season is well-known for baked goods. From Halloween cookies to Christmas gingerbread houses, now is the time to treat your stomach to some warm, sweet treats!
Each of your employees likely likes a secret recipe that they love to pull out in the fall. Maybe it’s a family tradition or their favorite comfort food.
Regardless, encouraging your team to share some of their tastiest baked treats with everyone else can help bring people together!
No one can resist delicious, home-baked treats
This fun team-building activity will leave everyone laughing with full stomachs. It’s hard to turn down such an appealing offer!
You can offer different categories and encourage employees to make submissions for multiple types of food. That way, you can even turn it into a potluck-esque event and keep everyone fed.
Don’t forget to have a prize for the winning team or individual. That’s an important part of a bake-off!
#5. Magical murder mysteries
Oftentimes, hosting a casual and laid-back event is all it takes to bring your team closer together. If they’re feeling a bit left out or tired, keeping it simple can do wonders in and of itself.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to refrain from a more extravagant event.
Hosting a corporate event is the perfect way to bring team-building to the forefront
In fact, putting together a corporate event can offer a pleasant break from your team’s standard day-to-day while offering some amazing entertainment. All you need is a hilarious master of ceremonies, and your employees are sure to be wowed!
As an experienced corporate emcee, I know how powerful company events can be when it comes to team bonding. Finding a speaker to incorporate the right fun team activities into the function can provide a great way to connect your team to the company’s mission and their own colleagues.
An exhilarating and immersive activity for everyone on the team
A murder mystery night is a great way to get your team in the mood for the festive season while allowing them to build positive connections. Plus, it’s a fun game to play, plain and simple!
Though a murder mystery game could be seen as intense or dark, it’s right on the theme for Halloween. Though it’s not quite time for the ghastly ghouls and spooky skeletons, you can always keep this idea in the back of your head if you need the perfect Halloween-themed team bonding activity!
A great game for both in-person teams and remote workers
#6. Nighttime trivia and movies
It’s time to challenge your team. Whether you want to test your team’s knowledge of the company or something a bit more festive and playful, trivia is a great way to help your team connect.
You can turn the entire evening into an unforgettable bonding experience by offering some other activities, including film favorites.
Here’s some inspiration to get you going
Here are some fun, fall-themed trivia questions to get you started:
Oktoberfest takes place in what German city? (Munich)
What changing pigment in a plant causes it to lose color in the fall? (Chlorophyll)
What squash is a rich green hue? (Kabocha)
Add more as you see fit!
Now that fall is here, it’s time to try out some of these festive and comforting team-building activity ideas. That way, you can support your team to the max!
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Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.