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There was once a point in time where businesses where hesitant to adopt technology. Now, for many, it’s present throughout the running of a typical working day.  According to Medium, “technology has not only changed the way we live our lives, but the way we perform our daily tasks”. And that it has, mainly in the way firms are running their businesses.

From Google hangouts to VR conference meetings, technology isn’t only enabling companies to streamline their services, develop their offering and connect with diverse audience demographics. It’s also driving communication within offices. Now, the essential social interaction between colleagues such as everyday chit-chat, team bonding sessions, and face-to-face meetings, are more likely to take second place to cyberspace.

Preferred for their ease and efficiency, conversing via digital tools is now the medium of choice for businesses. But is it inflicting more damage than good? It seems that they can be a contributing factor to employee burnout. Businesses now more than ever must ensure their offline engagements are being prioritised, for sake of employee wellbeing and operational functionality.

Why should businesses go offline?

Businesses fear the unfeasible time-outs that enable workers to connect face-to-face. Yet in actuality, collective social interaction can heighten team morale, and also motivate and provide employees with a sense of purpose. There are advantages for employers too; real-life conversations give workers multiple emotional advantages, and in turn can provide firms with a general increase in staff performance, and a reduction in sick-days taken by colleagues.

Time is undoubtedly money. However, a couple of hours here or there spent to promote social activity — rid of technological endorsement — isn’t a lot to ask, all things considered.

See below for ways in which businesses can create fun, interactive offline sessions for staff to engage in. Not just an excuse for office antics or hijinks, but an opportunity for you to get the best results from your staff, and provide an overall happier office environment.

Game sessions

Laidback Friday afternoons in offices are on the rise with modern businesses rewarding the good efforts of their employees. Nothing like a team building afternoon ping pong session after a weeks’ graft. However, if you cannot justify a reward for the performance being delivered, how about something that uses the best of both?

Fun ways to develop workplace skills and knowledge for staff training

Peer pong

Nope, not a typo. Set up a beer pong scenario by arranging cups into a 10-cup triangle, on a large table, and provide balls and paddles. Employees use the paddle to try and bat the ball into one of the cups. Place questions or cue-notes into each cup, which staff than respond to if they manage to land a ball into that cup.

The notes could ask colleagues to identify a personal area to improve on, provide creative input to a current project or business development, or identify a strength of a fellow colleague’s. Once an answer has been successfully delivered, the person wins that cup. The person with most cups at the end, wins!

Teams could play against each other, or individuals could compete in a tournament, perhaps. Consider whether your workplace would most benefit from playing management against general workforce, or everyone mingling together. The aim here is to encourage teamwork across all levels, as well as communication and knowledge. It’s also an informal way for employees to share ideas which could be of huge benefit to a project or process.

Office ‘pub’ quiz

This engagement requires more planning than a quick game of ‘Peer Pong’, so it might need to be less regular an occurrence.

Category rounds could feature company-related trivia — an ideal way for newbies to be warmly introduced and acquainted with the history of your company — to enforce enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for your brand within employees. Other categories could be completely random, thrown in there just for the fun and appeal.

It will help reinforce the idea that colleagues are operating in a team, and all contribute individual skills to the overall success of that team.

The evenings aim to bring your brand to life by involving those closest — the employees who represent and deliver your products daily — cementing and bonding the many identities whom collectively contribute to your business. Through unique, inclusive sessions, staff are likely to transition from people who just perform a job, into integrated assets, who together bring value to your brand.

And did it even happen if it wasn’t exhibited all over social media? Zany business get-togethers are likely to drive online engagement, making for excellent marketing materials. Publish your quiz events to flaunt your ‘fun side’, drive brand awareness and promote your newest products.

Followers plug their time and money into firms that are ethical and possess an identity online; both of which you can tick off through events that exhibit your business’ appreciation for its staff.

Out of office

To bring social interaction up a gear or two, activate your out of office response and head for the door with your workforce in tow. ‘Check in’ to nearby seminars, workshops or social events, to raise brand awareness, learn of the latest industry developments and become acquainted with invaluable skills or software updates.

Attending as a collective unit — as opposed to certain members being allocated staff privileges — creates a sense of equality and importance amongst employees. It influences individuals to feel worthy and appreciated.

It also means that everyone can be brought onto the same page at once. If there are any relevant technological advancements to learn, then the team can acknowledge and discuss them simultaneously, saving workers time and effort at a later date.

We understand that for SME’s in particular, removing all hands from deck on a busy Friday afternoon isn’t viable. The specific needs of your company might dictate a different time, place, and regularity. The events needn’t cost a thing — a lot are completely free — other than a few hours work, which could well be worth it for the renewed productivity that it brings.

Inspirational outings such as gallery openings, catwalks, screenings or tech hubs also make for rewarding group trips. Considered as more of a ‘day out’ for colleagues, the events are a great way of igniting creative juices and inspiring future work projects.

How do you feel about businesses going ‘offline’ to connect with employees? Comment below with your thoughts.

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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