Making a Memory-filled Summer at the Office (15+ Ideas)

Culture

August 8, 2023

Abby Parker

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5 min

Create lasting memories during the summer office days fostering team bonding and creativity throughout the warmer season.

Revitalize Employee Recognition this Summer: Ignite team spirit with unique office activities like personalized zines and virtual contests, tailored to enhance camaraderie and appreciation. Elevate your employee recognition strategies with these creative approaches, crafted for HR leaders aiming to create an unforgettable summer experience.

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It’s easy to feel stuck in the office, whether remote or shared, looking out the window and envying everyone spending their summer outside. But, being in the office doesn’t have to mean you’re missing out on making other memories. It should be the opposite. So, we put together a handful of summer office activities and injected some personality into them.

It’s one thing to plan a group outing, but to make sure employees feel their summertime is well spent, add some small, personalized touches, and make it a true team-building experience. With that said, here are our ideas for a memory-filled summer at the office.  

For a Crafty Summer

Team Zines

Zines, pronounced zeens, are beginner-friendly, handmade magazines or comics. But really, your zine can be whatever you make it. You could brainstorm a theme, or have each team member fill a page with a collage of their summer. Put everyone’s artwork together on one printable document and publish your zine to the whole company. To get started, search Google or Pinterest for downloadable templates, or create your own. Zines don’t have to be complicated; you can even make a mini zine with just one piece of printer paper.  

Zines are a great way to share memories and create traditions. Every summer, your team can look forward to making the next edition or volume.  

Personal Picnic Blanket

Picnics already make for a wholesome summer day, but throw in a blanket canvas and some fabric paint to really bring everyone together. Team members can paint one square each, quilt-style, or paint all over the blanket, abstract-style. Hold onto it for future team picnics, or hang it up in the office as a conversation piece.  

If one blanket is too small for everyone’s illustrations, cover your lunch tables in some brown kraft paper and leave out a pack of rainbow crayons or markers. Who said coloring is just for kids?

Paint Night

Paint nights are great for bonding with your co-workers and decorating the office for the season. Not to mention, a great opportunity for creative team members to share their ideas. Hopefully, everyone leaves with a sense of pride for what they created, but even better, a sense of belonging. Teams can paint frames to fill with their own photos, or canvases to bring home.  

Maybe bring a big blender to the office and sip on a batch of (virgin) frozen margaritas while you’re at it?  

Desk Terrariums

Terrariums bring a little more life to the office and showcase everyone’s imagination. Plus, they’re pretty low maintenance, so team members who aren’t plant lovers will have no issue keeping them alive. Terrariums are super customizable, but here are some supplies you might need:  

  • Glassware, check out your local thrift or dollar store
  • Rocks, Pebbles
  • Perlite
  • Orchid Bark
  • Potting Soil
  • Moss
  • Succulents

You can bring terrarium kits to the office for people to make on their own time, or bring all the supplies in bulk and lead them through the experience.  

For a Sporty Summer

People want to step away from the screen and be outside while the sun’s shining. These ideas don’t need too much pre or post-amble, rewarding your team with some healthy summer sun is a great way to make the most of the season.  

Of course, pick a sport or activity you know your whole team would be excited for and that’s inclusive to everyone’s mobility. Lean toward options that give employees more time outdoors with their families. These are just a few ideas, low and high intensity, for a sporty summer:  

  • Mini-Golf
  • Hacky Sack Games
  • Kite Flying
  • Cardboard Boat Racing
  • Badminton Tournament  
  • Hiking
  • Soccer Game  
  • Volleyball Tournament

Refresh with some lemonade or ice cream to round out the day. Don’t forget to take lots of photos along the way so you can reminisce once the cooler months hit.

For a Virtual Summer

We didn’t forget about your remote team members of course. There are endless options for online team building throughout the summer.  

Oracle Card Readings

You could hold oracle card readings throughout the year, but in the summer, people might have more time to reflect on their readings during vacation. And if you love a theme, there are many oracle decks with nature and floral illustrations you can use to tie in the season.  

In one team fortune-telling session, for example, the manager could pull a card for each team member and help them find the meaning behind it. Team members can ask their fortune teller questions like, “Am I on the right track with this idea?” or “Where should I get ideas for my next project?” Readings don’t set anything in stone, but they are a fun way to keep your team sharing ideas.  

Virtual Contests

From finding the best summer recipe to snapping the coolest landscape, give your team the opportunity for some friendly competition. Though these ideas make online participation easy, they’re also meant to give remote workers time away from the screen first. Here are just a few ideas for virtual contests that keep everyone engaged no matter where they’re working from:  

  • Summer Photography Contest: Post your summer pictures to an album where team members can vote on their favourite one. The winner gets to pick the theme for a company-wide photo at the end of the summer, the sillier the better.  
  • Recipe Recreation Contest: Post your favourite summer recipes to an album all team members can access. Then, decide on an award for the employee with the most recreated recipe. Maybe a paid night out to their favourite restaurant?  
  • A Scavenger Hunt: Less time-consuming than an in-person scavenger hunt, send team members out to solve riddles and find common household objects as fast as possible. The first person to complete the scavenger hunt could win a trip to an escape room near them.  
  • Hawaiian Shirt Contest: This one can take on many forms. The basic idea is that people wear their best Hawaiian shirts to the team meeting, and the tackiest one wins. It doesn’t have to be limited to Hawaiian shirts though, try the contest with hats or sunglasses.  

And remember, Kudos can help you bring all these ideas to reality, with features such as Albums to hold all of your virtual contests and safe-keep your favourite summer memories. It’s now time to let the sun set on this article, but hopefully we gave you some ideas worth considering.  

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About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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