What a crazy couple of years it’s been! For many of us, being cut off from family and friends left us feeling isolated and alone. FaceTime and virtual meetups became a lifesaver for many but of course could never truly replace the intimacy of in-person gatherings.
Although technology (for the most part) has liberated us from needing to physically go to an office, for many people, a huge part of their daily social lives has always included their interactions with co-workers. Almost overnight, when employees, either voluntarily or as a result of public health orders, started to work from home, these opportunities to socialize at the office also ended.
In the early days of the pandemic employees were often excited to work from home as it meant no more commute, more time with their families, a flexible schedule and no one watching over their shoulder. However, as weeks turned into months, many employees began to miss face-to-face communication, social interactions, and the ease of quickly being able to collaborate with a coworker. Others found that working at home lacked structure, making it hard to stay motivated or difficult to maintain a regular work schedule.
New employees are often most negatively affected by working from home. In many cases these new hires have never had the opportunity to meet the rest of their team in-person. Not only does that leave them feeling isolated, but they can’t benefit from watching what their coworkers are doing and managers or teammates may not notice if they’re struggling.
While some companies will continue to support remote working or offer more flexible schedules, most have begun to reopen offices and welcome their employees back. Whether someone enjoys working remotely or is excited to get back to the office, after such a long time working from home this is going to be a huge adjustment for many employees. It’s important to let your employees know that you acknowledge that this could be a difficult or stressful transition, and build some excitement about returning to work.
With that said, as promised, here are 5 exciting ways to welcome your team back to the office!1. Have a Parking Lot Picnic
Who doesn’t love a picnic? This can be as simple as grilling up some burgers and hot dogs, or take it to the next level with a food truck. For something truly unique, considering multiple food trucks or food stations with international themes like sushi, poke, or a taco bar.
2. Personalized Welcome Back Gifts
Make sure you have a small welcome back gift waiting on employee’s desks on their first day back. It could be a gift card to a restaurant or coffee shop, or their favorite snack. No matter what you choose, include a personal card or note thanking them for their hard work and dedication during this difficult and uncertain time.
3. Host an IRL Happy Hour
Zoom work cocktail parties were alright when we had no other choice, but nothing beats actually getting together over drinks in person. Plan a “Happy First Day Back to the Office” get together for the end of your first day back. Consider hiring a bartender, giving away personalized pint glasses, or having a contest to see who can come up with the best cocktail. Still have part of your team working virtually? Send them ingredients so they can participate from home!
4. Take the Team Out For Dinner
This can be a great way to show your appreciation while also supporting a fellow local business that likely also struggled during the pandemic. Consider having one of your company executives make a thank you speech to make the evening more than just a dinner..
5. First Day Back Photo Booth
Rent a TapSnap photo booth for the first day back at the office or at your welcome back celebration and include a branded photo border with a message for your team. Include the photos in your company newsletter and encourage employees to share on social media. Still have part of your team working remotely? No problem! Add the TapSnap Virtual Booth to enable virtual employees to join in. This fun activity will break the ice and the photos will help commemorate the new chapter in your company’s story.
TapSnap 1050 helped Roku celebrate their return to work party
No matter if it's a single office return to work party, or a multi-city, multi-day event, TapSnap can help make your celebration one to remember. Contact us today to learn more.