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Most of us like an office shindig, whether its EOFY celebration, the company Christmas party, someone’s birthday bash…or just ‘cos. If you have a particularly enthusiastic team, you may find the workplace social calendar gets filled with more than just an end of year ‘thank you’ lunch with events like the Melbourne Cup (quite timely!), Halloween and even National Penguin Day!

If this is not the case and you are not celebrating National Picnic or Penguin Day, then maybe its time to get the party started!! Workplace celebrations might seem frivolous or unnecessary, but they can have a powerful impact on employee engagement, office camaraderie, motivation, work productivity and employee retention. I am sure most of us would agree that having a pretty positive and high performing (even if occasionally a bit tipsy ((but that’s OK, right?!)) workforce is a good thing.

With the Melbourne Cup being upon us, general chat within the Acquire team and with clients and candidates about how they are celebrating the race that stops a Nation has been at the forefront. Obviously, Victoria are lucky enough to get a public holiday for the event but in my experience, the rest of Australia celebrates it in just as much style J

Of course, to get that well orchestrated, high performing and functioning team in the workplace; social events don’t always have to revolve around getting glammed up and having a vino in hand! Work events are effective team building activities, which can be created and inspired by team members themselves and based on culture, interests and creativity. Event ideas are limited only by budgets and just how creative (and daring!) your teams can be! They can include adrenaline filled activities like kayaking, assault courses or clay pigeon shooting, which may not float everyone’s boat and be more attractive to those with competitive natures amongst us! Or for those not quite so physically adventurous, problem-solving brain bursting challenges are also on the work social calendar, which are common events on National Puzzle Day (for those who are thinking, National Puzzle Day?! Yes, it is real and is on the 29th January!). It can also be just as effective to throw together a simple and spontaneous picnic, especially for those with a smaller team.

Social events are important to keep a well-oiled team and creativity juices flowing in the workplace. Events do not have to be expensive, they can be low cost, easy to arrange, fun team building experiences that will promote close work friendships. Throwing regular get-togethers gives team members opportunities to spend time together in a non-stressful environment, which will support the development of positive working relationships. Which, at the end of the day, considering we spend around 1,920 hours a year with our work colleagues, surely can only be a good thing!

Happy Melbourne Cup!