Ah, summertime. Warm days filled with plenty of sunnin’ and funnin’… but you’re marooned at your computer in the office while seemingly everyone else in the world is outside having the time of their lives. If you feel like it’s time to shake things up this summer at the workplace, take the advice of these 17 entrepreneurial pros to step away from the cubicle and get the team hiking, biking, and zip-lining!
1) “At Clarke, we have garden plots on the campus for people to grow their own veggies as snacks. People line up for the chance to weed, water, and more! We have a day of giving, where we go out as a company and do things like harvest heirloom seeds and work in soup kitchens. We just began the process of converting our campus to having a natural prairie walking path one open to the community as well.”
– Laura McGowan, The McGowan Group
2) “We’re a virtual company so we get 100% of our work done from home and encourage our full-time employees (60+ people) to get up and moving out of their home offices. This summer, our Co-Founder Dennis Najjar instituted the 150 Mile Challenge, challenging employees to walk 150 miles over the course of the summer and rewarding those who complete it with $150 prize. The challenge runs from May 1st to August 31st and nearly half the employees joined in, using FitBits, phone apps and other tracking methods to log their miles. So far we’ve logged more than 2,000 miles! We’ve dubbed it #150ADCMiles!”
– Andrea Boccard, Marketing Manager, AccountingDepartment.com, LLC
3) “Employees of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits, hosted a flash event on June 11 to show support for The New York City Police Museum (NYCPM), which, like Guardian, was displaced from its home following the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. However, unlike Guardian, the Museum has yet to return to its home at Old Slip due to the extent of the storm-related damages. Over 100 Guardian employees performed a dance routine at Old Slip Park (adjacent to The NYCPM’s permanent home at 100 Old Slip) for about 3-4 minutes, then quickly dispersed. The official video can be viewed on YouTube here.”
– Ana Sandoval, Manager, Media Relations, The Guardian Life Insurance Company
4) “At eZanga.com, rather than celebrating milestones in the office, we’re celebrating them outside! Thus far, we celebrated our 11th company birthday with a pool and volleyball day at the owner’s house, a family day trip to Hershey Park, and next week (Monday), we’re celebrating Christmas in July with a trip to Atlantic City. Along with all of these activities, it is not unheard of for some of our staff to go for a quick walk at lunch to ‘get their FitBit steps up.’ These outdoor activities and celebrations have kept our team-building strong and wards off the office blues too.”
– Michelle Brammer, Marketing Manager, eZanga.com
5) “The DuPuis Group, an international design and innovation firm, is always looking for innovative ways to get team members away from their desks. We host yoga in the office every other week for team members. In addition, our Chicago office recently took a half day out of work to play Whirlyball followed by a summer BBQ at a team member’s house. Our Ventura office is looking forward to breaking away from the workplace with a yoga hike in August!”
– Kaitlin Myers, Internal PR Coordinator, DuPuis Group
6) “Here at Fitzii, we stumbled on a great get-out-of-the-cubicle activity. We headed out for a round of Frisbee golf and loved it. We really liked that mixing with colleagues was easy, we got some exercise, it was something new to most of us and it was free. People that didn’t fancy the Frisbee part could also just tag along for the walk. (If there’s not a course locally, you can also just play in a park and use trees or signposts as baskets).”
– Ian Yates, Managing Director, Fitzii
7) “The culture at Vantage PR is a healthy mix of work and play because we believe that by interjecting a little fun in the professional environment, we can provide a greater sense of community and collaboration. One way we achieve that balance is through ‘Fun Fridays,’ a weekly activity ranging from scavenger hunts, afternoon trips to our favorite restaurant or even to our local dessert store where the entire team got to make their own box of chocolate. Recently, our office became very engaged in the 2014 World Cup matches. For the final U.S. match, our office dressed up in their most American outfits and headed down to a local park to watch the game on a big outdoor screen – yes, during office hours! We also plan an annual retreat to get employees out the typically work environment, and last year, the entire Vantage team travelled to Puerto Valletta, Mexico for three days of team buildings activities.”
– Katie Blair, Account Director, Head of Orlando Office, PAN Communications
8) “Our company culture is as quirky and unique as our product line. With the goal of achieving zero waste, we utilize a chicken powered compost maintained by employees. We also have weekly yoga sessions to break our days up, relax, and get us moving.”
– Kaitlyn Marley, Marking/Advocacy Intern, ChicoBag Company
9) “Quest Groups is always clamoring to get outside of the office! Everyone goes on runs, walks, crossfit or boot camp classes during lunch hours (company sponsored) and on Fridays, we always crash favorite restaurants (preferably with a patio) for company lunches and cocktails. When an employee “workversary” is upon us, we are known to head to the park for volleyball games, soccer games, boating or river floating. Two weeks ago, our CEO Joe Kosakowski flew in a chef for a Blind Lunch – we ate a 5 course meal blindfolded in order to stimulate the senses.”
– Jamie Gamblin, Marketing Director, Quest Groups LLC
10) “Our office is located right downtown Toronto! In order to get our team outside of the cubicle this summer (and all year round for that matter ) we go out for a company-financed lunch at a local eatery for every employee’s birthday – patios always preferred! In addition, every six weeks our team goes out together for a corporate event. So far, our team has gone to laser tag, comedy clubs, go-karting and our next outing will be bowling! Getting the team out of the office, especially in the summer months has proven to be a great way to build employee engagement, team building and bonding – essential for thinking outside the cubicle.”
– Holly Bennett, PR Associate, Toronto Vaporizer
11) “We are continuing to strive to find fun ways to keep our employees have great job satisfaction by doing things like bike to work day followed by a day at the creek, hot air ballooning, zip-lining, daily walks around the Boulder creek to get out of the office for a quick rejuvenation, and many more fun activities. We like to have our employees stay active and create memories even while at work!”
– Megan Masterson, Administrative Assistant, Cloud 9 Living
12) “A long time ago, (1975-1977), I sold time for a radio station in San Francisco. The sales manager, to make sure we would get out of our cubicles and go out and make sales calls, would sometimes do two things:
1) He would give us a roll of dimes to call in orders from pay phones.
2) He would hide our chairs.
We got the picture.”
– Robert Barrows, President, R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising & Public Relations
13) “Our president and CEO, Mike Kappel has made sure a powerful WiFi connection was installed and picnic tables were placed outside so we are able to take our laptops outside and work on nice days (or at nearby businesses on rainy days). Mike has no problems with Patriot employees working outside the office. Productivity isn’t limited to cubicle. For fun, Mike has brought in chairs and a tent for a company picnic. After our barbeque, we will all get to mingle and play bocci ball and corn hole for a few hours.”
– Michele Bossart, Patriot Software, Inc.
14) “Yesterday, I took our entire company out for a boating day to get a little break from the office. Every Friday I take the entire team to lunch. It’s a nice way to wrap up the week and step away from the office! The ShortStack office is located near Lake Tahoe so every summer we do beach days, we’ll head out to watch the local baseball games or just all eat lunch outside. Every afternoon our developers take a walk around the area as well. I encourage and support my employees to take breaks and step away from their desks as needed.”
– Jim Belosic, CEO/Overlord, ShortStack
15) “Intelicare Direct has incorporated twice daily wellness walks and they also have a personal trainer that comes to the office to teach 5-6 classes per week. They have creative meeting spaces that aren’t just plain conference rooms to encourage getting out of the cubicle. The company also has a fun committee that holds weekly employee appreciation events such as Luau’s, BBQs and themed days like prom, ‘80s and crazy hair day.”
– Gabriel Bristol, President/CEO, Intelicare Direct
16) “I own and operate an outdoor adventure tour company specializing in wild food foraging. Participants gather wild edibles, and a local restaurant prepares their own catch of the day. We’ve been featured on Bizarre Foods, have been ranked one of five best travel experiences by Southern Living, and have also appeared on The History Channel, PBS, and CBS, and in The New Yorker, Country Living, and The Chicago Tribune.”
– Alan Muskat, Director, No Taste Like Home
17) “A couple of months ago, our team met with a couple of other local companies for an afternoon of paintball. We’re used to being in the office hunched over computers all day, so it was really great change of pace to get the whole team outside running around.”
– Michelle Vasicek, Director of Marketing, Simply Made Apps
Get to thinking outside of the cubicle by starting up a small business! MyCorporation is here to help you get your start-up open for business. Leave a comment below, or give us a call at 1-877-692-6772!