Informal gatherings that enable our employees to take a short break from the digital world are a major part of #optilife. We all look forward to such get-togethers, knowing they will help us to strengthen team bonds, which is vital for successful project work. However, we wouldn’t be true to ourselves if we didn’t constantly explore new and exciting ways of doing things, even when it comes to just having fun. To put a special twist on each of our informal events, we rely on a team of colleagues, who are also team building specialists and thus our inexhaustible source of ideas for fun activities. Want to know what these look like? Let’s take a look at a few examples from the past years.
Project: Team Buildings with a Special Twist
True or false?
When it comes to finding out new things about our colleagues, our new year’s party from 2018 really stands out. Even before the main activity of the evening, each employee had to share two interesting facts about themselves with our team building pros, who then added two false claims to the mix. Later at the party, every colleague received an envelope with four cards – two with their own true claims and two with falsehoods. Upon being divided into groups, we took turns on the podium, blindly picking cards from our own envelopes and presenting every fact as if it were true. If we got the card with the false claim, we had to convince others that it’s actually true. Members of other teams could only use a few simple questions to decide whether the speakers were presenting real or false facts. And the result? Lots of exciting new information and even more masterfully improvised presentations of false facts contributing to several hours of constant laughter.
Scavenger hunt around Škofja Loka
Organising a proper scavenger hunt around Škofja Loka’s wonderful old town was definitely a task that required our team building specialists to use all their organisational skills. As always, they did a wonderful job, thinking of several puzzling challenges that all made for an unforgettable adventure. As always, we worked in teams, each being given some books for guidance and sent to a different station somewhere in the centre of Škofja Loka. At each station, we had to tackle a special challenge to be able to proceed to the next station and come closer to the final goal, much like in an escape room.
The puzzles were created in such a way that all team members had to work together to solve a problem. Each team consisted of specialists from different departments, who had to rely on each other’s skills and knowledge to find the best solutions. Besides the main challenges, the teams also had to answer some trivial questions about their coworkers and the company. Want a few examples? How many years apart are the oldest and the youngest Optiweb employee? Who lives the furthest away from Optiweb HQ and how many kilometres does this person have to drive to get to work?
The team that got the most answers right and was the fastest to complete the challenges took the trophy. But the activity was about much more. Besides having tons of fun, our team members also got a chance to learn more about Škofja Loka as many of us don’t actually live here. You can read more about the scavenger hunt here.
The new year’s escape room – let’s start a project
Escape rooms have long been a popular team building activity. We decided to jump on this bandwagon too, but with a special twist. Aiming to offer a fun activity while also showing the employees how Optiweb’s main departments work, we turned our own offices into an escape room. Each team had to face 8 challenges that were developed to demonstrate how the company usually tackles projects.
For one evening, we imagined that a famous international company is actually our client who needs an online store. Therefore, we first had to go through the specifics of the project and negotiate the price. Once we found out that we would need more manpower to complete all the tasks, we had to pick the best candidate for some extra help. This was followed by the work on a wireframe and design, upon which we could finally develop the site and test it to squash some hidden bugs.
But the project was still far from over as at this stage, the work for some of our specialists was just beginning. To achieve great online results, our marketing gurus had to come up with a strong digital marketing strategy. We therefore had the chance to experience how projects in marketing are managed, coordinating the next steps with several colleagues while also being in touch with the customer. And before finishing the project, we had to make sure the invoice was written correctly. This way, each team went through the whole process, learning how the projects are run at various stages and what is necessary for everything to work out as it should.
Turning into remote artists!
This year, we also faced a rather unexpected challenge in terms of our company culture – the dreaded quarantine and the obligatory remote work. As Optiweb folks like to meet for a cup of coffee in the morning and chat a bit, we had to find a new way of spending time together. Therefore, we started with virtual coffee meetings on Zoom. This was a rather nice alternative to meeting coworkers in person, but we soon realised that we could use our creativity to also make afternoons in self isolation a bit more interesting. We therefore took part in three challenges – making replicas of famous works of art, recreating famous movie scenes and demonstrating our superpowers to colleagues.
To be busted or not to be, that is the challenge
When the quarantine was over, we didn’t hesitate to meet again – we even organised a post-quarantine bbq party with a very special activity. This time, every employee was given three unique tasks that they were supposed to complete until the end of the event. Some of these tasks were pretty straightforward while others were … at least a little bit unusual. Let’s take a look at some of these challenges:
- Convince a veggie-hating coworker to eat a dish with vegetables
- Join the coworkers playing volleyball and pretend to be the worst player the whole time
- Convince a coworker that you can write Arabic and write down their name in Arabic alphabet. Repeat this with 5 coworkers and write all their names down in exactly the same way.
- Pretend that you’ve just seen a cow escape from the neighbouring farm and convince a coworker that you two should bring the poor animal back.
When completing any task, a colleague that was chosen as the “victim” of the prank could stop their coworker with the question “Is this your challenge?“. If this was true, the prankster was busted and could not finish the task. Of course, each coworker was only allowed three busting attempts. Some of us therefore tried to make our colleagues waste all their “busting rights” while others carefully observed people in their company, trying to sabotage their prank attempts and prevent them from winning points. Despite everyone trying their best to complete the challenges, our sales team were playing in a league of their own.
More work for an even better morale
Because we are a fast-growing company, informal events are vital in bringing the team closer together. This is why we invest a lot of time in organising them properly. We pay a lot of attention to showing the employees how every department works, helping them appreciate each other and thus contributing to a great company culture. We also try to encourage creativity, ingenuity and just the right amount of competitiveness to make the team progress. Since our “team building department” never runs out of ideas, we can’t wait to see what they have in store for our next informal event.