Inclusive Team Building: Beyond ‘Beer Fridays’

When it comes to fostering team spirit and camaraderie within the walls of a studio, networking and leisure activities play a pivotal role.

Over the years, many businesses have adopted practices like ‘Beer Fridays,’ but these events can unintentionally exclude those who do not consume alcohol, those with parenting responsibilities, or anyone who feels out of place in bar-centric environments.

So, how can studios ensure everyone feels included during team-building activities?

Lunchtime Learn-ins

Instead of evening events, consider hosting a lunchtime gathering where employees can share their knowledge or skills. It could be about anything – from a hobby like gardening to insights about new productivity software.

Not only does this facilitate learning, but it also promotes bonding over shared interests. Plus, daytime events are often more inclusive for parents and those who can’t commit to evening activities.

Outdoor Adventures

Physical activity is a great way to break barriers and bond. Opt for activities that cater to all fitness levels, like nature walks, botanical garden visits, or group yoga in the park.

These are not only inclusive but also offer a refreshing break from the studio environment.

Creative Workshops

Host workshops that allow employees to explore different facets of creativity outside their regular work. This could include pottery sessions, painting classes, or even cooking lessons. It’s a way to tap into different skillsets and passions, allowing employees to relax and connect in a novel setting.

Virtual Hangouts

For those who can’t always make it in person, virtual events are a lifesaver. Organise themed virtual parties, trivia nights, or online games that people can join from the comfort of their homes. It ensures that those with mobility issues or caring responsibilities can also participate.

Board Game Afternoons

Turn a portion of the studio into a game zone once a month. Dive into board games, card games, or puzzles. This kind of leisure activity encourages strategy, cooperation, and a bit of friendly competition. It’s also a fantastic alternative to alcohol-based gatherings.

Diverse Festivities

Celebrate diverse holidays and events, which not only recognise the multicultural fabric of many studios but also foster inclusivity. Host a Diwali celebration or a Lunar New Year party. Learn about traditions, taste diverse cuisines, and most importantly, celebrate together.

Book or Film Clubs

Starting a studio book or film club can be a great way for team members to connect over shared narratives. Pick inclusive materials that spark insightful discussions and provide a platform for team members to express their viewpoints.

Volunteer Days

Organise group volunteering at local shelters, community gardens, or food banks. Not only does this foster teamwork, but it also makes a positive impact on the community. Such shared experiences create lasting memories and bonds between team members.

Family Inclusive Days

Make some events family-friendly. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a day at the museum, allowing employees to bring their families can be a way to get to know them better and recognise the significant role families play in their lives.

Feedback Channels

Lastly, always keep channels of communication open. What works for one studio might not work for another. Regularly solicit feedback and suggestions from team members to ensure events remain relevant and inclusive.

Fostering an inclusive environment isn’t just about substituting one event for another. It’s about creating a culture where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. By embracing diverse and inclusive team-building activities, studios can cultivate a richer, more connected, and more innovative team.

Get started in your organisation

Fiona Housiaux

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