2024 Workplace and Remote Event Strategies & Budget-Optimized Team Activities

2024 Workplace and Remote Event Strategies & Budget-Optimized Team Activities

Each month, Epoch gathers leaders in employee experience to exchange insights, collaborate, and support each other! Scroll down to see key takeaways from the conversation!

2024 in-office and remote event ideas 

TDLR: The roundtable discussion highlighted various engaging in-office and remote events for employees. Initiatives included a global learning week with facilitators in main offices, development workshops, and peer-led knowledge-sharing. The use of software like Donut facilitates informal interactions where employees can be randomly paired with each other to discuss weekly topics. Fun events that can be run in-person, virtually or hybrid, such as trivia and game nights, were also emphasized.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Other notable activities included a well-being challenge, weekly Olympics, and a month-long DEI event featuring weekly diverse speakers and master classes. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) played a pivotal role in cross-functional campaigns and education, addressing topics such as mental health and human equality. 

Benchmarking event success

TDLR: There is no one-size fits all measure of success, as each organization has different goals and values. One participant shared insights into their strategy. They emphasized a non-mandatory but expected attendance standard (expected based on role) of a 70% attendance rate. When they host events they aim to get 70% of people within a 60-mile radius to attend.  For optimization, they use tools such as security and density data. To gauge real-time feedback, they employ QR codes on attendees' screens for fun giveaways and survey completion. Another company that is fully remote uses gift card code incentives that are given after employees fill out a survey. Most teams use Google Forms, or Epoch’s post-event survey functionality.

Low-cost remote team activities

TDLR: There are many cost-effective events and activities for engaging remote teams. Notable suggestions included the use of Confetti, for virtual games like Taboo and Code Names, fostering a fun but competitive culture. Another company uses a company-wide Peloton subscription, linked to their benefits for ”Move it Monday”. They participate in weekly workouts together, promoting health and fitness values.

A quarterly postcard swap through Slack channels allowed employees to share hometown experiences and get to know each other on a more personal level. They find a postcard from their hometown, write a bit about themselves, and send their cards to their co-workers. 

Other initiatives include painting nights, cooking classes, and yoga sessions hosted by team members as a way to bond and spark creativity. For Engineering teams, online typing competitions seem to be a highly popular activity. 

How to manage employee expectations in a budget-restrictive environment 

TDLR: Managing employee expectations in a budget-restricted environment poses challenges for a workplace navigating growth. Balancing staff needs while addressing budget constraints is crucial. 

As someone who oversees workplace experience, it is inevitable to be asked about upcoming holiday parties. A creative approach involves setting low expectations for the holiday party and surpassing them.  For example, one company shares that their holiday party will be in-office but surprises them with a party venue! This allows for an entitlement check amongst employees and sets the reality of their budget constraints. Shifting culture post-COVID involves resetting financial expectations, adapting to virtual experiences, and adapting to virtual experiences. One company sent out company-wide swag as flying employees from across the world for a company event was not in their budget. 

Making the in-office experience feel special for remote employees

TDLR: The consensus highlighted the benefits of executives flying out for in-person dinners, emphasizing the value of the employee to the company as well as face-to-face interactions. Strategies also included postcard swaps and enabling remote teams to host holiday parties for clusters of employees in the same region by providing the necessary tools. Another approach involved hosting on-sites, utilizing the office space, and covering expenses like hotels and food, offering a unique experience for remote team members a few times a year.

Does workplace experience fall under employee experience or are they separate?

TDLR: As employee and workplace experience is new, leaders are trying to figure out the most effective structure. An employee specialist finds it challenging as her role encompasses both. Another specialist focuses on workplace experience and is solely involved in events, culture on campus, and workplace-related aspects.

How to evolve what “being professional” means 

TDLR: Redefining what it means to “be professional” to make it more inclusive can be a challenge. Making sure everyone is treated with the same level of respect and folks from all backgrounds feel they can be themselves is crucial in the workplace. One company outsourced a DEIB consultant to run a workshop on how to be inclusive and create a safe environment in the workplace . 

Another company facilitated a meeting with their employees to establish

  • What good vs great teams look like
  • Documented norms 
  • An Employee Handbook 

Other ideas include using Confetti to organize virtual events such as escape rooms and coworker feuds to break down the professional barrier in the workplace. 

Want to be part of the conversation? 

Join the Epoch Employee Experts community, an invite-only community for like-minded individuals in the Employee Experience space. Get access to a private Slack community and receive event invites first. This safe environment fosters meaningful conversations and connections. Apply here to be a part of future conversations!

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