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The leaves are changing color, the temperature is dropping, and the smell of pumpkin spice has consumed the air. In other words, fall is back! Being born in October, I live and breathe for fall. As soon as October 1st hits, I am all pumpkins, hot apple cider, and hayrides. While yes, I know that fall actually begins in September, to me the fall magic really begins at the start of October.
For many people, fall is a favorite. There are so many things that spur the fall memories- leaves changing color, pumpkin patches, candles, apple pie, blankets, warm cozy sweaters, you name it. There are even activities that people associate with fall like hay rides, haunted houses, bobbing for apples, tailgates, football, camp fire cookouts, and so many others.
Celebrating fall can really make the season a lot more enjoyable and really help people appreciate the time spent around friends and family. That is why this fall I encourage you to incorporate some fall activities you can enjoy within your office that can make the season fun for everyone! Being at work during the fall season can be rather difficult in you’re like me and would rather be outside, but if you try to bring some seasonal spirit into the day, you can create an opportunity for your office to share in the fall memories together.
Here are a few of our favorite fall activities to help get you started:
1. Chili Cook-Off
A chili cook-off is a great way for everyone to show off their competitive cooking side in (and enjoy a boat load of chili on a cold fall day.) We hosted a chili cook-off and posted a sign up sheet for employees who wanted to participate as well as people who simply wanted to bring in sides and extras. Everyone wrote down who they thought had the best chili and then we handed out 1st and 2nd prizes to the winners. It was a real hit (and very yummy!)
2. Bobbing for Apples
While this activity might get a little messy, it can be a ton of fun if you can get a lot of people interested. You can even have prizes for the person that got the most apples in the end. Bobbing for apples is about as simple as it gets. All you really need is a bucket of water, fairly large enough so that the person’s head can fit into the bucket, a bunch of apples, and there you go! Each participant sticks their head in the bucket of water and finds an apple to grab with their mouth. Pretty simple but again messy so you might have to find a good spot outside to do this one.
3. Pumpkin Carving Contest
This one is always a hit at the Validity office. All you really need are pumpkins and knives (pro tip: get some paper plates for the thousands of pumpkin seeds that come with carving.) For this activity, you can have your employees either carve a pumpkin at home or set aside time during the work day to carve in the office. Carving the pumpkins at home can save a lot of time but if you decide to carve them in-office each contestant could have one hour and see who can carve the best pumpkin. I love carving pumpkins. Something about reaching my hand in the slimy pumpkin really excites me!
4. Fall Drink Friday
During the season of fall hav a beer Friday or a fall themed drink at the end of the week. At Validity, we have what we call “Beer Fridays” on the first Friday of every month. During the fall, we try to incorporate the season into it and have hot apple cider with spiced rum. Mmm, so delicious! It’s a great way to kick start the weekend. Having a beer or a drink at the end of a very long week is always a favorite.
5. Halloween Party
The infamous Halloween party at the end of the month of October is something every office should do. It makes for a fun-filled day at work when you can have everyone dress up in costumes, bring candy, have a potluck, you name it. The Halloween party we do at Validity is a blast. Last year I actually won the costume contest as Posh from the Spice Girls! We all dressed up and brought in food for our lunch potluck. There was also a ton of candy, I mean A TON. Having a Halloween party at the office gives everyone a chance to celebrate the holiday and season together with the people they spend 8 hours a day with. You can even incorporate some monster mash and Halloween themed games into the day.
6. Football Tailgate
One of my favorite things about fall is football. Lots and lots of football. Many of people will gather to watch and attend games during the fall season because the weather is not quite bitter cold, well at least not in Kansas City. Go Chiefs! While you may not be able to have an actual football tailgate at a stadium with everyone from your office, you can always “tailgate” in the office parking lot. Have everyone bring chairs, play some music, get the grill going, and have your own little tailgate. You can even do this on a Friday before the weekend’s college and professional football games. This is an easy way to get out into the weather fall brings and enjoy everyone’s company, as well as see who is into the same football team as you. You can also talk sports all day long, who doesn’t love that? Well….I don’t, but you get the picture.
So whether you are decorating your cubicle at work or dressing up like a witch for Halloween, there are so many ways to celebrate the season of fall with your employees. Even as simple as having a mini hot chocolate station in your office can really lighten up the atmosphere and get you in the fall spirit.
While some of these activities may be goofy, or hard to do, they can dramatically increase the morale of the office and bring people together who may have never spoken in the past. Company culture is something I stress about to anyone I encounter who is working in an office. Having that culture can really set your office apart from another. Bringing fall related activities inside can help foster that culture and make work more enjoyable for everyone.
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