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The winter solstice is well and truly behind us and before you know it, it’ll be Silly Season…but perhaps, this year, not as you previously knew it. 

Having worked half a career in head offices and half in remote offices and remotely, I know first-hand that Silly Season can look materially different and in fact, not so silly.

In my years as a city worker, I, like many, adopted certain privileges as the end of each year rolled around mainly pertaining to increasing event, lunch and dinner attendances.  

Then, I left the city. I started in a new role in a satellite office only minutes from where I lived. There were odd opportunities for festivities, but far less interesting and frequent.

Now, having spent the last three years working completely remotely and living regionally, the only silly thing that happens each summer is the meteoric rise of my air conditioning bill. 

Traditionally, the crown jewel for many each Silly Season was the end-of-year event. A time for teams who battled it out all year, to stand united one last time. In place of notebooks and laptops were beer jugs and wine bottles. A collective blow-out. Teams united by their depleted energy and motivation giving one last heave-ho before shut-down.

But what about the outsiders? We haven’t been in the trench; we aren’t united by the same office political lines. 

In my first experience heading to HQ for an end-of-year event, I was part of a satellite team. We were our own entourage and if we felt out of touch, we could retreat to our tight-knit unit. 

My first experience as an individual remote worker was for a business I had previously worked for in their head office, so the end-of-year event was more like a school reunion. 

Last year however, I had an entirely new experience. The end-of-year party was the first time I was meeting my colleagues face to face. They, being in HQ, were using the end-of-year event exactly how I had remembered and described it earlier. I on the other hand had new motivations. As a relative newcomer, I saw the event as a chance to casually widen my network within the business.

In a way, you could say I was going to the event looking ahead, and everyone from HQ was at the event looking backwards. While it was fun and I met plenty of people, at times being there made me feel strangely more alienated from them. 

I’m guessing I’m not alone and this is an issue that many more will face this year as remote work has continued to grow in popularity and many people will have remotely joined new businesses.

Having recently partnered with Be Challenged, I sat with them recently to discuss this changing dynamic and it’s something they have been working on with their clients for a couple of years now.

Their suggestion, kick your end-of-year festivities off with some structured fun. Be Challenged offer a huge array of fun and team-building events perfectly suited to bringing teams together. What could otherwise take months or years of organic team building, can be achieved in an hour or two. Here’s how:

1) Team-building games and programs remove the HQ vs. remote mindset, so everyone’s on a level playing field.

2) They connect remote team members with new people in the business, helping them quickly establish new connections 

3) They get everyone looking ahead i.e. in the same direction

4) They create instantly memorable moments that the team can reflect and laugh about throughout the course of the broader event.

Check out Be Challenged’s range of fun and team-building programs here and make the most of your investment in bringing your team together at the end of this year.

 

Lukas Temple

Head of Strategy, Co.gency Group

Written in partnership with Be Challenged.

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