The pandemic has forced employers to reevaluate their workplace policies and many have found that remote work is a viable option for their business. This has opened up new possibilities for employees, who are now able to work from anywhere. However, one of the challenges of remote work is maintaining company culture.

One solution is to host regular in-person social events. Here are 10 reasons why in-person social events are good for your employees and company.

1. They promote team building

In order for a business to work efficiently, you have to have a team that works well together.  Although there are benefits to remote or hybrid work, it is much harder to have the same feeling of being part of a team.  In-person company events are a great way to re-establish this feeling. In this case, a simple happy hour may not be enough. 

There are organizations that focus on team-building exercises for businesses.  This may be a great option for your company once a year.  But themed social events may be helpful too.  Consider a spring croquet party or during winter host a curling event.  Watching your employees interact during these events may help you make decisions about the seats your employees are currently in and where they might be able to fit in the future.

2. In-person social events improve collaboration

Microsoft Teams is a great tool for helping your employees work together from any place in the world, but how well are they collaborating?  Social events offer an opportunity for your employees to get to know each other better.  It helps them discover their communication style and their strengths and weaknesses in a way that remote or hybrid work may hide.

3. In-person social events improve communications

There are so many wonderful tools for communicating remotely with your team.  But nothing beats face-to-face communication.  Remotely, a shy or quiet person may be mistaken as difficult or uncooperative.  An outgoing person may come across as brash or rude.

When teams meet in person, they suddenly realize they have been communicating with this person in the wrong way. How we communicate with someone is often as important as what we say.

4. They boost morale

One of the biggest complaints we hear from companies who work remotely is that every communication with their team is negative.  This is often because the only reason to communicate with someone else on the team is when there is a problem.  It may even be a good sign for the company because the business is running efficiently remotely, but it can create unhappy employees because they miss the camaraderie they had when they were in person. Regular in-person events can add more of a positive feeling for everybody on the team.

5. They reduce stress

When we worked in the office, we had natural breaks during the day.  Even getting up to go to the bathroom could give us an opportunity to speak with another employee, tell a story about your weekend, or learn something new about your teammate.  In remote work, those team breaks don’t exist.  Regular social events are a great way to reintroduce the concept that work can also be fun.

6. They promote healthy lifestyles

A ski weekend with your team, an afternoon of golf, or even a dinner out can help your team physically and mentally. It is easy to forget that our employees’ physical and mental health isn’t just important because you really like your team. It’s important to your bottom line as well. Planning events that encourage a healthy lifestyle is a great way to get the most out of a social event.

7. They increase productivity

A team that works well together is more productive overall.  Even when business owners tell their team that the social events are just meant to be social, we find that the employees are eager to catch up about projects they are working on.  Even this little bit of in-person collaboration improves productivity.  But better still, this collaboration and productivity extend beyond the social setting. It goes back to their homes with them.

8. They attract top talent

Goldman Sachs recently released a study of their 10,000 Small Business Program participants.  The number one issue facing these businesses is attracting new talent.  The company culture that once attracted employees is not there.  An in-person social event is a great way to add it back and highlight it.  We suggest always documenting these social events and sharing photos and videos on social media.  It gives people a better feel for the type of culture they are walking into and may be exactly what attracts tha