Return to work: 5 exciting engagement activities you can plan in weeks

February 9, 2022

5 minute read

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Don't just assume your workers are excited about their return to work  remind them what's thrilling and irreplaceable about their workplace. Here are five ideas to make employees eager to come back.

Workers value the workplace. We know this from our Global Office Tenant Report, which found that workers see the office as the ideal place for professional connection and collaboration.

But knowing it is only half the battle. For workers to feel motivated about returning to the office with regularity, they need to be excited about it. And the best way to excite your workers is to create engaging activities designed to highlight the strengths of your building.

Know your user

The first step to launching a powerful event or activity is understanding what excites your users. Equiem offers multiple tools to help you find this information. You can use our responsive analytics dashboards to gauge interest in different types of activities across your building, on individual levels, or even your entire portfolio.

And don't forget the obvious. If you really want to know what your users want, you can always use our survey function to just ask them!

Here are five ideas for activities and events that will get people to RSVP with passion. And don't forget, if you'd like more ideas  replete with guide budgets you can download our free Welcome Back Playbook!

Pre-Welcome Back event for key tenant contacts

The best way to begin the process of inviting your users back to the office is to host an event for the key tenant representatives throughout your building.

Plan something informal; an opportunity for your key decision-makers to share their opinions and brainstorm together. This event doesn't even have to be in person. A breakfast or lunchtime Zoom meeting could suffice.

The most important thing is making sure you hear out your tenants, as this can help you to craft a calendar of events that will actually be exciting to their employees.

Remember, they probably want their employees back in the building as much as you do. Put your heads together and figure out what those employees really want in a workspace.

Then it's time to show them!

Time to launch: One week

Interactive lobby installation

All too often, the lobby of a building can feel like no man's land. A featureless stretch of static between the street and the elevators. But your lobby can also be the first place that shows the soul of your building. All it takes is a few deft touches. And it's the perfect place to welcome your users back to the building.

One of the quickest yet most effective ways to cultivate a sense of community is by giving your occupiers something to do in the lobby. Sure, you could put on a spread of branded cupcakes. But by electing to stage an interactive installation, you remind your users of something very important:

They are the true character of the building.

As your users return to work, an interactive installation can make them feel at home As your users return to work, an interactive installation can make them feel at home

Consider installing a colouring wall in your lobby. It's easy to set up, and it provides your users an excellent opportunity to express themselves. Within a matter of days, the personality of your users will literally become part of your building's fabric.

That's a powerful metaphor. And one your users will feel every time they stroll through the doors in the morning.

Time to launch: Two weeks

Deck party

Okay, it doesn't have to be a deck party. But if your building has an open-air balcony or shared greenspace, you might as well take advantage of it!

Throw a shindig for your returning occupiers in the most appealing common area of your building. Not only is it a great opportunity to remind workers of all the social connection they've been missing, it's also a great way to show off your facilities.

An event like this can help boost use of these common areas, which can make users more likely to return to the building with greater regularity. And if it's near your retail offerings, that's great! Your users can breathe in the smell of roasting coffee or do some window shopping while they're socialising!

Time to launch: Two to four weeks

Fitness classes

We're going to take a wild guess and say that your users would probably like to spend more time focused on their health and wellness.

Know how we know? Because that's how we feel too!

We'd go as far as to say that any office in the world is filled with people who'd love to find a way to fit some pilates in at lunch.

Well, if you've got a fitness center in or near your building, you can help your users make that hope a reality. Simply suggest the idea to the business owner. They can onboard themselves to your tenant app, schedule the class, and even process payments within the app.

And if you don't have a fitness expert nearby, don't worry! There's nothing to stop you setting up an employee-led fitness hour in one of your building's common areas. Again, the event can be managed and promoted right from the Equiem tenant app.

Time to launch: One to Five weeks

Desk drops

This one's simple, yet guaranteed to be appreciated. Talk to one — or several  of your retailers, and organise a desk drop for employees on their first day back. It could be as simple as a muffin and a voucher for half-price coffee the next morning.

A surprise like this can achieve several things at once. Firstly, it reminds users about the great retailers based in your building and precinct. Something that no doubt appealed to them when they first started working in your building. (This, incidentally, is great promotion for those retailers.)

Secondly, by including a voucher or loyalty card, it encourages the continued relationship between the user and the building. 

And finally, the most powerful thing of all. When we get surprise gifts, it stokes something primal within us. It brings back some of the specialness of childhood, when fairies would leave coins beneath our pillows as we slept.

Time to launch: One week

Make your workplace an exciting place to be. Book a free demo now and start planning Return to Work activities to launch in weeks.