Ditch the Happy Hour: The Top 8 Healthy Employee Bonding Activities for After-Hours

The Exhale
November 30, 2022
5 min read

In today’s business world, company culture is more important than ever. Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck; they want to feel like they’re part of a team and that their work is meaningful. As an employer, it’s your job to create a company culture that employees can rally behind. One way to do this is by promoting healthy employee bonding activities that will foster a sense of camaraderie and community.

So what exactly are employee bonding activities?

They're activities that help build relationships and trust between coworkers. And why are they so important? Because when your employees trust and respect each other, they're more likely to work together efficiently and effectively. Plus, they're just plain fun!

This article from Forbes focuses on the immense benefits of hosting unique employee bonding activities and the best ways to go about planning these: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianscudamore/2016/03/09/why-team-building-is-the-most-important-investment-youll-make/?sh=4c52cd07617f.

Still not convinced? Check out these three reasons why employee bonding activities are essential for any business:

1. They foster a sense of community in the workplace.

2. They improve communication and collaboration between employees.

3. They boost morale and increase job satisfaction.

Before we continue, whether you have an in-person office, hybrid setup, or fully remote environment for your employees, there are plenty of ways to host employee bonding events. These can be hosted remotely via Zoom or Teams, or in-person for hybrid and in-office businesses. For example, employers located near Venice Beach, CA have found bringing their employees into our Breathwrk Studio in downtown Venice to try out some of our classes (https://www.breathwrk.com/studio) to be both fun and successful in terms of bonding activities. Other companies may prefer to host virtual activities to include all employees around the globe.

Now that we've gone over why employee bonding activities are important, let's take a look at these top 8 fun, healthy bonding activities you can try with your company- no alcohol needed!

The Top 8 Healthy Employee Bonding Activities

Try different healthy corporate bonding activities such as breathwork classes, escape rooms, and paint nights. Bond with your coworkers while having fun.
The Top 8 Healthy Employee Bonding Activities

1. Breathwork Classes

Breathwork is a type of wellness practice that involves focusing on your breath and using specific breathing techniques to promote relaxation and stress relief. Breathwork classes can be a great way for employees to bond while also taking care of their mind and body, in a non-competitive environment. Not only will employees feel calmer and more relaxed after a breathwork class, but they’ll also have shared an experience that will help them bond with their co-workers. We offer some incredible in-person classes at our Breathwrk Studio in downtown Venice Beach (right off of the boardwalk!) and offer an amazing digital breathwork solution to companies who are not based out of LA. Explore the benefits of practicing breathwork and our class offerings here: https://www.breathwrk.com/post/which-breathwork-class-is-right-for-me. Through our Breathwrk for Business corporate program, all of your employees will gain Pro membership access to our hands-on app, with unlimited full-length classes, exercises, and challenges that can be practiced both alone and with friends and colleagues. Reach out to partnerships@breathwrk.com to get a customized plan for your company, so you can start breathing together and bonding in a new and exciting way.

2. Yoga Classes

Like breathwork, yoga is another mind-body practice that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Yoga classes can also be a great way for employees to bond with each other, as explained here: https://medium.com/in-fitness-and-in-health/how-yoga-can-actually-strengthen-team-bonding-in-companies-and-businesses-21a8c73341ba. In addition to the physical benefits of yoga, the practice can also help improve focus and mental clarity—both of which are important in the workplace. Try alternating between breathwork and yoga classes with your employees to get the best of both worlds.

3. Healthy Cooking Classes

Healthy cooking classes are a great way for employees to learn new skills while bonding with their co-workers. In addition to being a fun activity, healthy cooking classes can also help employees learn how to cook healthier meals on their own. This is beneficial not only for employee health but also for company productivity—healthy employees are better able to focus and be productive at work. Take a peek at some of the amazing outcomes of corporate cooking classes: https://selfup.com/blogs/all/heating-up-team-building-benefits-of-booking-a-cooking-class-for-your-team-building. These classes can help your employees navigate the complicated world of cooking to prepare amazing meals for themselves and their families- as well as even meal prep for their lunches in the office. If you haven’t yet tried a cooking class, we encourage you to test it out with your team and enjoy some tasty food while doing so.

4. Group Exercise Classes

Group exercise classes are a great way for employees to get moving and bond with their co-workers at the same time. From spin classes to boot camp-style workouts, there are plenty of options when it comes to group exercise classes. And, since most group exercise classes are taught by certified instructors, you can be sure that your employees are getting a safe and effective workout. Forbes discusses a great case study of employee bonding via fitness classes here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/prishe/2011/10/22/enhancing-corporate-productivity-community-with-group-fitness-programs-the-reebok-crossfit-paradigm/?sh=4d7a7dbb247a. Take some time to explore some new and unique fitness classes in your local area and give one a try. You can even use apps like Classpass to test out multiple different workout studios and see which types of classes your employees enjoy the most.

5. Outdoor adventures

Get some fresh air and exercise while bonding with your team. Outdoor adventures provide employees with the opportunity to bond with each other while exploring the great outdoors. Hiking, camping, kayaking, and other outdoor activities can help employees disconnect from work and recharge their batteries. Not only that, but outdoor adventures can also boost team morale and build team cohesion—two important elements of a strong company culture. Although outdoor activities can be somewhat challenging and strenuous, they are a great way to promote teamwork and problem solving in the real world, outside of the office. Check out this list of 45 team bonding activities for your next outdoor work event at https://www.outbackteambuilding.com/blog/45-outdoor-team-building-activity-ideas-for-work-groups/. Here at Breathwrk, we love going on company hikes and adventures and strongly recommend other companies to test it out. Bonus points if you can make it to the top of a tall hill or mountain!

6. Escape Rooms

Had enough of the physically-challenging bonding exercises? Escape rooms are another fun activity that can promote teamwork and problem-solving skills. They're perfect for employees who want to challenge themselves and bond with their co-workers at the same time. If you're looking for a healthy, mentally-challenging bonding activity that's also a lot of fun, escape rooms are a great option. Escape rooms often have different themes to choose from, such as island escape, murder mysteries, science experiments, tomb raiding, and treasure hunting. Use your imagination to work with your colleagues and race against time to successfully escape the room. This article discusses the difference between in-person and virtual escape rooms, as well as their benefits- https://www.puzzlebreak.us/blog/why-escape-rooms-are-the-best-option-for-professional-team-building. Pro tip: Groupon is a great tool you can use to find some great deals on group escape room experiences near you.

7. Paint Nights

Paint nights are a great way for employees to relax and unwind after a long day at work. They offer a chance to tap into your creative side, bond with co-workers, and create something beautiful (or at least interesting!). Painting can also be a great stress-reliever, so it is the perfect activity for after-hours, to escape from the stresses of the corporate world. Paint nights are usually led by a professional artist who will provide step-by-step instructions, so they're perfect for all experience levels. Check out this deep-dive into paint nights with Painting With a Twist, and see if they have classes in your area- https://www.paintingwithatwist.com/team-building-paint-party/.

8. Game Nights

Whether you’re playing virtual games online over Zoom or old-fashioned board games in person, gaming is a great way to bond with your team and exercise your mind through strategy and critical thinking. Hosting a company game night gives you an opportunity to have some friendly competition while also getting to know your coworkers’ personalities better. Just be sure to avoid any controversial topics that could lead to arguments (e.g., politics). Stuck on ideas for your employee game night? Here are some ideas and tips for planning your first company game night: https://www.hoppier.com/blog/game-night-ideas.

Virtual or in-person game nights for companies to have fun, unwind, and compete against each other outside of working hours.
Hosting Game Nights to Foster Employee Bonding

Why are corporate bonding activities so important?

A strong company culture is essential for any business that wants to attract and retain top talent. One way to promote a strong company culture is by encouraging healthy employee bonding activities. From breathwork classes to outdoor adventures, there are plenty of options when it comes to healthy employee bonding activities. By promoting these activities, you’ll not only foster a sense of camaraderie among your employees, but you’ll also improve employee health and productivity—both of which are essential for any business.

The corporate team at Indeed came up with this great list of the top 17 benefits of team building: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/benefits-of-team-building.

Employee bonding activities are essential for building trust, respect, and camaraderie within your team. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun activities you can do together, whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor options, virtual or in-person activities. The most important thing is to choose an activity that everyone will enjoy so that you can maximize the bonding potential!

For inquiries about our Breathwrk for Business corporate wellness program, reach out to partnerships@breathwrk.com to learn more about our amazing wellness benefit program for your team, as well as get a custom quote and package based on your needs right now. We can’t wait to speak with you ASAP so we can get you and your team breathing together in no time.

The Exhale