October is an unusual month in the workspace. We’re fast approaching the end of the year, and it’s amazing to think that we may have as few as 75 working days or 10 weeks left before 2017 work projects need to be completed. We ferociously push through to the finish line; our intention is focused, but our overall energy levels are low. Some people haven’t taken a holiday during the year and are snappy, moody and edgy. Team vibes may be delicate and a tad sensitive. It’s not that easy to be working in an environment where everybody is walking around on egg shells.

At this time of the year, team interventions and company fun days are planned to celebrate the year’s achievements and accomplishments. Celebrating is extremely necessary and is not done often enough. It lifts the energy, boosts morale, acknowledges people’s efforts, and it’s often a festive day.

However, a year-end celebration has an organisational feel to it. They’re generally fun activities with no intention of learning, understanding or improving anything in the team’s performance, productivity or effectiveness.

That being said, the year-end function might be weeks away and your team needs uplifting and some light-hearted fun right now – something that will ease the tension, and make everybody laugh out loud. This kind of fun doesn’t have a long lifespan, but should raise the team’s level of happiness for a few days. It will make the workload and work pressure, collaboration and communication easier.

Statistics show that children laugh up to 400 times a day, while adults as few as 20 times; a staggering 2,000% difference

Often, when we work with teams, we are amazed how little the team members know about each other. I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to become best friends, but getting to know about your team member’s hobbies and social activities gives a good understanding how they think, what they value and appreciate in life, and what makes them happy.

To get to know your team, you can use this quick team activity called “I am proud”. Pair up in twos, sit opposite each other and for five minutes share moments in your life that you are proud of; and then swop around. You’ll be amazed at how this lifts the energy levels and leaves positive lasting moments.

Every second employee leaves their organisation because of a lack of recognition. This is a staggering figure when one considers recognition to be quick, not expensive or extremely time consuming. It needs some planning and thought; that’s all.

So, the last fun team building activity to try is to create a recognition day where every team member says two or three things that they want to recognise each team member in the team for. Let each person stand up and give feedback to the person. There will be laughter, maybe tears, but there will definitely be moments of appreciation and recognition.

Fun team activities don’t always have to be planned in advance; they can be impromptu for an hour. What matters is their underlying intent and getting the team involved.

What are you going to do to lighten up your team’s spirits?