If you’re asked to bring in an “item that’s important to you,” you can bring in something relatively impersonal — the pistachios you’re addicted to, or your Twilight DVD, or whatever else you’re willing to spend two minutes talking about.But yes, know that you’re not alone in being annoyed by this. When I initially joined, we had a weekly event called Friday Fitness, where each week a different person would lead a quick 15-minute workout.Everyone in our office thoroughly enjoys Friday Fitness because it breaks up the monotony of our office desk jobs and is a great team-building activity.In response, I got very pointed stares from all of the managers in my department.I trust your judgment, so could you please tell me if these events are a bit weird?When these ideas were being floated around, I almost fell out of my seat!
Lots and lots of people would find this stuff off-putting, a little invasive, and a waste of time. And I’d bet that your manager would be hard pressed to explain exactly why she thinks these activities will be helpful, and/or that she’d have vague language about building camaraderie that she wouldn’t be able to back up with anything more specific.
One idea was that each week we would do Show and Tell where one person would bring in an item that was very important to them and would explain its meaning to the office.
Another manager suggested that once a month, we each bring in two photos from our childhood and then our office coordinator would put together a slideshow that we would watch while eating popcorn.
Unfortunately, the success of this event has prompted my manager to start initiating new team activities.
Today at our staff meeting, our department head mentioned that she would like us to think of some team activities that we can do on a weekly or monthly basis.