As a pre-Memorial Day party, my company had an all-hands lunch today to celebrate the upcoming long weekend. Billed as an ‘ice cream social’ it featured exactly three items: soda, pizza and ice cream – all of which were available in copious amounts. In the break room, in case that wasn’t enough, we had pastries and donuts. The staff had a great time, everyone was laughing, lots of horseplay and interpersonal bonding.
Now I’m not enough of a sourpuss to complain about events like this. Anyone could see how much fun people were having and clearly the empty cans, plates and dishes were an indication of the party’s success. I fully understand the value of offering the chance for people to just shoot the breeze and enjoy themselves on the company’s dime. And free junk food is definitely a big hit with overworked employees.
But as I reflect on this day, I’m wondering if there is any hope at all of ever encouraging some kind of fun company activity which, however tangentially, could have a positive health impact. Certainly if we presented it as a “good health” activity, we would get zero participation (hey, I’m a realist).
I honestly don’t have a single idea! We have macho engineers and slick marketing people and harried retail staff and I can’t really imagine doing an event that would involve leaving the office for any period of time. Maybe a long-term challenge .. walk so many miles and get a free t-shirt? I don’t know.
Perhaps that’s why they opted for pizza, soda, ice cream and donuts.