20 years ago I had an idea. Let’s create a “holiday” to improve employee morale. I called it Recess At Work Day. It would take place on the 3rd Thursday every June. Let’s take a break from the norm (definition of Recess) and have a bit of a celebration of sorts.

My original thoughts……………………let’s get outside and play for a bit in the name of morale and teamwork. Since then Recess At Work Day has grown to be so much more. Partly through my ideas and partly through clients and others who have adopted it, tweaked it, and made it their own.

So in 20 years what has it become????? Here’s what some Fortune 50 right down to the smallest of non-profits have made it

  • It’s a day to boost employee morale and be that fun company you tell people you are during the recruiting process.
  • It’s a day to celebrate organization success
  • It’s a day to engage in some creativity or team building work
  • It’s a day to thank your employees, co-workers, or volunteers
  • It’s a day to celebrate with customers
  • It’s a day to continue to improve the Employee and Customer experience
  • It’s a day to continue or to begin an employee experience initiative

Recess At Work Day has taken on a life of it’s own. And whether you’re planning this months in advance or you’re reading this on Recess At Work Day, here are a few ideas:

  • Organize a fun communications activity. You can find free ones all over the internet. We all know that communication in business could always improve.
  • Gather the team and dive into a creativity exercise to launch that next product or service. Or just make the employee or customer experience better!
  • Create a company time capsule
  • Organize some fun learning/training (this can be as cheap as having a member of your team share some knowledge or bringing in a professional to develop your group.)
  • Do some volunteer/community work
  • Involve your group in a fun team building event
  • Take some time today to start learning a foreign language with your co-workers. (You’ll be ready to transfer when your job is outsourced. DUOLINGO is an awesome free app in most app stores.)
  • Spend Recess At Work Day with the founder and RECESSitator, Rich DiGirolamo!

Now if your company leaders are a bit more edgy and fun:

  • You could always exercise as a group
  • Take some time and re-write a ridiculous policy or two from the employee handbook/website. Remove the jargon and corporate speak and interpret what is really meant – or your interpretation. Only share it with fun people.
  • An ice cream social might be just what the team needs. Check out this company!
  • Play some good old outdoor games like tag, jump rope, or Frisbee. Amazing what a good game of follow the leader might teach you about your coworkers
  • Take that team meeting to a coffee shop, amusement park or the beach
  • Visit a local park. Play a little, and brainstorm a lot; that next big idea might occur during recess

The possibilities are endless.

Here is your mission:

Take some time on June 20th to RECESSitate your organization (before you need to Resuscitate it!).

RECESSitate: to undergo a period of learning, recharging, celebrating and/or unlocking new ideas.

And heck, maybe even invite your customers to share in the fun!

I’d love to hear about your Recess At Work Day!

Rich DiGirolamo, Founder of Recess at Work Day, believes that to keep people happy, loyal and productive you need to create a work environment that is fun. But having fun at work and being a fun place to work are two very different things. He shares this with his clients and works with organizations that are committed to creating a work environment that fosters creativity, originality, productivity and has people showing up “IN” their work, not to work.