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Go Sober for October: Alternatives to a staff night out

Whether it’s a birthday, a leaving do or to celebrate a big company win, the go-to route for managers is to treat their team to a few drinks.

But whether it’s down to religious reasons, health benefits or personal preference, there are bound to be people you work with who don’t drink alcohol. In fact, the latest statistics from the ONS found that more than 20% of the UK population are teetotal. 

This means that if all your work celebrations revolve around booze, someone in your office is going to feel isolated.

The good news is that there are other ways to keep the camaraderie without heading to the pub. And Go Sober for October is a fantastic opportunity to explore new ways to celebrate your business’ success and enjoy some fun team-building events. You can also raise some money for Macmillan Cancer Support, too, so it’s all for a good cause.

“We’re a company who love to celebrate together but in having such a diverse workforce, we quickly learned that getting the drinks in can actually exclude a lot of your team,” says Phil Foster, CEO of award-winning company Love Energy Savings. “We now opt for a range of activities that bring our people together without the question of alcohol getting in the way.

“For us, Go Sober for October is the perfect opportunity to show how easy it is to celebrate in a more inclusive way.”

If you’re looking for a way to get the whole team out of the office, here are some brilliant alcohol-free alternatives:

1. Go-karting 

Get your team away from their desks and on the track. Go-karting is not only a lot of fun but is also a great outlet for some healthy competition between team members. Many go-kart tracks offer corporate deals for companies that are looking to hire a track for team-building exercises. 

Plus, what better way to relive some childlike nostalgia than whizzing around in a go-kart for a few laps. 

2. Escape rooms 

Competitiveness is all well and good, but team-building exercises are all about nurturing cooperation between your staff. 

Escape rooms have been rising in popularity for a while now, and are a brilliant way to get everyone involved. Your team will have to work together and use their problem-solving skills against the clock. Puzzles can range from maths problems to riddles and most escape rooms are themed for extra immersion — think anything from nuclear bunkers to bank heists. 

So assemble your team, put your thinking caps on and work together before your time’s up!

3. Get active

While running might not be everyone’s cup of tea, exercise is a fantastic way to get your team’s adrenaline pumping.

Setting up a sports team for the office is a great place to start. With a football or basketball team, you could set up a league to compete regularly whether you want to pit yourselves against other teams or just want to keep it as an internal competition.

Another way to get your staff moving is to sign up to a workout class. Your team won’t need to be gym veterans to get involved, as there are loads of classes that focus on the fun side of keeping fit. Whether it’s tackling an obstacle course or showing off your best moves in Clubbercise, getting your team on their feet is a great laugh and will leave them feeling great afterwards. 

4. Paintball

Yet another brilliant way to get your employees out of the office. Paintball is a classic team-building activity. The ultimate test of teamwork, paintballing will have your staff relying on their strategic skills to take down the enemy — and settle some office debates in a friendly competition setting.

There are plenty of paintball courses up and down the country to choose from, ranging from forests to urban settings. If you want to go all out, some even supply specialist gear like paint grenades or even miniature tanks! If paintball seems a little extreme, you can always opt for Laser Quest instead – meaning your staff can still enjoy the game without worrying about being pelted with paintballs.

5. Axe throwing

If your usual staff night out involves a round of darts at the pub, this next one is definitely for you. 

Axe throwing as a sport has been around for more than a decade now. It’s pretty self-explanatory – grab an axe and throw it at a target. The beauty of axe throwing is that it’s so unique that it’ll likely be everyone’s first time trying it out. Plus, can you think of a better way to de-stress after a long day?

Many axe throwing centres can be found in woodland areas for obvious safety reasons. However, more and more urban axe throwing companies are popping up across the country. This means you may be able to pop into town with the team instead of needing to trek out into the wilderness. 

6. Murder mystery events

Murder mystery events are a genius way to get the whole team involved and working together, using their problem-solving skills to uncover the unsuspecting criminal mastermind. 

Whether you choose to take part in a professionally run event or choose to dish out roles for your staff to bring to life, an interactive ‘whodunit’ is guaranteed to challenge, engage and entertain. 

After all, they won’t have time to think about having a drink while there’s a killer on the loose!

7. Go Ape

Find your wild side and rediscover the great outdoors. With 34 locations to explore, Go Ape is the fastest growing adventure experience in the UK and gives employers the opportunity to get their staff away from their desk and taking on mother nature. With specialist team days to take part in, you can choose whether you want the experience to focus on team-building and development or simply being social and fun.

“Go Ape is a great alternative to the boozy office party” says Sam Mason, Site Manager of Go Ape Rivington. “Getting outside and making a genuine connection in the woodland canopy is like no other experience. 

“Get to know members of your team you may not be as familiar with, see the boss outside their comfort zone and find qualities in team-mates you never knew existed. These are things that are not found after a few beverages, and if they are, they may not be remembered – or want to be remembered!” 

So instead of wishing you were at the pub this October, get your staff involved in some fun, engaging and team building activities. Not only will they keep you preoccupied while you’re staying sober, but they’ll be more memorable than yet another night down the local pub.

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay