It’s pretty much well understood at this point in history that to be human means to be a hypocrite once in a while. We’d all like to think that we’re open-minded, understanding and hardworking, but let’s admit it: we all have moments where our behaviour doesn’t live up to our moral standards. At corporations and even small companies, this can be problematic; departments and teams work best when they share openly, communicate clearly and support each other.

If you’ve ever worked in an office, however, you probably know that this is the exception rather than the rule. Unfortunately, people tend to be protective of their work, suspicious of others and obtuse in their communication. When bullying, discrimination and communication breakdowns become an endemic problem, it spells big problems for your business.

Therefore, it’s important for management to allow their staff to take a breather once in a while, step back from their work and participate in team building workshops, fun networking parties and group challenges that are not directly related to corporate goals.

While taking time out of a busy work schedule seems like sacrilege to old-school managers, the more contemporary attitude takes the long-view: better treatment and a personal touch will lead to better and faster work over time. The isn’t Stalinist Russia, so give your employees a break and treat them like humans. Here are three great ways to raise morale at your office:

Throw a Party

A simple and easy way to show your staff that you care is to book out a bar or event space and throw a fun party. Depending on your business, you may want to open it up to other companies and make it a networking event with gourmet food and drinks, or you could keep it private. Booking a party at a bowling alley or a bar with lots of games like ski-ball, air hockey and an arcade is a sure-fire way to loosen everyone up and engage in competitive, engaging activities. Playing games outside of the office is a way to blow off some steam and get rid of that competitive energy in a fun environment. This option probably won’t have too many lasting positive effects, but it will at least put a smile on your employees’ faces.

Book a Workshop

If your business is based in Toronto, there are many, many options to choose from in terms of creativity and team building workshops. Ideally, the workshop would incorporate working together as a group and sharing responsibility for the final product and subtly reveal the benefits of openly sharing work and communicating clearly. When your team is working on building a Lego city, creating a story or a work of art, they may well set their egos aside and learn a lesson or two. Plus, you might end up with some cool work to proudly display in the waiting room

Outdoor Adventure

Many summer camps and nature schools rent out their compounds for rustic corporate retreats. Playing capture the flag and going for long hikes could inspire some great energy and conversations that will help back at the office. You could also enlist t shirt printing services by visiting Promopays.com/custom-t-shirts/toronto/ to print branded shirts for the retreat with your company’s design logo on them – not only is this free advertising, but it will give participants a souvenir from a unique couple of days