We are once more approaching the unofficial end of summer — Labor Day. Held on Sept. 4 this year, the holiday is always observed on the first Monday of the month in the United States as a celebration of the efforts and accomplishments of American workers. 

The entire purpose of the holiday — which Peter J. McGuire, a union leader who had founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters in 1881, is generally credited for coming up with — was to celebrate how American workers raised the standard of living across the board, contributing to “the greatest production the world has ever known, and … brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy,” notes the U.S. Department of Labor on its official page detailing the history of the day. The desire to pay tribute to the nation’s workers, and the strength and leadership they bring to the country, is the solid foundation on which Labor Day was founded.

Today, Labor Day is celebrated with activities such as parades and picnics — which follows closely the original proposals for the holiday, which also called for local parades and celebrations. But it has also become a time of year that organizations can recognize the hard work of the teams that make business possible, with some choosing to offer private events and activities for staff outside of the official national celebrations. 

Labor Day celebrations are a way for organizations to show employees just how much they are appreciated, which contributes to better team culture, employee retention, and more productive employees who feel like they are recognized for their efforts. For those looking for ideas to engage with staff and give back this Labor Day, TeamBonding has a few great suggestions for activities.

Six Labor Day Activities For The Workplace Everyone Will Love

Here are a few Labor Day celebration ideas to give back to employees and get the long weekend party started early, showing them how much you appreciate all the hard work they’ve been putting in all year — especially true coming off such a difficult last 18 months for everyone. This is a great way to say thanks and give everyone a chance to relax and enjoy themselves a bit.

1. Salsa Showdown


Turn your entire team into Southwestern chefs with this fun event that is sure to be appreciated headed into Labor Day cookouts. Staff is divided into small teams, each tasked with making the best salsa from scratch that they can. They then get to market their recipes, with teams all trying to win the prize for Top Salsa. 


2. In it to Win It

With in-person, hybrid, and virtual options available, this is a Labor Day activity that will fit your team no matter what the current back-to-the-office situation looks like. Inspired by the television show, teams compete in various 60-second challenges, with team pride on the line! For the virtual and hybrid models, teams are told ahead of time which common items to have on hand before the event begins, while the in-person option brings everything to you. It’s a great way to bring everyone together to laugh and let loose before heading out for their holiday.

A Minute 2 Win It Team Building Activity


3. Survey Says

Based on the Family Feud game show, this virtual event brings the most popular game show in the TeamBonding lineup to your staff, no matter where they are located! Each team has 5-10 members, and teams play for around 15 minutes before rotating, giving everyone a chance to participate. The questions can even be tailored to your company or industry, making it an even more engaging activity for the entire team.


4. Tools for Schools 

For some, Labor Day is a chance to not only recognize the hard work of the team but also an opportunity to give back to the community. This event brings teams together to support local schools, filling backpacks with needed supplies, such as notebooks, pens and pencils, erasers, and more. But it’s more than just stuffing backpacks — teams must earn the supplies they need to fill the bags by completing a series of challenges that require teamwork and creative thinking, making it a great all-around Labor Day activity that brings teams together, while allowing them to feel great about the end results.

Build-a-Backpack


5. Outrageous Games

Tailor-made for picnics and BBQs, these games are the perfect non-athletic addition to your company’s Labor Day celebrations. Teams compete in 10 head-to-head relay races designed to facilitate communication and develop problem-solving skills. An experienced emcee provides play-by-play commentary and leads the event, making this a fantastic addition to your planned outdoor Labor Day activities. Staff will have a great time, and really get pumped up for the long weekend.


6. Virtual Murder Mystery

With three different shows to choose from, teams arrive early for a cocktail hour, where they can get to know the wacky characters and start to learn clues about their motivations. Then, when the murder occurs, it is up to your team to solve the mystery! This fun, light-hearted event gets everyone involved and laughing, and is a great way to kick off a long weekend, sending your team off with smiles on their faces, letting them enjoy their time off so they’ll be ready to come back fresh and excited for the rest of the year. 

 


Even if your company is still working remotely, if you’re back in the office full-time, or you’re using a hybrid approach, there is no denying that staff has worked hard over the past year and a half. Taking time this Labor Day to recognize those efforts and give them a chance to let their proverbial hair down, enjoying time with colleagues, and building their relationships with one another, will only serve to create stronger teams that are ready to finish out 2023 strong — no matter what comes your way. And with TeamBonding here to help, you can find the perfect event to show your staff just how much you appreciate their hard work. 

Anna Webber

Team Contributor

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