In the 2 years since we started Enplug, we’ve tried a lot of different team activities, some cliched and many unconventional. We’ve gone ice skating, attended concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, and thrown beer-pong fueled house parties. Here are the ones that were a home-run for us:
1. LAN Parties
As a tech company, we love to let our inner Nerd out. A LAN (which stands for Local Area Network) Party is when people gather together in one area to play multi-player video games together on computers. Our game of choice is Counter Strike.
We create two teams: Good Guys vs Bad Guys. The Good Guys have their computers set up in our big conference room and the Bad Guys are grouped in our main work area.
We hold LAN Parties about once a month on Fridays after work. We order lots of pizza and snacks because the games will last often until 4am.
LAN Parties have consistently been fun because people from different teams than one another (like sales and engineering) get to hang out and work on a “team.” This activity is great for startups because you don’t spend money on it other than food and drinks.
2. Basketball Tournament
Several Los Angeles tech companies came together and organized a basketball tournament. Participating companies include Hulu, Shopzilla, The Honest Company, and of course, Enplug. Preceding the tournament, our teammates had basketball practices after work and on the weekends. Both male and female Enplug teammates played in the tournament. Our team has a lot of athletic people (including a few who played college basketball) so it was fun for everyone to go out and watch Enplug basketball pros show off their moves. Everyone on our team wore Enplug shirts to the tournament. We certainly had the biggest and loudest group of people cheering on the sidelines.
3. Beach retreat
Our teammate, Brenna, had a house on Laguna Beach. She kindly offered up the house for a weekend retreat for any teammates that wanted to go. The evenings were complete with Charades and Scrabble. The afternoons consisted of lounging in the sun with mimosas.
4. Ski trip
One of the advantages of being in California is the ability to swim in the ocean on one weekend and go skiing the next. We took a trip to Mammoth with a dozen teammates. We carpooled the 3 hours there and all crammed into a 3-bedroom hotel suite. This trip contrasted from the beach retreat because instead of lounging, this trip was all about bringing the daredevil in each of us. After some persuasion, our teammates agreed to take the gondola to the top of a treacherous slope. Double black diamond. Everyone came out alive and less fearful of heights.
5. Weekend brunch
Did I mention that 1/3 of our team live together in a house in Bel Air? Yup, we’ve been doing this since we started the company. Even after we got a nice, spacious office, many of us stayed living together because it’s so much fun. We have a teammate, Colin, who is a phenomenal chef. Every few weekends, he will invite the entire company over for a multi-course brunch. From blueberry pancakes made from scratch to lightly seasoned Canadian bacon, the meal is nothing short of gourmet. There’s nothing like waking up on Sunday morning to a table full of favorite breakfast items and surrounded by your teammates. We crowd around the kitchen table and toast to a great way to start the week.