’s a question HR directors are confronted with immediately upon deciding to hold a corporate team building activity: which day should it be held on?

As you might imagine, it’s also a question I am asked daily. During my 6 years working as director of adult education programs at the 92nd Street Y, I faced this question regularly from speakers and instructors as well when planning classes, lectures and events: what day works best? Save any glaring conflicts such as holidays or scheduling issues, my answer there was typically the same: so long as the program is compelling, people will attend and be happy regardless of the day of week.

Yet with corporate team building events, that’s not exactly the case. After determining your company’s best time of year to hold a team building activity, let’s take a look at the workweek, and try to reveal the pros and cons of each day for your group event:

  1. Monday – End of the weekend, start of the workweek. Depending on your group, people may be tired, anxious or depressed. If your team building goals are to get people fired up for the week ahead, a Monday team building exercise might not be such a bad idea; conversely, you may want to let people get into the comfortable swing of the workweek before changing up their routine on them. Whatever you do, don’t hit them with a team building exercise right when they arrive Monday morning – they will NOT be into it, and you may actually make them upset.
  1. Tuesday – With Monday out of the way, the workweek has begun in earnest, yet the coming weekend is still a distance away. Motivation is lacking, and an energetic team building activity might be just the thing to help out (you are also likely to get a better deal at your venue if you hold your event early in the week).
  1. Wednesday – Hump Day. People generally feeling positive that the weekend is closer, and moods are rising – however, energy levels may be sagging. Since people don’t typically make Wednesday night their “going out” night, an evening team building event is ideal – increasing the likeliness that it will be both welcome and well-attended.
  1. Thursday – Getting into serious Happy Hour zone here, so attaching a group bonding activity into an existing happy hour routine will make the event feel more familiar, thus making attendees more comfortable. On the other hand, your staff may consider happy hour sacred, and don’t want it being messed with; people also tend to make their own plans on Thursday nights, so it can be tough to have people commit.
  1. Friday – A daytime activity is great, since it will give the feeling of a long weekend. Nighttime, however, is tough. People have been looking forward to Friday, and unless you’re culminating a long week with a fun activity designed to reward a job well done, planning an employee team building event on a Friday night will likely be greeted with resentment.
  1. Saturday/Sunday – No. Try planning an employee team building activity on a weekend, and you might get run out of town (with the exception, of course, of an offsite corporate retreat, conference or similar situation where a team building event would be appropriate/expected).

When it comes to planning group activities for employees, not all days are created equal. Consider your event’s goals and your group’s culture/lifestyle before committing to a date. Also, conducting an informal poll can be an extremely helpful means of gauging what day would be best for your team – helping take the pressure off of you.

What are your thoughts on which day(s) of the week work best for corporate team building? Please share below!

(Image courtesy of WorldTrekker’s Journal)