The summer season accrues excitement not only from schoolchildren on their break, but also from work-weary, cooped-up, office-based adults. If that’s the case for you and your colleagues, then you must be looking forward to a welcome staple of corporate life: the annual summer outing. You and your lot may have been daydreaming about your next trip to the beach, to a guest house, or to a swimming hole—the Brisbane area alone sports many appealing options for a company vacation spot.

But planning for the best outcome takes a little legwork. Any one team in an office can have a diverse composition where members hail from different age groups, levels of educational attainment, health backgrounds, and the like. Amidst the fun and games, there’s a chance that someone may take a fall, get scratched up, overexert themselves, or (knowing Australia’s summer heat) incur dehydration or heat stress.

That said, a company outing will be all the better if all the necessary prep work is covered. Here are 6 tips to keep your next summer company outing safe, fun, and fulfilling for everyone.

  • Profile each of your participants. Confirm the attendance of everyone in the concerned office units and ask for some key details: their age, any outstanding health conditions they may have (allergies, asthma, etc.), and the like. It would also help to profile which participants have a driver’s licence, can swim, or have taken a first aid training course in Brisbane or other seminar. This will cue you in on whom you can tap in case of a related emergency, wherever the venue may be.
  • Be thorough during the planning stages. Even before you book the venue and schedule the roster of activities, sit down and have a thorough planning session with your team. Discuss what outcome you want from the activity. Some important questions to ask are: What should the activity achieve? How many days should we set aside for the activity? How structured should it be? What’s the best type of environment for an activity like this?

Take note that the summer outing need not be very long or very adventurous in nature to keep everyone happy and motivated. Determine what’s best for the group of people involved. For example, if you want to give your staff members the opportunity to work on their leadership or communication skills, you can take them to a wide and open facility; if you only want to emphasise bonding and camaraderie, book a smaller and more intimate location.

  • Work around the logistics of the venue. Once your venue is finalised, contact your hosts and start configuring your expectations with them. Ask where their PWD-friendly facilities are and alert them on whether you’ll need extra assistance for your colleagues. Download a map to the venue and note its location relative to the nearest hospital, city centre, and police station.
  • Implement a buddy-system. Upon your arrival at the chosen vacation spot, arrange for everyone to have a “buddy” to check in with. A formal buddy system will prove especially helpful for a big group; “buddies” or “mates” can be assigned by pair or by threes. Enjoin all participants to watch over their assigned mates and make sure that no one is missing while boarding transport, having meals, or checking into rooms. Also, make sure that no one is unaccompanied while they are outdoors, doing strenuous activities like sports or swimming in open water.
  • Have snacks and medicine always at the ready. It would be good practice to bring one fully-stocked first aid kit for every 10 people going on the outing. Make sure that everyone has easy access to painkillers, ointments, sterilised bandages, rubbing alcohol, antihistamines, and all their necessary medication at all times. In addition, keep a portable stock of snacks and bottled water with the organising team, in case anyone gets thirsty or weak.
  • Have some good, clean fun. Once all the conditions are met for a safe summer outing, give the go-signal for everyone to relax, get into the activities, and bond as a group. Uphold all the values you want to see from them, even outside of the workplace: teamwork, respect, responsibility, loyalty, and creativity.

Ensuring a safe summer outing may require a bit more work from the organisers of the event, but going the extra mile won’t detract from the enjoyment your team can get out of your company outing. It will, in fact, make certain that the event is free of stressful emergencies and that everyone can relax without worries.