The mornings are cool and dewy, the leaves are changing colors, and the smell of mulled apple cider is in the air. It’s officially fall!
That means it’s time to visit pumpkin patches and stock up on cozy sweaters. But between the annual flu season and the upcoming holidays, fall is also the perfect time to refocus on the health and wellbeing of your workforce while morale and engagement are high.
With nearly 67% of employees still experiencing increased levels of negative stress and social disconnection at work, fall is the perfect time of year to organize sustainable and relevant wellness activities that address their unique needs and put their wellbeing first. And by taking a holistic approach that covers all dimensions of wellbeing—physical, emotional, financial, occupational, social, and purpose—you can keep your workforce happy, healthy, and motivated all season long.
20 Fun Employee Wellness Activities to Try This Fall
Looking for autumn-themed workplace wellness ideas that will boost employee morale, spike engagement, and stave off burnout? Here are 20 wellness activities to organize for your employees this fall:
1. Picking Apples at an Orchard
One great way to get some fresh air—and encourage healthy eating with fresh produce—is to organize an office outing to a nearby apple orchard. Not only is this a fun way to boost morale, but it also gives your organization an opportunity to take a break from demanding workloads or meetings and lead a healthy work-life balance.
2. Organizing a Cider Tasting
And while everyone is at the apple orchard, you could also host a group cider tasting. Even if this isn’t offered at an orchard, store-bought cider could be a great mainstay for the company fridge during the fall months. This is a great opportunity to build connections and community among co-workers, improving social connectedness and mental wellbeing.
3. Making Caramel Apples
Following up on the trip to the orchard, you could also consider holding an office party to make and decorate freshly-picked or store-bought apples. Just break out the sprinkles and peanuts (or another allergen-friendly accent) and make it a fun DIY lunch bar in place of meetings.
4. Decorating Pumpkins
Apples aren’t for everyone, but you can also host an office-wide pumpkin-carving contest. To boost employee engagement, add incentives and prizes to award to the winning pumpkin, such as gift cards, extra PTO days, or event vouchers. The best part about this activity is that remote employees can also participate by sending in a photo or video of their pumpkin masterpiece.
5. Celebrating Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is a two-week-long German festival starting in late September and running through October. While beer is usually a core part of events, there’s much more to the festivities to explore. From brats and brews to Bavarian pretzels, celebrating Oktoberfest can be a fun way to improve the employee experience while embracing cultural diversity.
6. Sponsor a Fall Festival Booth
If one of your goals is to participate in more community outreach, it could be a great idea to sponsor a booth at a local festival. Alternatively, you can also encourage employees to volunteer at a local organization, like a food pantry or soup kitchen.
7. Incentivizing Fall Health Screenings
Fall is a great time to incentivize workers to get annual health screenings like flu shots and COVID-19 boosters. This form of preventive care can be crucial, especially for employees with underlying issues or diseases like prediabetes, as it can detect these anomalies early on to improve treatment outcomes.
8. Taking Part in a Charity Run
Employees don’t need a fitness class or gym membership to get physical activity. You can also sponsor an employee or team for a local charity run, like hot chocolate marathons or turkey trots. Not only will this foster physical health benefits, but it can also be a great bonding activity between employees across the entire organization.
9. Setting Up an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Running or jogging aren’t doable for some employees, which is why scavenger hunts could be more practical alternatives. This activity can be a great team-building (and literal) exercise, especially if your office location isn’t ideal for this next activity.
10. Going on a Group Nature Walk
Continuing with healthy habits and physical activity, you can also organize a weekly nature walk if your office location allows it. As the leaves change and the air becomes crisp, autumn becomes an ideal time to soak in the outdoors before the sun goes away. You can also take things one step further and organize walking meetings that take place at a nature preserve or park rather than in a conference room or over Zoom, giving employees a change of scenery and a chance to connect in person.
11. Hosting a Fall Foliage or Costume Photo Contest
For remote employees, a group nature walk might not be feasible, but virtual teams can still share real connections.
Instead, encourage employees to spend time in nature and take a snapshot of their favorite view of the fall foliage. If your office has any four-legged, feathery, or scaly colleagues on payroll, you can also organize a pet-themed costume contest. Either way, individual employees or teams can submit photos to see who has the best eye for photography or costuming.
12. Teaching a Fall-Themed Arts and Crafts Class
Leaning into the arts, it could be fun for everyone to get involved in fall-themed crafting projects. These projects don’t have to take all day—especially if schedules are tight—but creating little decorations for the office is an excellent way for workers to stretch their creative muscles and unwind.
13. Hosting a Workplace Halloween Party
Fall-themed arts and crafts can also be useful decor for an office Halloween party. Put some spooky snacks and candy out for a fun holiday treat. Employees can also come to work dressed up for a company-wide costume contest, and if possible, extend an invitation to kids of employees to dress up and trick-or-treat throughout the office.
14. Organizing a Costume Contest
Whether on a video call or in person, hosting a company costume contest is a perfect opportunity for employees to showcase their personality, creativity, and ingenuity. With the promise of a fun prize, this idea is bound to boost morale, engagement, and maybe even employee retention, as workers plan their outfits for next year.
15. Hosting a Fall-Themed Book Club
Reading might not sound like a wellness activity, but it’s an excellent way to exercise the mind and practice mindfulness. A fall book club could be just what employees need to connect with one another, build a sense of community, and read a spooky story or two.
16. Arranging an Ugly Sweater Competition
While nothing can top an ugly Christmas sweater, fall is the start of the cool weather season, which means it’s the perfect time to host a sweater contest. Have employees raid the nearest thrift store (or their own closets) and wear their most drab fall knits to see who will win the title of ugliest fall sweater.
17. Taking a Trip to the Farmer’s Market
To take full advantage of the sweater weather, take your teams on a quick day trip to a local farmer’s market or harvest festival. Not only will the walking add some physical activity to the day, but employees will also get to pick out fresh local produce while supporting small businesses.
18. Enrolling in a Fall-Themed Cooking Class
With the bountiful harvest from the farmer’s market, you can also consider hosting culinary classes as part of your workplace wellness program. Cooking fall-themed recipes over a video call or in a conference room setting is a great way to empower healthy eating habits while learning new, enticing recipes.
19. Setting Up an Office Potluck
This November, give thanks and show appreciation to your employees by organizing an office potluck. Have everyone bring in a homemade meal from their fall-themed cooking class or farmer’s market haul. Sharing good food with good company is one of the most effective ways to foster team-building and build connections.
20. Practicing Gratitude
Last, but not least, as your organization gears up for Thanksgiving, now is a great time to implement a wellness activity centered around gratitude. Each day, for the full month of November, encourage employees, managers, and executives to name one thing they’re grateful for at work and at home. Maintaining this mindfulness throughout the year can do wonders for morale and company culture.
Don’t Let Employee Wellbeing Fall by the Wayside
At WellRight, our holistic employee wellness programs are tailored to each unique workplace and the individuals behind it. For more employee wellness activity ideas, read our post on celebrating National Employee Wellness Month.
To learn more about WellRight’s corporate wellness programs, feel free to reach out to us.