Oh how we love our gadgets, tablets, laptops, smartphones/watches, and ear buds. Social media addiction has even become a thing. But no matter how newfangled we all become, the best way to connect with with another human still requires unplugging and a bit of old-fashioned consensual eye contact. Here are six fun ways for well-wired locals to turn off and tune in during the workday.
Rather than eating your chicken salad at your desk while surfing Facebook, invite Prudy Kohler, founder of Art for Lunch, over to the office to hang. Kohler (whose clients include Timbuk2 and Charles Schwab) arrives with all the necessary materials for you and your coworkers to make original works of art during the lunch hour. Photo transfer projects will be popular among Instagrammers—you just bring your own photo to be re-imaged onto Fuji film and manipulated to resemble a painting. Afterward, Kohler, also a studio artist and career educator, facilitates a team-building discussion about the process. // artforlunch.com
“When we decide to look for our dreams in real life, where do we go?” asked Elle Luna—author of an essay, entitled “The Crossroads of Should and Must,” that went viral on Medium—at a recent installment of Creative Mornings—a series of get-togethers that brings cool speakers without the ticket price of a conference. They roll out the coffee and breakfast at 8:30am; after everyone's got their bagels and schmears, the lecture begins at nine. Registration is free but space limited. Dropbox and Zendesk have both hosted events for the San Francisco chapter. // creativemornings.com/cities/sf
Who’s that guy carrying West African djembes, Middle Eastern frame drums, and Caribbean maracas into the headquarters of CISCO, Apple, and Genentech? That's Jim Grenier of Hands On! Drum, which offers team-building sessions that focus on communicating, collaborating, and celebrating. “It’s a great way of initiating a spirit of celebration in the workplace,” Grenier says. A common pulse is introduced, and “then I take them on a 60 to 90-minute rhythm journey. It encourages people to have a conversation about how they do things together. My clients tell me that conversation continues well beyond the activity itself.” // handsondrum.com
For the past 13 years, Dan Kleiber, a.k.a. Mr. Treasure Hunt, has orchestrated hundreds of adventures with San Francisco as his playground. Teams of four to six people are given maps, pens, and clues to locations—your team might solve a word puzzle that directs you to the next clue, which may be something more site-specific. It's a great way to learn about San Francisco neighborhoods—the Mission is a popular request. Treasure hunts end with cocktails and recap at a local bar. // mrtreasurehunt.com
If a three-day camp to unplug is just a little much for you, why not try one of Digital Detox's one- or two-hour sessions, preferred by companies like Pandora and Airbnb. “We talk about mindfulness, and journal, and give people permission to breathe,” says cofounder Levi Felix, who's also recently partnered with The Go Game to provide field games for techies in desperate need of screen-free activity. “Our goal is to get people away from their screens and reconnect with themselves and each other,” he says. // digitaldetox.org
Before you even put on your makeup or check your Flipboard feed, why not join 400 friends for a two-hour, alcohol-free dance party? Held every three weeks at rotating locations, the morning parties kick off with yoga at 6:30 before dancing at 7:30am. “It’s a really high energy dance party,” says Mustafa Khan, co-producer of Daybreaker's San Francisco chapter. “At the end, everyone sits down and we say thank you to the soloists and musicians, and we read a poem together. It’s a really powerful moment.” Tickets are $25. // sf.daybreaker.com