When you think of team building, it probably summons up one of two images:
- Awkwardly passing balloons between your legs at school
- Awkwardly falling backwards into to the arms of an awkward colleague
It’s something managers and employees shy away from because no one wants to be part of meaningless icebreakers, inane retreats, and mildly offensive balloon games.
Good news: it doesn’t have to be that way.
While you’ve come to expect team building to be an afternoon of time-wasting that just reaffirms everyone’s discomfort, if it’s done properly that isn’t the case.
Skip ahead to the activities using the links below!
- Team building activities to break the ice
- Creative team building activities
- Problem solving team building activities
- Ongoing team building activities
- Competitive team building activities
- Longer, more involved team building activities
What is team building?
The secret to team building is that it’s not always a set of activities or team games. It’s a process.
According to the University of California:
Team building is an ongoing process that helps a work group evolve into a cohesive unit. The team members not only share expectations for accomplishing group tasks, but trust and support one another and respect one another’s individual differences.
The problem with the way most companies do it is that they view it as an activity. Today we’re going to do team building. Afterwards, our team will be built and we can increase output by 11%! Wrong…
Team building is:
- Regularly recurring, not just a one-time fix
- Made up of work, leisure, collaboration, problem solving and projects
- Anything from a retreat to a small work picnic — or not an ‘event’ at all
From that, you can see it’s much more than just a few silly games. Let’s look at how three companies approach it.
Team building case study #1: Buffer
For a masterclass in team building done right, you don’t have to look far. Buffer’s Open blog documents a lot of the internal processes the company goes through to strengthen its culture, processes and brand. Let’s look at an example:
In 2015, Buffer spent over $111k on getting the whole team together every 5 months to strengthen team bonds and get to know new faces. Since Buffer — like Process Street — is fully remote, it’s important that the idea of a team isn’t an abstract one and all members realize that they’re actually working alongside real people, not just usernames on Slack.
As well as big every-five-month meet-ups, Buffer has also started having smaller local hangouts so no one feels disconnected for too long.
On the topic of why they spend so much money on team building retreats, Buffer CEO Joel Gascoine says:
“[…] there’s something magical that happens when you meet in person. In a retreat setting it’s even more powerful. We have casual meals together and do activities on off days. We can learn about what makes each other tick and what our true passions are.”
Team building case study #2: Zapier
An open channel for communication is vital for team building. Without a place to chill out and loosen up, there’s not going to be any situation in which natural interaction can occur.
As well as that, they take a similar approach to in-person meetings as Buffer. CEO Wade Foster says:
“[…] some things are just better done in person. For instance, it’s hard to have a casual conversation with a teammate over Google Hangout about their kids, shoot the breeze about some random idea you’ve had improving a secondary process in the company or sit down and talk about company values. All those things tend to naturally happen in person, while they don’t happen in a remote team, unless you force it.”
To spark conversation that would normally have to be forced, Zapier has run five retreats so far in California, Washington, Colorado, Alabama and Utah.
Team building case study #3: Google
Moving away from the startup world to get some enterprise examples, it turns out that humans are humans no matter what size company they work in. Google found the most important way to improve team relationships was to encourage the open sharing of feelings.
Shawn Stratton reports:
“The Google research found that people don’t want to have to put on a ‘work face’ when they arrived at their desk each morning, that is to have complete separation of work and home life. It turns out we want people to ask how they are feeling and have a safe environment to share our feelings no matter how messy or sad or excited we are feeling, without fear of reprisal. Leaders need to allow for the creation of an emotional safety net to develop within their teams. One way to create this environment is to carve out time for people to actually share their feelings and not just updates on the latest reports or budget numbers.”
The way Google implemented this strategy was, unsurprisingly, by developing software. The software allowed members do a 10-minute pulse check on the following 5 elements:
- Psychological safety: Team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other
- Dependability: Team members get things done on time and meet Google’s high bar for excellence
- Structure & clarity: Team members have clear roles, planes, and goals
- Meaning: Work is personally important to team members
- Impact: Team members think their work matters and creates change
Then, they’d have a live in-person chat to talk about the test results and be provided with resources to help teams improve across these 5 areas. Over 3,000 Googlers have used the tool, and reported that having framework to talk about their issues openly was the most impactful part of the experience, as well as reporting a 6% lift in psychological safety and a 10% life in structure and clarity.
The positive effects of team building on your company
Team building helps an isolated group of people come together, combine their skills, and become more than the sum of their parts. Without a strong team, there can be bitterness, unresolved disputes, low productivity and unwillingness to communicate.
Here’s how it helps:
Communication becomes effortless
Whether it’s in person or remotely, communication is vital to the survival of a company. Just look at how insanely popular Slack has gotten, and email beforehand. Some of the most popular tools in business are there to facilitate communication, and that’s for one good reason: without communication, nothing can be managed, reported, brainstormed, tracked, or improved.
Even though it’s mandatory for teams to communicate, it’s a lot more efficient and motivating if teams don’t feel uncomfortable talking to each other. As I looked at earlier, Zapier keeps group Slack channels as an open forum for gifs, memes and silliness alongside general chit-chat.
Onboarding happens quickly
Onboarding — the process of getting new hires integrated and ready to work as fast as possible — is something you can’t really afford to mess up.
- Onboarding programs can increase retention by 25% and improve employee performance by 11%.
- Employees who participate in a structured onboarding program are 69% more likely to stay with an organization for 3 years.
- It takes 8-12 months for new hires to be as proficient as their tenured colleagues.
- 15% of employees said the lack of an effective onboarding program aided in their decision to quit.
And why does this have anything to do with team building? Well, a big part of onboarding is a focus on company culture and connecting with your co-workers. Just look at Google’s five-point Just in Time onboarding checklist, for example. Three of the five points are directly related to culture and integration:
- Having a discussion about roles and responsibilities
- Matching the new hire with a peer buddy
- Helping the new hire build a social network
- Setting up employee onboarding check-ins once a month for the new hire’s first six months
- Encouraging open dialogue
Google’s checklist improved onboarding by 25%!
Motivation comes naturally
Motivated employees engage better with their work, increasing their productivity by 43%, says Hay Group. A major goal in team building is motivation, because it makes employees feel closer with their work and responsible for doing a good job with their colleagues.
Since team building breaks down the boundaries between leader and team, members will also be more motivated to speak out when they have an idea — something Google calls Psychological Safety.
How to make team building into a process
Team building isn’t quite as tangible as sales, leads, or revenue, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be executed repeatedly and tracked — it just means it might be more difficult to do effectively if you don’t think about it as a process.
Team building needs to be both a series of initiatives (like Buffer’s and Zapier’s regular retreats) and something baked into your current processes, such as employee onboarding.
Where it all starts: Employee onboarding
Employee onboarding will make up a new employee’s first impression of your company, so it’s the ideal place to set standards. Warm welcomes, meet-ups in casual settings (bars, restaurants), and assigning a buddy are all good practices to help the new hire fit in later on down the road and get off to a good start.
Use our employee onboarding checklist for a good reference guide
How to keep it going: Consistency
The key to promoting any kind of behavior is consistency. That’s just one of the most basic psychological principles of the human mind. The more we do something we like, the more our brains get used to doing it, and the more we expect it. Bonding with each other needs to be consistent because — as we know from everyday life — relationships can go cold if not maintained. Maintain team building by having regular company retreats, outings and activities.
You don’t have to go as far as Michael Scott’s ‘Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race’ or the Dunder Mifflin Company Picnic with disastrous volleyball, but there are a variety of regular events you can keep going, like gaming tournaments, meals, and competitions.
Here are 63 team building activities for you to try out with your team! The first section looks at how to break the ice.
Team Building Activities to Break the Ice
Sometimes teams just need a little introduction to get communication going. These activities are perfect for when a new hire or group of new hires are being introduced to the company.
Team Building Kits
Planning team building activities can be a drag and a drain on time and resources, but with Team Building Kits, everything arrives in a single box. No planning required.
Team Building Kits immerses you and your team in a fantasy world where it’s up to you to catch a serial killer, escape from Mars, and more… before it’s too late. Work together with your team to follow the clues and solve the case—all the while increasing productivity, revealing natural leaders, building trust, and having fun. Simply set aside 60-90 minutes, open the box, and dive right in. Clear, concise, and simple instructions are inside that will get you up and running ASAP.
After the game, have a team chat to talk about how to bring the energy and excitement into current and future projects. The best part? Team Building Kits is a subscription service automated to arrive at your office’s doorstep each quarter—providing a level of team building accountability and automation so you can set it and forget it.
QuizBreaker is a really fun and easy tool that will help your team get to know each other a little more each week. It will also help improve the trust and communication within your team, especially if they don’t share an office.
When you sign up, each person in your team answers some fun icebreaker questions such as “What’s your favourite TV show of all time”, “Which person alive or dead would most like to invite to dinner” or “Which store would you max out your credit card if you absolutely had to?”. Then each Friday each person receives a quiz where they have to guess who on the team said which answer!
It’s a simple game that is used by hundreds of teams big and small all over the world including the likes of Google, Salesforce and Mars Confectionary. It also comes with a free trial.
Two Truths and a Lie
Everyone gets up in front of the group and introduces themselves. “Hi, my name is…”. Then, they read two truths about themselves and one lie (in a random order, of course). It’s the job of the rest of the group to decide which is a truth and a which is a lie!
The One Question
A team member is randomly selected to come up with a task for the group. It can be anything, from babysitting, to fire-fighting, to making tacos or digging a deep hole. After that, it’s the job of each individual to come up with one question that would determine the best fit person for the job. There will be gems such as “do you have any experience with fires?”, and probably more creative questions.
Take part in the great English tradition and have a pub quiz! Whether this means getting the pints in at the office or actually renting out a pub for the job, it doesn’t matter — this is a fantastic way to foster teamwork in an easy-going environment.
For a huge list of pub quiz questions, see here.
The Name Game
You’ll need a pack of sticky notes and a pen for this low-cost classic. Write one famous person’s name (dead or living) on a sticky note for every member of the team. Stick the notes to team member’s back or on their forehead and have everyone mingle, asking questions to determine who they are and getting hints from their co-workers!
Ideas on who the team members can be:
X facts about you
There’s a little bit of deception in the setup of this particular team building game. First, you fill a bag full of small objects (coins, marbles, bottle caps) and pass it around the circle telling each team member ‘take as many as you need’. When the bag’s gone round the circle, tell the group that for however many objects they took, that’s how many facts they need to share about themselves. Some people may indeed have been silly enough to take 20 objects…
Googlism is a site that uses suggested searches to find out what Google thinks of you. Have everybody put their names into the tool and tell the group which results are true, and which are hilariously ridiculous.
Zen Counting is the practice of sitting in a circle and trying to count to 10 without talking over each other. Any time someone says 2 or more numbers in a row, or interrupts someone, the group must start from 1. I’ve tried this before, and it is much harder than it sounds.
Would You Rather
This classic teen party game can be turned into an office-friendly one, too, you know. Take turns asking each other scenarios, starting with the words “would you rather…?”. Examples include:
- Would you rather give up your computer forever or Tv forever?
- Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never speak again?
- Would you rather always lose or never play?
- Would you rather always wear earmuffs or a nose plug?
- Would you rather take a razor blade to the eye or a screwdriver to the stomach?
- Would you rather always win pie-eating contests or always win wheelbarrow races?
- Would you rather be 3 feet tall or 8 feet tall?
- Would you rather be 3 feet taller or 3 feet shorter?
- Would you rather be a deep sea diver or an astronaut?
- Would you rather be a dog named Killer or a cat named Fluffy?
- Would you rather be a giant hamster or a tiny rhino?
Check this page for a full list.
What’s the best/worst …?
What’s the worst pizza you’ve ever eaten? What’s the best film you’ve ever seen? Similar to ‘would you rather…?’, this activity gives team members an insight into their co-workers’ preferences, and encourages everyone to share funny stories.
Pair up, and give one half of the pair an picture. It should be something simple like a shape or cartoon animal. Without letting on exactly what the picture is, the pair sit back to back and the one with the image describes to the one who’s drawing. See if the original looks anything like what the illustrator comes up with!
Creative Team Building Activities
Creative teams might need something more engaging than physical to truly get them to come together around something they’re passionate about, but these team building exercises are also great for non-creative teams. Why not give the finance department a chance to exercise the right side of their brains?
Sell an Item on Your Desk
Call everyone to pick an item from their desk, and then come to the conference room. Now tell them they need to improvise a sales pitch for that particular item that makes the rest of the room compelled to buy it. Bonus points if they stay within the confines of reality! Bad luck to anyone who picked a broken stapler.
Divide everyone into groups of 3-4 and randomly select a film genre for each group. The group needs to come up with the script, characters, setting and story for a 5 minute film they will then act out to the other groups, set within the confines of the genre. If you have the time and resources, why not take it a step further and actually film the movie?
Make Your Own Game
Feeling really creative? Why don’t you challenge your team mash a few of these suggestions up and create their own game. They could even make something totally new from scratch. For bonus points, after the games have been made, teams can vote on which they’d like to play next and see how the game goes.
Grab Bag Skits
If you have a team that’s feeling particularly theatrical, grab bag skits can be hilarious fun. The idea is that you get a paper bag full of items (random items from around the office, or pre-purchased objects) and then have to act out a skit in groups of 3-4 which includes all of the items and lasts between 1 and 3 minutes. Think of it as an improvised comedy variety show for the whole team.
Here’s a skit for reference — although it is probably a bit more advanced than what the team will come up with:
Create a Marble-Carrying Contraption
The aim? To roll a marble from one side of the room to the other without it touching the floor. The team can use whatever they’re given (paper and tape is recommended!) to construct a contraption to carry a marble flawlessly. Merit will be awarded if it looks like this thing:
Idea Building Blocks
Firstly, present each team with a problem. It can be anything, from a simple riddle to something more complex, like ‘how many golf balls fit in a Boeing’. Then, in small groups, the first team member writes down an idea on how to solve the problem on a piece of paper and passes it to the next person. The next person improves on the solution by building on the first person’s idea, strengthening creative problem solving as a group.
Problem Solving Team Building Activities
See how well your teams work together to solve a shared problem with this set of exercises. These activities also make great ice breakers since they force teams to all chip in and overcome an obstacle.
Build the Tallest Tower
Using whatever’s provided (spaghetti, tape and marshmallows are a classic), teams must build the tallest free-standing structure that survives without support for 6 seconds or longer. Find the hidden architect in your company and those who would be better off suited working as demolitionists. Allow time of 30 minutes per group. To make this more of a challenge, see which can withstand an ‘earthquake’.
Quick! You’re about to be stranded on a desert island forever and you can only take 10 items with you. Grab 10 items from the office and justify, in groups, why you chose what you did. Argue why on Earth a desk chair would be any use to you on an island, and challenge the choices of other groups!
Buy one 150-piece puzzle for each team, but mix all of the pieces together. Give each team 150 random pieces, and get them to trade and barter for the pieces amongst themselves in a race to be the first team to successfully complete their puzzles. The most complete puzzle after 30 minutes wins!
Imagine you’re starting a new civilization on a distant island (or planet!) away from the influence of any government. The setting has everything you’ll need — food, water, raw materials, and everything to support life. All that’s left is an economy. In groups, each group must come up with a set of economical principles the new society will follow. A chance for all the Marxists to come out of the woodwork and create a utopian society?
Geocache Treasure Hunt
Using a Geocaching app to find a cache, now invent a series of riddles to lead teams there! An example of a riddle you might use to hint that the first step is to find a tree, is:
With clothes of green,
And bark of a dog,
Search me for the goods,
I sleep like a log.
Use some suggested riddles or, better yet, make your own. You can even turn the tables and make this extra creative by having one team write the riddles and find the cache while the others hunt for it based on the clues.
Mad Lib Mission Statement
Get a copy of your company’s mission statement and use a mad lib generator like Wordblanks to make a mad lib out of it.
Which teams can come up with the most faithful (or hilarious) recreation of the original? This also serves a purpose to possibly rewrite the statement in a more honest, conversational way — in terms the teams themselves would like to represent their company in.
You can make an escape room out of the conference room, or just buy time in one that already exists. The general idea, however, is the same. Teams are given a time limit to find the clues they need that lead to key to exit the room. The time limit is often the amount of time it takes a zombie to break free, so if you’re doing it in the office, you probably need to use someone as the zombie, or maybe that could be you!
Check out this guide on making your own escape room for more details.
The Ol’ Egg Drop
This schoolyard classic is popular for a reason: it’s a great problem solving challenge! Get together in teams to construct a container to save an egg as it drops from a top floor window. What material can you use? Anything you find in the office!
Check this out for some inspiration:
Invent a sequence (like Roman Numerals) using toothpicks, pens, or any combination of long, thin objects. It can’t be at random, the shapes need to mean something. Have teams try to work out the different numbers in the sequence to guess certain answers to questions. It could be anything from an abstract mathematical question to a piece of trivia. The more answers they get right, the closer they get to cracking the code. Get some inspiration here.
Using anything in the office, teams must work together to get across the room without touching the floor directly. That could be paper, cardboard, or tables! This is basically a game of throw things on the floor and step on them, so make sure everyone has clean shoes!
It’s like an adult version of the floor is lava.
Similar to the marble contraption game, this instead involves transporting a bucket of toxic waste by any means necessary from one of the room to the other, using nothing but the material available. Make sure not to spill the toxic waste or you’ll have to deal with some atrocious health and safety lawsuits.
Ideas for the contraption include pulleys and pathways, but keep in mind the bucket (of water) can’t touch the floor or anyone’s hands. This is a pretty challenging game!
Ongoing Team Building Activities
Like I said, team building isn’t just a one-time fix. You don’t do it and then declare the team built. Here are some ideas for ongoing team activities you can do.
Pokemon Go Contest
At The Next Web, it’s mandatory to play Pokemon Go! That’s because it gets all of the staff outside for 30 minutes a day, chatting and building rapport. It also creates healthy competition. Who can catch the most Pokemon or claim the most gyms? You could even struggle to control the nearest gym and divide the players into teams in-game. With games in the equation, the possibilities are huge.
Awful Movie Recommendation
This is one we do at Process Street. We take turns to nominate a terrible film (so bad it’s good) to the group. Then we watch it and laugh about it. It’s perfect for a remote team! We’ve had such classics as The Beast Must Die and Shivers.
Guilty Pleasure Song Recommendation
Similar to the movie one above, but a bit more active, team members take turns (probably in a pretty relaxed setting) to put on their guilty pleasure songs.
Points will not be awarded for obscure cult classics played purely to demonstrate a pretentiously advanced taste! More Cyndi Lauper, less Pavement, please.
Regular Book Club
If you’re a team of bookworms, why not get together and hold a weekly or monthly book club? It gives everyone the chance to participate in a regularly held event to chat about books and recommend reads for the group. Unlike the two activities above, the books should probably not be terrible.
For the sales team, there’s nothing better than a bit of healthy competition. Who can close the most deals and win the most money for their company?
You can use software like Ambition to track this, and even throw in funny easter eggs like different songs being played when different salespeople win deals.
Casual Friday is a cliche for a reason. If you don’t already wear what you want to work, it’s an opportunity for the team to express their individuality. No one likes feeling like they’re defined by the shirt and tie. And Fridays are often a lost cause anyway, so why not make it fun?
A common book is a blank notebook left in a common area for team members to write whatever they want in. It can be silly drawings, lyrics, general thoughts — basically anything that can be committed to paper. It will be fun to see how the book evolves over time, and gives anyone an open forum to express themselves.
Competitive Team Building Activities
In these games, teams or individuals compete against each other, and have a lot of fun while they’re at it. The aim is to strengthen team character as well as get to know each other’s personalities.
Holding a scavenger hunt can be a great way to introduce teams to a fun problem solving situation. You can be as creative as you like, but the general premise is to hide objects (in and out of the office), and either present a set of clues or just let everyone go off and hunt for these objects. Provide a list of the items you’ve hidden, and a time limit. Split everyone into teams of 4 or 5, and get hunting.
Camera Phone Scavenger Hunt
Take a lesson from Wrike and hold a scavenger hunt with a twist. It’s just like a normal scavenger hunt, but instead of items teams must get photographs of certain situations. Wrike chose things like a stranger giving them a piggyback ride, and a before/after shot of a beer.
Video Game Tournaments (local)
Whether you were lucky enough in your youth to experience 4-player split screen Goldeneye or not, video games are something everyone has a shot at. You can opt for something retro like Goldeneye, or something more modern like Super Smash Bros or Wii Sports. Wii Sports is an especially good call if your team isn’t full of pro gamers because it’s really easy to learn.
Video Game Tournaments (online)
More advanced gamers might want something demanding like the halcyon days of basement LAN parties. Try knockout multiplayer tournaments of Starcraft, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone (much more relaxed!) or Heroes of the Storm.
This is a great option for remote teams, who can play in pairs asynchronously. In fact, we’re still going with our Hearthstone tournament, and it’s a load of fun.
Good old bowling. There’s most likely a bowling alley near every office on earth, so there’s no excuse to not make an afternoon of it sometime. It’s a great icebreaker, and, when not taken too seriously, is fun for everyone (not just pro bowlers).
Monopoly is a surprisingly relevant board game for businesses. Learn everyone’s personalities, strengths, and deal-making abilities with a ‘quick’ game of Monopoly.
If you’ve got a team with particularly nerdy inclinations, you might want to try something like Star Trek Monopoly. I’ve got a set at home, and it’s a great laugh.
Go the arcade
Whether you’re facing off against each other on Street Fighter or trying to beat the Pac-Man high score, arcades are silly fun for everyone. You can also easily combine this activity with bowling and make a whole evening of it. And if people don’t care much for arcade games, well… There’s probably a bar, too.
There’s no better way to break the ice with your superiors than by shooting them where it hurts. It’s like being in the army and strategizing with your team, but no one actually ends up dead which is a bonus.
Check out Groupon’s offers on paintball near you.
Who knows the most about Ancient Greek ruins? Find out with a team game of Trivial Pursuit. There are hundreds of different editions with specialist trivia from Star Wars, old movies and sports. Or, you could of course just get the original version with general knowledge questions most people have a good shot at answering.
Another classic family game, Pictionary is a fun game for pairs of people to bond because it involves creative communication, problem solving and teamwork. Couple that with the fact it’s competitive and you have an awesome game to glue everyone together.
Stack the Biggest Cup Pyramid
You’ll need props for this one! It’s a game you play in teams of 4 and the aim is to use 4 pieces of string and a rubber band to create a tool that can stack cups up. Since you’re not allowed to touch the cups with your hands, the team will need to verbally coordinate to do it properly. See this video for an explanation:
Depending on how big your team is, you might need one box of Jenga for this or more. The aim is to write the name of a department in your company on as many Jenga bricks as there are people in the department / team. If there are 10 people in the marketing team, for example, there are 10 bricks with ‘marketing’ written on them. Do this for everyone in every department / team then build the tower up. The losing department is the one that knocks it down.
This will require a little planning, but if you can get it together, you’re in for a nostalgic experience as everyone remembers their favorite gym class that was never really a gym class — Dodgeball.
Another physical activity (that might not be everybody’s personal favorite thing), volleyball is an easy team game to break the ice and introduce a bit of silliness and energy into the office.
Just hope it doesn’t turn out like it did in The Office:
Guitar Hero Battle
If you’ve got a games console in the break room, why not stage a little Guitar Hero face-off. Guitar Hero is simple enough to pick up on easy mode, and a good spectator sport, to boot.
You could even take it to the next level and form a whole virtual band with Rock Band. Got any natural born drummers in your team?
(Don’t Drop the) Water Balloon Toss
Combine the risk of accidentally pelting a co-worker with the fun of catching it carefully and you’ve got this short game to be played in pairs.
It’s pretty simple: You get a bunch of water balloons, fill them and take them to the park. Then, pairs stand 5-10 meters away and throw the balloons up for their partner to catch. If you do a bad job, you’re going to end up drenching your partner. Oh well, it’s fun regardless.
Lip Syncing or Karaoke Contest
For teams with no shame. It’s time to get up on the ‘stage’ (desk?) and put on a show. Grab your ‘guitar’ (mop) and ‘microphone’ (stapler), and perform the most convincing lip sync you can, alone or with a band of your team mates.
When it’s over, the winning band will be decided with the cheer-o-meter.
Longer, more involved team building activities
If you’re on a company retreat or feel really like making a day of it, you can try some of these (more extreme) team building activities so teams can really feel like they’ve been through something together!
A whole team coming together in favor of a worthy cause is a powerful thing. It strengthen team ties because the group feels as if they’re working for something that matters.
A few ideas of what you could do include:
- Soup kitchen server
- Classroom helper
- Animal carer
- Visitor or befriender
- Mentor to young people
Team Fun Run
There are fun runs going on all over the world right now, and your team could be a part of one of them. You could even split up into smaller teams, wear team costumes and see which team places highest!
For a list of fun runs (and mud runs!), see here.
Camping in the woods
For those who don’t mind roughing it for the night, camping can be an extremely fun and enlightening experience and a chance to forge lasting relationships with your team in a non-office environment. Think marshmallows, campfire songs, and cooking up breakfast the next day.
Probably a little too extreme for the majority of teams, but if everyone’s on board this could be a truly monumental experience for everyone involved. Make it more team-based by having the team all jump at once!
For a list of skydiving locations near you, check here.
Rafting (white water or not)
Depending on how adventurous everyone’s feeling (directly after skydiving, perhaps?!), your team might like the idea of a rafting trip! Plenty of places around the world are suitable, including many American rivers in most states. Just make sure you do it through an agency who knows the course so it isn’t too dangerous.
The third and final extreme listing here, bungee jumping isn’t for the faint hearted (i.e. it’s something I’d never do in a million years). With the right team, it can be a fun and exhilarating experience that brings people together with something crazy to talk about afterwards.
Find a bungee jumping location near you.
Run a charity event
Whether you’re hosting your own fun run, or running a charity BBQ, this is a great excuse to run a company event where the proceeds go to a good cause. A few ideas:
- 5km run
- Talent show
- Spend the night in a haunted house
- Fashion show
- Viral video challenge
Host a mock game show
If you’ve ever wanted to be The Quizmaster, now’s the time. You can make a mock set in the office, and host your own company game show where contestants compete against each other for valuable (or hilariously poor) prizes. You can try something like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, or even Takeshi’s Castle!
We all know Shark Tank (Dragons’ Den if you’re from the UK). The idea is that you present a product and marketing strategy to a group of judges (team members), and they decide how much they think it’s worth investing in. You could allocate the board several million (fake) dollars to invest, and see which idea is most heavily invested in at the end.
Go on a road trip
If you’re planning a retreat, why don’t you all go together and make a road trip out of it? As long as you’re all relatively local, you can rent a bus, minivan, or some classic cars and go on the best darned road trip since Jack Kerouac’s. Just be careful you don’t all wake up in another state with no idea where you are.
Don’t know which team building activity to choose?
This is a lot to take in, I know. But if you don’t know which to choose, why not pick a few from the relevant category (icebreakers for new teams, of course) and let them decide? It also depends on how much time you have. If you’re on your way to a retreat or have a few days to spare, then a road trip / pub quiz / bungee jump sounds awesome! If not, why not just share a few facts about yourselves?
Have you go any team building activities you’ve tried that you’d like to add to the list? Let me know in the comments! 😀