Great Team-Building Activities and Exercises

If your team has recently returned to the office, you may find that some of the former cohesive spirit has been lost over so many months of staff working from home. Many offices are also going through a period of restructuring, hiring new employees and working out new flexible work arrangements. Which makes it a great time to renew bonds between your workers with some team-building activities.

The success of team-building exercises is largely determined by choosing the right types of activities for your people. Startup companies with lots of young, single staffers will likely respond to different pursuits than older workers. Companies with lots of technical staff may enjoy a video gamers club, whereas employees of a construction business might love a “Best Barbeque” competition. When in doubt, it never hurts to simply take a poll to see which kind of events your staff is most interested in.

But be sure to do a variety of different kinds of outings, games and activities. Even if the majority of your employees love sports leagues, there will almost surely be a small contingent of folks who don’t, and you want to make sure great employees aren’t made to feel like they just don’t “fit in” with your company culture.

The following are some ideas for fun activities that can help your staff get to know each other better and bond as a team. Every company is unique. Use these ideas as a jumping-off point and ask the members of your staff to volunteer their own suggestions as well.

Note: Most of these activities and exercises are meant to be done in person. Visit this article for more ideas on How to Help Your Remote Staff Stay Connected.

Fun Team-Building Activities

Scavenger Hunt – Always a classic. This can be done around the office or around a neighborhood. Works great for larger businesses because you can break into smaller teams. A great modern twist is to simply give each team a list of items to take photographs of rather than having to actually acquire the items.

Cookoff or Baking Competition – Everyone loves to eat and this is an activity that appeals to people of almost all ages, genders and interests. Have a chili cookoff where everyone votes for their favorite, or a “best cookie” contest or simply do a “family heirloom potluck” where everyone brings in a favorite dish from their childhood. It’s a fantastic conversation starter!

Brew Your Own Beer – Book a room at a “Brew-Your-Own” beer shop. The staff there has all the equipment and will walk your team through the process of making their own beer. This is an appealing activity for young companies with lots of beer lovers. To find a location near you, put “brew on premises near me” into your search engine.

Field Day – The three-legged race. Balloon toss. Tug-of-war. Field day is fun for all ages because the games can be anything you want them to be and the sillier they are, the more your staff will have a chance to let loose and have some laughs together. Find suggestions for tons of possible field day games here.

Escape Room – Escape rooms force your team to really work together to solve a series of puzzles in order to “escape” a locked room. This is a super easy and engaging activity for small groups. Simply reserve your time slot and show up at the facility.

Work a Charitable Event – Bond with each other while doing good. Host a coats-for-kids drive. Volunteer to pack food at the local food bank. Lend your house-building assistance to Habitat for Humanity. Sign up a team for Race for the Cure. There are so many ways to incorporate charitable giving into team-building, every company can find some volunteer activity that works for their employees.

Show and Tell – This is an easy one that requires very little planning or prep on your part, but can really allow your staff to get to know each other better. Have everyone on your team bring in an item, a photo, a story or a talent to share. They can show off a hobby they love, display a skill, or simply tell an interesting story about something that happened to them.

Start a Sports League – Bowling or softball leagues are perennially popular, but there are plenty of other sports you can organize for staff. You could install a ping-pong table in the break room and start your own in-house table tennis league. Get creative!

Trivia Night – When in doubt about what type of team-building exercise to do, trivia games are always a winner. You can host these in-house, virtually or take the whole staff out to a trivia night at a local pub. Competing together against strangers is an enjoyable way for your staff to bond.

More Ideas for Team-Building

There are so many different ways you can help your employees get to know each other better, blow off steam and collaborate as a team. Here are a few more possibilities:

  • Laser Tag or Nerf Gun battle
  • Karaoke night
  • Cutest pet contest
  • Board game night
  • Video game night (can be done virtually)
  • Picnic or cookout
  • Wilderness courses and ropes courses (for the adventurous)
  • Solve a murder mystery (in-person and online options available)

Again, these are just a few possibilities and we suggest that you modify and personalize these activities for your team.