You’ll love this ultimate guide to the best team-building activities guaranteed to Improve your company culture, foster better communication, and strengthen collaboration.
Team building activities and games can be used by any size of business, large or small. As most business owners and HR managers know, great teamwork is one of the key factors associated with a company’s success.
After all… “if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
Team building activities can be defined as a group of exercises, strategies, and tactics used to enhance social relations between team members.
In this guide, you’ll get to learn:
- Benefits of team-building activities
- Alarming stats on team-building activities
- Indoor, outdoor, and virtual team-building activities
- Team building activities best practices
Let’s get started:
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Do Team Building Activities Work – Really?
“A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of others.” – Norman Shidle
If you’re in an organization, you must have heard stories about teams taking part in fun and adventurous activities if you’ve not already been a part of it. Organizations are taking employees for a fun getaway where they are made to perform team-building activities that sound fun. But do they help bring the teams together?
Several research and statistics have proven these team-building activities to improve communication and trust between team members. Additionally, they also help create a positive environment at work.
So, if you’re a team looking forward to bringing improvement and collaborating in a better manner, team-building activities will work for you.
Team building activities don’t just improve the overall functioning of your team. But, they also reflect the change in everyone’s personality.
No matter how small or large your group is, and depending upon the values you want to impart as a leader, there are team-building activities for everyone. Therefore, you can choose freely and pick interesting ones that match your interest in the best possible manner.
Now let’s come to understand precisely how these team-building activities work. We know they are super fun to do and involve participation from your entire team. However, a key reason they work is by helping people open up to each other.
When team members have to perform a task together, they are pushed to come out of their comfort zones. They talk to each other to delegate tasks and achieve the goal together. This means that they have a platform to break the ice and get comfortable with each other through time-bound collaboration.
If you are looking for ways to collaborate between your team members a notch higher and make them more productive, make team-building activities your number one idea.
Recommended Guide: The Ultimate Team Building Guide
The Benefits of Team Building Activities
“Together, ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results.” – Becka Schoettle
Done correctly, well-chosen team-building activities can be a game-changer for any organization, regardless of type, size, and dynamic. Let’s take a look at the top benefits of team-building activities in the workplace.
1. Boost Employee Engagement
Team building activities can skyrocket your employees’ engagement and motivation levels. They help you bring your employees to close and develop new friendships.
In the long run, employees tend to engage with each other to accomplish a task, and the overall engagement is boosted by 50% (according to Gallup research) in an organization.
Recommended Article: Top 11 Employee Engagement Trends In 2022 (Backed by Data)
2. Improve Communication Skills
Workplace failures happen due to a variety of reasons. One of the biggest out of these is the lack of proper communication between employees, leading to poor collaboration.
And this is because most employees hesitate to speak to others or don’t know about each other’s roles. With team-building activities, you break the ice and improve communication at various levels.
Recommended Article: 10 Ways Remote Workers Can Improve Communication Skills [2022 Updated]
3. Develop and Identify Leadership Skills
Another biggest advantage of team-building activities is that they help identify the leader among your employees.
For example, certain activities and games require people to step up and guide the team to accomplish a common goal. This would need some of your employees to take up these roles actively. You’d be surprised to find some people who you never thought to demonstrate leadership qualities flawlessly in such scenarios.
Recommended Article: Modern Leadership and the art of communication
4. Reinforce the Company Culture
No matter where your organization is in the growth rate, you need to reinforce your core values and vision from time to time. This helps employees stay on the right track and strengthen the company culture in the process.
An exciting way to do this is with the help of team-building activities. Remember that ultimately, your organization’s culture brings your employees together and helps boost their engagement levels.
5. Increase Motivation
When it comes to motivation, nothing beats team-building activities. They help keep your team’s morale high and foster a thriving company culture. The idea is that when your team members complete a task together, they are filled with enthusiasm.
In other words, they have a sense of achievement together. This makes them feel good about themselves and improves their confidence to accomplish any task.
Moreover, it also demonstrates how the company is willing to invest in them, supporting their aspirations in the long run. All of this adds to their motivation levels.
Recommended Article: Top 21 Ways to Motivate Employees in 2022
6. Improve Productivity
One of the most popular goals of team-building activities is that helps improve productivity. When working monotonously in an organization, three things affect the amount of work an employee puts in to accomplish a task. These are policies, processes as well as procedures.
With team-building activities, employees are encouraged to work together and distribute the job at hand more effectively. It results in better work strategies and faster completion of a task.
Recommended Article: 15 Best Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction and Productivity at Work
7. Increase Collaboration
If you think your employees fail to collaborate on any level, leverage team-building activities in your organization. Remember that collaboration doesn’t only mean reaching out to people to accomplish a task.
It also means that you understand your other team members’ roles and responsibilities and trust them to help you finish the work with their expertise. With team-building activities, different employees build relationships and create a network that helps in their day-to-day tasks.
Recommended Article: Top 101 Remote Work Tools For Happy And Productive Remote Teams [2022 Updated]
Team Building Activities Stats
“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.” – Ifeanyi Onuoha.
Here are some powerful statistics that show you just how important team-building activities are and how these can strategically transform your workforce.
1. Socializing between team members improves communication patterns by more than 50%. (Source)
2. A recent survey found out that 23% of employees face burnout in the office.
3. A study found that 20% of virtual teams find it challenging to collaborate with their colleagues. (Source)
4. According to Gallup, female employees who have a best friend (63%) at the workplace are two times more likely to be fully engaged at work than those who do not have a best friend at the workplace (29%).
5. In a study by BrightHR, 79% of respondents felt that having fun at work was important, with 44% of those believing fun in the workplace increases work ethic. (Source)
7. Over half of employees say a strong sense of community kept them at a company longer than what was in their best interests.
8. Extremely connected teams demonstrate a 21% increase in profitability. (Source)
9. About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important. Employees understand the value of teamwork and how it can make or break their chances of growth. (Source)
10. It has been shown that companies with more engaged employees earn 2.5 x more revenues than those with low engagement levels! (Source)
Best Indoor Team Building Activities
“With an enthusiastic team you can achieve almost anything.” – Tahir Shah
Every office should have some fun indoor team-building activities to get everyone active and working together. Below, we have compiled some of the best indoor team-building activities for work.
Code of Conduct
Code of conduct is a team-building activity that helps set the tone for tasks and new events. All you need for this is a whiteboard, marker, and your team members.
Start by writing down the words ‘meaningful and ‘pleasant’ on the whiteboard. Then ask your team members to write what they feel will be significant and pleasant for the upcoming event.
We, humans, live for stories! Gather all the employees and give some random words to every person. And then, ask them to create a story using those random words. It’s really fun, and your employees are also going to love it as they spread laughter with their stories.
Trivia questions can be an excellent option to break the ice between people. If you have new hires in your team and want them to get up with your existing members, office trivia is perfect for you. Since the game doesn’t require any new equipment, you can do it both virtually or at a workplace.
Two Truths and a Lie
It’s a light and fun game. Ask each employee to tell two truths and one lie about themselves(not work-related). Keep the lie realistic, so it won’t be so easy for everyone to guess. The other employees need to guess which was the lie and whoever guesses the right gains a gift.
Another fun indoor team-building activity you can try with your team member is karaoke. It is an exciting way of helping people get comfortable with each other. The idea is that most people might be shy, so when they open up to singing, they’re letting others see a vulnerable part of themselves.
Escaping from a room can be a fun activity, especially when you’re locked up with your team members. This is an activity that requires putting the collective intelligence of your team members to the test. You never know which of your employees can pick a clue and help unravel the mystery of the key.
The Egg Drop Challenge
While this might look like a messy challenge, the egg drop enables better collaboration between your team members.
For this, ask your team members to develop efficient packaging that helps keep the egg intact during a 2-3 storey drop test. Provide your teams with packaging materials like tape, cardboard, plastic, etc.
Split your employees into two or more teams. Create a list of items that you think most people will have in their homes. Set the clock for 5 minutes and get each team to go and find their items. And the team with the most collected items is the winner.
Show and Tell
Basically, each team member gets one minute to show and talk about something they own. This could be anything – such as your favorite straws, a tug of war trophy, or even a passion project! After each turn, save two minutes for a conversation with the rest of the team.
What’s on Your Desk
One of the most interesting team-building activities that can spark the creative instincts of your employees is ‘What’s on your desk?’
For this, you ask team members to bring one item from their desk, while the other member has to think of it as a new product. They have to then come up with a tagline, marketing plan, name, and logo for the product. The one that sells the most wins!
An activity that helps build trust and collaboration between team members, blind drawing requires at least two people. While one member is shown a picture of an object, they have to explain it to the other without using the exact words. The other member has to draw on the board and guess the object from the words and actions of their partner.
The Perfect Square
A fun team activity that relies on the collaboration and communication of your team members is the perfect square. Team members are completely blindfolded in this activity, and they have a task to form a perfect square with a rope. Super exciting. It is really hilarious to watch the rope towards the end of the activity.
Divide employees into groups of 6-12. Ask them to form a circle facing each other. Tell them to put their right hand in the air and grab someone’s hand from across the circle.
After that, ask everyone to put out their left hand and again grab someone’s hand from the circle. Set a timer for them and ask them to untangle the “knot” within the set time. You might even consider using a time tracking software that you use for work, in order to keep track of results. The first one to untangle wins.
Birthday Line Up
How about asking your team members to arrange themselves in line with their upcoming birthdays? The only catch is that they cannot speak! Let them use their actions and other ways apart from words.
Recommended Read: 30 Unforgettable Ways to Celebrate Your Employee’s Birthday
Lost at Sea
In this activity, your team members believe that they are shipwrecked with only a handful of items left on their boat. The task for them is to decide on the essential items they must keep and others they have to let go of. Let each member have their list and then make the team decide collectively.
2-Minute Push-Up Challenge
Run a virtual 2-minute push-up challenge, start a timer or turn on a song. Then, do as many push-ups as you can in two minutes and post your score. Encourage people to stay in the competition as long as they can. This small activity can improve employees’ wellness.
Share a Bit About Yourself
Have each team member complete a personality test (here are some of our favourites), then meet to discuss the results. The idea is that each employee knows the strengths and weaknesses and irritates their coworkers.
Everything you do with it is up to you. As a result, you might put people with similar personalities in the same groups and ask them to discuss how their traits come across at work or give them a task to accomplish, like creating their “dream” office based on their personality type and sharing it with the group.
Second chance? Have everyone complete this “how-to” and share their results with the team.
Organize a Book Club
Pick up a book about your area of expertise and assign it to everyone to read over a few weeks. Then find time to sit down and chat about it (over snacks!). You spark exciting conversation, encourage colleagues to share ideas, stories and input, and help everyone learn a little more about their role on the team.
Have a Contest
For example, you could organize a face-decorating department table (this is a big Halloween hit at The Muse office) or plan a cookie or guacamole-making contest where employees bring their best recipes and the team judges their favorites (plus, who doesn’t like food during the workday?).
This creates a bit of healthy competition while encouraging employees to spend time together and bond over a shared hobby.
The Building Blocks
Break into small groups and give each team a problem. Then, on a sheet of paper, the first team member jots down a solution to the issue and passes it on to the following team member. The next person improves the solution based on the first person’s idea, reinforcing creative problem-solving.
Best Outdoor Team Building Activities
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford
The key to building a strong team is having company outings and semi-constant activities, monthly or quarterly. Having an occasional field trip to look forward to boosts morale and keeps co-workers strong. If employees feel that their bonds are beginning to weaken, they may still feel like strangers to each other when it comes time to work together.
Here are some outdoor activities you can try at your next team retreat:
Why not take a few hours out of the workday to participate in a charity or social cause program? Volunteering can be a life-changing experience and an important chance for employees to build new skills. Plus, it’s a great way for your company to give back to the community. Post the pictures on social media or company-wide newsletter.
Team lunches are not only a way to enjoy great food with your hard-working team but also sends out a positive message. It helps your team open up and get comfortable with each other while having a meal together. It is also a great way to discuss a new idea or just catch up with each other and make sure other members are doing well.
Chances are, your team is full of untold talent—use those strengths to bring everyone together. For example, someone might be an expert at Excel, speak a second language, or knit well. Have them organise a lunch and learn where they impart fresh knowledge to the staff during their break.
Group Painting Class
Not many of your team members might be an artist. But, that doesn’t mean they will not have a fun time enjoying a painting session together. Let their creative juices flow with this fun and recreational activity.
A cooking class can be really helpful for some of your team members. While for others, it can be a break from their stressful work routine. Cooking sessions with your team can enable better collaboration and ease up communication.
For the sports enthusiast in your office, a getaway to a sports event can be a great team-building activity. Sports can also help team members realize the importance of sportsmanship and helping each other in times of need.
Charity Walk or Run
A charity walk can be recreational and a healthy take to a team-building activity. Get your team members to walk together and help them bond better. You will be helping the deserving and letting your team members realize the importance of serving and being there for each other.
Outdoor Yoga or Meditation
Yoga or a medication session can give a much-deserving stress break to your team members. Doing this on the offsite can take this to an altogether different level. When people are less stressed, they might feel more comfortable talking to each other and knowing more about each other’s roles.
A little sportsman spirit can go a long way in helping employees deal with stress and failure in regular work. How about hosting a badminton game that can be fun to play and make your teams a little competitive?
The pipeline is a fun activity that is also a demonstration of excellent team efforts. Give your team members some marbles that they have to line up to the finish line without using their bare hands. Let them do it using the pipes. It is an engaging activity and enables creative and quick thinking.
DIY Craft Challenge
It’s a 30-minute fun activity you can play with your team. Share the activity rules, and then set a 30-minute timer. Each employee has 30-minutes to build something from materials available at the office. It will spark creativity and give your team a fun way to interact together.
Team fun run
There are always fun runs happening around the world. It’s a great way to encourage your team to exercise, stay fit, and even get together for a pre-event workout. You can put together a team costume or theme and take fun group pictures.
Remote Team Building Activities
“If you can laugh together, you can work together.” – Robert Orben
Here are some best virtual team-building activities you can try with your team during a real-time virtual happy hour.
Forgive us for putting our own game as the #1 activity on this list. 😉 But, with thousands of teams all over the world playing Trivia games and quizzes every day, we think it’s a good suggestion! Trivia makes this easy & automated with lots of gamification along the way. Check out it for free here
Split your team in half to form two separate teams that will be competing against each other. Decide on a theme (e.g., animals, films, etc.) and get everyone to join a video call. Each team member gets a chance to act out a certain object, scene, or movement from them. The first person to get it correct wins a point for their team.
Recommended Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work In 2022
Start it off by asking everybody to demonstrate where they’re born and then ask them where they’re currently located by pinning a picture of themselves onto the map.
Start a one-week photo challenge like ‘the best photo of a pet’ or the ‘nicest looking plant in their garden.’ You can also set up a Slack channel just for this and start every week with a new photo challenge, with anyone being able to post a photo anytime they want.
Make it more fun by picking out the best photo at the end of the month and sending the winner a framed print of their picture.
Ask every team member to send you a baby photo of themselves. Create a document with these photos in it and send it round on the slack channel and get participants to guess who is who within a specific time limit. Collect their answers and give the winner a prize.
Virtual Book Club
Ask people if they want to meet every month on lunch breaks to discuss the books they’ve been reading. To organize your own book club, make sure that participation is voluntary and that everyone agrees on what book to read.
Dig Up a Fact
Ask your teams to decide on a topic (Oceans, famous personality, country, or profession) and then dig up some amazing, less known (but interesting) facts about it. This activity brings everyone together for delivering one common thing.
Who’s Workspace Is It?
Ask each team member to take a picture of their home office. When taking the picture, encourage participants to leave their desk and working space as it is. This gives a true representation of them. Then, get everyone else to try and guess who’s desk is who’s.
Ask your team to install the Fitbit (or any other fitness app) on their phones and set challenges. For example, who can do the most steps in a week? Create a leaderboard to track their performances, and the employee who performs the best wins a prize!
Team building can be completely work-focused and is often the best. The secret is to focus these brainstorming sessions more on overall team objectives and less on daily results.
For example, you may want to outline your KPIs for the rest of the quarter. Maybe you want to come up with new ideas for an upcoming campaign. Maybe your team’s strategy feels outdated, and you’re looking for ways to refresh it.
Present the product and marketing strategy to a group of team members who act as iconic judges and decide how much they think is worth investing. Not only is this a great team-building activity, but it’s a great way to stimulate the creative juices when it’s time to create a legitimate marketing tactic
Recommended Article: Virtual Ice-Breakers: Bringing Remote Teams Together
After The Team Building Activities
“None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Ken Blanchard
Once your employees successfully finish a team-building activity, you need to provide a direction to their positive emotions and enthusiasm. This is where debriefing plays a key role. Debriefing is the act of summarizing the learnings gathered from a team-building activity, it helps employees link their experience to their day-to-day jobs.
Try to make your debriefing sessions interactive by asking participants what they learned and how they feel their learning applies to their job. But, make sure you keep the session short and not bore your teams.
Over time, your employees might go back to their previous work regime, which makes it essential to reinforce the learnings from team-building activities from time to time. One way to do this is to display anything your teams might have created together during the exercise.
Similarly, you can also ask employees for new ideas for team building and company betterment. When you ask for their opinion, make sure that you also remind them how they felt during the team-building activity.
For example, you can refer to the lessons learned for the coming weeks in the meetings. This will quickly remind your teams how they helped and motivate them to keep on leveraging them in their daily tasks.
Additionally, you can also plan some follow-up team-building games that help reinforce the goals and aims and help people realize the importance of their learnings.
Team Building Activities Best Practices
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth
Here are 5 best practices that can help you to conduct team bonding events successfully:
1. Schedule the activity during work hours
Scheduling time for team-building activities is one of the most important things you need to take care of while planning one. Even though you think your employees love their jobs, they still want to finish up everything and go home at the end of the day. For this reason, you must schedule games and activities within work hours.
If possible, plan your team-building activity on a Friday and host it over lunch or an evening snack, which will give a perfect break to your employees after a hard-working week. Make sure you’re also respectful of your employees’ vacation plans and any upcoming events.
2. Encourage collaboration, not competition
One of the biggest mistakes you can commit while planning a team-building activity is making it too competitive. While there should be an element of competition, make sure you focus on the learning part of the activity more. Some people become too engrossed in winning to remember growing from their experience.
Therefore, make sure your training focuses more on your staff working together and achieving the goal.
3. Make it accessible for everyone
Your team-building activity must be comfortable for all your team members. In other words, you can’t ask employees to run a relay race if everyone is not up for the challenge.
Instead, choose something that doesn’t make your employees feel left out. It is also essential to take the physical health of your employees into account before selecting a highly rigorous activity.
For example, everyone might not be able to run a race, but they will pull the rope in a tug of war activity. Choosing an activity with these factors in mind will demonstrate your sensitivity towards your employees’ well-being and health.
In another instance, you can also plan a recreational activity such as a yoga trip or hiking that will be a fun and light-hearted experience for your teams.
Recommended Read: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Wellness Program [2023 Updated]
4. Go offsite
Being in the old four walls of the office can always turn things monotonous. Why not organize your team-building activity offsite?
Even the change of location can help people become comfortable with each other. Organizing team-building activities in a different place than the office can break from boredom and help people gel up more freely.
5. Set clear expectations
When planning a team-building activity, make sure that you have a clear mission behind it. Are you planning to break the ice between your new hires and existing teams? Or do you want a task to be done much faster with greater collaboration?
Having a clear vision in mind and sharing some parts of it with employees can be helpful. While you’re not to spill all your secrets, getting some information out can help you garner the right amount of employee support.
Why Trivia – A Team Building Activities Tool
We get it. You want to keep your team spirit high and team camaraderie intact. Team building apps like Trivia helps teams forge stronger connections by enabling people to conduct team-building activities and games and feel more productive.
Here’s how Trivial brings the fun back to your workspace:
Games for all occasions!
Bring the fun back to your workspace with Trivia’s suite of games. Be it quizzes, word puzzles, Gotcha!, (Un)popular opinions, and This or That, spice up your workspace and make work more fun.
Track results real-time, along with final podium standings showcased at the end. You can also filter the leaderboard by time – weekly, monthly, and all-time – game format and category. You can also honor winners with physical gifts to make them feel more special.
Play precisely when you want
You can schedule personalized Trivia games and play them periodically. Trivia’s scheduler will automatically launch the game at a time set by you in your desired channel.
Are you looking for something more competitive and complex than the regular Trivia games and quizzes? Well, this is exactly that! It gives a platform for professionals from various companies to compete with each other.
Virtual water cooler
From light-hearted conversation starters to thought-provoking questions, Trivia’s Water Cooler has got you covered. Every week a new round of trivia questions is sent out to your team. It also comes with a handy Slack & Microsoft Teams integration.
Trivia games help them identify teammates with common interests upon which they could build further connections.
Recommended Resource: Skillenza Case Study: Reinventing virtual icebreakers with Trivia
Create a personalized trivia quiz game that focuses on the guest of honor’s work, personality, and interests. We make it easier for your team to join the celebration and make someone’s day.
Integration with different platforms
Team building activities create a sense of community and allow your colleagues to work together in and out of the office. It creates motivation and helps develop collaborative skills that can be used in any environment.
In the above guides, you’ll find some great team-building activities for large groups which work with 25+ people, the more the merrier.
If they aren’t executed correctly and if management doesn’t buy-in, the activities won’t work. A primary reason team building activities fail is that they don’t address the issues and problems your team needs to work on.
In this article, you’ll find some amazing virtual team-building activities that you can implement to build strong remote work culture.
Here it is! There are lots of fun ideas to help your team improve their communication skills, get to know each other better, and bond not only on a professional level but also on a human level. We try to keep this list complete and up-to-date. In case, we missed your favorite team-building activity and games, please let us know in the comments!
No matter what you are looking for we have options to suit you. Whether you are looking for a recognition program, for your staff, need recruitment tools for your HR team, or just want fun team-building games Springworks have it all. So, contact us today, and let’s create an awesome workplace culture.
Originally published on May 03, 2021 11:10 AM, updated July 12 2022