Teamwork may be the most important aspect of any company. Without teamwork, a business can’t function properly and most likely will suffer for it. This is why fun team building activities like this are so vital in building employees’ skills at working together as part of a team.
Teams building activities are a great way to improve collaboration skills, motivation, productivity and build camaraderie. They help existing teams (or new hires) to get to know each other and to learn about each others strengths and weaknesses.
Any business, of any size, can use team building activities for work benefits in the workplace. Great leaders know that great teamwork is directly proportional to the company’s success.
Types Of Team Building Exercises
There are various team building activities, but they can broadly be classified into four categories:
1. Communication exercises
2. Problem-solving/planning exercises
3. Bonding/trust exercises
4. Creativity and fun exercises
Lets look at some of these team bonding activities that you can deliver in your company.
Out Of The Workplace Games
We start off our list of team building initiatives with several ones which get the workforce out of the office or warehouse.
Rather than sticking to “office trivia” type games, these outdoor team building activities encourage participants to join in the fun as they can get away from their desks or stations.
1. Scavenger Hunts
A scavenger hunt is a great way to get employees working together in teams while also encouraging some healthy competition. You can tailor the scavenger hunt to your workplace by including items that are specific to your company culture or industry.
For example, if you work in the food industry, you could include items like “Take a picture of someone eating a weird food” or “Find a recipe for a dish made with at least 5 different ingredients”.
2. Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are becoming increasingly popular as a team building event.
They are perfect for fostering communication skills and problem solving abilities, as the entire group need to work together to solve clues, successfully complete the challenges and to escape the room within the allotted time (normally one hour).
One thing that tends to happen with these type of games, is that you can monitor how teams work closely together OR if one member develops natural leadership skills.
There are many different types of escape room available across the UK, so you can choose one that ’s themed around your industry or company culture.
3. Ten Pin Bowling
Ten pin bowling is a great way to get the entire office / employees interacting with each other in a fun and relaxed setting. It’s also a great way to promote team bonding and friendly competition.
One idea is to split your workforce into teams, the team members take their individual scores and add them together to make one team total. This is compared with the other opposing team cumulative scores for each game so everyone can see how well each team performed overall, rather than just focusing on themselves.
Bowling can be done as a team or as individuals, so it’s perfect for any size team. It also a fun way to introduce some physical activity into team building games.
4. Volunteer days
Volunteering is a great way to build team morale and promote a sense of social responsibility among employees. It’s also a great way to get employees interacting with each other outside of work.
There are many different types of volunteer opportunities available, so you are sure to find one that’s perfect for your team.
Projects could involve assisting with the food service, helping to run activities day at an elderly care home or sports event for disabled people. Here are five other ideas:
- Organise a public space clean-up
- Partake in a community service such as growing a community garden
- Offer mentorship days to local schools
- Arrange a workplace fundraiser for the local community
- Create a piece of public art
In The Workplace Games
When it is not possible to have staff leave the workplace or to get everyone in the same location (e.g. remote workers), then it is still possible to make team building fun.
Some of the following games can be played over platforms such as Microsoft Teams or a Zoom call, to allow virtual team building. In these scenarios, verbal instructions become very important, and as a result, it makes people communicate effectively.
Whereas, others games will allow team members to unleash their creative side and exchange ideas more freely when they are together in the same location.
5. One Question Icebreaker
Icebreakers are a great way to break the ice and get coworkers talking with each other. This team activity works by splitting the workforce into pairs. The game leader then decides on a situation that will be answered, like babysitting or leading the company.
Each team member in the pair takes turn at creating a question (relating to the topic) which the other team member must answer.
The icebreaker game is able draw out responses, not only from those who would normally keep quiet, but also create opportunities where people might discover they have expertise that they can contribute to the team.
This will help your colleagues learn to communicate with one another while also developing their creative thinking and improving their questioning skills.
6. Play Two Truths And A Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is the perfect ice breaker for 10 – 15 people. It doesn’t require any materials, so this classic game is easy to play. If you have more than 20 team members, divide them into smaller teams so the game doesn’t take longer than 20 minutes per round.
The game requires each person in the group to introduce themselves by stating two truths and one lie. The statements can be about anything, hobbies, interest, family etc. You can even go with something more extravagant like past experiences which made you who you are today for added fun factor when introducing yourself.
The rest of group can ask them questions about each of their three statements in order to uncover which are the truths and which one is the lie (set a time limit of 60 seconds for questions).
After the entire team has had the opportunity to quizz each other, each team member repeats their two truths and a lie – the group has to decide which is which.
To make it more fun, keep scores on who guesses the most lies. This is a simple game which allows people to have non work related shared experiences.
7. The Great Egg Drop
This is a messy and fun team building game designed to improve team spirit. The concept is simple, each team must build structures out of ordinary materials found around the office / workplace to protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 2 metres.
Set a short time limit for this team exercise (just a few minutes) so that it puts the team under pressure to come up with creative ideas on how to solve the problem – and it improves their time management.
Once they have completed the exercise, they must explain to the other teams why their solution will work. Then one team member is elected to raise the package containing the raw egg to the required height before dropping it.
The teams whose eggs don’t break get to stay in the competition. The height of the drop is raised until only one winning team is left.
If you want to introduce some competition between different teams, you can divide the group into departments, such as the IT department, marketing team, sales etc. to see which team works best.
8. Life Highlights Game
The activity is a perfect icebreaker for both small and large groups. It begins with each participant closing their eyes, then they think of all the best moments in life (positive memories) that made them happy.
These can be anything, things such as personal or professional successes, time spend with family or friends, or life changing adventures.
The participants are then asked to close their eyes and choose which 30 seconds of life they would like to experience again if they only has 30 seconds to live. The dedicated event organiser will ask each person in the team to share what moment they want to relive and why.
Participants can reflect on how happy their lives have been up until this point, or maybe take a look at some memories from earlier in life that make them feel grateful for how far they have come.
The beauty of this simple exercise is that it can take place in a conference room or local park where it is quieter. It helps with building relationships between small teams – as encourages co workers to open up and come out of their comfort zone.
9. Back Of The Napkin
The back of the napkin is where many great product and start-up ideas have come from. So many successful business ideas have been scribbled on the back on a napkin in restaurants around the world.
This simple team building exercise doesn’t take much organising. Just source some napkins and some felt pens for each team.
It is one of those team building activities which is fun and gives team members something new to do while promoting teamwork in creative ways.
The idea is for the activity co-ordinator to create three problems related to the company, or it could be related to social responsibility issues, local community etc.
Team members are then split into multiple teams of 2 to 4 (to replicate a start-up executive board). They are then asked to come up with a solution to each of the problems and then scribble each solution onto a napkin.
This encourages participants to improve their problem solving skills – and can put in place the building blocks for improved productivity for the whole company.
10. The Paper Tower
The Paper Tower is a great game to get all of your team members involved and is another fun team building activity. It has all the elements – communication, design & build along with some elements of panic – just for fun!
The activity is a simple way to teach people the importance of thinking on their feet. It’s best to divide your workforce into small teams for this game.
Each team is given one sheet of A4 paper and is allocated just 5 minutes. Using just the paper, the team create the tallest free-standing structure possible that they can.
Once the time has elapsed, the event organiser measures each structure to find the winner(s). But this is not the end of the game.
All the team members then review each others structures, then discuss if they had the chance how would have improved their own. If any teams did not manage to create a structure, find out why they ran out of time – what did they spent too much time discussing etc.
To improve communication, make the whole group discuss what they believe is the best possible structure, then ask the whole team to build it.
Team Activities Conclusion
These are just some of the best team building activities which are played across the UK (and the world).
Whether you start with simple board games, create your own virtual escape room or organise multiple in person events (summer camp or murder mystery events) – no matter how many people are in your organisation or what your team size is, the ultimate goal should be to build communication skills, build trust and to bring people closer together.