Do you remember how you made friends when you were a child? You played games, took part in the same activities, and somehow developed a bond in the process. Now that you’re an adult, you can use the same tactics to get your team in sync.

As a manager in your company, it’s up to you to design ways for your colleagues and workmates to function and cooperate seamlessly. Read on for office team building ideas that will help boost collaboration. Once you accomplish that, your workplace will reap many other benefits.

Why Are Group Team Building Activities Important?

Diverse office colleagues high-fiving

Team building helps enhance soft skills and foster camaraderie.

  • They allow team members to get to know each other, as well as people from other departments.
  • Office team-building activities enhance values such as teamwork, trust, communication, and unity.
  • They enhance soft skills, such as strategic thinking, problem-solving, leadership, flexibility, and adaptability.
  • Team-building events promote company culture in a fun and casual setting.
  • They strengthen professional and personal relationships within the team.
  • They are fun!

What Can Businesses and Teams Get Out of Team Building Events?

Apart from the benefits listed above, you can also use these events to gauge an employee’s skills – and even areas they need support with. Was an individual effective at leading a group activity? Did someone have a problem communicating during the whisper challenge? Did this group collaborate well together? Team building activities may give you an overview of your employees’ potential, which can guide you in making strategic management decisions.

Moreover, a 2018 Gallup survey found that employees who have friends at work function better, have a higher satisfaction rating, and produce better results. Office team-building events can be a great win-win.

In-Person Team Building Ideas

In-person events allow huge room for creativity when it comes to developing office team-building ideas. Whether you’re stuck indoors or have managed to book a venue, you can set your colleagues up for a day of fun and collaboration.

Team Building Activities You Can Do in the Workplace

Friends looking at laptop with books in the background

You can use team building activities to start the day, too.

1. Daily Icebreakers

Sometimes, you don’t need a full-fledged event. You can do quick five-minute team-building activities before you start the day or as an end-of-the-week motivation exercise.

If you have a new team member, you can play Two Truths and a Lie among the group. The game is simple: you ask each person to say three things about themselves, one of which is false. The group has to then guess which one it is. On Fridays, you can ask the team to send out encouraging messages to each other.

2. Talent Show

A talent show is a versatile idea that you can do during a random weekday. You can also make it a part of your holiday party programme. It’s a great way to get to know each other on a more personal level while having fun.

3. Pictionary

This guessing game is a classic. If you’re a smaller group, you can just do this all together. However, if you’re a larger team, you can split into groups to add a competitive twist. Pick a word from a pile and try to draw it. Your team must be able to guess your illustration. It’s a fun way to build connections and have a few laughs.

4. Paper Tower

You can host this activity for one team or for numerous groups. Gather your office’s scrap paper and give each team a bundle. Whoever makes the tallest tower using just paper (no other materials) wins. This is an exercise in coordination, communication and strategy.

Team Building Activities for Outdoors

Friends around a campfire

Just sitting around and relaxing can be a good team building idea.

1. Team Retreat

Not every office team building idea has to be jam-packed with excitement. A relaxing company retreat in a resort can reward workers and help them unwind after a stressful project. It also benefits the company. Not only are you promoting work-life balance, but enabling better performance once they get back to work. Well-rested employees tend to be more productive, according to Greater Good Magazine.

2. Outreach or Charity Event

Planning a charity event is a unique and fun team-building event. You can ask your employees to arrange it themselves to develop their organisational skills. Perhaps you can hold an environmental fundraiser, throw a party for underprivileged youths, or hand out food boxes to a shelter.

Apart from actually helping boost the morale of your teams, it can be great for your brand. Moreover, studies have shown that giving is good for your health and not just socially and emotionally. Charity work can help lower stress levels, improve blood pressure, and increase self-esteem.

3. Team Olympics

Build healthy competition the old-fashioned way – with a sporting competition. This multi-sport event can include football, chess, races or any other activity that sparks some competitiveness. This can promote teamwork and even tactical skills. Make sure your activities are inclusive, so everyone can join and have fun.

Man and woman in red clothes playing tug-of-war

Just sitting around and relaxing can be a good team building idea.

4. Cooking Relay

Think it’s easy to follow a recipe? Order ingredients and have them delivered to your office or a designated venue. Give each team a set of instructions to follow. The catch is that only one person at a time can be in the “kitchen” and only for 30 seconds. Teammates can communicate from the sidelines. It’s up to the team how they want to split the work. The point is to show how well they talk to each other and work under pressure.

Online/Virtual Team Building Ideas

A few years ago, virtual team building events were a novel idea. However, remote and hybrid ways of working have made them a norm. When coming up with online office team building ideas, consider the following:

  • Not everyone will have the same Internet connection quality or speed.
  • Keep instructions and steps simple and easy to follow.
  • Expect technical issues, such as lagging videos and shaky WiFi.
  • Inform your team in advance if they need to prepare something, such as downloading an app or bringing props.

1. Show and Tell

If your company is largely online-based, chances are most of your staff haven’t met. If you’re a new company or working with new people, having a virtual show and tell is a terrific getting-to-know activity. Come up with a theme, such as Pet, One Thing I Can’t Live Without, or even Workspace. Each person gets a few minutes to show off their chosen item.

2. Virtual Escape Rooms

Build teamwork and critical thinking skills by solving a murder together. Or answer puzzles, and follow clues. You can design your escape room, but many third-party apps are available to make things easier when planning such an activity:

3. Virtual Culture Clubs

Coffee mug next to a laptop with virtual conference call screen

Join the club! Start culture appreciation organisations in the office.

Revive book clubs in your company. Apart from learning more about each other’s tastes and values and fostering friendships, you also get all the benefits of reading books. It stimulates your mind, improves communication skills, and rouses creativity. You could also start a Movie Club, a Board Games Club – anything that reflects a shared interest among employees.

4. Lunch and Learn

You can hold a Lunch and Learn in person, but it works just as well online. Invite a speaker to share a bit of knowledge with the team. It could be something immediately helpful to their work – perhaps the CEO could talk about branding or a marketing expert can talk about creating pitches. However, it could also be something amusing, like a tarot card reader or a hostage negotiator. Send food packages to teammates so they have something to munch on as they listen

5. Quiz Night

Everyone loves a little competition, especially in the form of quizzes. Take your cue from classic shows like Jeopardy, Blockbusters, or Mastermind. Give out prizes to the employees or team who score the highest.

When you’re brewing office team-building ideas, bear in mind that they should be something beyond what your colleagues already do in their daily life. It may build team unity, enhance the company brand, and strengthen relationships, but they ultimately have to be fun.

No matter what team-building activity you’ve decided on, make sure to supplement it with great food! Get in touch with our team at The Food People for nutritious and delicious in-office catering delivered directly to your workplace.