Team building activities are a fantastic way to boost company morale and encourage colleagues who might never normally encounter one another in their typical roles to get to know each other.
Many companies opt to have team bonding days for these activities, allotting one day a year or even one year a quarter to give their staff the chance to let loose from the office.
However, you could also just as quickly give some of these team building activities a try before meetings or as a fun afternoon treat if you want a way of rewarding the hard work your staff does with a bit of light-hearted fun!
A simple scavenger hunt can be a lot of fun for team building. The good thing about a scavenger hunt is that it can be as easy or as elaborate as you want to make it. A few scavenger hunt ideas include:
- A list of things to source from around the office, with some items getting more points than others
- Widening your scavenger hunt to the surrounding area of your office
Including things like taking photos with X local attraction or getting some food from the office's favorite takeaway!
- Don't be afraid to encourage teams to get messy! Include an item such as 'something you made.'
- Make it personal - include in-joke items belonging to particular employees such as 'X's favorite mug' or 'a plant from Y's desk' to encourage co-workers to learn about each other's interests.
Here's how a human knot works:
- Get everyone in your team to stand in a circle
- First, everyone puts their right hand in and holds hands with someone in the circle.
- Next, everyone puts their left hand in and again, holds hands with someone else in the circle
- Now, everyone has to untangle the knot without breaking the chain
This is a fun team building activity that will definitely spark some laughter and well and truly break the ice amongst your team!
The classic egg drop team building activity involves splitting employees into teams and tasking them with creating a carrier to protect an egg when dropped from a height.
You can equip teams with things like:
- Pipe cleaners
- String etc
Give teams a set amount of time to create their carrier, and then, you'll drop each carrier from a set height (20 ft or so). The one that doesn't end with a smashed egg wins!
If more than one egg survives, continue dropping the carriers at greater heights until there's one left.
The blind square team building activity works by setting out a circle of rope on the ground and getting teams to stand in a circle around the rope. Blindfold them, get everyone to pick up the rope, and then take one or two big steps backward.
Then, still, blindfolded, teams need to create a perfect square with the rope! This is a great team-building activity to encourage lots of open communication and teamwork and make a great ice breaker.
Additional reading: Check out our article on 9 characteristics effective teams have in common
Raft building challenge
A raft building challenge can take lots of different forms. You could equip teams with cardboard boxes and tape or get more creative with tires, rope, and wood plans.
The goal? Simple: create a raft that floats. If you want an added challenge, you could include the extra task of creating a raft that floats while someone is in it!
Indoors team building activities
If you don't have space (or the budget) for outdoor team building activities, don't worry! Below are a few great activities you can do within the office to help break the ice:
- Word games
Suppose you're looking for a less space-consuming ice breaker. In that case, simple games such as Scrabble or Words with Friends are a great option for providing colleagues with the opportunity to understand each other over a fun game better.
Give teams the option to use an unscrambler a limited amount of times to see who wins first!
- 2 truths and a lie
Most people have played two truths and a lie before, and it's a great ice breaker. The rules:
- Go round in a circle and tell two truths and one lie about yourself (in whatever order!)
- The group then has to guess which is the lie.
This is a great team-building activity that helps everyone get to know each other a little better - and might even reveal some interesting facts about the people you work with!
- Blind drawing
For a blind drawing game, sit two members in the team back to back. One member has to draw the item that the other member is describing without actually naming the item.
To add a fun challenge to this game, make sure the item being described is a little unusual, so you get a funny end result.
- 10 things in common
Split teams into pairs and set them the task of talking until they find ten things they have in common, which they can then share with the rest of the group.
Ten things may sound like a lot when you're talking to a total stranger, but you would be surprised how many things people discover they do have in common!
- Introduce your partner
A simple but effective ice breaker. Set your team the task of breaking into pairs and introducing each other for 5 minutes. As a general guide, ask them to find out the other person's:
- Where they're from
- An interesting fact about that person
Then, you'll go round the group, and each pair will introduce the other person.
- 'Speed dating.'
This ice breaker team building activity is similar to the format of speed dating: give colleagues a 3 - to a 5-minute time limit to introduce themselves before moving onto the next person.
This can be a great way of encouraging colleagues to talk to people within the company that they wouldn't usually talk to.
These team building activities offer a great mix of indoor and outdoor games that can involve a lot of preparation or none!
Try out a couple of these activities for a fun way of boosting company morale and allowing colleagues to get to know each other on a deeper level - you never know what amazing projects and connections can develop out of a simple team-building exercise.
Further reading: How staff engagement affects your bottom line