35 Fun Team Building Activities

By Priya Jain

Published:

Workplace Culture & Morale

Priya Jain

Priya Jain

Writer & Career Coach

According to Forbes, “Team building is the most important investment you can make for your people.” Team building activities enhance job satisfaction, foster employee engagement, and contribute to organizational success. 

However, simply assembling a group of employees is insufficient. Successful team building requires carefully selecting activities that promote a sense of connection and improve collaboration within the group.

In this article, we provide insights and inspiration for choosing and implementing 35 team building activities that go beyond the conventional, fostering a workplace culture that thrives on unity and shared success.

Why Do Team Building Activities Matter?

Team building activities are important for several reasons, as they contribute to a team’s overall success and effectiveness.

Here are some key reasons why these activities matter:

  • Improved Communication: These activities involve various forms of communication, helping team members understand each other better. With 55% of employees never meeting their coworkers in person, these activities help HR managers foster a sense of community, break down interpersonal barriers, and cultivate stronger interpersonal relationships within the team.  
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Team members learn to work together more effectively through team building activities. They discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which creates a more collaborative and efficient work environment. With science proving that collaboration supercharges performance, team building activities are necessary for every organization with a remote, on-site, or hybrid workforce. 
  • Building Trust: Team building activities allow team members to build trust by relying on each other, solving problems, and completing challenges as a cohesive unit.
  • Increased Motivation: These activities can boost morale and motivation. When individuals feel connected to their team and enjoy working together, they are more likely to be motivated to achieve common goals.
  • Fostering Creativity: Many team building exercises involve problem-solving and creative thinking. These activities can stimulate innovative thinking and encourage team members to approach challenges with a fresh perspective. 

Cultural Sensitivity and Inclusivity Tips

When planning team activities, it’s important to incorporate cultural sensitivity and inclusivity to ensure all team members feel comfortable and valued.

Here are some cultural sensitivity and inclusivity tips:

Inclusive Planning

Employers should proactively consider cultural diversity and inclusion when planning team-building activities. This involves recognizing and appreciating different cultural norms, communication styles, and preferences to ensure that the chosen activities are welcoming and respectful of all team members. 

Prioritize inclusivity by avoiding activities that may inadvertently exclude or make individuals uncomfortable based on their cultural background and encourage input from diverse perspectives during the planning process.

For instance:

  • Incorporate a variety of foods from different cultures during meals or breaks. 
  • Select team-building games and challenges that do not rely heavily on specific cultural references or knowledge.
  • Offer workshops that allow participants to customize aspects of the activity based on their preferences or cultural backgrounds.
  • Plan team-building activities around cultural celebration days, where employees can share aspects of their cultural heritage. 

Accessible Venues

When selecting venues for team-building activities, prioritize accessibility to ensure an inclusive environment for all team members. 

First and foremost, organizations must ensure that physical facilities are accessible to individuals with varying physical abilities. This may entail the installation of ramps, elevators, and other accommodations.

Paying attention to visual and auditory accessibility, utilizing aids, and adequate lighting is essential for conducting seamless team building activities. Additionally, organizers should choose centrally located venues with good public transportation access to minimize travel challenges. By addressing these considerations, employers can create a welcoming and accessible environment that fosters inclusivity.

Consent and Comfort

It’s essential for organizations to prioritize the well-being of all team members by respecting individual preferences and boundaries. Emphasize that participation in team-building activities is voluntary, allowing each member to engage comfortably.

By fostering an environment of choice and understanding, employers ensure that team members feel empowered to contribute in a way that aligns with their cultural, personal, or comfort considerations, promoting a positive and inclusive team dynamic.

35 Fun Team Building Activities

There are various types of activities, and they can be categorized into four main types:

Communication Team Building Activities

Strengthening the foundation of teamwork begins with improved communication. These activities enhance team members’ verbal and non-verbal communication skills, fostering a more cohesive and understanding work environment.

1. Two Truths and a Lie

Team members take turns sharing two true statements and one false statement about themselves, and others try to guess the lie.

2. Communication Circle

Members stand in a circle and pass a ball of yarn to someone across the circle while sharing something about themselves.

3. Collaborative Storytelling

Coworkers begin a story with a sentence and each team member must contribute one sentence at a time. The goal is to create a cohesive story, encouraging active listening and adapting communication styles to fit the evolving narrative.


Problem-Solving Team Building Activities

Encouraging creative thinking and collaborative problem-solving is crucial for a team’s success. The following activities aim to challenge and develop these skills, promoting a culture of innovation and adaptability within the team.

4. Marshmallow Challenge

Teams are given spaghetti, tape, string, and a marshmallow tallest freestanding structure using these materials. This activity promotes creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving under time constraints.

5. The Egg Drop

Teams are tasked with creating a device to protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height. This activity fosters creative problem-solving and engineering skills.


Trust-Building Activities

As trust forms the building blocks of teams, these activities instill trust and enhance interpersonal relationships among team members.

6. Blindfolded Trust Walk

One team member is blindfolded, and the rest guide them through an obstacle course, emphasizing trust and communication.

7. Personal Histories

Each team member shares a significant event or achievement in their life. This encourages team members to understand each other’s backgrounds and builds a foundation for trust.


Team Bonding and Social Activities

A positive team culture is often built through shared experiences and enjoyable moments. These activities foster team spirit by providing opportunities for team members to relax, socialize, and connect in a more informal and enjoyable setting.

8. Themed Social Events

Hosting themed parties, dinners, or outings allows team members to relax and socialize and can foster a connection beyond the workplace.

9. Office Olympics

Create a mini “Olympics” within the office with fun and lighthearted competitions. Include activities like chair races, paper airplane contests, or desk chair relay races.


Five (5) Minute Team Building Activities

Brief and engaging exercises serve as quick, effective breaks, promoting teamwork, communication, and a sense of camaraderie within the team.

Here are some 5-minute team building exercises:

10. Human Knot

Instruct team members to stand in a circle and reach across to grab hands with two different people across from them. The challenge is to untangle the “human knot” without letting go of each other’s hands.

11. Emoji Feedback

Have team members express their current mood or feelings using emojis on a shared whiteboard or flipchart. It’s a quick way to check in with each other and foster open communication.

12. Speed Networking

Pair up team members and give them one minute to introduce themselves and share something interesting about their weekend or a hobby, they then rotate and repeat with a new partner.

13. Memory Wall

Place a large sheet of paper on the wall. Give each team member a sticky note and ask them to write down a positive memory related to the team. Stick the notes on the wall, creating a visual “memory wall.”


Corporate Team Building Activities

Corporate team building activities are essential for fostering a positive work environment, improving communication, and enhancing collaboration among team members.

Here are some specific activities tailored for a corporate setting:

14. Cooking Class

Take the team to a cooking class where they must work together to create a meal. This activity promotes collaboration and creativity amongst a corporate team.

15. Community Service Day

Volunteer as a team for a local charity or community project. This contributes to a good cause and fosters a sense of purpose and teamwork.

16. Board Games

Play strategic board games that require teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Games like Pandemic or Codenames can be great choices. Board games are fun and they also help form bonds within a close corporate team.

17. Innovation Challenge

Encourage the corporate team to brainstorm and present innovative ideas for a specific organizational challenge. This promotes creativity and enhanced collaboration within the team.


Outdoor Team Building Activities

Outdoor activities promote teamwork, communication, and trust among team members.

Here are a few outdoor exercises to consider:

18. Zip-Lining

Teams traverse an inclined cable using a pulley, often reaching high speeds. It’s an exhilarating activity that promotes facing fears and building trust. Zip-lining encourages risk-taking, builds trust, and provides a sense of accomplishment.

19. Rope Courses

These activities consist of ropes, cables, and obstacles that team members navigate through. These can include tightropes, cargo nets, and suspended bridges. Rope courses enhance teamwork, communication, and problem-solving, build trust, and encourage individuals to step outside their comfort zones.

20. White-Water Rafting

Teams navigate a raft through turbulent river waters. This activity requires coordination and communication to navigate obstacles and rapids. White-water rafting promotes teamwork, communication, and quick decision-making and builds trust as team members rely on each other for safety.

21. Rock Climbing

Traditional outdoor rock climbing involves ascending natural rock formations using anchors and protection. Sport climbing on artificial walls provides a controlled environment for skill development. It requires physical strength, problem-solving, and trust in belay partners. This activity builds trust and communication between climbers and belayers and encourages problem-solving and perseverance.


Team Building Activities for Small Groups

Team building exercises for small groups can be as practical and enjoyable as those designed for larger teams.

Here are some tailored activities that work well for smaller groups:

22. Puzzle Race

Provide a complex puzzle, and have the team work together to complete it as quickly as possible. This fosters collaboration and problem-solving.

23. Trust Fall Exercise

The trust fall remains an excellent exercise. Have team members take turns falling backward, relying on their colleagues to catch them.

24. Minefield

Set up an “obstacle course” with objects representing mines on the floor. Blindfolded team members must navigate the course with verbal guidance from their teammates.

25. Picnic or Lunch

Organize a small outdoor gathering, perhaps a picnic or lunch, where team members can relax, chat, and build personal connections in a more casual setting.

26. Personal Timeline

Have each team member create a timeline, sharing significant life events. This helps team members understand each other better and builds a sense of connection.

27. Book Club

Choose a book related to personal or professional development and have a small group book club discussion. This encourages thoughtful conversation and shared insights.


Fun and Unique Team Building Activities

Here are some fun and unique activities to add variety and excitement to your team building efforts:

28. Escape Room

Employees in an escape room find themselves “locked” in a room, challenged to solve a series of puzzles collaboratively, and overcome obstacles within a specified time frame. The experience encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills, necessitating effective communication among team members to share discoveries and work toward the common goal of escaping. 

29. Murder Mystery

Murder mystery activities immerse teams in a fictional scenario where they assume roles and collaborate to unravel a compelling mystery. The experience incorporates clues, character interactions, and a storyline, creating an engaging and dynamic atmosphere. Teams must work together to pool findings and observations.

30. Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt involves teams following clues or tasks to locate hidden items or specific locations, often leading to a final destination or goal. The versatility of scavenger hunts allows them to take place indoors, outdoors, or even virtually using mobile devices. Effective communication is crucial as teams decipher clues and coordinate their search efforts. 


Virtual Team Building Activities

Virtual team exercises are essential for fostering collaboration, boosting morale, and maintaining connections among remote team members. With 82% of remote workers agreeing their organization supports in-person activities, these activities can help you build a remote community.

Here are some virtual activities to conduct on Zoom:

31. Online Trivia Night

Divide the team into smaller groups and host a trivia night using platforms like Zoom. Tailor the questions to include general knowledge and fun facts about team members. This activity encourages friendly competition and helps team members learn exciting things about each other.

32. Virtual Coffee Break

Schedule regular virtual coffee breaks where team members can join a video call, share a cup of coffee or tea, and engage in casual conversations. To make it more interesting, you can introduce a “topic of the day” or use icebreaker questions to spark discussions, creating a relaxed environment for team bonding.

33. Virtual Fitness Challenge

Launch a fitness challenge where team members set personal fitness goals and track progress over a set period. You can create a shared platform or use fitness apps to share updates, achievements, and words of encouragement. This not only promotes physical well-being but also fosters a sense of mutual support and motivation.

34. Team Building Through Music

Arrange a virtual music session where team members showcase their musical talents, play instruments, or simply share their favorite songs.

35. Virtual Happy Hours

Host virtual happy hours where team members can unwind, share stories, and enjoy a casual and social atmosphere. Themes or icebreaker activities can add an extra element of fun.

New Trends in Team Building Activities

From wellness-focused sessions to high-tech augmented reality hunts and sustainability challenges, these new trends reshape how teams connect and collaborate.

Here are some new trends:

Wellness-Centered Activities

To cultivate a workplace culture prioritizing well-being, consider implementing wellness-centered activities. Start by promoting mindfulness through activities like guided meditation and yoga, offering tools for stress management and focus. You can extend these efforts outdoors by organizing retreats, providing a refreshing break, and promoting physical and mental well-being.

By focusing on aspects like nutrition, fitness, and mental health, these challenges contribute to both individual and collective well-being, fostering a positive team dynamic.

These activities have surged in popularity due to their proven ability to reduce workplace stress, enhance mental health, and foster a positive work culture, increasing employee engagement and productivity. 

Companies recognize that prioritizing their workforce’s holistic well-being improves individual health and contributes to talent retention and recruitment success.

Augmented Reality (AR) Scavenger Hunts

Today, organizations use AR technology to create interactive and dynamic scavenger hunts that engage team members in exploring their surroundings. AR adds a layer of excitement and creativity to traditional scavenger hunts.

Tailor the AR scavenger hunt to align with the organization’s culture, values, or specific learning objectives. This personalization enhances the relevance of the activity.

Sustainability-Focused Activities

In recent years, a heightened awareness of our environmental impact has led to a significant shift toward greater environmental consciousness and a steadfast focus on sustainability even in the corporate spheres.

By embracing sustainability in team building, organizations can engage in volunteer projects, like tree planting and beach cleanups, fostering a positive environmental impact. 

Organizers can incorporate green initiatives, such as sustainable materials and energy conservation, into team activities, and companies can actively contribute to eco-friendly practices. Educational workshops on sustainability further inspire teams, cultivating a shared commitment to environmentally responsible practices at work and in personal lives.

These initiatives enhance the organization’s environmental footprint and instill a sense of collective responsibility among team members.


Priya Jain

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