An Epic List of Team Building Activities for the Workplace
Bring employees together with these ideas and activities (that they won’t roll their eyes at)
By: Jessi Minneci
Take a look around your office at 2 p.m. Do you see anyone dozing off behind the confines of their cubicle? Are co-workers conversating with each other, or do most people appear to be in some technology-driven trance? When you start noticing a few (or more) employees dragging their feet in the hallway, it may be a good time to start considering spicing up the place a bit.
Breaks from rigorous work are necessary. Trust us, a little distraction here and there from the daily grind can actually lead to more success, not less! It’s time to start planning a teambuilding activity.
Team bonding, whether inside or outside of the office walls, provides a meaningful way to foster relationships with your team members, reduce employee stress, and give your team the chance to get to let their guards down just enough.
So, you’re all for planning some team bonding for your staff, right? But are you stuck on where and how to take the team bonding to the next step? Try starting with one of these ideas – each is bound to get everyone in good spirits… whether they’re clocking out or just coming in for the day:
Give them something sweet
Do your employees seem to STARE at the clock, just waiting for 5 p.m. to roll around? Ditch the mid-afternoon lag by breaking up the day with a dessert social! After all, nothing says ‘I appreciate you’ to your employees quite like a sweet treat.
After lunch, set up an ice cream bar in the break room – equipped with all of the toppings imaginable: whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, candy, etc. Calling everyone away from their desks with a small gesture of appreciation (and free dessert!) goes a long way. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale and a little less melty (things could get sticky where keyboards are involved) than ice cream, consider catering something like our sweet and fruit dessert table.
Miniature cheese cakes… fresh fruit… lemon bars… brownies… éclairs… strawberry and chocolate mousse... are you day dreaming of desserts yet!?!? When it comes to bringing your employees together, a little sugar and a lot of happiness will ensure that no one leaves the office with a frown that day.
Bring in a workshop
This teambuilding option is versatile in several different ways – workshop administrators can be brought into your office so that employees don’t have to leave the premises to get together, and the workshop type itself can be either educational, professional, or, simply, fun! When planning a teambuilding workshop, consider some of these ideas:
- Professional workshops: offer an educational experience either at your office or an off-site workshop or conference. The activity doesn’t necessarily have to be SPECIFICALLY related to your employees' jobs, though it totally can be! That or it could be broader… like a wellbeing (meditation, yoga), personal organization or leadership skills workshop. Each is equally beneficial for your team – plus, meditation / yoga workshop day can also double as dress-down day!
- Informal workshops: They may be informal, but that doesn’t mean they’re anything less than an awesome experience! Something like comedy presentations or improv sessions are fun, interactive experiences that'll have your employees in good spirits while simultaneously them useful communication and soft skills, like focus and trust.
Get out of a trap with your team
Looking to take a team field trip? These days, escape rooms are all the rage, and for good reason! Here’s how it works: basically, your group will be ‘locked’ in a room for a certain amount of time. During that time, your employees and you will search for hidden objects, solve puzzles, and figure out clues… with the ultimate goal of setting yourselves free from the escape room.
But it’s not all fun and games – to be completed successfully, escape rooms require leadership skills, teamwork, logic, and patience. They’re perfect for teambuilding in an office that could benefit from some added employee-to-employee trust and confidence.
Spice up a meeting with lunch
What’s one way to bring everyone together? FOOD. It’s no coincidence that we started off the list with an ice cream social – we’re circling back around now to your more savory options, simply because food is the ultimate bonding companion.
Bring your board meeting to the next level by providing lunch for the whole team. Keep things clean and provide an additional, afternoon energy supply by stocking up the meeting room with boxed lunches for your employees. You may even opt to swap out the usual slide show for something with a little more pizzazz.
Do you have time to play a teambuilding game? Whether you’re interested in extraterrestrial conspiracies, NASCAR, or your porcelain doll collection, there are things each person might want to share with their co-workers that they otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to.
Set aside a regularly-scheduled afternoon meeting for lunch and a round of “show and tell” and give some of your team members the opportunity to bring something in and/or present on a topic. Keep everyone engaged by requesting that team members to be present, and have a question and answer session afterwards. It may sound a bit silly at first, but you’d be surprised what you may learn about your employees. On the other hand, everyone appreciates a chance to be in the spotlight, even if just for a round of “show and tell.”
Scavenger hunts (inside the office and around the business park complex)… group volunteering… after-work bowling tournament… holiday parties/gift swaps… when it comes to team success, there’s nothing more beneficial than taking a break from the day-to-day work schedule for some team bonding and fun.
And although you may not have the time to host one of these events every week, try to make it a priority to schedule at least one team building activity each quarter. After all, statistics show that companies with engaged employees earn up to 2.5 times more income than competitors.
Likewise, employees with a high engagement level are 87 percent less likely to leave a company than those with low engagement. So get to that teambuilding, and reap the benefits of happy employees and an even happier workplace!