Organizations implement team-building activities in hopes of fostering a positive work environment and strengthening workplace relationships. Yet, they often elicit groans and eye rolls from even the most enthusiastic team players. From awkward icebreakers to trust falls, many traditional team-building activities can feel cliché and uninspired. It’s no wonder employees might dread these events and view them as a waste of time.
When executed well, team-building can be a critical ingredient for creating a positive work environment:
- Nurtures Workplace Relationships: Team-building activities provide opportunities for employees to get to know each other beyond their work roles. They can break down barriers and create personal connections. Interpersonal connections within the workplace are important as they can increase job satisfaction and improve the group dynamic.
- Cultivates Trust: Trust is essential for effective teamwork and team-building activities can be an excellent way to build trust among colleagues. Activities that require team members to rely on each other to complete a task or to support one another in challenging situations can help to create a sense of interdependence within the team.
- Fosters Creativity: Engagement in team-building activities can help to stimulate creativity and encourage innovative thinking. By breaking away from the regular day-to-day routine, team members are given the opportunity to approach problems in a new way and to develop fresh perspectives, keeping inspiration alive within the group.
- Promotes Collaboration: Team-building activities that require working as a unit to achieve a common goal, promote collaborative thinking and group problem-solving. These qualities translate to workplace productivity and efficiency and create a sense of shared purpose within the team.
- Improves Company Culture: A positive company culture is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, and team-building activities can help foster teamwork and connection. By investing in these activities, organizations create a healthy, functioning work environment, increasing job satisfaction and employee retention.
As the valuable benefits clearly display, team-building activities shouldn’t be written off altogether. The problem arises when they become “mandatory fun” and are executed without a purpose in mind. Matching unique and engaging activities to the needs of a team is a fail-safe way to produce powerful team-building exercises.
Is the team just getting to know each other? Try some unique icebreakers. Is the team lacking collaboration or communication? Try some activities that engage them in working towards a common goal. Does the team seem burnt out and unmotivated? Try a field trip outside of the office or implement meditation sessions. Looking for more ideas like this? There are 100 more below!
What Is Team-Building?
In order to create effective team-building activities, it’s important to understand what team-building is and what it tries to achieve. At its core, team-building is the continuous process of transforming a group into a cohesive unit. By regularly scheduling team-building activities, leaders can nurture trust, support, and collaboration within a group, which translates to greater productivity, efficiency, and workplace satisfaction.
100 Team-Building Activities
9 Virtual And Hybrid Team-Building Activities
1. Virtual Escape Room: This immersive experience involves team members working together to solve puzzles, uncover clues, and ultimately escape a virtual room. It promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, all while having fun.
2. Team Jeopardy: This exciting twist on the classic game show sparks friendly competition and builds camaraderie. Teams compete against each other in a variety of categories, testing their knowledge and quick-thinking skills. This activity is educational, engaging, and inclusive.
3. Time Travel Trivia: This twist on traditional trivia takes your team on a journey through different eras of history and pop culture. Teams work together to answer trivia questions about different time periods, creating an opportunity for collaboration where everyone can learn something new about each other’s time periods.
4. Murder Mystery: Teams work together to solve a fictional crime, following clues and gathering evidence to uncover the culprit. It promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills within a uniquely immersive experience.
5. GeoGuesser: This fun and challenging geography game tests your team’s knowledge of different locations around the world. Teams work together to guess the correct location based on visual clues, promoting teamwork and collaboration skills. It can also spark conversations about dream destinations or favorite travel experiences.
6. Code Names: This game of strategy and deduction involves teams working together to identify a set of secret code names while avoiding the opposing team’s code names. It promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, all while delivering friendly competition against peers.
7. Dialogue Space: In these informal and optional meetings, participants can discuss sensitive topics regarding mental health, identity, and other “taboo” topics in a non-judgmental space. This creates feelings of closeness and safety while fostering deeper connections between team members.
8. Coffee Chat: Many people begin their mornings with a cup of coffee, so why not turn it into a team bonding opportunity? Similar to catching up with an old friend at a coffee shop, participants can join these optional “coffee chats” before the workday to get to know their colleagues better while sipping on a cup of joe.
9. Bucket List: Participants share three to five things on their bucket lists with the team. This is a great way for team members to learn about each other’s dreams, passions, and aspirations.
34 In-Office Team-Building Activities
10. Tied Together: This game involves tying pairs of colleagues together, either by the wrists or the ankles, and challenging them to work together to complete different tasks. It promotes teamwork and communication while having a good laugh.
11. Blindfold Challenge: In this challenge, team members are blindfolded and must rely on verbal communication from their colleagues to complete tasks. It’s a great way to build trust among the team, as participants must rely on each other to succeed.
12. Solve A Puzzle: Whether it’s a jigsaw puzzle or a brain teaser, team members must work together to solve what they’re given. This challenging activity bonds colleagues while flexing their cognitive muscles.
13. Barter Puzzle: This puzzle-based activity involves giving groups different puzzles to solve in a race against other teams. The catch is that some puzzle pieces will be randomly mixed with other groups’ pieces. Teams must trade pieces with other teams to complete their puzzle, encouraging teams to work together to negotiate with each other.
14. Taboo: This is a fast-paced game in which teams must guess words without using specified “taboo” words or phrases. It’s a great way to encourage team members to think outside the box and sharpen their communication skills.
15. Lego Building: Bringing back this childhood favorite will surely spark many team members’ interests. By building or designing a Lego structure as a team, participants practice their problem-solving and collaboration skills.
16. Dinner Party: What better way to bond than over food? A classic dinner party can be executed potluck-style by assigning groups to prepare different courses or by having the whole team cook a meal together.
17. Human Knot: This physical team-building activity involves having team members untangle themselves from a “human knot” without letting go of each other’s hands. It’s a great way to promote teamwork and communication skills. Wash your hands first!
18. Flip The Tarp: This activity involves challenging team members to flip a tarp while standing on top of it, all without touching the ground. This unites the team in achieving a common goal while promoting communication skills.
19. Hedbanz: In this interactive game, team members wear a card on their heads and must guess what it is by asking their colleagues yes or no questions. This promotes communication and patience.
20. Charades: This classic game involves acting out words or phrases without speaking while team members try to guess the correct answers. This is a great way for participants to get out of their comfort zones and share plenty of laughs.
21. Swift Swap: In this game, Team A gets a short observation period to memorize the appearance of everyone on Team B. Team B then changes elements of their appearance— from switching shoes to changing hairstyles—and Team A must guess what’s different.
22. Common Thread: This activity involves dividing the team into groups and having them figure out commonalities among all members— from favorite foods to previous travel destinations. This is a great way for colleagues to learn about each other’s interests and bond with like-minded individuals.
23. Salt & Pepper: In this game, the team is divided into pairs and given a card to wear on their heads with a secret word. The words are things that go well together, like peanut butter and jelly, yin and yang, or sun and moon. Participants must find their match by mingling and asking yes or no questions.
24. Two Truths & A Lie: This game involves individuals sharing two facts about themselves and one lie while the rest of the team must guess the lie. This is a great way for colleagues to get to know each other.
25. Minute To Win It: This fun and fast-paced activity challenges the team to complete various tasks in 60 seconds or less. From stacking cups to balancing pencils, these challenges encourage creativity, communication, and problem-solving skills, all while providing lots of entertainment.
26. Gamathon: This involves creating a tournament out of board games, card games, or video games, ensuring a fun experience with a hint of friendly competition. Jenga or Mario Kart are always fan favorites!
27. Bingo: For a twist on this classic game, the squares can describe certain traits or experiences, like “oldest sibling” or “worked in a different industry,” creating the opportunity for team members to learn more about each other.
28. Real-Life Social Media Profiles: Each team member creates their own “real-life” social media profile with a posterboard, photos, markers, and thumbtacks. Colleagues can “comment” and like other people’s social media profiles with sticky notes and stickers.
29. Team Emblem: Small groups create their own emblem, flag, or shield. This can be done through a graphic design platform or by hand with art supplies. Not only will this get the team’s creative juices flowing, but it also builds a sense of identity and cohesiveness.
30. Game Of Possibilities: Give an object to a team member, who’ll then act out using that object for a different purpose; for example, chopsticks for knitting; exercising creativity. The team must guess what the object is being used for.
31. Vision Board: Team members can create individual vision boards that they can share with each other or create one as a single unit. This will encourage goal-setting, visualizations of future aspirations, and creativity.
32. Pottery: Instead of a pottery class, provide team members with air-dry clay and paint and let their imaginations run wild. This activity will relieve stress from the workday by engaging them in a creative, childlike activity.
33. Simulated Problem: Give small groups a hypothetical work-related problem. Then, ask them to brainstorm solutions and create a plan to address the problem. This involves problem-solving and collaboration while helping the team feel comfortable and prepared if they ever face a similar workplace issue.
34. Dream Day: The team is divided into pairs, and one person shares their idea of a perfect day with their partner. Their partner then must retell their dream day to the best of their ability, exercising team members’ listening skills.
35. Shark Tank: Inspired by the hit TV show, the team is divided into groups, and a few members will be on the “shark panel.” Each group must come up with a million-dollar business idea to pitch to the sharks, who’ll choose which idea to “invest” in. This promotes teamwork and exercises entrepreneurial skills.
36. Balance The Stick: The whole team must lower a single stick—like a pipe or bamboo stick—to the ground using only their index fingers, exercising collaboration and communication.
37. Categories: The team is divided into pairs, and each pair is given several random objects. One partner must sort the objects into categories, and the other partner guesses what the categories are. Then, the roles switch. This encourages creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
38. Counting Game: This game has a simple goal—to count to 20 as a team. The catch is that if two members say a number at once, the game starts over. This requires coordination, patience, and teamwork.
39. TikTok Challenges: With the rise of TikTok, getting your team to do some viral TikTok challenges or trends is a fun way for individuals to showcase their creativity and build camaraderie.
40. Stranded: The team is divided into groups and given a list of items such as a first aid kit, water bottle, canned food, rope, matches, etc. Each group must work together to rank the items in order of most important to least important to have if they were stranded on an island. This promotes decision-making skills and collaboration.
41. Back-To-Back Drawing: Partners sit back-to-back, with one person provided with a picture and the other provided with a pen and paper. The person with the picture must describe the picture to their partner using shapes, sizes, textures, and colors—anything without actually saying what it is. The person with the pen and paper must draw the picture based on their partner’s instructions, promoting communication and creativity.
42. Silver Linings: After being divided into pairs, a team member tells a story of a bad experience they had, and their partner will retell the story highlighting the positive aspects. This is a great way to develop optimistic thinking among the team.
43. Birthday Lineup: The team must order themselves in a line based on birthdays without speaking, relying solely on nonverbal communication and collaboration.
25 Outside-The-Office Team-Building Activities
44. Yoga/Mindfulness Session: Inviting team members to join a yoga or mindfulness/meditation session can help participants connect on a deeper level while promoting individual well-being and stress relief.
45. Team Picnic: Choose a scenic outdoor location and bring plenty of blankets, chairs, and a variety of picnic foods to share. There can also be games, activities, and music to create a fun and festive atmosphere. The goal of the Picnic Party is to promote a sense of community by bonding over a shared meal and encouraging team members to get to know each other in an informal and relaxed setting.
46. Pet Party: Pet owners will love this activity that puts the focus on their furry friends. Have team members bring their pets to a local park or choose a day on which employees can bring them into the office. Not only are animal lovers bound to bond, but spending time with animals can relieve stress and promote emotional well-being.
47. City Scavenger Hunt: This interactive experience involves team members using clues to find landmarks or objects in their city. This promotes teamwork and problem-solving skills while providing a sense of adventure and exploration.
48. Ping Pong Or Dodgeball Tournament: These games test hand-eye coordination, but as a team-building tournament, they can create exciting memories and promote teamwork.
49. Sports Game: A game of basketball or soccer will get sports lovers excited while giving them the opportunity to teach their colleagues how to play. This promotes camaraderie and physical well-being.
50. Group Walk Or Hike: This gets team members outside, moving, and talking – boosting mental, physical, and social well-being. A walk is a great opportunity to stroll and chat, while a hike encourages colleagues to support each other during a more challenging activity.
51. Group Bike Ride: This is another way for team members to enjoy the sunshine while incorporating gentle exercise. Plus, they can explore a new location!
52. Water Sports: For those who live near a body of water, water sports are guaranteed to be a fun and exciting activity. From paddleboarding and kayaking to water skiing and rafting, the options are endless.
53. Go Karting: This thrilling outing will surely connect team members over a fun experience and give them a break from the office.
54. Laser tag: This activity promotes healthy competition and encourages team members to strategize with each other while having a blast.
55. Egg Drop: In this activity, teams are given a raw egg and a variety of materials, such as straws, tape, and balloons. They must work together to design and build a contraption that’ll protect the egg from breaking when dropped from a height, promoting teamwork and innovation.
56. Egg Toss: Teams stand facing each other and toss an egg back and forth. After each successful catch, the teams take a step back, increasing the distance between them. The goal is to see which team can toss the egg back and forth the longest without breaking it, promoting collaboration.
57. Movie Night: A movie night involves little effort while providing team members the opportunity to unwind, relax, and bond. This will foster a positive company culture and boost team morale.
58. Cooking Class: Taking a cooking class is a fun way to learn new skills as a team, work together to curate a delicious meal, and bond over culinary delights.
59. Improv Class: An improv class will get team members out of their comfort zones, promote silly interactions, and bring lots of laughter.
60. Food Trucks Or Food Hall: For teams with varying food restrictions or preferences, trying different food trucks or visiting a food hall is an inclusive activity that’ll leave everyone happy and fulfilled.
61. Mystery Dinner: Before the dinner, team members are only informed about the date and time of the dinner. On the day of the dinner, each person is sent an email with the restaurant and who they’ll be going with. This builds connections between colleagues who haven’t previously interacted with each other and encourages greater participation by breaking up a larger team into small groups.
62. Museum: A trip to a museum can be a source of inspiration and creativity while offering an opportunity for exploration and learning.
63. Karaoke Night: A karaoke night is a fun way for team members to let loose to their favorite songs – and it might expose some hidden musical talent!
64. Field Day: Through a series of outdoor games and competitions, team members will boost their physical well-being, learn to work as a team, and engage in friendly competition.
65. Rock Climbing: This activity involves challenge, trust, and of course, lots of fun.
66. Virtual Reality: A virtual reality experience is a cutting-edge team-building activity that can transport team members outside their office or city—without ever actually leaving!
67. Amusement Park: A trip to an amusement park is sure to be a treat for the team and will leave them with lasting shared memories of enjoying rides and games together.
68. Camping: A camping trip can promote teamwork through tasks like setting up tents while creating lasting memories through roasting s’mores, stargazing, and getting to know one another. “Glamping” is a higher maintenance, yet just as fun, alternative!
11 Ongoing Team-Building Activities
69. Rose & Thorns: This activity can be an ongoing segment in meetings in which team members share their “thorns” of the week—a challenge or struggle they faced—and their “roses” — an accomplishment or highlight.
70. Weekend In A Word: This activity can be added to Monday meetings in which team members must describe their weekend in one word. This alleviates the pressure to share intimate details or extravagant stories while still providing the opportunity for team members to get a glimpse into each other’s lives.
71. Make A Team Playlist: Creating a collaborative playlist that team members can continuously add to will help individuals learn about each other’s music tastes while building a go-to playlist for the office!
72. Photo Captions: This can be an ongoing activity in which a photo is sent out in a group chat, and team members must comment with captions for the photo. This will keep the team laughing while encouraging quick thinking and creativity.
73. GIF Wars: A prompt is sent out to a group chat, and team members respond with relevant GIFs. This can be a weekly activity that adds some humor to the day.
74. Buzzfeed/Personality Quizzes: Fun personality quizzes are sent out in a group chat, and team members respond with their results. These can be fun and lighthearted for a good laugh.
75. Praise Train: One team member is assigned a colleague at the beginning of the week and shares something positive they noticed about them at the end of the week. This can be an accomplishment, a kind action, or something admirable about them. This fosters an environment of appreciation.
76. This Describes How I Feel Today: Team members describe how they feel on a given day, but without using emotions as their answers. For example, they can describe their mood using a color or animal. This relieves the pressure of being completely emotionally vulnerable and encourages creative thinking.
77. Book Club: Starting a company book club promotes intellectual growth while encouraging team members to connect over shared interests.
78. Form An Intramural League: For a team filled with athletes, forming an intramural league is a great option for the opportunity to get active, competitive, and bond regularly.
79. Lunch & Learn: This weekly team-building activity turns employees’ lunch break into an opportunity to learn a new skill and uncover their colleagues’ unspoken talents. Team members can volunteer to share a skill they’ve developed—from a new language to crocheting—with the team over their lunch break.
7 Happy Hour Team-Building Activities
80. Wine & Cheese Tasting: This interactive activity involves sampling various wines and cheeses while learning about their flavor profiles and origins. It encourages team members to socialize and bond over their shared love for good food and drinks.
81. Brewery: A trip to a local brewery is perfect for a team of beer lovers. Sip on some crisp craft beers while learning about the brewing process and history of different beers. Who knows, the team might learn a thing or two about teamwork from the master brewers!
82. Mixology Session: Stir up some fun with a hands-on mixology session! Get the team’s creative juices flowing as they learn how to create delicious cocktails. They’ll be shaking, stirring, and sipping their way to bonding in no time.
83. Poker Night: Have the team raise the stakes and bond over a friendly game of poker. This activity is perfect for honing strategic thinking and decision-making skills while also bringing team members closer together in a fun and social environment.
84. Themed Happy Hour: Party with a purpose by hosting a themed happy hour. Bring the team together around a common interest or theme like “Around the World,” “80’s Disco Party”, or “Red Carpet,” in which team members bring related cocktails.
85. Chopped Cocktail Competition: Based on Food Network’s “Chopped,” team members must work together to create unique cocktails with surprise ingredients, all while practicing collaboration and communication.
86. Paint & Sip: This fun and relaxing activity involves sipping on wine or cocktails and painting without pressure. This is a great opportunity for creative expression and getting to know colleagues.
5 Charitable Team-Building Activities
87. Make Blankets For Charity: The heart-warming activity of making blankets promotes creativity and teamwork while helping those in need stay cozy during the chilly seasons.
88. Build Something For Charity: Whether it’s toys or a playground, building something for a charity organization is a great activity to promote problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork.
89. Plant A Garden: Planting a garden brings team members together to provide fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to a community in need.
90. Food Prep: The team can choose to prepare meals for a homeless shelter, a food bank, or start a canned food drive. Smaller groups can participate in a local soup kitchen. These activities promote organizational skills, communication, and time management while supporting a great cause — feeding the hungry.
91. Beach Cleanup: For those located near a beach (or a park), a beach cleanup is a perfect way to bond while preserving the environment. Plus, the team can enjoy some sunshine and a fun beach day afterward!
9 Holiday Team-Building Activities
92. Independence Day Trivia: Test the team’s knowledge of the land of the free and the home of the brave with a round of Independence Day Trivia.
93. Valentine’s Day Card Crafting: Have the team get crafty with a fun and festive card crafting session. They can create personalized cards to send to loved ones or donate to a local charity.
94. Pumpkin Carving: This fun activity is perfect for getting into the spooky spirit while bonding with team members, whether they are master carvers or first-timers.
95. Thanksgiving Potluck: Gather the team for a feast in which team members bring their favorite holiday dishes. This is a great opportunity to learn about team members’ food-related traditions and give thanks.
96. Cookie Swaps: Perfect for any season, homemade cookie swaps are a fun way to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth and learn new recipes from team members.
97. White Elephant: This holiday classic is a fun way to spread the holiday spirit and doesn’t have to be expensive to participate in. The budget can be around $10-20.
98. Secret Santa: This is a great way for teammates to get to know each other and spread love through gift-giving. By providing the team with their assigned individuals in advance, each person can take the initiative to learn more about each other’s interests, so they can pick out the perfect personalized gift.
99. Gingerbread House Contest: Divide the team into groups and put their decorating skills to the test. This fun and festive activity promotes collaboration and teamwork.
100. Glow & Grow: End the year with a period of reflection by having team members share their “glows”—accomplishments of the year—and “grows” – New Year’s resolutions. This is a great way to give teammates some praise while creating a sense of accountability for their future goals.
How To Get A Team-Building Program Started
An effective team-building program considers team-building as a process, not a singular activity. Fostering a positive work environment with a dynamic and high-performing unit of individuals takes time and consistent effort. Here are some things to keep in mind when getting started on a team-building program:
1. Form A Leadership Team: Establish a dedicated team to oversee and guide the development and implementation of a team-building program.
2. Schedule Events Regularly: Team-building is like developing any other relationship; it is a continual process and not a one-off activity. Scheduling regular events will help to maintain momentum and reinforce the team’s connection.
3. Be Creative In Framing: Avoid referring to team-building efforts as “team-building” workshops. Think creatively and frame the events in an engaging and fun way.
4. Never Force Fun: Certain activities might be uncomfortable for some employees. While they can be highly enjoyable, make sure that attendance is voluntary. Forced participation can have a counterproductive effect on team morale.
5. Focus On Play: It’s crucial to remember that team-building events aren’t just another work meeting. Encourage your team to embrace having fun and socializing, promoting an environment that fosters well-being and employee engagement.