Team building exercises might have a bit of a lame reputation. You might fear the likely scoffing and eye-rolling from your colleagues when you announce your next team-building getaway. But if you do it right, guaranteed you’ll be the office champion.
We’ve all adapted to new ways of working over the past few years and with many teams working on a hybrid model or still completely remote, team building activities can be the best way to bring your team together to boost morale. Let’s face it, we’re tired of catching up on Zoom calls or socialising through Slack messages and nothing beats building work relationships naturally like having a natter in the break room. This is where team building can step in to save the day.
What is team building?
Team building is the act of a workplace organising various types of activities that are designed to boost social connections and encourage collaboration amongst colleagues. Using a range of team building games from scavenger hunts to escape rooms, their purpose is to help develop workplace relationships and boost morale amongst colleagues.
Bonding outside of the workplace can be hugely beneficial to team members, as it provides the opportunity to break down the barriers of typical office conversation and begin developing real exchanges that can enhance working relationships.
Whilst team building can happen within the office space, it’s highly recommended to find a space to conduct your activities in a place outside of the workplace. The key to a memorable and successful team building experience is a day that doesn’t feel like work. Finding the right space can allow your teams to fully immerse themselves in the activities, let loose and get creative. Consider renting a meeting room for a day, which allows you to secure a professional and collaborative space configured to your requirements.
Team building exercises are not to be confused with staff training. Staff training sessions are generally designed by business development managers to help individual team members learn and progress throughout their careers, whereas team building games are collaborative and focused on interpersonal relationships.
Why is team building important?
Team building games can have a truly positive impact on motivation and team performance, so it’s important for team leaders to consider organising these kinds of events. Choosing activities that encourage colleagues to work together effectively promotes a strong team dynamic, which can lead to improved performance in the workplace.
Through team-building exercises, teams learn to communicate with each other, strategise, discuss and complete tasks in the most effective way. To achieve their goals, they have to dive into decision making, problem-solving and effectively communicate and listen to one another. These are fantastic skills to take from a team-building day back into the office.
These types of activities build trust, an essential part of creating efficient teams. Trust amongst the team allows them to feel confident in knowing they have support from each other, as well as feeling trusted by their managers to be given autonomy over their tasks and decision-making.
Successful team-building exercises motivate colleagues to learn from each other and establish certain skills and roles within the team. You might discover one person is particularly good at leading, whilst another is great at problem-solving. Identifying everyone’s strengths can help streamline work tasks and allow team members to lean on each other when it’s needed.
Learning from one another enables employees to explore new ideas and fresh perspectives, inspiring more innovative ways of thinking and doing things. This also simply makes things more fun as you begin to collaborate with each other more.
What are the best team building activities for work?
- Try an escape room
Escape rooms are the perfect team-building exercise as they force everyone to come together to problem-solve, communicate and work together to complete a goal. You can find a variety of escape room options, from wizard worlds to jail cell themes.
- Take part in a pub quiz
Another great option when you want to take your team building out of the office. Break your teams off into smaller groups and get them ready for a night of trivia. It allows everyone to work together and have some fun. You can put on your own prize for whichever team does best to encourage some healthy competition.
- Cooking class
Cooking is a fantastic way to bring people together. Trying a cooking class allows everyone to take part together, training their listening skills and putting that into action to create a great dish at the end. If you try a cuisine that no one has tried before, it makes it an even better experience since everyone will be trying something new.
- Host a sports day
For sunnier days, get your team together for a day of sporty fun. Head to your local park with classic sports day games, like the egg and spoon race, sack race and tug of war for a competition filled day. These types of games really force employees to work together and there’s nothing like breaking the ice than tying your legs together for a three-legged race!
- Try a world cooking day
With the diversity in the workplace, there is bound to be an exciting mixture of cultures within your office. Encourage everyone to cook a dish that’s either from their culture or from a cuisine they love and enjoy your lunch break bonding over food. It’ll get people talking about shared interests and allows people to open up to things they might not have tried before.
Team building ice breakers
- Guess who?
Each employee is given a piece of paper with a celebrity name on it to stick on their head. Get everyone to go around and ask people yes or no questions to figure out who they are. It’s a simple one but a good one.
- Have a shoutout session
Keep up team morale by hosting regular shoutout sessions. Get your employees together to spend 30 seconds each giving one of their colleagues a shoutout. This could be praise for some work they’ve done or something they’ve done around the office to go above and beyond. It’s a great one for a motivational mood boost!
- Scavenger hunt
Host a scavenger hunt by preparing clues around the office. Break up your employees into smaller teams and put their problem-solving skills to the test. Set a prize to encourage some healthy competition.
Ideas for virtual team building activities
- Virtual travel
Try something completely unusual and different like a virtual trip with your team. Heygo offers virtual trips across the globe, from a wildlife journey through Kerala’s backwaters or a historic tour of Edinburgh’s old city.
- Try an online cocktail making class
Bring the after-work drinks to your home. Companies like Boozy Events will organise everything for you, with ingredients sent directly to your employees for total ease. They then host the cocktail making party, plus, your team can stay online and keep mingling post-bevvy.
- Icebreaker bingo
Icebreaker bingo is a fun way of getting to know your colleagues whilst playing a round of bingo! It encourages players to talk to each other and learn fun facts about their work colleagues. Instead of numbers, each grid has a prompt, such as ‘does yoga,’ or ‘speaks a second language,’ so you will learn something new about them as you play.
When teams have the chance to work together beyond their typical workday, it fosters creativity, innovation and motivation in the workplace. You’ll be amazed at how effective working relationships will become as people respect and trust each other after these team-building exercises. Don’t forget to keep up the team morale post-team building events, by doing frequent, engaging activities within the office. You’ll find a much more positive and motivated workplace by setting these foundations for personal development and success.
Make sure to find your perfect team building location by checking out our offices for rent, which can get you and your team set up in an instant with everything you need for a successful event.