50 Awesome team building activities for work

If you’re thinking of hosting a team-building event for your team, you might feel unsure which activities are the best to include. Which ones are the most effective and which ones are plain gimmicks?

In this comprehensive resource, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about organising a successful team building event for your employees. Whether you’re the owner of an innovative new startup or the HR manager for a major firm, the activities you include in your event greatly influence its success.

The best way to decide which activities to include is by establishing the desired outcome. Why are you planning this team building event? What do you hope to get out of it? 

For example: “We’re going to send a team of 25 employees to an escape room event in London on the 23rd of July to identify team leaders and decision-makers.”

Once you know the purpose of your team building event, you can start defining a detailed agenda with the following activities.

Team-building activities for small groups

Organising a team-building event for a small group demands a different approach compared with organising an event for a large company or corporation. Team-building activities for small groups can be played by a small number of participants with little to no equipment. Small teams are required to work closely together over long periods, so employees must understand each other and communicate effectively.

The following activities are designed to strengthen communication and interpersonal relationships, encourage creative thinking, and develop problem-solving skills.

1. Human Knot

Human Knot is a great game for encouraging your employees to work together to solve a problem. The game requires good leadership and cooperation to solve the puzzle.

Great for: Problem-solving, communication
Duration: 5-10 Minutes
Players: 6+ (even number required)
You’ll need: N/A

How to play Human Knot

To play Human Knot, players must stand in a circle facing inwards. Then, each player must reach out their right hand and join hands with somebody opposite them (players should not join hands with anybody to their immediate right or left). Finally, do the same with the left hand, joining hands with a new partner.

The aim of the game is to unravel the knot, without releasing each other’s hands, so that the players finish standing in a perfect circle with their hands joined. To achieve this, players will need to turn, twist, and pass through each other’s hands, all the while maintaining good communication.

2. Blind Retriever

Blind Retriever is a great game for improving communication within small teams that will have everybody laughing in no time.

Great for: Having fun, strengthening communication and listening skills
Duration: 5-10 Minutes
Players: 4+ 
You’ll need: A random object, at least 2 blindfolds

How to play Blind Retriever

To play Blind Retriever, separate the players into teams and have them stand together behind a start line. Then, one member from each team must put on a blindfold while somebody places a random object somewhere in the room. Use something that’s soft and doesn’t have any sharp edges.

After hearing “Go!” The teams must guide their blindfolded teammate to the random object before the opposition gets there first. The players giving instructions may not pass the start line and can only give commands verbally. The first team to get their hands on the random object wins.

3. Perfect Square

Perfect Square encourages employees to either lead or cooperate with their peers, using verbal communication to turn a length of string into a perfect square while blindfolded.

Great for: Leadership, communication, listening skills, problem-solving
Duration: 10-20 Minutes
Players: 4-10 
You’ll need: Blindfolds, a long piece of rope with the ends tied together

How to play Perfect Square

To play Perfect Square, blindfold each player and have them form a circle facing inwards, holding the piece of rope in their hands. Once the circle has been formed, the players can lay the rope on the ground and take a couple of steps back.

Now the game begins. The players must attempt to move the rope so that it forms a perfect square on the ground. To do this, the players should assign a leader who will guide their peers using only his/her voice.

4. Two Truths, One Lie

Two Truths, One Lie, is a fun game that gives your team the chance to get to know interesting things about their colleagues. The game encourages your employees to bolster their public speaking skills in a laid-back environment.

Great for: Building relationships, public speaking, communication
Duration: 10-20
Players: 2+
You’ll need: N/A

How to play Two Truths, One Lie

To play Two Truths, One Lie, players sit together in a circle on the floor or at a desk. Then, going around the circle players take turns telling three interesting facts about themselves. 

The catch? One of these statements is an outright lie. It’s the job of the listeners to try and guess which of the three statements is the lie. This game will test how well your employees really know one another.

5. Egg Drop

Egg Drop is a fun and competitive game that demands effective teamwork and creative ideas to succeed. Whose egg will survive? It’s time to find out...

Great for: Creative thinking, teamwork, communication
Duration: 30 Minutes
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Raw eggs (one per team), cardboard, duct tape, lots of straws, some way of enabling a high drop, a cloth for cleaning up the mess

How to play Egg Drop

To play Egg Drop, divide your players into equal teams and hand the following materials to each.

Then set a time limit, say, 15 minutes. In this time, the teams must work together, using their recourses in any way possible to protect their raw egg from the high drop.

Once the time limit has elapsed, collect the eggs from each and bring them to the high drop. Then, one at a time, drop the eggs.

The winning team is the one whose egg does not break after hitting the floor. If multiple teams have successfully protected their egg, the team to use the fewest straws wins.

6. Office debates

Understanding how to handle disagreements and differences in opinion is fundamental to a functional office environment. Office debates are a great way to improve your employee’s communication and public speaking skills.

Great for: Communication, public speaking, creative thinking
Duration:
20 Minutes
Players: 4+
You’ll need: A way for speakers to deliver their presentations (whiteboard or projector)

How to set up an office debate

To set up an office debate, gather your employees into a room suitable for giving presentations, such as a boardroom. Then, select two players to go head-to-head in a debate. 

The topic can be work-related or something silly, it depends on what you’re hoping to achieve from the activity. One player must argue for the topic while the other must argue against it. By way of voting, the audience will then determine who they consider the winner.

7. Team lunch

An extremely passive and simple team-building exercise, team lunches are easy to pull off and always succeed in building strong interpersonal relationships.

Great for: Building relationships, communication, team morale
Duration: 1-2 hours
Players: 4+
You’ll need: A great place for lunch!

How to organise a team lunch

Pulling off a team lunch is simple and probably doesn’t require much explanation. Team lunches are a fantastic and cost-effective way of strengthening relationships and boosting team morale. Everybody loves food, especially when it’s covered by the company!

8. Spectrum mapping

Spectrum Mapping is a great game that can reveal interesting opinions on a range of topics. The game encourages players to express their opinions and consider alternative thought processes.

Great for: Creative thinking, public speaking, idea generation
Duration: 20 minutes
Players: 4+
You’ll need: Sticky notes, a whiteboard

How to play Spectrum Mapping

To play Spectrum Mapping, start by identifying some topics for which you would like ideas and insights from your employees. Then, ask your team to write down their thoughts, opinions, and ideas on each of the topics.

Once everybody has written their ideas, work together as a group to organise them on the board. To do this, place similar ideas to the left of the topic, and more outside-the-box ideas to the right.

Keep doing this until you have covered all topics. The most popular ideas should be on the left and the least popular ideas on the right.

9. Pair Up

Pair Up is a fun group activity that encourages employees to ask questions to guess the name that’s written on their back. This game is a good way to build up energy at the beginning of your team building event and break the ice.

Great for: Communication, problem-solving, creative thinking
Duration:
20 minutes
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Sticky notes, a pen

How to play Pair Up

To play Pair Up, start by writing down several ‘famous pairs’ on individual sticky notes. The pairs could be anything from salt and pepper, to king and queen.

Once you’ve come up with your famous pairs, stick them to the backs of each player. Set a time limit, maybe 20 minutes, then ask the players to start asking questions to each other to identify the name of the person/thing that’s written on their back.

Once they know who they are, it’s their task to find their ‘matching’ pair, for example, ‘salt’ must pair up with ‘pepper.’ The first pair to find their correct match is the winner.

10. Stop-Walk

Stop-Walk is a good game for energising your team at the beginning of a team-building event. The game is a variation of the classic game Simon Says and requires strong listening skills and quick thinking to win.

Great for: Listening skills, energisation
Duration:
10 minutes
Players: 4+
You’ll need: N/A

How to play

To play Stop-Walk, scatter your team evenly throughout the room and designate one leader who will be shouting out commands.

To start the game, introduce the first two actions: walk and stop. When the leader says “walk,” the players must start walking aimlessly around the room. When the leader calls “stop,” the players must stop where they are.

After practising this a few times, the leader will reverse the meaning of the two words. Therefore, “stop” now means “walk” and “walk” means “stop.” When somebody performs the wrong action, they are eliminated from the game. 

This is a very basic version of this game, but the leader can make the game more difficult by adding more actions such as clap, jump, sit, and dance. The meaning of these words can then be reversed.

Team-building activities for large groups

Organising team building events for large groups requires considerable planning and careful execution for it to be successful.

However, the energy that large groups bring to the table is extremely valuable and can make the session more engaging. Organising team building events for large groups can help employees to build relationships with people they may not usually interact with.

If you’re planning to execute a team-building event for a large group, this list of activities will set you off on the right path.

11. Field day

Organising a field day is a fun and cost-effective way to keep your participants engaged while developing numerous work-related skills. Organising a field day is a big job so you may consider enlisting the help of a third party.

Great for: Teamwork, leadership skills, listening skills, communication
Duration:
2-3 hours
Players: 20+
You’ll need: Various, depending on the games you choose

How to organise a field day

For a successful field day event, you’ll need a minimum of about 20 players and at least 2-3 teams to instil some competitive spirit. Players will excel in some games more than others, so make sure to keep things varied if you want to ensure a balanced competition.

How you choose to organise this event depends on your overall objective and the skills you’d like to develop within your team. Some examples of great field day games include tug of war, split team mug, soccer billiards, sac race, watery slip ‘n’ slide, etc.

Pro tip: Before the field day begins, make sure to announce that there will be a valuable prize for the winning team. This is a simple yet effective way to energise the players right from the start.

12. Corporate Castaways

The TV show “Survivor” was a big hit in the US and was the inspiration behind this team building activity. Corporate Castaways challenges teams to work together to solve physical and mental challenges, collecting points as they progress.

Great for: Problem solving, teamwork, communication 
Duration:
2-3 hours 
Players: 25+
You’ll need: Various, depending on the games you choose

How to play Corporate Castaways

To play Corporate Castaways, you’ll need to find a large outdoor area suitable for setting up a series of mental puzzles and physical challenges. Players will be separated into groups of any size and will each be assigned to their first challenge.

The teams will work their way through each challenge, trying to accumulate as many points as possible. You’ll need an ‘official’ at each game noting down the score for each team in that particular game.

Once the teams have completed all the tasks, the officials come together to tally the scores. The team with the highest overall score wins!

13. Murder Mystery

Interrupt your employees in the office and alert them to a crime that’s just taken place in the cafeteria! Murder mystery events are a really fun way of developing relationships within your team and you can be as creative with them as you like! If you’re not sure where to start when organising a murder mystery event, there are events companies out there that can lend you a hand.

Great for: Problem solving, building relationships 
Duration:
2-3 hours
Players: 20+
You’ll need: A large area such as a function room or cafeteria

How to plan a murder mystery

A successful murder mystery event requires a lot of preparation but the results make it worthwhile—this is something your employees are going to be talking about for a long time!

The first step is to pick a theme for your murder mystery party. Examples of some popular themes include James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Scooby-doo, and Peaky Blinders. Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’s time to craft your murder story. If you’re struck by writer’s block, you can always find pre-written murder mystery stories online.

It’s really important to know exactly how many people will be attending the event as everybody will be assigned a character and play a unique role. To help get your employees into character, provide them with costumes and props. 

To encourage players to stay in character, announce a negative consequence such as putting money in a jar or making them wear a silly hat until the next person breaks character.

14. Laser Tag

These events are great if you’re struggling to find the time to plan and execute your own team-building event. Laser tag can be done outdoors or indoors depending on nearby facilities.

Laser Tag is a great alternative to paintball as players are considerably less likely to get hurt. With the fear of injury removed, the game becomes more enticing to players of all demographics.

Great for: Teamwork, communication, relationship building
Duration:
1-2 hours
Players: 10+
You’ll need: Provided by organisers

How to play Laser Tag

To play Laser Tag, teams compete against each other in a series of game modes such as capture the flag, team deathmatch, etc.

Each player is equipped with a weapon and a sensor that’s usually affixed to the player’s chest and/or head. Players aim their weapons at the enemy team and attempt to “kill” them by hitting their sensor.

Teams win in different ways depending on the game mode played. The winners of team deathmatch, for example, would be the team that scored the most points by “killing” the higher number of enemy players.

15. Ongoing tournament

Team building activities don’t need to be a one-time thing. Why not organise an ongoing tournament that spans months or even years? Ongoing tournaments are a great way of facilitating long-term relationships between employees and inspiring healthy competition.

Great for: Healthy competition, long-term relationships, company culture
Duration:
Ongoing, weeks, months, or years
Players:
10+
You’ll need:
Depends on your chosen game

How to organise an ongoing tournament

To organise an ongoing tournament, you first need to decide upon the game you’ll be playing. To do this, it helps to understand your employees and what their common interests might be. Some teams might prefer a chess tournament, while others might prefer something they can play online.

Try to pick something short, perhaps something that can be done during a lunch break, so that the activity doesn’t overly interrupt working hours.

The tournament doesn’t necessarily need to revolve around a game, either. How about inspiring your team to exercise more with a 30-day press-up challenge for example?

16. Community service

No, not the criminal punishment type. We’re talking about heading out into the community with your team and giving something back. Team building doesn’t always need to be about silly games and awkward icebreakers, why not use your team building event to do something positive?

Great for: Company culture, building relationships, company pride
Duration: 2-3 hours
Players:
20+
You’ll need:
N/A

How to organise community service

To organise your service to the community, come together with your team to discuss possible services you could offer. Is your office located near the beach? How about an organised company beach-cleanup event?

Before the event has even started, the planning process is a great opportunity for employees to engage their creative thinking and communication skills.

Doing something for others is proven to make us feel good. By the end of the day, employees will feel proud of themselves, their colleagues and the company for which they work.

17. Water Balloon Dodgeball

Exciting and dramatic, water balloon fights never fail to entertain! Before deciding to play water balloon dodgeball, it helps to know and understand your team well as it’s important that they get excited about the idea.

Great for: Teamwork, energisation
Duration:
30  minutes
Players:
20+
You’ll need:
Water balloons, water, cones, 2 large containers or buckets

How to play Water Balloon Dodgeball

To play Water Balloon Dodgeball, mark out a rectangular field with your cones, divide it in the middle, and place a large bucket filled with water balloons at each end of the field.

Divide your players into two equal teams and ask them to stand at opposite ends of the field next to their team’s bucket of balloons. Before starting the game, declare a time limit for each game, say, eight minutes.

Once the game starts, teams must attempt to eliminate the opposing team by hitting them with water balloons. Once a player is hit, they must leave the field and cannot rejoin. Players cannot cross the centre line or leave the field at any time, if they do so they are eliminated from the game.

The first team to eliminate the entire opposing team wins. If players remain on both sides when the time limit expires, the team with the most players wins. If an equal number of players remain on both sides the game is declared a draw.

18. Office Trivia

Office Trivia is a simple and cost-effective way to facilitate team building. Once the questions start rolling, teams will naturally become competitive with one another! Office trivia is an easy way to encourage employees to socialise with departments they usually don’t mix with.

Great for: Building relationships, creative thinking
Duration:
20-30 minutes
Players:
20+
You’ll need:
Microphone and loudspeaker, projector, a list of questions

How to play Office Trivia

To play Office Trivia, you’ll need to prepare a list of questions that you’re going to ask your players. These questions can be about the company itself or themed around a different topic.

Players are divided into teams and each come up with a team name. Teams do their best to answer the questions correctly and the team with the most correct answers is the winner.

The bigger you make your office trivia event the more enthusiastic your employees will be. That’s why we suggest setting up a large projector for displaying your questions and speaking into a microphone for that “game show” feel.

19. Scavenger hunt

Scavenger Hunt is a fantastic way for employees to work together as a team, learn more about the company they work for, and explore the office. As an organiser, coming up with good scavenger hunt ideas can be daunting but try not to be dissuaded. Be creative, and think outside the box.

Great for: Energising, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking
Duration: 1-2 hours
Players: 20+
You’ll need: Items for your teams to find and a large space to explore

How to play Scavenger Hunt

The aim of the game is to find items hidden around a predefined location or complete certain challenges. Once the team has found the item or completed the challenge they receive a clue for the next phase.

The winning team is the one that completes all stages of the scavenger hunt the fastest.

To play scavenger hunt, divide players into small teams and define a starting location. Each team is given a starting clue or challenge to complete the game starts.

Be creative with the items, challenges, and riddles you include in your scavenger hunt. When thinking of challenges, consider key skills you would like to develop within your workforce.

20. 3-Question Mingle

3-Question Mingle is a great way of encouraging fresh recruits to get to know one another quickly. It’s a short game that can be used to break the ice early in the onboarding process.

Great for: Communication skills, breaking the ice
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Players: 10+
You’ll need: Pens and sticky notes

How to play 3-Question Mingle

To play 3-Question Mingle, ask each player to write down three open-ended questions on three separate sticky notes. Give your employees some example questions such as “Where do you see yourself in three years?” or “If you could bring five things with you on a desert island, what would you bring and why?”

When you say “Go!” the players will start to mingle. Once they find a pair, they each ask one of the three questions they wrote down earlier. After asking a question, they both swap one question.

After the time limit has elapsed, say, 10 minutes, ask your employees what interesting things they learned from one another.

Team-building exercises for remote teams

Data shows that remote work is on its way towards becoming the new norm. As of 2021, a study conducted by Owl Labs found that 16% of all companies worldwide are now 100% remote. What’s more 85% of managers believe that teams composed of remote workers will be the norm in the future, according to TECLA.

With this new shift in workplace dynamics, companies are forced to find new ways of connecting their workforce on a personal and professional level. A recent press release issued by The Video Conferencing Market predicted that the growth of virtual technology will reach a CAGR of 11.45% by 2026 that may come to $9 billion, a conclusion indicative of the recent rise in online communications.

21. Lightning Scavenger Hunts

Unlike the scavenger hunts we discussed earlier, Lightning Scavenger Hunts can be conducted online with remote teams. This game is a great way of energising your team at the beginning of your team building event, especially if your employees have just spent hours sat behind their computers.

Great for: Energisation, breaking the ice
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Players: 5-20
You’ll need: N/A

How to play Lightning Scavenger Hunt

To play Lightning Scavenger Hunt, the leader of the event will announce items that the players need to find in their homes as quickly as possible. Some examples of items could be “Find something that begins with the letter ‘L’” or “Bring back two items that are the colour yellow.”

Once the players hear the word “Go!” they’ll search for the items as quickly as they can. The first person to return with the correct items is the winner.

22. Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee competition is a household classic and serves as a great opportunity for your team to show off some linguistic skills. 

Great for: Listening skills
Duration: 10-20 minutes
Players: 5-10
You’ll need: N/A

How to play Spelling Bee

The host will make a list of words that the contestants must attempt to spell, starting simple but quickly increasing in difficulty as the game progresses. You can either offer points for correctly spelt words or eliminate players from the game if they answer incorrectly.

Why not incorporate “bonus rounds” as a chance for players to score additional points? Think spelling words backwards, or asking them to spell a word from a foreign language.

23. Guess the emoji board

Guess The Emoji Board is a rapid game that breaks the ice and gets your team laughing, and tests how well your team really know each other.

Great for: Breaking the ice
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Players: 5+
You’ll need: Screenshots of each player’s recently used emojis

How to play Guess The Emoji Board

To play Guess The Emoji Board, each player must send a private message to the hosts with an attached screenshot of their ‘recently used’ emoji board. One by one, the host will show an emoji board to the players who must guess who the board belongs to based on what they see.

There’s no real winner of this game but it’s a fun way of warming people up for the rest of the session.

24. Virtual Debate Club

The virtual debate club encourages members of your team to develop their public speaking skills. It’s a great way of bringing shyer team members out of their shells by practicing silly topics.

Great for: Communication skills, public speaking, critical thinking
Duration: 30 minutes
Players: 6+
You’ll need: N/A

How to play Virtual Debate Club

A virtual debate club can become a regular occurrence as a way of getting your team together. Decide how often and when the debate club will occur and announce this to your team.

At every event, two speakers will be asked to prepare a presentation about a topic, one arguing for and the other arguing against. “Should there be pineapple on pizzas?” Is an example of a light-hearted topic.

Players can use any means necessary to make their points heard including videos, images, graphs, surveys, etc. Once the presentations have ended, the audience must vote for the person they feel best conveyed their argument.

25. Integrate Donut with Slack

Donut is your very own online watercooler that can be fully integrated with your Slack workspace. The idea is to facilitate random yet lively conversation between employees via a dedicated channel.

Great for: Facilitating relationships, communication
Duration: N/A
Players: N/A
You’ll need: Slack and Donut installed

How to use Donut with Slack

To install Donut, make sure you already have Slack downloaded then integrate Donut with your slack workspace. Then, explain to your team what Donut is and how it is to be used.

In Donut, you have the option to either use pre-written conversation starters or make up your own. The conversation starters are designed to get your team discussing topics not related to work, enabling your employees to develop interpersonal relationships.

26. Personal “user manuals”

Personal “user manuals” are great tools for introducing new hires to the team during the onboarding period. Not only can new employees get a handle on how their colleagues like to work but they can get to know them on a personal level too.

This task is more applicable for smaller teams, as new hires aren’t likely to want to watch hundreds of videos about their colleagues.

Great for: Onboarding, building relationships
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Players: N/A
You’ll need: No equipment required

How to create personal user manuals

To set up personal “user manuals,” ask your employees to spend 5-10 minutes recording a short video of themselves with a camera or on their phone. In the videos, employees should introduce themselves, tell an interesting fact, and talk about how they like to work. This could be something like your manager preferring that you send them an email rather than call them.

Once your new employees have watched these videos, they’ll feel as though they know more about their colleagues or how they operate during work.

27. Teach your team a new skill

In response to the recent rise in remote teams, the online team-building event industry has sky-rocketed. It’s now easier than ever to learn new skills from the comfort of your living room sofa, so why not treat your staff to an exciting workshop that teaches them something new!

Great for: Skill development, company culture, building relationships
Duration: 1-2 hours
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Access to an exciting workshop

How to teach your team a new skill

Airbnb host many unique online experiences including cooking classes, cocktail workshops, dance classes, and coffee making masterclasses. Why not select a few and create a poll in Slack for team members to vote for their favourite.

28. The “Healthy Together” challenge

Looking to improve on team camaraderie? The “Healthy Together” challenge is a fun way of encouraging your team to strive towards a shared goal.

Great for: Company culture, wellness
Duration: Ongoing
Players: 6+
You’ll need: A spreadsheet for tracking goal commitments

How to play the “Healthy Together” challenge

To play the “Healthy Together” challenge, your team must agree on and commit to a shared challenge. This could be anything from healthy eating to daily exercise but the idea is to unify your workforce towards a specific goal.

Once your employees have agreed on a specific goal, make a calendar spreadsheet with all the names of the participants. When an employee completes the daily challenge they can put a “tick”, when they fail they should put a “cross”.

The person(s) with the most “ticks” next to their name is the winner and is awarded a prize.

29. Scheduled coffee breaks

In the office, those 15-minute coffee breaks are a golden opportunity for employees to connect and the same goes for remote teams. Facilitating short yet regular interactions between employees online is a great way of improving your company culture.

Great for: Company culture, building relationships
Duration: 15 minutes
Players: 2+
You’ll need: An online “hangout” room

How to organise scheduled coffee breaks

Create an online space employees can go to for their daily coffee break. Try to make coffee break times consistent so that the room becomes more lively (this can be difficult for teams that work from multiple time zones).

30. Five-Minute Book Talks

Encouraging your team to take up regular reading is an effective way of improving your employee’s skill sets. Furthermore, introducing five-minute book talks encourages your employees to share their opinions on a range of topics.

Great for: Skill development, public speaking
Duration: 5 minutes/person
Players: 4+
You’ll need: N/A

How to organise Five-Minute Book Talks

For 5-minute book talks to work effectively, participants must first choose the same book read and establish a deadline. Once the readers reach the deadline, participants will gather in a group call and take turns to discuss what they thought about the book.

5-minute book talks enable employees to share their opinions even when others might disagree which helps to build confidence.

Team-building games for inside the office

Organising team-building events in the office is practical for companies struggling to gather their workforce outside of office hours. Planning an office-based team building event creates a positive association between your employees and their workplace.

If you’re looking to give your employees a quick boost in morale, confidence, or engagement, hosting your team building activities in the office is a convenient and cost-effective solution.

31. The Communication Game

The communication game is a spin-off from the famous game “Telephone” in which players must attempt to transmit a message—made up of a series of physical movements—from one end of the line to the other.

The game tests employees observation and communication skills while encouraging shy players out of their shells.

Great for: Communication, breaking the ice
Duration: 10 minutes
Players: 8+
You’ll need: N/A

How to play The Communication Game

To play The Communication Game, organise the players into a line about arms-length apart, facing the same direction.

The first player must come up with a short mime routine consisting of two to three actions. They will then tap on the shoulder of the person in front of them (who will then turn to face them) and perform their sequence of movements.

The second player should watch carefully as they must then perform the same sequence to the person in front of them. There should be no talking or other forms of communicating during the game.

This process repeats until the last person in the line has seen and repeated the sequence of gestures. If the last sequence matches the starting sequence, the team has succeeded.

32. Office Escape

Escape rooms are a well-known team-building activity and lend themselves perfectly to the office environment. Although the quality will be lower than a professional escape room event, you can still captivate your players with a unique storyline and a series of difficult puzzles and challenges.

Great for: Critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, communication
Duration: 1-2 hours
Players: 5-15
You’ll need: A captivating storyline with a final objective, a large space, a series of problems and challenges to solve

How to play Office Escape

Draft a unique storyline that will guide your players through a series of challenges. It’s easiest to start with a final objective such as hacking the office computer to boost the Christmas party budget, then develop your puzzles and challenges from there.

Once you’ve crafted and laid out your office escape, the players must work as a team to complete their mission. You can inspire players to complete challenges faster by adding extra Christmas party drink credits for every successfully completed challenge. Be creative and have fun designing your very own office escape!

33. Shout Outs

Shouts Outs is a simple game designed to boost morale and encourage employees to acknowledge the achievements of others and themselves. The game can be incorporated into the working day and therefore doesn’t interrupt productivity.

Great for: Appreciation, boosting morale, public speaking
Duration: 2-3 minutes
Players: 1
You’ll need: N/A

How to play Shout Outs

To play Shout Outs, one person per day will get the chance to call out a recent achievement of themselves and an achievement of a colleague in the room. This fast-past game is an effortless way of boosting positivity and appreciation in the office.

34. Paper Chains

Paper Chains is a simple game that can be played by small and large groups. The game highlights the importance of communication and asks employees to work together to solve a problem.

Great for: Communication skills, problem-solving
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Sheets of paper, sticky tape, scissors

How to play Paper Chains

To play Paper Chains, divide your players into equal-sized groups and ask them to allocate a leader. Once a leader has been chosen, ask them to leave the room, where you will then explain the rules of the game in private.

The rules of the game: The aim of the game is to make the longest paper chain possible using the recourses provided. Players may use ONLY their dominant hand and no talking is allowed once the timer starts.

Once the rules have been explained, the leaders can re-enter the room where they now have 30 seconds to explain the rules to their team. After the 30 seconds has elapsed, the teams have three minutes to complete the challenge. The team with the longest paper chain at the end of the three minutes wins.

35. Blind Drawing

Blind Drawing is a simple game that can be played with as little as 2 players. The game tests players abilities to communicate, listen and innovate, based upon the instructions they’re given.

Great for: Teamwork, listing skills, communication skills
Duration: 2-3 minutes
Players: 2+
You’ll need: Pen, paper, a reference image

How to play Blind Drawing

To play Blind Drawing, ask the players to form pairs and have them sit down back to back. One player is given an image and the other is the pen and paper.

The person with the image tries to describe the image in front of them so that the other player can draw it, based only on the instructions they’re given. After a few minutes, ask the players to stop and encourage them to analyse their communication during the task.

36. Office FM

Office FM is all about sharing and listening to music and it’s great for boosting morale and encouraging employees to collaborate on a fun project.

Great for: Collaboration, boosting morale
Duration: N/A
Players: 2+
You’ll need: Access to a music streaming service

How to play Office FM

To play Office FM, invite team members to collaborate on a shared playlist on your chosen music streaming service. For example, you can suggest a different theme every week and ask each person to contribute two songs each.

37. Werewolf

Typically a game played by friends and families, Werewolf is a simple card game that requires cunning from both sides in order to win. The game improves critical thinking and group discussion skills which can have a positive effect in future meetings.

Great for: Critical thinking, group discussion, communication
Duration: 10-20 minutes
Players: 7-15
You’ll need: Werewolf card game

How to play Werewolf 

You can find a complete set of rules by heading over to the official Werewolf website.

38. Minefield

Minefield is a fantastic game for energising the room and testing your employee’s communication and listening skills. The rules are simple, you just need to find a large open space in your office.

Great for: Listening skills, communication skills, energisation 
Duration:
10 minutes
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Soft objects (balloons, cups, soft toys, etc.), a large open space

How to play Minefield

To play minefield, scatter your soft objects randomly on the floor then separate your players into teams and ask one of them to put on a blindfold. 

When the game starts, the other players must stay behind the starting line and call out verbal instructions to their blindfolded teammate. Whichever team’s blindfolded player reaches the finish line first without touching any of the objects wins. If all blindfolded players touch an object then the one who has travelled the furthest wins.

39. Memory Wall

Memory Wall is a great way of injecting some good vibes and positivity into your office space. The game encourages players to remember happy memories and show appreciation for their colleagues.

Great for: Boosting morale, building positivity, showing appreciation
Duration: 10-20 minutes
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Paper and pens, sticky tape, a space on the wall

How to play Memory Wall

To play Memory Wall, gather your team and hand each participant a pen and a piece of paper. Then, give them some time to survey the room and note down any positive memories they have connected with that person. These could be projects they’ve worked on together, a lunch break they enjoyed, or a shared experience.

When the time is up, hand out new pieces of paper to each person and ask them to team up with the person with whom they share a memory and make a drawing of it together.

Once you have all the memories and drawings, pin them up on the wall to spread some positivity and colour throughout the office.

40. Birthday Line Up

Birthday Line Up is a fun icebreaker to introduce at the beginning of your team building session. The game is simple and doesn’t require any props which makes it perfect for the office.

Great for: Problem-solving, communication
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Players: 7-10
You’ll need: N/A

How to play Birthday Line Up

To play Birthday Line Up, have the players stand in a line side by side. The aim of the game is for players to arrange themselves into the order of earliest birthday to latest birthday (month and day only) before the timer runs out.

Easy right? Well, there’s a catch! Players cannot speak but must use hand signals and body movements to communicate their birth date.

Team-building games for outside the office

Encouraging your employees to engage in activities outside the office doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg and it’s great for improving interpersonal relationships.

Activities outside the office often include well-being exercises that aim to boost mental and physical health. A study conducted by the APA (American Psychological Foundation) found that “62% of adults who say they exercise or walk to help manage stress say the technique is very or extremely effective.”

Encouraging employees to interact outside the safety of the office can make people uncomfortable, so bear this in mind when selecting your team building activities.

41. After-work running club

Encourage your employees to form an after-work running club to boost both mental and physical health. Showing your employees that your care about their well-being is a great way of improving your company culture.

Great for: Well-being, company culture
Duration: 20 minutes
Players: 2+
You’ll need: N/A

How to organise an after-work running club

To form a successful running club, make sure to set the expectations for the group before starting. Help your employees to understand that the group is open to all ages and fitness levels and is designed to be fun!

Starting small is the best way to encourage hesitant newcomers to join up. In the beginning, plan your runs to last no longer than 15-20 minutes.

42. Employee beach day

Some companies are lucky enough to be located close to white sandy beaches but don’t worry if yours isn’t, you can still play these beach-themed games at your local park or recreation field.

Great for: Well-being, company culture, boosting morale, teamwork
Duration: 3-4 hours
Players: 8+
You’ll need: Equipment for beach games, e.g. volleyball court and ball, rope for tug of war, etc.

How to organise an employee beach day

To make your beach team-building day a success, make sure to keep your employees engaged with various games and activities, after all, your employees won’t learn much from topping up their suntan.

Some games that are perfect for the beach include beach volleyball, beach tennis, sandcastle building competitions, and tug of war. These are just some examples, but you can find many more online or invent your own!

43. Treetop adventure

Not for the faint-hearted, treetop adventures will test your nerve as you traverse wobbly rope bridges and zip wire through the forest canopy. Experiences like these can boost your employee’s confidence levels as they try new things and push their limits. More confident employees will also learn the importance of being supportive and encouraging towards their colleagues.

Great for: Well-being, pushing boundaries, self-confidence
Duration: 1-2 hours
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Access to a local treetop adventure park

How to organise a treetop adventure

Search for a high rope adventure course in your area and enquire about booking the course for a large group.

44. Culinary experience

Teaching your employees new skills is a sure-fire way of showing them that you value their services. Cookery classes are a good option because they are usually cost-effective and easy to find in your local area.

Great for: Well-being, skill development, company culture
Duration: 1-2 hours
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Access to a local cookery class

How to organise a culinary experience

Suggest the idea to your employees and ask them to vote for the type of cookery class they would like to attend. It could be Asian, Italian, Middle-Eastern—you name it! The important thing is that your team come together to learn something new.

45. Bubble football

Looking for a team-building that’s light-hearted and competitive? Bubble football is a hilarious way of getting your employees out of the office and competing against one another in a safe environment.

Great for: Well-being, competitiveness, boosting morale
Duration: 1 hour
Players: 6+
You’ll need: Access to a bubble football facility

How to play bubble football

Locate and contact a centre near you offering bubble football as an activity.

46. Lunchtime picnic

Looking for something a little more mellow? Lunchtime picnics are a great way of incorporating regular team-building into your employee’s schedules.

Great for: Well-being, building relationships, company culture
Duration: 30 minutes - 1 hour
Players: 4+
You’ll need: Lunch and access to a local park or green area

How to organise a lunchtime picnic

Instead of the standard lunchbox in the office cafeteria, encourage your employees to head out into nature and enjoy a picnic outdoors. You can facilitate this team-building activity by providing a picnic table and chairs or some blankets.

47. Water gun fight

Get out of the office and grant your employees the perfect opportunity to blow off some steam with a high-energy water gun fight.

Great for: Destressing, energisation, teamwork
Duration: 30 minutes
Players: 8+
You’ll need: Access to a local park, various water guns (at least one per person)

How to organise a water gun fight

The day before the water gun fight, remember to ask everybody to bring with them a spare pair of clothes they can put on after the fight—they’re about to get very wet!

With your team, head over to a large park or recreation field and split your group into two teams. If you have them, you can give each team coloured bibs or ribbons to wear to help identify who is on which team.

Place your water guns randomly over a small area then have your teams stand together at equal distances from the water guns. At the sound of the whistle, both teams will run to retrieve a gun for themselves and start firing at the opposing team.

The game doesn’t need to have any rules, but you can incorporate more if you wish, only make sure no innocent bystanders are at risk of getting soaked!

48. Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness is a great way of strengthening your team while giving back to the community. Engaging in charitable activities is an effective way of boosting morale and improving company culture.

Great for: Teamwork, morale, company culture
Duration: 1 hour
Players: 8+
You’ll need: One smartphone per team with the Random Acts of Kindness mobile app installed

How to play Random Acts of Kindness

This game challenges teams to complete as many random acts of kindness as they can before the time runs out. The mobile app presents the teams with challenges to complete like helping somebody pack their shopping at the grocery store or helping somebody to carry heavy items.

49. Ziplining

Ziplining is a great activity that gets your team out of the office and challenges them to face their fears. Activities like this are great for team building as they encouraging employees to support their peers which develop a greater sense of camaraderie.

Great for: Confidence, team bonding
Duration: 1 hour
Players: N/A
You’ll need: Access to a local ziplining location

How to organise a ziplining experience

Check your local ziplining listings to book a session for your team.

50. Organise a team-building retreat

Planning a team-building retreat for your employees is the ultimate way to show them that you value their contribution. A team-building retreat gets your employees out of the office and divides their standard routine—great for improving engagement, morale, and productivity.

Great for: Engagement, morale, productivity, company culture, resolving tensions, communication
Duration: A few days to a week
Players: The whole company
You’ll need: Access to a local park, various water guns (at least one per person)

How to organise a team-building retreat

To organise a successful team-building retreat there’s a lot to consider. What dates will you choose? What forms of transport will your employees take to arrive at the location? What type of accommodation is required? The list goes on.

Fortunately, some companies do all the hard work for you, like Surf Office. Working with a retreat organiser puts you in contact with experts in the field, people with years of experience sourcing and booking incredible locations and team-building activities for your company.

Relax and let Surf Office organise your team-building retreat for you

When you work together with a team-building event organiser, you get all the benefits of team building without the stress. Surf Office has years of experience planning successful team-building retreats for companies such as Google, WordPress, Stripe, and Shopify.

Working with Surf Office grants you access to a unique network that guarantees you the best possible prices. Not only are our retreats impactful and cost-effective, but working with us saves you valuable time, so you and your team can continue doing what you do best.

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