What Is Team-Building?

Definition, process, benefits.

Thinking of planning an offsite team-building?

At Surf Office, we apply our industry expertise to save you valuable time and money when planning your team-building retreat.


team-building | noun
The process of encouraging a team to work well together by having them participate in activities and games.

Best team-building activities in Europe

Comprised of over 40 countries, Europe is the international homeland of culture, history, and innovation. With so much diversity, every country offers a unique team-building experience, from surfing in the Atlantic to sampling craft beer in a local brewery. Over time, we’ve tried and tested hundreds of brilliant team-building activities in Europe, click the links below to see our favourites.

Best team-building activities in North America

Steeped in art and culture and home to numerous natural wonders, the USA and Canada offer boundless opportunities for an incredible team-building event. Each state is a unique experience, from an executive meeting amidst the canyons of Utah to a colourful cocktail workshop in downtown LA. Since 2013, Surf Office has worked diligently to find the most effective team-building activities in North America, click the links below to see our favourites.

Best team-building activities in Asia-Pacific

With its rich blend of cultures and stunning landscapes, Asia-Pacific is a prime destination for unforgettable team-building experiences. From sushi-making classes in Tokyo to thrilling water sports in Bali, this region offers diverse opportunities for team bonding. Explore our curated list of top team-building activities in Asia-Pacific below.


  • What are the best team-building activities?
    The team-building activities you decide to include in your event depend on several factors. What skills do you want to improve? What kind of culture do you want to create? How big is your budget? How many people will attend the event? All these questions need to be answered before you can start selecting the best team-building activities for you.
  • Are team-building events beneficial?
    Investing in team-building events is known to improve company culture, strengthen communication, boost morale, improve engagement, and much more. Watch how Mattermost identified excellent innovation opportunities at their offsite retreat in Lisbon.
  • How does team building work?
    Team building isn’t just about playing games and hanging out. There’s always a defined strategy and a clear desired outcome. Team building events are used to your team together, encouraging them to develop actionable skills through the use of games and activities. These events help managers to identify individual strengths within the team that can be put to good use with various tasks. 
  • Does team building work for remote teams?
    As more and more companies gradually switch to working remotely, team building has become an increasingly hot topic. Developing a strong company culture and facilitating effective communication channels is a challenge for remote companies, but it can be easily solved with a well-planned virtual retreat.
  • Where should I host my team-building retreat?
    Deciding on the right location to host your company retreat depends on several factors. You’ll want to consider things like your budget, the logistics of travelling with a group, the type of location you require, what sort of activities you want to do, and your current team’s work schedule.
  • When should I plan my offsite team-building retreat?
    Deciding when to organise your team-building retreat is not easy, but it’s a very important decision. Typically, Spring and Autumn are the most popular times of the year. Winter can also work, as team members are often fresh and relaxed after the Christmas period. Summer is challenging because prices are much higher, and employees might already have holidays booked.

The team-building process:

  1. Identify the need for your team-building event
    Successful team-building events are strategically designed for a specific purpose. Before you go ahead with planning your team-building event, clearly define its purpose.
  2. Define the required skills for completing objectives
    Once you know the reason behind your event, it’s time to pinpoint the key skill requirements that you want your team to improve or acquire.
  3. Start planning your team-building activities
    With a clear vision of the skills you want to develop, it’s now easier to comprise a list of activities that align with your desired outcome. This stage is very important as every team-building activity serves a unique purpose.
  4. Allocate roles during the event
    The desired outcome of your event will dictate how you assign roles for your event. For example, if you’re looking to improve the working relationships between different levels of the company hierarchy, you’ll want to encourage employees and managers to connect as much as possible throughout the event.
  5. Communicate the plan and any expectations
    Don’t leave your team in the dark. Be open about what you’re hoping to do, why you’re doing it and how you’re going to achieve it. Be clear about dates, times and locations, and ask your employees for their input.
  6. Identify strengths and weaknesses
    Once the event is underway, it’s a great opportunity to spot strengths and weaknesses in your team. This information is useful for making important decisions later on.
  7. Analyse and debrief
    Spend some time analysing the results of your team building event—did you meet your desired outcome? What changes have you seen throughout the event? How could it be improved next time?
  8. Dissolve and repeat
    At the end of your team-building event, dissolve your team and repeat the process. Don’t forget to ask for feedback from your employees.

Why invest in team building?

lisbon space 3 proxyclick team
Reach your goals faster
A team that understands the company vision and communicates effectively will hit targets in a shorter amount of time. Better communication helps to set expectations from the outset, eliminating unnecessary reviews and edits to completed work.
talentio surfing
Inspire healthy competition
Light a figurative fire in the bellies of your employees with some team-building fun. Nothing motivates people to push themselves more than some healthy competition. The spirit that comes alive during team-building games spills over into your employee’s work lives too.
After a hackathon session in the Surf Office workspace
Foster a culture of innovation
Happier employees are more engaged and demonstrate improved productivity. Not only that, but team-building strengthens interpersonal connections and cultivates a healthy environment for creative thinking and innovative ideas.

The benefits of team building

  • Improved company culture
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Enhanced employee engagement
  • Reduced absentee rates
  • Lower employee turnover
  • Improved productivity
  • Stronger interpersonal relationships
  • Encourages creativity
  • Builds trust and boosts morale
  • Better communication

Thinking of planning an offsite team-building?

At Surf Office, we apply our industry expertise to save you valuable time and money when planning your team-building retreat.