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70 Insanely Fun Team Building Activities, Games, & Exercises For Work In 2021 (Not “Trust Falls”)

By April 15, 2021 May 14th, 2021 123 Comments

Team Building Activities for Work

Believe it or not, fun team building activities for work are critically important to the success of your business.

In fact, the personal bonds formed between team members actually give your company a competitive edge.

How does this work?

It’s all about engagement. There’s a pretty clear link between the personal bonds between your team members and their engagement level. A recent Gallup study found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%, while people with a self-described best friend at work are seven times more likely to be fully engaged at work.

Don’t believe us? Comparably CEO and engagement expert Jason Nazar explains why that is and how he pulls it off in this clip from the Brand Builder podcast.

Another Gallup study reported that engaged companies consistently outperform the competition when it comes to things like profits, productivity, and turnover. (Pretty important stuff if you ask us.) And it stands to reason – the closer you are to your co-workers, the happier you’ll be at work, and the more likely you’ll be to sacrifice your discretionary time to help them succeed.

Here’s the best part – team building events don’t have to be boring and lame!

We asked some of the most engaged, tightly knit companies out there to show us how to do team building right. We’ve broken them down into categories to help you decide which ideas might work best for your company.

Team Building Activities For Work: Small Groups

When you have a small group of 10 team members or less, you pretty much have your pick of team building activities. You have enough people to make hybrid team activities and competitions exciting, but you also don’t have so many people that you can’t spring for an off-site affair or something a little more involved. You can do almost anything and still rest assured that everyone experiences the most important elements of team building, including communication, collaboration, and camaraderie.

1) Shark Tank

“Find out if your ideas really have teeth.”

shark_tank

Ideas are fun. People love having them. They love hearing them. They love sharing them.

Inspired by the television series Shark Tank, this activity allows a small group of people to do all of the above during a festive pitch session. There’s only one absolute rule: everyone must come prepared to get everyone else as excited about their brilliant idea as they are. (What they use to cultivate this excitement — presentations, models, diagrams, stick figures, skits, etc. — is totally up to them.)

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, communication, strategic thinking, and listening.

Why we love it: Every idea presented will accomplish something positive. The meticulously planned ideas will be inspiring and might even develop into viable products and initiatives. The outrageous ideas will get lots of laughs, but honestly, even those could end up sparking your company’s next big innovation.

Next step to get started: Tell everyone to watch a few episodes of Shark Tank and start preparing their pitches. Nominate a few investor sharks, and get your applause hands ready for the big event.

Pro-Tip: Make sure you aren’t pitching your innovative ideas to a room full of hungry sharks. Keep your panelist’s brains (and stomachs) well fed with carefully curated care packages through Caroo.

team-happy-hour

 

2) Bond Over Some Brews

“Take advantage of the team glue known as beer.”

group-beer-tasting-tanks

Offering both virtual and in-person events, City Brew Tours knows how to harness the bonding power of beer. Sample the best beers your city offers while getting to know your team better and enjoying the side dish of fun facts your expert host is serving up.

Skills this work activity develops: Trust, communication, and empathy.

Why we love it: Wonderful conversation, colorful commentary, and crisp refreshing beers make this event deliciously unforgettable. The bonding and the flavors pair up to make one powerfully fond memory.

Next step to get started: Visit City Brew Tours.

“After three months of working as distributed teams, we’re extra grateful for the moments we get to hang out with our coworkers again. We spent the month of May hosting several virtual home brewing sessions with City Brew Tours — they managed to lead six groups of beer brewing amateurs through the brewing process, armed with follow-up instructions on carbonating and bottling. (We managed to figure out the drinking part ourselves.) If we can’t grab a beer together, making our own from the comfort of our kitchens may be the next best thing!” -Harder Mechanical Contractors

 

3) Escape Room

“Your team is your only escape plan.”

Escape-Room

No phones, no Google, and no helpful hints. This activity challenges you and your team to make an escape using only your collective wits. Put your heads together to work through clues, agree on the next steps, and act as one (like the Rose family), if you ever hope to escape that is.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, trust, communication, leadership, and collaboration.

Why we love it: Players may find themselves navigating exciting scenarios — hunting for gold, swimming among ancient ruins, or breaking out of an infamous prison — but what they’ll remember most is feeling united as a team. Whenever everyone’s ideas and contributions coalesce into that epic moment of escape, you’ll all feel an unforgettable sense of shared victory.

Next step to get started: Visit The Escape Game.

“This was different from other team building activities because it was tied to an immersive experience…they learn by doing something they can relate to that is outside of their normal day to day.” -Igloo

 

4) Scavenger Hunt

“The closest you’ll ever get to a treasure hunt.”

scavenger hunt seizes anyone’s attention. These activities offer that sweet thrill of the chase human beings just can’t resist. Chase down clues, find hidden items and feel the sweet rush of following a bread-crumb trail of mini-mysteries on your way to the culminating final goal.

The urgency and the mystery of a scavenger hunt also inspire people to cooperate in record time.

Skills this work activity develops: Collaboration, critical thinking, and decision making.

Why we love it: It provides thrills, adventure, excitement, and an unforgettable opportunity to share a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

Next step to get started: Visit Scavify.

“Thank you! We had such a wonderful time and received amazing feedback. Several of our senior leaders said it was the best event they had ever participated in with AB – which is quite a compliment! Thanks for all of your help and responsiveness. We really had a wonderful time!” – Anheuser-Busch

 

5) Dog Park Showdown

“Make sure everyone knows your pet is an absolute champion / Instagram model.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Henry + Baloo (@henrythecoloradodog)

Head to the local dog park with pets in tow. Then simply take turns having your pets complete some of these hilarious viral internet challenges. (You can even create a unique hashtag for your event so people can easily find and rewatch their fabulous footage.)

Skills this work activity develops: Trust, communication, and empathy.

Why we love it: Magicians use the art of misdirection to create seemingly impossible illusions. This activity uses misdirection to maximize fun. By redirecting attention from participants to their pets, people are able to let their hair down, laugh a little louder, talk a little more, and get to know each other a little better.

Next step to get started: Find your park.

Looking for more activities for employee engagement? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Large Groups

Team building events for large groups need to have enough structure and excitement to get and keep everyone engaged and involved in equal measure. Events that get group members working on one common goal are ideal for cultivating strong bonds in immediate teams and among the larger collective.

6) Field Day

“Help each other rediscover FUN.”

field-day

An epic virtual or in-person field day, courtesy of The Go Game, is exactly what you need to capture the full attention of an entire large group. Before you know it, your polished, professional teammates will be participating in play with the careless joy of elementary school kids at recess. They’ll express themselves organically. They’ll communicate without overthinking. They’ll rekindle a spark of joy for both life and work.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, leadership, and collaboration.

Why we love it: A professionally managed event is more than just convenient. It’s also invaluable for the teamwork benefits you’ll get during your special day. The Go Game’s expert event hosts know exactly how to bring out every ounce of fun and connection possible, even in ridiculously large groups. They’ll make sure the engagement levels stay high and that participation is universal and also enthusiastic.

Next step to get started: Visit The Go Game.

“Our team’s game today was awesome! This was the most effective and fun remote team building experience I have seen.” – Elizabeth Cooper, Google

 

7) The Office-Style Office Mockumentary

“Capture the magic and mayhem of life at your office.”

the_office

Make a mockumentary? No, we’re not asking you to hire camera crews and lighting specialists. When you’re making a film just for the fun and enjoyment of your team, you can pull it off using your phones and some basic software.

This activity provides two team building touchpoints in one. People have fun during the making and they’ll have even more fun when you gather virtually or in-person for the big premiere.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, teamwork, communication, and decision making.

Why we love it: Teams have to collaborate and communicate to make the mockumentary. Plus, while watching the finished product will be hilarious, it might also provide a few genuine takeaways about how to treat and talk to one another. By poking some good-natured fun at the state of your company culture, you might find some genuinely fulfilling ways to improve it.

Next step to get started: Learn some tricks for capturing The Office’s signature style.

 

8) Build Something For A Cause

“Build team bonds while building cool stuff.”

Build a bike

This activity follows a simple formula: Build + Donate = Unity. Build something, donate it to charity, and bask in the rewards together.

One could argue that “building things together,” is the original team building activity, what our ancient ancestors discovered to be magical when they bunkered down to create their first permanent homes.

You’ll unite behind a crystal-clear and tangible objective. You’ll feel the epicness of shared accomplishment as you admire the finished product. You’ll feel deeply bonded as you hand off your donation.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, trust, and communication.

Why we love it: This activity allows everyone to see the result of their teamwork. They don’t have to wonder if they contributed enough or did a good job; the end product will tell all.

Next step to get started: Visit Outback Team Building.

 

9) An Anything Tournament

“The only rules of this tournament are the ones you make up.”

anything_tournament

Pick your favorite sport, board games, brain teaser, thought experiment — anything — and turn it into a tournament. Pretty much any game imaginable can be stretched into a tournament-style afternoon of fun: ping pong, Mario Kart, Jenga, rock-paper-scissors, dodgeball, and the list goes on and on.

In fact, the more unique you make the central activity, the more memorable this tournament will be.

Skills this work activity develops: Collaboration and critical thinking.

Why we love it: Healthy competition and engaging games served up with a dose of hilarity is a recipe for prime bonding and memory-making.

Next step to get started: Learning the basics of hosting a gaming tournament or let the pros handle it.

 

10) Corporate Castaways

“Your pass to turn survival into an epic game.”

corporate_castaways

Teammates dive into a series of challenges inspired by the Survivor TV series. While this activity gets everyone developing skills they need for day-to-day work, the high stakes inspire players to infuse their actions with an extra dose of strategic thinking, cooperation, and pure mettle.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, trust, communication, collaboration, and decision making.

Why we love it: It wraps what could be an average corporate training model in an engaging premise and takes it outside for extra fun and a hit of mood-lifting sunshine.

Next step to get started: Visit Outback Team Building.

Looking for more activities for large groups? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Social Distancing

Socially distanced team building events have to fill a tall order: bringing people together while also keeping them a safe distance apart. Hybrid team activities, preferably outdoor or virtual ones, with a physical emphasis provide plenty of laughs. Keep the events simple with minimal instruction and communication required. (Both tend to create confusion when you’re keeping your distance and also wearing a mask.)

11) Egg Toss

“Will your team cooperate or crack?”

egg_toss

Humans have never been able to resist the challenge that a simple fragile egg presents. We love to test every breaking point. This activity is no exception. You and your partner have to stay perfectly synced as you toss an egg back and forth, creating a perfect mix of tension and cooperation, compounded by a time limit.

There’s only one question: Can you and your teammate keep your precious egg safe?

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, and trust.

Why we love it: It’s simplicity at its most effective. The objective is clear. The premise is simple. The instructions are self-explanatory. However, you’ll find deep complexities in all the incredible ways the pairs go about achieving their objective. Film the event so everyone can watch teamwork playing out in real-time and discuss critical learning points they may have missed in the heat of the moment.

Next step to get started: Get the egg toss rules.

 

12) Silent Disco

“That’s right. Your team dances to the beat of your own collective drum.”

silent_disco

Turn a simple dance party into a more structured activity by adding a little challenge: everyone has to freeze in place when you pause your music unexpectedly. In addition to laughing hysterically, be sure to take pictures or screenshots during the pause. You’re absolutely going to want to review them later.

Skills this work activity develops: Trust, communication, empathy, and listening.

Why we love it: Laughter, physical activity, and shared vulnerability are the perfect recipe for powerful bonding.

Next step to get started:

  • Create and share a Spotify playlist
  • Ask everyone to meet at a local park or beach with their mobile devices and headphones in tow
  • Help everyone arrange themselves into “dancing zones” that are at least 6 feet apart
  • Pull up the playlist
  • Remind everyone to open their Playback settings and set Crossfade to 3 seconds so everyone’s songs will end at the same time
  • Countdown
  • Press play at the same time
  • Dance, laugh, repeat

 

13) BYOBBB: Blankets, Balls, And Beverages

“Get everybody in the same place and let the fun take it from there.”

BYOBBB

Post up at a local park for free-for-all fun. Don’t plan any specific activities, but come prepared to give everyone’s (socially distanced) suggestions a try. Make it a BYOBBB event on all fronts by having everyone arrive with their own blankets, balls, and beverages. You might end up tossing a frisbee, inventing frisbee tag, or even kicking the can.

The best part is that you just never know.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, trust, and communication.

Why we love it: It captures the spontaneous excitement of gathering with the neighborhood kids just to see where the wonder of play leads you.

Next step to get started: This social distancing idea for kids will inspire you.

 

14) Nerf Battle

“Tag, you’re fun!”

nerf-war

The warning shot goes up into the air…

Don’t worry too much; the shot in question came out of a Nerf gun. But you better get moving because the other team wants to tag you out of the game as soon as possible.

Play a Nerf gun battle as you would play classic tag. Instead of hitting members of the other team with your hands, hit them with handy Nerf guns that allow you to keep a pandemic safe 6 feet of distance between you and your opponents.

Skills this work activity develops: Communication, leadership, and decision making.

Why we love it: It helps players channel a special kind of pure childlike joy. You start out chasing each other around, but you end up rolling on the ground laughing, feeling like best friends forever.

Next step to get started: Learn how to have a Nerf war.

“It might not seem like the most traditional team building exercise, but here at YouEarnedIt we believe in celebrating our accomplishments in whatever way makes our employees the happiest. The same day we learned that YouEarnedIt won the title of Best Place to Work in Austin, we held our first ever Nerf Battle Royale. Our employees pooled together their YouEarnedIt points to fund and launch what turned out to be one of the most powerful team building exercises. For 30 minutes, the entire office became a battleground where strategy, collaboration, and out-of-the-box thinking meant the difference between life and (virtual) death.” -Tim Ryan, VP of Marketing

 

15) Creative Contest

“Let the inner artists out to play.”

creative_contest

Give everyone a chance to tap into (and show off) their creative side. Unlike other team building activities, the unifying magic of this activity doesn’t come from co-creation; it comes from the sharing of individual creations.

Simply ask everyone to independently create pieces — stories, poems, paints, songs, or, anything else you want. The true bonding happens when everyone’s pieces come together in a collection that magically captures your group’s personality.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, trust, and empathy.

Why we love it: This activity highlights what it means to be a team on a new level. It shows that feelings of togetherness can come even from sharing ideas developed independently. (It’s also perfect for adhering 100% to social distancing guidelines and also making introverts feel super comfortable.)

Next step to get started:

  • Outline a few simple rules
  • Announce the contest
  • Collect submissions
  • Use a social voting tool to democratize the judging process
  • Announce and celebrate the winners via employee recognition software, such as NectarHR

Looking for more activities for social distancing at work? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Zoom

A Zoom activity has to have the perfect balance of engagement and passive entertainment. You want everyone to mingle and chat, but you also don’t want them getting fatigued or overwhelmed in the first 10 minutes. These virtual team building activities either have plenty of structure or revolve around a central element of entertainment that guides conversations during short breaks.

16) Team Movie Night

“This easy-peasy activity is a real crowd-pleaser.”

netflix_watch_party

A low-key movie night is a perfect way to make people feel bonded over Zoom. Like going to movie theaters in those long-forgotten days of yore, the important part of this activity is that everyone’s brains and eyeballs are engaging in a shared cinematic experience. You can easily achieve this over Zoom, and you won’t have to hear everyone slurping on soda or crunching on popcorn.

Skills this work activity develops: Communication, empathy, and listening.

Why we love it: This activity couldn’t be easier, but it’s also a real crowd-pleaser. The movie focus eases the pressure while also allowing everyone to chat and bond as much as they like.

Next step to get started: Check out Hulu Watch Party or Netflix Party.

 

17) Virtual Murder Mystery

“Not even Zoom can hide red hands from you and your team.”

Virtual Murder Mystery Party

Cue The Office theme song… Michael Scott enters… “There’s been a murder…”

In all honesty, Michael was actually on to something! Solving a murder mystery can be a great way to bond with your team. Check out Outback’s Virtual Clue Murder Mystery for all types of mystery games that are designed for both the physical and virtual workplaces that help to develop teamwork, communication, and culture building.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Why we love it: Going with a turnkey event like this means all the details are planned out, and you even benefit from the convenience and added fun of an expert host. You can rest assured that everything won’t just go smoothly, but also that everyone will have an amazing time.

Next step to get started: Explore a Virtual Clue Murder Mystery to get custom pricing.

 

18) Organize Some Laughter

“Get silly to build serious team bonds.”

laughter-on-call

If alcohol is the social lubricant, then laughter could be considered social superglue. It can bring together people who have absolutely nothing in common. It can make people once separated by tension feel strong bonds. It can make even giant groups of people feel like long-lost friends.

Skills this work activity develops: Trust, communication, and empathy.

Why we love it: Laughter is free, exhilarating, and unbelievably fuss-free. When you bring in an activity host who knows how to make it flow, the benefits are immeasurable. Science suggests laughter can cut down stress, bring people together, and elevate mood. Plus, it’s also contagious. Get a few people going and it’s all a delightful downhill slide from there.

Next step to get started: Visit Laughter on Call to plan a super fun comedy and improv night.

 

19) Virtual Game Night

“Put your virtual game face on.”

virtual-game-night

There are so many kinds of games, each delightful for a different reason. A virtual game night is your chance to spotlight your absolute favorites, playing the best of the best in a back-to-back marathon of gaming awesomeness that everyone will love.

Skills this work activity develops: Leadership, collaboration, and decision making.

Why we love it: Out-of-the-box games are fun and familiar. Just mentioning a popular game is often enough to get people excited. Plus, most people will already know how to play. This means you can maximize the fun while minimizing the prep work and instruction.

Next step to get started: Check out these virtual game night ideas, including:

 

20) Virtual Yoga/Mindfulness Session

“Feel that special team flow without using any words.”

dog_yoga

During a group yoga/mindfulness session, you may not be outwardly communicating and collaborating, but you’re tapping into a deeper sense of connection. As you subconsciously sync your movements and your breathing, you’re connecting through the collective unconsciousness that feels effortless but strengthens your team bonds.

Skills this work activity develops: Trust, collaboration, and empathy.

Why we love it: This activity delivers benefits on the individual and also the group level. Individual practitioners may experience less stress and elevated moods. Together, you’ll feel a magical sense of group energy and support.

Next step to get started: Browse Blueboard’s wellness options.

Looking for more resources for virtual team building? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Happy Hour

A toast to a good day’s work, a happy hour is the perfect punctuation mark to close off a productive day or to move on from a not-so-productive day. These events are short, sweet, and wonderfully low-key. If you’re sharing a few apres-work sips and smiles with coworkers, then you can call it a happy hour no matter where you are or what you’re sipping.

21) Mixology Virtual Happy Hour

“Be your own bartender.”

sourced-cocktails-virtual-happy-hour

Tell everyone to bust out the cocktail shakers and aprons they never use. Tonight, they’re the bartenders. Bond with your team as you learn how to expertly measure, muddle, and mix ingredients into delicious and Instagram-worthy cocktails.

Learn techniques professional bartenders swear by and also ask clarifying questions about why and how to do it all.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: You get to have the same quality conversations you might have while passively sipping cocktails at a bar. But with this experience, you get the added benefit of learning a ton about professional cocktail craft and bartending history while perfecting that friendly, yet inaccessible, bartender smile.

Next step to get started: Book your event with an expert mixologist.

 

22) Poker Night

“Recognize each other’s poker faces to reach a new level of friendship.”

poker-night

Good company, delicious snacks, high stakes, and plenty of mental stimulation aren’t the only things that make a classic poker night so engaging. Poker also delivers value through all the things that happen “below the cards.”

As you play, you’ll get to know the usually unnoticed ticks and nonverbal communication habits of your teammates. You get to know them on a deeper level.

Skills this work activity develops: Trust, communication, and decision making.

Why we love it: Poker is the perfect backdrop for serious team bonding. The play is fun and stimulating, but it doesn’t stop players from participating in the most important part of the happy hour: connecting and conversing with coworkers.

Next step to get started: Get classic Poker instructions or let a dealer host a virtual poker tournament.

 

23) Happy Hour Themes

“Amp up your happy hour with the perfect theme.”

happy-hour

Breathe new life into a classic happy hour with exciting themes. Themes give your happy hour a focusing personality, tying all your activities and conversations together to create a cohesive, engaging, and memorable event.

When you leverage a happy hour theme, you give your guests ideas for costumes, decorations, snacks, and even conversation starters. It smooths out any awkwardness and generally helps everyone have more fun.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and collaboration.

Why we love it: Selecting a happy hour theme couldn’t be easier, but it adds so much punch to your event. It spells the difference between “fun” and “unforgettable.”

Next step to get started:  Check out these happy hour themes, including:

  • Future Decades
  • Murder Mystery
  • Poetry Reading

 

24) GeoGuessr

“Win happy hour and explore the world.”

geoguessr

During this online game, you and your happy hour guests will peek at a picture and try to guess its location of origin by dragging an icon around a map. If this sounds easy enough, then you’ll be delightfully surprised by how challenging it actually is. As you play, you’ll learn about the world and maybe even hear some amazing stories of all the places you never knew your team members had been.

Skills this work activity develops: Critical thinking and listening.

Why we love it: Talking about travel — past travel, travel plans, travel dreams — is a universally adored conversation topic. It can excite and animate anyone, and this game provides plenty of opportunities to bring it up.

Next step to get started: Play GeoGuessr.

 

25) Virtual Alcohol Tasting

“Raise a glass to digital bars without borders.”

virtual_alcohol_tasting

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic led many wineries, distilleries, and breweries to shutter their tasting rooms. But the drinking and the gathering live on in full force in the virtual world.

A virtual alcohol tasting blends a bit of the old normal with a bit of the new normal. You still get to deeply connect with your co-workers, but you can meet them online (wearing your pajamas if you want) instead of at the local bar.

Skills this work activity develops: Communication and empathy.

Why we love it: You get to sample beverages from the best of the best purveyors around the world while enjoying the company of your favorite people. Best of all, you get to do it all from the comfort of your living room, which (in addition to being as cozy as a dream) means you don’t have to worry about designated drivers or rideshares.

Next step to get started: Pick one of these virtual alcohol tasting ideas, including offerings from City Brew Tours and Confetti’s Virtual Wine Tasting.

Looking for more activities for happy hour? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Office

Team building activities for the office simply make work-life more awesome. Whether you’re taking some time to get to know your office mates, giving people feel-good recognition, or working on some new leadership skills while in good company, you walk away from these events with fresh bonds, fresh skills, and fresh perspectives that will enrich your work environment.

26) Make A Team Playlist

“Create your team’s signature sound.”

Put your heads together to make the most amazing playlist in history. Or better yet, create a new best-ever playlist every single week. Explore the songs others have selected and make complementary selections. Enjoy listening to the entire thing and hearing a little bit of everyone’s personality come through. You’ll love how the whole thing, taken together, somehow captures the magic that is your team.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, collaboration, and empathy.

Why we love it: Listening to your favorite music is uplifting, energizing, rewarding, and pleasurable. All those good things are amplified (pun intended) when you share your favorite music with others.

Next step to get started: Visit Spotify Collaborative playlists for how-tos. Choose a theme and ask everyone to send in two songs that align.

 

27) Queen’s Gambit Chess Competition

“Face off during the ultimate game of strategy.”

queens-gambit

Quiet, yet brimming with below-the-surface action, chess is a perfect game for the office. It’s a fun way for both observers and players to learn, and it cultivates a quiet bonding as you learn more about how your teams’ minds work. As you anticipate moves and picture outcomes, you’ll also build up your strategic thinking chops.

Skills this work activity develops: Strategic thinking, critical thinking, empathy, and decision making.

Why we love it: It involves quiet strategy, pristine focus, and understated thrills. It gets you problem-solving independently while also absorbing the moves and plans of your opponents. Players refine their ability to read people, an invaluable skill in day-to-day office work.

Next step to get started: Learn how to play Chess.

 

28) Host A Trivia Night

“Shout answers like there’s no such thing as keeping score.”

trivia_night

Why is Jeopardy the #1 game show of all time? The quiet charm of the late Alex Trebek certainly played a part, but aside from the charismatic host, people love Jeopardy because of the trivia.

Even when we have no idea about an answer, we love venturing guesses. Answering both wrong and right helps us learn.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Why we love it: It’s engaging, it’s educational, and it’s inclusive. Even people who don’t venture a guess out loud have probably formed one in their minds and feel invested in the activity. Few other activities can drum up that much universal interest and engagement.

Next step to get started: Learn how to host a trivia night or plan a virtual trivia night with your own Quiz Master.

 

29) Gamathon

“Warm up your controller hand.”

gamathon

Gamers unite to organize an epic office takeover. This activity works not only because video games are fun, but also because that fun could lead to social benefits, including trust, leadership, and cooperation.

Plus, there’s at least one video game nearly anyone will fall in love with when they give it a chance. An office tournament is the perfect way for non-gamers to explore the world of gaming.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, communication, and collaboration.

Why we love it: Video games are instantly immersive. There’s almost no warm-up period. You can go from zero to fun in just a few seconds, turning your office into a hyper-charged and fully engaged environment.

Next step to get started: Pull off a low-key gaming tournament by simply playing your game of choice while keeping track of the top scorers on a whiteboard. Continue pitting your top scorers against each other until there are only two left standing for a final showdown.

 

30) Mini Basketball Tournament

“Pull off the layup of your dreams.”

mini-basketball-tournament

Shrink the glorious game of basketball down to have a sport you can play right in your office. When compared to traditional basketball, a game of mini hoops can bring more people into the fold. It doesn’t require as many skills, rules, or moves, so people of all skills and confidence levels can get in on the game.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork and leadership.

Why we love it: It brings the thrill of the hoops right into the office. Plus, you can leave the hoops up after the initial tournament to encourage a pick-up game any time people need a mini-break or an energy boost.

Next step to get started: Pick up a mini basketball set.

Looking for more fun office activities? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Quick Icebreakers

Pre-meeting team building activities get your group warmed up for fruitful collaboration. They get people thinking and laughing, and more importantly, they get everyone in the mindset to share brilliant ideas.

31) Daily Icebreakers

“An icebreaker a day keeps the boredom at bay.”

icebreaker

Build teamwork by setting aside just a few minutes at the beginning of every meeting for a quick icebreaker. These mini activities are short and sweet, but they’re well worth each of the few short minutes they cost. They build camaraderie and warm people up to communicate and exchange ideas, making meetings more productive.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: Icebreakers work as an almost magical little switch, activating everyone’s creativity and cooperation. With a quick 5-minute activity, employees will be energized to tackle any meeting, call, or brainstorm with renewed enthusiasm

Next step to get started: Find your favorite icebreaker with QuizBreaker or Water Cooler Trivia.

 

32) Werewolf

“Who is the big bad wolf?”

werewolf-game

What happens when the name of your icebreaker game is survival? There’s only one way to find out.

To play this game, your team splits into two smaller groups — werewolves and townspeople.  Face off until all the werewolves are dead or the two groups reach equal numbers.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, problem-solving, trust, and critical thinking.

Why we love it: This activity is wrapped up in a fun and spooky theme, but it also involves plenty of thinking, strategy, and even a little deception — a recipe for a no-fail good time. You’ll learn new things about your teams and maybe even yourself. You’ll also learn who can’t control their giggles and who is a terrible liar.

Next step to get started: Learn how to play Werewolf over Zoom.

 

33) Skribbl

“Test out your secondary communication skills.”

skribbl

Calling all aspiring artists, stick-figure stylists, and daring doodlers. Put your creations to the ultimate test: Seeing if anyone can tell what on earth they’re supposed to be.

Skribbl’s no-fuss interface makes it easy to play a classic drawing and guessing game.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: It activates non-verbal communication. You can’t explain your drawing, so people have to dig deep into their knowledge of the “artist” to make informed guesses. It’s also hilarious to witness the dissonance between what people think they’ve drawn or what they think they’re seeing and what’s actually there.

Next step to get started: Play Skribbl.

 

34) Rose/Thorn

“Embrace the ups and downs that make life beautiful.”

rose-thorn

Share your gratitude and also a little vulnerability to cultivate those magical feelings of team closeness, support, and empathy. During this no-fuss icebreaker, everyone simply shares their rose (any positive that makes them feel grateful, happy, etc.) and also their thorn (a challenge or blocker).

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, trust, and communication.

Why we love it: It’s a shortcut to getting on the same wavelength. Everyone shares a little gratitude and also a little vulnerability. This little opening-up exercise can make the team feel more tightly bonded.

Next step to get started: Just gather your group and start sharing those roses and thorns, for example:

Work-Related:

  • Rose: I got an event partner to give me a refund today!
  • Thorn: A different event partner won’t give me a refund.

Non-Work Related:

  • Rose: I found time to go for a walk today.
  • Thorn: There was no time to go for a walk today.

“I work in Enterprise Marketing at ZipRecruiter and our entire team is now remote. We do a daily standup call with my manager and Rose/Thorn is how we start every virtual meeting. It is a quick way to start off a team huddle and get everyone on the same wavelength.”

-Joanna Ericta, Senior Marketing Associate at ZipRecruiter

 

35) Weekend In A Word

“Witness the awesome importance of word choice.”

weekend-word

Feel the impact of brevity in action with an icebreaker that requires everyone to say only a single word. Gather your group and have everyone describe their past weekend fun or future weekend plans and goals in just one word. After everyone has a turn, you can ask follow-up questions if you like. The words people choose will likely spark tons of curiosity.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, communication, and listening.

Why we love it: As you prompt teammates to pick just one word to describe big concepts, you learn how their minds work, you learn what’s important to them, and you’ll likely reflect deeply on what they said far more than if they gave a detailed weekend play by play.

Next step to get started: It couldn’t be easier. Just share your words before your next meeting.

Looking for more icebreaker activities? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Coworkers

Team building activities for coworkers are all about bonding. Sure, “working together every single day,” is definitely a type of bonding, but these activities are special and enriching because they place co-workers in new, eye-opening situations. When coworkers step outside the day-to-day grind, they might just find out new things about the people they sit with every single day.

36) Adventure Club

“Make adventuring your next good habit.”

adventure-club

Start an adventurous, outdoorsy monthly tradition based on your team’s interests. You can do anything you want, from bouldering to bird watching. No matter what you choose, you’ll bond during the event. You’ll bond as you discuss and relive memories from the last event. You’ll bond as you look forward to the next event.

In summary, you’ll do a lot of bonding.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, teamwork, trust, and collaboration.

Why we love it: Traditions are powerful. They bring people closer and provide a comforting sense of security and unity. They can do the same thing for an office family.

Next step to get started: Find an adventure!

 

37) Group Bike Ride

“Roll with your work pack.”

group-bike-ride

When you step out of the office and hop on your bikes, you are no longer co-workers. You are fellow explorers, adventurers, and the city is yours for the taking.

This team building event gets its strength from spontaneity. Start with a group bike ride as your simple structure, and then let the wind take you from there. Stop off at a popup farm market or demystify that strange building you always stare at from your office window.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, trust, communication, leadership, and collaboration.

Why we love it: Novelty makes us all feel good, excited, and energized. This activity allows teams to experience that thrilling sense of novelty as a group so each person can forever associate the fresh feelings of exploration with the people they shared them with.

Next step to get started: Plan your route.

 

38) Dining Club

“Indulge your culinary curiosities.”

dining-club

The team that eats together stays together. Everyone has to eat, and by turning it into a team building activity, you can make this sometimes utilitarian activity into an invaluable get-to-know each other moment.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: The novelty of picking a new place to eat provides an instant launching point for conversations. Even if you have nothing else in common, you have “trying this restaurant for the first time” in common, and that’s plenty to get some good conversations started.

Next step to get started: Discover your next dining destination or host a virtual lunch party. Add some additional team building fun by having everyone order for someone else.

 

39) Leave-It-At-Work Lunch

“The office can absolutely not sit with you at lunch.”

leave-it-at-lunch

This activity has all the trappings of a standard low-key team lunch with one key differentiating factor: you are not allowed to talk about work.

When you head out to lunch, leave all your work goals, issues, and ideas at work. When you challenge yourselves not to discuss work, you’ll find new things that you all have in common.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, communication, and listening.

Why we love it: It’s surprisingly eye-opening. At first, you might realize just how often your team conversations tend to fall back to office matters. But as the lunch progresses, you’ll be delighted to discover all the other amazing things you have to talk about.

Next step to get started: Just put a date on the calendar, remind everyone to bring their lunch, and have fun.

 

40) Groupon Fridays

“Fight the slumps with novelty.”

groupon

Get out of your comfort zones as a group on a regular basis by setting aside special days to do something new and exciting you’ve agreed on ahead of time.

In addition to growing closer to your team during the event itself, you’ll grow closer during the planning, the anticipation, and the aftermath.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, collaboration, and decision making.

Why we love it: It gives you something amazing to do together, but it also gives you something amazing to look forward to, talk about, plan, and reminisce about together. Even just one exciting event can provide weeks of bonding.

Next step to get started: Visit Groupon.

Looking for more gifts for coworkers? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Managers

A manager-initiated team building event is usually a multi-tasking affair. They’re often designed to target “soft” objectives important to managers, including communication, motivation, camaraderie, teamwork skills, and trust. Participants walk away feeling the positive effects of a good time and also with a few team narratives they can pull out in their next performance evaluation.

41) Share Your Favorite Sports

“Making spectating a sport.”

watch-sports

Strengthen your own team by enjoying the timeless activity of watching other teams duke it out in a display of athleticism. Bond with your team as you share the cheers, the thrills, the disappointments, and the pure energy of shared fandom.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork and empathy.

Why we love it: This is another activity that facilitates a deeper kind of bonding that doesn’t require complex communication. A simple (yet enthusiastic) high-five during the rush of a shared victory works magic.

Next step to get started: Get your tickets at Vividseats.

 

42) Start A Bracket

“Satisfy your competitive streak.”

tournament-bracket

The risks and rewards of a little light betting meet the excitement of sports and entertainment to bring your team an experience that gets everyone pumped. Bet against one another. Bet with one another. Have fun.

Skills this work activity develops: Collaboration, strategic thinking, critical thinking, and decision making.

Why we love it: The competition and excitement of this activity bring people to life. Everyone will be delighted to see new sides to their coworkers. It’s especially delightful to see even your most level-headed soft-spoken teammate moved to trash talk when the honor of their favorite team is on the line.

Next step to get started: Visit BracketFights.

 

43) Field Trip

“Escape the office.”

field-trip

Plan an offsite event, a little break from the ordinary, where everyone can gather together at a rented-out bar, a private movie theater — anywhere but the office.

By simply stepping out of your day-to-day environment, you’re opening your team to new experiences, new connections, and new friendships. It doesn’t even matter what activity or location you choose.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, teamwork, and communication.

Why we love it: The simple magic of a new experience and a new environment fuels new connections. People will find themselves naturally talking to people they’ve maybe only passed in the hallway. They’ll find themselves asking questions they wouldn’t ask in the company kitchen.

Next step to get started: There’s really no wrong way to do this one. Just pick a fun off-site event and enjoy all it has to offer.

 

44) Choose Your Own Adventure

“Do something you’ll want to tell your grandkids about.”

adventure

Blueboard empowers employees to choose their own adventures. Their expert team will handle all the planning details, allowing your team to enjoy exactly the kind of experience they want without doing any of the tedious planning.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, teamwork, trust, and listening.

Why we love it: Even after the pure joy of the experience has passed, the platform breathes new life into it by inspiring everyone to share memories of their experience right on the platform. One experience can yield months of benefits.

Next step to get started: Visit Blueboard.

 

45) Department Raffle

“Make it rain swag.”

raffle

What’s one easy way to get an entire crowd excited? Giving away free stuff. Pull together all your swag, your fun gadgets, and your CEO’s open lunch dates into one ultimate cache of raffle prizes everyone wants.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork and communication.

Why we love it: The excitement this event can inspire is priceless. Everyone will feel as giddy as a game show contestant as they see if they’ll be the lucky ones who get to horseback riding with your president.

Next step to get started: Read the basics of running a raffle.

Looking for more gifts for managers? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Employees

Team building activities designed with employees in mind focus on joy. Team leaders know what their employees want more than almost anything else is a little break from the ordinary, some time to reset. Like little mini-vacations, these events usually take employees off-site for fulfilling new experiences.

46) Food Truck Mayhem

“Chase down the best food on wheels.”

foodtruck

Imagine the buzzing excitement of the high school cafeteria, multiplied by ten. (And also serving food that’s a million times tastier than cafeteria fare.) That’s what any park or parking lot can become when you call in the food trucks and invite your teams out for a food-tastic field day.

Everyone will frolic around, finding exactly what gourmet goodies they want while also enjoying some quality socializing. It is, however, way better than a cafeteria as the food is significantly tastier.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, communication, and decision making.

Why we love it: Browsing around the different trucks, socializing as you go creates a festival environment where eating isn’t just eating; it’s transcendent.

Next step to get started: Find out what food trucks are available in your area.

 

47) Visit A Local Museum

“Crank up your culture quotient.”

museum

Round up the team and visit a local museum, any kind of museum — art, history, nature, science, agriculture, whatever. Wander the exhibits all while discussing, learning, and soaking up all the fun facts like sponges.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: Visiting a museum with coworkers instead of going alone on a weekend provides tons of rewards.

Next step to get started: Find a museum near you or stay at home and follow a guide through an interactive virtual museum tour.

 

48) Take On The Outdoors

“Swap the suit for sun-drenched skin.”

glamping

When you really think about it, the whole wide world is like one big team building adventure just waiting for you to seize it.

Go glamping, scuba diving, hiking, or bouldering. Your team’s next fulfilling adventure could be waiting anywhere. Just look out the window and see the possibilities.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, and trust.

Why we love it: Most people aren’t exactly sure how to go about planning an epic adventure. Blueboard makes the part easy. Just find an experience that speaks to your team’s collective adventurous spirit, and Blueboard will take it from there.

Next step to get started: Visit Blueboard.

 

49) Awesomely Bad Art

“Flex your art appreciation muscles.”

analyze-art

Some of the best team building events get people to shift their perspectives. In some cases, that involves learning that Gretchen is only uptight in the office because she needs some more vitamin D or that Marcus’s ideas sound a lot better when you’re not trapped in a conference room together.

Strengthen the kind of mental muscles that fuel open-mindedness by hitting up the art galleries. Instead of trying to spout expert analysis, focus on trying to find and discuss positive things about something you absolutely hated at first glance.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: Quick judgments are detrimental in pretty much all life situations, from simple self-talk to workplace interactions. This activity gets teams working together to challenge their off-the-cuff judgments and develop the skills they need to shift perspectives.

Next step to get started: Find an art gallery or test your skills with an instructor-led painting class.

 

50) Virtual Venture To Paris

“Paris is closer than you think.”

woyago-paris

Get your team together to do something virtually as a group you would likely never do in person: take a group trip to Paris.

Sample local delicacies. Stroll around the city of your dreams. See the world through a  rose-colored computer screen instead of glasses. In short, live like a Parisian.

Virtually enjoy all the best, most enriching aspects of travel with your team but skip the crankiness and cramped flights and sleep in your own bed when it’s all over.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, trust, and communication.

Why we love it: What’s not to love about finding your way to Paris through the magic of the internet? This activity offers a concentrated dose of the pleasures of travel in a package you can realistically enjoy with your work team.

Next step to get started: Visit Woyago.

Looking for more gifts for employees? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Onboarding

Onboarding team building activities aim to fast-track that priceless sense of belonging new employees crave. They pack a variety of “get-to-know-you” goodies into just a few hours, accomplishing the kind of relationship building that might otherwise take weeks of work to arrive at.

51) Share An After-Work Jog

“Break a sweat to create unbreakable bonds.”

after-work-jog

Only the closest teams work out together. Welcome new employees by organizing a simple after-work jog. It’s low pressure, leads to light conversation, and it will make new employees feel instantly like part of your tight-knit team.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, trust, communication, and empathy.

Why we love it: It takes the pressure off new employees. It allows them to spend time with their new team during a totally average daily activity. This helps them get over some of the nerves that might come along with having an event specifically in their honor.

Next step to get started: Find a perfect route.

 

52) Get-To-Know You Super Email

“Give new employees your team’s top-secret dossier.”

get-to-know-you

Treat your new employees to a get-to-know-you super email. Pull together a list featuring everyone on your team, including their names, pictures, roles, favorite movies, and other fun facts. New employees will find this grounding, and they’ll get a head start on the get-to-know-you process.

Skills this work activity develops: Trust, communication, and empathy.

Why we love it: They say knowledge is power. When it comes to new employees, knowledge about their teammates is empowering. Learning a little bit about everyone will help them feel less like an outsider.

Next step to get started: Get inspiration from this list of get-to-know-you questions.

 

53) Team Trivia

“Team trivia is anything but trivial.”

quizbreaker

Combine the delight of trivia with the get-to-know-you power of onboarding by designing trivia sessions and quizzes about your teammates.

The structured question format allows everyone to not only have more fun but also to learn way more than they would have during an open-ended conversation.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making.

Why we love it: In an onboarding frame, trivia is both entertaining and bond-building. New team members will love getting in on all the team secrets, such as who has a photographic memory for science facts or who keeps up with current events. Plus, even existing team members may learn a few things that surprise them or even crack them up.

Next step to get started: Create a custom quiz with QuizBreaker or build your own trivia with Water Cooler Trivia.

 

54) Desert Island

“Pack your go-bag for an unexpected island getaway.”

desert-island

Engage your team in the theater of the imagination. Turn any old conference room or gathering place into a desert island. Simply ask everyone to list and provide their reasoning on three items they would want to have on hand.

This activity is all about exploring possibilities. People will love learning from one another and broadening their minds as they hear what everyone else on their team would do when survival is on the line.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, critical thinking, and decision making.

Why we love it: Listening to people list their selected items and their logic will showcase the broad range of perspectives and problem-solving skills represented across your team.

Next step to get started: Check out these activity tips.

 

55) Giphy Wars

“Find out if everyone loves your GIFs as much as you do.”

best-giphy

Use an employee recognition or communication platform as a battlefield for epic giphy wars.

Just push out a prompt (internet’s most boss cat, for example) and give everyone a chance to respond with the best GIF they can find. Vote on the best GIFs to see who won the war.

You can even have a war every week based on different themes, such as movies, sports, and cats.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: Everyone loves GIFs and also the rush of finding one that seems perfectly made for the moment at hand.

Next step to get started: Visit Nectar, your giphy war battlefield.

Looking for more onboarding resources? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Professionals

When you’re planning a team building activity for non-stop professionals, the spotlight is on sharpening teamwork, problem-solving, and all those other wonderful translatable skills professionals love to work on.

Participants will be looking for new skills they can incorporate into the next work week, so each activity should give them plenty of material to work with. (They’ll probably even expect to receive a follow-up survey so they can properly weigh in on the effectiveness of the event.)

56) Egg Drop

“Can your team do better than all the king’s horses and all the king’s men?”

Can you and your team figure out how to drop eggs without breaking them?

Break up into different teams and let the egg-safe engineering process begin. Reconnect as a large group for the testing phase.

Have each small group discuss something new they learned about teamwork to enhance the learning aspect of this activity.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration.

Why we love it: This experiment benefits from multiple perspectives. Everyone will enjoy hearing their teammates suggest design nuances they never even considered.

Next step to get started: Read instructions from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, or watch this video.

 

57) Human Knot

“Learn what it’s like to feel truly inseparable.”

During this physical team building activity, you’ll come together as a human knot, you’ll put your heads together to get out of said knot, and eventually, you’ll break away, but you’ll still feel closer than ever.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration.

Why we love it: It makes teamwork a tactile experience. You’ll be able to see it in action, and if you film the event, you’ll be able to learn a few things from watching it later.

Next step to get started: See the human knot in action.

 

58) Longest Shadow

“Overshadow the competition.”

You and your team have to get it together to turn all your individual shadows into one unified shadow. But that’s just the minimum. If you want to win, you also have to make sure your shadow is longer than every other group’s.

Skills this work activity develops: Problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration.

Why we love it: It requires a lot of coordination. Everyone has an equal role and everyone must play a part. While some people may naturally step into leadership roles, everyone eventually has to fall in line to create the shadow.

Next step to get started: Watch the instructions.

 

59) Name Impulse

“Find out what’s really in a name.”

You know your name right? You can remember it no matter what, right?

This fun team building activity challenges the simple power of names by having everyone say their own in a variety of different fast-paced situations.

Skills this work activity develops: Communication and listening.

Why we love it: As you play, you’ll be tickled by how your brain seems to want to prioritize the identity of the entire group over the individual name you’re so deeply attached to.

Next step to get started: Watch the how-to video.

“The coolest part is when everybody realizes they are on the winning team, we could learn a lot from that.” – Ingles, a Youtube commenter

 

60) The Numbers Game

“Exchange digits in a different way.”

Can you make an effective team building game based only on numbers?

Of course.

In this activity, everyone gets a one-digit number. When one person shouts out a multi-digit number, everyone must scramble around to form that number by finding other teammates with the corresponding digits.

Skills this work activity develops: Communication, collaboration, and decision making.

Why we love it: It might seem like a classroom activity, however, when you actually start playing, you’ll be delighted by how challenging and hilarious it can be.

Next step to get started: Watch it on Youtube.

Looking for more gifts for professionals? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Executives

Visionary executives gravitate toward team building activities that align with all the things that occupy their thoughts, hopes, and dreams: company trajectories, productivity, strategy, long-term goals, missions, new ideas, and so on. You can expect these team building activities to focus on big ideas, open brainstorming, and maybe even some tactical planning (even if this last bit happens during a follow-up event).

61) Undercover Boss

“Prove that you can take the boss out of the boss.”

undercover-boss

Executives can take a cue from the award-winning TV show and build some solid team bonds by actually becoming part of the team for a day.

During the activity, executives simply spend an entire day working with their teams, letting their employees show them the ropes. To have the most fun, lay the clear ground rule that no one should under any circumstances take it easy on the “newbie.”

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork and trust.

Why we love it: Most employees’ interactions with executives at the highest levels involve big fancy events or hearing talks in echoey auditoriums. This activity allows executives to reveal the person behind the position and gain admiration for doing so.

Next step to get started: Get inspiration from the original TV show, Undercover Boss.

 

62) C-Suite Team Retreat

“Executive’s day out.”

work-retreat

Some executives may think they can skip out on all the team building activities and events other employees engage in. They are inhumanly busy after all. But that’s all the more reason that a team building retreat can bring major value to their work lives.

Bring the busiest of the busy executives together for a no-work-allowed retreat. Engage them in a day of conversation, visioning, and group support. These executives may never have to share offices or conduct group work, but their team cohesion is just as important as it is for any other team.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork, trust, communication, and leadership.

Why we love it: It solidifies the simple concept that you never outrank teamwork. Busy people may neglect team building, but this activity will remind them why they shouldn’t.

Next step to get started: Find some executive retreat ideas.

 

63) Mastermind Group Chat

“Tap into the collective mastermind.”

slack

Great minds may think alike, but that does not preclude them from sharing and discussing their ideas. This activity simply builds on the power of leaders’ ideas and the immeasurable rewards of sharing and nurturing those ideas in a group context — whether it happens during a one-off event or goes on infinitely in a shared Slack channel.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, communication, leadership, and strategic thinking.

Why we love it: Ideas are beautiful. And like dominoes or a perfectly cascading supply chain, one idea may inspire a chain of brilliance until your company’s biggest barrier to success is prioritizing the pipeline.

Next step to get started: Just get the executives together and start talking. It’s that easy.

 

64) Mini TED Talks

“Bring on the inspiration.”

ted-talk

Who doesn’t love an inspirational TED talk? Apply that signature TED-style to the microcosm of your company. Have company leaders tell their stories and share experiences about what it means to be part of your company, about future growth, about limitless potential. The sky’s the limit.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, communication, and leadership.

Why we love it: The audience will love listening. The leaders will love speaking. And both of those things working in harmony will spread an invigorating feeling of inspiration all around the office.

Next step to get started: Check out these tips for creating a TED Talk.

 

65) Get Scared

“Scare up those hidden stores of executive energy.”

cage-diving

Planning satisfying team building events for executives requires upping the stakes and also proposing something, some challenge, that driven executives will likely not be able to resist.

Have them face their biggest fears, or at least something ridiculously scary as a group. They’ll forge new bonds and in some cases heal their brains and push past limiting beliefs.

Skills this work activity develops: Teamwork and trust.

Why we love it: Overcoming fears together, sharing that rush of adrenaline, and also supporting one another through it all will bring your executive leadership team together like never before.

Next step to get started: Check out these adrenaline activities for thrill-seekers.

Looking for more Executive support? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Team Building Activities For Work: Christmas

Team building around the winter holidays puts on the cheerful, casual garb of pure togetherness. With these events, what you do is not half as important as who you do it with. If you can bring your entire team together for some quality time and make a few strong memories while you’re at it, then your event is a smashing success.

66) Secret Santa

“Make Santa a state of mind.”

secret-santa

This holiday classic ensures everyone experiences the joys of gift-giving and gift-receiving without making anyone feel pressured to purchase a whole sack full of presents.

Each guest brings a gift for another. The gift giver’s identity remains a secret until after all the presents are open and each person tries to guess the identity of their secret Santa.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and teamwork.

Why we love it: It works well for any gift-giving holiday or occasion. Everyone feels included and shares equally in the joy.

Next step to get started: Read the detailed rules. Feel free to expand the gifting pool to other departments you don’t have as much interaction with. Getting each other gifts will only bring you closer.

 

67) Make A Custom Team Greeting

“Give everyone more of what they really want.”

custom-holiday-greeting

Spread some holiday cheer by teaming up to make a team card, stickers, or even hilarious refrigerator magnets featuring all your beautiful faces.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, teamwork, and communication.

Why we love it: It spreads joy with a perfectly personal and humorous touch.

Next step to get started: Check out these custom fridge magnets.

 

68) White Elephant

“Get something you never knew you wanted.”

white-elephant

Ask each guest to bring a random, ridiculous, weird, hilarious or otherwise traditionally “unwanted” gift. All you have to do is have guests open the gifts, and voila — you’ve got instant hilarity with minimal planning and fanfare.

You could also pull a Michael Scott and surprise everyone by bringing something that’s actually amazing.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and communication.

Why we love it: You will make tons of amazing memories as you see what everyone brings and also how everyone reacts to what everyone brings.

Next step to get started: Browse these gift ideas.

 

69) Rudolph Drinking Game

“Uncover the mystery of Rudolph’s shiny red nose.”

rudolph-drinking-game

What could be better than watching your favorite holiday classic? Watching your favorite holiday classic with your amazing coworkers while also enjoying a festive drinking game.

Grab your drink of choice and agree on your drinking cues. For example, you could pop a Santa hat on top of your screen and take a little drink each time one of the characters ends up “wearing” the hat.

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking and trust.

Why we love it: It cultivates tons of festive holiday cheer while being just a bit more cozy and intimate than a holiday happy hour or company party.

Next step to get started: Get the full instructions.

 

70) Glow And Grow

“Nurture your ambition for the bright new year.”

glow-grow

Get together for a satisfying end-of-year reflection. Invite everyone to share their “glow” (an accomplishment they’re proud of) and also their “grow” (a goal for the upcoming year.)

Skills this work activity develops: Creative thinking, trust, communication, and empathy.

Why we love it: It’s the perfect chance to grow closer as a team as you celebrate each other’s accomplishments and support each other in pursuit of new goals.

Next step to get started: All you need to make this event a success is a time, a place, one another, and some snacks of course.

Looking for more company holiday party resources? Check out these SnackNation resources for further reading:

Conclusion

Now you have all the ideas you need to build something amazing.

We hope you’re inspired to try one or all of these activities, even if it takes a while. Feel free to share your experiences and team building favorites in the comment section below.

 


People Also Ask These Questions About Team Building Activities For Work

Q: What are team building activities for work?

  • A: Team building activities are programs designed to promote bonding and engagement between employees. Whether these activities are run by a third-party or an employee in-house, these organized events aim to help co-workers feel more comfortable at work and interested in accomplishing larger team goals.

Q: Why are team building activities for work important?

  • A: It’s all about engagement. There’s a pretty clear link between the personal bonds between your team members and their engagement level. A recent Gallup study found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%, while people with a self-described best friend at work are seven times more likely to be fully engaged at work.

Q: What are the benefits of team building activities?

  • A: Another Gallup study reported that engaged companies consistently outperform the competition when it comes to things like profits, productivity, and turnover. (Pretty important stuff if you ask us.) And it stands to reason – the closer you are to your co-workers, the happier you’ll be at work, and the more likely you’ll be to sacrifice your discretionary time to help them succeed.

Q: What are hybrid team building activities?

  • A: Hybrid team building activities are exercises, games, and events that allow for both in-office and remote employees to participate. These activities can involve multiple groups playing the same activity from different locations in person, or through a video conferencing tool virtually. Hybrid activities are designed to boost employee engagement and team camaraderie by allowing coworkers to bond outside of a strictly work centric environment.

123 Comments

  • Morgan says:

    Love all these ideas! Definitely going to bring some of these new ones to our office at Blueboard.

  • Shiv Sharma says:

    That’s such a wonderful list. Thanks a lot for featuring us 🙂

  • Ravindran says:

    We do have at India Steel (Sumitomo Group) every Saturday interactive meeting in our main hall for 30 minutes. Every Department will present their weekly updates to across company. Also we do give the common communication in this platform.

    Also all employee recognitions and rewards are announced and distributed in this forum.

    Encourage employees to participate by way of sharing their individual experiences and contributions.

    Every week the MD explains one value out of 9 values of our company to reach out everyone the Sumitomo Values practiced across world.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Very cool, Ravindran, thanks for sharing. Especially love the fact that your company reiterates its values and makes sure they’re being practiced. Great stuff!

  • Rachel says:

    This is awesome!!! My favorite is the epic intros for new hires! What an awesome way to welcome new team members. Thanks for featuring E Group! 🙂

  • Monika says:

    Great collection of ideas.

    Thank you!

  • Justin Jones says:

    Office Fantasy Football Leagues is another great way to bond through friendly competition

    • Valerie Wright says:

      Agreed! First week smack talk has already begun. I’m 1-0 – woo hoo!!! We love March Madness brackets and do square sheets for big games and picks for bowl games. Since we’re in the sports industry anything sports related is a no brainer to get everyone involved.

  • Sara Caban says:

    great ideas

  • What an awesome article!! I love all these ideas – we will be implementing!

  • MIchelle Thomas says:

    These are all wonderful team building ideas! Recently, my team did a team building exercise in Denver called DayBreakers. It’s an hour of yoga followed by two hours of dancing in a setting similar to a nightclub. Hundreds of people gather and dance their faces off. What a great way to start the morning!

  • Cindy says:

    Great ideas! Baseball games is always a fun team outing. It’s great to get out of the office to change the scene & going to a ball game is always a fun time.

  • Giulianna Perrotti dos Reis says:

    Startup culture at its best. Love it!

  • Anna says:

    This is a fantastic list. I’d love to do more team building activities at our sales office – if i can get the reps away from the phones!

    I’m thinking about putting out a scrabble board or giant crossword puzzle that can encourage people to take a break every once in awhile and do some casual puzzling.

  • Aleeza says:

    Love this list! We definitely will incorporate an idea or two from here

  • Stacey says:

    These are great! Definitely going to try out #12 ASAP!

  • kelley christian says:

    I want to do them all!!!

  • Kaleb says:

    We’ve done many of these activities that promote team unity. By doing so, our willingness to sacrifice for each other radiates through our body of work and reflects the customer obsession onto our clients,

  • Morgan Hill says:

    Our office has a hard time being committed to an activity for a long time or over several days, especially outside of the office such as a sports league. However, something within the office that doesn’t take a lot of time, such at the Type Fight game would be great for us!

  • Josh says:

    These look Awesome!!!

  • Jennifer Irwin says:

    K1 GoKart racing is a lot of fun for our employees. It lets them get out there and compete with others in the company. It’s fun to see people who are normally reserved in the office show their competitive side during the race.

  • Alice Hsu says:

    Our office has done Go Kart Racing a few times and people really loved it! The rest of the ideas look great. Thanks!

  • Mika says:

    We’re going to do our first ice cream social next week! And I’d love for us to incorporate board games, sounds like a blast.

  • Peter Rengstorf says:

    Great ideas

  • Chantal says:

    This is great! 🙂 Our office does Ping Pong, Nerf Guns, Legos, Movie nights, Baseball Games, Shooting, and Go Kart racing, to name a few. We have a great crew who enjoys spending time together outside the office.

  • How fun! I’m really glad I read this today. Our wellness team’s monthly meeting is actually scheduled for this afternoon. I’ve jotted some of these ideas down, and am anxious to see what the team thinks of the suggestions!

  • Jessica says:

    We are always looking for ways to think outside of the box-and there are some great and hilarious ideas here. Some could be used with our design dept, or engineers…they aren’t one-size fits all, but that’s the beauty of getting creative. We have worked with our on-site catering dept, and had them make breakfast sandwiches, orange juices, and yogurt parfaits, and we had our Senior Staff deliver them to the entire site of 1,400+ people in carts. The teams LOVED seeing their leaders, and having them in the serving capacity is great as well!

  • Karen Lujan says:

    Some great ideas. My husband’s employer just did an Amazing Race and everyone loved it.

  • Stephanny says:

    These look like amazing team building activities

  • Erin says:

    Great ideas! Midday breaks for fun go such a long way. My favorites are the “Get Outside” ideas – even if something as simple as walking to a nearby patio for a drink or snack at the end of the day as a team, the sunshine and movement after a long workday is the best!

  • Jennifer says:

    These are all really great ideas and I can’t wait to try some of these at our next event.

  • Elizabeth Connolly says:

    Love these! Nothing like a little competition for team building! Our office has done things like cards against humanity, joined a kickball league, and even some trivia. Great way to learn about other employees on a different level then day to day in the office

  • Julie Goldstein says:

    We recently did an amazing race-style scavenger hunt, it was awesome!

  • Heather Nevius says:

    These are great ideas! We go to Spring Training baseball games. We also hold cubicle decorating contests for various seasons/holidays.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Thank you, Heather! That is awesome – is your office near spring training, or are you all traveling long distances?

  • Jennifer Albert says:

    Love team building exercises. We always have them at least once a month. They range from playing games, to volunteering, to next month going to a Haunted House.

  • Jane Elliott says:

    I like the board games, Family Feud, and block printing ideas best. We have to remember that not everyone is a social butterfly and ready to jump into a group activity. Some of the best thinkers and workers and producers are introverts, and no company leader should overlook this. By holding team building sessions that first will help the introverts feel comfortable around their team members, the company can gently add more socially-dependent team building activities, helping the introverts to not “dread” those activities.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Very true, Jane. I’m a major introvert myself, and the team building we do at SnackNation has helped me connect with co-workers, which results in better working (and personal) relationships – which results in better work!

  • Anita Maasen says:

    Great read – thanks for sharing!

  • Elb says:

    Wow. Very cool.

  • Erin says:

    Loved all the ideas, now where do we put that ping-pong table?!

  • Melissa Copenhaver says:

    As a HR Mgr – You SnackNation are giving me constant great ideas for my company. Thank you

  • TJ says:

    Our office just did a paintball outing — we enjoy being super competitive and then bonding together afterwards over a beer to relax snd share war wounds (note: nothing hospital-worthy).

  • Denali Swisher says:

    We are always looking for new team building ideas, so this was helpful!

  • John Krause says:

    These are all really great ideas. I personally love the Nerf Battle idea! Brings me back to playing as a child and is always a good stress relief in the office.

  • Shelly Doine says:

    At Mobivity we do department field trips to Spring Training Games, Paint Parties, Movies etc. I loved hearing about all of these additional ideas. I look forward to bringing them to my Executive Team.

  • Judi Fixler says:

    There are some really great ideas. I’m going to try the appreciation circle!

  • Melissa says:

    Really cool ideas! Would love to implement quite a few of these!

  • BreAnne says:

    These are great ideas. We do the buddy system, usually do a sports outing once a year as our summer get out of the office and mingle event, but some of these look like I could incorporate them into our office as well.

  • Stacey says:

    We do many of these, but I can’t wait to add in a few more! Love the ideas.

  • Brendan whalen says:

    These are all great ideas! It’s a little difficult to get the whole to team to buy in to these activities however.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Thanks Brendan, that’s a good point. Sometimes it’s about convincing your team to buy in, other times it’s about listening to figure out what they might want or need. Great feedback!

  • Kevin Li says:

    It seems very difficult to encourage that sense of team that is necessary for success in an office workplace, but these ideas may help that!

  • Christi says:

    My office actually does quite a bit of the activities listed above. One thing I’ve been noodling on is having an office-wide talent show. Sometimes you don’t know if your coworker actually knows how to juggle or not. I think it would open people up for conversations other than the typical TPS report banter.

  • Every month MedXM holds a sports event, this month is yoga! I’m thinking next month will be kickball, what a great idea! 😀

  • Sherry M says:

    We just finished a softball league a few months ago. 2nd place! Unfortunately, we lost to our rivals, but 2nd place nonetheless.

  • Wes Morton says:

    Great- I’m going to steal some of these ideas for sure!

  • Cassandra Chambers says:

    I find these ideas a great option! Thanks.

  • Mark Howard says:

    Great Ideas! I’m going to try and integrate some of them for sure!

  • betsy says:

    We have chair races down the hall

  • Sam Case says:

    These are all awesome ideas! I am going to ask my boss to implement some of these around the office. I dont know how he will take it.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Make sure you make the case for WHY – it’s all about building engaged teams that won’t let each other fail!

  • Brett Walker says:

    We have begun to implement some of these ideas. Reading this post assures me they are great ideas.

  • Michael Whalen says:

    My office recently started a basketball tournament. Everyone has loved it so far. Will try some of these ideas in the future.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Sounds awesome! We have a weekly pickup basketball game at SN, but a tournament is a really cool idea. Might have to try that one!

  • Jake Smith says:

    I love the lunch drawing idea. We implement a couple of these ideas already, but are always looking to make the workplace a better environment.

  • So this is what happens when a writer does the homework needed to write quality material. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful content.

  • Great ideas,There are different activities that can be done in a team building exercise but as an organiser, make sure that it will be fun and very interesting for everybody involved. It must be activities that help people to unwind, interact with each other and will avoid embarrassing anyone.

    Thanks For Sharing,

  • Dianne says:

    yes its true team building activities are very important for any business. I like your ideas for team building.

  • Ginny says:

    Just had a team building activity yesterday at a local park. Careerbuilder paid for the ingredients for lunch but it was prepared and grilled by employees who volunteered—afterwards everyone enjoyed a fun game of kickball. Very low cost event but it was very well received. thanks for a lot of great ideas on future teambuilding

  • Mohan says:

    Excellent list of Team Building activities, planning to implement few from this list in our team.

  • Mary Ann Alford says:

    I’m on an Engagement Committee where we try to do things for our employees to make the workplace a great place to be. We work 7 days a week with several shifts with 100 plus employees and cannot leave the premises as often to enjoy the outdoor suggestions. We’ve had food fun and Christmas fun but need some other ideas.

  • Tyler says:

    Many many thanks for sharing with us the great article. It’s helped me a lot and I also learned a lot also. It’s really a valuable and useful article for me. Every professional accountant should be read this so that he can don’t face any problem in future.

  • Soji Joseph says:

    Wonderful Ideas for team building…… These activities will improve confidence among employees. Thanks for sharing…

  • Kat Martinez says:

    I know this is an older article but I wanted to leave some feedback. Some of these ideas are fantastic and I will use a few so thank you! But to all managers out there, please keep in mind employees who are not able bodied. This list was very much geared towards young, fit employees, but employees with disabilities, injuries, who are pregnant, obese or older may find many of these activities alienating, or even dangerous. Just something to keep in mind.

  • Love all your suggestions. I do believe it is time we moved on from those traditional team building games that have been used by companies for decades now. In fact, one fun team building activity that I love is escape room games. They not only foster teamwork and communication, they do so in a fun way. It might just reveal some hidden talents and abilities of the team members. It also provides the opportunity to identify emerging leaders and real team players.

  • Elaine E says:

    What about Secret Santa? We do that often and it really does connect people to get a gift from a random person in the office.

  • Kim W says:

    Love all the great ideas on here. We are just starting try and team build across all our different locations. Cant wait to til our next “wellness team” meeting to bring in some of these ideas and let everyone know where I got them. Thank you.

  • Christina says:

    What kind of ideas are out there for healthcare workers that can be done during the work hours?

  • Great article! Escape rooms are indeed creative outlets and places where people can forget the daily pressures in workplaces to get immersed in something for fun; without the intervention of any third party. Such situations can help break ice and foster close relationships between people in offices; who otherwise don’t get a chance to interact that much.

  • I love Ms. Chaney’s idea to use throwback movie nights as a team-building idea. The company I work for is actually fantastic too. I was thinking of suggesting we do tactical laser tag as a team-building exercise too.

  • Urban Quest says:

    Love it! I wanna try these team building activities. I think it is fun and my co-workers will enjoy it. As we all know, group activities involve teamwork as it helps the teams understand each other better. It brings people together by encouraging collaboration and teamwork.

    • Richard Fendler says:

      We appreciate your feedback! Definitely agree that team building activities help encourage collaboration and teamwork 🙂

  • C. Valloise says:

    A few of these really hit my heart. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pooja says:

    It seems very fun. Its important do fresh n up our mind to boost work effectively in a team. The more work they do the more fun the deserve. I am very happy after knowing these fun team building activities for work. I will for sure try these fun plans for my team. Thank you so much

  • bore as band says:

    Honestly, this list has helped me a lot to build up a good bond between my employees in this lockdown situation. Following this blog since Feb-2020, and have tried multiple activities on my employees. It did worked for me and my employees. Not only this, we have learned a lot about each other beyond the general things. Thanks a tonne.

  • I really enjoyed reading through the ideas and plan to implement a few of them into our team building program here at junk removal company in Pasadena. Thanks for sharing.

  • Join Leaf says:

    Well written and to the point. I appreciate the detail in this article!

  • I appreciate that this post mentioned that team building games are important to foster teamwork and cooperation. Assuming I own a business, I will definitely want my employee engagement to improvement. I will maybe consider something like an escape room.

  • These are great ideas!It is a way to bond and bring employees together and will enhance their teamwork. The trust between team members will also be build.

  • Shriti Sharm says:

    Really great information.Thanks for sharing

  • Suppose if I had to pick a perfect article, it would be yours. I like your views and your writing technique. This material is informational without being boring and intimidating.

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