Team Building Activities for Work: Virtual & In Office

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Team Building Activities Definition & Lists [2021] High5

Team building experiences play a key role in the team bonding experience. An effective team must be connected and all team members should trust one another.

What better way to boost trust and positivity than with a fun activity centered around boosting team spirit? Nonetheless, a lack of communication between team members could cause even the most exciting activities to be draining.

Conflicts can drain the fun and the benefits out of meetings or other team-oriented activities. This could lead to negativity increasing in the entire team. However, proper team-building activities are fantastic ways to boost team performance.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of team building as well as the team-boosting activities you can incorporate into your work.

What is Team Building? Definition & Meaning

Team building is the process of creating bonds and building deeper relationships within your team. Team members share a common goal, give one another mutual respect, avoid petty conflicts, and set each other’s differences aside.

During day-to-day work, team building can be incorporated. This occurs when employees come together to achieve goals and finish projects. This form of communication is natural and usually involves little assistance from leaders or managers.

However, team norms and rules are still crucial, even in a routine meeting or simple project. These norms outline the appropriate behavior for team members.

Other times, a team-building activity can be performed outside of the regular office activities. These can be exercises or activities specifically centered around building team members’ trust in each other.

Best Team Building Activities in the Workplace – List of 10

There are a number of excellent activities that qualify as team bonding options. There is an activity for every budget, team type, and leadership personality.

Here are ten genuinely quality activities that are so much more effective and exciting than the generic team-building activities:

  1. Compliment circle
  2. Show and tell
  3. Play some board games
  4. Human knot
  5. Perform a silent line up
  6. Team learning over lunch
  7. Set up a contest
  8. Run a session of office trivia
  9. Start a company book club
  10. Volunteer together

Compliment Circle

You can create a more inclusive team and positive company culture by putting an emphasis on your employee’s strengths. Spend some time in a circle trying to come up with the first strength that comes to mind for your colleagues.

You could have each employee give a compliment to the person to their right. It could be as simple as “thank you to (insert team member name) for helping me succeed on the prior project!”

Show and Tell

While show and tell is usually associated with school fun, it can also be a great team-bonding experience. This can give employees a chance to brag a bit and encourage employees to stay updated on one another’s endeavors.

Even if you have a small team, spend some time informing one another on your key goals and projects. Ensure other people give some feedback and ask questions about the teller’s endeavors.

Play Some Board Games

There’s nothing like a fun game to bring together a group. There are a plethora of office-friendly board games out there. Consider playing some Apples to Apples, Code Names, Pandemic, or Jenga – these all involve teamwork.

Celebrity and Heads Up are perfect games for a virtual team, as they require nothing other than a cell phone. All of these games loosen up the environment and brings people together in a creative way.

Human Knot

A strong team should be able to work together effectively. This is a fantastic classic game that will surely remind your employees of their childhood. Everyone comes together and grabs a random individual’s hand.

The goal is to untangle without breaking the chain. It does require a bit of extra room to wiggle around, but this activity is exciting and gets teams thinking creatively and problem-solving.

Perform a Silent Line Up

Set up a timer and line up your team using any metric you choose, whether it be height, birthday, tenure, or anything else – but you cannot tell them the exact metric you are using.

Have your team guess the metric. They will have to learn about one another and you’ll see deeper connections between employees being built.

Team Learning Over Lunch

Your team members probably have a ton of hidden talents – you can use these skills to create a more cohesive team. For instance, someone may speak Navajo, or be a martial arts expert outside of work.

A lunch and learn session can help reveal some of these hidden skills where other team members could also learn some new skills. The presenters will practice their public speaking skills while the rest of the team learns to actively listen and learn about their colleagues.

Set Up a Contest

This could be anything from a desk decorating contest to a cookie or ethnic food-making contest. Have employees make their favorite foods and bring them in to judge.

Employees will have to give each other constructive criticism and work on reaching a consensus on the winner. It also makes employees more comfortable with some healthy competition.

Run a Session of Office Trivia

Virtually everyone enjoys trivia. It is a fantastic opportunity for employees to work on their memory skills and it’s very team-oriented. You could go to a trivia session outside of the office, or host one yourself. Split the department into two teams and let the fun begin.

Start a Company Book Club

Discussing novels is a great facilitator for team building. Select a book related to your mission or industry and read it over a few weeks. Then, talk about the book over some tasty snacks.

The conversation could be very energizing and relatable to your goals. The employee’s ideas, input, and stories relating to the book could all be applied to projects in the office.

Volunteer Together

If your team is passionate about a particular cause, consider volunteering outside of the workplace. This will be a great way to create bonds through team building, and also feel fantastic about leaving a positive impact on your community.

Team Building Activities in the Workplace – List of 10 Benefits

Team building has a plethora of benefits to any business in virtually any industry. Everyone from remote teams, or innovative companies, to an experienced sales team, could find a plethora of positive effects from team building.

A few of the major benefits of team building include:

  1. Building quality friendships among employees.
  2. Creating a more positive and inclusive company culture.
  3. Helping employees realize their strengths and potential.
  4. Boosting employee collaboration and cooperation.
  5. Create lifelong memories, strengthen employee bonds, and establish new positive relationships amongst team members.
  6. Boost employee morale and employee happiness.
  7. Foster employee motivation and become a more productive company.
  8. Strengthen your employees’ communication skills.
  9. Mitigate conflicts and promote employees to become better problem solvers.
  10. Boost employee engagement levels.

Types of Team Building

There is more than one type of team-building activity out there. In fact, there are so many out there that you will surely be able to find one that is perfect for your business. Regardless of the form of team building you select for your team, they all give your team an opportunity to bond and become more productive.

A few of these team development strategies include:

Activity-based Team-building Technique

This type of team development involves non-work-related events and gives employees a chance to bond outside of work. It gets employees comfortable with being outside of their comfort zone.

The activities can be challenging events outdoors or fun events indoors. Possible examples of activities included in this technique include company lunches or outdoor competitions, like scavenger hunts.

Communication-based Team-building Technique

These activities are perfect ice breakers for a new team and strongly rely on socialization. They encourage bond development and building quality relationships with their colleagues.

It eliminates communication barriers, builds trust, and furthers interpersonal skills. Some possible activities included in this category include ‘two truths and a lie’ or puzzle building.

Skills-based Team-building Technique

This technique combines productivity-boosting techniques alongside fun team-building activities. They further an individual’s skills for their particular job. This includes participating in workshops centered around leadership skills, creative thinking, planning skills, creativity, or any other career skills.

For instance, consider the back of the napkin challenge. It promotes creative thinking and teamwork. All you have to do is provide your team members with a pen and napkin. Then, instruct them to solve problems with just these two materials.

Personality-based Team-building Technique

Managers should be able to bring all personality types together, as well as center their communication styles to the employee’s personality. Try giving employees a test such as the MBTI and later delegating tasks according to their personality.

This way, employees gain knowledge on the best way their colleagues learn and perform on a team. It also helps individuals appreciate their own uniqueness. Plus, employee efficiency is also increased.

Problem-solving-based Team-building Technique

Every team will encounter some challenges and roadblocks before finally reaching success. Conflicts often get in the way of maintaining a motivated team, for instance.

Problem-solving civilities help individuals work on their communication, interpersonal skills and learn ways to overcome conflicts. Team leaders should first identify the issue.

Then, they draft a plan to overcome it. Other team members participate as well and propose different solutions. They will learn about their team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Value-based Team-building Technique

This team-building strategy focuses on creating win-win opportunities for both the business as a whole and the individual employees. You can fuse your corporate social responsibility goals with exciting team activities.

It boosts team members’ morale, as they get to see their direct positive impact on society. Consider environmental volunteering, donating to charity, charity bake sales, cooking for a mission, establishing a series of meetings about a cause, or campaigning for human rights.

These activities boost engagement as well as satisfaction, and they reduce turnover. It also helps attract younger employees to your company.

Ideas for Team-building Activities Games

There is a team-building game out there for every business and every employee personality type. You could have your employees play classic team-building games, like the Barter puzzle or ‘two truths and a lie.’

These activities help employees get to know one another and encourage creative teamwork. Some more involved activities could be beneficial to your business. For instance, scavenger hunts are popular yet more physical team bonding experiences.

They can be themed hunts focused on facts about employees or about the business. If you get clues and riddles involved, the hunts could also boost an employee’s creativity as well as critical thinking skills.

Finally, consider asking your employees which games and activities they would like to participate in. Listen to their feedback, and consider everyone’s opinion on team building. Then, have a vote on which team-building activities sound the most fun.

How Do Team Building Games Work?

Team building works to bring individuals closer together. It gives teams an opportunity to loosen up, become more positive, learn more about one another, socialize, and gain trust in each other.

All of this ensures that the organization stays productive, positive, motivated, and focused. Games may seem like a waste of time at first, but breaks and games are also excellent ways to decrease burnout rates, lower one’s stress, reduce turnover rates, and encourage employees to achieve more than they ever thought was possible.

Team games focus on boosting collaboration, communication, empathy, and other extremely important soft skills. Sometimes, they can even increase someone’s hard skills, such as if the competitions involve writing code.

The skills learned through these challenges, outings, games, and activities will later be transferable to the work environment.

Activities That Focus on Team Bonding and Communication Skills

There are so many benefits to focus in on your team’s communication and bonding. Ensuring that your team works collaboratively will produce a more productive workforce, bring out your employee’s strengths, reduce conflict, boost trust, and more creativity, and employees being more comfortable with sharing their opinions.

This could give your team a competitive advantage, as new creative ideas could be revealed by previously quiet employees. Plus, team bonding will also make your company more inclusive.

A few activities that contribute to your team’s bonding can be two truths and a lie, the human knot, or the barter puzzle. A more relaxing activity could be zen counting. For this activity, each team member will be in a line.

Everyone will say a number consecutively. If someone repeats a number or interrupts a team member, everyone goes back to zero. You could also try doing an island survival game. Ask team members to select five items from a list of twenty. Have the groups share which objects they selected and why.

Activities for Virtual Team Building

Nowadays, many organizations are performing team-building activities with their virtual teams. It is likely because uniting a virtual team is often more difficult than simply meeting up with people face to face.

Therefore, engaging virtual employees is even more crucial. There is an immense number of virtual games any team can play with minimal equipment. For instance, try a virtual murder mystery or happy hour.

You could also have employees take turns sharing their house and revealing hidden, exciting skills over the webcam. Or, your team members could try guessing fun facts about their colleagues.

Trivia contests, picture sharing, building stories, sharing bucket lists, or playing Never Have I Ever are other ways to bond virtually.

Using Team Building Exercises – Why is Important

Many new managers often wonder if team-building exercises are worth the hassle to set up. After all, they seem so informal and unnecessary at times. However, there are legitimate reasons to invest in team bonding experiences.

Firstly, sharing elements of your personality makes you more likable as a leader. It displays your compassion, empathy, and authenticity while also giving you chance to learn more about your team members.

Team building also makes communication and collaboration more natural with your virtual team members. You can build rapport with these individuals and learn more about their strengths.

Later, you can apply this knowledge to the tasks your employees are assigned. It leads to more efficient work and more accountability within virtual organizations. Other times, team building can reinforce the team’s mission in employees’ minds and motivate them to continue being passionate.

Participating in a charity event that has a similar mission or reading an industry-related book are both examples of ways team building can make employees more passionate about their mission or reinforce the importance of their work.

Frequently Asked Questions About Team Building

How to Involve Everybody to do Team Building Exercises?

Some team members may feel that team-building activities are not worth their time. It is your job as a leader to convince them otherwise. You can do this by showing the immense list of benefits these activities have to both themselves as an individual and the team as a whole.

When the actual activity begins, you can engage everybody by ensuring everyone has a chance at the action. If someone is quiet, specifically involve them by asking direct questions or asking them to perform a task.

What are Simple Team Building Activities?

There are a number of simple team-building activities that require little equipment. Consider telling campfire stories, doing the human knot, playing two truths and a lie, revealing hidden talents, solving problems on the back of a napkin, reading an industry-related book, participating in charitable events, or playing trivia.

What are Team Building Activities for Students?

Even students can benefit from team-building activities. Students could play the human knot, escape the classroom, do a show and tell, minefield, tug of war, hot seat, birthday line up, perfect square, human alphabet, or scavenger hunts.

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