Ah, team building. The phrase that makes just about everyone dive under their desks or fake a horrible cough, am I right? Well, that’s probably because most people’s experience of team-building activities is with boring or embarrassing games that don’t really get you thinking or cooperating with your coworkers. Believe it or not, there are activities out there that are not only really fun, but can also help you bond with your coworkers and maybe even get energized to get through the 3 p.m. slump.
Flickr user Camp Pinewood YMCA
The one caveat with these team-building activities: do them OFTEN. Not every day necessarily, but only getting everyone in your office together once every six months won’t do anything. Try every other week, or at least every month.
Inside the Office:
1. Teach a Teammate
Just about everyone knows what it’s like to get frustrated that someone on another team doesn’t seem to realize what goes into their job? With this activity, members of one team go around to the rest of the office and teach the other departments the basics of what they do. It’s guaranteed to help everyone understand more about the workings of the office as a whole, not to mention get along better with coworkers.
2. Concentration Game
This one can get tricky – but fun, we promise! Gather the whole office into two teams and have them line up facing each other. After a few minutes, have one team turn away and cover their eyes. Then have the second team each change one thing about their appearance (put their hair up instead of down, unbutton their jacket, etc.) and then see how many of the differences the first team can spot. Then switch! It’ll motivate everyone to pay close attention, not to mention get those competitive juices going.
3. Two Truths and A Lie
This one is a classic, but it’s a lot of fun so see how well you know who you work with. Break your office into small teams and have each person tell two facts about themselves and one lie. See who (if anyone) can tell which sentence is the lie.
4. Idea Tossing
This one can help especially if there’s a common goal that the whole office is working toward (landing a big client, reaching a certain revenue mark). Find a red object like a stress ball or a stuffed animal, and toss it around to employees standing in a circle. When someone catches the red object, they have to call out the first idea that comes to mind. The color red can be a brain stimulant, so you never know what genius idea might come up!
You know this one – it’s a staple at sleepovers. But this time, try it with drawing. Have someone start out drawing something but only actually draw one or two lines – then pass it on to the next person, who the contributes one or two lines, and so on. It’s always fun to see what everyone comes up with and how coworkers can build off one another’s ideas!
6. Back To Back Drawing
This one’s all about communication. Have the office split into pairs and sit back to back. Have one person pick an object (something simple, like a pencil or a desk) and tell the other person to draw it – without actually saying what the object is. It’s harder than you think! But it’s also a lesson in good communication and being clear with instructions – great for managers and for coworkers in different departments.
7. Lipsync Battle
Sure, so this one might not teach employees how to run a meeting better, but boy does it help them bond. Split your office into two or three teams (but keep a few people from each team as judges) and have them each pick a song to lipsync to and a lead singer. Then start the sing-off! Competition is always a great motivator to get people to work together – especially if it’s all just in fun.
Outside the Office:
8. Join A League
Sometimes there’s nothing better than pitting your office against another. Softball, bowling, it doesn’t matter what – sign your office up for some healthy competition in a league. There’s so much potential for bonding between various coworkers – buying uniforms, having practices, rooting for each other. And it’s outside the office, so there’s way less pressure.
9. Team Exercise
Sometimes people just need to get out of the office for an afternoon. Why not take advantage of it and have everyone get some healthy exercise? Plan a hike, a group yoga class, even join in a marathon together. Exercise is good for stimulating both the body and the brain, and it’s just fun to see your coworkers in an environment outside the office.
This one has positive effects all around. Have your office volunteer at a soup kitchen or planting a community garden. Combine them in groups that draw from different teams. Volunteering not only helps others, but it gives people a sense of pride and purpose – and it’s one they’ll share and carry with them when they come back into the office the next day.
What other team-building activities do you swear by? Tell us in the comments below! And remember, for all-natural snacks that will keep your team happy and healthy, try a Love With Food office box today!