Here are some team bonding ideas that are on a budget.

12 Onsite Team Building Ideas That Will Hardly Cost a Dime

Posted September 1, 2016 by Kristin Hoppe in Managing Your Team
Don’t want to spring for a pricey offsite company retreat? You can still have happy employees with these fun team building activities at the office.

If showing employee appreciation is important to your company, but you’re on a budget, onsite team building is a great place to start. It’s perfect for team bonding experiences, minus the price tag. We’ve listed 12 ideas that let your employees let loose and bond together, without putting a strain on your budget.

And if you’re looking for 97 more, check out our eBook: 109 Ways to Appreciate Employees on a Budget.

Team Building Ideas

Mix it up with random lunches.

Randomly pair workers in groups with four or five coworkers to grab lunch. At Justworks, I’ve had lunches with the CEO, brand new coworkers, and people who have been with the company for years. It’s a great way to break the ice and form both friendships and working relationships little by little in the office. To keep it easy, Justworks even has a random lunch generator on our software platform!

Keep board games around the office.

Pandemic, Settlers of Catan, Cranium — the number of fun office games are endless. As the Guardian has reported, it’s the golden age of the board game, with sales rising between 25-40% annually over the past four years. Board games allow a structured social interaction with room for play, which makes the perfect environment for team bonding and a positive shared experience.

Create lounge areas.

People are more likely to mingle and work well together if they have a place to do it. According to a study by the World Green Building Council, “There is overwhelming evidence which demonstrates that the design of an office impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants.” Translation? Employee satisfaction is directly tied to the physical working environment.

Related article: Office Feng Shui: 7 Ways to Create a Happy Working Space [Infographic]

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Keep puzzles around the lounge areas.

Puzzles have been shown to heighten creativity, improve memory, and enhance concentration. Not only is it a stimulating way to take a break, but it’s also an economical way to boost employee motivation.

Hold a games tournament.

Use those board games you invested in, have a cards tournament, or hook up a TV and a video game console for some intense competition. Raise the stakes with team rewards (or just some good snacks), and voila — fun team building ideas accomplished.

Host an arts and crafts night.

You may be surprised by how elaborate macaroni art can get. Crafts by Amanda also offers some great online tutorials and ideas: Think Instagram cabinets, vintage frames for desktops, keychain charms, or even tie dye and bracelet making. Justworks’ team has also gone to activities like Paint n Sip, where you drink wine and paint together. Bonus: The remaining artwork makes for great office decorations.

The Justworks team had an onsite event with Museum Hack this past year.

Play bingo.

This game isn’t just for retirement homes. Theme it with branded stamps or company colors to add some flare, and employees will have fun at work in no time.

Throw a company-themed trivia night.

Decide what you want to quiz on: will it be industry knowledge or facts about your employees? Generate teams randomly so that people have the opportunity to get to know people outside of their team. Throw some chips and dip into the mix and you have a party.

Organize a scavenger hunt with company themes.

Accomplish this in the office itself or have an organizer plant the clues at a nearby park or designated area. The more action and adventure involved, the better.

Have a company spelling bee.

Someone on your team must be able to spell elucubrate, and everyone will enjoy the element of nostalgia. Even if you have employees who aren’t strong spellers, they’ll likely enjoy the tension as it gets down to the final three.

Bring someone special to work day.

Kids, parents, grandparents, friends: the more the merrier. This is also a great opportunity to host a potluck or go to the park — all low-cost ideas that won’t put a big dent in the company budget.

Related article: Beyond Paid Maternity Leave: 5 Ways to Create a Family Friendly Workplace

Keep a dartboard in the office.

What more is there to say? Having a dartboard is a cheap and fun activity at work.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.