A list of fun team building ideas

13 Fun Team Building Ideas That Employees Will Enjoy

Posted July 18, 2017 by Caroline Whitney in Managing Your Team
Inject some fun into the workplace with this list of 13 amazing team building ideas that are actually effective at boosting employee morale.

Team building is important for uniting coworkers, working on strengths and weaknesses, and boosting employee morale.  

So how can we make team building exercises less mind numbingly boring?

Believe it or not, activities do exist that are fun, unique, and unite coworkers together. They can range from a simple game to start off a meeting to a day-long offsite.  Look no further for team bonding ideas that are actually enjoyable!

13 Fun Team Building Exercises

1. Kick Your Next Meeting Off With Ice Breakers... That Are Actually Fun

Team building exercises don't have to exclusively focus on work. Charity Bike Build has written about a Thinking Hats game, for instance, that requires nothing more than a few differently colored hats and some hypothetical scenarios. 

You could also a game like “Two Truths and a Lie” before kicking off your next meeting.

Each person tells two truths, and one lie about themselves. Then the others in the group have to guess which fact is the lie.  

This is a fun way to learn interesting tidbits about each other.  For instance, I tore my ACL in high school soccer (truth), I run a pie business on the side (lie, but I wish it was the truth), and my grandmother auditioned for the role of the mother in The Exorcist (truth)!

2. Ask Interesting Questions

Another simple but awesome way to ease into a meeting is asking each team member a silly or thought-provoking question.  

At Justworks, every new employee is asked about their first concert when introduced to the company at the weekly all hands meeting. Every employee has to share about that Backstreet Boys, Iron Maiden, or James Taylor concert - it's a fun way to get an introductory peek into new employees' personalities.

Related: 12 Onsite Team Building Ideas That Will Hardly Cost a Dime

3. Did Someone Say "Lip Sync Battle?”

Take a hint from Jimmy Fallon and split your office up into teams, have them pick songs a day or two in advance, put on a show, and vote!  Yes, this one is quite silly, but is guaranteed to bring people together. 

4. Volunteer Together

Whether it’s taking a day to volunteer each year, partnering with a non-profit that ties into your corporate philanthropy, or implementing an Adopt-a-Family program in your office for the holidays, doing good together will help you grow as a team.  

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5. Amp Up Your Scavenger Hunts

If you are in New York, San Francisco, or Washington DC, take your office to a famous museum for a tour with Museum Hack.

What’s so great about that? Well, Museum Hack designs a scavenger hunt for your office tailored to your company’s team building goals.  You also get to see cool parts of the museum that the general public does not!  We’ve heard that this activity is awesome.  If this type of thing doesn’t exist in your area yet, a good old fashioned scavenger hunt always brings out the teamwork in everyone.

6. Workshop Daily Challenges

This activity is a great way to work through problems in a constructive manner.  Have everyone write down an issue at work that has been bothering them, like a difficult problem on a certain project, on a small piece of paper.  Then crumple them up and throw them in a pile.  

Separate the office into groups, and one by one, have each team grab a few problems at random, uncrumple them, and brainstorm solutions.  After some time has passed, each team can read their problems and solutions aloud to the group. It’s a great way to get help, work together, and build strength within your team.

7. Bring Trivia Night to the Office

Compile some office and non-office related questions, split up into teams, appoint a moderator/question reader, and have a trivia day!  

You could have observational questions, like “how many desks are in the office,” questions specific to your team members, like “how many people in the office were born in the spring,” or even, “when was our company founded?”  

Throw in some inside jokes and pop culture questions as well.  Have snacks of course, and prizes for the winners.  This activity will get people comfortable and having fun.

Related: 59 Employee Engagement Ideas You Need to Know About

8. Take a Cooking Class

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Cooking takes teamwork, patience, and precision.  It's a great way to strengthen your team.

You could take a classic class at a local restaurant, or work with a company that specializes in company events.  Some programs, like My Cooking Party, even offer cooking channel-like challenges with mystery ingredients and culinary scavenger hunts.

9. Sign Up For a Relay or Run Together

This is another team building exercise that’s actually, well, exercise.  It’s competitive and fun- and you can even tie in charity by doing a run like Relay for Life.

10. Make a Verbal Memory Wall

This one really gets people bonding and feeling positive about the company.  Write some work related subjects on poster board or post-its, then have everyone pick one and share a memory related to that topic.  

Some subjects include, “late night,” “work travel,” “working together,” “my first day,” etc.  Get people laughing and sharing experiences!

11. Have a Holiday Decorating Contest

While this activity is a little more fun than productive, we all need a little more of that in our work day.  

And it still incorporates teamwork! Whether it’s asking everyone to decorate their door in a holiday theme, or pitting rows of cubicles against each other in the name of creativity, you’re bound to have fun.

12. Host Office Olympics

Whether you organize your own, or find a venue that can help you out (like Chelsea Piers can for those of you in NYC), having a day of fun sporting events is fun, competitive, and takes a boatload of teamwork. 

If Office Olympics feel too complicated, consider taking teams out for activities like bowling or kickball.

13. Visit a Ropes Course

Ah yes, ropes courses.  I haven’t done one of these since I was a child on a field trip, but they’re great for team building!  A ropes course will have coworkers depending on each other, physically and mentally.

Plus, they’re fun.  Skip the cheesy trust falls from a high platform, and do fun stuff like climbing trees and zip lines.

Update: Looking for more ways to create a great work environment? Check out our free guide on perks and benefits that grow employee happiness.

BONUS:

Take suggestions and run with them.  I once did some temp work for a top New York company covering for the event planner.  One of her main projects was finding fun and different team building events to implement.  

I helped her take a survey from her team on what type of activities they'd actually be interested in doing.  People came up with creative, awesome ideas - some of which I had never heard of.  

You don’t need to be part of a big fancy company to do the same.  Take suggestions from your team.  You’ll end up planning something they’ll really like. And hopefully, your team will bond, grow, and have fun.