A united team is an unstoppable force, which is why regularly getting your team to participate in team building activities outside the office is imperative. And, while team building should be fun and engaging, it should also cater to the diverse personalities and preferences of your group.
We take you through some fun ways to blow off steam with your work team. Whether your team is looking for a chance to get out from behind your desk, flex your creative muscles, or spark a bit of friendly competition between co-workers, there should be something for everyone in this list. These ideas will undoubtedly inspire you to plan some exciting team building activities of your own.
For the creative problem solvers
If your company is all about problem-solving, creativity, and quick thinking, one great way to explore those well-honed talents and skills is through an escape room. Escape room experiences lock a team of participants in a room and ask them to solve a mystery in order to escape the room, all while racing against the clock. The rooms pride themselves on being incredibly challenging to solve, which means that this is also a great way to gauge and improve your team’s reaction to stress.
If you want to get really creative, take it a step further by organizing an Amazing Race-style competition for your team, complete with a course that will take your people around the city as they work to solve riddles and complete challenging trials. It is a fantastic way to bring your team together with a shared purpose while using and stretching a mix of their hands-on and problem-solving skills.
For the year-round obstacle course racers
Is your team full of health and fitness enthusiasts? If that’s the case, then consider some intense, high-octane adventures for your athletic team.
Hiking, skydiving, and mountain biking are all at various levels of personal endurance, so it is absolutely necessary to make sure that everyone on the team will feel safe, and that no one feels pressured to engage in something that they aren’t comfortable with.
Although it takes more organization on your part, putting together a team for a local fundraising marathon or walkathon is a great way to engage your health-conscious team members, all while making an impact on an important cause of your team’s choosing.
If the office as a whole loves to share memories from their yearly Iron Man or Tough Mudder times, using a team building activity to really let them shine in one of their favourite pastimes can be a great way to bring the team even closer together. A team that sweats together, stays together.
For the urban desk-jockeys
Is your company centered in an urban jungle? If your people are feeling a little too cooped up in the city, consider booking a getaway for your team.
Activities like group horseback riding retreats or wine tours are great ways to reward hard work and cooperation while enjoying a comfortable pace in a natural setting. Think fresh air, birds chirping, and greenery everywhere. A change of scenery can leave your team members feeling refreshed and inspired.
Looking for a breath of fresh air without leaving the city? Consider contributing to local community garden projects. These kinds of urban agriculture organizations are often looking for volunteers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, and the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour could go towards providing nourishment to people in low-income areas.
For the foodies
If the members of your team are constantly buzzing about a great new restaurant or debating the uses and pairings for a dry chardonnay, consider rewarding your hard-working gourmands with a wine tasting or foodie tour.
Food tours can be a good opportunity for hard-working team members to relax. They can also offer your team a chance to make memories together while getting to know the culinary backgrounds of some of their favourite foods or restaurants. Of course, chowing down on some really great grub is a delicious perk of this option.
For the aspiring chefs
Is your team constantly swapping recipes, organizing potlucks, or bringing in baked goods? If so, you may want to instead consider a more hands-on food-based activity like a cooking class.
Classes can range anywhere from engaging in healthy, produce-based prep courses to learning how to cure and smoke your own bacon, and everything in-between. A cooking class allows your team to work on their collaborative and interpersonal skills in a laid-back (and appetizing) environment, while also giving you a glimpse into who on your team is harbouring some untapped creative genius.
For the amateur rock stars
If your team has a knack for curating the best Spotify playlists to work to, consider challenging your musically-inclined team to co-create their own hit music.
Karaoke nights can be silly, fun, or deadly serious, depending on your team’s skill and competition levels. Regardless, they are a traditional and fun way to kick back and unwind at the end of the week. But if your team isn’t too thrilled about hearing the sound of their own warbling voices, there are other ways to channel their inner superstars. For instance, drum cafe workshops can encourage team members to communicate and collaborate better by working together to create and sustain a shared rhythm.
For the budding Picassos
Does your team appreciate the avant-garde and get excited by innovative new theories and concepts? Why not try checking out the latest exhibit at the local art gallery together or participating in a painting class to get everyone's creative juices flowing? These are great options for a creative team, or for a company that already works in creative or art-centric mediums to expand their creative capacities even further.
Over to you
Team building is valuable and important for uniting your team and strengthening your company culture, but only if it has been appropriately tailored to your team and its current needs, strengths, and interests. A foodie might not be thrilled about mountain biking, and a thrill-seeker might not get much out of a pastry-making class. So if you are going to spend a good chunk of time and resources helping your team to collaborate better and to have some fun, always make sure that it’s something they will collectively enjoy and learn from.
That said, keep in mind that new or out-of-the-box activities can sometimes be just the thing to engage your team members. Avid joggers may be dying to try a wine tasting course, and wine experts may be keen to work on their fitness goals. Not to mention, you’re unlikely to find a team so homogenous in their interests that everyone is keen to try the exact same thing.
When planning your next team building activity, be sure to ask your team what interests them most. You can use online survey tools like Doodle or Survey Monkey to make it easy to gauge interest and start planning.