TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES TO DO IN THE OFFICE
Bond and bring your employees together
1. HELIUM STICK
Helium stick game is a simple activity to see how teams communicate with each other and solve problems. The premise is that groups of 6 or 8 must lower a helium stick until it is lowered to the ground. Try to keep teams in even numbers. A helium stick is a thin, light-weight rod. It sounds like a simple task, but it is deceptively challenging. The group must create two lines on each side of the stick and face each other. With the stick lying horizontally in the middle, have each person put their index finger underneath it. Teams compete head to head in a whole variety of different challenges to win as many points as they can for their team. Our activities are varied to suit all skills and are specially designed to encourage attributes including communication, logic, co -ordination, problem solving and time management.
2. HUMAN KNOT
This is a camp favorite, but also a fun way to have team members come together to solve a problem. Have everyone squish together in a circle and grab hands with people not directly next to them. The goal, once everyone’s hands are interlocked, is to untangle yourselves without breaking the chain. You can make it even more challenging by not allowing people to talk or putting a time limit on it. It requires a bit of leg room to crawl over each other, but if you feel up to it it can make for a fun puzzle.
3. BLIND DRAWING
Blind Drawing is a team-building activity that can be done in groups of two. All you need is pen and paper or marker, a mini whiteboard and an eraser. The two participants sit back to back. Only one person should have the drawing materials. The other is handed a picture, and must make sure that the other cannot see it. They are given 60 seconds to describe what is in the picture, by shapes and indirect descriptions. They can’t say, “Draw a bee on a rose.” But, they can say adjectives like, “Buzz, yellow and black, spring, blooming, etc.” When the time ends, groups should compare their drawings. It can be comical to see how bad they usually turn out. The game can get people laughing and highlights how difficult giving instructions can be and how important it is to communicate clearly.
4. BIRTH MAP
The birth map is quick and insightful team building activity. Print off a map of the world, and ask each one of your employees to mark where they were born. To make this task a bit more insightful, you could even ask employees to go into more detail, such as how long did they live there? Why did they move? Do they prefer it here? This will break the ice and allow employees to learn a lot about each other.
5. BRIDGE OF STRENGTH
This activity requires one cardboard box (about 15-in. square) with an open top,mini marshmallows, toothpicks, and paperclips. Give each team 5 minutes to create a bridge using toothpicks and marshmallows. The bridge should go from one end of the box to the other. After 5 minutes, the team will be asked to add paper clips to the bridge within one minute. These paperclips will add weight to the bridge and, if the team isn't too careful, this may pull down and break their creation. Points will be awarded to every paperclip added to the bridge before time runs out. The bridge shouldn't collapse until the given time.
6. LAVA FLOW
Lava Flow, is a game in which a group must cross the river of lava by jumping and maneuvering on different objects. Limit the number of objects to two or three, so that they have to be moved and shared each time someone crosses. If you touch the floor at any point, then you will get burnt and must start over. The first team to cross the river with all members intact are the winners.
7. SOLVE A PUZZLE
This can be a literal puzzle, like a 500 piece set or a brain teaser that requires thinking and brainstorming out loud. Toss one out to your team and, if you’re feeling overly ambitious, give them a time limit to complete the task. The key is that everyone has to contribute to the success of the project. Once they’re done or time runs out, take a moment to reflect on the experience. Ask your team: What was your strategy to solve it? Who did what? Why did you make the decisions you did? Allowing everyone to think through their process might highlight unique perspectives or strengths in each individual—or at least lead to an eye-opening conversation.
It can be difficult for some to trust their team members or to rely on someone else to help them reach a goal. Some may think they have to do it on their own. Minefield is an activity designed to foster trust in teams. It can help members that are resistant to collaboration become more open. You can do this inside or outside, but make sure to clear the area to avoid any accidents. Place “mines” or objects in an obstacle area. These can be anything from styrofoam cups to cones, as long as they are soft with no rough edges. The member that is going through the field, or obstacle area must be blindfolded. The other members of the team direct them through the minefield by giving them verbal instructions. If they hit an object, they must start over. The first team with all members across the minefield wins.
9. HUMAN SHAPES
This game involves 8-12 team members working together and using their bodies to form letters and words. Find an area that is free of obstacles and ask participants to spread out. The challenge can be made tough level by level, with participants starting with individual alphabets, then 3-4 letter words and then finally small phrase or sentence. One member from the team is excluded of the physical work and is asked to guess the human formations. The team with maximum number of correct guesses wins. The activity can be fast paced with time limit to keep the group energized. It drives important learning outcomes of creative thinking, planning, support and trust.
10. SILENT FOOTBALL
Practices nonverbal communication and restraint (no talking, laughing, or smiling!). And, you know—just for fun. Here’s a basic rundown: you’ll move around the circle, passing an invisible ball from member to member, communicating with one another and passing the ball through only a set of silent gestures.
11. CAST AWAY
Encourages thinking outside the box, teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, and—just for fun—survival skills. You will need Materials like Pen, paper. Paint the scenario for your teams of 2-3 people: they’ve just been stranded on a desert island and can only bring 10 things. Give them a list of 20 things — 10 actually useful things they’d need to survive on the island, plus 10 decoys of things that may seem important, but actually aren’t. Have each team order their list of items chosen and explain why they chose what they did. Whoever’s list matches most wins.
You’ll need: half pipes, marbles. The goal of this exercise is to cross marbles of different sizes from one side of the room to the other, without touching the floor. How? Through short lengths of half pipes. Each team member gets one and has to balance it so that it passes down seamlessly. Here’s the trick. you can add obstacles between the start and end points to make the activity more challenging. You can even come up with extra rules which require team members to take turns or both feet need to remain on the floor, for example. Break the group into teams, let them come up with a plan, then time how long it took for the marbles to pass down. The team that keeps the marble going for the longest time wins. A small word of advice: try to make the race hard, but not impossible, so that each team member is aware of what they can achieve together.
13. HOUSE OF CARDS
Divide the group into teams of four to eight people. Each team is seated in a row. Place a deck of cards on the floor to the far right of each team’s row. Person nearest the deck picks a card and passes with their right hand to the left hand of the person next to him. That person passes the card from their left hand to the right hand of the person besides them. The final person in the row places the card on the floor at their feet. Continue without anyone holding more than one card at a time. The first person to pile the deck up on the far left of their row wins. Competitive teamwork energizes teams during periods of change.
14. BLIND FORMATION
You’ll need: a long rope, blindfolds. Bring your team in a circle and have them sit down. Next, blindfold them and hand each one a long rope tied at each end. Their task is to form a perfect square together. Once they’re done, they can take off their blindfolds and see what they’ve accomplished. If the results are sloppy and there’s enough time, give them a second chance to do it better. You can also increase the difficulty by muting a random participant or changing the shape (a star or a square for example). The challenge demands increased level of collaboration and trust since the person who is muted has to rely on something else other than sight and verbal communication to perform their job.
15. KARAOKE NIGHT
What better way to get your employees to break out of their shells than to have them get up and sing some karaoke? You can even have a contest for best group karaoke performance. Bonus points if there are feather boas and cowboy hats involved. This works best for a more extroverted group, so if your team isn't into strutting their stuff on stage, consider an idea on this list that caters more toward those personalities.