The Ultimate Team Building Idea List

Perhaps a team in your department are slacking. Maybe there are tensions between several colleagues. You may have just realised that the whole workforce are cliquey and only socialise with people within their group/department.

Whatever the issue facing your team, we guarantee that there’s a team building exercise to counter it. In fact, there are probably a few! To help you find the team building activity that’s a good fit for your workers and your business we have created the ultimate team building idea list.

Jump to the team building ideas​

Why is team building important?

Some managers and employees think that team building is a waste of time. The office issues and hiccups can’t be solved by building a paper mache plane together. They run much deeper. They’re issues with clashing personalities. We disagree.

Team building can help change the office attitude and transform work ethic. Those clashing personalities, when it comes to reaching a common goal, can work well together. It has a whole host of benefits including building trust, encouraging communication, creating unison, and emphasising collaboration – in short: team building can transform your workplace.

The effects of team building

Skill development

Working environments are often high-pressured and busy, leaving little time for employees to work on developing their skills. Team building offers that much needed break for employees to work on their leadership & team skills.

Better communication

Team building is a great way to help teams improve a team’s communication skills. Setting challenges that require them to work together will help them communicate affectively and complete their task on time and to the required standard.

Breaking boundaries

Some office environments can be quite separated. Each department has its own responsibilities and department members often only socialise with each other. Team building helps break down those boundaries and gives different departments an opportunity to spend time and get to know one another.

Relationship development

Beside communication improvements, team building can also help budding friendships develop. Team building activities give employees the time and room to be themselves and form deep and meaningful friendships with the people they work with every day.

Creative thinking

Many team building activities require employees to think outside of the box to solve problems and provide reasoning. This varied way of thinking can often promote creativity and innovation within a team and in their day-to-day roles.

Motivation & Profitability

In the long term the benefits listed above help improve team motivation and morale. And the more motivated your workforce, the happier it’ll be, and the more profitable it will be come. Treat your workforce as your most prized asset. Nurture them. Give them room to grow. Help them connect. It will pay off.

Team building ideas

It’s clear then that you should look closely at your team and consider team building events to help them get to know each other, develop skills, and make a difference at work. To help we have put together the ultimate team building idea list. We’ve broken our ideas into categories too, so that you can pick the activities that are a best fit for your business and your workforce.

Team building in the office

For rainy days or to save a little money, you may want to get some team building activities prepared for in the office. All you’ll need for these are you employees and a go-get em’ attitude!

Buddy up Organise for employees to spend a day working and helping out within another department. Not only is this a great way for an employee to find out the inner workings of a business, but it’s a great way for teams to mingle, too. Not to mention the new skills an individual could learn spending a whole day in another department!

Great for:

Better communication

Relationship development

Skills development


Work book club

Invite employees to start their own book club where, each week or two weeks, they take turns in choosing and discussing a book. These are a great way for team sot explore new ideas with one another and get to know each other. Check out this guide on setting up a book club at work here.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a book club either. Promote other hobby clubs throughout the office for all employees.

Great for:

Relationship development

Breaking boundaries


Create collab spaces

Open plan offices are great. They let employees see each other and interact on a daily basis. But if your business employs a lot people, then you’ll probably have several floors of office. And that means that people on different floors to each other won’t have the chance to communicate. By creating collab spaces you can encourage employees to work in different parts of the office with different people regularly.

Great for:

Breaking boundaries

Better communication

Relationship development


The barter puzzle

This is a super simple team building game you can place in the office. Divide groups into around 4/5 teams (more if you need) and give each of them a jigsaw puzzle. The trick is that each jigsaw puzzle is missing some pieces. The missing pieces lie in the other teams puzzle boxes.

Each group needs to come up with strategies and tactics to get their puzzle pieces back so that they can be the first to finish!

Great for:

Better communication

Skill development

Free team building activities

Not every business has a big budget to play with and invest in their team. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help them improve their skills and get to know each other. There are tonnes of free team building activities you can organise. We have listed our favourite below.

Game of possibilities

The rules of this game are simple. Split the team up to individuals or small groups. Give each person/group a random object from around the office. Then, one at a time an individual has to step up and demonstrate a use for the object without speaking. Think charades with objects. The onlookers then have to guess which office object is being demonstrated!

Great for:

Better communication

Creative thinking


The human knot

If you have quite a large conference room or space within the office or office grounds, this is a super fun activity. Gather between 10 & 20 employees and ask them to stand in a circle facing each other. Instruct them to hold out their right hand and grab a random hand of someone facing them. Then ask them to do the same with their left. They then have to untangle the ‘human’ knot of arms within a set time limit.

Great for:

Better communication

Relationship development

Breaking boundaries


The list

This activity is often used in interviews and open days. Split team up into even groups and select 5 or more random object for each group. Then describe a scenario which the team has to solve with only the objects they’ve been given. The scenario could be anything from surviving a plane crash to living on a dessert island. The teams then have to rank each object based on how useful it’d be in that scenario and provide their reasoning for that ranking!

Great for:

Creative thinking

Better communication

Relationship development

Team building with pen and paper

You don’t need fancy tools, props, or sets to prepare some exciting team building games. Sometimes all you need is good old fashioned pen and paper.

Paper tower

It’s likely that you’ve given this team building activity a try at some point in your life. It’s often rolled out in early school classes to help develop better communication amongst kids. But that doesn’t mean it won’t help your adult team of workers. Gather your team into different groups (try to split them up evenly to make it fair). Then hand each group several pieces of paper and some cello tape. All they need to do is create the tallest free-standing structure possible in ten minutes. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, and, under a strict time limit, you’ll soon see who can take charge under pressure.

Great for:

Breaking boundaries

Relationship development

Creative thinking


Dream workplace

This is a super basic task that can have incredible outcomes for your work force and the working environment. The task is this: give each team member a sheet of paper and ask them to list as many thing s they can think of that would make up their dream workplace. Then go round the group and ask them ready out their list and the reasoning behind it. As a group, select five things that your workplace could implement and hand the suggestions into HR or the relevant person.

Great for:

Motivation

Better communication


Save your hero

This is another super simple task that can be done with your team. Split them up into groups, preferably smaller groups of 4-6, but they can be bigger if required. Instruct each group to write down their heroes. Once each member of the groups have written their hero down on the sheet of paper the game can begin. Describe a life or death scenario with only one way out. For example, a sinking ship with a lifeboat with room for only three people. The groups then have to decide amongst themselves which heroes listed in their group get the three seats. They then have to present this to the team providing their reasoning, I.E one hero was chosen because of their skills at sea.

Great for:

Better communication

Relationship development

Skill development

Team building outside the office

Sometimes, the most effective way to get to your team are to take them out of the working environment. They spend the majority of their working life in the office, so it isn’t always a place to get them excited and motivated for their work. Here we have listed some of our favourite outdoor team building activities.

Treasure hunt

You might think treasure hunts are reserved for kids on vacation, but you’d be surprised at just how effective they are as team building exercises. It’s also a great way for new staff members to explore the local area. Split the teams up into groups and create a list of local land marks and hidden corners of the town/city, and ask them to get a picture with each one. The first team back are granted winners!

Great for:

Relationship development

Breaking boundaries 


Company picnic

If you’re looking to do a simple team building event over dinner during summer, why not consider a company picnic? Either request that the company provide food, or go one further, and designate each team member a picnic item to bring I.E a blanket, or sandwiches, or fizzy pop.

For big companies, we recommend doing this two departments at a time. Try getting two departments that work the furthest away from each other, giving them a chance to get to know one another.

Great for:

Relationship development

Breaking boundaries


Ships in the mist

Gather your team into a wide outdoor open space. You’ll want as many team members as possible for this task. Then select two members of the team to buddy up. Scatter the rest of the team, reasonably close throughout the open area. Now, blindfold one of the two people selected to buddy up. The member who isn’t blindfolded then has to help their partner navigate through the maze of people spread out. Communication is key in this task!

Great for:

Relationship building

Better communication

Team building ideas for large teams

Want to get everyone involved in the team building fun? We get that. But some team building games just can’t accommodate a whole lot of people. If you’re looking for activities that include a tonne of people, look no further. Here are our favourite team building activities for the whole office.

The egg drop

This is team building activity can get messy, so beware. Split the office up into groups (the size of the groups will depend on how many people are playing, but try to keep them even in numbers). Provide each team with one egg. They then have to create a package that will keep the egg unbroken from a 2 floor drop. The tools you supply them with is up to you, but we recommend the basics: balloons, elastic bands, paper, card, tape, newspapers etc...

Great for:

Better communication

Creative thinking

Motivation


Paintballing

If you’re looking for an activity that gets the whole office outside, working together in teams, exercising, and includes a competitive streak, paintballing is the one for you. Pitch teams against each other to complete various paintball related games!

Great for:

Motivation

Breaking Boundaries


Salt and pepper

This is a super simple activity that big teams can take part in. First, think of pairs of things that commonly go together such as salt & pepper, fish & chips, yin & yang etc. Write each item on a piece of paper I.E salt on one piece, pepper on the other. Then gather your team in a large room. You then should stick one piece of paper to each team members back without them seeing what they are. They then need to go round the room asking only yes or no questions to find out what it reads on their back. Once they have figured that out, they need to find their matching pair!

Great for:

Breaking boundaries

Better communication