18 Team Building Activities for Collaboration Success in 2024
🌟 Team building games are the keys to fostering camaraderie, improving effective communication, and honing leadership skills. They bring everyone together outside of the typical working environment, building better relationships that ultimately lead to better team collaboration. They transcend the confines of the conventional workplace, forging stronger connections among individuals and paving the way for enhanced collaboration within teams. 🤝
Whether you're in search of captivating indoor or outdoor activities, snappy icebreakers, or ways to bond with your remote team, we've meticulously curated an exclusive compilation of over 18 team-building games that are guaranteed to bring you joy. 🎉
What factors make team-building activities effective?
The effectiveness of your team-building activity hinges on several crucial factors. Without careful preparation, the activity may seem disconnected or insignificant, as your team may lack awareness of its purpose and the potential benefits it can bring them.
How to make team building inclusive?
Foster a culture of inclusivity within your team to cultivate transparency, support, and overall satisfaction. Ensure that every team activity contributes to productivity and enjoyment for all, regardless of individual personalities or skill sets. To create an inclusive team-building experience, consider the following insights:
✨ Embrace inclusivity: invite all to partake. Engaging the expertise of an external facilitator for select team-building activities can foster an authentic and cohesive experience that caters to the diverse needs of every participant. #InclusivityMatters
🤫 Consider introverted team members: respect their preferences by providing options for smaller group settings, allowing them to flourish without the burden of extensive social interaction. #IntrovertEmpowerment
👥 Cater to diverse abilities: take into account teammates with speech, sight, or hearing impairments who may feel excluded in games reliant on blindfolding or non-visual communication. Ensure equal participation and comfort. #AccessibilityAwareness
⛔️ Mind physical limitations: be mindful of physically active games that may impose challenges for team members with physical impairments. Promote an inclusive environment where everyone can contribute
4 Team icebreaker games
- Two truths, one lie Team size: 3+ people
Time: 2–3 minutes per person
How to play: Ask everyone in the group to come up with two facts about themselves and one lie. The more memorable the facts (e.g., I went skydiving in Costa Rica) and the more believable the lies (e.g., I have two dogs), the more fun the game will be! Then, ask each team member to present their three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie.Why this exercise is great: This game is perfect for groups who don’t know each other well yet. The details you share can be used as building blocks for late conversations (“What else did you do in Costa Rica?”) to give you a better idea of who you’re working with.
- Penny for your thoughts Team size: 5+ people
Time: 2–3 minutes per person
How to play: You’ll need a box full of pennies (or other coins) with years only as old as your youngest team member (not the time to brag about your 1937 collector’s penny). Ask every team member to draw a coin from the box and share a story, memory, or otherwise significant thing that happened to them that year. This can be anything from learning how to ride a bike to landing your first job.
- One word exercise Team size: 3+ people
Time: 5–10 minutes
How to play: Pick a phrase related to the meeting topic and ask everyone to write down one word that comes to mind on a post-it. Then, gather these words on a whiteboard or put them in a presentation. For example, if you’re hosting a meeting about your annual holiday event. Everyone would take a moment to respond with the first word that comes in their head. If the team is responding with words like stress or exhaustion, you might want to rethink your process.Why this exercise is great: This is a way to collect opinions, thoughts, or feelings about a meeting that’s well within most people’s comfort zone. You’ll have the chance to read the room before diving into the topic and may uncover some concerns or questions to focus on, which will make the meeting more beneficial to everyone.
- Back-to-back drawing Team size: 4+ people
Time: 5–10 minutes
How to play: Split your team into groups of two and make them sit back to back. Hand one person a pen and piece of paper and show the other person a picture of something that’s fairly simple to draw (e.g., a car, a flower, a house). This person now has to describe the picture to their teammate without actually saying what the item is so they can draw it. They’re allowed to describe shapes, sizes, and textures but can’t say, “Draw a lily.” Once the blind drawing is finished, compare it with the original to see how well you communicated.Why this exercise is great: This activity is a fun way to polish your communication skills, especially your listening skills. It also gives your team a chance to get creative and innovative by thinking outside the box to describe the image to their teammates.
5 Remote or virtual team building games
- Photo caption contest Team size: 5+ people
Time: 10–15 minutes
How to play: Collect a few funny photos—for example a few memes that have recently been circling the internet. Send these to your team before the meeting and ask everyone to submit their best photo caption for each image. You can put these together in a quick presentation and present them to your team during the call. You can have a good laugh together and even vote for the best captions.Why this exercise is great: This exercise is a fun way to get creative as a team and have a good laugh together.
- Morning coffee Team size: 3+ people
Time: 15–30 minutes
How to play: Schedule regular coffee calls for your remote team to give everyone a chance to get to know each other like they would in an office setting. You can schedule team calls with four to five people or randomly assign two people to each other that switch every time. You can offer these casual calls once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month, depending on your team size and the interest in this opportunity. Why this exercise is great: Remote teams don’t often get a chance to just chit-chat and get to know each other without talking about work or feeling like they’re wasting meeting time. By designating 15–30 minutes on a regular basis to a casual call, your team members will have a chance to bond with people they might not typically interact with.
- Trivia games Team size: 6–20 people
Time: 30–90 minutes
How to play: Start a meeting with a quick game of trivia or host a regular virtual trivia night at the end of the work day. You can play a game of office trivia (e.g., facts about the company) or pick random other themes like TV shows, music, or national parks. To mix things up, ask other team members to host trivia night.Why this exercise is great: Whether you’re making the trivia game office-themed or creating a regular team activity that takes everyone’s minds off of work, you’ll get to spend time with your team playing a competitive, educational, and entertaining game that gives everyone a chance to bond.
- Quarterly challenge Time: One month
How to play: Create an optional challenge for your team to participate in. The challenge can be centered around healthy eating, meditation, journaling, or reading. Create a chat or thread where your teammates can exchange their experiences, wins, and questions to keep each other motivated and accountable throughout the month.
Make sure your team knows that participation is optional. It never hurts to ask for feedback to spark future team challenge ideas.
Why this exercise is great: Creating a challenge like this for your team shows them that you care about their work-life balance. By offering a quarterly challenge, you provide your team with the opportunity to share an experience together. Plus, it’s always easier to complete a challenge when you have a team who supports you and an incentive to work toward it.
- Personality test Team size: 5+ people
How to play: Send a personality test to your team and ask everyone to share their results in a chat or during your next team meeting. This can be a formal test like the MBTI For something more lighthearted, you can send a fun quiz like the sorting hat to find out which Hogwarts house you belong in or a Buzzfeed quiz.
3 Problem solving games
- Your first idea Team size: 5–12 people
Time: 10–20 minutes
How to play: Ask everyone in your team to write down the first idea that pops into their head when they’re presented with the problem. Compile the list and review it as a team.
A fun twist on this game is to ask everyone to write down their worst idea. After reviewing with the team, you may realize that some ideas aren’t that bad after all. You can play this game with a real-life problem, a fictional one, or when you’re brainstorming new ideas to pitch.
Why this exercise is great: We often get too much into our heads about problems and solutions. By writing down the first solution that comes to mind, we can uncover new perspectives and fixes.
- Back of the napkin Team size: 6–24 people
Time: 15–20 minutes
How to play: Divide your team into groups of two to four and present them with a variety of open-ended problems. These can be work-related, imaginary, or even environmental problems. Every team gets a napkin and pen that they have to sketch or write their solution on after they’ve discussed the issue as a group. These will then be presented to the rest of the team.
Why this exercise is great: Some of the best ideas have allegedly been recorded on napkins (hey, when creativity strikes you’ll write on anything). This game imitates this scenario while challenging your team to collaborate on solving a creative problem.
- Spectrum mapping Team size: 5–15 people
Time: 30–60 minutes
How to play: Present your team with a few topics that you’d like their opinions and insight on. Write them down on a whiteboard and give everyone sticky notes and pens. Ask them to write down their thoughts and pin them on the whiteboard underneath the respective topic.
Now arrange the sticky notes as a team. Try to group similar ideas together to the left of the topic and post outliers toward the right side. This will create a spectrum of popular thoughts and opinions on the left and more extreme ideas on the right.
Why this exercise is great: This game will help you map out the diversity of perspectives your team has on different topics. Remember that unpopular opinions don’t have to be wrong. Embracing this diversity can help you uncover new perspectives and innovative ideas to solve problems you’re facing as a team.
3 Indoor team building games
- Memory wall Team size: 5+ people
Time: 15–30 minutes
How to play: You’ll need a whiteboard and sticky notes for this game. Write different work-related themes on the whiteboard such as “first day at work,” “team celebration,” and “work travel.” Hand each teammate a few sticky notes and ask them to write down their favorite memories or accomplishments associated with one or more of these themes. Invite everyone to share these with the team to take a walk down memory lane and post the notes on the whiteboard as you go.
Why this exercise is great: This is a nice way to end a week, long day, or workshop because you’ll share positive experiences with one another that will leave your teammates smiling. If you’re finishing up a work trip or multi-day workshop, you can also do a slimmed-down version of this by asking everyone to share their favorite memory or biggest accomplishment of the last few days.
- Paper plane Team size: 6–12 people
Time: 20–30 minutes
How to play: Split your team into groups of two to four and hand out card stock. Give each team 10–15 minutes to come up with the best long-distance paper plane design (they’re allowed to do research on their phones or computers) and a name for their airline.
When the paper planes are done, have a competition in a long hallway or outside to see which plane flies the farthest.
Why this exercise is great: This exercise requires team members to collaborate on a project with a tight timeline. It is a great activity to practice communication skills, delegation, and time management.
- Build a tower Team size: 8–16 people
Time: 20–30 minutes
How to play: Divide your team into groups of four or five and provide them with 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. Challenge each team to build the tallest tower possible using only the supplies you gave them. When finished, the tower has to support the marshmallow sitting on top. Set the timer for 20 minutes and ask everyone to step away from their masterpiece when it runs out so you can crown a winner.
Why this exercise is great: This challenge is a great way to improve problem solving skills and communication within your team. Your team members will have to prototype, build, and present the tower in a short amount of time, which can be stressful. The better they work together, the more likely they are to succeed.
3 Outdoor team building games
- Company Outing Team size: Entire team
Time: > 60 minutes
Organizing a company outing may require a significant investment, but its impact on the team's morale is invaluable. This exceptional corporate team building activity is particularly effective when team members from different departments have limited daily interactions.By engaging with one another outside the confines of the workplace, team members can unwind and feel more at ease, encouraging natural bonding and fostering openness among colleagues.
This outstanding team building event can benefit both large and small groups alike. What's even better? Seizing this opportunity as a lunch-and-learn session allows employee training to transcend the traditional conference room setting, delivering both educational value and a fun experience.
- Scavenger hunt Team size: 8+ people
Time: 45–90 minutes
Instructions: Create an exhilarating treasure hunt for your team, employing various formats such as a list of captivating photographs (e.g., something crimson, all teammates stationed before the company emblem, the CEO's vehicle, etc.), a collection of designated items (e.g., company brochure, a yellow sticky note adorned with the manager's signature, a ketchup packet obtained from the cafeteria, etc.), or engaging activities that must be accomplished along a predetermined path.
Benefits of this activity: The more participants partake in this adventure, the more enthralling it becomes. By pairing individuals who are not well acquainted, you provide them with an opportunity to forge connections during this engaging pursuit. Infuse the adventure with quests specific to your company, allowing the team to acquire fascinating insights along the way. To heighten motivation, consider offering prizes to the most innovative team or to the first ones to complete the challenge.
- The minefield Team size: 4–10 people
Time: 15–30 minutes
How to play: Create a minefield in a parking lot or another large, open space by sporadically placing objects like papers, balls, cones, and bottles. Split your team into groups of two and ask one person to put on a blindfold. The other person now has to guide the blindfolded teammate through the minefield only using their words. The blindfolded person is not allowed to talk and will be eliminated if they stop walking or step on anything in the minefield.
Why this exercise is great: This game is not just a trust exercise for your teammates but also a fun way to practice active listening skills and clear communication.
5 Benefits of Corporate Team Building Activities
Team building is more than a fun break from your everyday routine at work. It also:
- Improves communication, trust, and collaboration skills
- Promotes a collaborative culture by bringing teammates together
- Fosters agile decision-making and problem solving skills
- Boosts team productivity and morale
- Uses creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking
Bring your team together with AFFiNE
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build your team’s confidence, connection, and teamwork skills. While team building is fun, it’s also important to connect with your team on an everyday basis. To build one of those connections in your day-to-day work, the right collaboration software is key.
Looking for the right collaboration tool? See how AFFiNE keeps your team connected, no matter where you’re working. Come and join us on our journey over on our media platforms.
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