‘Team building’ – once the phrase that was sure to evoke groans, sudden onset of mysterious illnesses and anything but team cohesiveness, as everyone tried everything to get out of them.
The best team building activities and events shouldn’t do this. With careful thought and consideration about your team and what floats their boat, groans should be banished and team building activities for work or play will rapidly become a highlight on the calendar.
The benefits of team building are wide-reaching, from increased innovation and creativity to better collaboration. But they aren’t just great for workplaces, they can be good for social groups, volunteers, school kids and more.
But it’s tough. How do you know which team building plan to go for? Which will suit your group? We’ve made it easy for you by rounding up an exhaustive list of all the best team building activities and events available.
We’ve then dived into who they are good for and everything you need to know.
Grab a cuppa and read on...
Comedy Club Show
Want to raise some chuckles? Reckon everyone could bond over a laugh or two? A trip to a comedy club can be a good plan. Most cities and larger towns have comedy clubs with resident comedians and visiting acts.
What’s good? Laughter is great for bonding the troops. It builds morale and can give everyone a shared experience to chat about.
What’s not so great? Comedy can very easily be niche. Chances are your entire team won’t share the same sense of humour. No one wants to offend Margot or realise that Tom’s dark humour is verging on psychopathic. As such, they possibly aren’t always the best team building activities for work groups.
Simply state, “I want a team building event for X number of people in Y location”, CluedUpp can organise some detective-based fun. The team comes together to solve a mystery in your chosen area using clues, riddles and all their sleuthing cleverness. Be like Google, be like Amazon, and choose a Detective Day from CluedUpp and make everyone happy.
What’s good? These events are unique to your group whenever and wherever you want them, no matter how many of you there are or where you are. They are affordable, but they are pretty unbeatable on fun. Unlike most team building activities, every individual will be involved and can play to their strengths.
What’s not so great? Detective Days will be so popular that you’ll have a hard time getting anyone to agree to any other team building ideas from now on. No worries, there are loads of different themes, so there will be something to keep you going.
Win your way to their hearts through their stomachs, with a chocolate making workshop. You’re sure to be able to find a chocolate making team building event pretty nearby, wherever in the world you are.
What’s good? It’s chocolate. What more can we say?
What’s not so great? Who’s got allergies? Who’s calorie counting? And there’s the small issue of numbers; chocolate making workshops tend to only cater for smallish size groups. It’s also a bit of a niche event. If your team is the local motorbike club, it probably won’t appeal.
Channel your inner Legolas and take everyone out to hit the target. Archery can be a fun and competitive team building adventure. It suits young-ish and fit-ish teams who are up for having a go.
What’s good? It’s a healthy way of taking out angst, as long as the weapon is not turned on the most annoying colleague. It’s good for concentration and can foster a healthy competitive spirit.
What’s not so great? It won’t suit everyone and can be boring if you’re the one standing around in the cold waiting your turn.
Organise a night out to a casino, or get in a private croupier for your event, and have some fun placing some bets.
What’s good? It’s a classic activity often used at corporate events. They can be good fun, and some of you may win some serious cash.
What’s not so great? Do you know who disagrees with gambling on principle? Do you know who’s battled with a gambling addiction? Do you know who is struggling to make their rent this month?
Don the leather, hit the track, and see who takes their spot on the leader board. Go-karting is available all over the place and can suit medium sized groups.
What’s good? There’s nothing like a bit of motorsport action to get the adrenaline going. There’s an element of competition but it is all good-natured fun.
What’s not so great? Have you ever tried to chat to your team mates at a go karting event? The noise levels can be quite high. And make sure you consider what your team likes, high speed racing isn’t for everyone.
Circus Skills Workshops
Who doesn’t want to learn to juggle?! Circus skills workshops give your group the chance to learn something new together. That’s good stuff for bonding.
What’s good? All sorts of organisations run circus skills workshops where you can learn skills as diverse as the diablo through to tightrope walking.
What’s not so great? The providers can be quite variable. Check reviews first.
Who makes a mean Mojito? Who can shake a Cosmo? Why not find out with a cocktail making masterclass?
What’s good? You get something to drink! It’s different and will give the team members skills which are fantastic social currency.
What’s not so great? Before you make the booking, you’ll need to awkwardly consider if anyone is hiding a pregnancy. That could get embarrassing. Cocktail making classes include mocktail and teetotal options, but not everyone will want to admit to wanting that.
Treasure Hunts and Scavenger Hunts
Using apps, there are loads of companies that offer team building scavenger and treasure hunts. You can do virtual hunts all over the world, and even in your own office.
What’s good? Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are app based and can be done pretty much anywhere.
What’s not so great? Someone will almost inevitably boss everyone else around. Choose teams wisely.
We’re big fans of escape rooms and have shared some of the best escape rooms in the world with you before. You can have loads of team building fun as you race against a clock to solve puzzles and clues to get you outta that locked door!
What’s good? Your team has to gel quickly and work effectively and creatively. You’ll draw out strengths and work together with a common objective: escape!
What’s not so great? Escape rooms are wonderful but they are limited by size. Most fit around 6 players. You can find a few larger ones, but really, escape rooms are great team building events but only for smaller teams.
Family Fun Days
Ever faced with issues getting people to come along to team building events because they want to spend their time with their family? If so, a family fun day could be the answer. You can hire in anything and everything from bouncy castles and fairground games to free bars and chill out zones.
What’s good? You can cater to everyone in one place, and keep them happy by involving their family. It can serve as a company perk too, doubling up as a summer party.
What’s not so great? Not everyone’s family wants to be encouraged to socialise through work. And when Derek’s 16 year old makes full use of the free bar whilst he’s distracted on the volleyball court, all hell could break loose.
Whip out the board games, buy in the snacks, and organise a team games night. Test verbal dexterity with Articulate, organise pub classics like darts and skittles, and try to keep Jake and Ashleigh calm over the table football.
What’s good? Games nights are low cost and easy to organise and most people love a good game.
What’s not so great? Most games involve smaller groups, but you can organise free play by having lots of different games and tournaments available.
Crazy golf can make a fun and marginally competitive team building activity. Crazy and adventure golf courses spring up pretty much everywhere, but increasingly there are town centre venues where you can mix taking a putt with having a great night out.
What’s good? It’s a golden oldie, who doesn’t bond over a round of golf, even if it’s the crazy version. Everyone knows what’s expected.
What’s not so great? It can be brilliantly fun but it can seem a little unoriginal.
Take a tour or trip
We’ve seen some really successful team building plans simply revolve around being tourists on your own turf. Many of us work in fabulous environments, but we never get the chance to explore them properly. Going along together to enjoy the local top attractions is sure to bring you all together.
What’s good? The world is your oyster. You can take a look at the tourist attractions in your area and see what you think your team will fancy.
What’s not so great? It may be tricky to find something that everyone wants to do or hasn’t done before. On the day, it may be hard to keep everyone together.
It’s an oldie but it’s a goody! Quiz night is perhaps one of the oldest and best team building activities on the block. Make groups of people that you want to work together as a team.
What’s good? Quiz templates are a dime a dozen on the internet and it’s easy to organise your own, making for a low cost classic event.
What’s not so great? Quizzes don’t actually particularly build teams. They are fun, but you can bet there will be a competitive show-off and no one really likes it being highlighted that their repertoire of sport or music knowledge is lacking.
Log on anywhere and at any time and play virtual games. From virtual escape games to virtual masterclasses, there’s a huge range of virtual team building games.
What’s good? Virtual games are fabulous for remote teams. Your team can be spread across the world but you can all come together to solve a quest, compete in a quiz, or do a Zumba class.
What’s not so good? If you don’t need to, surely it’s time to get out from behind the computer screen?
Dress in a flattering boiler suit, pick up your gun, and pelt your opponent. Paintballing has long been a favourite of team building activities for all sorts of different groups from teenagers to workplace colleagues.
What’s good? There’s nothing that unites quite like a common enemy. Your team will need to build their collaborative skills which will be mighty handy once they’re back in their usual environment.
What’s not so great? Everyone needs to be fit and everyone needs to be game for target size bruises to adorn them for the next week.
Unlike with a standalone event such as archery or rifle shooting, multi-activity days can bring together a range of team building activities so that there’s a mix and a bursting day of fun. They can be tailor made to suit the characters in your group, making sure that adrenalin-junkies get their fix or the creatives can do some pottery painting.
What’s good? You can organise a full day of varied activities ensuring there’s something for everyone. Many team building activities are over in a flash.
What’s not so great? Some people may dread the day, feeling that it’s a series of activities they will hate. Take the team’s want-to temperature before booking!
Depending on your team, an art class of some variety can be a huge hit. No one is being forced to go bungee jumping and you don’t need to avoid dietary dilemmas. For creative types, a shared class or workshop, doing something like felting or calligraphy, could be a team building activity that they actually look forward to.
What’s good? It’s calm, it’s collected, and everyone can have a go without having to dread being made to run around muddy fields.
What’s not so good? There will be limits on sizes; you will struggle to find a suitable workshop for anything more than a small team.
If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas for team building activities, what about a drumming workshop? It’s a chance to get together, try your hand(s) at something new, and pull together to make the cacophony something good to hear.
What’s good? Chances are that no one will have done it before and that’s not always the case with team building activities. And who doesn’t want to take out their workplace angst beating a drum senseless?!
What’s not so great? The noise. Enough said.
A night at the dogs, or placing bets in person on the horses, has long been a favourite corporate team building activity. It remains a firm favourite and gets good take up in most workplaces.
What’s good? People know what they are getting and it can be an enjoyable social night out.
What’s not so great? Gambler’s Anonymous this is not.
There’s nothing like a bit of fear to bring a team together. Working together to coax those who are nervous around the course, and celebrating each other’s achievements, can do wonders for team morale.
What’s good? Facing your fears and doing something anyway is sure to bring everyone back into the team setting on a natural high.
What’s not so great? Someone will be terrified. And if they don’t overcome that fear, they won’t feel great.
Water Sports Adventure
Paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing… there’s so much choice when it comes to water sport team building games. From building a raft together (and sinking a raft together) to a gentle canoe on a local waterway, getting on the water can be fabulous.
What’s good? There’s something about being on water that brings everyone together. It reminds us of holidays and good times.
What’s not so good? Wetsuit with your work colleagues? No, thank you.
Do something really worthwhile as a team building activity by putting the team to task on a community service or volunteering project. Allowing the team to pull together to help others is a worthwhile opportunity and you may just discover some hidden skills and talents among team members that aren’t apparent in the usual setting.
What’s good? Build the team’s and organisation’s reputation in the wider community and give everyone the feel good factor.
What’s not so great? Choose the cause wisely and ensure you get buy-in from your volunteers.
Grab a meal together
Don’t overlook the most simple of ideas. Us humans, we bond over food. Sometimes simply organising for the team to go out and share a meal together is all that’s needed.
What’s good? It’s simple, and everyone needs to eat.
What’s not so great? Choosing a restaurant that suits a wide range of tastes and dietary requirements can take a little effort.