15 Team Building Activities for Work (With Instruction & Review)

Whether you have a small business or a large one, you know the value of teamwork for your business success. To promote teamwork, your employees need the right mindset to cooperate with others and work towards achieving a common goal.

Team Building Activities for Work

Conducting the right team building activities help your employees interact with their colleagues and know each others better.

Here are 15 team building activities for work that will provide great team spirit.

Icebreakers

#1. Life Highlights

This icebreaker activity helps a person to know more about the lifestyles, passions, and personalities of his/her team mates. Life highlights is ideal before a team meeting or presentation.

Time Required

15-30 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
No materials required

Instructions

  • Ask the participants to close eyes for one minute and think about their best life moments like moments with family or friends, personal/professional achievements, etc.
  • Once they review their life highlights, ask them which moment they want to relive if they only have 30 seconds left in their life and why.

Review questions to consider

  • How comfortable the participants were when they have to share their life experiences?
  • What difference the participants feel when they know more about the people around?

#2. Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a lie will help individuals to know more about the people around them through interaction. The goal of this activity is to identify the lie from three different statements.

Time Required

15-20 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
Pen and paper pieces

Instructions

  • Ask each participant to write two truths and a lie about himself/herself in a paper piece and advise them not to reveal the lie to anyone.
  • Now, the rest of the participants should try to find out which one is the lie by asking different questions.

Review questions to consider

  • Were the participants curious enough to know more about their colleagues?
  • How did the participants ask questions differently to find out the lie?

#3. Coin Logo

Coin logo is one of the quick team building activities for work. In this activity, the participants are required to create a logo using coins.

Time Required

5- 10 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
A private room
Tables
Coins

Instructions

  • Ask the participants to empty their pockets or wallets and place their coins on the table in front of them (If you have a large number of participants, split them into smaller teams).
  • Have some coins spare if someone doesn’t have enough coins.
  • Now, allow some time for each person/team to create a personal/team logo using their coins.
  • Then, ask each person/team to discuss about their logo such as what is its meaning, what made them create such a logo etc.

Review questions to consider

  • How did each person or team define their logo and its purpose?
  • Was the logo good enough to convey the idea of its creator?

Communication

#4. The Blindfold Game

The blindfold game helps to improve communication, listening skills, and build trust between team members. In this activity, the blindfold members need to rely on their sighted partners and follow their instructions.

Time Required

15-20 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
A large private room
Furniture and other objects that act as obstacles
Blindfolds for half of the people

Instructions

  • Scatter furniture and other items around the room as obstacles.
  • Group the participants into pairs and one person from each pair must be blindfolded.
  • The sighted members must direct their blindfold partners across the room, and provide instructions to overcome the obstacles.
  • Once each team reaches the other end of the room, switch roles and repeat the activity.

Review questions to consider

  • How did the sighted partners communicate differently with their blindfold members?
  • How did the listening skills of members change when they were blindfolded?

#5. Circle Story

In this activity, the participants need to create and tell a story one phrase or sentence at a time. It boosts communication, creativity and teamwork.

Time Required

5-10 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
A large private room or outdoor space

Instructions

  • Group the participants into different teams. Then, ask each team to sit in a circular shape.
  • One person in each team should start a story with the phrase “once upon a time” and the person in his right side should continue the sentence.
  • Go around the circle 3 or 4 times before concluding the story.

Review questions to consider

  • How creatively the members express their idea when it comes to creating a fresh story?
  • Were the participants able to maintain a flow quite easily? If not, what were the issues?

#6. Make Your Team

This activity promotes quick and effective communication skills. In this activity, the goal is to form a team by identifying the people who belong to the same category.

Time Required

10-15 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
A large room
Paper slips for whole number of participants

Instructions

  • Facilitator should equally divide the paper slips into 4 or 5 different sections. Pick the first section, write “RED” in all slips. In the second section, write “GREEN” in all slips. Similarly, write different color names in the remaining sections.
  • Ask each participant to pick a paper slip, identify the other members with the same color and form a team.
  • Allow some time for the participants to find their partners. The team that finishes first will win the game.

Review questions to consider

  • How did the participants communicate differently to find their team members?
  • Have you found any “shortcuts” or “communication tricks” to quickly form the team?

Trust Building

#7. Mine field

Mine field is one of the fantastic team building activities for work and is similar to the blindfold game. Here a sighted person guides his blindfold member, but only through verbal instructions.

Time Required

30 minutes to 1 hour

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
A large indoor or outdoor space
Soft objects like cones, foam balls, large paper cups, empty plastic bottles, etc.
Enough blindfolds for half of the people

Instructions

  • Set up the “minefield” by placing obstacles like empty plastic bottles, cones, foam balls, large paper cups, etc. all over the space.
  • Divide the participants into different pairs. In each pair, one person should be blindfolded and is not allowed to see or talk. The other person is able to see or talk, but must not enter the mine field or touch his blindfold partner.
  • Now, the blindfold person should walk through the mine field (without touching the mines) by listening to the verbal instructions of his/her partner.
  • Once the blindfold person reaches the other side, switch roles and repeat the activity.

Review questions to consider

  • How did the sighted person communicate with his blindfold partner without being able to touch him?
  • How well did the blindfold person listen to his sighted partner?

#8. Eye contact

This is another simple, yet powerful exercise for trust building. Eye contact enables members to trust each other and make them work towards a common goal.

Time Required

5 minutes

Participants and Materials

An even number of participants
No materials required

Instructions

  • Divide the participants into pairs and each pair stand facing each other.
  • Ask each pair to stare into their partner’s eyes for at least 60 seconds. Remember, people are not allowed to wear sunglasses in this activity.

Review questions to consider

  • How did a person feel when someone’s attention focused completely on him?
  • Did the members have different feeling with different individuals?

#9. Snakes

This exercise focuses on building trust between team members by helping one another. In this activity, a sighted person should guide the rest of his team mates by providing non verbal instructions.

Time Required

30-45 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
A large room
Soft objects that can be picked up easily
Enough blindfolds

Instructions

  • Place the soft objects all around the room and divide the participants into small teams, preferably 6 members.
  • Each team should stand in a line where the first five members should be blindfolded and the last member (tail end) is able to see.
  • The sighted member should guide the “snake” to pick up the object by providing nonverbal instructions to his partners in front.
  • The blindfolded person who is standing in the head end should pick the object. Once this is done, he can remove the blindfold and move to the tail end.

Review questions to consider

  • Did any blindfold partners feel difficulty in trusting the sighted partner?
  • How well did the sighted partner communicate to his blindfold partners through non verbal instructions?

Planning/Adaptability

#10. The Paper Tower

The paper tower is one of the very simple team building activities for work. It focuses on testing and improving the creativity and planning skills of people.

Time Required

5 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
Paper sheets

Instructions

  • Split the participants into small teams.
  • Give a large sheet of paper to each team and instruct them to build the tallest free-standing structure.
  • Set a time limit for this activity and each team should build a structure only using the paper.
  • Finally, review each structure.

Review questions to consider

  • How did the teams plan differently to build the tallest structure?
  • What were the difficulties in their planning and how did they overcome them?

#11. Road Map Game

The Road Map Game is an excellent activity to improve the planning skills of team members. In this activity, team members should plan an event through collaboration.

Time Required

30 minutes

Participants and Materials

4 or more members per team
One map (a state map, country map or any specific location) for each team
Papers
Pens

Instructions

  • Divide the participants in to several teams and instruct each team to plan a vacation based on the available resources and information.
  • Provide a map to each team and also a list of available resources and information for the trip such as the money in hand, type of car, price of fuel, towns they can find fuel etc.
  • Give a paper and pen to each team and tell them to write down their travel plans. Make sure that any team that runs out of money or fuel will be disqualified.
  • Finally, you can give awards to the team that did the most with what they had or for the most exciting trip.

Review questions to consider

  • Were the teams able to effectively utilize the resources they had?
  • How did the planning help the members to avoid wastage of time and resources?

#12. Tag Team Game

Tag team game helps a person adapt to their weaknesses by learning more from their colleagues. In this game, each person will know the attributes of a great team.

Time Required

20-30 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
Large sheet of papers
Pens

Instructions

  • Divide the participants into small teams (4-6 members).
  • Now, ask each person to write down their qualities as well as strengths that help their team succeed and share it with their team mates.
  • Instruct each team to create a “virtual team mate” by combining all those qualities and strengths and write a profile/story about him.
  • Finally, each team can share this with other teams so that everyone can identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

Review questions to consider

  • How did the team members adapt to the new situation or change?
  • What were the weaknesses members had and how to handle them?

Problem Solving/Decision Making

#13. Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

This activity is to improve the problem solving skills of team members through discussion, negotiation and collaboration. In this activity, participants are required to complete a puzzle with the help of others.

Time Required

30-45 minutes

Participants and Materials

8-16 people per team
Small indoor or outdoor space
1 x large jigsaw puzzle
Small bags to hold the pieces

Instructions

  • Facilitator should divide the jigsaw puzzle and put an equal number of pieces into different small bags.
  • Split each team into 2 small sub-teams and give a bag of puzzle pieces to each sub-team. Make sure that each team’s puzzle pieces appear to be a whole puzzle.
  • Ask each sub-team to assemble the puzzle within a certain time limit. Each sub-team may think that they are competing against each other, but they can’t complete the puzzle unless they discuss and collaborate with the other sub-team.
  • Allow enough time for each sub-team to discuss, negotiate and collaborate with the other sub-team and complete the puzzle.

Review questions to consider

  • How did collaborating with others help in solving the problem?
  • What were the important decisions members need to make during the activity and why?

#14. Inter-Group Problem Solving Challenge

This activity helps to improve the creativity as well as problem solving skills of team members. Here each team should create a unique problem and challenge the other teams to solve it.

Time Required

30-45 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
Pens
Papers

Instructions

  • Divide the participants into small teams.
  • Instruct each team to come up with a self-created, unique problem and write it on a paper.
  • Now, ask each team to share their problems with the other teams and let them find the solution in a given time.
  • Finally, find out the best performing team by evaluating which team created the most complicated problem and which team solved more number of problems.

Review questions to consider

  • How did participants think differently while creating a unique problem?
  • How did the teams manage to solve multiple problems at a time?

#15. Who is The Best Decision Maker?

The main goal of this activity is to improve the decision making skills of individuals. In this activity, each team needs to analyze a very complicated situation and take the right decision.

Time Required

30-40 minutes

Participants and Materials

Any number of participants
Pens
Papers

Instructions

  • Group the participants into small teams.
  • Explain a business/management related problem with each team.

For example, Shop A and Shop B are selling product X for $100 and they are getting equal number of customers per day. Suddenly, Shop A reduced their price to $80 and they started getting more number of customers as well as profit compared to Shop B. Now, what should Shop B do in order to get more number of customers and increase their profit?

  • Ask each team to come up with the right decision to solve the issue and explain why. Then, allow them to write this on a paper.
  • Once this is done, share it with other teams and find the best decision.

Review questions to consider

  • How decision making through group discussion differ from individual decision making?
  • What alternatives did each team consider before taking a final decision?

Now, here is a question for you. Which are the team building activities you have tried for your work? Feel free to share your experience.

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