If you groan inwardly if your boss mentions the words ‘team building’, you’re not alone.
There are only so many trust fall exercises a person can do before they start to go a little crazy. Outdated and uninspiring team building exercises don’t work, either: people won’t fully engage with the day and that kind of defeats the point.
Team building activities don’t have to be boring.
Next time you hear the possibility of a team building exercise is on the cards, be the first to volunteer to organize it. Now’s your chance to make getting to know your colleagues better actually fun!
Pitch a few company outing ideas to your team and see which ones are the favorites. Get everyone together to share the winning outing ideas with your boss, and they won’t be able to refuse.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, check out these awesome team building experience ideas to get started.
1. A Circus Class
Spend a few hours learning to trapeze, climbing the high ropes, or spinning on aerial silks. A circus class will introduce skills that are unlikely to be in anyone’s arsenal yet, so it’s a new experience for everyone together.
Learning a new skill together as a team will build rapport and trust, and you’ll get some great photos for the company Facebook page, too.
2. Escape Room Games
Great for teams with creative imaginations, these games are designed to make teamwork the central key to winning.
Your team is placed in a scenario, such as being kidnapped and waking up handcuffed to each other in an unknown room, and has to solve clues to escape.
You’re on a time limit too, which forces you all to think quickly and put any differences aside if you want to get out on time to win.
3. Pub Quiz
One of you might be an expert on women in country music, while another colleague can rattle off sports facts like a genius. The range of skills and knowledge on your team make a pub quiz a perfect night out.
Trivia teams bond quickly as they have a shared goal, and you’ll be working together to understand each other’s strengths without even realizing it.
Plus you can do it all with a glass of wine in your hand, which always helps.
4. Team Bake-Off
Follow the format of popular baking shows and pitch groups of people against each other. This is a great team building activity for those who are limited on time or budget, as people can get together to bake the evening before and bring their cakes to work the next day.
Instead of having a few judges eat everything themselves, sell your bakes for charity and ask everyone who buys a cake to fill out an anonymous feedback form. This helps your team do something good for charity, eat cake, and learn to provide (and accept) constructive criticism.
5. Kayaking or Sailing
A water sport will always bond a team at speed because nobody likes to fall in.
Sailing involves communication as you all avoid the boom swinging past, while kayaking in a double canoe involves joint coordination between partners to win.
Set your teams up in their boats and arrange some competitive games for the end of the day, such as a race or relay, to add an extra edge to your team building activity.
6. Skills Swap
Get your team members to write down their best out-of-work skills, based on their interests or hobbies. They also need to write down a few skills they’d like to learn but don’t have the time to do.
For example, one person might be a pro at knitting but wants to learn Spanish. Another person went to university in Spain for a year but wants to learn how to make something with their hands. Perfect fit!
You might need to get creative with your matches, but this is a fantastic way to build long-term team building into your regular week. Set aside dedicated time each week, such as an hour at lunch on Wednesdays, and make sure partners are meeting up with each other.
7. Paintball or Airsoft
A classic team outing but not for the faint-hearted, paintball or airsoft can also help solve any friction between team members. You can either pitch the culprits against each other on opposite teams to really drive competition, or put them in the same team to encourage teamwork.
The strategy play of airsoft or paintball is what makes it one of the best company outing ideas. There may be some who want to go in all guns blazing, but working out a plan of attack (and defense) will always give a team the edge.
If These Company Outing Ideas Don’t Work, Try This
If these company outing ideas didn’t float with your boss, choose something that can be done regularly in the office.
A quick but effective exercise can add some fun to your week: get everyone to create a motivational or inspirational quote, and have your team vote on the best. The winner gets to hold a trophy for the week, and the quote gets framed for all to see!