• A group taking part in a team building activity

10 Team building activities: your guide to planning a team building event

Teamwork and collaboration have been shown to make organisations more innovative, and are considered important by up to 75% of employees. They improve how a business functions and employee morale in the workplace.

An effective way of fostering teamwork and collaboration is through team-building activities and events. Read on to find out how you can successfully host your own.

What is a team building event?

Team building is an event or activity designed to improve how a team or group of people work together. This might be through games, puzzles, small projects or problems that force participants to work collaboratively. Or, they may just be an opportunity to bond and have fun. Team building has been shown to improve working relationships and can improve performance within a team.

How a team building event is structured depends on the objective of the event. It may be to boost productivity, coworking skills, ideation or morale, and could take just thirty minutes or may be split over an entire weekend. Generally, an afternoon or a day is put aside so attendees can get the most out of the experience without being overloaded.

The importance of team building events

Teams that don’t work together effectively can have serious consequences for businesses. A study by Salesforce found that 86% of executives correlate business failure with ineffective collaboration and communication. Getting it right is important, and Gallup reports that teams that work effectively report a 24% lower staff turnover and 17% higher productivity.

A team that works well together creates a better working environment and improves overall business performance. With the positive effects that team building is shown to have, they’re extremely important to ensure your business is functioning at its best.

The benefits of team building

Team building delivers many benefits to businesses and employees, including:

  • Increasing productivity – as we’ve already seen, successful team building increases productivity by improving how members of staff work together.
  • Improving communication – exercises that allow employees to communicate in a scenario removed from day-to-day work help break down existing barriers and hierarchies. This creates greater understanding between teams and helps establish better communication.
  • Improving morale – team building has been shown to boost morale by making employees feel like they’re part of a group. A report by Gusto found that 37% of employees stay in their current jobs because they like their team.
  • Better work relationships in teams and between departments – working together on activities outside their normal work remit helps employees form stronger relationships.
  • Uncovering strengths and building confidence – giving people an opportunity to take part in activities outside of their normal work allows them to display strengths and weaknesses that may not be uncovered in their role. This can help them build confidence and also uncover their potential.
  • Connecting remote teams – If you have team members who work remotely, or are a totally remote business, in-person team building meetings and events are especially valuable to build bonds and improve working relationships.

Ten team building exercises for work

When choosing team building exercises, you need to ensure that the participants get something out of them and don’t feel as though it’s pointless forced fun. We’ve chosen ten popular exercises that will help you strike the balance between being engaging and productive.

1. Capture the keys – one blindfolded participant sits in the centre of a circle and places a set of keys behind them. Everyone else forms a circle around them, and, when directed by an appointed referee, they move individually to try and take the keys without the blindfolded person noticing. If the blindfolded participant hears someone approaching, they must point at them and the person trying to take the keys must go back to the circle for the next person to try. This is a good, active exercise that will help to develop teamwork and strategy.
2. Lunch and learn – take advantage of 20 Bedford Way’s catering service to organise a lunch and learn with a topic linked to work or a related interest. This can be a way to maximise the time in your team building event to provide a refreshment break between other activities.
3. Brainstorming session – rather than focusing on the minutiae of a particular project, a team building day is a great way to get employee input on a big-picture project, like a new logo, tagline or strategy. Employees are more likely to think outside the box away from the normal office environment and this ensures you remain productive while still having fun.
4. Competitions – a friendly contest can be a good way to get participants thinking and foster some healthy competition. It’s best to choose something creative and non-physical. This could be arts and crafts, logic puzzles or poetry, the options are endless!
5. Count to 20 – this sounds simple but is surprisingly difficult. The objective is to count to twenty and anyone can shout out the next number in the sequence. But, if two people speak at the same time, you start again from one. This can help to highlight the importance of teamwork and push people to develop a strategy.
6. Show and tell – ask everyone attending to bring an item from home and deliver a short presentation about it. This allows participants to display an interest or aspect of their personality and is a good creative exercise that boosts presentation skills.
7. Give your time – volunteering together allows your employees to have fun, build bonds and do something good for their community. There are sure to be plenty of opportunities close to you with many different types of activities.

Virtual team building activities

If meeting in person for a team building activity is impossible, there are plenty of ways to do this online instead. Here are a few ideas for virtual activities.

8. Online games – Multiplayer online games allow participants to have fun, compete and cooperate. They don’t have to be technical – games like typing challenges, murder mysteries and art games are available so that everyone can get involved and participate.
9. Online workshops – organise an online workshop where employees can learn a skill. This could be a cooking course, where participants follow along in the kitchen, a yoga workshop or cocktail making.
10. Quiz – a familiar favourite, an online quiz helps create the perfect level of friendly competition and is extremely engaging. The topic can be something related to work, general knowledge or something completely out of left field.

Set goals and collect feedback

While you want everyone to have fun – and too much organisation will compromise this -, you also want your team building exercises to have a clear purpose. Set goals beforehand for things you want to achieve, be that improving cohesion between teams or encouraging members who normally work independently to take part as a team.

You should also collect feedback from your team to understand what they got out of the experience, what they’d like to repeat next year and what they’d like to do differently. This will help people to feel more engaged.

Event venue in London

20 Bedford Way is the perfect location for team-building activities in London. Just minutes away from Euston, Kings Cross St Pancras and Russell Square stations, we have a huge choice of meeting and training rooms available. We offer all the facilities you’ll need and can arrange to cater your event. Find out more about our flexible rental lots and packages by getting in touch.

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