You look around your office. The mood is serious. Heads down, fingers flying over keyboards. Everyone is intensely focused on their own task, desks as lonely as islands in a sea of work. Do you see any smiling faces or any animated conversation?
If the answer is no, sound the alarms folks, because it looks like your office is in a fun slump. But don’t despair. You just need some fun team building ideas to break the slump.
Now take a moment to imagine an alternate reality where people have fun together. What do you envision? Imagine your team laughing and smiling, connecting and chatting. Your team is engaged with their work and with each other.
Is There Value In Fun?
Now that you’ve envisioned both of these realities, let’s get down to business of improving your workplace environment. Employees that have fun together and bond through shared, positive experiences are more engaged.
And guess what? Engaged employees have been statistically shown to boost productivity and profit margins. So yes, fun (or lack thereof) can affect your bottom line. Fun team building does yield ROI.
As a life long performer and a professional facilitator, I’ve seen the benefit of incorporating time for fun into work life. Fresh, fun team building activities are the best way to create the kind of productive, energized culture that high performing teams need to excel.
Fun Team Building Ideas – Top 10
Below is a list of 10 fun team building ideas that will get your group fired up and well on their way out of a slump. Some of these programs are physically challenging and some are easily accessible for anyone. Make sure to align your program with your team member’s physical capabilities so everyone can participate.
1. White Water Rafting
Leave the comfort zones on shore, the laptops in the office (they wouldn’t survive the spray anyway) and get your team out on the water. Once the rafts push off the shore, you’ll work together to stay afloat and head in the right direction.
You’ll face a bit of fear, work together and ultimately triumph as you make your way down river. This is bonding at its best. You’ll work to achieve an end result, creating shared memories along the way.
2. High Ropes Course
The high ropes course will get you out of the office and right into navigating the great outdoors. Starting on platforms high off the ground, your team will cross cable bridges, work together to negotiate giant ladders and zoom across zip lines.
The physical scale of a high ropes course provides an adrenaline rush that creates powerful experience. Trained facilitators and state of the art safety equipment ensures that everyone is comfortable. You get all the thrills and fun of a big outdoor adventure with no more risk than sitting at a desk. Okay, maybe just a tad more risk.
3. Community Clean Up
Looking to do some good in your community and incorporate some fun team building at the same time? Call your local parks department and ask which parks could use a boost from a group of helpful volunteers.
Maybe your team can build a new swing set. Or simply clean up a park to create a better environment for the kids in your community. Either way, you’ll benefit from a sense of shared purpose as you give back to the larger community.
4. Trapeze School
If you and your team are traveling to the Chicago or New York area, give the Trapeze School a try for some high flying, gravity defying adventure. Before you tell me that your group of accountants can’t get on a flying trapeze, remember this is safe. There’s just the right amount of challenge!
I love programs like this that move people from fear to accomplishment. And Trapeze has the potential to improve your team’s focus…you’ll definitely be concentrating.
5. Music And Song
I’ll admit I’m a bit biased here. But after more than ten years leading corporate teams through this process, I can honestly say that Team Building Through Song® is kinda great.
Fun is an understatement with this activity. We all go to concerts or listen to music as part of the fun in our lives. Music taps into shared experience and emotion. Making music together can bring your work group closer in powerful ways.
You can write one song in a large group setting. Or you can break into teams to create multiple songs and then compete on stage for awards. There’s nothing better than starting with a blank canvas, coming up with ideas and then seeing it all coalesce as you create, perform and record your own songs.
Everyone has opportunity to participate in different ways, contributing lyric ideas, singing or playing percussion instruments. But you won’t be put on the spot. In other words; no need to take a solo!
6. Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Taking in a baseball game is simple way to get everyone out of the office and into the sun. Is going to a baseball game valid team building? I think it most definitely can be. While going to a ball game with your work crew is definitely not the traditional team event, there’s real value in the bonding that will definitely occur. Hot dogs and beer, sharing with your peers, creating memories and forging better bonds. What’s wrong with that?
7. Drum Circle
Imagine telling your co-workers: it’s time to get your hands off those computer keyboards and bang on some drums. Making a joyful noise for a shared purpose is effortlessly inspiring, fun and energizing.
You’ll get hands on experience as you play a variety of percussion instruments ranging from egg shakers and tambourines to large floor drums.
Each percussion instrument becomes part of a section and each section has a specific purpose in the overall arrangement. The sections work together, each with their own unique purpose, to create an incredible rhythmic performance piece that everyone can enjoy and play together.
Drumming programs build confidence and increase focus as everyone works together on something completely new.
Pro Tip: Make sure to work with an experienced drum leader or this event can go from productive to messy pretty quickly!
8. The Marshmallow Challenge
All you need for the marshmallow challenge is 18 minutes, 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of tape, a yard of string and one marshmallow. This is one of my favorite fun team building ideas that you can do right in your office.
Split your group into four member teams, each with their own set of supplies. With 18 minutes on the clock, each team is asked to build the tallest free standing structure possible. There is only one rule. The marshmallow must be placed at the top of the structure.
You’ll collaborate, strategize and improve relationships as you build something brand new.
9. Pet Pageant
Everyone loves to talk about their pets. Your most reticent co-worker, when asked about their beloved cat or dog, will grab their phone to share pictures. Why not harness that propensity to bond over pet photos as a fun team building event?
Create a big bulletin board where everyone can share pics of their pets. Start with categories (cutest, funniest, pet/owner look alike etc.) Have a secret ballot box where people can vote for their favorites and then award prizes at a closing ceremony.
The pet pageant enables people to connect informally and learn more about each other as you share photos and memories while the pet stories fly.
10. Story Slam
All you need for the story slam is a bit of time, a theme, and someone who’s brave enough to go first.
Sit around a table or pull chairs into a circle so that no one feels pushed to the front or singled out. Make sure everyone is clear about the theme you’ve decide on for the stories. Give each person gets five minutes to tell a story related to this theme.
You’ll learn something new about your colleagues, whether it’s a revealed truth or maybe their ability to spin a yarn if a story is fictional. Either way, you’ll gain insight into each other and laugh along the way.
Fun Pays Off – Go Get It
As you make your way through these 10 fun team building ideas and decide what’s best for your group, take a moment to return to that mental image of your team having fun. Imagine the power of a relaxed, inspired workplace and then go out and get it.