Team building activities and games sound very promising. Who wouldn’t want to have a team that is cohesive, communicates well and is effective in problem-solving?
That’s why in recent years, team building activities have been taken to a whole new level, with hours or even days dedicated to team building and improving communication.
These all might work, but there are some who think that “conventional” team-building activities might do more harm than good.
Many of the well-known activities require sharing personal details, can put people in the spotlight, or require employees to participate in activities they might not feel comfortable doing.
So, how can you get the benefits of team building, but avoid unnecessary and unwanted effects?
Here are some examples of simple team building activities that shouldn’t cause discomfort for any of the participants.
You may also want to try some of these fun workplace activities in your office as a fun way to relax together and get ready for the weekend.
Sponsor a Lunch During Working Hours
A very simple and easy team building activity is to sponsor a lunch during working hours. Take the employees to a nearby restaurant for a longer lunch break, or have lunch catered in the office.
The point is for people to eat their lunch and spend their break together instead of going into their own offices to eat.
This has the benefit of people socializing but is not forced and gets rid of the pressure applied to employees when they have to go to a company dinner or spend a night out with colleagues.
Encourage a Group Chat
Group chats can be a good place for people to share ideas, collaborate on different projects, but also sometimes can be used to have discussions unrelated to work.
Of course, employees can’t be forced to enjoy a group chat, but if there is a light-hearted atmosphere in the chat and it is used to talk about non-work related things, it may be a great team building tool.
A real-life example of utilizing the group chat is that in one such chat an employee X takes a selfie with employee Y.
A third person joined saying that they also had a selfie with employee Y, and that trend quickly spread to people seeking out employee Y to have a selfie with, almost like a viral trend.
This activity can last for days and will definitely bring a positive work energy to the group.
It can also allow for employees to get in touch with each for other social events outside of the office, encouraging an even more in-depth sense of teamwork and comradery.
This is a game, but it doesn’t require anything other than pens, papers, and effort.
As the name suggests, employees answer questions about the office, such as “What’s the color of the bathroom tiles?” or “How many people whose name starts with P are working in this department?”
This can encourage employees to think about the office and their co-workers in a different manner.
To increase the stakes, the winner can get a prize, which can be a mock-prize like a trophy or maybe even a day off!
Whose is This?
This activity can be used for remote teams, also.
Take screenshots of the employee’s desktops (or desktop wallpapers), upload them to a file-sharing site, or maybe print them out and have people guess whose desktop is which.
This can be a game in which the co-workers learn a lot about each other and thus enhance their familiarity. Things can be spiced up by guessing people’s favorite movie or song. This can be a one-time event or multi-tier event.
Just make sure to tell your employees about the idea behind the game first so they won’t feel like their privacy is being breached.
A “memory wall” is very self-explanatory, and people often have them in their homes. But in the office setting, there can be a few ways to create a memory wall.
A traditional memory wall: Have employees bring photos of either themselves to show how they looked like when they joined the company, or from good memories with coworkers.
This doesn’t have to be an activity in itself, it can just be a place in the office designated for photographs.
A memory wall as an activity: Ask employees to follow the steps mentioned above, but organized in such a way that people bring photos and offer a short story connected with the photo.
It would be most effective if the photos are from coworkers and positive work memories, and today, when most photos are digitized, it can be a good idea to print out a few of them and have them as a tangible object.
A memory wall as a game: Instead of bringing photographs, employees can draw simple sketches and pictures and then describe the memory.
In order for this to achieve the best effect, the memories they share should be work-related memories. An added twist is that other people will have to guess which memory is being depicted.
Team building is an essential component of having a cohesive and efficient team. As it has been shown multiple times, it improves communication, creates trust, and inspires interpersonal connections between workers.
It keeps employees motivated, and often times less serious and “goofy” team building activities can be more effective than serious ones. They can end up being the memories reminisced about on the memory wall!
Regardless of which of the above activities you choose to conduct, the positive results will follow soon afterward.
For example, you might start to notice that certain employees, who were previously quiet and shy, have recently started to engage more in the social dynamic of the office.
Or maybe your employees will be just a little bit kinder to each other throughout the course of their daily activities.
Feeling a sense of belonging and being a part of a group are basic human instincts, and team building achieves just that!