A team that doesn’t get along can be a real drawback for a company. But this is not the only reason why leaders need to implement team bonding ideas. Organizing team-building activities and events also contributes to greater performance and more success.
By helping your staff get to know each other better personally and professionally you build a positive work culture and foster workplace connection. Moreover, it improves employee mental health, creates purpose, and promotes a healthy work environment.
Although team building is a pivotal topic for businesses, it requires effort and is not always seen as a priority. Also, some organizations simply don’t have a clue where to start. Flexible work arrangements such as the home office can make it seem even more challenging.
So, what can you do to develop an enjoyable atmosphere at work? How can you help your employees bond and maintain a link with their colleagues when working remotely? If you are running out of ideas, this article gives companies of all sizes 15 team bonding ideas. No matter if you meet your coworkers indoors, outdoors, or virtually, here are plenty of fun activities you can do with your team!
5 indoor team bonding ideas to do when you meet your coworkers in person
1. Plan an afternoon to play indoor team-building games
With the rise of hybrid work models, taking the opportunity to meet in person to share quality moments with your staff and encourage connection is crucial. When talking about ways to boost team building, playing collaborative games is often the first idea that comes to our minds. Here is a list of fun games you can play with your team to help them pinpoint their common interests, strengths, and weaknesses:
board games tournaments;
video games sessions;
Two Truths and a Lie;
Keep the balloons up;
👋 Do you want to learn more about deskbird? Discover the advantages of a user-friendly desk booking app: click, book, work!
2. Create opportunities to do sports together
Not only are sports activities an excellent way to improve employee well-being, but they are also a great opportunity to foster team building. By doing sports together, you enable your coworkers to discover their colleagues’ personalities in a different environment.
They can see who has a leadership mindset, who is more competitive, who tends to think first before acting and vice versa, etc. It helps them better understand how each team member functions and determine the right approach to work collaboratively.
According to management style, you can either block some time during working hours to do a team sport together or meet after work. Indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, bouldering, relay races, and water polo are just a few of the sports you can suggest to your employees to do together.
3. Offer your team members to meet for lunch
Having lunch together is an easy team-bonding idea. To provide an opportunity for them to learn more about each other, you can ask a different person to pick a place to eat each time you organize it.
They might opt for a restaurant where the dishes remind them of their favorite trip abroad or a destination they dream to go to. If you have a diverse team, it can be the occasion to discover the traditional cuisine from your colleagues’ backgrounds and get to know more about their culture.
Food has always been a great opportunity to gather people and enjoy some quality time. This can also be applied in a work environment. Sharing a meal is the best way to break the ice and create strong bonds among your staff.
4. Volunteer together for a cause that matters to all of you
As highlighted in our article about Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace, the majority of the workforce wants their work to align with their values. These two generations are very sensitive to social injustice and sustainability. Therefore, giving them an opportunity to volunteer for a meaningful cause together is a great idea to boost both team building and employee satisfaction.
You can give them a list of local organizations or NGOs or ask each of your staff to pick one and then decide together which one you want to support.
👉 Do you want to know how to optimize space and cut costs with a flexible office? Learn how you can save up to 30% with these cost-cutting ideas!
5. Build a bulletin board with your team
The number of indoor team-building activities you can do with your staff is endless. But here is one last idea we would like to share with you.
To encourage interactions, break the ice, and help build genuine friendships at work, a bulletin board should be part of every team-bonding strategy. You can hang it anywhere you want, but the best spot is where everyone can see it.
Invite your staff to pin:
their favorite pictures of your last corporate events;
restaurant, book, or movie recommendations;
positive notes to their teammates;
the reason why they love their job or the company;
their life motto or motivational quotes;
5 outdoor activities to help your team create genuine relationships
1. Go for a hike in nature with your team
Being surrounded by nature is good for mental health and a fantastic outdoor activity to do with your team. So, pick a hike that is accessible for all levels (to include everybody) and schedule it in your timetable.
The good thing about hiking is that there are numerous trail options. It is a great opportunity to get out of the big city’s hustle and reconnect with nature while spending quality time with your colleagues.
While walking, your workers have time to talk and get to know each other better. Hiking as a team also promotes team spirit as the most sportive ones motivate the whole group. Once they reach their destination, they share the same feeling of accomplishment as they do when meeting business goals.
💡Extra tip: you can also plan to animate some quick team-bonding activities or games to do during breaks.
2. Offer your coworkers to do some outdoor sports activities together
Similar to indoor sports activities, you can also invite your team members to practice a collective sport together. According to your budget and location, you can suggest classic options such as soccer and beach volley, or you can innovate with rock climbing or boot camp activities.
Each collective sport has its own advantages. For example, rock climbing can improve trust among your workforce. Also, consider the profile of your team. Are they adventurous? Are they fit enough to handle a boot camp activity without suffering more than enjoying the time with their colleagues?
Organizing a corporate weekend somewhere with your team is a great team-bonding activity. Look at what's around your company’s location. Is there any nice city to visit or an enjoyable nature area where you could go?
For remote teams that are spread across different countries, this idea can be challenging. Yet, it is important that your employees meet in person from time to time. Not only is it crucial to create and maintain a link with their colleagues but also to nurture the feeling of connection with the organization.
Depending on your budget, you can plan a city trip close by, a corporate retreat, or a camping weekend. The options are endless, and again, should match your workforce’s profile.
4. Encourage your coworkers to take to the streets for a meaningful cause
As mentioned earlier, being able to support their beliefs and values at work is fundamental for younger generations in the workplace. Giving them the chance to act together toward common causes, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, or social justice, can encourage bonding among your employees.
Volunteering for an NGO or an association in an outdoor environment grants more visibility to the initiatives that matter to you and to them. Other open-air team-bonding activities can include a cleaning stroll, tree planting, or sustainable fundraising.
Acting as a team toward a valuable cause allows them to have more impact and sharing the same purpose creates a sense of belonging.
5. Organize a corporate picnic in an enjoyable place
What’s better than a picnic to get to know people and have fun together? If you can find a nice place to gather your team members close to your office, organizing a corporate picnic should be on your list of team-building activities. No matter if it is in a park, at a lake, or at the beach, you can lay down some blankets, put out some chairs, and eventually, set up a barbecue!
You can either take care of the catering or ask your coworkers to bring their own snacks. Why not ask them to bring their favorite picnic food? Discovering that you have the same taste can already be an icebreaker topic! Plan some games and activities to do throughout the event. For example, organize a soccer game or play Tic-Tac-Toe!
5 ice-breaking and team-bonding games for remote workers
1. Set up a team icebreaker questions session
If you have new talent that joined your team recently and couldn’t meet them in person, having a great online onboarding strategy is crucial. Not only do you need to make them feel welcome and included but you also have to help break the ice.
Understanding their colleagues’ ways of thinking contributes to better teamwork. They discover what matters the most to their coworkers, where their priorities are, and which common interests and values link them.
2. Schedule a speed networking event
Online workplace technology has been booming over the last couple of years with the rise of remote work and the need for teams to work seamlessly no matter where they are. The good news is, on top of using these tools to work efficiently, you can also use them to organize virtual team-building activities.
Communication platforms such as Zoom enable you to create breakout rooms within the same group session. You can set a time for about 10 minutes, for example, and switch people from one room to the next one. Through this, they quickly introduce themselves and get to have a first interaction with the people in the organization.
Of course, 10 minutes is not much. Yet it can be enough to get a better insight into their colleagues’ personalities and maybe decide to set up another call to continue to get to know each other.
➡️ Looking for solutions to foster wellness in the workplace? Read our article about employee well-being to learn key info and tips!
3. Play the best team-building games virtually
Since hybrid work has become a norm for many companies worldwide, the way you encourage your staff to create genuine relationships at work has evolved. Virtual team-building games help you build and maintain a link between your remote employees.
All the classic games we use to play at team-building events at the office can now be experienced online too. So, what is your favorite game? Among Trivia, Clue Murder Mystery, Team Pursuit, Escape Games, or Scavenger Hunts, pick one and gather your team together!
4. Organize virtual holiday events
Building a strong organizational culture is essential for every business. It contributes to creating a sense of belonging among your workforce. Arranging corporate events is great to reinforce this aspect and boost team bonding.
Holiday celebrations shouldn’t be erased from your calendar simply because some of your team members are working remotely. You can celebrate Christmas, Saint Patrick’s Day, and the next company anniversary virtually too!
To make it even more fun and enjoyable, why not send a holiday package to each of your team members? Ask them not to open before the online meeting. For example, a Christmas box could include:
an accessory for your employees to wear during the event;
a small bottle of champagne;
a Christmassy snack;
a little personalized gift.
5. Give your team time to take a virtual coffee break
When working in person in the same physical workspace, coffee breaks play a significant role in breaking the ice and fostering genuine relationships. New ways of working like home offices need to recreate these moments and opportunities to bond with colleagues.
So, another virtual team bonding activity you can offer your staff is to take an online coffee break together as you would do at the office. This can be done weekly or daily. You can decide to have a free discussion like you would on-site or incorporate new rules like “no work-related topics allowed”. Similarly, you can also suggest organizing digital after-work meetups if it suits your team better!
Introducing team-bonding ideas in your management style is not just about playing games to foster connections between your employees. It also contributes to improving their capacity to work together, and therefore, increases productivity and performance. Modern working models such as flexible work are not an obstacle to team-building activities. You can either choose to meet in person to organize indoor or outdoor events or opt for virtual collective activities.
Have you enjoyed reading this article? Don’t hesitate to share it with your community! Are you looking for an easy way to embrace the future of work and manage a flexible office? Request a demo of the deskbird app to discover the perks of desk booking software and other essential features to improve employee experience!
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.