Team Building & Retreats tips
Update on
4/12/2023

Togetherness at Work – What Are the Best Team Building Activities for Your Employees?

Summary
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Research has shown that when co-workers form bonds and learn to trust each other on a deeper level, they not only enjoy a more nurturing environment at work but also tend to be more creative and productive.

And that makes sense! Knowing that there is a support system in place on which they can lean and that the company culture emphasizes communication is a great confidence boost. As they become part of that system and, in turn, get to give others a helping hand, they play their part in creating a workplace where they truly belong. But it rarely happens all by itself. And that’s where team-building activities come in…


What Are Team Building Activities?

There are no strict rules that define what team-building activities should be. This means that there is an array of possibilities and an infinite well of inspiration to draw from!

Broadly speaking, team-building exercises can be games, gatherings, or meetings designed to help team members get to know each other. These activities build trust and communication among people who share the same professional environment. They promote understanding and respect by offering a creative alternative to outings or other events where everyone tends to talk with those colleagues they already get along with, leaving others feeling left out.

The point of team building is to encourage participants to participate in the activities and to reveal as much about themselves as they learn about each of their co-workers. From their strengths and weaknesses to their interests, personalities, communication styles… The exercises create situations where members of the team need to come together and acknowledge that achieving objectives takes a collective effort.

→ Plan your team-building retreat with TeamOut!

Team Building Activities at Work – A Tool to Promote Togetherness and Collaboration

Games and simulations are a great way to emphasize the realities of professional life. For example, you wouldn’t expect a new player to be dropped in the middle of a football field as a match is already taking place! First, you’d need to introduce them to their new team, tell them exactly who the quarterback is, who holds the offensive positions, etc. Then the team would practice and practice until it learns to move as one!

Effective team-building activities facilitate a constructive approach to resolving challenges and minimizing potential conflicts. Team members become teammates as a different, more casual relationship is established. This increase in trust and communication facilitates feedback, both positive and negative.

Camaraderie is an important aspect of any successful team. When they feel like they’re among friends, people are more likely to let their skills and personalities shine without holding back, ultimately benefiting the group and the company. Sharing memories and experiences promote that deeper bond, based on a sense of belonging and connectedness. This fosters a more natural, nurturing team, where empathy prevails over competitiveness.

Exactly which types of exercises to favor will depend on the main areas of improvement and the group itself. As the point is to make sure each individual feels valued, it’s essential to select team-building activities that are accessible to everyone. Based on your team’s profile, you could choose exercises that are sporty and adventurous or rather low impact.


Company Retreat Activities – Taking Team Building to the Next Level

What makes retreat team bonding stand out is the context. While it is possible – and recommended – to engage in team-building time throughout the year, company retreat activities just take it to the next level.


What Is a Corporate Retreat?

A corporate retreat is a way for companies to bring their staff together and take a break from office life to spend some quality time as a group. The co-workers get to bond in completely different settings and get to know each other more meaningfully.

Your choice of venue will do a lot for the success of your corporate retreat. Many believe that this type of event should always be hosted somewhere far away, on a tropical island or in the heart of the Amazonian forest. But, in truth, the only rule that should apply is to create a change of scenery, a sense of escape. And it can be achieved closer to home than you would think. This could even make it easier for all your guests to get to the destination, and for the organizer to stick to a budget.

Ultimately, it’s all about the settings – which should be welcoming and conducive to togetherness – and the team-building activities you select.

→ Check out our Team Retreat Tips to find out more about planning the perfect corporate retreat!


Team Building Activities During a Retreat – Fostering Bonds Between Co-workers

Fun team-building activities are interspersed with productive sessions to breathe new life into a project, make goals and missions, and company culture more concrete.

Virtual team building can only go so far. In a world where an increasing number of employees work from their home office and seldom see their co-workers, corporate retreats provide an opportunity to bring balance into professional relationships. And for those who operate from their company’s premises, offsite events make for a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Outdoor team-building events, in particular, offer a casual and relaxed environment conducive to more natural behaviors. Harvard physician Eva Selhub points out that simply being outside for 20 minutes not only lowers stress levels and improves the immune response, but even boosts our productivity, creativity, and focus!

→ Head to our Blog for some amazing team-building ideas!


Team Building Activities for Work – A Few Ideas

Now that we know the benefits of fun team-building activities and company retreats, how about a little bit of inspiration? The generic suggestions you’ll find here and there can be useful to get started. But if you want to find team-building exercises that will truly resonate with your employees, you’ll need to dig deeper… or just read on!

Here are some ideas of team-building activities for work colleagues that will help you tailor your event based on the specificities of your group.


Team Building Activities for Small Teams

Just because a team is small doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from some precious bonding time, or a little getaway to reflect on the goals at hand. In fact, while some corporate retreats require a minimum number of participants, other activities are best enjoyed in smaller groups.

A sports retreat, for instance, can lend itself to all sorts of wellness activities and opportunities for some quality time as a team. A sports day is one of the best ways to unfold and to share a moment that will leave everyone feeling recharged and energized to tackle more demanding tasks.

Some resorts offer a well-rounded experience by providing just the right mix of calming activities and adventurous fun. After a full day of rafting or kayaking, nothing beats a nice massage!

You could also book a workshop that will allow the participants to “learn to learn as a group”. Pick something that everyone is entirely new too so that they all start at the same level. From pasta-making to pottery, all the way to underwater diving, coming together to discover a unique activity will give the co-workers an unforgettable experience to reminisce about!


Team Building Activities for Large Teams

For larger teams, finding a fun team-building activity that will truly allow them to connect can be a little more difficult. Don’t forget that a large group can be broken up into smaller entities. This may even be a wonderful way to bring together people who don’t work in the same spaces at the office. A great rule of thumb is to engage their creative thinking and communication skills by selecting exercises that challenge their problem-solving abilities.

Scavenger hunts are a good example of this, especially if they’re designed to help them recognize and make the best use of every participant’s main strength. Retreat venues are ideal for these exercises as they provide a completely new environment where no one has the advantage. Each challenge could include riddles, time-based tasks, and more physical activities. May the best team win!

Of course, there don’t have to be any stakes. You could just schedule a corporate retreat that is the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure, giving your team a chance to enjoy the great outdoors. Think hiking, boating, or even forest bathing.


Indoor Team Building Activities

Whether you opt for a corporate retreat where all the excitement takes place indoors or the weather isn't suitable for the outdoor team-building activities you planned, don’t worry, team-building is still possible!  It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy engaging, trust-building exercises, games, and workshops.

Escape games can take place at a designated venue, but they can also be organized just about anywhere! This team-building game creates a challenge that anyone can take part in. And when the objective is unlocked, everyone celebrates the team’s success.

Looking for something that sports enthusiasts will love? Why not try bowling or yoga classes?

Workshops are another great way to build an unforgettable agenda. Cooking classes where participants get to share their dishes at the end in the form of a delicious meal are a powerful social practice that fosters a sense of community. Pizza-making events are an especially good example!

Stuck inside while you were hoping to explore nature? Then a trivia session is in order. With the help of your event designer, you could have the perfect plan B in place.

How to plan a corporate retreat that will go off without a hitch? Our venue partners are there to make sure you have the most amazing retreat experience. And with our experts by your side, you won’t have to worry about missing out!


Outdoor Team Building Activities

There are too many to count, and they are all as unique as the thousands of venues you can choose to host your event. There are infinite ways to enjoy the great outdoors, from the seaside to the mountains, from hidden-away, warm-weather gems to cozy, snow-themed getaways.

Outdoors team-centered sports are the perfect place to start, as physical exercise is also excellent for the mind. Of course, kickball and volleyball are always a hit with some, but they usually don’t appeal to all. Instead, you could choose mini-golf or croquet! These activities give everyone a chance to participate in something fun.

For the more adventurous colleagues, rope courses, horseback riding, zip-lining, and water sports are all valid options, so long as no one feels left out. Everyone should be able to do an activity that they are physically capable of and that doesn’t make them uncomfortable. Because most company retreat venues offer multiple team-building activities, it’s often best to provide various possibilities and let participants choose.


Team Building Ideas for New Co-workers

Onboarding activities are crucial in getting new members of a team to embrace your company culture and helping them feel like they belong. Hosting a team icebreaker event can be a great way to get everybody acquainted in a low-pressure environment for natural, light-hearted exchanges.

As for the activities themselves, they could include a scavenger hunt for a fun, collaborative exercise, nature or city adventures, skill swap games, etc.

 

FAQ

What are 5 team building activities?

Fun team-building activities that will also help co-workers cultivate deeper, more meaningful bonds include:

·       Sports, particularly team sports – Why not practice kickball or volleyball during your next corporate retreat?

·       Outings – These can be hikes in nature or exploring a city.

·       Crafts – Allowing team members to tap into their creativity provides a great confidence boost.

·       Cooking – There’s nothing better than learning how to make pizza together and enjoying your creations at the end!

·       Spa days – To keep stress at bay.

What are the 4 main types of team-building activities?

Team building activities are extremely varied, which means that you’ll always find the perfect mix of things to do to make your corporate retreat unique and memorable.

·       Outdoor activities include hikes, water sports, scavenger hunts, mini-golf, go-kart racing, apple picking, etc.

·       Indoor team-building activities can take the shape of a fun and engaging workshop (pasta-making, pottery, mandala, etc.). They also include sports – such as yoga or dancing.

·       Gourmet experiences can range from a simple dinner at a nice restaurant to a wine-tasting retreat in the heart of a beautiful vineyard.

What are good team bonding ideas?

It all depends on the size of your team and on the location you select! If you want your co-workers to connect in a serene environment and to work on building trust, then choose a peaceful venue where your team can enjoy a few days at the beach or a forest walk.

To challenge their problem-solving skills and help them learn to rely on each other, go for an escape game or a scavenger hunt, or take them kayaking or rafting together.

What is a fun group activity?

Any activity can be a bonding opportunity if it’s well-orchestrated and hosted at a lovely venue! Does your team enjoy physical challenges? Food-themed experiences? Relaxation-oriented retreats?

It’s important to remember that what can be fun for some may not be so fun – or even possible – for others. When planning a corporate retreat, always make sure to provide several options. You can also ask the participants to let you know in advance whether they’d rather play trivia games, participate in a robot-building contest, go mushroom-picking, or enjoy a long soak in a hot tub…

About the author
Assia Dalla Vedova
Update on
4/12/2023
Assia Dalla Vedova, a marketing maven with a rich background in tech, showcased her prowess at TeamOut (YC W22), enhancing brand presence and SEO strategy. An ESCP Business School alumna, she excels in crafting impactful digital marketing campaigns and fostering brand growth.

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