Team building activities for work – virtual and in-person

Esther Plant

General, Work & Play Guide

In today’s fast-paced work environment, fostering a strong and cohesive team is crucial for success. Imagine a workplace where communication flows effortlessly, collaboration is second nature, and morale is sky-high. Team-building activities are a powerful way to build these connections, whether you’re stepping out of the office, staying indoors, or connecting remotely. Discover our top team-building ideas that will bring your team together like never before.

  1. What are the benefits of team building exercises?
  2. Outdoor team building activities
  3. Indoor team building activities
  4. 5-minute team building activities and icebreakers
  5. Small group team building activities
  6. Virtual team building activities for a remote workforce
  7. Unique ideas you haven’t tried yet
  8. Conclusion

What are the benefits of team building exercises?

Team-building exercises offer a wide range of benefits that can significantly enhance the dynamics and productivity of a team. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Enhanced communication: Team-building activities promote open dialogue among team members, breaking down barriers and fostering a culture where sharing ideas and feedback becomes second nature.
  2. Improved collaboration: These exercises require individuals to work together towards a common goal, promoting teamwork and an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Boosted morale: Fun and engaging activities can lift team morale, making the workplace a more enjoyable and motivating environment.
  4. Increased trust: Working together in a relaxed, non-work setting helps build trust among team members, essential for a cohesive and effective team.
  5. Better problem-solving: Team-building exercises often involve problem-solving tasks that encourage creative thinking and collective brainstorming, leading to more innovative solutions.
  6. Improved relationships: These activities help team members get to know each other on a personal level, which can reduce conflicts and improve workplace harmony.
  7. Heightened productivity: When team members communicate better, trust each other, and work well together, productivity naturally increases.
  8. Identifying strengths and weaknesses: Team-building exercises can reveal individual strengths and weaknesses, allowing for better role allocation and personal development.
  9. Enhanced company culture: Regular team-building activities can help reinforce the values and culture of the company, aligning everyone with the organisation’s goals and mission.
  10. Stress reduction: Engaging in fun activities can help reduce stress, leading to a healthier and more positive work environment.

In summary, team-building exercises are a valuable tool for fostering a positive and productive work environment. They not only improve how well a team works together but also contribute to individual satisfaction and overall workplace harmony.

Outdoor team building activities

Outdoor team-building activities offer a refreshing break from the usual office environment, promoting physical exercise and providing a change of scenery that can invigorate your team.

  1. Scavenger hunt: Divide your team into small groups and provide each group with a list of items to find or challenges to complete in a local park or neighbourhood. This could include taking photos of specific landmarks, collecting certain objects, or completing fun tasks like singing a song in public. Scavenger hunts encourage teamwork, strategic thinking, and a bit of friendly competition.
  2. Mini Olympics: Organise a series of short, fun games such as sack races, tug of war, and egg-and-spoon races.
  3. Nature walk and talk: Take a walk through a nearby nature reserve or park, encouraging team members to pair up and chat about non-work topics.
  4. Adventure challenges: Activities like rock climbing, canoeing, or zip-lining can push team members out of their comfort zones and encourage them to rely on each other.
  5. Volunteer together: Engage in a community service project such as planting trees, cleaning up a local beach, or helping at a food bank.
  6. Sports day: Organise a friendly sports match, such as football, cricket, or even an ultimate frisbee game.
Situ's Marketing team on a team-building paintballing trip
Situ’s Marketing team on a team-building paintballing trip

Indoor team building activities

Indoor team-building activities are perfect for when the weather isn’t on your side or when you prefer a more controlled environment. These activities can be just as engaging and effective as outdoor ones.

  1. Escape room: Book an escape room experience where your team must work together to solve puzzles and escape within a time limit.
  2. Cooking class: Enrol your team in a cooking class where they can learn to create a meal together, fostering collaboration and communication.
  3. Board game tournament: Set up a tournament with various board games, allowing team members to engage in friendly competition.
  4. Problem-solving challenges: Present a real or hypothetical problem and have teams come up with solutions. This can be particularly beneficial for developing critical thinking and collaboration skills.
  5. Team storytelling: Each team member contributes a sentence to a story, building off the previous sentence. This activity fosters creativity and listening skills.

5-minute team building activities and icebreakers

Sometimes, you only have a few minutes to spare for team building. These quick activities can be squeezed into any part of the day and still provide a bonding experience.

  1. Two truths and a lie: Each team member shares two true facts and one lie about themselves. The rest of the team guesses which is the lie.
  2. Speed networking: Pair up team members for a series of quick, two-minute conversations about a non-work topic.
  3. Compliment circle: Quickly go around the circle, with each person giving a sincere compliment to the person on their right.
  4. Human knot: Have team members stand in a circle, reach out and grab hands with others, and then try to untangle themselves without letting go.
  5. Pictionary: Use a whiteboard or paper to play a quick round of Pictionary with simple, work-related terms.
A scrabble board with tiles spelling out 'teamwork'

Small group team building activities

Smaller groups require activities that ensure everyone is involved and engaged. These are the best team-building activities for small groups, tailored to create closer connections and more intimate interactions.

  1. Trust exercises: Simple activities such as blindfolded walks or trust falls can help build trust within a small team.
  2. Brainstorming sessions: Gather your team for a creative brainstorming session on a fun topic unrelated to work.
  3. Escape room: As mentioned earlier, escape rooms work well for small groups, requiring tight cooperation.
  4. Dinner parties: Host a dinner party at someone’s home or a cosy restaurant where team members can chat and bond over a meal.
  5. Workshops: Attend a workshop together on a topic of interest, such as pottery, painting, or photography.

Virtual team building activities for a remote workforce

With many teams working remotely, virtual team-building activities have become essential. These activities ensure that your team stays connected and engaged, no matter where they are.

  1. Virtual escape rooms: Similar to physical escape rooms, but conducted online. Teams must solve puzzles to ‘escape’ the virtual room.
  2. Online trivia: Host a trivia night using video conferencing software. Choose a variety of categories to keep it interesting.
  3. Virtual coffee breaks: Schedule regular virtual coffee breaks where team members can chat informally.
  4. Digital board games: Many classic board games have online versions. Organise a virtual game night with games like Catan, Monopoly, or Scrabble.
  5. Remote cooking classes: Send your team a list of ingredients and cook together over a video call.
  6. Virtual fitness classes: Join an online fitness class together. Options include yoga, Pilates, or a high-intensity interval training session.
  7. Online workshops: Attend online workshops or webinars on topics of interest, allowing team members to learn together.
  8. Virtual happy hours: End the week with a virtual happy hour where everyone can relax with a drink and chat.
  9. Photo challenges: Organise a weekly photo challenge with themes. Team members can share their photos and vote for the best ones.
  10. Virtual book club: Start a book club where team members read the same book and discuss it in virtual meetings.
A mug next to a laptop during a virtual meeting

Unique ideas you haven’t tried yet

Sometimes, it’s good to break away from traditional team-building activities and try something unique that will leave a lasting impression on your team. So, here are some unusual team-building activities to get you started.

  1. Improv workshop: Engage your team in an improvisation workshop to boost creativity and quick thinking.
  2. Virtual reality experience: Take your team to a VR centre where they can engage in virtual reality games and challenges.
  3. Art class: Enrol your team in an art class where they can express themselves creatively while learning new skills.
  4. Dance class: A fun dance class can break the ice and get everyone moving and laughing together.
  5. Murder mystery evening: Host a murder mystery evening where team members play different characters and work together to solve the mystery.
  6. Escape to nature: Plan a retreat in a scenic location where your team can enjoy nature, relax, and participate in guided activities.
  7. Gaming tournament: Set up a video game tournament with popular multiplayer games to foster friendly competition.
  8. Interactive theatre: Attend an interactive theatre performance where the audience gets involved in the story.
  9. Cooking competition: Organise a cooking competition where teams must create a dish using a set of mystery ingredients.


By incorporating these team-building activities, whether outdoors, indoors, or virtually, you can foster a stronger, more connected team. These activities not only improve communication and collaboration but also create a fun and engaging environment that enhances overall team morale. There are also plenty of businesses dedicated to team building that offer bespoke activities tailored to you, such as The Team Building Company. Let’s get your team working as one!

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