Businesses work best when a unified team is behind them. Disjointedness, exhaustion, and poor communication are all problems that can lower a company’s productivity; however, planned team building activities and conferences are a great way to counteract those problems by encouraging unity, energy, and effective communication, all while bringing the team together in a fun way. If you’re thinking about incorporating team building activities into your business meetings or about designating a special day to work on team building, check out these fun team building activities:
3 Fun Team Building Activities for Work Environments
Minefield is a popular game that helps build trust and communication within a team. First, a “minefield” is laid out on a flat surface. This can be done using ropes to mark off a large, square boundary, or you can mark the boundaries using painter’s tape. Mark a starting point and a finishing point on opposite sides of the square. Then, place ordinary objects within the boundary as “mines.” These objects should be easy to see (no paper clips) and can vary in size or shape.
Then, have participants pair up to form teams. Pairs will choose one person to be blindfolded and walk through the mine. The other team member (the non-blindfolded partner) will verbally guide their partner through the maze. The blindfolded person will need to correctly enter and exit the minefield without touching any of the objects or “mines.” If a person does touch a mine, they will have to return to the start and begin again.
This game doesn’t have to be scored to be fun, but if you want it to be a competition, time each pair to see how long it takes for them to successfully maneuver the minefield. The team who completes the task the fastest wins.
2. Spot the Difference
Do you remember trying to “spot the difference” as a kid when you were given two pictures and circled what had changed from one picture to another? This game works in the same way, only using people. Here’s how it works:
Form equal teams of about ten people per team. (You will want to have an even number of teams.) Then, pair up teams and have each team form a line so that each person is facing someone on the opposite team. Give the teams 10 seconds to try to memorize as much as possible about the other person’s appearance.
Then, have one team turn around and close their eyes for 30 seconds. While their backs are turned, the opposing team has 30 seconds for each person to change 5 things about their appearance. This can be switching a watch from one hand to another, changing a hairstyle, or swapping shoes with someone on their team; the changes just have to be visible (i.e. you can’t remove your socks and put your shoes back on if that change will not be visible to the other person). Then, the teams face each other and the person who had his back turned tries to find all the changes that the person across from him has made. Then, switch turns and have the other team turn its back while changes are made.
Scoring can be decided in two ways. One way is to put a time limit for finding the changes. For example, if each team has a minute to find as many changes as possible, the winning team is determined based on which found more changes within the minute.
Another scoring method is to see which team can find all of the changes the fastest. This version will take more time, and it’s a good idea to come up with a penalty for not finding all of the changes. For example, a team will have to add 30 seconds to their total time for each change that they couldn’t find.
Spot the Difference is a great exercise in memory and concentration. If you’re looking to boost your team’s mental powers while having fun, this game is a great choice for your team building meeting.
3. Draw on your Head
Adapted from a popular Christmas game, this activity is an icebreaker and energizer that will get everyone laughing.
To play Draw on your Head, each participant needs a strong paper plate and a pen. Have the participants put the paper plate on their heads and follow the drawing instructions given by the leader (without looking at the plate or taking it off their heads). The drawing can be determined ahead of time, but it should be something that everyone could draw (under normal circumstances). Here’s an example:
1. Draw a horizontal line to be your grass.
2. On top of the line, draw a square.
3. Turn your square into a house by drawing a triangle roof on top of the square.
4. Draw two square windows and a door inside the square.
5. Draw a sun in the upper-left corner next to the house.
6. Draw a tree to the right of the house on top of the grass.
7. Draw three stick figures standing in the grass below the house.
Then, have participants take the plates off of their heads and look at their drawings. You should allow a few minutes to laugh and share drawings with the people around them. When the giggles start dying down, introduce the scoring system.
You can develop your own scoring system, but here’s an example:
1. 2 points if your house touches the grass.
2. 2 points if your roof touches the house.
3. 1 point for each window that is completely drawn inside the house (no lines overlapping).
4. 2 points for a door that touches the bottom of the house.
5. 1 point if your sun doesn’t touch your house.
6. 1 point if your tree touches the grass.
7. 1 point if all three of your stick figures are below the house.
Tally up the total points and see who the winner is. If you have a tie, you can repeat the process with a different drawing to determine the winner.
One thing that makes this game fun is that participants can compare their drawings with others and share a communal experience because they all had to draw the same picture. Everyone will be laughing together over their poorly executed drawings, and it works well for large groups. For a slightly different experience, check out a variation of this game below:
You could also have each person complete a different drawing. To do this, prepare written instructions of each step to complete the drawing ahead of time. While the plate is on their heads, each participant will follow the written instructions and have a time limit to complete their drawing. Then, everyone can post the paper plates on a table or wall, and the others in the group will write down their guesses for what was drawn on each plate. After everyone’s guesses are written down, reveal what was actually drawn. Whoever has the most correct guesses wins.
This variation can be lots of fun because participants will have a hard time guessing what each drawing is, which will draw lots of laughs. Once participants compare their guesses with reality, humor is sure to abound. This variation of the game works well in small groups or large groups that have been divided into smaller teams.
Ready to incorporate team building into your business?
Regular corporate team building activities are a great way to keep employees and management connected and communicating effectively. Plus, it’s a great way to boost morale and interact with coworkers in a different way. If you’re tired of giving the “There’s no I in team” speech, consider holding a team building conference instead.
The WorkSpace Carlsbad has awesome space to accommodate corporate team building activities! Click here to get more information on renting space for the day.