Everyone could use a break from the office now and then. Consider having your department get together for some team bonding. Some of you may groan at the thought of having to have forced “fun” with co-workers, but it doesn’t have to be as bad as it sounds. There all different types of team-building exercises to try with your group.
Figure Out What Fits for Your Team
Not every team-building activity has to be a workshop seminar or summer-camp-style weekend retreat. Think about the issues your team members need to work on and start from there. It could be getting to know each other, improving focus, or working together. A lot of these issues can stem from lack of trust, relatability, and feeling left out. These can affect how employees interact with each other, do their work, and feel at work. Long-term employees may form cliques that make newer employees feel excluded, independent workers sometimes need a refresher on how to work with others, and sometimes employees just need a moment to have fun and work constructively in a different environment.
Taking a Break
Pause work for a day or two. Not every workshop needs to be 8 hours long or occur over the weekend. The event could be as short as an extended lunch or a week-long workshop. Depending on your team’s workload, identify an appropriate length of time that works for you and accommodates the workload. Here are some examples.
One or Two Hours
If you only have a short amount of time, consider doing little activities at the office once a week for an hour or so. For example, you could play games such as improv games, strategic board game, office trivia, or something like Apples to Apples or Bananagram. The activity doesn’t have to be complicated. The goal is to do an activity where everyone is communicating with each other and having a good time.
For those with only a half day of time to spare, consider doing an escape room. An escape room is a giant interactive puzzle that can be solved with groups of 8 to 15 people. The room is set up with clues, and the team must work together to discover those clues within an allotted time to find the keys to escape. Often these rooms are decorated in themes and have a story that goes with them. They are designed to be challenging for people of all ages. Afterwards, go out for lunch together and discuss how the communication was during the escape room. This gives you the opportunity to then try another one later down the road and see how the team’s communication has improved.
Full Day or Multi-Day
There are specialized companies that are dedicated to designing and hosting workshops for teams to get to know each other and work together more effectively. These are the experts that can work with you to create a full agenda of activities. There are many options available for teams of all sizes. Do a Google search to find one that is a good fit for you. Other options could be to create a local scavenger hunt, attend a painting class, or volunteer together for a charitable cause such as Habitat for Humanity or a local food bank.
Team building isn’t always about learning new skills or working hard. Sometimes it is just about getting together and bonding through a fun activity. All work and no play can harm employees’ creativity and relationships with one another, which can negatively impact work productivity. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Let us know in the comments about your favorite team-building exercises or ones you’d like to try out.