Team building is an important part of cultivating a healthy office life, no matter what industry your business operates in. Unfortunately, dozens of awkward group activities and uncomfortable ice breaking exercises have made “team building” a term that makes most employees cringe and run for the exit.
But don’t fret! There is hope that you can bring team building in your office back to its former glory.
With these in-office team building activities, you can get your coworkers back on board and help make your team stronger than ever.
Why In-Office Team Building?
Before we delve into the details of our 12 team building activities, let’s chat for a second about why we’ve narrowed this list down to in-office happenings.
Convenience is a huge factor when it comes to achieving employee buy in with team building. Most coworkers and employees would rather not go out of their way to engage in team activities, but if it’s convenient for them they won’t mind participating.
As a result, on location team building can be very beneficial, especially if you have a group that’s hesitant to jump fully on board.
12 In-Office Team Building Activities Your Employees Will Enjoy
Finding group activities that all involved employees are interested in can be a challenge, but believe us – it is possible to get the majority of team members on board. The key is making the gatherings fun, comfortable, and convenient for as many as possible.
Here are 12 team building activity ideas – loosely organized by season – that do just that!
Fall Team Building Activity Ideas
Chili Cookoff ️️
People get fired up over food and competition. Hosting a fall chili cook off can be a great way to bring employees together for a fun, festive gathering.
Invite as many people as are interested to cook up their favorite chili recipe, fire up the crockpots, then feast. You can even have an office vote to determine which chili was the favorite.
No matter where you work, chances are you have some sports fans in your midst. A great way to bring these sports fans together and inspire some bonding is through an office sports pool.
Have one avid fan organize the pool and offer all team members the opportunity to buy squares. The competition and conversation will go on for weeks, plus whoever wins will have bragging rights forever – or at least until next year’s pool!
Pumpkin Carving and Decorating
Pumpkin carving is the ultimate fall activity. It’s also a relatively easy and inexpensive activity to bring into the office setting. And who wouldn’t love taking a break from the daily grind to carve or decorate a pumpkin?
Pick up a bunch of small pumpkins and some carving supplies and paints, gather up some newspapers to cover the table in the conference room, and call a pumpkin decorating meeting. Employees will get away from their desks for a bit and enjoy a break in the daily routine together, plus you’ll have some cute pumpkins brightening up the office for the weeks to come.
Check out more creative ways to celebrate Halloween in the office here.
Winter Team Building Activity Ideas
White Elephant Gift Exchange
At-work gift exchanges can be tricky, but with a few rules and guidelines in place they can go pretty well. If you haven’t tried this at your office, it might be worth giving it a try during your next holiday gathering!
Have each person who wants to participate bring in a gift on the designated day. (For gift ideas, check out these 10 great office Secret Santa items!) Place all gifts in one location. Then, have all participating employees choose a number. Number by number, each person will either choose a gift from the pile, or steal another person’s already opened gift. This is a great reason for a fun, information gathering during the workday, plus everyone leaves with a fun new item to take home.
Holiday cookies are a beloved tradition for many families. Bring that fun tradition into the office with a holiday cookie exchange! It doesn’t take much time, but it results in some fun conversations – and each participant leaves with a full plate of cookies. It’s a win-win!
Here’s how it works: Each participant bakes enough cookies to share with the others. Then, at a designated time, the participants meet and trade cookies. Each person will end up with a variety of cookies on their plate, baked by their coworkers.
The holiday season is a great time to give. Organizing an office charity drive gives you the chance to give more back to your local community – and it provides an excellent chance for team building in the workplace, all to benefit a good cause.
Choose a cause that you and your coworkers are passionate about, set a goal, then work together to work towards it. Whether you’re collecting canned goods, money, gently used books, or clothing items, collaborating on a charity drive is a great way to give to those in need while bringing your officemates closer together.
Spring Team Building Activity Ideas
Office Cleaning Day
Spring cleaning might not be the most fun team building activity – but its a great one for bringing coworkers together. Whether you assign teams to certain office areas, or you all clean independently for the day, you’ll bond over the nasty things you encounter and feel a sense of shared pride when your office space is shiny and clean at the end of the day.
Put the spring cleaning day on the calendar, bring in some cleaning supplies and some rubber gloves, and get to work! Not sure where to begin? Use this office spring cleaning checklist to get you headed in the right direction.
In-Office Yoga and Meditation
Invest in personal wellness and stress relief together by engaging in on-site yoga and meditation. It’s a great way to take a little bit of stress out of the day while bringing your officemates together.
Looking to keep this low budget? There are lots of online tutorials that will walk you through in-office yoga practices or meditation exercises. Experiment with those to find some you and the team like. Willing to invest a bit more in this activity? Hire a professional!
Scavenger hunts are a popular team building activity, but they sometimes span whole cities, which can make them a bit cumbersome, especially for team members who aren’t totally on board to participate. That’s why we recommend trying out an in-office scavenger hunt instead!
Divide interested participants up into small teams, then send them out on a scavenger hunt adventure covering only the office grounds, or the immediate surrounding area. It may be a bit of a challenge to coordinate, but the memories and camaraderie gained will be well worth it in the end.
Summer Team Building Activity Ideas
Host a happy hour – at the office! Keep it informal and simply bring in assorted beverages – or make it BYOB. In most cases, the more casual it is the better. If it’s within work hours, attendance will likely be higher.
In-office happy hours are a great way to encourage employees to come out of their shells, and tend to be a wonderful source of out-of-the-box ideas. They are a low key way to bring members of different teams and departments together to socialize.
Remember the episode of “The Office” when Jim and Pam organize office olympics while Michael and Dwight are out of the office for the afternoon? It turns out that office olympics are a great way to bring coworkers together in real life as well!
Design the office olympics to suit your organization. Whether you want to compete in full-on athletic events around the office, or in more casual, low-key competitions, the choice is yours. Divide up into teams, assign some rules, keep track of points, and designate a prize for the winners. May the best team win!
Office Movie Night
Host an office movie night, complete with popcorn! This is an easy and low-key idea that can make a big impact when it comes to bringing an office population together.
Take a poll to pick a movie, then fire up the conference room projector, roll in the most comfortable chairs from around the office, and enjoy a movie on the big screen together. Watching a movie gives your coworkers the opportunity to interact in a low key social situation, and gives even the most different team members something to talk about.
BONUS Team Building Activities
Interested in other easy ways to improve team spirit and morale within your organization? Try the following tactics – ideal during any season – to keep your team’s spirits on the up and up.
Bring Wellness Into the Workplace – This isn’t exactly a team building activity per se, but it will help to create a stronger, more willing group of employees. It’s a great way to show them that you care while also investing in their overall wellbeing.
Celebrate Birthdays at Work – Give your team the chance to socialize while boosting morale. Celebrating team birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones is an easy ‘feel good’ gesture that will go a long way when it comes to creating a cohesive and positive team.
Show Your Appreciation – It’s no surprise that a team that feels appreciated is a happier, more productive team overall. Build individual team member morale and strengthen your team as a whole with these easy employee appreciation efforts.
Build Your Company Team, One Team Building Activity at a Time
Don’t shy away from constructive team building activities just because past ice breakers and awkward exercises have left your coworkers with a bad taste in their mouths. Instead, try to think outside the box to find some innovative, engaging activities – like these – that your coworkers will actually enjoy!
Looking for more team building activities? Check out these great team building activities in the Boston MA area that your coworkers are sure to love.
Interested in other tips and tricks for small business owners? Be sure to check out our blog for lots of insight and helpful information for small organizations in Boston and beyond!