The term “team-building activities”, especially in corporate settings, does not spark much joy. For some employees, it is synonymous with spending an obligatory evening with people they would not voluntarily spend time with or a day of dull activities that feel like a waste of time when work could be done instead. But team building activities do serve an important purpose and can benefit your team – so next time you have a day dedicated to bringing your team together, try one of these ideas for a fan, successful and unforgettable time:
1. Laser tag: What better way to get the office’s collective adrenaline racing than to strap on some cool laser equipment and face off in a battle of guts, wits, and smarts? Typically played between two opposing teams, laser tag involves collaboration, strategising, and plenty of hand-eye coordination. Common storylines include retrieving objects from opponents, defense of a team’s “home base”, or elimination-style where people who receive the most “hits” are automatically excluded from the game. It’s a fun, hands-on experience that will have our staff members working – and hopefully, laughing – together in a very different way.
2. Escape rooms: If your colleagues enjoy problem solving, thinking outside the box, and/or detective procedurals, look no further than escape rooms. Escape rooms are usually designed to resemble a journey, where teams must “escape” from a locked room only after having solved a series of puzzles. Themes for such rooms usually range from simple puzzle-based labyrinths to Cold War spy tactics to darker storylines involving, including horror themes. Some may be more squeamish or claustrophobic than others, so prior to zeroing in on a particular concept, do assess if it’s a good fit for your team – if yes, then reserve a time and prepare to puzzle.
3. An evening of board games: Board games are an excellent way to get the entire office engaged by helping employees connect better with each other and boost their decision-making skills in the process. When hosting a board game night, choose games according to your colleagues’ preferences. Perhaps they cannot resist a good “whodunnit” style murder-mystery game (à la Cluedo), love being at the forefront of seminal geopolitical events (Churchill) or wish to conclude the night richer by several thousand dollars (Monopoly). Whatever you choose, everyone will have a blast – especially if there are snacks provided, too.
4. Trivia night: Trivia night is paradise for those who possess random bits of knowledge about a sundry assortment of topics would come in handy. If you want to find out exactly who in the office is well-versed in the most obscure topics, organise a trivia night. To foster collaboration and teamwork, divide people into pairs or groups of three so they can work together in order to gain major incentives. This will encourage healthy competition, and everyone will leave the session feeling enriched, accomplished and knowing more about topics – and their colleagues – they may not have known before.
5. Karaoke and snacks: People, whether they are blessed like Beethoven or completely tone-deaf, rarely object to a karaoke session. There is much joy to be gained from sitting with a bunch of familiar people and warbling along to popular tunes. An eventful night of singing and merrymaking might allow you to see a different side of your colleagues, especially those who usually keep their noses to the grindstone during work hours. And who knows – you may discover the office’s resident crooner.