15 Benefits of Team Building Activities at Work in 2021

Home » Resources » Team Building BenefitsUpdated: December 06, 2021

Here is our list of benefits of team building.

Team building benefits are the organizational gains of investing in team building activities, workshops and exercises at work. For example, these benefits may include helping your team stay happy and work better together, and improving company culture. These benefits are also known as “team building advantages.”

These benefits can help with managing a remote team and are the opposite of team building disadvantages.

Specifically, this list includes:

  • benefits of team building activities
  • reasons to do team building workshops
  • advantages of team building at work

So, here is the list!

List of team building benefits

Here is a list of reasons to do team building at work. Includes ideas related to company culture, productivity and workplace relationships.

1. Fosters friendships among team members

Group of coworkers doing team building activities

When working in a company, team members are not regularly in contact with all members of your organization, especially if the company is large. Because of this challenge, team building activities are an opportunity for your team to get to know members from other departments. Team building is also a great way for your employees to meet new colleagues. A report by Gallop states that having friendships at the office can lead to being twice as likely to be engaged at work.

Check out this list of team building games and more ways to create work friendships.

2. Boost company culture

Team building can also be a powerful way to boost company culture. When you devote resources to team bonding, you show what kind of company environment you want to create for your team. By doing fun activities together, you show your team that you value who they are and want to cultivate positive relationships within your organization. This is a benefit of team building because establishing a company culture that values these connections draws in great talent and increases employee retention.

Learn how to improve company culture.

3. Brings out hidden talents or strengths

Ten years ago, a woman named Susan Boyle made a big stir on the show Britain’s Got Talent when she dazzled the audience and judges with her lovely singing voice. Boyle’s exterior made everyone underestimate her. When she started singing, spectators were speechless.

As humans, we tend to make quick judgments about other people that can make it hard to see an individual’s true potential. When we only see someone in one way, for instance by job title, we overlook other abilities.

In the course of team building activities, coworkers occasionally reveal surprising strengths. For instance, perhaps Lucinda in accounting is a talented artist who can lighten the graphic designers’ workload during crunch-time. Maybe Arthur in human resources is a classic car buff who can give you tips on woo-ing a muscle-car-loving prospective client.

On the flip side, team building can also uncover potential weaknesses. Maybe Abed gets frazzled under pressure of a deadline. Perhaps public speaking is not Troy’s strong suit.

Team building activities give a more holistic view of team members’ abilities which can translate to utilizing your employees more effectively in the workplace.

A great way to reveal these strengths is doing personality tests.

4. Drives team cooperation and collaboration

Three employees working together

The best team building activities require members to work together to accomplish something. While cooperation is crucial for teams to work well together, it may require some practice. Team building offers the perfect opportunity to collaborate and learn what workflow works best for your team, helping your team become more efficient in the process.

Here is a list of connection games you can play, and ways to improve team cooperation.

5. Creates shared memories and talking points

When team members who do not frequently interact do so, a lot of the awkwardness stems from not having shared memories or talking points. Doing even simple team building activities like icebreaker questions helps find commonalities that participants can talk about when they next meet. A clear benefit of team building is helping your team build shared memories so they can more easily make friends with each other.

Here is a list of icebreaker questions to get the conversation started, and this list has get to know you questions.

6. Boosts team spirit and morale

Employees having fun together

Participating in team building also boosts team spirit and morale. Not only will successfully completing team challenges give your people a sense of solidarity, but it also helps boost members’ self-efficacy. This sense of solidarity makes your team feel more invested in each other and in their work.

Learn more about boosting morale.

7. Inspires productivity and motivation

A study by Gallup found that employee isolation reduces productivity up to 21%. Working your team non-stop leads to burn-out, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Setting aside time for team building relieves stress and re-energizes your team, which increases productivity and motivation at work.

A study at Stanford University found a direct link between socializing and motivation at work. The researcher states, “Membership in a social group appears to greatly influence persistence in pursuing tasks and goals that are seen as important to the group.” Team building activities are one of the best ways to create that membership.

Here are some inspirational daily work quotes that will help too.

8. Strengthens communication among team members

Not everyone communicates the same way, so teams need to practice. Since team building exercises require coordinating with team members, they naturally strengthen communication. Some studies suggests this improvement is as much as 50%. That gain is a big win when it comes time to work on projects together.

9. Hones conflict resolution and problem solving skills

Team members working out a conflict

Team building games are a great opportunity to hone conflict resolution skills. By regularly scheduling team events, your employees will have opportunities to develop problem solving skills. Conflict resolution and problem solving skills are valuable in the workplace because your team members need to successfully navigate disagreements to work well together.

Check out our list of problem solving activities for teams and this list of conflict resolution activities for work.

We also have a list of the best books on conflict resolution.

10. Breaks up the monotony of the work week

Team building should not be a one-time thing or even an annual thing. Instead, regular team building keeps your team happy and working well together. Team building activities break up the monotony of the work week by periodically inserting fun and joy. Keeping boredom at bay raises your team’s engagement and lets them recharge so they can return to work refreshed.

Here are more ways to increase employee engagement.

11. Encourages new skill formation

Since team building activities plunge your team into new situations, they also encourage new skill formation. During an activity, a team member who never explored art may further develop their sketching and design skills and so on.

Learn more about developing team building skills.

12. Stimulates creativity and innovation

Team building often requires participants to use creativity to achieve a goal. Not only do these new experiences give team members fresh material and life experience to work from, but they also reinvigorate your imagination so you can flex your creative muscles. This innovative spirit is valuable in the workplace.

A study in the Academy of Management Journal found a direct link between social interactions and individual creativity.

13. Builds trust for teamwork and collaboration

Teamwork requires a lot of trust, and team building activities build trust fast. No team member can win a team game alone, so your coworkers come to rely on teammates’ help and expertise. More informal activities such as team meals or show-and-tells inspire teammates to view each other on a deeper and more intimate level.

One of the biggest advantages of team building is that participants who develop solid relationships spend less time second-guessing and double-checking each other and more time working. A trusting team runs like a well oiled machine. Team members do not waste time bickering, tattling, or snooping. Your teammates know that every member of the team is looking out for all other members, freeing up individual employees to focus.

A Harvard study found that heart surgeons performed better when working with a familiar team, which supports the idea that even the highest performers can benefit from teamwork.

A multi-institutional study including Oxford University found that “Frequent, positive and reciprocated interaction engender trust between individuals, and we argue that strong social relationships are associated with a high degree of trust.”

Here is a list of ways to create trust at work and ideas for relationship building at the office.

14. Teaches cooperation

No employee is an island. As sports team owner George Shinn once said, “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” Companies succeed when employees work together towards a common goal.

Team building teaches cooperation. Employees learn to depend on coworkers and how to achieve more together than apart. Some employees may be so used to solo work that teamwork becomes a struggle. Team building spurs your teammates to work together in low-stakes, high-fun situations, making it easier to coordinate on actual projects in the future.

One academic study from the National Pedagogical University in Columbia found that “Through interaction and group work students discover ways of being on task, supporting each other, and learning in a meaningful way.

15. Humanizes workforce

It can be hard to picture our coworkers outside of work. Sometimes we forget that our teammates are more than engineers, marketers, salespeople, executives, or administrators.

Team building helps us see our coworkers as human beings. Suddenly, our boss recites Shakespeare while stuffing marshmallows in his mouth, or a quiet colleague shares the story of how she once backpacked through Africa. The fact that team building humanizes the workforce is a huge advantage that deepens relationships and fosters greater understanding between teammates.

Work is an important part of our identities, but it is not our only identity. Many other factors define us, such as our families and friends, interests, hobbies, and beliefs. Learning more about our teammates’ lives helps us to respect our teammates on different levels, which leads to trust and respect.

Final thoughts

Team building has many benefits that make it a good investment. And there are no strings; you just need to put in time and effort to make it happen. We recommend at least 30 minutes per week as a starting point.

Next, check out some important team building statistics that highlight these concepts further.

We also have a post on the history of team building.

FAQ: Team building benefits

Here are some common questions about the advantages and benefits of team building.

What are the benefits of team building?

The benefits of team building are the positive results of participating in team building exercises, games, and challenges. Many of these benefits strengthen your team and build camaraderie among members. For example, by improving communication and establishing trust.

Some team building benefits include:

  • Fostering friendships among team members
  • Underscoring company culture
  • Bringing out hidden talents
  • Driving team cooperation
  • Creating shared memories
  • Boosting team morale
  • Inspiring team productivity
  • Strengthening communication
  • Honing conflict resolution
  • Breaking up the work week monotony
  • Encouraging new skill formation
  • Stimulating creativity

These benefits are solid reasons why your team should regularly hold team building activities. By giving team members opportunities to collaborate and hang out together outside of work-related activities, team building is key to a happy and effective team.

Why is team building important?

Team building is important because it is an investment that keeps your team happy at work and increases employee retention. When you plan team building activities for your employees, you let your team know that you value them as people and want to get to know them. You also build meaningful connection with coworkers, which leads to better communication, collaboration and productivity.

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Author: Michael Alexis

CEO of teambuilding.com. I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010.

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