24 Team Bonding Activities, Games & Ideas for Work

Home » Resources » Team Bonding IdeasUpdated: August 28, 2022

You found our list of fun team bonding activities for work.

Team bonding is when teammates make personal connections by spending time together and doing fun, relaxing, and personal activities. For example, camping, team dinners, and game nights. The purpose of these activities is to foster camaraderie among coworkers and improve teamwork.

These experiences are similar to team building games, community building ideas, relationship building exercises, and get to know you activities.

This post includes:

  • small group team bonding ideas
  • large group team bonding ideas
  • outdoor team bonding activities
  • indoor team bonding activities
  • corporate team bonding exercises
  • team bonding games

Here we go!

List of team bonding ideas

Here is a list of simple team bonding activities to bring groups closer and foster a culture of camaraderie.

1. Team Bonding Bingo

Team bonding Bingo is a social game that helps to reveal fun facts about teammates. To play, give each participant a printout of a randomized Bingo card or the link to this page. Teammates talk to each other and fill in the names of coworkers who fit the descriptions in the squares. The first player to connect five boxes in a line, row, or diagonal wins.

Here is a Team Bonding Bingo Card generator we made for your game:

Hint: To ensure that teammates connect with the most coworkers possible, make a rule that players cannot name the same teammate twice in one line.

We also have an icebreaker Bingo generator.

2. Potlucks

Potlucks are one of the best team bonding experiences. Meals in general are good opportunities for team bonding because teammates can talk and enjoy each other’s company while eating together. Potlucks come with the added benefit of team members sharing their favorite recipes and lovingly making a meal from scratch for each other. These parties are low cost yet do involve some planning and coordination. At least one week before the chosen date, post a sign up and ask employees to specify what dish they plan to bring. On the day of the event, arrange a buffet, and set aside time for folks to make a plate and mingle.

Here is a list of ideas for company picnics.

Pro tip: Do not forget about drinks, plates, and utensils. Having extra extension cords and power strips handy for crock pots is also helpful.

3. Mixtapes

Sharing songs that speak to you is a highly intimate act. Team mixtapes can bring groups closer together and can help group members discover new tunes in the process. These playlists can provide the soundtrack for team socials or give team members tunes to listen to throughout the workday.

To create a group mixtape, first put out the call for submissions. You can give the playlist a theme like love songs for Valentine’s, motivational self-empowerment songs, or rainy day music, or ask members to recommend songs they love or are currently listening to. Sharing a love of a song, band, or musical genre can help team members connect. Plus, listeners may feel gratitude towards coworkers who turn them on to new tunes.

For ideas, check out this list of team building songs.

4. Board Game Hangouts

Board game hangouts are one of the best indoor team bonding activities. Many folks played these games as kids, which both gives the event a sense of nostalgia and provides common ground to serve as the basis for bonding. Even if the games are new to some players, the rules are usually easy to grasp. The challenge gives players a goal to focus on and provides a low-pressure way to interact.

To set up this hangout, simply spread out a few board games on different tables, and provide snacks and drinks.

Check out this list of board games to play with teams.

5. Personal Surveys

Personal polls and surveys are a quick and easy way for teammates to share fun facts about themselves. For example, “What was the first concert you attended?” or “What three items do you always have on you?”

Here are the steps to doing this activity:

  1. Put together a list of questions
  2. Distribute the surveys
  3. Collect the answers
  4. Share the results

You can turn the activity into a fun game by asking team members to guess which team member gave which answer. Or, you can create word clouds, or hang the answers on a break room fridge, bulletin board, or message board so that teammates and look at the replies during down time.

For inspiration, here is a list of get to know you questions.

6. Improv Games

Improv activities are one of the most fun small group team bonding ideas. These exercises help participants overcome inhibitions and quickly become more comfortable with each other. Because improv requires an instant response, there is no time to over think or feel self-conscious. The games get teammates laughing together and can be the basis for inside jokes. Improv is also an excellent trust-building tool because participants have to cooperate and work together to complete a scene on the spot.

Here is a list of group improv games.

7. Sleepovers

Sleepovers are a fun way to foster camaraderie among groups. These events can help foster work friendships by reminding employees of childhood friendships. First, pick a night for the event. Company slumber parties do not have to be all-night affairs, however it tends to be more fun if teammates do actually sleep over. The grown-up version of this event usually includes renting a house or hotel rooms so that attendees get some privacy while snoozing.

During the evening, enjoy typical slumber party activities together such as movies, board games, pizza-making or cookie-decorating, self-care routines, karaoke, fortune-telling, and picture-taking.

Here is a list of truth or dare questions, and question games to keep guests occupied.

8. Movie Nights

Movie nights are one of the easiest large group team bonding ideas. The only supplies you need to set up these events are a room big enough to accommodate your group, a screen, a projector, a movie, and chairs. Of course, you upgrade the experience by setting up a concession stand filled with movie theater favorites like popcorn and boxed candy or opt for fancier food by hiring a food truck. You can also spring for comfier chairs like bean bags and giant pillows, or create a drive-in movie theater experience and throw a parking lot party in tandem.

You can put the movie choice up to a vote, or ask teammates to send you their favorite movies, pick one at random, and challenge the audience to guess which coworkers suggested the film. You can also improve the bonding experience by playing games like trivia or talking about the movie afterwards.

Check out this list of team building movies.

9. Email Icebreakers

One of the easiest corporate team bonding exercises is to end team emails with an icebreaker prompt. For example, “what music do you play to pump yourself up?” “who is your best friend?” “what is your go-to comfort food?” or “drop a GIF that describes your weekend plans.”  Teammates respond by replying all, and recipients who are too busy to view every answer can simply mute the email thread.

Pro tip: Alongside the prompt, you can include instructions to mute the email chain to make it easy for busier teammates to opt out.

For inspiration, here is a list of icebreaker questions for virtual meetings.

10. The Newlywork Game

The Newlywork Game is one of the most fun team bonding games. This game challenges players to guess their partners’ preferences and to recall personal details.

Example questions include:

  • What was the first project we ever worked on together?
  • What year did I join the company?
  • Where did I work before here?
  • What was my major in college?
  • Who on the team is the most likely to break out into song at work?
  • Who on the team has the neatest handwriting?

The object of the game is to have the same answers. Participants traditionally play in pairs, however groups can play together by choosing one player as the designated responder and trying to match their answer.

Teammates can use the game to show off how well they know each other, or as a way to get to know each other better.

Here is a list of most likely to questions you can use for the game.

11. Volunteering

Volunteering is one of the best team bonding experiences. Coming together for a common cause unites team members, and the satisfaction of helping others is sure to inspire goodwill amongst the group. Examples of projects include doing construction projects at Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up litter, visiting seniors in assisted living homes, staffing a food drive, or competing in a charity event as a team. You can choose a single day project, or can decide on a longer-term project to work on throughout the quarter or year.

Check out this list of online volunteer opportunities.

12. Buddy Dates

In addition to bonding with a group at large, it is helpful for teammates to bond with coworkers one-on-one. Buddy dates offer an opportunity for teammates to get to know a fellow colleague better. To do this activity, randomly match up team members and then tell those partners to meet up during the designated period for a 15-30 minute face-to-face, such as a lunch, a coffee break, a ping pong game, or a walk.

If you have a smaller group, then you may want to do the activity less frequently, like once per month or per quarter. However, with larger groups you can match as frequently as once per week, if your group has the interest and bandwidth.

This activity gives teammates the chance to bond with coworkers they might not otherwise interact with during their day to day routines.

For similar exercises, check out this guide to virtual coffee dates.

13. Rotating Desks

Often, employees tend to interact only with the nearest coworkers. Sitting close to each other offers more opportunities for bonding. To help teammates mingle and get to know more colleagues, practice a rotating desk policy. Every so often, switch up the seating arrangements so that teammates are nearby new coworkers. You could even get rid of assigned seats entirely and have employees hotdesk, or choose an available seat each workday instead of having a permanent spot.

14. Camping

Camping is one of the most popular outdoor team bonding activities. Teammates can enjoy nature while enjoying each other’s company. This activity eliminates common distractions like phones or computers, and requires team members to work together to reach the site, set up tents, row boats, cook food, and entertain each other. There is plenty of time to chat on hikes or around the bonfire, and participants may leave the campsite with a newfound appreciation for nature and each other.

For remote versions of this activity, check out this list of virtual campfire ideas and these outdoor team building activities for work.

15. Company Collage

Collages are pieces of art made up of different materials or images. This project helps team members express their individuality and uniqueness while joining together to create a larger picture. To create a company collage, first put up a large blank canvas, such as a bulletin board or a blank wall. Then, encourage teammates to add pieces such as magazine clippings, personal photographs, or objects.

There are many ways to structure the picture, for instance assigning each team member a spot, making different sections for concepts like “family” “fun” or “goals,” or simply allowing team members to put pictures wherever they please. Be sure to snap pictures of the progress, and host an “unveiling” ceremony where teammates gather to admire the artwork and say a few words about the significance of the images or objects.

You can have teammates assemble the piece in a single hour, or stretch the activity out over a week or two.

16. Photo Albums

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Photo albums offer an easy way for teammates to get a glimpse into each other’s lives. You can create a literal team photo album by starting a bulletin board or making a scrapbook, or you can invite teams to a shared digital album, such as a social media group, a Google Drive, a Slack channel, or an iCloud album. To encourage teammates to share, you can issue photo challenges like “10 years ago,” “I was a cool kid,” and “my happy place.” Teammates can upload their own photos and look at their peer’s pictures, and can gain a deeper understanding of coworkers.

17. Community Giving

Philanthropy is not a new concept to the corporate world. Many companies encourage employees to participate in charity events as a way to give back to the surrounding community. Community service is a good deed, but volunteering also has many benefits for participants. Volunteering is one of the best free team bonding activities.

Groups who volunteer together share a mission and sense of purpose that connects teammates to the cause and each other. Participants may associate the resulting feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment with teammates.

Volunteering team members can interact more organically with colleagues, assume leadership roles, and gain diversity experience. Charity emphasizes teamwork values such as self-sacrifice and collaboration.

Selecting a cause as a team adds an extra layer of meaning to the activity.

Here is a list of ways to volunteer in groups, a list of charity team building ideas, and the best community building activities for work.

18. Outdoor Activities

Nature has healing powers. When stress stops my brain, nothing calms me quite like strolling through the sunshine and spotting the neighborhood bunnies.

Though enjoying nature may seem like more of a solo activity, getting fresh air has many group-centric benefits. Spending time outside lessens feelings of isolation, improves mood, and enhances sense of community, as this Yale article attests. Nature can make us feel happier and more social, prime conditions for togetherness.

You can amplify the effects of your team bonding experience by taking your team outdoors. Fresh air can put your teammates in the right headspace for connecting meaningfully with colleagues.

Outdoor bonding activity ideas:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Bike rides
  • Geocaching
  • Kayaking or canoeing
  • Outdoor ropes course
  • Community gardens
  • Yoga in the park
  • Picnics

Getting in touch with nature can help your team get in touch with colleagues. Nature separates us from the constant distractions of modern life so that we can focus on our companions.

If you lead a remote team and cannot gather in the woods, then you can still encourage your teammates to wander outside for remote activities, or you can simulate the great outdoors with a virtual campfire.

19. Zoo Fun

By including animals in your team building exercise, you can provide both a social lubricant and a mood boost. Animals break down barriers, soothe nerves, and reveal our softer sides. Imagine watching your boss, who rides a Harley motorcycle to work, coo at a calico kitten. Or picture Gretchen from accounting trading her typical pre-coffee Monday morning scowl for an ear-to-ear puppy kissing grin. Most people love animals, so coordinating a visit with furry friends provides the group with common ground. One of the best ways to bond with coworkers is to bond with animals together.

Therapists sometimes recruit pets to help treat anxiety because animals are comforting companions. Many patients practice social skills on animals before approaching other humans, and you can use this same principle to ease interaction between your team.

If the zoo can’t come to you, then consider doing a virtual zoo tour with your team.

20. Facilitate Recovery

One of the more unusual team bonding ideas is to facilitate recovery after a crisis. Workplace challenges bring on a wartime mentality, where self-sacrifice and adrenaline encourage gratitude and unity among groups. You can seize on these opportunities to more consciously guide your team building process. Recovery sessions are informal discussions with teams where the group analyzes the cause of the crisis, evaluates the response, formulates a forward-looking plan. These check-ins also allow teammates to gage moods and express concerns. This conversation allows you to shape the narrative of the challenge and promote constructive attitudes, while signaling that you care about your team’s well-being.

Unlike the other activities on this list, recovery sessions do not require planning. In fact, these situations often arise unexpectedly. Identifying and initiating these conversations can be tricky at first, but if you remain mindful and make a habit of regrouping and recapping after emergencies, then team recoveries will become second nature.

21. Connective Technology

Though I keep reading opinion articles about the isolating effects of technology, I cannot help but feel like our devices are not solely to blame. Bad communication habits contribute to our feelings of disconnection. Smartphones and computers enable us to contact almost anyone any time, yet we often choose to ignore friends, families, and coworkers in favor of scrolling through our Instagram feeds.

Instead of using technology as a figurative moat, we can lower our drawbridge and welcome visitors. Not all team bonding needs to happen in person; virtual team activities can also endorse kindness, closeness, and consideration.

Moving social time online removes face-to-face contact, but allows teammates to socialize on a more ongoing and consistent basis.

Here are a few suggestions:

Though technology occasionally divides us, devices also give us common ground. Almost everyone owns a computer nowadays, and we can always use technology as a conversation topic when other subjects elude us. You can harness society’s smartphone addiction to score bonding time for your team.

22. Build Something

Working with your hands is soothing. Whether you whip up a batch of ravioli from scratch or build a picnic bench for squirrels, creating something out of nothing is rewarding. Satisfying as solo achievement may be, producing a project as a group is even more delightful. When you build a birdhouse or finish a mosaic as a group, as a bonus you get to celebrate with others. Starting a project is one of the more productive and satisfying ideas for team bonding.

Building something together makes for a great team bonding exercise because not only does your group collectively enjoy the experience, you can also admire the aftermath together.

Suggestions for group bonding projects:

  • Volunteer to build a house at Habitat for Humanity
  • Plant a community garden and make a meal come harvest time
  • Attend a paint and sip class
  • Mix homemade candles with essential oils
  • Craft wood wall hangings for your wing of the office

With a little skill, effort, and enthusiasm, your opportunities are endless. Build a Lego mansion, a zen garden, or a mural together, and you just may build a stronger team.

Here are examples of online art classes you can do.

23. Exercise Classes

Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that trigger happiness. Though working out is not always fun, the aftermath can feel rewarding. You can embrace the fitness good feelings to help your teams feel closer and more accomplished. Practicing healthy habits alone takes a great deal of discipline, but working out as a group provides a motivational boost.

Group workouts like team building yoga allow your team to push through challenges together. You can either find an online workout to follow, or you can recruit a local fitness instructor or trainer to lead the group.

Suggestions for group workouts:

  • Walking a trail
  • Training for a race
  • Barre class
  • Blacktop basketball
  • Yoga
  • 80’s aerobics
  • Ninja warrior training
  • Weightlifting
  • Adult recess, aka playground games like kickball and tag

If nothing else, then your teammates can bond over panting and resenting the YouTube trainer’s perkiness.

24. Team Bonding Trip

Many companies send employees on team building retreats to focus on developing skills and bonding with colleagues. Abandoning the office and spending a few days in a new locale can be a great way to escape interruptions and re-contextualize your teammates’ relationships. Groups foster connections based on shared experiences, and team retreats provide a variety of activities and adventures to link your teammates together.

Whether you are a large organization or a smaller business, travelling together can coerce your teammates out of the comfort zone and open the group to new impressions. Team retreats are great ways to prioritize team bonding, but you can also plan shorter journeys, such as a day trip to a local winery or state park. Exploring unfamiliar territory together can bring your crew closer than ever.

Final Thoughts

Team bonding is an important part of the team development process. It is important for teammates to understand each other beyond the scope of work and value each other as human beings. These experiences lead to more well-rounded relationships and build trust among colleagues. Plus, teammates often like each other more when they have fun together in addition to working hard together.

Next, check out this list of team bonding questions, these team building tips  and this collection of team building quotes. We also have a list of outdoor team building activities and one on team building indoors.

And here is a list of teamwork quotes that will inspire your employees.

FAQ: Team bonding ideas

Here are some of the most common questions and answers about team bonding ideas.

What is team bonding?

Team bonding is a practice where teammates get to know each other beyond the scope of work by spending time together doing enjoyable activities. Examples include playing games like personal trivia, answering icebreaker questions, sharing team meals, and taking classes together.

What are team bonding ideas?

Team bonding ideas are methods of fostering communication, transparency, and closeness amongst your group. Teamwork requires trust, and trust requires the kind of empathy and communication that team building activities promote.

What are good team bonding ideas?

The best activities break barriers and uncover interesting characteristics. Some good team bonding ideas include giving back to the community, building something together, and embracing the great outdoors.

Why is team bonding important?

Team bonding helps teammates appreciate each other’s interests, personalities, and experiences. By encouraging compassion and understanding, this approach reduces workplace conflict and promotes loyalty.

How do you build a strong relationship with your team?

To develop rapport with your teammates, ask thoughtful questions and actively listen to responses. You should dedicate time to understanding your colleagues. By spending time together outside of the scope of work (even just on breaks between meetings) you signal that your teammates are more to you than task robots.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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