You found our list of team building examples.
Team building examples are illustrations of teamwork exercises that fall under various team building activity types. For instance, an example of a virtual team building activity is a virtual coffee date, and an example of an unusual team building activity is an aerial yoga class.
These examples fall under the various types of team building and include team games, team challenges, and team exercises.
Specifically, this list includes:
- Simple team building activities
- Corporate team building activities
- 5 minute team building activities
- Unusual team building activities
- Virtual team building activities
So, here is the list!
Examples of simple team building activities
Simple team building activities are familiar, effortless to explain, easy to execute, and cost little to nothing. The exercises outlined below provide specifics.
1. The Human Knot
The Human Knot is one of the most common team building examples. Since the game requires no setup and very little explanation, you can improvise the activity any time. Chances are, several members of your team have tangled arms in the human knot once or twice before. This team building game has straightforward instructions.
How to do the human knot:
- Participants form groups of five to twelve members
- Group members assemble in a circle
- Players reach left hands across the circle and grab an opposite member’s hand
- Players reach right hands across the circle and grab a different participant’s hand
- Without letting go of the grip, team members must untangle the jumble and form a ring
This exercise requires great communication and coordination. No two human knots are exactly alike, so every exercise will be a unique challenge.
Here is a longer guide on how to do the human knot for team building.
2. Speed Dating
Speed dating is an event where singles meet and speak with several other participants in a series of short interviews. Conversations last five minutes or less before event leaders ask players to switch partners. You can adapt speed dating into a quick and easy activity for teams.
How to do coworker speed dating:
- Ask participants to count off by ones and twos
- Tell all the ones to take a seat in chairs or at tables
- Designate the twos as “travelers,” who will move to new spots when time is up
- Watch the clock. After three to five minutes, ring a bell to instruct twos to move to a new partner
You can provide a list of talking points or questions for participants if you would like, but this step is optional. Otherwise, speed dating requires no special materials or preparation. You can allow conversations to form naturally, and can yell or play music on your phone to signal participants should switch seats. Speed dating allows many employees to interact in a very short amount of time, helping coworkers to make initial connections that can later develop into deeper work relationships.
3. Short Reads Book Club
As a self-proclaimed word nerd, I rejoiced to learn my former employer started an employee book club. My excitement and the club itself were both short lived. I only read one title before my manager never asked me to write another book report. In the midst of hectic modern life, many workers lack time and motivation to read and discuss whole books in depth. The solution to this problem is to launch a “short reads” book club.
You can print out or email short stories, articles, or essays every week, and ask all teammates to read and respond. You can give team members a forum by designating time during a meeting to talk about the piece, or by starting a thread on a program like Basecamp. Colleagues are much more likely to comment on brief pieces than long works of literature. This activity normalizes regular exchanges of opinion and helps employees practice team discussion. The only work you will have to do as leader is to choose the article, but you could also outsource this task by asking team members for suggestions.
Here are lists of books you can read.
Examples of corporate team building activities
Corporate team building activities are team exercises regularly executed by business organizations to develop skills such as problem-solving and listening and to strengthen coworker relations. The activities below are common examples of work team building exercises.
1. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are staples of corporate team building events. These activities emphasize problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and team coordination. Professional event companies advertise guided corporate scavenger hunts, but you can also plan and execute a hunt on your own.
To hold an office scavenger hunt:
- Decide on a place to play and plan a route
- Concoct challenges and clues
- Split groups into teams
- Give each team a map and instructions
- Allow thirty minutes to two hours to complete the course
- Regather the teams, share findings, and declare a winner
You can personalize scavenger hunts to fit themes such as company culture, world travel, or pirate treasure hunt. Scavenger hunts are fun and engaging and serve as great examples of team building games.
Here is a list of scavenger hunt clues and templates.
2. Company Retreats
Corporate retreats are another prime example of company team building activities. Many organizations prefer to move employees offsite for focused sessions of skill building and team bonding. For instance, one of my former employers used to host an annual company meeting at a nearby casino. During these events, employees played team games, mingled with coworkers from other locations, received company news, and attended lectures on topics like giving Disneyworld-level customer service. These gatherings provided a great opportunity to connect with geographically dispersed colleagues.
Typically, company retreats include a variety of different team building exercises, which means these events constitute another sort of team building category.
Here is a list of company retreat ideas for corporate groups, one with ideas for company offsites, and more ideas for team building meetings.
3. Team Dinners
Everybody needs to eat, and almost everybody loves to eat. Team dinners were one of the most popular team building events at my last workplace. My colleagues and I enjoyed warming ourselves around a hibachi stove and swapping pictures of pets.
Companies are picking up the dinner tab more often as team building dinners transform into a workplace norm. Corporate dinners reinforce the idea of coworkers as families, as colleagues gather at a communal table and share a meal and light conversation. These events are nourishing and stimulating. Setting up a departmental dinner is as easy as choosing a day, selecting a restaurant, and making a reservation.
As companies realize the importance of team building, even more inventive corporate team activities emerge. Escape rooms, lunch and learns, and sporting events are a few other in-demand standards.
Examples of 5 minute team building activities
One of the most common complaints about team building is that exercises take time away from regular work. These examples of 5 minute team building activities promote conversation and interaction in short spurts.
1. Icebreaker Questions
Icebreaker topics are the simplest examples of team bonding activities. You can facilitate conversations between coworkers during meetings or after work gatherings by posing talking points.
Sample icebreaker questions:
- What superpower would you most want?
- What question would you want your pet to answer?
- Have you ever met a celebrity? If not, which celebrity would you like to meet?
- If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What is your favorite memory?
You could always allow conversations to run longer if you find yourself with extra time, otherwise colleagues can always continue the conversations later.
Here is a list of icebreakers to ask in meetings.
2. Keep It Up
To play Keep It Up with your crew, you can simply give the group a balloon and challenge team members to keep the object in the air. To make the activity harder, you can stipulate that no single team members can tap the balloon more than once in a row, or that every team member must touch the balloon at least once. Ideally, teams should consist of ten members or to control the chaos and ensure every member gets a chance to participate.
3. Quick Lists
An example of a team building activity that takes little time is a game called Quick Lists. In this game, colleagues will rack their brains to list answers to certain subjects in three minutes or less.
Teammates will need to strategically divide, consolidate, and add to lists to ensure the group generates the maximum number of answers. This activity allows team members to exhibit expertise and delegate effectively.
These activities are short and sweet, which means you can repeat the games regularly. Because team building is a constant process, possessing an arsenal of brief exercises to pull out in a pinch is a major advantage.
Examples of unusual team building activities
Too many rounds of Never Have I Ever, Two Truths and a Lie, or the Birthday Team Lineup may make your team snore. The following examples of unusual team building activities present out-of-the-box ways to engage your teams.
1. Drag Brunch
Though some of these subjects may seem like risque team building topics, drag performances can be educational events for teams. Drag teaches confidence and acceptance, two important traits for an increasingly diverse workforce. These customs can push teammates beyond normal perspectives and comfort zones, which leads to greater creativity. You can contact your local queer event venue to inquire as to whether the performers are open to hosting private corporate events. If you fret about offending the sensibilities of your shier teammates, then you can always ask the staff to tone down the bawdiness and keep the show PG-13.
2. Aerial Yoga Class
Aerial yoga is a form of exercise where participants stretch and strike poses while suspended in a hanging hammock. This practice promotes physical strength and flexibility, but trying such a new and adventurous exercise is sure to increase your teammates’ mental resilience and adaptability as well. This workout is excellent for stress relief and back pain, two common conditions of sedentary jobs. Aerial yoga champions adventurous and risk-taking teams, as do other uncommon workouts such as rock climbing or ninja warrior training.
Here is a guide to doing yoga with teams.
3. Beer Brewing or Wine Bottling
Alcohol-making classes can be a great team bonding experience. Many breweries and wineries are happy to lead groups through the grounds, explain the fermenting process, and allow teams the opportunity to cook and bottle a batch of wine or beer. Your crew can even design a custom label using a group photo, and can bring the bottle home as a memento of the awesome and informative day together.
If you expect your teams to work more creatively, then you should think more creatively in terms of your team building. Planning a unique and exciting event may be the best treatment for breaking your teams out of a rut.
For at home versions of this activity, here are lists of virtual beer tasting and virtual wine tasting classes.
Examples of virtual team building activities
With remote work growing more prevalent, work from home team activities become ever more popular. Below you will find marvelous examples of virtual team building activities.
Here is a full list of virtual team building activity examples.
1. Virtual coffee date
A Gallup poll found that at least 20% of remote workers named loneliness as one of the greatest struggles of working from home. Virtual coffee dates are simple solutions to the problem of disconnectedness in virtual offices.
Online coffee dates are terrific examples of remote team activities because these events require minimal organization but result in quality team connections. These virtual gatherings can occur as seldom or frequently as participants desire.
To host an online coffee date, you simply must select a video conferencing platform such as Zoom or WebEx, and send invitations to attendees. On the call, the group can chat using conversation starters and icebreaker questions, or speak naturally. You can instruct guests to brew a cup before arriving, or provide a stipend for employees to buy coffee. Digital coffee dates simulate casual conversations that transpire in shared spaces such as break rooms. These virtual gatherings help to build rapport and camaraderie between dispersed teams.
Here are ideas for virtual coffee breaks.
2. Virtual meditations
Despite the lack of a commute or lurking bosses, working from home can be stressful. Virtual group meditations are an opportunity for remote employees to destress.
Hosting a remote meditation session is simple. You can find a step-by-step meditation guide or narrated video online and lead your team through the exercises during your next video call.
Meditation helps improve concentration, reduce strain, and foster feelings of wellbeing. The habit can be tricky to adopt, but practicing meditation as a group eliminates the stigma of “doing nothing,” and forces participants to focus until completion.
3. Virtual Team Trivia
Online trivia is a team game played on web conferencing software such as Skype or Facebook Messenger. Virtual Team Trivia allows teammates to flex obscure expertise and pool knowledge to beat other groups.
You can hire a company to facilitate a web trivia game, or you can host your own session by following the steps outlined below.
To host team trivia:
- Choose trivia themes and categories such as example one or two.
- Research trivia questions
- Send invitations to attendees.
- Divide the groups into teams of three to five.
- Read questions and allow teams up to five minutes to answer.
- Keep score and award winners at the game’s end.
You can use Zoom’s breakout rooms feature to allow teammates the chance to confer out of earshot of other teams. Video trivia prompts discussion, presents a group goal, and allows remote employees the chance to unwind and connect with coworkers.
Connecting remote teams can be a real challenge, but is an essential step in a virtual work climate. The activities on this list provide a baseline for engaging online team activities.
Learn more about virtual trivia games.
The items on this list are a small sample of team building examples. When beginning the task of team building, referring to specifics is helpful. These examples can serve as a starting point for trial and error to see what activities click best with your team, and you can expand upon these ideas and add personal touches that feel creative and unique to your employees.
For more resources, check out this guide to the team building process and this list of ways to create successful virtual teams.
We also have an article on the importance of team building at work and one on team building yells.