45 team building games to improve communication and camaraderie

June 17th, 202128 min read
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Team building games

Even if you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s hard to outsmart a whole group of intelligent people. That’s why teamwork is so important—it helps us solve difficult problems, develop innovative ideas, and become better collaborators. 

Team building games are great opportunities to foster camaraderie, communication, and leadership skills. As Ashley Frabasilio, Employee Engagement Manager at Asana puts it, “Creating a shared experience for teams to build relationships is one of the best ways to increase trust and encourage collaboration."

Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, quick icebreaker games, or activities to bond with your remote team members, we compiled a list of over 45 team building games that you’ll actually enjoy. 

How to make team building inclusive

Teams with an inclusive culture tend to be more transparent, supportive, and happy because everyone feels accepted. That’s why it’s crucial to make any team activity feel productive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their personality or skill set. Whether you’re working on building an inclusive remote culture or want in-person teams to feel more comfortable together, consider the following for an inclusive team building experience:

  • Inclusive team building means including everyone. Depending on the type of team building activity, you may benefit from hiring an outside expert so everyone can participate in the exercise. Plus, the activity may feel more authentic because a professional is guiding you.

  • If you have introverts on the team, they may not be as excited about an exercise that involves lots of social interaction. 

  • Teammates with speech, sight, or hearing impairments may feel left out during a game that involves blindfolding players and communicating without looking at each other.

  • Physically active games could exclude physically impaired teammates. 

Before choosing one of the team building games from this list, take stock of everyone's abilities. Find an activity that everyone on your team is able to participate in. Maybe even send out an anonymous poll to see what kinds of activities your team would be willing to partake in.

Team icebreaker games

Icebreaker questions and activities are the perfect “getting to know you” games but they’re also fun to play with teammates you’ve known for a long time. You can play them to get everyone up to speed for a meeting (especially on those 8am calls) or use them to introduce new members to the team.

Team icebreaker games

1. Two truths, one lie

Team size: 3+ people

Time: 2–3 minutes per person

How to play: Ask everyone in the group to come up with two facts about themselves and one lie. The more outlandish the facts (e.g., I went skydiving in Costa Rica) and the more believable the lies (e.g., I have two dogs), the more fun the game will be! You can sum these statements up in a presentation with one slide per person or play on the fly. Ask each team member to present their three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie.

Why this exercise is great: This game is perfect for groups who don’t know each other well yet. The details you share can be used as conversation starters later on (“What else did you do in Costa Rica?”) to give you a better idea of who you’re working with.

2. Penny for your thoughts

Team size: 5+ people

Time: 2–3 minutes per person

How to play: You’ll need a box full of pennies (or other coins) with listed years that can’t be older than your youngest team member (not the time to brag about your 1937 collector’s penny). Ask every team member to draw a coin from the box and share a story, memory, or otherwise significant thing that happened to them that year. This can be anything from learning how to ride a bike to landing your first job.  

Why this exercise is great: This is a fun twist on a stress-free and simple icebreaker that gives everyone the chance to share a personal story with their team. You can play multiple rounds if the stories are on the shorter side or let team members elaborate on their stories to gain deeper insight into their lives.

3. Mood pictures

Team size: 5+ people

Time: 2–3 minutes per person

How to play: This game requires a bit of preparation because you need a variety of images to play. You can collect newspaper clippings, magazine cutouts, postcards, and posters or print out different images from the internet (Pinterest is a great spot). The images should show landscapes, cities, people, shapes, or animals in a variety of colors and perspectives. 

Lay all of the images out and ask your team members to each pick one image that resonates with their current mood. Once everyone has picked an image, allow everyone to share what they see in their image, how it makes them feel, and why they picked it.

Why this exercise is great: This exercise is a great way to get a meeting or a workshop started because it allows you to get a feel of the room in a creative and unexpected way. You don’t always have to ask your team to pick an image that reflects their mood—it can also be their expectations for a workshop, their feelings about a current project, or how they hope to feel at the end of the day. As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so this exercise makes talking about feelings easier for a lot of people.

4. One word exercise

Team size: 3+ people

Time: 5–10 minutes 

How to play: Pick a phrase related to the topic you’re meeting about and ask everyone to write down or say a word that comes to mind. You can sum these words up on a whiteboard or in a presentation so you can revisit them at a later date.

Why this exercise is great: This is a nice way to collect everyone’s opinions, thoughts, or feelings about your meeting. You’ll have the chance to read the room before diving into the topic and may uncover some concerns or questions that you can now focus on, which will make the meeting more beneficial to everyone.

5. Back-to-back drawing

Team size: 4+ people 

Time: 5–10 minutes

How to play: Split your team into groups of two and make them sit back to back. Hand one person a pen and piece of paper and show the other person a picture of something that’s fairly simple to draw (e.g., a car, a flower, a house). This person now has to describe the picture to their teammate without actually saying what the item is so they can draw it. They’re allowed to describe shapes, sizes, and textures but can’t say, “Draw a lily.” Once the drawings are finished, compare them with other drawings and see if they look anything like the original.

Why this exercise is great: This activity is a fun way to polish your communication skills, especially your listening skills. It also gives your team a chance to get creative and innovative by thinking outside the box to describe the image to their teammate.

6. Birthday line up

Team size: 8+ people

Time: 10–15 minutes

How to play: Ask your team to form a line in order of their birthdays without talking to each other. You can encourage all kinds of other communication like sign language, gestures, or nudges. If you want to add a little bit of pressure to the exercise, adjust the time! 

Why this exercise is great: Besides learning everyone’s birthday (which can always come in handy as a conversation starter later on), your team learns to communicate without words. Although this can be a challenge and get frustrating, this exercise promotes problem solving skills, cooperation, and non-verbal communication skills.

7. Charades

Team size: 8–10 people

Time: 10–25 minutes

How to play: Divide your team into groups of four or five people. The person who goes first is given or shown a random object (e.g., printer, stapler, keyboard) in private. They then have to demonstrate how to use the object without actually showing it in front of their team. Their team gets 30 seconds on the clock to shout out the correct word (you can adjust the time depending on the difficulty of the objects).

Then it’s the other team’s turn. You’ll keep playing until every team member has had the chance to demonstrate an object to their team. 

Why this exercise is great: This fun game is a nice way to break up a mentally taxing day and get your team to do a creative exercise that isn’t work-related. 

8. Swift swap

Team size: 10–20 people

Time: 10–15 minutes

How to play: Split your team into two groups and line them up facing each other. Team A gets a quick observation period (15–30 seconds) in which they have to memorize as many things about the people in front of them as possible. Then team A turns around while team B changes as many things about their appearance as possible. 

Anything from changing the line up order to swapping shoes with someone or changing your hairdo is fair game. After about 45 seconds, team A turns back around and gets 5–10 minutes to find out everything that’s been changed. You can adjust the time depending on the size of your group.

Why this exercise is great: This game is a great way to break up a long day and take everyone’s minds off work for a little while. Your team also gets to practice time-sensitive non-verbal communication during the swapping phase.

9. Code of conduct

Team size: 5+ people

Time: 20–30 minutes

How to play: This game is a great way to tune into a new project or workshop. Write the two categories “meaningful” and “enjoyable” on a whiteboard and ask the group what they believe is needed to accomplish these two things for your project or workshop. This can be anything from “regular breaks'' to “transparency and honesty.” Your team can write keywords on the whiteboard that you can later discuss in more depth.

The ideas that everyone agrees on will be both meaningful and enjoyable and will be recorded as the code of conduct for your upcoming project or workshop. This list will function as a reminder for the team to uphold these values.

Why this exercise is great: Whether it’s the first day of a workshop, the beginning of a new project, or simply a Monday morning, this exercise is great to get everyone on your team on the same page. By establishing group norms and values early on and holding everyone accountable with a written code of conduct, you’ll create a sense of cohesiveness. And if you’d like to do this exercise virtually, use our team brainstorming template to collect everyone’s thoughts.

10. Common thread

Team size: 10+ people

Time: 30 minutes

How to play: Divide your team into groups of three to five people. Then ask your team to find things everyone in their group has in common. This can be a favorite TV show, an ice cream flavor nobody likes, or a common hobby. Encourage your teammates to find common threads that aren’t too superficial or obvious. The more things they can find that everyone in the group has in common, the better! If you have the time, bring everyone together afterward and ask the teams to share their experiences.

Why this exercise is great: This game allows your team to find commonalities that they may not get a chance to discover otherwise. It’s also a great way to reunite teams that feel a bit divided. Talking about shared likes and dislikes can be helpful in reconnecting with teammates.

Read: 100+ teamwork quotes to motivate and inspire collaboration

Problem solving games

Playing problem solving games with your team will help them level up their teamwork skills, resolve issues, achieve goals, and succeed together. Whether you’re using new brainstorming techniques or going out for a team adventure, these team building exercises are the perfect way to improve your team's problem solving skills.

Problem solving games

11. Your first idea

Team size: 5–12 people

Time: 10–20 minutes

How to play: You can play this game with a real-life problem your team is facing or with a fictional one. This also works when you’re brainstorming for new ideas to pitch! Ask everyone in your team to write down the first idea that pops into their head upon being presented with the problem. Compile the list and review it as a team.

A fun twist on this game is to ask everyone to write down their worst idea. After reviewing with the team, you may realize that it wasn’t that bad after all. 

Why this exercise is great: We often get too much into our heads about problems and solutions. By writing down the first solution that comes to mind, we can uncover new perspectives and fixes.

12. Back of the napkin

Team size: 6–24 people

Time: 15–20 minutes

How to play: Divide your team into groups of two to four and present them with a variety of open-ended problems. These can be work-related, imaginary, or even environmental problems. Every team gets a napkin and pen that they have to sketch or write their solution on after they’ve discussed the issue as a group. These will then be presented to the rest of the team.

Why this exercise is great: Some of the best ideas have allegedly been recorded on napkins (hey, when creativity strikes you’ll write on anything). This game imitates this scenario while challenging your team to collaborate on solving a creative problem.

13. Create your own

Team size: 5–12 people

Time: 30–60 minutes

How to play: Each team member will create an original problem-solving activity on their own and present it to the group. Whether this entails a physical, mental, or creative challenge is up to your team. If you have the time, play some of the games afterward!

Why this exercise is great: Coming up with your own games is fun and a real creative challenge. It also allows your team members to showcase their strengths by creating challenges they’ll be prepared to tackle.

14. Spectrum mapping

Team size: 5–15 people

Time: 30–60 minutes

How to play: Present your team with a few topics you’d like to know their opinions and insight on. Write them down on a whiteboard and give everyone sticky notes and pens. Ask them to write down their thoughts and pin them on the whiteboard underneath the respective topic. 

Now arrange the sticky notes as a team. Try to group similar ideas together to the left of the topic and post outliers toward the right side. This will create a spectrum of popular thoughts and opinions on the left and more extreme ideas on the right.

Why this exercise is great: This game will help you map out the diversity of perspectives your team has on different topics. Remember that unpopular opinions don’t have to be wrong. Embracing this diversity can help you uncover new perspectives and innovative ideas to solve problems you’re facing as a team. 

15. What would “X” do? 

Team size: 5–10 people

Time: 45–60 minutes

How to play: Present your team with a problem and ask everyone to come up with a famous person or leader they admire. This can be a celebrity, a buin, or a relative. Challenge your teammates to approach the problem as if they were that person and present their solution (extra points for playing in character).

Why this exercise is great: Getting stuck in your own head can often keep you from solving a problem efficiently and effectively. By stepping into the shoes of someone else, you may uncover new solutions. Plus, it’s fun pretending to be someone else for a little while!

16. Team pursuit

Team size: 6–24 people

Time: 1–3 hours

How to play: Form groups of two to six people that will compete against one another in a series of challenges. You can buy a team pursuit package online or create your own game, which will take a good amount of prep time. 

You’ll want to create a set of challenges for your team: physical challenges that require endurance and strength, cerebral challenges that test their logic and intelligence, skill challenges like aptitude tests, and mystery challenges which usually ask for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking (e.g., come up with a unique handshake, take a fun picture, etc.).  

Why this exercise is great: A solid game of team pursuit will create a fun challenge that gives everyone a chance to shine and show off their talents. Whether you’re a good runner, a quick thinker, or a creative mind, everyone will be able to contribute to the success of the team. This game will bring your team closer together and show them new sides of their teammates that they may not have been aware of.

17. Code break

Team size: 8–24 people

Time: 1–3 hours

How to play: This brain teaser is a fun activity that you can play indoors or outdoors to challenge your team. Outback Team Building offers self-hosted, remote-hosted, and on-site hosted events that include several codes your teammates have to find and break to make it through the course.

Why this exercise is great: This challenge requires creative thinking, creates a competitive environment, and works with large groups because you can break off into smaller groups.

18. Escape room

Team size: 3+ people

Time: 2–3 hours

How to play: Visiting an escape room is always a unique experience and a great way to spend an afternoon with your team. If you have multiple escape rooms nearby, ask your team if they have a general idea of what theme they’d like to explore (e.g., history, horror, sci-fi) and try to pick something you’ll think everyone will enjoy.

If you’re super creative and have the time and resources, you can put together an escape room on your own!

Why this exercise is great: Solving the mysteries of an escape room with your team will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates, foster communication and collaboration, build trust, and become a shared memory that connects you together.

Indoor team building games

These indoor team building games are great if you’re doing a workshop, you’re on a team retreat, or you want to shake things up after a long meeting. Most of these games can be played in an office or a hallway with a small team but you may need a bit more space if you’re inviting a larger group to join in.

Indoor team building games

19. Perfect square

Team size: 4–12 people

Time: 15–30 minutes

How to play: Divide your team into groups of four to six and ask them to stand in a tight circle with their group. Ask everyone to blindfold themselves or close their eyes and give one person a rope. Without looking at what they're doing, the teams now have to pass the rope around so everyone holds a piece of it and then form a perfect square. Once the team is sure their square is perfect, they can lay the rope down on the floor, take off their blindfolds (or open their eyes) and see how well they did. 

Why this exercise is great: This game is about more than perfect geometric shapes, it’s an amazing listening and communication exercise. Because no one can see what they're doing, your team members have to communicate clearly while figuring out how to create a square out of a rope. Besides, it’s often really funny to see how imperfect the squares come out.

20. Memory wall

Team size: 5+ people

Time: 15–30 minutes

How to play: You’ll need a whiteboard and sticky notes for this game. Write different work-related themes on the whiteboard such as “first day at work,” “team celebration,” and “work travel.” Hand each teammate a few sticky notes and ask them to write down their favorite memories or accomplishments associated with one or more of these themes. Invite everyone to share these with the team to take a walk down memory lane and post the notes on the whiteboard as you go.

Why this exercise is great: This is a nice way to end a week, long day, or workshop because you’ll share positive experiences with one another that will leave your teammates smiling. If you’re finishing up a work trip or multi-day workshop, you can also do a slimmed-down version of this by asking everyone to share their favorite memory or biggest accomplishment of the last few days.

21. Turn back time  

Team size: 5–10 people

Time: 20–30 minutes

How to play: This team building exercise works best in a quiet atmosphere with everyone sitting in a circle. Ask your team to quietly think about a unique memory in their lives. You can give them a few minutes to collect their thoughts. Then ask everyone to share the one memory they’d like to relive if they could turn back time. 

Not everyone may be comfortable opening up at first, so be sure to lead with vulnerability and make everyone in the room feel safe about sharing their moment.

Why this exercise is great: This exercise is a great way to help your team members remember their priorities and bond on a deeper level. In a team that’s facing disconnection or stress, sharing personal highlights that aren’t work-related can help create a sense of togetherness. Although the exercise doesn’t take too long, it’s best to do it toward the end of the day so your team has a chance to reflect on what’s been said.

22. Paper plane  

Team size: 6–12 people

Time: 20–30 minutes

How to play: Split your team into groups of two to four and hand out card stock. Give each team 10–15 minutes to come up with the best long-distance paper plane design (they’re allowed to do research on their phones or computers) and a name for their airline.

When the paper planes are done, have a competition in a long hallway or outside to see which plane flies the farthest. 

Why this exercise is great: This exercise requires team members to collaborate on a project with a tight timeline. It is a great activity to practice communication skills, delegation, and time management.

23. Build a tower

Team size: 8–16 people

Time: 20–30 minutes

How to play: Divide your team into groups of four or five and provide them with 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. Challenge each team to build the tallest tower possible using only the supplies you gave them. When finished, the tower has to support the marshmallow sitting on top. Set the timer for 20 minutes and ask everyone to step away from their masterpiece when it runs out so you can crown a winner.

Why this exercise is great: This challenge is a great way to improve problem solving skills and communication within your team. Your team members will have to prototype, build, and present the tower in a short amount of time, which can be stressful. The better they work together, the more likely they are to succeed.

24. Flip it over

Team size: 6–8 people

Time: 20–30 minutes

How to play: Lay a towel, blanket, or sheet on the floor and ask your teammates to stand on it. The goal is to flip the piece over without ever stepping off of it or touching the ground outside of the fabric. You can make the challenge more difficult by adding more people to the team or using a smaller sheet.

Why this exercise is great: This exercise requires clear communication, cooperation, and a good sense of humor. It’s a great way to find out how well your teammates cooperate when presented with an oddly challenging task.

25. Sneak a peek 

Team size: 4–20 people

Time: 30 minutes

How to play: Create a structure out of Lego pieces and hide it in a separate room. Divide your team into groups of two to four people and give them enough Lego pieces to replicate the structure in 30 minutes or less.

One player per team is allowed to sneak a peek at the original structure for 15 seconds, then run back and describe it to their team. The person who gets to sneak a peek rotates so everyone gets to see the original at some point during the game. The team that first completes the structure as close to the original wins! 

Why this exercise is great: During this game your team gets to focus on teamwork and communication. Since only one person at a time is allowed to look at the original, team members may see and describe different things. The more complex the structure is, the harder this game will be.

26. Pyramids

Team size: 8–24 people

Time: 30 minutes

How to play: Pick a large open area for this game like a hallway, a meeting room, or the cafeteria. Divide your team into groups of four to six and give each team 10 paper cups. Ask the teams to stand in a line with about 8–10 feet between the team members. Now it’s a race against time!

The first person in each line has to build a pyramid with four cups at the base. Once they’re done, the second player has to help them carry the pyramid to their station (this can be on the floor or at a table). They can slide it on the floor or carry it together but if the pyramid falls apart, the players have to reassemble it on the spot before continuing their journey. At the next station, the second player has to topple the pyramid and rebuild it before the third player gets to help them carry it to the next station. This continues until the pyramid reaches the last station. The team that finishes first wins the game

Why this exercise is great: This game is fun to play during a mid-day break, fosters communication skills, and promotes teamwork.

27. Shipwrecked

Team size: 8–25 people

Time: 30 minutes

How to play: The premise of the game is that you’re stranded on a deserted island and only have 25 minutes to secure survival items off the sinking ship. Place items like water bottles, matches, food, etc., in the “shipwreck area.” You can also print pictures on index cards to make things a bit easier. The quantity of each item should be limited, with some items having more than others (e.g., more water than food, fewer tarps than teams, more knives than ropes, etc.).

Divide your team into groups of two (or more if it’s a large team). Once the clock starts, they have to gather as many items as they deem worthy from the shipwreck and rank them in order of importance. Since the items are limited (some more than others), the teams will not only have to prioritize the items within their own group of people but also negotiate, trade, and exchange items with other teams. 

Why this exercise is great: This game will challenge problem-solving abilities, encourage collaboration, and enable your team to flex their leadership skills. Typically, the teams with strong leadership will have the most success in making these quick decisions.

28. Team flag

Team size: 6–20 people

Time: 30–45 minutes

How to play: Divide your team into groups of two to four people and provide them with paper and pens. Each group now has to come up with an emblem or flag that represents their team. Once everyone has completed their masterpiece, they have to present it to the rest of the teams, explaining how they came up with the design. This exercise is also a great opportunity to discuss how each group identified their common values and created alignment during the design process.

Why this exercise is great: This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Your team will not only have to come up with a unique design that represents their collective identity but they’ll also have to collaborate on putting pen to paper and presenting their flag or emblem at the end of the game.

29. Salt and pepper  

Team size: 6–20 people

Time: 45–60 minutes

How to play: You’ll need a list of things that go well together like salt and pepper, left sock and right sock, day and night, peanut butter and jelly, or yin and yang. Write these words on individual pieces of paper and tape one sheet of paper on every team member's back. 

Ask your team to mingle and find out what’s written on their back by asking questions that can only be answered with yes or no (e.g., “Am I sweet? Do you wear me? Am I cold?”). Once the participants find out who they are, they have to find their match!

Why this exercise is great: Your team can use this game to bond with one another and improve their communication skills. If you have a large team, this exercise also gives them a chance to interact with people they may not usually get to talk to.

30. Sell it

Team size: 3+ people

Time: 45–90 minutes

How to play: Ask your teammates to each bring a random object to the meeting. Everyone then has to come up with a logo, slogan, and marketing plan to sell this object. After 30 minutes, each team member has to present their new product to the rest of the team. If you have a larger team, divide them into groups of 2–4 people and ask them to collaborate on their product pitch.

Why this exercise is great: This game is great to switch things up if you’re already working in marketing or sales. It’s also fun to play with others as it allows your team to get creative and have fun with everyday objects.

31. The barter puzzle

Team size: 4–12 people

Time: 1–2 hours

How to play: Divide your team into groups of three or four people and give each a different jigsaw puzzle of the same difficulty level. Ask them to complete the puzzle as a team. The twist: each puzzle is missing a few pieces that are mixed in with an opposing team’s puzzle. The teams have to figure out ways to get the pieces they need from the other teams by negotiating, trading pieces, or even exchanging teammates. Every decision has to be made as a team. The first team to complete their puzzle wins.

Why this exercise is great: Every decision made will have to be a group decision which challenges your team to improve their problem solving skills.  

Read: 10 easy steps to boost team collaboration

Outdoor team building exercises

If you want to get a larger group together for a team building exercise, why not take things outside? Outdoor team building is also a great way to get your teammates to interact without the distractions of screens or smartphones. Whether you want to catch a breath of fresh air or get some sunshine together, these exercises will help you bond with your teammates outside of the office.

Outdoor team building games

32. The minefield

Team size: 4–10 people

Time: 15–30 minutes

How to play: Create a minefield in a parking lot or another large, open space by sporadically placing objects like papers, balls, cones, and bottles. Split your team into groups of two and ask one person to put on a blindfold. The other person now has to guide the blindfolded teammate through the minefield only using their words. The blindfolded person is not allowed to talk and will be eliminated if they stop walking or step on anything in the minefield. 

The objective of the game is to make it to the other side of the minefield. The teams can then switch so another person will be blindfolded and guided through the field on their way back. You can also distribute pieces the blindfolded person has to pick up on their way through the field to add another difficulty level.

Why this exercise is great: This game is not just a trust exercise for your teammates but also a fun way to practice active listening skills and clear communication.

33. Earth-ball  

Team size: 5–20 people

Time: 15–45 minutes

How to play: You’ll need a balloon, beach ball, or volleyball for this activity. Ask your team to stand in a circle and keep the balloon or ball in the air for as long as possible. To make it a real challenge, no one can touch the ball twice in a row. The bigger your team, the more fun this game will be!

Why this exercise is great: This fun challenge is a great way to get your team moving. If you’re struggling to keep the ball up for longer, try to come up with a strategy to improve your time.

34. Scavenger hunt

Team size: 8+ people

Time: 45–90 minutes

How to play: Put together a scavenger hunt for your team. This can be in the form of a list of photographs they have to take (e.g., something red, all teammates in front of the company logo, the CEO’s car, etc.), items they have to collect (e.g., company brochure, yellow sticky note with manager’s signature on it, ketchup packet from the cafeteria, etc.), or other activities they have to complete on a designated route. 

Why this exercise is great: The more people that tag along, the more fun this game will be. You can group people together who don’t know each other very well to allow them time to bond during this exercise. Try to come up with company-specific quests for your team so they learn a few fun facts along the way. You can offer prizes for the most creative team or the first to finish the challenge to boost motivation.

35. Egg drop 

Team size: 4–12 people

Time: 60–90 minutes

How to play: Divide your team into groups of two or three people and give each team a raw egg (keep some extras in case they break before the grand finale). Then put out supplies like tape, straws, rubber bands, newspapers, and balloons so the teams can build a structure for the raw egg that will protect it from a fall out of a second or third story window. 

Each team has 60 minutes to complete their structure. When the time is up, ask your teams to gather their eggs and egg cages to drop them out of the window. This grand finale will reveal which team engineered and built the best cage.

Why this exercise is great: Collaborating on a design and building a cage will challenge your team’s problem solving and collaboration skills.

36. Team outing

Team size: Any

Time: Any

How to play: Plan an outing for your team. You could attend a cooking class or go to a museum together. If you want to have something your teammates can work toward, plan to run a 5K together or host a ping pong tournament. You can also do something more casual like inviting your team to hangout at a bowling alley after work where you can play a few games in a casual and fun setting.

Why this exercise is great: Taking your team somewhere new will help break down some of the walls we often build in a professional setting. While you’re still at a company function, you’re more inclined to connect through casual conversation at a restaurant or park than you would at the office.

37. Support a cause

Team size: 5+ people

Time: Any

How to play: Organize a team event that happens outside of your regularly scheduled workday. This can be a charity event, a yard sale, or a fundraiser for a cause that your team cares about. 

If your team members have a few causes they’re truly passionate about, consider making this a monthly or quarterly event. You can also rotate the charities that you’re helping out to accommodate your team’s different interests.

Why this exercise is great: Experiencing helper’s high can improve your personal health and mental state. Sharing this rush that doing good can give you will help your team bond on a deeper level. 

Remote or virtual team building games

Bonding with your teammates can be more difficult when you’re working remotely. Remote or virtual team building games can improve company culture, help with communication, and create a sense of community even though you’re physically apart. You can use Zoom to connect with your teammates or do quick team building exercises via your remote work software during the day.

Virtual team building games

Ashley Frabasilio, Employee Engagement Manager at Asana encourages leaders to schedule these activities during normal work hours. Ensure that the activity is appropriate for all participants in all time zones so no one feels excluded. Using work hours for these exercises can also increase the participation rate because you’re not interfering with their personal time.

38. Show and tell  

Team size: 3+ people

Time: 2–3 minutes per person

How to play: Ask everyone in your team to bring something they’re proud of or that brings them joy to your next meeting. This can be anything from a pet to a plant, a painting they did, or a certificate they received. Everyone gets two to three minutes to show off their item and answer questions from the team if they have any.

Why this exercise is great: Show and tell isn’t just fun for kids, it’s also a great way to connect with your team. You’re probably going to learn something new about your teammates and may get a couple of conversation starters for your next meeting from this game.

39. Photo caption contest 

Team size: 5+ people

Time: 10–15 minutes

How to play: Collect a few funny photos—for example a few memes that have recently been circling the internet. Send these to your team before the meeting and ask everyone to submit their best photo caption for each image. You can put these together in a quick presentation and present them to your team during the call. You can have a good laugh together and even vote for the best captions.

Why this exercise is great: This exercise is a fun way to get creative as a team and have a good laugh together.

40. Morning coffee 

Team size: 3+ people

Time: 15–30 minutes

How to play: Schedule regular coffee calls for your remote team to give everyone a chance to get to know each other like they would in an office setting. You can schedule team calls with four to five people or randomly assign two people to each other that switch every time. You can offer these casual calls once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month, depending on your team size and the interest in this opportunity. 

Why this exercise is great: Remote teams don’t often get a chance to just chit-chat and get to know each other without talking about work or feeling like they’re wasting meeting time. By designating 15–30 minutes on a regular basis to a casual call, your team members will have a chance to bond with people they might not typically interact with.

41. Lunch and learn

Team size: 5+ people

Time: 30 minutes

How to play: Hold a weekly or monthly “lunch and learn” where one team member presents a topic to the whole team during their lunch break. This presentation can be on a tool everyone uses at work, on a lesson learned from a recent project, or even on a book they read that everyone can learn from. 

Why this exercise is great: These events are a great opportunity for your team to connect in a more casual yet educational setting. If your team budget allows, send restaurant gift cards to your team members so they can order lunch for the call.

42. Online group game  

Team size: 3+ people

Time: 30–60 minutes

How to play: Invite your team to play a game online together. This can be an actual video game if everyone happens to use the same console at home or you can download an interactive game (like Jackbox) which you can screen share with the rest of the group. 

Why this exercise is great: Playing a video game or an interactive game that has nothing to do with work can be a fun way to switch things up, create a more casual work environment, and get to know each other better. It will also give people with great sportsmanship a chance to shine!

43. Trivia games 

Team size: 6–20 people

Time: 30–90 minutes

How to play: Start a meeting with a quick game of trivia or host a regular virtual trivia night at the end of the work day. You can play a game of office trivia (e.g., facts about the company) or pick random other themes like TV shows, music, or national parks. To mix things up, ask other team members to host trivia night.

Why this exercise is great: Whether you’re making the trivia game office-themed or creating a regular team activity that takes everyone’s minds off of work, you’ll get to spend time with your team playing a competitive, educational, and entertaining game that gives everyone a chance to bond.

44. Quarterly challenge  

Team size: 3+ people

Time: One month

How to play: Create an optional challenge for your team to participate in. The challenge can be centered around healthy eating, meditation, journaling, or reading. Create a chat or thread where your teammates can exchange their experiences, wins, and questions to keep each other motivated and accountable throughout the month. 

Make sure your team knows that participation is optional. If they don’t like this month’s challenge, maybe the next one is more their cup of tea! It never hurts to ask for feedback to spark future team challenge ideas.

Why this exercise is great: Creating a challenge like this for your team shows them that you care about their work-life balance. By offering a quarterly challenge, you provide your team with the opportunity to share an experience together. Plus, it’s always easier to complete a challenge when you have a team who supports you and an incentive to work toward.  

45. Personality test  

Team size: 5+ people

Time: Any

How to play: Send a personality test to your team and ask everyone to share their results in a chat or during your next team meeting. This can be a formal test like the Enneagram or StrengthsFinders. For something more lighthearted, you can send a fun quiz like the Sorting Hat to find out which Hogwarts house you belong in or a Buzzfeed quiz (e.g., “What Kitchen Appliance Are You?”).

Why this exercise is great: Depending on the type of quiz your team takes, this can become a funny icebreaker before you start a meeting or turn into a discussion on your team’s combined strengths and challenges. 

Read: 3 ways to collaborate remotely with your team

Benefits of team building

Team building is more than a fun break from your everyday routine at work. It also:

  • Improves communication, trust, and collaboration skills

  • Promotes a collaborative culture by bringing teammates together

  • Fosters agile decision making and problem solving skills

  • Boosts team productivity and morale

  • Asks for creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking

Ashley Frabasilio believes that:

A common goal is to create a memorable and meaningful experience for folks to connect. Some questions to consider when planning an impactful team-building activity include: What do I hope folks walk away with? I.e., a new skill, a deeper connection to one another, personal development, a moment of delight, etc.

Ask yourself these questions before proposing a team building activity so you can reap the full benefits of the exercise.

Bring your team together, creatively

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build your team’s confidence, connection, and teamwork skills. While team building is fun, it’s also important to connect with your team on an everyday basis. To build one of those connections in your day-to-day work, the right collaboration software is key. 

Looking for the right collaboration tool? See how Asana keeps your team connected, no matter where you’re working. 

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