The Best Team Building Activities


"Teamwork!" Yep, it's another buzzword for the new millennium. Well, now that we're all meant to be more loving, caring for the environment and gender aware, it's only logical that getting people to get along with each other should now be taking center stage in the work situation. And quite rightly so! Our new awareness and embracing of individual values is the road towards greater empathy. And, in these trying times, that's gotta be a thing for the greater good. To that end, team building activities have an important role to play in bringing about a new workplace culture that includes self-worth and happiness. We can all agree to get behind such an initiative.

Many jobs require colleagues and co-workers to spend most of their waking hours together. And that's why you just can't overemphasize the importance that team building can bring to the table. Let's have a look at just some of the many benefits team building can lead to.

  1. With many minds working together, it helps solve problems and aids decision making.
  2. Encourages the use of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking by taking people out of their comfort zone. 
  3. Through enhanced productivity improves existing ways of working.
  4. Gets people to collaborate by bringing individuals closer together.
  5. Fosters better and more meaningful communication between employees.
  6. Boost company morale through self validation.
  7. Insights and results from team building exercises can be incorporated into the work situation
  8. It's fun and you make friends as previous barriers fall and we can see each other for who we really are.

There are probably many more reasons as to why making a team building exercise is going to be beneficial for all those involved. Knowing what we want to achieve out of our activities, makes it easier to choose the events that'll fit our purposes. Right now, with team building being such a huge business in itself, there are any number of activities to get involved with. Many are specifically designed to promote or accentuate a particular skill set or behavior, such as leadership, creativity or communication. So it's with broad strokes we'll paint a picture of some of the great activities any company will be happy to send their employees to partake in. The one's listed below are all are activities that take place away from the work environment. 

1. Paintball

Essentially running around an obstacle course but with guns! These gas powered firearms fire balls of paint and if you get hit, you'll need to take a time out. On the whole this will be a team building exercise, with two teams competing towards a common goal, normally seizing the opposite teams flag from their respective base. The ammunition does hurt (you'll need protective clothing) which adds to the tension and fear factor. Great for engendering team spirit and initiative. Also for assessing leadership qualities and improving staff communication. And you can show off your bruises later.

Escape room

2. Escape Rooms

As a team, you're locked in a room. There's a back story and an ongoing narrative. You will need to find all the clues and solve all the puzzles to be able to escape to move the mission forwards or complete it entirely. And racing against the clock. For example, you could be locked in an underground bunker with a mad scientist next door. He has a bomb containing a deadly virus which he plans to unleash upon an unsuspecting world. Your job is to escape the room and find the antidote. There's actually scientific proof that escape room team building activities are some of the best forms of improving the work environment. This form of exercise will increase creative and problem solving skills. Working as a team will improve communication on a group level and improve cognitive abilities on an individual level. Fun and frantic,  

3. Fire Walking

You walk barefoot over 1,200 degree burning coals. Billed as great way to develop confidence by facing your fears, with the idea that this is so far removed from your comfort zone, that anything will be possible for you to achieve afterwards. jumping from a plane with a parachute or climbing a sheer rock face with ropes allows you to rely on the technology to save yourself. But with fire walking one has to trust oneself. They say that fire walking is a truly transformative experience and a catalyst for future change as it causes individuals to re-evaluate their lives. Yes, it's that deep! As for team building, everyone is in this together and all will help each other bandaging their second degree burns (just kidding!). 

4. Raft Building

The teams have to build a water worthy craft that can be rowed a certain distance. Or sink in the middle of a lake or a river. Essentially all the raw materials including wood, planking, empty barrels and lengths of rope are provided to build a raft. Everyone chips in with knowledge and know-how. The clock is ticking in the background. Once done, it's time to test the crafts on water. It's one of the best team building activities that encourages team work, resource management, initiative and communication. Also, being a water based exercise, it's bound to be great fun and help everyone get to know each other better.

5. Monopoly Treasure Hunt

Race around you city or town earning points by completing location based challenges. Separate teams each get an Ipad mini or tablet which has various way-points marked on a map. The teams navigate around to these various points, and once they arrive, a challenge will be unlocked. A clock is counting down the time. They may travel on foot or by public transport. As certain locations will be worth more points than others it means that the teams will have to plan ahead. But the locations worth more points also have harder challenges. Communication, leadership, quick thinking and planning are all qualities that'll come to the fore in this team building exercise.

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