The What, Why, and How of Self-Hosted Team Building Activities

| Employee Engagement, Team Building
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Self-hosted team building activities are a fun, simple, and cost-effective way to build bonds, create engagement, and collaborate with your team. Here’s what you need to know.  

Are you looking for a cost-effective, simple, and fast team building activity for your workgroup? Then this guide is for you.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about self-hosted team building activities.

Let’s dive in.

How to Decide If Self-Hosted Team Building Activities Are Right for Your Needs

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When deciding between a fully-hosted team building activity, a remote-hosted team building activity, or a self-hosted team building activity, our team of Employee Engagement Consultants will start by evaluating your needs and preferences.

Typically, self-hosted team building activities are an ideal option when our customers:

  • Are working with more modest budgets
  • Have a little bit of time to manage the event
  • Do well with their own team being the focal point for the activity
  • Feel comfortable with independent hosting options

When you speak with our Employee Engagement Consultants, they’ll help you find the perfect self-hosted team building activity for your needs by talking with you about:

  • When you’d like to host your event
  • The goals you’d like to achieve with your team building activity
  • Whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor activity
  • If your team would be more interested in a reserved, cerebral activity or a competitive, energetic one

Using these insights, our team will help you pick the right game for your population.

If you’re looking for a team building activity that simply turns on and works, then self-hosted is the right option for you.

In fact, our internal data shows that nearly half of our customers opt for self-hosted team building activities because they’re easy, turnkey, and cost-effective while still delivering the professional and interpersonal benefits they’re in search of.

The Play-by-Play of How Self-Hosted Team Building Activities Work

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While it might seem daunting to host your own event, our self-hosted team building activities are designed to be simple and easy to run.

There’s no need to install apps or use complicated technology. All of Outback’s self-hosted team building activities are delivered through your smartphone or computer internet browser.

So, all you and your colleagues need to do is click a link and follow the instructions.

Everything you need to know to run your activity will be provided to you in the form of step-by-step instructions—plus you’ll have access to our in-house team for any questions you might have or support you might need, throughout the lead-up to your event or during the event itself.

Here’s how it looks, step-by-step:

  1. Work with our Employee Engagement Consultants to pick the right activity
  2. Before your activity, our team will send you a full package of detailed instructions and facilitation guidelines that outline how to produce your event
  3. Once your activity is confirmed, you’ll want to make sure you invite your colleagues and mark the date and time in their calendars
  4. On the day of your event, we recommend starting off with a quick introduction to let everyone know what to expect
  5. From there, you’ll break your group into teams of five or six people
  6. Then, each team will elect a captain who will login to our browser game by scanning the provided QR code and act as the facilitator
  7. Throughout your activity, you’ll play in teams for anywhere between 45 minutes and two hours, taking photos, entering text message responses, and more—all the while seeing each team’s points tallied on a real-time leaderboard
  8. If your remote-hosted team building activity includes a virtual component, you may split players and teams into breakout rooms at various times in the game
  9. Finally, as your team building activity concludes, you’ll simply need to follow the provided wrap-up instructions to close out your

Outback’s self-hosted team building activities are designed to be simple, fun, and easy to use so that you, as the facilitator, don’t have to worry about anything but having a great time.

4 Common Customer Concerns About Self-Hosted Team Building Activities

When you’re considering hosting your own team building activity, it’s completely natural to feel a sense of trepidation.

Let’s explore some of the common concerns our customers initially have about self-hosted team building activities.

Concern #1: Being Too Involved in Facilitation to Take Part

One of the biggest concerns we hear from our customers is that, if they’re facilitating the game, they won’t be able to play.

But in reality, your only responsibility as the event facilitator is to introduce and wrap up the event.

We strongly encourage all self-hosted team building activity facilitators to take part in the game—get involved and just have fun!

We recommend simply setting a timer on your phone so when you know when the game should wrap up—then you’ll know when to swap your participant’s hat for your facilitator’s one and conclude the activity.

Your only real responsibility is to be the timekeeper—beyond that, the game will run itself.

Concern #2: Planning and Managing a Self-Hosted Team Building Activity is a Heavy Lift

When you think of event planning, you probably get a sense of anxiety. Typically, this is a heavy lift, and it takes a lot of time to prepare.

Many event hosts think they need to:

  • Go out and purchase supplies and props
  • Put costumes together
  • Learn all of the details of the game
  • Oversee every facet of the activity

But this isn’t the case with self-hosted team building activities. All you need to do is show up and have fun. Outback’s facilitation guide provides you with a straightforward, easily understandable instructions for every step of the process.

Concern #3: It Takes a Lot of Time to Plan a Self-Hosted Team Building Activity

Our customers are often concerned that self-hosted team building activities require a lot of preparation time. But with our facilitation guide, all you need to do is read through the instructions and bullets carefully.

In reality, you can prepare for your activity in as little as 20 to 30 minutes.

Concern #4: Planning a Hybrid Event for In-Person and Remote Employees is Difficult

It’s true that it can be trickier to plan a self-hosted team building activity for hybrid teams, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult—it just requires a little bit of extra thought.

And that’s where our Employee Engagement Consultants can help.

Today, we’re seeing more and more teams distributed between in-person and remote work, but the desire to gather everyone for a team building activity is stronger than ever.

Our team can share best practices for how to accommodate these situations and make it easy for you to get everyone involved.

All it takes is a quick conversation with us and we can develop a plan that will work seamlessly for you.

At Outback, we’ve run thousands of self-hosted team building activities over the years, and we take best practices and learnings from each one in order to consistently improve and optimize the experience for our customers.

How Much Time Do You Need in Order to Plan a Self-Hosted Team Building Activity?

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On the note of timing, we often get asked how long it takes to plan a self-hosted team building activity.

And the answer is that we can turn it around as quickly as the same day.

If you get in touch with one of our Employee Engagement Consultants today, they could place a rush order and have game instructions delivered to you within a matter of hours.

However, we strongly recommend planning your self-hosted team building activity at least one week in advance to ensure that you’re comfortable, not rushed, and unstressed.

Planning further in advance gives you more time to read through your event guide, ask us questions, and ensure you’re feeling properly prepared and excited for your activity.

The 5 Benefits of Self-Hosted Team Building Activities

We have intentionally and strategically crafted our self-hosted team building activities to ensure they are:

  1. Efficient: Quick, simple setup and seamless execution are hallmarks of our offerings
  2. Customizable: We can tailor your activity to meet your unique needs and goals
  3. Accessible: Remote or in-person, our activities are inclusive and engaging for all participants
  4. Engaging: We ensure that each activity is interactive, fostering not just teamwork but also individual expression and creativity
  5. Outcome-Oriented: The fun and games of our self-hosted team building activities are structured with the end goal in mind—be it team cohesion, leadership development, or strategic thinking

While it’s great to have a host provided for your event, you don’t need one to have a great experience.

8 Self-Hosted Team Building Activities You’ll Love

If you’re looking for the perfect self-hosted team building activity for your group, we’ve got some ideas we think you’ll love.

1. Virtual European Adventure 

If you’ve got a team full of colleagues who love traveling and learning about new places, this is the perfect budget-friendly team building activity for your group.  

Virtual European Adventure is all about connecting with your colleagues, testing your wits together, socializing, and collaborating through high-energy rounds of European-themed trivia.   

In this activity, your group will break out into teams. Then, you’ll take part in a warm-up social mixer followed by three rounds of trivia, a Jeopardy-style lightning round using cellphone buzzers, and a European travel conversation to finish it all off. For each trivia challenge answered correctly, your team will earn points. The team with the most points at the end of the activity will be crowned the Virtual European Adventure Champions!  

2. Hollywood Murder Mystery

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The case is fresh, but here’s what we know so far: we’ve got an up-and-coming actress who’s been found dead in her hotel room following last night’s awards show.

We have several suspects, but we haven’t been able to put the crime on any of them for sure yet. Now, it’s up to you and your team of detectives to crack the case. Together, you’ll review case files and evidence including police reports, coroners’ reports, photo evidence, tabloids, interrogations, and phone calls as you determine the motive, method, and murderer and bring justice for the victim.

You’ll need to put your problem-solving skills to the test as you share theories, collaborate, and think outside the box with your fellow investigators.

3. Game Show Extravaganza

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With Game Show Extravaganza, you and your team will take part in your very own game show-style competition. 

In groups, you’ll tackle photo and trivia challenges that cover a range of topics, including pop culture and politics.

4. Team Pursuit

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In Team Pursuit, your team will need to get their energy levels up in order to tackle a series of mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges, earning points for each successfully completed challenge.

What kinds of challenges will you be up against? We’re glad you asked. A few highlights include:

  • Air Band Geeks: Who used to or still does play an instrument? Find at least three band geeks and have them hold “air” versions of their instruments. Record a 5-second video of them playing part of a song.
  • Juggling Responsibilities: Who can juggle? Take a 5-second video with that person juggling three or more objects.
  • Tasty Trivia: You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it?
  • Commonalities: Determine your team’s most unique commonality. Once you figure out the most unique thing your group has in common, write a rap or rhyme about it of at least 4 lines. Then record a 5-second video of a teammate performing it.
  • Sing Along: Choose a popular song and rewrite the lyrics to be about your team. Record a 5-second video of your team performing it and enter the original song’s title in caption space.

Your team won’t be able to help but have a blast with this activity.

5. Do-Good Games

This philanthropic team building activity is all about building awareness around local and global challenges, raising funds for charity, and doing some good in the world with your colleagues.

With the Do-Good Games, teams will compete to complete challenges revolving around themes like Clean Water and Food Insecurity, Health and Wellness, Community Support, and Environmental Awareness.

For each challenge completed, teams will earn points that can be redeemed as donation dollars that they will donate to charity.

6. Code Break

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Trivia wizzes will love the opportunity to flex their cognitive muscles in Virtual Code Break.

Your team will split out into groups and will then have to put their heads together to see who can solve the most puzzles, riddles, and trivia before time runs out.

The team with the most points at the end will be crowned the winner! 

7. Wild Goose Chase

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With this app-based scavenger hunt team building activity, your team will head out into the city to explore, bond, and tackle fun photo and video challenges. Whether it’s for 20 people or 100, it’s a great way to build camaraderie and to exercise some valuable teamwork. 

8. Random Acts of Kindness

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Doing good in the world is good for you. In fact, it actually builds team morale. Random Acts of Kindness fuses the scavenger hunt concept with a philanthropic twist. This self-hosted team building activity gets teams racing against one another to try and complete as many good deeds as possible before time runs out.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, cost-effective, and fun way to gather your team to build bonds, boost morale, and build valuable professional skills, self-hosted team building activities are perfect option for you.


Learn about self-hosted team building activities.  

If you’ve got questions about self-hosted team building activities, reach out to an Employee Engagement Consultant today.  

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