22 Team Bonding Activities for Workgroups [That Are Actually Fun]
If you want your organization to be successful, it needs to be made up of strong teams and engaged employees—and that all starts with the right team bonding ideas.
Team bonding activities aren’t just a nice-to-have. They’re an absolute necessity. After all, the most successful organizations are made up of strong, high-performance departments and teams. And that comes down to ensuring individual employees are engaged, happy, and fulfilled.
Believe it or not, studies have found a 21% decrease in productivity among employees who feel isolated or disconnected. And, on the flip side, communication patterns have been shown to be 50% stronger when team members socialize with one another.
And that’s where team bonding activities come into play: they’re purpose-built to create that vital connectivity and socialization between team members and departments—all while empowering important workplace lessons in the process.
So, if you’re looking to facilitate some team bonding in your organization, we’ve got some ideas you’ll love, whether your team works remotely or together in person.
- 11 Team Bonding Ideas for In-Person Workgroups
- Host a Hack Day
- Volunteering and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Head Out for a Picnic
- Do a Scavenger Hunt
- Take Part in an Improv Class
- Do an Escape Room
- Start a Company Sports Team
- Host Your Own Shark Tank
- Get Your Blood Pumping
- Facilitate an Off-Site Meeting
- Magazine Story
- 11 Virtual Team Bonding Ideas for Remote Groups
- Take Part in Virtual Team Bonding Through Problem-Solving
- Play Icebreaker Games
- Do an Online Fitness Class
- Host a Virtual Trivia Party
- Getting to Know You Activities
- Host a Virtual Lunch and Learn
- Host a Virtual Happy Hour
- Play Never Have I Ever
- Get Into Some Digital Card Games
- Play a Game of Guess Whose Fridge
11 Team Bonding Ideas for In-Person Workgroups
There’s a common misconception that working together in the office immediately creates connectedness and relationships. But that’s not necessarily too. The best organizations know that prioritizing team bonding time is critical, even when people see each other every day.
Here are some team bonding ideas that are perfect for in-person colleagues.
Host a Hack Day
If you’ve never heard of a hack day, don’t worry. The premise is simple. Essentially, everyone on the team takes a day off from their regular tasks to focus on a project that benefits their team or company. The goal should simply be to have people think in a new and outside-the-box way, to learn and use new skills, and, of course, to do some team bonding.
Volunteering and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Doing good in the world doesn’t just make you feel great, it can also be an incredibly powerful team bonding exercise. In fact, 65% of employees want to work for organizations with strong social consciences. So, finding ways for your organization to give back can boost employee morale, support a stronger and more vibrant company culture, and even support a more profitable bottom line.
So, if you want to get out and give back with your colleagues, we’ve got some volunteer ideas you’ll love.
Build, decorate, and donate bicycles in this team building competition that challenges your creativity and presentation skills.
This philanthropic-themed scavenger hunt team building activity has teams racing against one another to try and complete as many good deeds as possible before time runs out. The smartphone app-based activity features a mix of 60 photo and video challenges – all teams’ photos will be stored in the app and available for download when the event is over. Here are some examples of challenges you’ll be doing:
- In the Bag: Find a local grocery store and help someone bag their items.
- You’re Awesome!: Write a personal note to a total stranger with an inspiring message on it.
- Movers & Shakers: Find someone who is moving large items and offer to lend them a hand.
Through competing in a series of challenges, teams earn school supplies and bags to put together the ultimate backpack donations. Once assembly is finished, your group sends the bags to local children in need.
We’ve also got a long list of other creative volunteer ideas for work teams that your group might enjoy.
Head Out for a Picnic
If the weather looks favorable, head out and host a picnic at a local park or lake. You can bring baskets of food, beverages, some blankets, and games, and you can also incorporate some fun team building activities while you’re at it.
Perfect in between burgers at a company BBQ, this smartphone activity has teams complete as many goofy photo and video challenges as possible before time runs out. Some examples of challenges you can do in this activity include:
- Catapult Cuisine: Use a utensil to launch a bite-sized food item into another person’s mouth from 10 feet away.
- Tree Hugger: Snap a photo of someone hugging a tree trunk like a koala bear. Legs and arms must be completely off the ground!
- Spoon Relay: Participate in a relay race while balancing a small rock on a spoon.
This hosted activity that will have your group split into “tribes” to tackle fun physical and mental challenges and compete in a competition inspired by the “Survivor” TV show. Some examples of challenges in this activity include:
- Jumbled: Working in pairs, tribes will try to collect three hidden sacks that contain letter tiles, which they must use to form a phrase.
- Tuckered Out: Tribes will go head-to-head as they attempt to be the first to eat an unappealing item of food.
If you’re looking for even more activities to do outside, check out this list of 45 outdoor team building activities ideas for workgroups.
Do a Scavenger Hunt
Whether you’re in your organization’s hometown or you’re gathering a few out-of-town employees in a central location, scavenger hunt team building activities are a great way to get people outdoors, exploring, having some fun, and bonding as a team.
Here are a few you can try.
In this scavenger hunt activity, your team can get out of the office and explore your city in a whole new way. Together, your team will need to think outside the box, bond as a group, and venture outside into the community in order to complete a series of fun and unique photo and video challenges.
You’ll need to tackle a list of challenges, including:
- Snap a photo of your team standing next to a large public clock that reads EXACTLY 22 minutes past the hour
- Search for a business that is open 24 hours 7 days a week and snap a photo of a team member with the sign showing the business’ hours
- Snap a photo of a teammate next to a vehicle that has an “antique” or “collectible” license plate
- Head to a nearby playground and take a photo of your entire team balanced on a seesaw. Here’s the catch: everyone’s feet must be off the ground while balanced!
- Find a hopscotch course or use a piece of chalk to create your own on a sidewalk. Record a 5-second video of a teammate hopping and completing it
- Stage a martial arts battle with another team in a nearby park. Record a 5-second video of both teams facing each other (with plenty of space between you) and doing the famous crane kick
The team with the most points when time runs out will be named the winners!
Nothing helps your team to relax and recharge like getting out into nature. So, consider heading out for a day hike or nature walk with your group and doing a scavenger hunt while you’re at it.
Before you go, create a list of things your team will have to take photos of. This could include:
- Animal tracks
- A tree growing out of a tree trunk
- A stream of river
- A waterfall
- A cave
- Trail markers
- A beautiful view
- Fruit on trees
- Rock formations
- Trash or litter you can clean up
- Fallen branches or trees
This will vary depending on where you live, but you can tailor your hiking scavenger hunt list to align with your geographical location.
Inspired by the popular reality TV show The Amazing Race – on which teams race around the world, with each leg of the competition requiring the groups to solve puzzles, interact with locals, and complete challenges – this interactive scavenger hunt has teams following clues around their city and taking on physical and mental challenges to move on to the next destination.
With more teams in play, the stakes are even higher, and the competition is even more fierce.
And if you want even more ideas, check out our list of incredible scavenger hunt team building activities for work teams.
Take Part in an Improv Class
A big part of working well together is being comfortable with one another. And there aren’t many better ways to build that comfort and get people out of their shells than by doing something that makes them universally—well, uncomfortable.
That’s what makes an improv class such a fun and unique team bonding idea. Improv helps your team have some fun together, but it also teaches new skills and gets people at ease in uncomfortable situations.
Do an Escape Room
When it comes to building bonds, solving problems, and putting your mental fortitude to the test, nothing beats virtual escape rooms. They test your team’s ability to communicate and think outside the box as they strive toward a common goal.
At Outback Team Building and Training, we offer incredible corporate escape rooms for work teams. We’ll even come to your office and transform your conference rooms or offices into escape room experiences.
Start a Company Sports Team
No matter your level of athleticism, playing on a sports team is one of the most incredible means for team bonding. So, why not bring that fun and sportsmanship to your work colleagues? Try starting a fun, light-hearted, coed company sports team.
This could be things like:
- Ultimate frisbee
Before deciding, take a poll of your team to see what they’d enjoy. Then, offer the team as an optional activity rather than a mandatory one. It’s great fun for anyone who’s enthusiastic, but there’s no need to force anyone who’s uninterested or may not feel comfortable.
Host Your Own Shark Tank
Whether the pitching teams get a deal, walk away emptyhanded, or—worst of all—get shredded, Shark Tank constants all seem to have one thing in common: the experience itself must be an incredible form of team bonding.
So, you can host your own version of the hit TV show for your workgroup and break into teams to present your own product pitch in front of a mock panel of investors.
For one, it gives people an opportunity to be creative and entrepreneurial, but it also presents the chance to play the role of an investor and pick the best pitch.
To make this really immersive and true-to-life, have teams develop a brand name, slogan, a business plan, a marketing plan, and even mock financial data.
Get Your Blood Pumping
If your team is up for some energetic, hands-on fun to get their blood pumping, you can host a highly-energy activity that gets them up and out of their seats.
In this hands-on, high-energy team building activity, your group will split into teams that will need to complete their own respective section of a chain reaction machine. But then, they will also need to come together as a full group to collaboratively assemble their sections into a fully functioning device.
In this activity based on the popular TV show, groups are challenged to tackle fun 60-second tasks before time runs out. This is an ultra-high energy activity where everyone on each team will need to work together, communicate, and cheer each other on in order to be successful.
Facilitate an Off-Site Meeting
After two years of separation and remote work, hosting an off-site team building activity is a great way to get your team together in person, help them get re-engaged, and support some valuable team bonding time.
But as things start to reopen across North America in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a better time than ever to get your remote and in-person colleagues together at an off-site venue.
They’re a great way to:
- Reconnect post-pandemic
- Facilitate outside-the-box thinking
- Create a celebratory atmosphere
- Have more productive time with fewer distractions
- Socialize and network internally
- Support talent retention
- Generate greater team engagement
Wondering where to host your company off-site? Check out our list of the top 20 destinations in North America for company retreats.
You know what’s great for team bonding? Sharing in victories and celebrating together. And that’s what this game is all about—celebrating wins, even if they’re make-believe.
Here’s how it works: break your group out into teams. Then, each team will create an imaginary magazine cover story about a successful project or business achievement, either for your organization or a made-up one.
This involves sourcing images, coming up with headlines, formulating quotes, and even writing a mock article.
Then, each team can present the story to your entire group.
11 Virtual Team Bonding Ideas for Remote Groups
With remote work becoming the new norm, a ton of teams are operating virtually. But the lack of facetime makes it hard to stay connected. And that’s why virtual team bonding activities are of the utmost importance to maintaining strong company culture.
Here are some virtual team bonding ideas you might like.
Take Part in Virtual Team Bonding Through Problem-Solving
Nothing helps forge bonds between people quite like having to use critical thinking and work collaboratively to solve problems.
So, check out these team building activities that are all about working through challenging problem-solving situations.
You’ve probably never heard of a man named Neil Davidson. But your group will need to come together to solve the mystery of his murder by analyzing clues, resolving challenges, and figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit a deadly crime.
This activity will challenge you and your group to approach problems analytically, read between the lines, and use critical thinking in order to identify a suspect and deliver justice.
Curious to see how a virtual team building activity works? Check out this video on a Virtual Clue Murder Mystery in action.
If you’re trying to find fun and unique ways to keep your team engaged on an ongoing basis, Water Cooler Trivia is a great way to do it. Water Cooler Trivia integrates into your email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams channels and automatically sends trivia quizzes directly to your team members on a weekly basis. You can choose the trivia schedule and categories, and Water Cooler Trivia will write the questions, automate their distribution, and grade the results for you.
There’s been a robbery! Someone has masterminded a heist to steal a priceless collection of precious jewels, and it’s up to you and your team to recover them before time runs out.
In this escape room activity, you and your team will need to uncover hidden clues and solve a series of brain-boggling challenges that require collaboration, creative problem-solving, and outside-the-box thinking. But be quick! The clock is ticking before the stolen score is gone forever.
With Virtual Code Break, you and your team can learn to be adaptive and dynamic in your thinking in order to tackle any new challenges that come your way. In this activity, your group will connect on a video conferencing platform where your event host will split you out into teams. Together, you’ll have to adapt your problem-solving skills as you race against the clock to tackle a variety of mixed brainteaser challenges ranging from Sudoku to puzzles, a game of Cranium, riddles, and even trivia.
For even more ideas, check out our list of unbeatable team building problem solving activities.
Play Icebreaker Games
How well do your employees know each other? In order for social connectivity and team bonding to take place, you need to set a foundation of familiarity. And icebreaker games are the way to do it.
Try having your team run through some icebreaker questions together, like:
- What is your favorite type of cuisine?
- What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
- What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
- If you could be guaranteed one thing in life (besides money), what would it be?
- If you could be the funniest or smartest person in the room, which would you choose?
- If extraterrestrials landed on earth and offered to take you with them, would you go?
- If extraterrestrials landed on earth, who would you recommend as their first point of contact and why?
- If you had an entrance song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
- Which actor or actress do you think deserves an Oscar but doesn’t have one yet?
- What album could you listen to over and over again and not get sick of?
- What artists have you seen live? Which was the best?
And if you’re looking for even more ideas, check out our list containing literally hundreds of icebreaker questions for work. You can also have some fun with some of these amazing would you rather questions.
Do an Online Fitness Class
Nothing bonds teams in quite the same way as getting their heart rates up and breaking a sweat together. So, consider hosting online fitness clubs as a form of team bonding. You can make these available to any employees who want to participate.
You can either host them yourself, with activities like these workout games, or bring in a certified professional, such as a yoga instructor or a personal trainer, to help guide your employees through the process.
Wikipedia isn’t just for finding information. Well, technically it is, but you can also use it for racing.
Hear us out: it’s called Wikiracing.
First, decide whether to play individually or in teams. Then, select a random Wikipedia page. This will be your beginning page.
Next, choose a destination page.
The goal of this game is to get from the beginning page to the destination page using only links within the Wikipedia page.
Generally, the destination page is something very unrelated to the beginning page. For example, going from apple to orange would not be challenging, as you would simply start at the apple page, click a link to fruit and then proceed to orange. A race from Roman Colosseum to orthopedic surgeon would be a much more difficult game.
The first person or team to reach the destination page wins!
Host a Virtual Trivia Party
Virtual trivia games are a fun and social team activity for workgroups, especially when you’ve got trivia questions and answers that inspire a lot of laughs, make people rack their brains, and inspire people to draw on each other’s knowledge to get them right.
Want to do some team bonding and test your wits with some trivia? Check these out.
You can pull together your own trivia party for team bonding using some of these questions:
- Question: What are the dying words of Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane?
- Answer: “Rosebud”
- Question: Who played Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate?
- Answer: Anne Bancroft
- Question: What was the first feature-length animated movie ever released?
- Answer: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Question: In The Matrix, does Neo take the blue pill or the red pill?
- Answer: Red
- Question: Who played Juror Number 8 in 12 Angry Men?
- Answer: Henry Fonda
- Question: The head of what kind of animal is front-and-center in an infamous scene from The Godfather?
- Answer: A horse
- Question: What famous L.A. landmark is heavily featured in Rebel Without a Cause?
- Answer: Griffith Observatory
- Question: Who played Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 biopic Selma?
- Answer: David Oyelowo
We’ve also got a list of hundreds of other trivia questions and answers for work teams, if you’d like more options.
Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from the pre-pandemic 21st century through the decades all the way to the 60s.
This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes, is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing.
Your virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “tablehopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers!
If your remote team is eager to socialize, have some fun as a group, and channel their competitive spirit, we’ve got just the thing for you! With Virtual Jeoparty Social, you and your colleagues will step into your very own virtual Jeopardy-style game show—equipped with a buzzer button, a professional actor as your host, and an immersive game show platform! Best of all, this game has been infused with an ultra-social twist: players will take part in a unique social mixer challenge between each round.
Create a Team Quiz with Kahoot! E-Learning
Make learning fun and stay connected with Kahoot! With Kahoot! for business, you can create an interactive question-and-answer presentation in minutes. This online platform offers quiz and open-ended questions, polls, word clouds, and more.
Not meant to be a serious learning and development tool, your questions should be upbeat and relevant to your organization—such as fun facts about employees.
Once you’ve made your presentation, share your screen with your team using GoToMeeting, Zoom, or any of the previously mentioned video conferencing platforms, and let the e-learning begin!
We’re all in desperate need of a vacation. Luckily, Captain Furling has room for you and your colleagues on his virtually chartered yacht. Come aboard and transport to your “inner Cancun” for a tropical online team building adventure.
Get together for some laid-back fun with your colleagues as you get to know each other even better.
Want more virtual trivia options for your team bonding? Check out our extensive list of virtual trivia games for work.
Getting to Know You Activities
One of the key components of team bonding is getting to truly know and appreciate your colleagues. And that’s where these getting to know you activities come in handy—they’re all about building those social connections!
Two Truths and a Lie
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the game Two Truths and a Lie.
But if not, the premise is pretty simple: each person on your team will be tasked with coming up with three facts. Two of them will be true, and one will be a lie.
Then, the rest of your group will need to decide which ones are which – and you might be surprised by the answers!
It’s an absolutely hilarious activity for getting to know your colleagues better and discovering fun things about them.
Nothing’s better for getting to know each other than an activity that’s all about using unique skills and finding out new things about your colleagues.
And in Virtual Team Pursuit, your remote 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.
Unique and Shared
If you’re looking for a fun game to help your colleagues get to know one another better, this is a great option because it will show them what they have in common as well as what makes them unique.
Here’s how it works.
Break your team into small groups—between three and five people will offer the best results. Then, give them a set amount of time and ask them to chat until they determine three things they all have in common as well as one thing that’s unique about each person.
Typically, around half an hour works well.
Then, you can either create new groups and do the exercise again or get the full group back together to share everyone’s findings.
Get to know your colleagues and build better connections with this ultra-social virtual team building activity for remote groups. Your group will learn fun facts about one another as you tackle a series of themed discussion topics together and engage in exploratory conversations.
And if you’d like to find even more you can try, check out our comprehensive list of getting to know you activities for work teams.
Host a Virtual Lunch and Learn
If your team members—or even you personally—have an adverse reaction when you hear the word “lunch and learn,” you’re feeling a common sentiment caused by a common problem: picking the wrong lunch and learn topics.
The truth is that many lunch and learns are held for the wrong reasons, which leads to employees wasting precious time from their workday.
Great lunch and learns are engaging, outcome-oriented, and give your team real value in exchange for your time.
So, if you’d like to plan one to help with team bonding, here are a few ideas.
Planning and Preparedness
For employees and leaders alike, the ability to anticipate and plan for upcoming projects, tasks, requests, changes, and potential challenges is as crucial as being able to work efficiently and effectively in the moment. So, by hosting a lunch and learn focused on planning and preparedness, you can help equip your team with the tools they need to be forward-thinking and strategic.
If you’ve ever been to a networking event, you can probably attest to this: networking is a fickle thing. If it feels forced, it can be extremely off-putting. But when it’s approached organically, it can be an incredible tool for building relationships and forging new inroads with potential customers or partners. So, if networking is an important part of your business, it may be worth hosting a lunch and learn that focuses on how to do it well. It can be a great skill-developer for junior employees and a nice refresher for seasoned networking pros.
You can also check out our full list of 22 other amazing lunch and learn ideas for work teams.
Host a Virtual Happy Hour
Who says team bonding has to be ultra-structured? Sometimes the best way to connect with your colleagues is in a setting that’s entirely geared towards being social and having fun.
And, in those instances, you can’t go too far wrong with a virtual happy hour.
While it doesn’t have to be formal, you can also incorporate some virtual happy hour games to keep everyone entertained.
This is no ordinary happy hour trivia game. In this activity, you and your team will take a trip to Hamish McDuff’s virtual pub. This hilarious Scottish pub owner is the legendary host of a trivia game with more than 20 category options to choose from, including sports, food and drink, and even celebrity real estate. This virtual pub trivia game is guaranteed to produce plenty of laughs and lift team “spirits.” It might even include a few special surprises.
Up Close and Personal
Here’s a weird question, but have you ever looked at something really closely zoomed in? Believe it or not, it can be really tough to recognize everyday items when you zoom in close on them. And therein lies a fun game!
Find some photos of items closely zoomed (you can find a bunch here). Then, share your screen with your colleagues and go through different photos, seeing who can guess each item correctly. Give a point for each correct response and, once you’re out of photos, see who got the most right.
You can take this idea to the next level by sending all of your participants a Happy Hour Box before the virtual event.
Looking for more inspiration for your get-together? Check out our list of virtual happy hour games for workgroups.
Play Never Have I Ever
The rules of Never Have I Ever are simple: players take turns listing potential experiences they’ve never had, using the phrase “never have I ever…”
If someone has, in fact, done that thing, they have to take some action—whether it’s a sip of their drink at happy hour or a spin in their office chair.
This is a great way to find out hilarious new things about your colleagues.
Get Into Some Digital Card Games
Team bonding kept simple! Classic card games can be a ton of fun without requiring much work to set up. And yes, they can be played online. Check out the website Playing Cards which offers all your childhood favorites. Simply create a “room,” and choose from games, such as:
- Crazy Eights
- Go Fish
- Match Up
Add an extra social element by connecting through video while you play the game, so you can see everyone’s reactions and hear the smack talk!
Play a Game of Guess Whose Fridge
One thing that everyone has, and which is almost always a little different for each person, is a refrigerator. And if you want to learn something unique about them, then it’s a good place to start with your team bonding.
All you need to do is have everybody send a photo of their fridge to the person who’s coordinating the activity. Then you can show them all one by one, with each player submitting their answer for who they think this fridge belongs to.
Everyone who gets it right gets a point. Then, when every fridge has been shown, the person with the most points wins!
If you want your organization to be successful, it’s important to start by prioritizing strong teams and engaged employees. And this all starts with partaking in team bonding activities to help forge relationships between colleagues.
Has your team taken part in any team bonding activities? If so, what was your favorite and why? Let us know if the comments section.
Learn about how team bonding activities can help create valuable interpersonal connections between colleagues.
If you’ve got questions about team building activities that can support team bonding, reach out to an Employee Engagement Consultant.