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Top Team Building Exercises (In-Person & Online) for a Stronger Workgroup 2022

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The success of your company is directly tied to how strong each of your teams is. One of the best ways to guarantee each team in your company is strong is to engage in team building exercises for work. 

People enaging in team buildingPeople enaging in team buildingPeople enaging in team building
Team building can help foster a more productive work environment. (Image source: Envato Elements)

Contrary to popular belief, team building exercises can be fun, once you break out of the traditional mold of trust-falling. What’s more, there are plenty of team-building exercises that can be done in person as well as virtual team building exercises. 

In this guide, we’ll explain what team building exercises are. We'll discuss their benefits and share examples of fun team building exercises geared for both small and large teams. 

What Are Team Building Exercises?

Team building exercises is a term that refers to various activities that are meant to help your team become stronger. They promote collaboration and can increase your team’s dynamics, productivity and soft skills such as problem-solving, decision making, and similar

Read more about team dynamics in this tutorial:

How Do Team Building Exercises Work?

Traditionally speaking, team building is organized by a team leader as a series of meetings where team members get to know each other. Team building exercises are built on the same principle. 

They're organized as a series of fun activities that often happen outside of the office premises. They can span over a weekend. They can even be shorter than that and take place during a single day. 

Four Types of Quick Team Building Exercises for Work

There are four main types of team building activities. They include:

  1. Communication activities. These are meant to improve communication between individual team members
  2. Problem-solving and decision-making activities. These build on soft skills each team member should have. They help them think of creative problem solutions on the spot and help them reach important decisions more efficiently
  3. Adaptability and planning activities. These help team members quickly adapt to the ever-changing business and corporate landscape
  4. Trust-building activities. These are aimed to improve mutual trust between team members 

Plus, we'll include some fun virtual team building exercises for remote and hybrid teams.

With that out of the way, let’s go over the benefits of team building exercises for work.

5 Benefits of Team Building Exercises

Young people participating in a team building exerciseYoung people participating in a team building exerciseYoung people participating in a team building exercise
Team building activities provide many benefits. (Image source: Envato Elements)

Are you wondering about the impact of team building exercises on team effectiveness?

As mentioned earlier, quick team building exercises have several benefits. The main benefits are improved trust and communication between team members. Plus, your team has the opportunity to practice their soft skills. But beyond that, there are a few more benefits that are worth mentioning:

1. Improved Productivity 

Team building exercises for work are meant to improve collaboration and communication between team members. This leads to an increase in productivity. Your team members won’t have to waste time on long and complex explanations to accomplish tasks. There's also less chance of conflict when your team members can communicate clearly. 

2. Increase In Motivation

Motivation is important if you want to make sure that your employees finish their work on time and contribute to achieving the company's goals. Engaging and rewarding experiences such as fun team building exercises are a great way to increase employee motivation. After all, everyone is more likely to do good work when they know they’ll be rewarded for doing so.

3. Better Workspace Morale

Online Team BuildingOnline Team BuildingOnline Team Building
Team building exercises can help build morale. (Image source: Envato Elements)

When team members get along, your entire workspace becomes a more enjoyable environment. It becomes a place where coming to work isn't seen as a tedious chore but rather a place where working is engaging and fun. 

4. Improved Mental Health

Problem-solving and adaptability exercises can do wonders for your employees’ mental health. By proving that they can solve challenging tasks and adapt to various situations, they'll feel more confident and have higher self-esteem. 

5. Better Physical Health

By employing physical activity into your team building exercises, you’ll contribute to your employee’s physical health as well. This will also lead to less sick days and less chances of your employees getting sick. 

13 Fun Team Building Exercises for Work

Chess pieces. Pawns surrounding a queenChess pieces. Pawns surrounding a queenChess pieces. Pawns surrounding a queen
Solid team building exercises require leadership and delegation. (Image source: Envato Elements)

So far, we’ve explained what team building exercises are and how they benefit your company. Now, let’s take a look at a few practical examples:

1. Communication Team Building Exercises

Communication Team Building Communication Team Building Communication Team Building
Group drawing exercises can improve team communication. (Image source: Envato Elements)

With these exercises, you can improve communication between individual team members: 

3. Blind Drawing

For this exercise, pair your team members into groups of two. Have them sit back to back. Give one of them a picture and the other person drawing supplies and paper. They've got to draw the picture based on the other person’s description and instructions. The catch is the person giving instructions can't simply share what the picture actually is. 

Because this activity pairs team members into groups of two, it's ideal as a team building exercise for small groups.

4. Three Truths and a Lie

This one is pretty simple. Each team member has to share four facts about themselves. Three of them are true while one is a lie. Other team members have to guess which one is the lie.

For a fun twist, consider awarding points for each correct answer and offering a small prize to the person with the most points. Free office swag or even a day off can be good incentives.

5. Find Your Pair

Come up with pairs that go well together such as:

  • peanut butter and jelly
  • salt and pepper
  • hot dogs and mustard
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • and similar

Then, on a small piece of paper write one half of the pair and tape it onto a person’s back.

Let your team members mingle and figure out which half of the pair they are by asking yes or no questions. Once they know which half they are, they've got to go around the room and find their pair. When they're finally paired together, have them find and share three things that they've got in common. 

2. Problem-Solving Team Building Exercises

Here are a few examples of quick team building exercises. These will challenge your team members and get them to come up with creative solutions to problems: 

1. The Barter Puzzle

This exercise improves not only problem-solving skills but also communication between team members. You’ll break up your team into smaller teams and give them a jigsaw puzzle. They must complete the puzzle in a set amount of time.

The twist is that some of the needed puzzle pieces are scattered in different teams. In other words, they have to come up with a solution to the puzzle as well as how to convince the other team to relinquish the puzzle pieces. 

2. Picture Puzzle With a Twist

Divide your team into smaller teams and choose a well-known picture. Break it up into several equal pieces. Divide those among your teams and have them recreate the puzzle piece but it must be five times bigger than its original size.

When they’re done, they've got to use the recreated puzzle piece to put together the original picture. The goal of this exercise is to build their problem-solving skills and help your team members understand how their individual work contributes to the company as a whole. 

3. Adaptability and Planning Team Building Exercises

The goal of these activities is to help your team members learn to adapt to various situations as well as increase their planning skills. 

6. The Roadmap

Divide your team into smaller groups. The idea is to have them plan a vacation using the resources given. These include:

  • a list of things they can bring
  • how much money they have
  • a map of the area
  • starting and end destination
  • anything else that might be relevant

They must plan out the route they’ll take, where they’ll stay, and other details while making sure they don’t go over their budget. The winning team is the one that got to see the most of the local sights or did the most activities during their vacation with the allotted resources. 

Because this activity breaks your team into small groups, it's ideal as a team building exercise for small groups.

7. The Desert Island Survival

Your team members are stranded on a desert island. They've got to gather 12 items from your office that would be most useful in such a situation as well as rank them in order of importance. This exercise promotes collaboration, adaptability, as well as problem-solving. 

4. Trust-Building Team Building Exercises

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Maintaining eye contact is just one type of trust team-building team exercise. (Image source: Envato Elements)

Activities listed below will help your team members learn to trust one another: 

8. Minefield

For this game, you’ll need a fairly large area that’s clear of any larger obstacles. As the team leader, you’ll place “mines” around the area.

Once the stage is set, pair your team members into groups of two. One team member must be blindfolded and isn’t allowed to talk. The other team member can see and talk but they’re not allowed to enter the minefield. The goal is to lead their team member safely across the field by helping them avoid mines. 

9. Maintain Eye Contact

Maintaining eye contact can be difficult. This exercise can help make your team members feel more comfortable around each other and get them to relax.

The idea is pretty simple. Pair up your team members and have them maintain eye contact for at least 60 seconds. Once they’re used to that, you can add several more rounds where the length of eye contact increases with each round.

10. Penny For Your Thoughts

Have your team members collect pennies or any other type of coin but ensure that the year on the coins isn't dated older than the youngest team member. Collect all the coins in a jar and then have each team member pull out a coin. They've got to share something special that happened to them during that year. 

5. Virtual Team Building Exercises

Online Team Building ExerciseOnline Team Building ExerciseOnline Team Building Exercise
Virtual team building exercises can improve morale. (Image source: Envato Elements)

Team building exercises don’t have to happen in-person only. With the recent pandemic, many workplaces have shifted to remote work. Luckily, there are some quick team building exercises that lend themselves well to the online format. Here are a few examples: 

11. Guess Whose Office

In this fun activity, your team members should take a picture of their home office and upload it to Dropbox, Google Drive or similar. The team leader can then share the pictures in Slack or Zoom chat and ask other team members to guess whose office it is.

This activity is perfect as a team building exercise for small groups.

12. High and Low

You can use this activity as a part of your morning stand up. The idea is for each team member to share a high and a low point from the previous day. 

13. Online Multiplayer Game

Consider devoting Friday nights to online gaming. Many online multiplayer games can be used to promote not only problem-solving but also collaboration and communication skills. They're perfect as online team building exercises.

The Best Source For Business Templates (With Unlimited Use)

Now you know what team building exercises are and you’ve seen plenty of examples. The only thing left to do now is to plan out which team building activities you’ll use. And if you need resources to help you plan them out, check out Envato Elements

A subscription to Envato Elements gives you access to unlimited creative assets and templates. This includes presentation templates, Word templates, stock photos, and more for a low, monthly fee. 

Envato Elements is the best resource for creatives and business owners alike. Plus, unlimited downloads make it easy to try out a variety of different styles and options in all your projects. 

Unlimited downloads from Envato ElementsUnlimited downloads from Envato ElementsUnlimited downloads from Envato Elements
You can get unlimited downloads for one fee from Envato Elements.

You might be tempted to download free online templates and assets. But they don’t offer the same level of customization options as premium templates with professional designs.

Indeed, Envato Elements has everything you need to manage and promote your business effectively. 

Strengthen Your Team With Fun Team-Building Exercises

As you can see, team-building exercises have several benefits. They don’t have to involve the same boring routine of trust-falling. With a little bit of creativity and suggestions shared in this article, you can plan out fun team building activities that your team will love. 

And if you need resources to help you with your team-building exercise planning, stop by Envato Elements to check out all the creative assets that are available. 

Editorial Note: This content was originally published in May 2022. We're sharing it again because our editors have determined that this information is still accurate and relevant.

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