40+ Fun Team-building Activities for Work

Team building activities bring a wealth of benefits to a business. Although the effectiveness of team building activities as a way to achieve outcomes like improved collaboration or better performance is debatable, there’s no doubt that having friends at work makes people happier, more productive, and more engaged—and fun team building activities can foster those friendships.

“Team building activities” can come with a stigma attached – but it’s not all about forming a circle and doing trust falls with each other. If you feel colleagues won’t respond well to the invitation to team building, then simply don’t label it like that. Any activity that involves multiple coworkers—from an afternoon snack run to actually working together on a project as a team—is a team building activity.

If you accept that the point of team building activities is mainly to provide opportunities for interaction with others, the options for team building become endless.

Team building activities for work can range from small get-togethers to weekends away, and no matter how small an activity is, it can still promote togetherness and a better understanding of each other. Whatever you call them, these activities that encourage people to interact can be a positive influence in your life and your organization.

Discover some of our favorite workplace team building activities below!

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Chili Cook-Off

This is a favorite for more than one company we surveyed, and the reasons we saw mentioned often were the level of participation by both men and women as well as the variety of the entries. For whatever reason, chili is one of those dishes that everyone seems to enjoy making and eating. Perfect with party sharers such as Nachos or sliders, it’s an ideal dish for a team to come together on.

Guacamole Challenge

“We help organizations…by providing a fun standalone event, or an activity that meeting planners can use to break up or [conclude] meetings and training — it’s a great way to relax, have fun, and build relationships between coworkers.” –Michael Alexis, The Great Guac-Off

Rib Cook-Off

“When employees are friendly with each other, they seem to be happier and more excited to work. [For the rib cook-off,] you didn’t need to be good at sports or have a specialized skill or anything. All the employees needed was a good attitude and a sense of what kind of BBQ sauce tastes good.” And if you didn’t bring an appetite, you’d develop one quickly. –Matthew Ross, The Slumber Yard

Food Fridays

“One of our best team building activities [is] ‘Summer Snack Fridays’. Three (or more) people in the office group up and bring in a different snack every Friday during the summer months. This is a wonderful team building activity because you never know what the snack will be, which creates a lot of curiosity and excitement in our office.” –Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com

Cooking School

“At two different companies now, I have taken my Customer Experience teams to cooking schools as a team building activity. What made the experiences particularly effective was the small group collaboration and learning a new skill (e.g., how to properly cut vegetables or make sauces) that everyone could leverage in their personal lives.” David Verhaag, Olifano

Lunch and Learn

“I think the biggest mistake you see people working in talent make [is thinking] a single activity is going to bring their team closer together. The smaller things—like eating meals together twice a week [or] giving team members the opportunity to host lunch and learns—are so much more effective at actually building teams because they’re ingrained into everyday life for employees.” –Emma Hunt, Looka.com

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When we informally polled HR professionals, we received tons of excellent suggestions for sports-related team building activities, including:

Along with these ideas, a few sports stood out. If you decide to host a sporting or outdoor event, just make sure that there are accessible alternatives or accommodations so all employees are included!

Cornhole and Kickball

“Some of our favorite [team building activities for work] have been kickball in the park behind the office, as well as a cornhole tournament and Kan Jam. These games gave us a chance to grab some fresh air and [give] employees the opportunity to get to know and rely on one another.” –Eric Dieterle, JAM Paper & Envelope


Here’s one from BambooHR itself. “We have this perfect grassy area next to the office for outdoor games, and every sunny day you’re guaranteed to find a whole bunch of Bambooligans playing volleyball during lunch. It’s team building disguised as having fun in the sun.” –Michael Sanders, BambooHR

Indoor Gaming and Strategy Team Building Activities

Escape Room

Another one with too many suggestions to count, escape rooms are great for group problem-solving. At BambooHR, we recently had a company provide an escape-room-type murder mystery experience in our own office. These not only promote teamwork but can help identify strengths in logical and mathematical thinking within teams.

Video Games

“As an eCommerce business owner, I manage several employees that work remotely. A way I do team building with them is by playing online video games together. A big group of us will play DOTA 2 and other MMOs on Steam. I think by playing the games together, my team is more unified and works better together.” –Becky Beach, MomBeach.com

Scavenger Hunt

This was another repeat suggestion, and we thought it was interesting how some people think of a scavenger hunt as an activity best suited to a state-sized area, while others think of it in much smaller terms. We like the idea that a scavenger hunt can be any size, whether indoors, outdoors, virtual, local, or global.

Dungeons & Dragons (Or Other Favorite Board Games)

“Board games have been a staple lunchtime activity at BambooHR for as long as I’ve been here. Every department seems to have a favorite game, and they even suck in people who don’t think of themselves as ‘gamers,’ which is a great thing to see.” –Michael Sanders, BambooHR

Low- and No-Budget Team Building Activities

Some of these might not even strike you as activities, per se, but all of the ideas below encourage interaction, creative thinking, and connection with coworkers. And best of all, they cost nothing at all to initiate.

Some of our favorite examples include:

When Matt Dunne needed to plan an affordable activity for his team at Africa Travel, he got creative.

“We simply provided staff with a sheet of paper and some Blu Tack, and then gave them all a good ten minutes to jot down their positive memories, to then stick up on our office wall," Dunne says. "This is a great team building exercise for all companies because it sparks conversation amongst all employees within the organization, and allows your team to understand one another better.”

Big-Budget Team Building Activities

If you’re happy to go big on the team building activities, we have some high-budget-friendly options which are sure to be a big hit with employees!

These luxury options typically involve travel, but can also be adapted for a local event:

When Michael Tuso wants to keep his team at Chili Piper motivated, he reminds them of the company's commitment to rewarding important milestones.

“When our team hits certain goals we reward them with an international trip," Tuso says. "Most recently we flew the entire company first-class to Paris, France for a week in December. Not only did it bring our team much closer together, but other companies don’t typically do drastic activities like that, so it helps us stand out from the crowd, but genuinely gives back to the team in a meaningful way.”

Fun and Unique Team Building Games for the Office

Energy Jar

“We’ve started an “Energy Jar” at our office, which is a jar with all sorts of quick, fun activities written on small pieces of paper inside. In the afternoons, when everyone is losing a bit of momentum, we’ll pull from the energy jar and do whatever activity was randomly chosen. It could be a quick game of cards or a quick walk outside with the whole team. This allows our team to mentally reset and increases productivity, team closeness, and overall morale.” –Jack Wright, Buyback Boss

For a fun variation, you can also use a whiteboard technique that's placed in a central location. Your team will be able to jot down ideas, comments, and inspiration to share with the entire office.

Powerpoint Karaoke

“One person is selected to present a Powerpoint deck with slides they have never seen before, usually on a random, silly topic. It’s great for improvisation and it always makes the whole team laugh.” –Olga Mykhoparkina, Chanty

“Mr. Rogers” Calls

“Twice each month, software randomly matches two or three team members to schedule a 30-minute call. The only rule is that during the call you aren’t allowed to talk about work, and you are encouraged to explore other topics. Employees talk about their pets, travel, favorite books and similar topics. These conversations help employees get to know each other better and find common ground.” –Michael Alexis, Museum Hack

Virtual Movie Night

“Another great idea for remote employees, we stream a movie through a video conference call. We keep the instant messaging chat box open so that team members can chat about the movie while it is playing.”– Carlo, Time Doctor

Here are a few extra for staff-bonding activities:

How to Decide on Corporate Team-Building Activities

We know that there are a lot of team-building activities to choose from. If you’re struggling to decide on the perfect activities for your team, below we’ve given you some helpful tips on choosing the best team-building activities for work and helping your team overcome their team-building analysis paralysis:

Don’t be perfectionists.

Take the approach of those who don’t really like team-building activities: Instead of trying to find a purple-unicorn activity that everyone will enjoy, start by picking any activity. Choose something you know a few people like to do and open it up for anyone to participate. Then pick another, and another, and another—in the end, what matters is frequency and variety, not universal participation.

Start small.

You don’t need to have a full intramural league before you can start team-building activities. Not only are larger groups harder to organize, but it’s also unlikely that every person in a large group will interact with everyone else. A smaller group activity can be more effective in fostering interaction.

Meet your budget or lack thereof.

Budget is another concern for many organizations, but it shouldn’t be. As we mentioned, any activity that involves team participation qualifies as a team-building activity, so dropping thousands of dollars on a fancy weekend retreat isn’t required for team-building efforts to be successful. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t drop thousands of dollars if you have it—feel free to invite us—but you don’t have to spend anything at all to reap the benefits of team-building activities.

Focus on interaction.

All you really need to do is create the opportunity for interaction. Interaction creates social bonds, helps people understand what motivates their colleagues, and encourages the perception of the workplace as a worthwhile place to be.

One Last Thought

Team-building at work is just like team-building outside of work. Imagine a basketball team that only meets once a month, playing against a team that practices together seven days a week. The team that rarely gets together will probably have a harder time coordinating plays and completing passes—just like any working team that puts all their faith in big company-wide activities that happen once or twice a year. When it comes to team-building, you don’t have to do the same thing twice. You just have to do something, often, to see results. And then, keep doing things together. Who knows; you might enjoy it!

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