Fresh team event ideas are currently in high demand. Many things that were the state of the art in team building activities until a year ago are currently not possible or only possible with great difficulty. Last year, many companies were forced to send their employees to the virtual office and to go new digital ways, so that the cooperation on employee level still works. Corporate team building needs new team building activities and team outing ideas to make sure everyone has a great time experiencing team bonding in a fun way. In other words… the perfect way to bring everyone around the office to create ideas as a group, get everyone working together as a great team.
Team building activities have never been as important as they are now
Working from home was and is an enormous challenge for everyone. Clear structures that used to define everyday working life no longer exist. The nice lunchtime chat with a colleague, the exchange of ideas at the photocopier – all of this falls away ad hoc. The feeling of togetherness falls by the wayside. And that is fatal. Because the “we-feeling” is the interpersonal glue that holds a company together and is a decisive factor on the home stretch to business success.
Various team building events are in demand
To strengthen this feeling, companies are turning to innovative team building events for 2021. In this post, I’ll introduce you to the 21 best team building activities for online and offline team events in 2021 that will strengthen team spirit easily and naturally. We look at the best of each team building activity, that, depending on the activity, all people virtually and on site, indoor and outdoor spread many hours of good humor and weld your team together. While some team building exercise will just work for teams on site there are also several great team building activities that will improve the communication skills for team members of remote teams.
Why do companies rely on team building?
Team building is about fostering interpersonal relationships within a team. The team should get to know each other and build trust with each other.Team building can take place at a company outing or at corporate events such as an annual kick-off event or a joint workshop. In the current situation, many team events have been moved into the digital space. Here, a little more imagination is required, but with modern and unusual possibilities, it offers just as much whimsy as hours spent together at a company event.
A clear goal
Team members must have a clear goal. The goal must be measurable and scalable. If it is possible for team members to want to achieve the goal out of their own motivation and commitment, then that is super for success. If the idea of a goal is born within the team, that provides even more opportunities for emotional “buy-in” from everyone involved. This is where a unique and valuable dynamic can naturally emerge.
The right size depends on the task that awaits the team. It simply has to fit. The team must not be too big, and at the same time it must be big enough to be able to achieve the goal that has been set.
The team may be different
So who is suitable to be part of your team? In order for the team members to inspire each other, the team should consist of different characters. Homogeneous teams often lack the flow that different personalities can create.
There must be a team leader
In every team there must be one person who takes responsibility. Of course, a team event for the management offers an ideal opportunity to test different people and then find the right leader. The person who proves himself in the context of a team event also has a head start in terms of trust with his colleagues.
The communication in the team must function
In order for the required performance to be top and the cooperation to work, communication must not be misleading. Time-consuming misunderstandings can be prevented by clear and direct language within the team. A few good questions often already ensure that different people get clarity and that tasks can be solved better as a result.
More pep in the team building event through gamification
When it comes to team events, corporate management is increasingly turning to innovative modules. Gamification has been successfully used to strengthen team spirit since 2012. What is gamification all about? The term itself means that playful elements are brought into non-game contexts. This is intended to achieve a change in behavior and an increase in motivation.
Gamification + Training = trained by the game
The idea of gamification is easy to explain. It involves adding the fun and game factor to trainings, seminars, workshops and various team building methods. Recently, the basic willingness of companies to use gamification modules has been growing.
More fun and action at your company event through gamification
If you increase fun and action at your team event through playful aspects, you increase the employees’
- the desired learning success
- the basic acceptance of the team building measure
- and, on top of that, ensures that distances between employees and company management can be easily bridged.
Why the idea of gamification works so well for a team event?
The positive effect of gamification modules in team building games can be attributed to the fact that playful elements activate and strengthen curiosity, playfulness and fun to work together and support one another in the entire team. Scientific studies have long since found that these basic elements lead to higher motivation and an associated increase in commitment in a group of co-workers. In addition, the playful experience of practical learning content makes it much easier to transfer to everyday work. What already works in kindergarten, learning through play, can be successfully used for positive effects on teamwork and collaboration among colleagues.
10 on-site team building event ideas that are fun and more than just a company outing
This section is about corporate events that are experienced live on-site, whether indoors at Escape Games or outdoors at the annual company outing. From strategic games with the use of geocaching to visiting exclusive locations and sites on incentive trips – the range of options for a team event experienced in real life is vast. Here the company is spoilt for choice and should be guided in finding ideas by what is fun for the people involved, where work is not thought about for a few hours together and where colleagues can get to know each other better during an activity.
Almost any sport lends itself to a team building event. Sport means action. The participants can have fun together in a relaxed and informal atmosphere at the team event. The focus can be on achieving a sporting goal, building trust or simply socializing.
For example, the teams can complete a golf course, go to a climbing park together, go hiking or sail together on a self-built raft. Below we present the two most interesting activities.
1. The classic – hiking together in beautiful surroundings
Hiking together, a classic example of an outdoor team event, often results in the best conversations. Get out of the city and head for an idyllic location. Hiking is a sport that is suitable for both leisurely and more active teams. To loosen up, there are small games and puzzles during the hike, which ensure that the ice breaks faster. This is a great company outing.
2. Raft trip on a self-made raft
Another fun team building idea that promotes creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, team spirit and communication. Each employee is challenged to contribute his or her strengths. The materials are provided. What the raft looks like in the end and whether it is suitable for the high seas depends on the team’s ability to pull together. At the end there will be a delicious BBQ. During this team event the employees feel like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. A raft baptism rounds off the event.
Games involving tactics and strategy are fun team building activities. Strategy games such as Escape Room, scavenger hunt or city rallies allow team members to get to know each other better, find solutions together as a team and tackle problems strategically. Those who like to solve tricky puzzles are in the right place and the hours often fly by.
3. Escape Room
Escape games have long since found their way into the private sphere and are more than just a board game come to life. Almost everyone has taken part in a mystery dinner event, where the dinner party was divided into two teams and had to find out who the murderer was. Escape rooms work in a similar way at team building events. The team is brought into a mental story where they work together to find a solution. For example: Escape Room Jungle. The acting persons are explorers who are given the task to find and bring back a known adventurer in the green hell of the Amazon. The organizers of Escape Room games create excellent and usually very elaborate fantasy worlds. Therefore, it is no wonder that Escape games are high on the ranking list of team bonding actions. 2 hours in an extraordinary place are over very quickly and sharpens the communications skills of the whole group.
4. Another classic – the rally
During a Little Red Riding Hood rally, the colleagues dive into the fairy tale world of the Brothers Grimm. They are given GPS devices, a map and a roadbook at the beginning, geocaching-style. In the course of the rally, they get to know enchanted places, experience small adventures in between and thus get to know their team colleagues better in a playful way. The participants will remember this scavenger hunt-style team event positively. Along the way, they solved brainteasers together, were active as a team and improved communication.
Creative ideas also contribute to team building games and are a colorful alternative to the normal office routine as well as a fun way to improve the problem solving abilities of your employees and raise the company culture. Improvisational theater, painting courses or cooking together at an exotic cooking course are team building activities that your team will love. A special corporate team building event, which I always remember with pleasure, I was allowed to accompany as an event host for the sales team of Coca-Cola. To strengthen the “we” feeling, the team members were divided into several teams and built a whole stadium. There were teams that rehearsed fan chants, another team rolled out an entire soccer turf. The team members worked together on their tasks to strengthen the common cooperation. A real team event in a class of its own.
5. A bucket workshop
Not everyone is a musical super talent. In a bucket workshop, where the bucket is transformed into a universal musical instrument, the mood is lightened. Participants become newly minted musicians. The new sound orchestra performs a bucket symphony afterwards. Experienced bucket professionals support the beginner Mozartians. A drumming event turns into an interactive drumming event. A team event, which consists of timpani, drums… and buckets.
6. Chain reaction
An impulse exercise for every team. The idea behind this team event: a ball track is built. Different teams are given the task of building a section of the marble run. Every detail counts, so that the ball rolls perfectly at the end. Each individual team contributes to the overall success – just like in the company itself. This makes the chain reaction the ideal corporate event. Communication and creativity lead to joint success. This corporate event conveys to the people involved: together we are strong.
Actions that not only serve the team spirit, but at the same time are good for the environment or social institutions, contribute to team building in a very special way. During fundraising runs or environmental clean-up campaigns, members not only find a good feeling, but also a shared sense of responsibility. For example, in 2001, as part of a leadership seminar by Tony Robbins in Hawaii, I was able to spend a day with my team on “Contribution Day” in a Hawaiian kindergarten painting the fence, reworking the garden and doing many other great things. The thought of the children’s gratitude when singing the “Aloha Song” still warms my heart today.
7. Charity run
Popular again: fundraising runs by companies. This not only strengthens the common “we”. The company’s external image also receives a positive boost. Fundraising runs are often initiated by a city, for example the Schwebebahn-Spendenmarathon in Wuppertal or “Laufen hilft” in Vienna. Individual companies in Wuppertal then send their teams to the start. The competition with other companies promotes team spirit, because everyone wants to be part of the winning team. A team event with a positive effect on other competitors. With the ideal stadium announcer, the run is guaranteed to be a success. Although not charitable, a business run, in which your company starts as a team, can also be a team-building event. Ask around to see if something like this is organized in your city.
Incentive trips are all about the reward effect for teams. If targeted goals are achieved, the successful team can go on an exotic trip to the Maldives or take to the skies together in a hot air balloon. An exclusive seminar or a very special workshop can also be a neat incentive. The more unusual the destination, the more unusual the company outing, the greater the drive of the employees. Here, not only is the achievement of the goal and the desired success used for team building, but the event itself becomes a team building tool that will be remembered for a long time.
8. Incentive team trip
Large companies often rely on exclusive incentive trips to achieve sales targets. Incentive trips are often a combination of action and exclusivity. The best in the team must qualify in advance and are then invited, for example, to a trip where a popular artist gives a unique concert. The participants are accommodated in a 5-star hotel and the social program is also a superlative program. If you want it to be even more exclusive, then take a business event presenter with you on the trip, who will accompany your team in a moderating capacity, so that everyone feels well taken care of and no one gets lost.
9. Gala event with awards
Even a single evening, a gala event, can serve as an incentive to achieve business goals. Such a gala evening as a team event is unique, exclusive and remains in memory. Here, employees cannot purchase tickets; participation must be earned. It is best if a professional awards host leads through the program and asks individual colleagues to take the stage to honor their merit and present the company award. The hours spent together, the exclusive location, the delicious food… this superlative event will be remembered by every employee for a long time.
10. Summer party
Planning for a summer party should be done in time. Ideally, the event should have a motto, after which the activities and the catering are aligned. A cool location in combination with a smart and unusual motto make the company event the highlight of the year. For example, you can rent a whole castle and carry out knight games as team building methods in this historical place. A summer party can also be held for a large number of people. A summer party can also be combined with other team outing ideas such as geocaching. Then it is for the colleagues: during the day search for treasures at knight games and in the evening have a hearty knight meal at this fancy location.
11 virtual team building activities that strengthen the “we” feeling for your team members virtually
Of course, live team events are hard to top, but in the digital world, too, there are feasible ideas that colleagues can enjoy, that promote joint communication and that breathe new life into team spirit. With virtual events, colleagues can spend hours together and strengthen their cooperation just as they would with a real company outing. A big advantage of online events is that participants from all over the world can easily join in without having to travel far. So if you’re looking for a great range of virtual team building games and want to have a fun team building, you’ve come to the right place, because that’s what the following section is all about.
Digital team building events offer these benefits
Social distancing and home office are buzzwords that have been with us this year and will most likely be with us next year.
The advantages of digital events are obvious.
- Team building corporate events in virtual form can be held anywhere, as they are location-independent. Teams can be connected from different locations, no matter how far apart they are.
- They are simple, fast and can be carried out at short notice.
- Special “break-out rooms”, where participants can be divided into small groups, keep them intensively involved and also give them the opportunity to network virtually.
- External professionals, keynote speakers and interview partners can be easily integrated into the team building event.
- Digital team events are often less expensive due to the elimination of travel.
Virtual team building events that strengthen team spirit
11. Virtual Team Escape Game
The virtual Escape Game is a team building game that involves solving puzzles together. The participants are led into a digital group room where they get the information about an exciting criminal case… eg: A valuable coin has been stolen. The colleagues now put all the pieces of the puzzle together in “Columbo style” – either as a joint team or in smaller groups against each other – consult together from their home office, answer questions and try to solve the criminal case. The joint successes are, of course, celebrated virtually.
12. Virtual “Speed Dating”
The name says it all. Virtual speed dating is all about getting to know colleagues better. And it does so in a quick and uncomplicated way. But this digital team building idea is not just for old hands or colleagues who have known each other for a long time. Especially when new employees join the team, they are professionally taken by the hand by a virtual event emcee and the newcomers can be quickly taken on board during digital speed dating. It’s also particularly suitable if your employees are scattered all over the world.
13. Virtual chain reactions
How can you imagine this team building idea? The goal of this event is to digitally connect various individual activities to create a joint chain reaction, despite social distancing in the home office. Like in a relay race, the “virtual baton” is passed from participant to participant after completing his task. The more appropriately people work together, the more effective and successful the end result. The common start is celebrated virtually together, as well as the successful end.
14. Virtual Pub Quiz
An online pub quiz is an entertaining and quickly organized team building activity that is more than just another office trivia. It lasts about one hour and 30 minutes and is technically simple and not particularly complex. A pub quiz is one of the most popular team building games. A digital quiz master or virtual moderator divides the employees into teams and asks the participants questions. Each team can earn points for answering correctly. Bonus points can be earned for tasks completed together. At the end, the team with the most points emerges as the winner of the pub quiz.
15. Out of the Box – the puzzle box.
Goal fulfillment with reward effect. One or more teams get a virtual treasure chest. By solving puzzles and completing physical tasks, one lock after another opens. The teams play not only against each other but also against time. The team that is fast enough and has picked all the locks gets the deserved contents of the box.
16. Remote Team building Challenge
A special team building activity designed for a longer period of time. Participants usually take part for at least a week or longer. Through a special challenge app, the participant takes part in various games, activities and actions. He has to work out solutions, which are uploaded by means of the app in a given time frame. For each result he receives points. There are meeting appointments and a digital event arena where employees can exchange ideas.
17. Virtual beer or wine tasting
With digital beer, participants receive an event package in advance with different types of beer, which are tasted live and then evaluated digitally. External beer experts who present the beers, tell anecdotes from the world of beer and share interesting facts about brewing round off this digital event. This team event can of course also be held as a virtual wine tasting when the barley juice is replaced by a fine wine drop.
18. Online party with stars and starlets
Who hasn’t always wanted to have a party with their star. At this team building event, doubles of stars from the international show scene celebrate with their colleagues. The perfect doubles of show greats like Cher, Elvis and Co. present a polished show virtually in the living room. An event format with a very special touch and an original idea as a conclusion to a digital meeting.
19. Company Battle
Company Battle is a digital planning and strategy game ideal for those looking for fun and lots of interaction between team members. The goal is for each team to put “their company” on an expansion course. Different business models are applied. A digital and elected business council evaluates the various entrepreneurial moves. This type of team building is appropriate for leaders who are familiar with analytical methods and different business models. Fun and games promote joint economic learning and action.
20. The virtual movie event
At the beginning, all participants receive an excerpt from a prepared movie and an introduction to the art of acting via video message. They then have the task of re-enacting the game scene they have received and setting the scene using their own smartphones. Creativity, imagination and improvisation are required. The clips of the individual team members are uploaded after completion and edited into a film. The trailer is screened on the same evening. With popcorn, the employees then experience a cinema premiere that is sure to be remembered for a long time.
21. Virtual kick-offs
Virtual kick-off events are something like the royal league of digital team events. With a virtual annual kick-off meeting, employees start the new year in a targeted and motivated manner. With a well-prepared kick-off event, employee motivation is strengthened and employees in the home office are positively focused on new goals. An external keynote speaker who inspires your team and takes them along emotionally is particularly suitable here. Team building also comes into its own here. In my blog post “The most important ingredients for a successful kick-off event”, the team event kick-off in the virtual world plays a significant role.
Team building is more important than ever
In order for a company to rely on a strong team, team building events will take on tremendous importance in the coming year. Ideas to weld a team together are a dime a dozen. From a simple company outing with a bowling evening to a high-end kick off of superlatives. It is important for management to know their employees and ask the participants what they would like to do,
- what activity they would enjoy,
- how many hours they would like to spend together,
- whether they would prefer an indoor or outdoor activity.
The next step in taking your team building to the next level
With this information, the search for the right idea becomes easier. Companies should inquire in time with professional event agencies by phone or by e-mail without obligation. If you are not quite sure what suits you and your company, we are also happy to help. Depending on the team event, a longer preparation time is required. Nothing should be left to chance when it comes to team events. After specifying the number of people, which activity is desired, how many hours are to be spent together and whether outdoor or indoor is preferred, an individual offer can be made. The offer then offers all the possibilities to make the corporate event unique.
After all, team events not only show that the company management cares about the togetherness of employees and colleagues. Digital team events also signal that a company is willing to go innovative ways.
Which team bonding ideas appeal to you the most?
Which of these team building activities would work for your company and your team members? Which team building activity would you like to try? Does it also make sense to you if communication at events of this kind is limited to digital, or do you think team events only serve their purpose when you meet your colleagues in real life? Write me your opinion in a comment below!