5 Ideas For Off-Site Team Building Events

They say the team that plays together works better together.  While we’re not exactly sure who “they” are or that we’re accurately quoting that turn of phrase, it’s been proven time and again that team building events are a critical part of fostering great working relationships.  Critical job skills such as communication, trust, teamwork and more can all be strengthened with a little social R&R.

While most of us tend to think of the stereotypical “tell us one thing about yourself” lunchtime talks or awkward “get to know your co-workers” company mixers, teambuilding has come a long way from the days of nervously huddling around a conference room table.  These important activities can be fun and engaging, in addition to creating a better and more productive work environment.  Whether you’re an HR professional, manager, supervisor or member of a team in need of a little more connectedness, read on for our top five ideas to get your team out of the workplace and into a cooperative, skills-building event.

  1. Share a Meal

Off hours and off-site meals are a great way to foster social relations and to allow people to get to know each other on a less formal basis.  While that catered lunch at the office is all well and good, you’re still on work premises which can make your conversation a bit more uptight.  Try taking the party to a local restaurant or having an HR representative or manager host at their home to get people relaxed and social.

  1. Office Olympics

No, we’re not talking who can bench press the copier or Kevin in accounting arm wrestling Jill in finance kind of deal.  While physical activity is great for building morale, and health, office-based athletic endeavors can be far less strenuous.  Pick a local park or open space and focus on events that build teamwork such as egg rolling, sack races or skill based passing exercises.  Bonus points for mixing up teams between different shifts or co-workers that don’t get the opportunity to regularly interact in order to cross office boundaries.

  1. Bowling, Karaoke, Escape the Room and More

Sometimes, in order to build your team interaction capabilities, you may need to let your hair down and have a little bit of fun.  Events that focus less on practical skills and more on socializing and laughing together can go a long way towards promoting professional workplace relationships.  Consider the classics such as bowling or karaoke, where everyone knows the rules and a healthy dose of ego will need to be set aside.  Escape the Room scenarios are also great for teaching teams how to work together in an entertaining and lighthearted environment to reach a common goal.

  1. Weekend Nature Excursions

For the more adventurous types, nothing builds teamwork skills quite like unplugging your phone and tech for a weekend of communing with nature.  Overnight camping has many elements in which multiple people will need to be on the same page in order to provide basic essentials such as food, fire, and shelter.  A hike in the woods can also be relaxing and the chemicals released by the body during physical activity have been proven to brighten moods and increase mental clarity.

  1. A Night of Comedy/ Improv

Let your team relax and laugh their troubles away with a night of fun and giggles at a local comedy or improv club.  Combining social elements of many of the above options, laughter is a universal language known to bring even the most heated of work rivals together.  Try partnering with a local improv club for an interactive matinee session.  Co-workers will have to show humility in addition to expressing creativity and communication skills to work through skits with hilarious results.

Team Building Wrap-Up

While the above are some of our favorites, the ideas are endless when it comes to escaping the office and hitting the town for team building events.  Focus on working together and fostering a better understanding of fellow co-workers and the event itself becomes interchangeable.  While these scenarios may cost a little in terms of one-time work productivity, your company and team will reap the financial and physical benefits of a more efficient, friendlier work environment for years down the road.

Article Updated from the Original on September 15, 2017