You probably have heard the saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” No matter how good your boss is or how attractive the perks are, daily work can build up a lot of stress resulting from tight deadlines, heavy workload, job insecurity, long hours, and changes within the organization.
Work without play can also lead to employee burnout—which occurs when employees are mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. Job burnout has been quoted by HR managers as a major threat to building a happy and productive workforce.
Worst of all, work without play stifles employee creativity.
We all need a break from the regular grid to remain creative and productive. However, taking days off work doesn’t solve the problem either. This is where team building activities come in. To help you get those creative juices going, we’ve compiled a list of team building activities that your team will benefit from.
1. The Egg Drop
Objective: Test teams creativity and problem-solving skills
Tools: Assorted office supplies
Time: 1- 2 hours
Participants: 3 – 5
How to Play
Divide your team into groups of 3 to 5 participants each and give each group a raw egg. Next, put all the office supplies in a pile. Each group has 1 to 2 hours to build a contraption around the egg that will keep the egg from cracking when dropped.
Some suggestions for supplies are: Cello tape, rubber bands, newspaper, packing material, plastic utensils, straws, pencils, etc. Once the time is up, drop each egg contraption from an elevated ground—first or second floor, and see which group’s egg will survive the fall.
This activity exemplifies the true power of team building and its importance by enforcing the three Cs: collaboration, communication, and camaraderie. It leverages creativity, coordination, and problem-solving to bring the team together.
2. Lost at Sea
Objective: Tests the ability of teams to utilize resources effectively and reach a consensus in the most challenging situations.
Tools: ‘Lost at Sea’ charts and pen
Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Participants: 5 – 10
How to Play
Divide your team into groups of 5 to 10 and give them the backstory to the challenge. Explain to them that they are lost at sea with only one boat and 15 items that are vital to their survival.
Now provide each team with the lost at sea chart. The chart items could include waterproof sheets, fishing rod, floater, rope, mosquito net, shark repellant, a bar of chocolate, etc.
The challenge is to rank the items on the chart in the order of importance. The last column on the chart should calculate the difference between the team rankings and the correct rankings. The team with the lowest score wins the game.
3. The Barter Puzzle
Objective: Tests a team’s ability to strategize, negotiate, and solve problems
Tools: Jigsaw puzzles
Time: 1 to 2 hours
Participants: 5 to 10
How to Play
Split your team into groups of 5 to 10 participants. Provide each team with a different jigsaw puzzle but with the same difficulty level. The trick here is that some pieces required to complete the puzzle are mixed around in other groups’ jigsaw puzzles.
The team members have to find a way to get those pieces back—either through trading, negotiating, exchanging team members, etc. The team that completes the puzzle first wins.
This game enables employees to develop critical thinking skills. And since team members must find a way to convince other teams to help them, the game also tests the team negotiation skills.
You can also use websites to play this game. On this jigsaw puzzle site, you can ask the team to pick any puzzle from the list and ask them to solve it. A multiplayer version allows you to solve a puzzle together. The winner will be the one who solves the puzzle first.
Outdoor team building activities provide a great way to break the monotony of daily work and office boredom. If done right, team building can also help your workforce get on the same page, work together, and be more productive.