No matter what the size, your team will be closer and more productive after integrating one or a few of these quick and fun team building exercises into your office. They can be used as morning meeting activities to get the day started on the right foot, at conferences to energize the crows, and are also great for any trainings, retreats, and briefings.
This list of team building activities for work is ideal for organizations who need a quick burst of energy or who want to get to know each other a bit more in a fun, casual, yet still professional way. Not in a traditional office setting? These activities are also perfect for volunteers, student staff members, summer camps, and more!
Since these games are so easy to assemble, and do not take a lot of time out of the workday to perform, they are easily integrated into any workday or meeting. With a low amount of investment, teams will see and feel high rewards!
Why Team Building Exercises are Beneficial
With all of the work needed to be done on a daily basis, it can sometimes be hard to build relationships with coworkers. Relationship building is a key part of a highly functioning office or organization because relationships are the backbone of any successful operation. Without high quality relationships, team morale is low, respect is low, and the “me” attitude takes hold.
Fun group icebreakers and exercises encourage participants to build camaraderie, improve communication, establish or improve trust, and develop decision making strategies. The successful completion of most team-building tasks requires cooperation, listening to others, sharing of ideas or the willingness of participants to try new approaches to solving problems. These skills are all transferable back into the workplace, and help to make companies stronger and more productive.
There are six purposes or types of team building games in this list: Icebreaker, communication, problem-solving, trust, and inspire creativity. Many of the activities have elements of more than one type, and are labeled so you can more easily find the activity best suited to your group’s needs.
The Epic List of Quick Team Building Exercises
Two Truths and a Lie
Duration: 10 – 15 minutes
Tools Needed: Nothing, unless voting will be done on pen and paper
Number of Participants: 5+; break into smaller groups if the group is large
Rules/Description: This is a classic team builder, but there is a reason it is also played at home with friends! Teams will have a blast getting to know what makes their co-workers tick: their interests, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. They will laugh together and build stronger, more cohesive relationships.
Start out by having the participants sit in a circle. Instruct them to come up with two true statements and one lie that they will be sharing with the group. Make sure that the lie is believable and the truths aren’t obvious (ex. I went to a Britney Spears concert when I was in high school, I went to Italy for my Honeymoon, I went skydiving on my 18th birthday). They can be a little wild to make it fun, but not too outlandish that the group will be able to easily spot the lie.
Once the group has decided what they will share, have everyone go around the circle sharing their two truths and a lie in the random order of their choosing. The object of the game is to have the group vote and figure out which statement was a lie. Voting can be done by a raise of hands, or jotting down votes on a piece of paper to be given to the mediator. Once the voting is done, the speaker will share which statement was false. Sometimes it may shock the team which one is the lie!
Duration: 15 – 25 minutes
Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm
Number of Participants: 7 – 20 people per group
Rules/Description: Untying a knot can be difficult—especially if it is made of humans! To begin, have all the participants stand in a circle facing each other, shoulder to shoulder. Instruct the group to put their right hand out in front of them and grab a random hand of someone across the circle. Then, tell them to reach their left hand out and grab another random hand from a different person across the circle. Finally, when everyone has connected both of their hands with another team member, the group is challenged to untangle the knot of arms without releasing their hands.
Make it even more fun and challenging with a predetermined time limit and have the group race against the clock! This activity is best for small groups, but if the group is large, have the group separate and form smaller individual circles.
To add some healthy competition, have the smaller groups race against one another to untangle their human knots!
Duration: 10 – 15 minutes
Tools Needed: A pre-done simple drawing or picture (for ease, can be printed from the internet), paper and pencil for each pair of participants
Number of Participants: 2 or more people
Rules/Description: You don’t need to be Picasso to have fun during this activity! Begin by pairing each participant with someone whom they have never worked with or talked to previously, if possible. When the teams have been selected, allow the pair to choose among themselves on who will be the illustrator and who will be the director.
The game organizer will then hand over a simple drawing to the directors and keep them hidden from the illustrators. Illustrators will then given a blank sheet of paper and pencil to be used as their canvas.
The fun begins!
The directors tell the illustrators how to replicate the drawing. The tricky part? The directions for the drawing can only be given using verbal cues—no pantomiming! The other tricky part? The illustrators can only ask clarifying questions with yes or no answers!
Once the drawings are finished, gather everyone in a circle and allow each of them to compare the drawings, discuss and debrief how they handled the task, and the process of giving and receiving instructions.
To continue the game longer, consider switching roles so each person in each pair has a chance to both draw and describe. Pairs can also be switched up after the participants have switched roles once.
Who will be your team’s next legendary artist?!
This is Better Than That
Duration: 15 – 20 minutes
Tools Needed: 4 or more random objects (see Rules/Description for clarification)
Number of Participants: 2 or more people
Rules/Description: This team building activity will bring out everyone’s creative side! The moderator will choose a few objects (4 or more) that are all different from one another. Have everyone break into smaller, even numbered groups. Each group will have to rate the objects by their usefulness for a particular given scenario. Their scenarios can be as wild as the as wild as the teams can dream of! For example “You’re stranded in the desert with nothing but this object, or you’re stuck out on a raft at sea and need water so this object comes in handy”.
Once they have ranked their objects and given their reasoning behind their choices, everyone can share their answers amongst the entire group.
To add some competition, judges can rank the objects and award teams for their creativity! You can mold this activity as you see fit to adhere to the needs of your group.
Duration: 15 – 30 minutes
Tools Needed: “Mines”: utilize objects such as cones, bowling pins, foam noodles, etc.
Number of Participants: 4 or more people, even number for best results
Purpose: Trust and Communication
Rules/Description: If your team needs to work on trust, this is the team building activity for you! This activity requires a bit of set up before your team can play. Find an area that has enough open space to make your “minefield”. Set up your “mines” with objects such as cones, bowling pins, foam noodles, etc.
When your team is ready, have them break into pairs (groups of two). Try to be strategic when coupling the groups so they can get the most out of the exercise. For example, if there are two members of the group that frequently are at odds with one another, pair them together to give them the space to work on their professional relationship and communication.
One team member will be blindfolded (can just close their eyes, but blindfolds make sure no one is peaking!) while they maneuver through the course. The other teammate stands outside of the mine field and vocally directs the blindfolded teammate to the other side of the field, being sure to not hit any of the mines. The rules here are up to you. For example, they may have to go back to the start if they hit a mine, or if they can hit 2 mines and have to restart. Be creative!
When the teams have completed the challenge, have them switch roles so each person can have a chance to direct and a chance to be blindfolded. The goal of the game is to get the team members to trust their partner’s directions and to teach them to communicate in a more effective way.
The workplace may feel like a minefield, and this is the perfect way to practice navigating those everyday curveballs or “land mines!”
Team Birthday Lineup
Duration: 5 – 10 minutes
Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm, a list of team member birthdays if needed
Number of Participants: 5 or more
Rules/Description: Birthdays are the best days! Do you know your co-workers birthdays without looking at your calendar? The goal of this team building challenge is to have everyone line up in the order of his or her birthday (Month/Day)… all without speaking!
The group must develop a creative way to communicate with each other using non-verbal communication and body language techniques. Once everyone has lined up, go down the line and have each person share their birthday with the group and see if the line is correct! If you feel it is necessary, a master list of everyone’s birthdays can be on-hand for fact checking.
These non-verbal communication and teamwork skills, can be utilized back in the office once the game has finished! Plus, teammates may find a birthday twin!
Game of Possibilities
Duration: 5 – 6 minutes
Tools Needed: Enough random objects for each group (see Rules/Description for clarification)
Number of Participants: 4 or more people
Purpose: Inspire Creativity
Rules/Description: This quick 5-minute team building game will allow members to work on their public speaking, communication, creativity, and teamwork skills!
Give a random object to one person in each group. One at a time, someone from the group has to go up in front of their group and demonstrate a use for that object. The rest of the team must guess what the player is demonstrating. The catch? The demonstrator cannot speak, and demonstrations must be original with no repeats. Think charades. The ideas can be as wacky and outlandish as participants like!
The possibilities of the Game of Possibilities are endless!
Duration: 15 – 20 minutes
Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm
Number of Participants: 5 or more people
Purpose: Warm-up activity
Rules/Description: This quick, wacky game will have your team laughing and bonding in no time! For this team building activity, choose a guesser to leave the room. They cannot know who the leader will be. The guesser’s job is to identify the leader of the group.
Next, have everyone sit or stand in a circle and let them determine which member of the group will be the leader. The leader’s role is to make movements that everyone will be able to copy cat at the same pace (think: mirror).
Once the leader has been chosen, the guesser will come back into the room and stand in the center of the circle. That’s when the fun begins!
The leader will start making any movements he or she wants (i.e. – waving their arms, rubbing their belly, patting their head, jumping, etc.). The followers will mimic these movements at a similar pace and make minimal eye contact with the leader so they won’t give away which one of them it is. It is important to stay on pace as best as they can to make it difficult for the guesser to discover the leader!
As time progresses, the leader should speed up and make the moves more challenging to keep the game going.
When the leader has been discovered, select a new guesser and leader to play another round!
Duration: 20 – 30 minutes
Tools Needed: A long, lightweight rod, hula-hoop, or “helium stick”
Number of Participants: Varies depending on the size of the stick/rod
Purpose: Communication and Problem Solving
Rules/Description: Like most team building activities, this one is fun, teaches a valuable lesson, and is incredibly difficult if your team isn’t working together! You can either use a long, lightweight rod, or a hula-hoop (depending on what you have around), but for this example, we will say rod or helium stick. Groups should ideally be anywhere from 6-14 participants, so if you have a large number of people, break them into smaller groups.
Instruct everyone to place the rod on top of his or her fingers. There is no grabbing, pinching, or holding of any kind, only having it set on top of the fingers. The object of the game is to have everyone work together to lower the helium stick to the ground, but there’s a game changing catch! Everyone’s fingers must be touching the rod at all times, or they will have to restart.
Once everyone understands the rules, let them begin! This is when everyone will notice the helium stick starts to move upwards, even though the goal is to lower it to the ground. Everyone will get a kick out of it, and some may be a little confused.
After the humorous first attempt, have your groups come up with a game plan and assure them it is possible. The best method is to move very slow and coordinate every movement, but let the teams figure this out for themselves!
Duration: 5 – 10 minutes
Tools Needed: 20 pieces of 8.5 x 11 paper per team
Number of Participants: 3 or more
Purpose: Creative teamwork
Rules/Description: Don’t underestimate this simple activity! This exercise teaches participants the importance of planning, timing, and quick thinking—all skills that are transferable to the office.
Before you begin, give each team twenty sheets of standard size paper. The goal of the activity is to construct the tallest free-standing structure in just five minutes (feel free to adjust this time constraint). There is a catch, as always! The teams must construct their towers using NO other materials. The towers must be made of paper, and paper only. They are permitted to tear and fold the paper, but no tape!
After the five minutes, or other agreed upon time, it is time to review of the structures! If you made this into a competition, the structures can be judged on creativity, success, strategy, design, and more. Either way, a discussion should be had at the completion of the activity concerning who on the teams planned out the structure, why certain teams ran out of time, and what could be done differently next time.
This activity can also be done as a competition with individuals competing against one another, or the teams competing against each other.
These quick team building games will not only help participants see how they can apply their newly learned or honed skills and techniques to their work, but also how to use them in everyday life situations. Understanding your co-workers, how they think, why they think the way they do, and what makes them tick can make communication and collaboration much easier. Quick team building activities bring groups together in a casual setting without a lot of pressure to ensure that everyone has a great time learning a bit about themselves and their team!
Have us do the work for you!
If you are tired of the everyday mundane tasks in the office, and are looking to get everyone together for an epic day of FUN, you are in the right place. You have a strong team and want to make it even more awesome. A customized team building scavenger hunt of your city is just what you need, and we are here to help!
CityHUNT offers a wide array of team building activities and we pride ourselves on our flexibility to all group sizes and locations. We are here to fit your needs – we listen to our clients before we begin the process of creating an event.
If you are even a little curious about what we offer, or are ready to commit to changing your team for the better, call us at (1-877)-HUNT-FUN or fill out our risk-free contact form to simply start the conversation today! When you fill out a form, you are taking the first step in making your employees, students, or volunteers even more awesome.