Compiled by Emily Butcher, WDM Group Staff Writer
1. Happy Hour
True, your coworkers may not want to see you bust out your best Axl-Rose-snake-dance impression, but a little moderate imbibing does wonders for team morale, cohesiveness and camaraderie. Not only does happy hour offer some light at the end of the tunnel during a grueling work week or deadline, it provides the perfect light-hearted atmosphere to develop lasting relationships out of the workplace.
2. Indoor Go Kart Racing
Who hasn’t wanted to blow off some steam over lunch? Seeing your coworker whiz past you – rather than over the top of their cubicle – means heightened senses and adrenaline will pump out bonding oxytocin and feel-good endorphins. Just limit the good natured heckling to the track and there should be no hard feelings lingering over the water cooler.
3. Team Olympics
Obviously emphasizing the team aspect of this activity will naturally foster cohesiveness while letting everyone’s competitive side come out for the betterment of the group. Choose fun and challenging teamwork-based games taking advantage of your natural surroundings. Who said sandcastle sculpting can’t be competitive?
4. Scavenger Hunt
Who said scavenger hunts are just for kids? This engaging activity mimics in-office skills like creative thinking, leadership and organization, while encouraging co-workers to work together. The location can vary – think about involving your entire office building and making teams out of each company – or take your group to an up-and-coming neighbourhood to explore.
Icebreakers, by definition, encourage conversation, interaction and communication. Pick a fun personal fact about everyone’s history – a worst job will likely result in some laughs – and have everyone jot it down on a postcard. As each card is read aloud, guess which employee held the particular groan-worthy job in way to learn something new about each of your colleagues.
Okay, we’d have a hard time arguing that paintball can improve office skills like team leadership or organization – it really is a dog-eat-dog sport – but when it comes down to a rowdy good time, paintball makes the list.
7. Hiking Survivor-Style
Again, this ambitious undertaking should focus on team work, so rather than pitting individuals against each other, split into pairs or groups. And we’re not trying to kill anyone here so pick a simpler task like scaling a chosen point with nothing but a compass and a good old-fashioned paper map. The point here is moot if electronics are involved so ditch the iPhones!
8. Volunteering for Charity
The positive effects of volunteering – lowered stress and greater thankfulness in everyday life, not to mention the positive benefits to those on the receiving end – have become an increasing topic of interest. Volunteering as a group multiplies these benefits while bringing co-workers closer on a personal level.
9. Chilli Cook-Off
Hosting a chilli cook-off or bake off not only lets co-workers get to know each other in a low stress, friendly environment, but everyone gets to the reap the rewards: [hopefully] a bounty of good grub.
Participating in a game like Charades, utterly silly by nature and most likely a game the majority of your employees haven’t participated in in years, possibly decades, forces everyone to drop their guard – quick. And to loosen up those stuffy types, it couldn’t hurt to combine this classic with corporate team building activity #1, as mentioned above …