What goes through your head when you hear that you have a team building activity coming up? If you are groaning internally or find yourself looking for excuses to get out of it, it probably means you haven’t had good experiences with team building in the past. A lot of the time it feels extremely forced, just another HR checklist to tick off.

Yet, who wouldn’t like to feel a sense of trust and closer relationship with their co-workers? Team building exercises are essential not only if you want to work well together, but more importantly if you want to like the people around you.

There's always that one guy....

What is effective team building?

Let’s start by saying what team building should NOT be. It shouldn’t be one day out of the year where everybody is gathered together and forced to pretend to like each other. Instead, team building should be part of the company culture itself, deeply ingrained into daily operations.

Don't worry, we won't suggest you to do cha-cha trains

If your team is constantly finding ways to have fun, mingle and play cooperatively, then they will organically start to develop trust and deeper bonds with each other. The trick is finding ways to seamlessly incorporate these activities into your routine at the office. Read on below for some great tips and examples of how to get started.

What are the best team building activities for work?

The key to successful team building is a variety of team building games to choose from and finding ways to incorporate them seamlessly into your work routine. Here are some of the most effective team building games to play, and some tips on when and how to play them

Celebrity Heads

Congrats. You're famous.

What you’ll need: pieces of paper, tape, a list of celebrities

Setup: A celebrity written on a piece of paper and taped to each player’s forehead. The player cannot see which celebrity is written on their paper, but can see everybody else’s.

How to play: Go around the room and ask questions to other players to get clues on the identity of your celebrity. You may only ask true or false or yes/no questions. You win the game if you can correctly guess the celebrity that is written on your card.

Tips for playing Celebrity Heads: This is a game that is best played every once in a while, and doubles up as a great icebreaker game. This game is effective at warming up a large room of people because it encourages players to mingle and talk. It’s a lighthearted game where the real objective isn’t so much to win as to have a few good laughs and start some conversations. As a facilitator, you can end the game whenever you feel like it’s time to move on to the next activity.

Question of the Day

Take the mic and dazzle us like you're on a talk show

What you’ll need: a list of great open ended questions

Setup: Sit in a circle all facing each other, and take turns answering different questions

Tips for playing Question of the Day: Although this game is seemingly simple, it forms part of the foundational building blocks when it comes to team building. Playing QotD frequently (i.e. once a week) to warm up a meeting is great for building up a deeper understanding of one another. If you don’t have a list of questions, Brightful makes things easy for you by letting you host a game with questions preloaded in them.

Two truths and a Lie

Watch for growing noses, it's a dead giveaway

What you’ll need: Nothing. Just a bit of cheekiness.

Setup: Sit in a circle facing each other, and take turns stating two true things about yourself and one lie. Other players try to guess which statement is false.

Tips for playing Two truths and a lie: The perfect game for learning about one another. The best time to play Two truths and a Lie is when you are still getting to know each other in the team. This game works especially well when team building with remote workers, as it forces you to challenge your preconceived notions and biases. Try this game the next time you introduce someone new to the team. As with Question of the Day, the easiest way get started with this game is hosting a game on Brightful.

Household Scavenger Hunt

Ready, set, GO! 

What you’ll need: remote workers, a list of common household items

Setup: Break up your group into two teams, and give them an identical list of common household items. The first team to successfully find all the items and bring them to their computer wins.

Tips for playing Household Scavenger Hunt: Because the game is played in two separate teams, it requires communication and collaboration to win. If a team wastes time doubling up on one item, then it puts them at a disadvantage. Playing Scavenger Hunt is a great way to get people out of their seats and moving around the house. This is an effective way to energize the players before a team meeting. Play this game one in a while, as it can get repetitive if played often.

Werewolf

Find the Werewolf hidden in amongst the Villagers!

What you’ll need: Brightful Meeting Games is the easiest way to play for free

Setup: Host a game and invite players to join on their mobile or desktop devices

Tips for playing Werewolf: A classic social deduction game, Werewolf is a game that takes communication and wits. Playing requires you to be sneaky and try to manipulate discussion to your advantage. Although it might not seem like a team building game at first, it’s so fun that you’ll find yourself playing it every week. When you spend time together in games talking to each other, it organically builds teamwork and communication. The game also changes each time you play it, preventing it from getting too repetitive. For a full breakdown on how to play Werewolf as a team building game, you might find this article helpful.

Memory Wall

It's always nice to reminisce

What you’ll need: A bunch of sticky notes, a prompt (i.e. Favorite Childhood Memory)

Setup: A prompt is chosen and everybody writes a response and sticks it on the wall, creating a wall of positive memories.

Tips for playing Memory Wall: If playing remote, you can still play but you will need to nominate one person to do all the writing and sticking. Once all the sticking is done, that person can take a picture and share it with the team. The act of sharing memories is a fun way of learning about one another, and it can be interesting to see how the memories differ or relate to one another. Just like with Two Truths and  a Lie, this game is best played when introducing someone to the team, otherwise it may become repetitive.

How do you build team morale remotely?

One of the best things about WFH is the wardrobe freedom

With more teams beginning to utilize the power of remote working, it’s more important than ever to find ways to boost team morale. Team morale is defined as the optimism, enthusiasm and excitement within a group of co-workers with common business goals.

With one of the biggest issues facing remote workers including isolation and feelings of loneliness, it’s crucial to make sure teams feel engaged with each other. Team building is just one way to improve team morale, but it is one of the most easily implemented.

Another simple way to increase your team morale is to utilize icebreaker games, to break up the monotony and introduce some variety to your remote meetings.

How do you make a team call fun?

Mix things up a bit on your team calls

Team calls are a way to keep up to date with the daily operations of the team. By maintaining daily contant, you are able to engage in small talk and other organic interactions that help with team building. The best way to make team calls fun is to play a quick virtual icebreaker game.

What are some fun icebreaker games?

Icebreaker games are necessary if you want to have great team meetings

Fun icebreaker games are the ones that you don’t mind playing over and over again. That being said, it’s more important to have a big repertoire to choose from, to keep the variety levels high. We’ve collected the 17 best icebreaker games so you can always have something fresh to play before your remote meetings. Simply log into Brightful to always have access to the newest and biggest variety of games to choose from.