Here are the 10 Most Deeply Meaningful Team Building Exercises

Effective team building events are more than just forced ice breakers or embarrassing videos everyone wishes didn’t get shared with the entire company. They must also include exercises and activities that will unify your team in the days, weeks and months ahead of their inevitable resignation. Here are the 10 most deeply meaningful team building exercises.*

*These exercises have no proven results or benefits.

1. Pigeon Yoga

Have you heard of goat yoga? Pigeon yoga is the new team-building exercise trend.

How to do it: Find an outdoor grassy area. Make everyone do Downward Dog while you toss pigeon-attracting breadcrumbs. Exercise. Outdoors. Wildlife. Win. Win. Win.

Outcome: This will prepare the team for fighting for scraps when it comes to bonus time.

2. Musical Ergonomic Office Chairs

Everyone loved musical chairs as a child! Keep the nostalgia going with an ergonomically approved version.

How to do it: Use OSHA-approved chairs that roll. Everyone has to guess where the chairs are going next and get their butts in one before the music stops.

Outcome: This is a great way to get the team to practice being at their desk the second the boss walks in.

3. Office Escape Game

Team Building Exercises

Who needs a fancy Escape Room when you’ve got a cube farm maze?

How to do it: Barricade the doors then set a countdown clock. Whoever gets out first wins. Whoever is last has to sleep in the office overnight. (See item 8: The Office Sleepover)

Outcome: The every-man-for-himself nature of this exercise will make your team even more fiercely competitive which will make it easier to fire people who can’t withstand the pressure.

4. Twister

Twister is another opportunity to play on nostalgia.

How to do it: Get out the Twister board. Add in ice-breaker questions for each turn. Who doesn’t love talking about their dog’s death with one hand on yellow and one foot on green? Note: Have HR prepare release forms in case someone’s hand accidentally ends up on someone’s butt.

Outcome: This will help weed out those folks who are prone to committing sexual harassment.

5. Playing Telephone

How to do it: This simple team building exercise has office messages whispered around a circle, sometimes through a tin can. Relay the final message to the intended recipient and watch hijinks ensue.

Outcome: This exercise will make the team realize how vital good communication is, before they immediately go back to ignoring each other.

6: Chopped: Break Room Refrigerator Edition

Even Alton Brown hasn’t tried to make an entrée with cold fried chicken and a PB&J.

How to do it: Take everything out of the office refrigerator. Get into teams and get to cooking. The best dish is the winner. (Office policy requiring an EpiPen at every copier station should be instituted prior to any Chopped competitions.)

Outcome: After this exercise, you will have successfully cleaned out the office refrigerator.

7. Opaque Leggings Pageant

What office team building exercise isn’t complete without a beauty pageant? New HR rules on dress code help you kill two birds with one pageant.

How to do it: Line up ladies in leggings and take an office vote. Too sheer and they get a note in their file. Opaque enough and they are ready for Pigeon Yoga (Item #1). Beautify the Office campaigns can be well served by Leggings Pageants.

Outcome: Winners have their spirits raised and losers have something to work towards on their Beauty Breaks.

8. The Office Sleepover

Renting an offsite venue for an offsite can get pricey but here’s a tip: no one is using your offices overnight and you can still call it an offsite.

How to do it: Ask everyone to bring their pajamas and stay the night. Add in things like a fire pit in accounting to make a night of team-building fun. When things get slow, suggest maybe working on that presentation or finishing that overdue project.

Outcome: The team gets to know each other’s fun nighttime habits as well as hopefully get that overdue project done.

9. Back-to-Back Drawing

How to do it: Seat them all back to back with sketchpads. Have them draw their partner and then post the results as your new office artwork. Saving money while making art is good for business! Combining Back-to Back Drawing with the equally fun keyboarding contest “I Can Type and Speak in All Caps” helps employees communicate better through art AND typing. Striving for arts integration is always a priority!

Outcome: This team building exercise will bring out your employees’ artistic sides.

10. Multi-Level Marketing Monday

Does everyone on your team try to sell home business items or school wrapping paper? Have a Multi Level Marketing Monday to build the team from within.

How to do it: Set up a craft fair and give employees their own tables to sell their wares. Bonus idea: Make things interesting by requiring sales be made in an actual human pyramid. (All employees must sign the “Can’t Make More Money Selling Candles, Children’s Books or Wrapping Paper” clause before participating.)

Outcome: Employees get that entrepreneurial bug out of their system, so they can go back to getting that overdue project done.

About the author

Amy Barnes

Amy Barnes has written for a range of publications including McSweeneys, The Giggle Guide, Funny or Die, The Cooper Review, The Higgs Weldon, Crixeo, Parabola, The Vitamin Shoppe, and We Are Teachers. She has two kids and two dogs that both inspire and hinder her writing.

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