If your team has been hinting at how team building activities have begun feeling a little run-of-the-mill lately, it's time to surprise them with some highly unusual team building activities!
Team building activities encourage communication, teamwork and openness, which are instrumental to healthy work relationships. And the good thing about unusual team building activities is that no one is likely to have tried it before in an official setting such as work. In fact, most of them allow remote participation, which works out if your offices currently operate on a mix of hybrid, distributed or in-person.
Let’s bring out our adventurous side more often at work through unusual team building!
1. What are Fun Team Building Activities?
1.1. Arm Wrestling
This is one of the most unusual team building activities that is best suited for teams reporting to the office in person. Get a few laughs out of your team as the others watch the ‘wrestlers’ try to bring their opponent’s arm down.
You can pair the colleagues at random or have them draw chits out of a bowl to know who they’re arm-wrestling against. The crowd can cheer their colleagues on and encourage them until a winner emerges!
1.2. Blindfolded food tasting
Blindfolded food tasting involves having people wear a blindfold and sampling foods placed in front of them. They have to guess what it is that they’re eating. For this unusual team building activity, make sure to check if anyone on the team has dietary restrictions (such as being lactose intolerant) or allergies to specific foods. Common allergens include nuts and gluten.
Make the tasting into a competition by having members try to guess as many of the samples, and the person who gets most or even all tried dishes right wins (perhaps a gift coupon to a store or brand of food or coffee?). In the best cases, colleagues will trust you with their life. In the worst case, you’ll lose a work bestie for torturing their taste buds.
1.3. Blindfolded healthy drink
Blindfolded drinking is much like a blindfolded tasting, only that you’re guessing what you’re drinking rather than eating. It can involve alcohol or non-alcoholic beverage options. In the interest of being inclusive, we think it will be fun to juice up healthy drinks made of ingredients such as bitter gourds, buttermilk, cantaloupe or gram flour ( we can’t confirm they’ll all taste great, but at least they’ll benefit you in some way, right?). It’ll be hilarious seeing your team’s faces twist in disgust as they try to guess what they’re sipping.
1.4. Mechanical toy races
If you’ve watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S, you’ll remember the race Phoebe,Joey, Chandler and Monica created using Emma’s toys. Replicate the same and get some toys for the office that are remote-controlled and battery powered.
Indulge in an afternoon of unusual team building activities which involve the team racing their toys. Working parents will definitely earn a questioning look from their young ones if you’re filming the race. On the plus side, at least they’ll get to keep the toy bought for the occasion! Although teams can play this remotely, it might be better suited to playing in-person so that you can be an impartial judge to the contest.
1.5. Stunt Workshop
Eventurous offers several highly unusual team building activities for virtual, indoor and the outdoors. The stunt training workshop is an outdoor activity that is action-packed. A professional stuntman/woman will train your team and take them through hand-to-hand combat, swordplay, weapon handling and vehicular stunts.
If you or someone you know skipped gym, performing stunts would more than make up for leg day! Do note that there will be a physical fitness requirement before signing up for the workshop. If anyone on the team has a medical condition that prohibits them from exerting, they can opt out and judge their coworker’s performances from the sidelines!
1.6. Flash mob
A flash mob is the best activity for your team to have some fun out in public. It can help them overcome shyness or stage fright. All you’ll need to do is pick a catchy song to dance to and rehearse the steps beforehand a few times. Scout out locations in public in and around the office that are flash-friendly and break out into formation to surprise bystanders.
Dodgeball can be played inside the office or out on a court, so long as there’s enough space to accommodate two teams. A game usually played informally, you can set the rules and go over them with your team before the whistle blows.
The objective? To take out the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, or outing them for stepping beyond the boundary.
1.8. Circus Acts
Here’s one of those unusual team building activities where you can jokingly tell your team to “start” clowning around! You can rent an hour or two of a circus troupe’s time to teach your team a few tricks of the trade. Watch managers juggle paper cups or rubber balls, and tease them about having to juggle so many responsibilities.
If anyone’s feeling a bit more adventurous, they could also take classes in acrobatics, trapeze or trampolining. The eventscompany runs classes for 45-120 minutes for groups of upto 200 members. Another place that teaches circus acts is Nikki Kennett’s theworkshopcompany. The latter teaches the audience to juggle, in addition to offering circus team building workshops tailored to your requirements, whether it's to improve team unity or observe the team’s problem-solving abilities.
1.9. The Sticky note challenge
There are two ways to do the sticky note challenge.
- Create a record by having your teams compete to stick as many notes on their face and neck as possible in under a minute. This can also double up as a minute-to-win-it game. They can have a partner to set a countdown and count the number of stickies on the face.
- Set up a foam pad or green board in one corner of the office room. Clear some space, and have your team take turns to do a running leap and stick a note high up on the wall, similar to the kids in this video. It's optional to have everyone write something appreciative about a particular colleague or manager which can be read after everyone’s note goes up.
1.10. Laser tag
Take the team laser tagging.The goal is to register hits using infrared-emitting light guns on the target.
It's a recreational team building activity that gets them out of the cubicles and engages them in indoor gameplay. Laser tag became popular after Star Trek, and includes simulations for close quarter combat and role-play adventure.
Paintball comes under unusual team building activities. You’ll get to release some of that pent-up work stress by unloading your paintball gun on your opponents. Have fun moving around and strategizing ways to sneak up on players from the opposing team.
The paint will be in pellets that spray upon contact with the breastplate or vest of the person. Going paintballing is a great way for teams and senior executives alike to bond and make fun memories.
1.12. Game Hour
You can play a variety of games for virtual and in-person offices so that noone misses out on unusual team building activities. Start with icebreaker activities such as Would You Rather before moving on to shooting hoops on a mini basketball hoop. The best part is the sheer number of games you can play, including solving a murder mystery, virtual reality or keeping it simple with pictionary!.
1.13. That’s Swell!
Do you want to watch your teams work together to promote unity? Split them into teams and ask them to inflate things under a time limit! You can keep a list of inflatable things ready; such as balloons, basketball, medicine ball (exercise/gym ball), rafts or camping mattress. The number of players decides the number of teams competing.
Imagine their surprise to see misshapen objects littering the office and then being told they need to use an air pump on them.(talk about inflation in the economy!)
1.14. 007 for the day
Eventurous offers a mission-impossible challenge as part of their indoor team building activity. For this, teams will get only a snippet of information to move onto an unknown location. The mission gets more complicated as you move up, and the plot is revealed as you go along. It will last for about 3 hours and allows upto 90 participants.
1.15. Indoor rock climbing
Nothing like a good workout to feel better afterwards,right? An indoor rock climbing activity can seem intimidating at first but you can ease into it with some professional help.
If you’re trying it out for the first time, an expert will belay you, i.e they’ll control and anchor the rope from the ground as you climb. If a colleague is belay-certified, you can ask them to do this bit for you. You’ll also learn rope technique- to tie knots and loop it around your safety harness to make sure your line is secure as you start your ascent. Seasoned climbers will advise you to wear something comfortable to move around in since you’ll be swinging and stretching your limbs. You don’t want a wardrobe malfunction at that height, trust us!
1.16. Walk with the wuffs
This is one of the best unusual team building activities for the dog-loving community! Stake out a trail and convene there at a designated hour with your pooch.
You’ll get to admire nature’s beauty with your colleague and four-legged buddy by your side. And what’s a better conversation topic than Bruno ?
1.17. Zombie Invasion
Finishing off a bunch of zombies headed your way is all in a day’s work for your team, right?
None should see an invasion coming, especially one involving Zombies. It’ll be fun to keep an air of mystery and secrecy to the game, so don’t tell your team what to expect. Simply have them pick chits which are mixed up beforehand. Write ‘Zombie’ and ‘human’ on chits and pass the bowl or jar to your colleagues. Go around to each of them and have them whisper what their chit says to you. Send them off to separate rooms based on their responses. Whoever got ‘Zombie’ gets sent to makeup.You can hire a makeup artist to put on prosthetic makeup on your colleagues.
To the other side containing the actors playing humans, tell them an attack is coming their way and they can either talk, defend or outwit the zombies to prevent turning into one of the Zombies!
Interestingly, the London Tombs offer people to get backstage and become one of the undead for a day for a fee of GBP 169 which runs from London to Southwark. The fee is valid for 12 months, so you can drop in anytime to cash it in and scare a few visitors. How about innocently suggesting that your manager come see you on X date?
2.1. What are some Small fun activities for employees
A few examples of small fun activities for employees to try out include
- Ice carving
- The sticky note challenge
- Arm wrestling
- Zombie invasion
- Blindfolded tasting/drinking
2.2. What are some good team bonding activities?
The ones we recommend to strengthen bonding include
- Murder mysteries
- Escape room
- Laser tag
- Circus acts