If the members of your team are rolling their eyes at the upcoming office group activities, maybe you need to take your team outdoors. There’s nothing like getting out of the office with your workmates and letting your hair down for team building.
Team bonding is crucial for the overall quality of life for your employees. A study found most workers feel good to work relationships with colleagues improves the experience they have at work. This in turn makes them happier and more committed to their jobs. Happy employees are good for the bottom line. The bottom line, then, is that outdoor team building activities are what your team needs.
If you’re not sure where to start with outdoor fun for the team, the comprehensive list below should give you more ideas than you need for the whole year.
The Benefits Of Outdoor Team Building Games
What’s so great about taking your team outside? You can just play some Jenga indoors or have a movie night, right?
Sure, you could. But sometimes you need to get out of the office and get some fresh air, ideally in a park or gardens. It’s good for your health. And what’s good for the health of our teams is good for the business.
A study by Stanford researchers found that being in nature is good for the mind. Being in nature leads to lower anxiety, less overthinking, more positive and less negative thinking. It also affects the working memory in mysterious ways.
Combining the customary workplace team building activities with some nature is a win-win for everyone involved.
Being outdoors can help your team to:
- Make memories and build relationships. What is the stuff that makes up relationships if not for memories? And if your team members make memories with each other, they are bound to have improved relationships and do better work.
- Get re-energised together. Being in nature as a team will have the double effect of energising everyone and reinvigorating your group dynamics.
- Get away from the office. No matter how much they love their jobs, it can be hard to be chained to a desk all day. Outdoor and fun team building activities for the workplace will give everyone an excuse to be outside the office and get paid for it.
- Discover their locale. Whether you’re planning a scavenger hunt, a retreat, or some other outdoor office group activities, it will give the teams a chance to explore and discover their locale in ways they’ve never done before.
Outdoor activities are easy to plan. In fact, they may take less hassle to prepare for as compared to indoor team building activities. You don’t need to overcompensate as you may do when planning for team building at the same old boardroom or cafeteria your employees see every day.
There are many ways to take these activities outdoors. You could have the teams do something for the community or the environment. You could organise team building games that are competitive. The teams may also enjoy traditional outdoor activities together. Or they could enjoy being outdoors and being laid-back.
Team Building Activities & Game Ideas For Work
Geocaching is a great way to spend time outdoors with colleagues, hunting up clues with the excitement and thrill of an adventure. It’s a high-tech treasure hunt played by adventurers around the world, armed with GPS devices. Have each team (or pairs of participants) get the Geocaching app or ab account on Geocaching.com.
There are geocaches hidden around the world, in urban and non-urban locations, as part of the world’s largest treasure hunt. In return for finding a cache, team members must leave some trinkets behind. Finding the geocache treasures involves solving puzzles, fostering bonding. Follow up the activities with group prizes such as lunch or several rounds of drinks at a pub.
Fort building is creative, fun and brings out the inner child in adults. Split the group into teams and hand each team with supply materials like cardboard boxes, sheets, play tunnels, tents and duct tape. Or you can ask team members to bring their own materials. Another option, to make things a little more challenging, would be to ask each team to take their pick of materials from the stash.
Then you can let the timer begin and ask teams to build their forts in an hour. Encourage them to add special features like drawbridges, secret rooms, flags, etc. At the end of the challenge, let each team give everyone else a tour of their fort.
This is a high school project that even adults will enjoy. Split your team into groups. Each group will be supplied with a raw egg and will have to build a contraption to protect the egg as it’s dropped from large heights. You can allow your teams 20 to 30 minutes to come up with a design and build their contraption.
At the end of time, the teams will test their contraptions by dropping the eggs, all at once, from a height of around 20 to 30 feet. You can do this in your office parking lot if you’re unable to find any other outdoor venue. If more than one egg survives the fall, increase the height for a tie-breaker until there’s a winner.
Scavenger hunts are timeless and fun. They are likely to never go out of mind for outdoor team building activities. The best thing about scavenger hunts is that they can be organised anywhere. You can hunt for clues towards a prize just as easily in the city as you can in a park. Outdoor scavenger hunts in your town can be a great way to rediscover a familiar place.
Environment-Friendly Team Building Activities
Plant A Tree
With Australia remaining one of the developed world’s hotspots for deforestation, a day of tree planting can help everyone feel good about a day well-spent. You can organise a corporate tree planting event with a reforestation organisation like One Tree Planted or Ecology, ask your teams to bring their boots, and get planting. You may need to check your local office for regulations on tree planting.
Clean A Beach
A beach clean-up is always fun in a group. Head to a local beach and spend the day picking up debris and garbage from the shoreline. Make sure you have plans for disposal as well. Take the recyclables with you to a recycling depot near you. You can find out more about organising a beach clean-up here.
Charity And Other Office Group Activities
Prepare Care Packages
Doing something for others helps to build positive feelings. Doing so as a team can help to foster stronger bonding among members. Prepare care packages filled with sandwiches, fruit and other items to head out to the local community and distribute to those in need.
Charity Walk Or Charity Run
Sign up for a run or a walk with a specific cause with an organisation. If you can collect any donations, you can contribute them to the organisation that’s supporting the run. You can find charity races at ACRF.
Good Samaritan Race
You can organise philanthropic-themed scavenger hunts with teams racing to do as many good deeds as possible within the time limit. Your team can come up with a list of good deeds or use these be kind cards to pay it forward.
Outdoorsy Team Building Activities
Find a local trail, gather your team, and enjoy a day out in nature. A hiking club that organises monthly hikes is bound to be a great hit with many in your team. Depending on your team, you may want to find trails of easier or more challenging difficulties. Trail Hiking Australia is the loving work of one guy documenting the country’s walking trails. You can find graded hikes, with durations and distances in your state and region.
Blindfold one member in a team and have them try to find a hidden object based on directions and commands from the rest of the team members. Each member of a team can take turns to find the object before their opponents in the other teams do. This exercise is great for helping a team develop better leadership and communication skills.
Every team is bound to have fun with a day of sports. Split the group up into teams and host events like sack races, long jump, relay races, tug-of-war and more throughout the day.
The possibilities for outdoor fun team building activities for the workplace are endless. From paintball to mini Olympics, from escape room games to adventure challenges, from bubble soccer to laser tag, there are many ways to have fun with colleagues.
With the right location and professional organisers who have more great ideas, you can help your team bond and develop into a powerhouse of productivity. Some great locations for team building activities include the beach, a public park, the city streets or the courtyard of a hotel. Make sure to run a check of the venue before D-day and decide what amenities and catering will be necessary.