Team-building exercises are usually met with much groaning and eye rolling by company staff. The ultimate objective of these exercises is to get the team to gel and bond as a group in order to foster smoother working relationships. But forcing employees to reveal intimate (or useless) personal details to others in socially awkward scenarios isn’t going to help.

Instead, the activities have to be exciting and engaging enough to break people out of the shells they wear at work. Only then will team members come to know one another in a genuine fashion and bond. Below are five fun, unorthodox team activities for your organization to try:

Survival/Adventure Course

They say you never know someone until their life is on the line. While you may not want to go that far for the sake of the company, there are ways you can simulate the experience. Adventure and survival courses put groups through taxing physical and mental activities that require cooperation in order to succeed. Rope courses and wilderness treks are just a couple of potential scenarios.


Nothing relieves stress better than giving someone the chance to shoot a coworker without getting into trouble. The beauty of paintball is that you can organize people either into pairs or trios to encourage better cooperation between specific team members, or into larger groups for inter-department mayhem.


If you have employees who are skittish about the outdoors, bowling provides a great alternative. This sport emphasizes both individual skill and team contributions. Even better, good bowlers will (and should) make an effort to coach lagging teammates in order to win. This gives reverses roles and gives the trainers valuable teaching experience.

Multiplayer Video Games

Teams composed of younger or tech-savvy members will be able to use video games to create some excellent team-building experiences. Even those who aren’t into video games will be able to join in with a little coaching (that can even be part of the activity itself). Managers can organize team-based tournaments of whatever game fits the team’s fancy, or even suggest interesting group scenarios like flying a starship through space.

Going Out for Drinks

Sometimes all you need to bring someone out of their shell is a change in the environment. An after-hours trip to the pub puts people in an informal setting where they don’t have to worry as much about rank, responsibility, or team dynamics. For maximum effectiveness, select a place that is relatively quiet, where people can speak comfortably, and with plenty of options for food or drinks—including something for the teetotalers.

Make sure to check out our blog – it has more ideas on how to inspire your team.

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