After years of trust falls and playing tug-of-war with coworkers, I get a gut-wrenching feeling anytime I hear the phrase “team building.” Yet, planning team building activities is no easy task. If it’s too athletic, someone is bound to be alienated. If it’s too difficult, people get cranky. If it’s too competitive, people become, well, too competitive.
To ensure that no one has to experience a team-wide juice cleanse again, here are five team building activities that aren’t lame:
Book a fishing trip with FishtripRenting a boat and taking the team on a fishing trip is always a win-win. On one hand, you can compete with colleagues for the biggest catch. On the other hand, if you’re not big into fishing, you can enjoy a relaxing day on the water. Fishing doesn’t require any special skills and, if you’re successful, you won’t need dinner plans. (And, the chefs on the team can show off!) Admittedly, booking a fishing vessel wasn’t too practical until we launched Fishtrip last year. Fishtrip is the Hotels.com of fishing trips, allowing seamen to rent out their vessels to interested team builders. Instead of having to manually track down an available fishing vessel, you can use their website to find availabilities in your area.
Challenge your fear of heights with high-roping
For teams looking to challenge their fear of heights, a high-roping course like Urban Ranger Camp could be an option. It’s mentally challenging without being too physically strenuous. This particular place offers high roping courses that are 50 meters (~160 feet) above the ground. They also offer the option to rent a helmet camera; the footage can then be used in a video montage and shared back at the office! It’s a huge adrenaline rush, worth a try, and it’s something your team will be talking about for years.
Work together to escape a zombie roomAnother awesome team building activity would be one of many different room escapes. Your team is locked in a room and tasked with following clues, solving puzzles, finding keys and, ultimately, escaping within 60 minutes.
There are a bunch of different companies offering variations of this same idea. My personal favorite is “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie,” where teams must solve the puzzles while avoiding being “eaten” by a chained zombie. The catch? The chain get’s longer every 10 minutes. Room escapes are all about cooperation and communication.
Shoot clay pigeons with laser shotgunsAnother novel idea is to arm your team with shotguns and shoot clay pigeons. Of course, not real shotguns—at least not real bullets! Companies like Xtreme offer clay pigeon shooting with laser guns. The pigeons are fitted to detect hits that are then logged on digital scoreboards. It’s competitive but totally safe.
Become a Werewolf and “eat” your coworkersIn case you’re looking to stay in the office, playing Werewolf is a very fun card game. Someone moderates and deals a single card to everyone. These cards determine the “roles” of each player: Some of whom are Werewolves, and the others are Villagers.
The game begins “at night” with everyone’s eyes closed. The Werewolves then secretly agree which Villager they’ll eat. During “the day,” Villagers try to discern who the Werewolves are before the next night when another Villager is lost. The game continues until the wolves are found or the village is empty. It’s a game of strategy and deception. Though the game is a bit tricky to learn at first, it becomes very addicting.