When team building activities come to mind, individuals automatically think of expensive getaways to the beach or to equally expensive team building camps. What most people don’t know is that there are lots of inexpensive team building activities that can be done in the comfort of the employees’ offices.
Some inexpensive team building activities include the following:
- Two truths and a lie
- The minefield
- Salt and pepper
- The one question
- Card tower
Two truths and a lie
Duration: 15–30 minutes
This particular activity is a great way for employees to get to know more about their colleagues.
The activity starts by having everyone write down two truths and one lie about themselves on a piece of paper, without telling their colleagues which is which. Afterwards, have the team members go around the room and have them convince each colleague that their lie is actually a truth.
After 15 minutes, team members should gather together. Each one would repeat their three statements and make the other members guess which statement is a lie and are truths. Team leaders can stir things up a bit by integrating a reward system for members who accurately guess the truths and lies of every team member.
Duration: 30 minutes–1 hour
The minefield is a good way for employees to build trusting relationships with their colleagues while also improving communication among team members.
To start, an ideal location would be somewhere with a wide empty space, such as a vacant conference room or a wide hallway. The team leader will then distribute “mines” in the space, which can be anything from bottle caps and paper clips to cups or bottles.
Then, the team members will be paired into teams of two. One member of each pair (Partner A) will be blindfolded while the other (Partner B) directs their blindfolded pair’s direction. Partner B is not allowed to touch Partner A; he or she must also stay off the minefield. Both team members must work together to make sure that the blindfolded person is able to walk across towards the end of the minefield without stepping on the mines.
Salt and pepper
Duration: 15–30 minutes
The salt and pepper activity is fun and ideal for ice-breakers.
Making sure that the team is even-numbered, divide the team into pairs. The facilitator or the team leader will then write down various well-known pairs of things—such as cookies and cream, peanut butter and jam, black and white—on slips of paper and tape each slip of paper down on the backs of team members.
Team members will then determine what word is taped to their backs by asking yes or no questions to other team members. Each team member must be able to ask the right questions to easily determine what their word is. After determining what word is taped on their back, they will have to look for their partner. For an added bonus, facilitators may choose to have each partner know three facts about each other and these facts can be discussed after everyone has partnered up.
The one question
Duration: 15–20 minutes
This ice-breaker activity is a great way for employees to interact with co-workers while allowing them to work with each other beyond their office tasks. Not only will this encourage communication among team members, but this will also teach team members how to make crucial decisions even under pressure.
For starters, the facilitator will decide what theme can be used by each pair. These may include situations such as marriage, babysitting, driving or leadership. Afterwards, the facilitator will pair up the team members with each other and assign a theme to each team.
After assigning themes per team, the facilitator will ask the one question that determines whether or not a person is suitable for the group’s theme. For example, if a certain team was assigned driving as their theme, they have to think of a singular question which will help them determine immediately if a person is suited for driving.
Duration: 15–30 minutes
This activity enables team members to bond with their colleagues while stimulating some much-needed creativity that they can hopefully apply in the workplace.
The whole team must be first divided into teams of up to 5 members. Afterwards, each team will be given a pack of playing cards and a pair of scissors. Each team must then devise a way to build the tallest tower using only the pack of cards and scissors, thinking of ways on how to build their tower using only the provided materials.
Business owners must keep in mind that employees are the life and blood of their business—it is important to always keep them motivated and satisfied in a good working environment, making sure that the business grows with them.