Picture this, you’ve just started a new job and are heading in for your first team meeting. You’re a bundle of nerves and anxiousness but can’t wait to get started. You head in and take a seat at the desk amongst your new colleagues who chat amongst themselves leaving you on your own and feeling the pressure 😩
If you have a new employee or are just looking for a way to quickly energise your team in the workplace, team building activities have shown time and time again to be a great way to unite teams and get the creative juice flowing too.
Building a strong group where each team member knows each other really well is crucial to a successful business or organisation. There's loads of quick team building activities that have benefits that could impact the overall achievements of the company in the long-run. Let’s break them down as a refresher to why they’re important:
Benefits of Team Building Activities:
· Puts team members at ease and encourages them to be more positive
· Encourages joy and laughter which can work to help illuminate any tension
· Introduce new members in a fun and informal manner
· Encourages team members to share information about themselves in a way that enhances communication
· Creates a friendly, informal atmosphere before the formalities of the meeting begin
· Enhances group cohesion for teams that already know each other
When we think of team building activities, we can sometimes get carried away with team building activities and office games by planning an elaborate scavenger hunt or escape room, and don’t get us wrong – those are GREAT fun! We’ve even dedicated a whole blog post to some of our favourite games to play at work that will bring a team together.
Sometimes what you really need is a quick team building activity that everyone can partake in, doesn’t require much planning or organising and needs next to no equipment. That’s why we’ve created this list of some of the best tried-and-tested team building activities that will break the ice in under one hour.
Quick Team Building Activities to Break the Ice
1. Bucket List
Asking people what’s on their bucket list is a team building activity designed to help each member get to know each other better.
This is a simple short team building activity that everyone will have an answer for. By asking each team member of the group to share something on their bucket list. Some members might realise they have common interests, which can be great for automatically forming some strong bonds and positive workplace relationships.
Getting your employees to share what’s on their bucket list can also give you an understanding of what motives them too, both in the workplace as well as outside of work.
How to set it up: Simply ask each team member of the group to share one to three things on their bucket list. You might find that the answers lead to opportunity to provide value or advice to them outside of your work relationship.
2. Desert Island Disc Challenge
The Desert Island Disc is a popular radio show that has been running on BBC Radio 4 since 1942! It can also be a great quick team building game that can break the ice.
The Desert Island Disc challenge is simple, each employee has to share eight of their favourite songs to take with them to a deserted island. You could make the number less for a speedier version of the game, maybe three songs instead would work better.
This game also works as a great way to encourage some discussion and communication amongst new teams. Why have they picked those tracks? Not everyone will want to share their story’s but it’s a simple way to get the group talking and finding out if there is any common ground.
How to set it up: Decide on how many songs you want them to share and then get stuck in! Go around the room and see who surprises you. You might have some mega queen fans in the room – worth remembering for a team building karaoke night late 😉
3. Worst Job I’ve Ever Had
If you have some employees who are lucky enough to have always loved their jobs, good for them! But it’s likely some employees will have had to work through some hard times to get to the fantastic job they have now! 🙌
This is a quirky, funny and short team building game that works well at breaking the ice because it delves into the lives of each team member. It can reveal more about a person and gives them the platform to share a story and can end up creating some humour amongst the team.
How to set it up: Ask all of your team members to share some of their nightmare job stories and watch them engage and open up to one another.
4. Name Intros
This one is super help and can be great for helping you remember everyone’s names in a more discreet way– it’s a win-win!
Team building games really don’t have to be complicated, they can be as simple as A-B-C! This is a simple ice breaker that will make it easier to learn the names of each group member.
How to set it up: Go around the room and get each employee to introduce themselves with their name and a word beginning with the same later as their name. For example, ‘Smiley Sam’, ‘Dexterous Dan’ or ‘Polite Polly’. Get creative and help each other out if someone can't think of one for themselves!
5. Who is it?
This is a fun and simple team building guaranteed to break the ice and encourage some fun and laughter amongst the group.
The beauty of this game is that it relies on communication, making it easier for your team members to open up to each other in small or large groups. Who is it will promote positive team bonding and improve their communication skills. You could also easily make this fun game work if your employees are remote, making a fun way to engage the whole team in a virtual way too,
How to set it up: Each member writes down a short story or fact about themselves on a piece of paper which is the shuffled and redistributed amongst the team. Then a member of the group reads out what’s written on their card and the team have to try and find out who it belongs to. They can ask questions or head straight in for the guess. It’s a fun office team building guaranteed to break the ice.
6. 20 Question
This team building game can be a great team activity to encourage content specific learning if you tailor the questions to your company.
Almost everyone has heard of 20 questions, which makes it an easy game to play out of these quick team building activities. This team building game will support team members in developing their relationships while improving problem solving skills and learning in a different way. You can make it as simple as you want, or create the questions on a piece of paper yourself so they are about your company to really bring the team closer together while they learn about the company goals and values.
How to set it up: The instructions for this quick team game are simple. One person is given a piece of paper with a person or thing written on it that the other team members have to try to guess, using 20 questions to help them. The team member with the piece of paper can normally only answer yes or no until the questions run out. You could easily create your own cards about the company depending on the amount of time you have available to you.
7. Build a Tower
The best thing about quick team building activities is that they can be played at any time and can bring out the fun and happiness in the whole team!
For this quick team building game you’ll need some materials, for example blue tack and paper. The aim of the game is to create a tower using teamwork, problem solving and communication in a fun way to get to know on another better. This easy team building game encourages staff to work together and boosts creative thinking amongst all of your groups of employees.
How to set it up: You barely need to share instructions for this team building game! Split the whole team into groups with the same materials and set a time limit. Watch as they work together and get to know each other through a quick and easy game that is also great fun.
8. Alphabetical Order Word Game
We love when team building activities are enjoyable and super easy to get started and this is a great way to get the creative flow going.
This is a great game to play in small or large groups and can be finished in under one minute making it perfect if you're short for time but want to quickly bring the team together. It’s a fast-paced game that will is great for in person or virtual teams, making it fun for all team members.
How to set it up: Give the team or groups a theme for the game, for example fruit or cities, and get each member to say a word using the next letter of the alphabet. Even one round can be a great re-energiser that could be the perfect coffee break activity.
9. Picture Consequences
This simple pen and paper game can involve two or more players and could be a great opener before getting stuck into a meeting.
We love quick team building activities that end in laughter! This is another quick and easy game that doesn’t require any planning and is super fun. It also still relies on teamwork and coming together to get the final image!
How to set it up: Using a long piece of paper, each player takes turns to draw sections of a character starting at the head and then folds the piece of paper over for the next person to continue. In the end you’re left with an entertaining illustration that was created by the whole team.
10. If you were an animal, what would you be?
A timeless classic!
Quick team building activities are great when they bring some humour and light-heartedness into the office and this one will encourage members to laugh and enjoy each others company. This quick team building game can also reveal what your employees think about themselves, including their strengths or weaknesses. It's a great team building activity to play in small or large groups too!
How to set it up: Simply ask each of your team members what animal they would be! They might not all have an answer, but it's a simple and quick team building activity can allow groups to get to know one another better on a more personal level. Play this game whenever you like!
So now you know team building games are a great way to bring some fun into the office or to break the ice in new teams, and it doesn't even matter if you don't have a large amount of time! Get stuck in with these quick team building activities and back to this list for more examples 😁
Introducing fun games to play at work can be a great way to show appreciation to your employees, but you might want to go the extra mile and give them the recognition they deserve through a bespoke gift box.