25 Inventive Team-Building Activities

Team putting puzzle pieces together

Team building can be humdrum – but it doesn’t have to be. Boost staff spirits and build camaraderie with one of these unforgettable team-building activities.

I’ll never forget the first team-building activity I was asked to participate in when I joined Robert Half, TCG’s parent company, as an intern more than 10 years ago. It took place during a Corporate Communications department offsite meeting in Half Moon Bay, Calif. The setting was idyllic and I was excited to be included in the brainstorming and strategy workshops despite being a newbie, until …

We were asked to split into groups and come up with and perform a song about the company. My heart started pounding. For one, I’m tone-deaf and a horrible singer. And two, I knew I had to suck it up and rise to the challenge or risk being seen as poor sport by my new boss and team.

In the end, I survived and shared some laughs despite my initial anxiety. And, more important, I got to know my new coworkers better. All this to say, it pays to get creative when planning team-building activities.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. The Creative Group recently asked 400 advertising and marketing executives to share the most unusual team-building activity they’ve participated in or heard of a company participating in. Here are some of their responses.

Unusual Team-Building Activities

  • “A dance-off.”
  • “We had a psychic come and do readings.”
  • “Getting pedicures.”
  • “Indoor skydiving and surfing.”
  • “A one-week retreat in the desert.”
  • “An improv class.”

Some of the examples prove team-building activities don’t have to be elaborate to be effective. Often, a simple game or outing can do the trick:

  • “Speed meeting – like speed dating.”
  • “We had to tell everyone something about ourselves using movements and not speaking.”
  • “Making up a song about the company.”
  • “A painting class.”

Some teams broke the ice by having employees share their answers to the following questions:

  • “If you could be any superhero, who would you choose?”
  • “If you could be a vegetable, which one would you be?”
  • “What animal would you be and why?”
  • “If you had to change one thing about the world, what would it be?”

Others opted to engage in a friendly competition:

  • “An office tournament.”
  • “We held a cubicle decorating contest.”
  • “Everyone had to hop on one foot and the last person standing was named the winner.”

A handful of companies preferred to physically get outside the box for their team building:

  • “River rafting.”
  • “Climbing a mountain.”
  • “Participating in a 200-mile relay across the state with 20 people.”
  • “Going to a Renaissance fair.”
  • “We went into the wilderness and had to figure out how to get back by relying on each other.”

Finally, these teams prove you can build camaraderie, while doing good:

  • “We put on costumes and visited patients at a children’s hospital.”
  • “We put together food packages for a nonprofit organization.”
  • “We hosted an ice cream social for another department.”

So, what’s the wackiest or most unusual team-building activity you’ve participated in? Does it top any of the examples on this list?

Related content: Cultivating Collaboration: 5 Team-Building Activities for Work