Looking for ways to instill a team ethic, boost morale and motivation, or just encourage employees to come out of their shells? Then consider a few fun team-building activities from time to time. They’ll help you bring the group together in a lighthearted, collaborative way.

The key is to focus on enjoyable yet challenging activities that push your employees to find creative solutions. At the same time, they’ll get a gratifying break and gain a fresh perspective on their jobs and each other.

Here are some fun team-building activities to use with your team — and each should take an hour or less.

The obstacle field

Goal: To improve trust and communication among team members.

Activity: Find an empty room or hallway, or head outdoors to an open field, and place obstacles around the space. They can be cones, empty bottles or other objects. Divide your group into two-person teams, and blindfold one member. The blindfolded team member must then try to navigate the obstacle field without tripping over any of the objects. The partner provides verbal guidance.

breaking team monotony with obstacle field

Yin and yang

Goal: To improve communication in the workplace and build team spirit. This is also an effective icebreaker technique for new employees.

Acitivity: First, ask team members to think of a common pair of items — for example, macaroni and cheese, yin and yang, or jacket and tie. Have them write the name of each item on separate pieces of paper.

Tape one piece of paper to each participant’s back — making sure no one gets their own suggestions. To deduce what’s taped there — and find their other half — participants mingle and ask each other yes-or-no questions. Of all the fun team-building activities on the list, this one probably takes the least amount of prep time. So it’s especially suited for team leaders who are time-strapped.

breaking team monotony

Potluck lunch

Goal: To promote camaraderie and celebrate group achievements or milestones.

Activity: Organizing a potluck lunch is a fun way to encourage communication among team members. Some may want to discuss aspects of projects they don’t have time to broach in the typical workday, and the relaxed atmosphere can also lead to conversations around people’s activities and interests outside of the office.

Whether it’s a workplace anniversary or just a random Friday, ask each person to bring a dish that can be shared with the team. Make it even more fun by choosing a theme, like a fiesta or ballpark snacks.

breaking team monotony with potluck lunch

Admirable traits

Goal: To showcase everyone’s strong suits. A great morale booster.

Activity: Assign an envelope to each individual and fill it with blank slips of paper. For the next week, encourage team members to write down something they appreciate about each person (excluding themselves). At the end of the week, everyone takes an envelope (not his own) and shares aloud the positive things that were written. Once the exercise is complete, everyone receives his or her own envelope of the affirmative thoughts coworkers wrote about them.

breaking team monotony

There is no shortage of fun team-building activities out there. The next time your group gets together — whether for a skills-building course, brainstorming session or simply for the regular Friday meeting — consider doing one of the activities above. You’ll likely find that with just a little bit of time, you can help the team feel more comfortable working together.

For even more great tips that you can use to build teamwork in the workplace, check out one of these articles: