Team Building in the Workplace


If you’re looking for some quick and easy team building activities to try with your team then you’ve come to the right place.

This article is aimed at managers and team leaders and will give you some ideas on activities and challenges to try in the workplace. All activities require little or no equipment and can be provided in a meeting room.

Great businesses are built on the concept of teamwork – teamwork that promotes cooperation and cohesiveness over competition, teamwork in which everyone contributes a part to make a stronger whole. Every ‘team’ in our society, whether they work for a sales company, a manufacturing group or even a sports team, must work together to excel in their market and operate smoothly.

When an organisation has a goal, enthusiasm builds, and excitement grows as the group moves towards success. Every member of a successful team wants to involved and play a part in the development of the goal, because each is concerned with the outcome of the group’s efforts.

Team Building activities are a great way for developing cooperative learning, leadership skills and understanding goals. The challenges listed below are simple to deliver and require participants to interact with others, so even the most reserved person becomes an essential part of a group.

Participants will need to listen to others, creatively work together on ideas, and support and trust their colleagues. Team building activities are a great opportunity to increase the success of the team, motivate participants and keep everyone a lot happier!

So here are a few quick Team Building exercises for work to try:

The Challenges

The Human Knot

Standing in a circle, participants reach across and grab the hands of two other participants in the group. As a team they must then try to unravel the ‘human knot’ by untangling themselves without letting go of each other.


  • Arrange group members in a circle
  • Tell everyone to put their right hand up in the air, and then grab the hand of someone across the circle from them
  • Everyone then puts their left hand up in the air and grabs the hand of a different person
  • Check to make sure that everyone is holding the hands of two different people and that they are not holding hands with someone directly next to them
  • Explain to the group that they must now untangle themselves to make a circle without breaking the chain of hands

Helpful information:

  • Ensure that there is an even number of participants, if you have an odd number then select one person to be the leader and observe and direct the group from the side.
  • Give participants around fifteen to twenty minutes to complete the challenge (you’ll be surprised how quickly time passes).
  • If you have a large group, split them up into smaller groups. If there are too many people in a human knot it becomes extremely difficult.
  • You can give teams a time limit on this activity to make it more challenging. You can also mute/ blindfold participants throughout the activity.

Potential Learning Outcomes:

Cooperation, communication, planning, goal setting, reviewing performance, trust, listening skills, support.

Scrap Tower

  • Split the group into smaller teams (around 3-5 people). Give each group a newspaper and a roll of tape.
  • Brief the groups that they must build a free-standing tower to hold a weighted item off the ground. The team that completes the challenge and has the highest free-standing tower wins.
  • Careful planning, identifying roles as well as creative thinking are essential for this exercise.

Helpful information:

  • Give participants around thirty to forty minutes to complete the challenge. Depending on how difficult you want to make it and your learning outcomes, it may be a good idea not to warn them about any time remaining. However, if they are struggling then give them a quick prompt to take note of the time. There is normally a rush at the end to complete the build on time.
  • An excellent debrief point is how much time the team wasted during the design phase and their general organisational skills.ebook3d

I also recommend purchasing my eBook, ‘The Team Building Activity Book’. The book provides an easy to use, step-by-step guide to teaching team building with full descriptions for over 30 team building challenges including: printable challenger briefs, ready to use programmes and access to exclusive member downloads. Buy it now for $19.99 USD.


Potential Learning Outcomes:

Listening skills, creative thinking, support, cooperation, planning, time management, reviewing performance, leadership, delegation, organisational skills.

The Review

At the end of each challenge, work with the group to understand the key learning outcomes for that particular task. This is a great opportunity as a manager to identify what your team has learnt and what they can take away from the experience and apply in the workplace.

When reviewing your team building session, listen to your team and get feedback. Also get participants to provide feedback to each other to further develop communication, honesty and most importantly teamwork.

Try some of these team building exercises with your team – you’ll be surprised at how much your group can learn and how it can help your team become more productive employees.

Still a little unsure how to deliver a team building experience then check out my ‘Team Building in 60 seconds’ video.

If you have any questions, then send me a message.

Until next time, happy team building.



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