Outdoor team building activities hold some advantages over indoor ones: a new environment, the feeling of freedom that comes with being out in the open, and a more extensive list of possible activities. However, there are times when it’s not feasible to organize outdoor events—when there is limited time or the weather is not conducive enough. In cases like these, there is no alternative but to organize an indoor event. Luckily, there are a number of indoor team building activities that bring as much fun (and are as effective) as outdoor games.
Here are some interesting indoor team building activities:
The Egg Drop
For this activity, team members are shared into groups and each group is given an uncooked egg. Using supplies found in the office e.g. tape, newspapers, packing material, rubber bands, pencils etc., each group has to build a contraption around the egg that will protect it from an 8-foot high fall. Ideally, each group will be given 20-30 minutes to build their “device” and afterward, the egg is dropped. The group with the unbroken egg wins. This activity is potentially messy, so the egg should be dropped in an area that can be easily cleaned up.
The Egg Drop offers unbridled fun and all group members get an opportunity to chip in. Bonding in a stress-free setting and solving a problem together is very good for team building.
Truths and Lies
This game is especially effective for new teams where members have not had the opportunity to know each other fully. It doesn’t require any objects and all the participants have to do is sit in a circle and communicate. Each person has to say three things about themselves: 2 truths and a lie. The lie must be believable and not exaggerated. After everyone has revealed the 3 things, the team members have to guess which was false.
This helps co-workers learn more about each other, removes the tendency to make snap judgments, and even the habitually quiet people are compelled to share one or two facts about themselves.
This team building activity is usually organized with a length of rope and 2 poles on a beach. With some creativity, however, it may also be set-up indoors. All that’s needed is a doorway and some tape. The doorway is taped across/horizontally at a height of say, 2.5 feet and then again at 5 feet. The workers are then split into teams and each team has to get all its members across the doorway without touching the tape. As the game goes on, the obstruction may be made more complicated if need be.
To complete this task, team members have to work together to achieve a common goal. This fosters cooperation and builds trust among workers.
What’s My Name?
Participants are given the name of a famous celebrity or icon e.g. Rihanna, LeBron James, or SpongeBob. The name is written on a Post-It note and pasted on their foreheads. Each person has to go around asking their fellow workers a “yes” or “no” question that will help them figure out what name is pasted on their heads. You can only ask one question from each colleague and if the answer is not enough to decipher the name pasted on your head, you have to move on to another colleague.
This activity encourages dialogue between workers that may otherwise have no reason to relate and before long, a beneficial rapport is established.
The Storyline incorporates creativity with cooperation amongst co-workers by compelling them to come up with a story collectively. The first participant starts the story with, say, “John woke up in the middle of the night and…”. The next participant then continues the story with a sentence that connects with the former e.g. “…picked up his phone angrily from the nightstand, answering gruffly, ‘hello’…”.
This serves to improve workers’ listening skills and concentration. In the end, all participants would have successfully come up with a story that combines all their creative efforts.
As shown in the examples outlined above, indoor games can be very interesting with the right idea and approach. While planning one, however, it is important that the activities are not complex and protracted. If they are, the workers may get bored and lose interest.