What does the workplace need? The emphasis doesn’t lie with more work or harder work. The point is we need team building activities.

We’ve all heard stories about people who can’t stand co-workers who clock in and clock out every day hardly talking to anyone unless they absolutely need to. As a fellow employee, this can become very challenging. This means workload will be distributed unevenly causing overwork, and overload.

And this happens all the time. The sad truth is that most people hate their jobs, and the reason is not what they do. Unfortunately, it’s because they don’t get along with others in the workplace. Mainly, I believe, this is due to misunderstandings and lack of communication.

Why teamwork is important in any industry

A level of attention to open and effective communication is reflected in the healthcare industry, where even the slightest miscommunication could mean the difference between life and death. Effective communication is crucial not only in providing high-quality care but also in the healthcare industry as a whole.

Co-workers communicating frequently and working together is the key to survival. When healthcare providers are effective communicators, patients are more likely to follow through with medical recommendations and adopt healthy behaviors that are important to their recovery.

As you see, communication is key. But not everyone is good with communication due to the lack of positive environments and activities. Effective and open communication can only be achieved when team members have successfully built a good rapport.

However, rapport doesn’t happen overnight. So, here are some team building activities that can help in achieving that team bond you are aiming for.

Try these team building activities to make your workplace more tolerable:

1. Potluck

As cliché as potluck may be, there is a great reason why it is an all-time favorite. It is so easy to organize that it can be held on a regular basis. Potlucks are also effective mood boosters because, after all, happiness is an immediate side effect of having good food.

So, how does the potluck work? Basically, each employee brings a food dish to compliment another dish. A time is set aside for eating and communicating. This is a time for both exchanging pleasantries and for talking about improvements in the workplace.

You can have so much fun with this activity by enjoying good food, great co-workers, and a peaceful environment, which is sometimes the opposite of the stress during worktime.

2. Water balloon toss

In the summer, take the time with your co-workers and go out in the sun. Fill up water balloons just like you did as a child. Form pairs and have them throw balloons back and forth to each other. With every successful toss ask them to step back. The last pair with a balloon wins.

Maybe the balloons will fall unbroken, or maybe they will pop sending water all over you. But that’s the fun of it. It’s exciting, and yet unpredictable. Unlike the pressure of the workplace, this unpredictability can be explored.



3. Egg drop

Many of us have done this in school: Squeeze out all your co-workers’ creative juices by asking them to make a device that will keep a raw egg intact when dropped by a few stories.

Listen, in school, they do this, even my own children have done this task and it was exhilarating for them. You can use any sort of material, container, or imaginative device to protect your egg. Have fun and see who makes it to the bottom unscathed. It’s something you can talk about on the way back to your work station.

4. Community service

Find time to give back to the community and the less fortunate people in your area and create an activity that not only brings you and your team together but also serves a cause.

You can organize toys for tots drive, helping needy children receive a bit of joy during the holidays. You can go to local hospitals and visit lonely patients, bringing small gifts, if allowed. There are so many things you can do to help your community and help build rapport with your fellow employees as well.

5. Who is it?

Get to know everyone in a fun way through this guessing game. Have everyone write one secret and then pool it in a box. Pull each secret one at a time and read it out to the team. The team members will then guess who they think the secret belongs to.

Now, be careful. Always make sure those secrets aren’t too scandalous. If you do this the right way, you could develop an uproar of laughter, releasing stressful emotions and gaining energy at the same time.



6. Exhaust

Pick a random category and have each member mention something that falls under it within five seconds. Repeatedly go through everyone and only change the category when someone says something that is already mentioned or takes more than five seconds to answer.

This is a new one for me, but I think I might try it with my family as well. You see, team building is so much like developing relationships with a family. With this game, you develop those modes of communication and exercise your brain as well.

6. Don’t smile

Have everyone sit in a circle and get them to stare at each other as long as possible without smiling. The last person to smile wins. Now, can you imagine how hard this would be? It’s even hard to play the staring game too, which could also be another option for a game.

So, find a time, maybe when everything seems to be going smoothly, and sit down to loads of fun. All you need are a few people and a few faces….faces that will try their hardest not to even grin. Good luck!

Team building activities strengthen the workplace

As mentioned in our post ‘8 Fun Conversation Games for Adults to Help You Break the Ice’ there is nothing worse than having to sit through in awkward silence in a social situation – and this is doubly true for work engagements. Unhappy co-workers spell unproductive workplaces. I hate to say it, but it’s true.

While a good working environment is ideal in any industry, some fields require good, open communication and absolute trust among individuals – especially when faced with stressful situations. In legal teams, Special Counsel notes that paralegals work closely with attorneys to compile and draft reports and discoveries, interpret data, and prepare all parties for litigation by way of consistent communication.

A study published in the IOSR Journal of Business and Management revealed that there is a strong and significant connection between teamwork and work performance among employees. When team members have a good relationship, they form a better rapport that allows them to communicate effectively.

Did you know that the happiest co-workers are the ones who conduct social activities every once in a while? It’s true. You can’t just work all the time without becoming both physically and mentally exhausted. Even paralegals and attorneys should take a break sometime.

If you can think of any other activities for team building the workplace, that’s great! After all, when you enjoy it, it’s not really working at all, right?

Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

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