A Guide to Choosing the Best Team Building Activities Near You

CoffeePals Team
June 7, 2024

If you’ve been typing in “team building activities near me” on your web browser, then you’re on the right track — team-building exercises are undoubtedly one of the best ways to get your team working together more efficiently.

But planning team-building activities isn’t just about picking a random activity around your location. A successful team-building activity requires thoughtful planning, especially if you genuinely want to enjoy its benefits. 

We’ve actually put together comprehensive guides on team-building activities you can do in different cities:

Adding some employee socialization in the form of team-building exercises could improve team communication by 50%. These activities also give team members a sense of belonging, which will make them 54% more likely to stay in the organization.

From problem-solving escapades to laughter-filled adventures, let's journey to discover the perfect blend of fun and purpose. In this article, we’ll guide you through the art and science of selecting team-building activities that are not only fun but also contribute to a thriving and efficient work environment.

Things to Consider in Choosing a Team Building Activity

Before settling on an activity based solely on what’s near you, consider other factors that could decide your initiative’s success. Here are some things you need to consider as you hunt for the best team-building activity near you.

Objectives and Goals

While team-building activities are often fun, they should have clear objectives that align with your organizational goals. Are you planning an activity to solve the evident disengagement of team members? Do you see a dip in their productivity?

Objectives guide the selection of appropriate activities. Knowing what you want to achieve allows you to choose team-building exercises that directly address the identified goals.

Clearly defined objectives serve as a roadmap, guiding the planning and execution process toward specific outcomes. Without clear goals, the activity may lack purpose and fail to address the team's specific needs.

Team Preferences and Dynamics

One of the toughest challenges in handling a team is dealing with different people with different personalities. This means that not everyone might appreciate and learn from the activities you plan for them.

Recognizing the diverse preferences within your team ensures that the chosen activities are inclusive. Considering various personality types, interests, and comfort levels increases the likelihood of active participation from all team members.

Here are some ways to gauge what your team members’ preferences are:

  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Individual meetings or check-ins
  • Focus group discussions
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Feedback sessions
  • Virtual coffee chats 

By understanding what resonates with your team, you can tailor activities to match their preferences, making the experience more engaging and enjoyable.

Logistics and Practical Considerations

Kudos on doing a search for team-building activities near you! Considering the location ticks off one item from a long list of logistical and practical factors that impact your activity’s success.

Other factors that you’d have to think about include:

  • Budget: How much is the total cost? Are your plans possible with the given budget?
  • Venue: Can it accommodate the size of your team? How accessible is it? How’s the availability? Can you book it in advance?
  • Equipment and materials: What materials do you need for the activities? Will the venue provide these, or do you have to bring your own?
  • Transportation: How’s the transportation going to and from the venue? Will your team members take care of their transportation, or will you provide one for the entire team?
  • Food and drinks: How many meals do you need to serve? Does anybody have any dietary restrictions and preferences?
  • Weather: If it’s an outdoor activity, what contingencies do you have in place in case it rains or gets too hot?
  • Health and safety: Are any rough activities requiring additional precautions? Is there a first-aid kit on site?

These considerations directly impact the participant experience. When logistics are well-managed, participants can focus on the activities and objectives, leading to a more positive and engaging team-building experience.

team building activities near you

Best Practices in Planning a Team-Building Activity

Planning a successful team-building activity requires thoughtful consideration and strategic planning. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it ain’t a walk in the park either. 

To make it easier for you, we’ve put together some practical tips that could help you come up with awesome team-building activities that your team will enjoy and learn from.

1. Create a clear timeframe.

Timing is everything, regardless of whether you’re still in the planning stage or are ready to execute your plans on the day.

Before the event, consider how much time you have. The more elaborate your plans are, the more time it would require to go into every detail.

You’d also have to consider whether you plan to facilitate the entire activity or hire a facilitator like teambuilding.com to save time and energy. If you choose the latter, coordinate closely with the facilitator to see if you need to rearrange schedules and prepare other requirements beforehand.

When it comes to on-the-day activities, establishing a clear timeframe helps efficiently execute your plans. Knowing the start and end times of the team-building activity allows participants to plan their schedules accordingly. It also promotes a sense of responsibility and respect for others' time, contributing to a positive and organized atmosphere.

2. Know your team.

While planning a team-building activity may help your team members get to know each other better, having at least a foundation of trust and familiarity is critical even before the activity begins. After all, a team-building exercise is not the only thing that allows your team to bond; small daily habits and routines are often helpful, too.

A team-building activity that resonates with the team can also positively impact morale. When team members feel that their preferences and needs are considered, it contributes to a more positive and motivated team. 

Team-building activities relevant to the team's specific context are more likely to be embraced and valued by team members. A strong team relationship isn’t something you can build through a one-size-fits-all approach. Knowing your team allows you to avoid generic or off-the-shelf solutions and instead design activities that specifically address the dynamics and challenges of your unique team.

3. Be inclusive.

Being inclusive as you plan your team-building activities ensures that all team members feel welcome, valued, and comfortable participating.

How can you be intentional about this? Start by encouraging team members to provide input and suggestions for team-building activities. This ensures that diverse perspectives and preferences are considered, creating a sense of ownership and inclusion from the outset. 

Be mindful of physical and cognitive abilities when selecting activities, and choose venues accessible to all team members. Consider team members' cultural backgrounds and sensitivities and recognize that not all team members have the same comfort levels with social interactions.

If your team includes remote members, plan activities that can be easily adapted for virtual participation. Leverage technology to include remote team members in discussions, challenges, and collaborative activities.

4. Have a clear feedback process.

Encouraging feedback is crucial to understanding your team members' experiences during a team-building activity. Consider using anonymous surveys to gather feedback. Anonymity can encourage team members to share their honest opinions without fear of repercussions.

Schedule a post-activity debrief or group discussion to allow team members to share their experiences openly. A facilitated discussion can provide valuable insights and allow team members to learn from each other's perspectives.

Frame feedback questions positively and constructively. Encourage team members to highlight both positive aspects and areas for improvement. For example, ask, "What did you enjoy the most?" and "Are there any areas where we can enhance the experience?"

Acknowledge and appreciate the feedback received. Let team members know their perspectives are valued, and express gratitude for their willingness to share their thoughts.

5. Be flexible.

No matter how meticulous your planning process is, there will always be unavoidable circumstances that could force you to go against your original plans. This applies both during the planning process and on the day of the activity.

Flexibility allows you to adapt quickly to unforeseen circumstances, ensuring the team-building experience can proceed smoothly. Of course, it’s also best to prepare for different scenarios and have contingency plans in place.

What kind of changes should you prepare for?

Time constraints are typical in these activities. There might be unexpected delays as the activities happen. Being flexible allows you to adjust the duration and pacing of activities based on the available time.

There might also be spontaneous moments or ideas that can contribute significantly to the success of a team-building activity. Being flexible allows you to embrace these unexpected opportunities, fostering creativity and innovation within the team.

fun team building

Sample Team Building Activities to Try

Here’s a list of some common team-building activities to get you started on your planning. Feel free to be as creative as possible and add personal touches to these activities as needed.

  • Communication circles
  • Obstacle courses
  • Escape room challenges
  • Human knot
  • Paper tower challenge
  • Collaborative art projects
  • Team-building Bingo
  • Community service projects
  • Cross-functional collaboration exercises
  • Book or movie clubs
  • Trivia nights or game nights
  • Team lunch or dinner
  • Karaoke night
  • Themed dress-up days

It’s also encouraged to have online team-building sessions regardless of whether you’re a hybrid or fully remote team. There are so many activities and icebreakers that can help build strong connections within the group.

Virtual coffee breaks are a great way to establish trust within the team. The casual conversations about non-work-related topics allow team members to get to know each other better.

Virtual coffee chat platforms like CoffeePals simplify the process by adding other features that facilitate team building. The Coffee Maker feature, for example, encourages team members to voice their opinions about different topics in their team channels. 

Sign up for a free trial of CoffeePals now and help your team build stronger bonds.

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