Now, we know this year has been somewhat of a hindrance on team building activities, but it doesn’t mean we won’t be able to do it again or we can’t do other things virtually to help build team camaraderie. Hook Agency really prides itself on building a great culture for employees. We’ve done plenty of team-building activities before and during the pandemic and we’d love to share some of our favorites in Minneapolis and virtual events you can do anytime!
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Virtual Team Building Activities
Create your own bingo card game with work from home themes that everyone can participate in while they work remotely. This is an opportunity to make it funny and roast the new WFH trends while also doing something fun as a team, with a little healthy competition of course. Attach a fun little prize to it for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners!
Anyone remember the old “You Don’t Know Jack” CD-ROM games from the ’90s? No? Well, Jackbox Games is a modern version with dozens of online group games that you can play virtually or in-person. There’s a game called Quiplash that is like a virtual game of Cards Against Humanity but you make up the answers! If one person downloads the game via Stream, they can share their screen via video chat with the team and everyone plays on the phones by plugging in a code. This is great for virtual family gatherings now too!
Virtual Happy Hour
Can’t meet for the usual Friday post-work happy hour? No worries, hold it over Zoom! You can have a team meeting that is just relaxing and chill, you could catch up and hang out for however long you like! Make it fun and hold cocktail or cocktail making classes that everyone can join in on.
Group Webinar or Training
If your office focuses on continuing education and encourages employees to do webinars and other training, why not do it as a group? If you can purchase a webinar or one employee volunteers to give training on a topic, you can easily screen share and everyone can learn and give input as a group. That collaboration really brings teams together and maybe someone has their own way of teaching a subject that sheds new light on something, while everyone benefits.
Clue Virtual Murder Mystery
There are dozens of virtual games you can play as a group, and one, in particular, is the old favorite board game, Clue. There are three different packages you can order, each with its own hosting or # of participants included. This can be a fun way to learn a lot about your coworkers—particularly who you can and cannot trust. Ha!
While everyone is at home, it can be fun to assign some Instagram takeovers amongst your team. Not only do you learn a little more about each other and your work from home setups, but so can your followers. It humanizes you and can be a fun relatable activity to do together.
Virtual Stand-Up Competition
Now this one takes some courage. Do you have a couple of class clowns in your team? Or anyone looking to strengthen their public speaking skills? Make it a fun challenge for anyone interested to hold a stand-up comedy competition. You can have performers and audience members, and vote on who got the most laughs. Keep in mind, for the full effect you WILL want to un-mute yourselves. Nobody wants crickets.
Make up your own trivia game with themes and Jeopardy-style cards. If you want, you could even have a board with categories and the questions and screen share your board while one person plays the Alex Trebek of the team. Have people anonymously submit ideas or do your own trivia research online and put together some brain melters for your team! You’ll laugh and have a good time, all while learning a thing or two!
Weekly Coffee Dates
Amidst all of the business-related meetings and chats and calls, it can be hard to find the time to just chill and “hang out” with your coworkers like you did when you were in the office. Try making it a priority to schedule little coffee dates with your coworkers! The mornings when you would catch up in front of the coffee pot can still work, just virtually. It can be a fun way to get a little social time with one or a couple of people that we aren’t getting otherwise.
Fun Local Activities for Small Groups & Companies
Eventually, when we can gather together in public spaces, you’re going to want to know the best places to hang out with your friends, family, and coworkers. Some of the best team building activities include having fun together and being yourself, along with some healthy competition. Here are some of our favorite things to do and places to go for some good old team bonding.
Escape rooms and puzzle rooms are a blast to do with small coworker groups or family events. An escape room is like a real-life mystery-solving puzzle you have to do together. You are put into a room with a scenario that leads to solving clues and inevitably “escaping” or solving the puzzle within a time limit. For example, maybe you’ve in an army bunker and are tasked with diffusing a bomb. You and your team must scour the room for riddles and clues that lead to “diffusing the bomb” and if you complete the mission, you win! A few escape rooms around the Twin Cities are Riddle Room, Escape the Room, Trapped Puzzle Rooms, and The Escape Game.
TopGolf is like combining a driving range with a bowling alley. Groups of 2 to 6 people can gather in a “bay” kind of like a bowling lane where they can sit back, eat, drink, keep score, and take a few golf swings. Depending on where the ball lands in different sections mean more or less points. Compete against your coworkers all while brushing up on your golf swing.
Now is golf is less your thing, take the family out for bowling! Bowling had become one of the most covid-friendly things you could do as a family by having separate lanes distanced apart, masks required, and plenty of hand sanitizer. Some of the best bowling alleys in the city are Elsie’s in Northeast, Memory Lanes in Seward, Bryant Lake Bowl in LynLake, Flaherty’s in Arden Hills, and Park Tavern in St. Louis Park.
We had the immense pleasure of experiencing Extreme Sandbox as a team here at Hook, and it was even better than we could have imagined. Extreme Sandbox is what you call, heavy equipment adventures where individuals, birthday parties, or corporate groups can actually use big construction equipment for fun! We got the opportunity to operate bulldozers and excavators, and in the end, we even crushed an entire minivan using heavy machinery. It was a blast and one of the most unique team building events you’ve ever seen. Check them out, for sure!
Game Show Battle Room
There are a few national companies who have come up with the genius idea of building game show sets where coworkers or families can go and experience their own personal game show battle! If you grew up watching game shows like Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Double Dare—you name it, you will love this. They have everything from survey battles, to spin and win, and even Price is Right style pricing games. Check out their Minneapolis location here.
Vertical Endeavors or Minneapolis Bouldering Project
For a more athletic approach to team building, try your hands at rock climbing. Vertical Endeavors offers rock climbing walls with ropes and safety partners—what better way to build trust than having someone literally hold your safety rope and help you down a 50-foot wall. Minneapolis Bouldering Project, on the other hand, does not include harnesses and ropes but is just free climbing aka bouldering on much shorter walls and climbing structures. Both offer some great opportunities to try something while also getting to know your team!
Bad Axe Throwing
How about some team building that requires everyone to get in touch with their Norwegian Viking roots? What stemmed from a favorite Canadian pastime of throwing axes at targets, Bad Axe Throwing brings this treasured and mildly dangerous activity to cities around the country. Groups can compete by throwing axes at a target, kind of like giant darts, gaining points to compete against one another or just for the fun of it.
And last but not least, a good old fashioned game night can make for the perfect night of team building and bonding. One thing we probably miss the most during these last few months is close gatherings with friends, family, and coworkers. When the time comes when we can gather again, put together a game night with snacks, drinks, and some fun group games.
We encourage you to try some of these virtual team building activities and make the most out of working from home! Getting to know your coworkers with a fun activity is key to building trust, community, and camaraderie that can carry into the work you do. We would also love to know what activities you’ve done in your company to boost morale and bring the team together. Let us know in the comments! And remember to always have fun!