Beyond Work Happy Hours: 11 Bonding Activities to Boost Team Morale

Written by: Edrian Blasquino

Tight deadlines, high expectations, and a fast-paced working environment — you probably know these working conditions all too well. More often than not, these conditions may stress employees and make them feel disconnected from their colleagues.

While work happy hours have been particularly helpful for boosting camaraderie, there are several other activities and corporate events that can offer even greater benefits for teams. Here are some engaging team-building activities that go beyond your typical work happy hour to strengthen team dynamics and boost overall morale:

  1. Team-Building Workshops

Workshops that focus on skills including communication, problem-solving, and collaboration can be incredibly effective for teams. These workshops allow ample time for employees to learn more about each other’s working styles and how they can adapt to them.

These sessions can be tailored to the specific needs and dynamics of the team — providing a structured plan where employees learn and apply valuable skills that will be extremely beneficial in the workplace.

  1. Board Game Events

Who doesn’t love board games? They’re the perfect blend of fun and strategy, offering a refreshing way for employees to unwind and engage in healthy competition. 

Organizing corporate events at a board game cafe provides a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where team members can collaborate outside the usual work environment. At the same time, they create long-lasting memories together!

  1. Outdoor Adventures

When you spend 8 hours a day and 5 days a week in an office, there’s a tendency for your teams to feel restrained and need a change of scenery. The perfect solution to that is taking them outdoors!

Outdoor activities provide a refreshing break from the daily routine and help unify teams in the workplace. Activities such as hiking or kayaking promote teamwork and trust among your teams. Also, these activities allow your teams to see each other in a different light — away from the usual work context. 

As a result, they learn more about each other on a deeper level and become more comfortable with each other. As a bonus, these activities are often fun, making employees more energized and productive when they return to the office.

  1. Volunteer Projects

Many employees will find fulfillment when engaging in community service. These projects may vary. For example, employees can help at a local food bank, participate in a charity run, or organize a neighborhood clean-up.

When teams work toward a common and altruistic goal, they strengthen the bonds between them and provide a sense of shared purpose.

  1. Creative Workshops

Allow your teams’ creative juices to flow with some creative workshops. While these activities allow team members to express themselves, they also provide an avenue where employees can collaborate in a fun and relaxed environment. 

Some activities you can consider include painting classes, pottery workshops, or even a collaborative mural project where everyone shares their own input! These activities may even uncover any hidden talents your teams may have, helping build a culture of creativity and innovation in the workplace.

  1. Cooking Classes

Cooking can be a deliciously effective team-building activity. Everyone loves good food! Whether you host a competition-style cooking challenge or a collaborative challenge for team members to whip up a unique dish, these activities can encourage teamwork, creativity, and communication. 

The best part about this – everyone gets to share a scrumptious meal afterward! Plus, that opens another opportunity for the team to bond.

  1. Wellness Retreats

Investing in wellness retreats can greatly boost a team’s well-being. Consider activities like yoga sessions, meditation workshops, or even a weekend retreat that centers on relaxation and self-care. All of these help reduce stress and promote a healthy work-life balance. Simultaneously, it shows that a company values its employees.

  1. Book Clubs

When everyone is glued to their screens in the office all day, what they need is time with more books. Starting a book club can be a simple yet impactful way to bring all employees together.

Switch up the type of genres and themes that the books cover — some of them can be fictional, related to self-development, or even relevant to your industry. The variety makes book clubs something that employees can look forward to, while at the same time fostering a culture of continuous learning.

  1. Escape Rooms

If you’re thinking of some activities that require a good mix of fun and challenge, then you’ll find escape rooms to be a perfect option. Teams must work together to solve a puzzle and escape the room within a time limit. This type of activity promotes quick thinking, collaboration, and effective communication — making it an excellent choice for team bonding.

  1. Virtual Activities

For remote or hybrid teams, virtual activities can be just as effective. Some options include online trivia nights or other collaborative virtual games where team members can bond and collaborate. Hosting these activities regularly helps teams maintain connections and feel included.

  1. Sports Leagues

Sure, not everyone can be sporty, but organizing a sports league promotes physical fitness and team spirit. Whether it’s football, basketball, or volleyball, participating in sports encourages teamwork, strategic thinking, and healthy competition. Also, it’s a great way to blow off some steam after a long day at work.

Final Thoughts

These 11 activities all serve as excellent opportunities for team bonding and morale boosting. By moving beyond the usual happy hour, you hit multiple birds with one stone — employees work together, grow together, and forge stronger relationships.