15 Company Outings Ideas for Team Building and Bonding

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Company culture today matters more than ever. Modern professionals put a high value on positive coworker relationships and teams that support each other. While coworkers may meet as strangers, your company will thrive if they can grow as friends. 

Team outings are an excellent way to build that essential foundation of trust, communication, and understanding that can strengthen the bonds between colleagues. By leaving the office environment, coworkers can get to know each other as people, learning to appreciate one another's strenghts and shared challenges. 

Sharing experiences and fun, colleagues can create lasting memories that will help them bridge differences and find commonalities they would have never suspected to discover in a formal environment.

This blog will explore a wide range of possible company outing ideas that cater to different interests, budgets, and ability levels. Each outing can be tailoured for both inclusivity and excitement, allowing you to build a strong team and enhance your workplace dynamics.

From shared adventures to creative workshops, get ready to discover the perfect team outing ideas that will inspire, engage, and motivate your team to new heights of collaboration and success!

Things to remember when planning employee outings

  • Accessibility
  • Individual Budgets
  • Overall Inclusivity

Outings are a wonderful way to bring people together, but every outing you plan should meet three essential criteria. The first is accessibility: make sure everyone is physically able to participate. This means choosing company outing ideas that don't require too much physical activity, or for everyone to confirm that they are able to do the activity.

The second is budget. Make sure everyone can afford the outing, even if travel is the only paid feature. Lastly, double-check to make sure you're hitting your overall inclusivity requirements including culture, distance, and scheduling.

1) Retreat scavenger hunt

Company retreats are a long-standing tradition for many businesses and something your team already looks forward to. But how do you bring your team together beyond the usual corporate activities? One of the best ways to turn a retreat into a team-building activity is with a scavenger hunt. Group your entire staff into teams and assign them a list of interesting things to find, do, and photograph over the course of the retreat. The team who most completes their list wins a prize.

How you set up the teams will inspire the bonds created. You can use exiting work teams, mix it up with interdepartmental teams, or assign teams randomly with a drawing. We also suggest having multiple tiers of fun prizes for winners, ties, and runners-up.

2) Murder mystery dinners

Everybody loves a mystery, especially that moment when the detective gathers everyone for the big explanation. At a murder mystery dinner team outing, each attendant is given a role and arrive to a staged murder with clues. Over the course of the evening, events are revealed and the killer may be identified through a thrilling and immersive narrative.

This is a great way to invite your entire team out to dinner and give them something special to share. Not only will it be a night to remember, it will also challenge your staff to work together in discussion and investigation to solve the mystery. 

3) Egg drop challenge

Take your team to a brightly lit workshop and give them a seemingly random collection of supplies: Toothpicks, marshmallows, masking tape, popsicle sticks, and so on, along with a single egg. Those who have never played an egg drop challenge before won't know what to think until the rules are explained: Build a structure that will keep the egg safe when dropped from three feet above the ground. They can build bridges, baskets, or padded cages, so long as the egg survives.

This challenge of teamwork, friendly competition, and ingenuity is a great way to bring people together for team-building and unlock their mechanical creativity. Colleagues will discover each other's strengths and potential in a way they've never seen before and a good time will be had by all. 

4) Attend a local festival

Local festivals are a great team outing opportunity to enjoy a day out together where everyone can find something to enjoy. Some people go to festivals for the food, some for the local art, and some for the parking lot carnival rides. Give everyone a ticket and meet up at key point like lunchtime and scheduled shows to enjoy one of your local community's most enjoyable events.

Depending on your brand, you might even book a booth and let your employees brainstorm, plan, and implement your own fun contribution. Take turns manning the booth and wandering the carnival having a wonderful time.

5) Tour a company or partner factory

Want a fun outing idea that deepens your team's understanding of the brand in addition to bringing them together? Tour a company factory, or the factory of a supplier or close brand partner. Factories are fascinating places for a company outing at the heart of industry and commerce. They are the source of all the things we buy and sell, and your employees may get a kick out of seeing "how the cheese is made" as they walk through and delight each other with interesting questions and curious explorations.

6) Guided historic city tours

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Every city has a rich history, and some more than most. A guided historic tour is a great addition to any company trip or something you can do as a single fun company outing in the historical district of your own home city. You can take your employees on a late-night ghost walk, discussing the various urban legends surrounding older buildings in the city, or explore interesting landmarks regarding time periods that were significant while the city was growing.

A historical tour is even better if the story of the city somehow closely relates to your business or industry, inspiring employees to share their own lifelong interests in the field and relate to one another over the shared history.

7) Laser tag, Go karts, and arcade

Looking for team-building activities with a little excitement and child-like joy? Take your team members to an entertainment complex that includes activities like go kart racing, laser tag, and a flashing arcade. Don't pick just one -everyone has unique preferences for this type of entertainment, and accessibility may be an unspoken issue for physical activities. Instead, invite everyone on a company outing to enjoy a bucket of activity tokens to spend as they please. Organise laser tag teams to play with and against each other in round after round of blacklight-enhanced fun, encourage wild antics on the go kart track and hand-out prizes for arcade high-scores. 

And if some just want to hold down the pizza bar while their friends frolic go kart racing and playing laser tag, they will become the hubs of delighted and exhausted conversation. There are always a few in every group.

8) Pottery and painting classes

For a more relaxing afternoon, creative workshops are a wonderful way to bring everyone together with a shared challenge, and an alternative to the classic cooking class. Most people are not experts at throwing pots or painting pictures, but it's fun to try together. You can try several creativity-based company outing ideas with your team. Sip & Paint workshops are a fun trend involving drinking and canvases where everyone does their best to paint the same thing while getting tipsy. Pottery workshops tend to be more free-form, inviting coworkers to make whatever their imagination and fingertips can throw together and have fun with the result.

9) Improvisation theater workshop

Sometimes, team bonding is about helping your whole team work together more smoothly. One of the best types of company outings for encouraging fearless collaboration is improvisation theater workshops, or Improv for short.

Improv workshops are all about playing ganes where each player works off the creative ideas of the player before. "Yes, and" and the "Suddenly" game both build stories and teamwork skills by agreeing with and changing the last player's contribution. Pantomime games challenge colleagues to build scenes together and visualise invisible objects. The Machine game is about building a pretend machine with body movments, adding one person and movement at a time.

Each game brings people closer together, evaporating awkwardness and learning to innovate through agreement.

10) Real and virtual escape rooms

Escape rooms are all the rage in the last few years, both real and virtual. An escape room is a locked door and a series of puzzles that allow the participants to move from one room to the next. These puzzles can be circumstantial, riddles, math games, and much more. Each employee will get a chance to shine as their unique form of problem-solving offers one of many solutions to escape room challenge. Live escape rooms in a company outing can be thrilling shared experiences while virtual escape rooms are a way for even remote teams to share a team building exercise that will spotlight each person's puzzle-solving strengths and help team members connect.

Related: Building Engagement with Remote Employees: Tips and Strategies

11) Thrilling ropes course

If everyone is physically able, one of the strongest team building exercises you can plan is a thrilling ropes course. Ropes courses are suspension games and challenges in which each person goes through climbing obstacle courses, takes long, swinging rides, glides down ziplines, and relies on the help of their team members to get through fear-defying tasks at dizzying heights. The trust and thrill are a powerful source of team bonding.

12) Community volunteering

For teams who want to make a difference, volunteering company outings can be a truly enriching experience. You might cook and serve a meal at a soup kitchen, contribute to building homes for low-income families, complete maintenance tasks for senior communities, and much more. Choose volunteer activities that can be done in groups and that bring everyone together, sharing their compassion, energy, and creative abilities in order to foster a strong bond with one another in a philanthropic setting.

13) Camping weekend

Take everyone out into the woods for an outdoor company outing in the woods or even a local park. Depending on your team, they may prefer to set up their own tents, book a lodge, or split up into cabin-sharing teams. Cook dinner over a campfire, go on hikes, swim in the local watering hole, and go scavenger hunting for local wildlife. Reconnect or connect for the first time in the refreshing surroundings of the great outdoors.

14) Board game tournament

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Every list of company outing ideas needs a rainy-day alternative. If you planned to go on a group hike or a ropes course but the event gets rained out, this is the perfect time for a board game tournament instead. Crack open the board game cabinet and lay out table after table of childhood classics. 

You can make a competitive tournament of the same game or just encourage everyone to complete different games in different groups until the rain lets up. Board game and trivia night let us get to know each other through a blend of conversation and strategy. You quickly learn who is clever, who distracts their opponents, and who is too helpful for their own good, and it brings people together to play games in a special way humans have enjoyed for centuries.

15) Ask for creative ideas and vote

Last but not least, ask for ideas! Every team is unique and your people may have some cool company outing ideas that everyone will enjoy. Combine your ideas with nominated outing plans on a board and let your team vote for the one they want to do next.

Useful Read: The 5 stages of team development: Strategies for Success

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Topic: HRM / Company Outings Ideas