Your employees are all part of a large, well-oiled, machine. If just one of them gets out of sync, the whole system can collapse. According to this report, 86% of employees and executives cite either lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. So, how do you fix this? The answer: team-building. In essence, team-building is an excellent way to boost cooperation and increase trust between team members by getting them to know each other a little better. However, it can also annoy and irritate them if you force them to participate in lacklustre, childish, activities after-office hours. Hence, I’ve compiled a list of only the most awesome team-building activities just to be on the safe side.

1. Field Trip

When it comes to team-building activities, sometimes less is more. For instance, field trips are the perfect example, as they necessitate less regulation and offer participants more flexibility to freely interact with one another at their own leisure. The only bit which requires some previous planning is deciding on the actual location of the said trip. Once there, it’s up to your colleagues to decide what their next course of action will be and who’ll potentially join in on their adventure. That way you proactively encourage employees to socialize with one another outside their cubicles without being too pushy. Also, by allowing the bond to form naturally, you establish more meaningful connections between your co-workers, both in and out of the office.

2. Problem-Solving Activities

Engaging in problem-solving group activities is not only fun but also a great way to exercise those nimble brain muscles. What’s more, problem-solving has become the most sought after employee soft-skill out there, having multiple applications in almost any given position no matter the industry. Hence, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that companies are now turning more towards escape-room themed games for their team-building activities. Essentially, what makes these group puzzles so neat is the fact that your entire team has to think on its feet to overcome various problems and obstacles you encounter together. This creates an exhilarating challenge for the whole team as you race against time to find the appropriate solution, improving your cognitive, cooperative, and creative skills in the process.

3. Outdoor Sporting Events

Sporting events are excellent stress-relievers as they allow employees to get some fresh air and peace of mind from all the ruckus going down at the office. Moreover, they provide some friendly competition for your various departments at a chance to show each other who’s boss. Though, one variation in particular is fantastic for building trust and the sense of camaraderie between different team members. Namely, I’m referring to blindfold football where one half of the team is blindfolded whilst the other follows them around shouting instructions. This ‘handicap’ forces colleagues to work together towards a common goal further endorsing the idea of teamwork. To raise the stakes even higher you can award soccer trophies to the winning squad to underline their overall success as a team. Other notable outdoor sporting event ideas include:  white water rafting, obstacle courses, and, everyone’s favourite, paintball.

4. Board Games

Although competitions are an incredible way for you to forge bonds between team members, there will always be those employees who are less competitive and won’t try as hard. For them, life’s not about winning but rather about having fun. This is where silly paper and pencil, board, and card games such as Uno and Monopoly come into play, to cater to these, more casual, employees. These games are fun, simple, and for everyone to enjoy. Also, another advantage of this particular activity is that it doesn’t require after-hours to be played but can be ‘squeezed in’ during regular working hours. Thus, making them more enjoyable for people who are extremely reluctant to give up their free time after work is finally over.

5. Night Out

Ultimately, after a hard-day’s work some people simply wish to unwind and have some fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The last thing you want to do is force people to participate in team-building activities just for the sake of it. A simple night out at your local pub could do the trick, or perhaps even a fancy dinner at that posh restaurant around the corner. Whatever the case may be, just give your employees a chance to let off some steam every once in a while. If anything, such activities will do wonders for their communication skills and, if you’re lucky, the karaoke machine might help them with their singing too.

In the end, it’s up to your employees to decide what’s best for them. So, make sure you bring enough snacks and refreshments and don’t forget to have a good time.