The 15 benefits of team building activities (and 5 negatives)

Team building activities have become a popular practice in organisations across the world. In this blog post, we look at the 15 benefits of team building activities which are designed to bring employees together, foster collaboration, and improve the overall work environment.

In fact, we serve our local Sussex business community with our own corporate team building activities at our work shop in Mid Sussex, where teams regularly see the benefits of our bespoke courses, where they learn new skills, bond with their team and get out of the office for a few hours.

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    In this article, we will delve into 15 of the benefits of team building activities and also explore 5 potential downsides.

    The 15 benefits of team building activities

    1. Improved communication

    Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful organisation. Team building activities encourage team members to communicate more openly and honestly. This improved communication can lead to better cooperation and understanding among team members.

    As with all of these benefits though, it is important to state if this is one of your goals from the outset. Staff must be encouraged to communicate throughout the experience.

    At How To Basically’s team bonding days, our trained staff will encourage all members of the team to communicate throughout the experience. This is to share their learning experience, their difficulties on the day, and to explain how they could work more effectively together with the teammates.

    2. Enhanced collaboration

    Team building activities often involve solving problems together and working towards a common goal. These experiences teach employees how to collaborate effectively, leading to increased productivity and innovation in the workplace.

    3. Increased morale

    Participating in fun and engaging team building activities can boost employee morale. When employees enjoy their time together, they are more likely to be motivated and satisfied with their jobs.

    We find that this tends to pay off in the days, weeks and months following our team building events at How To Basically. Our customers regularly comment that their staff continue to talk about the experience on a regular basis, both in terms of the fun they had and how they have used their new skills.

    4. Conflict resolution

    Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful organisation. Team building activities encourage team members to communicate more openly and honestly. This improved communication can lead to better cooperation and understanding among team members.

    If your team is having an issue with conflict resolution, it is best to speak to the company organising your corporate team building event before your team attend. They can work with you to discuss the best ways to encourage conflicting parties to work together. This may be by grouping any conflicting parties together.

    Or, if your aim is to ensure your team build on this skillset because it is vital to their work, then you can work with the event organiser to build conflict into the activity. However, it is important to ensure that you discuss how best to deal with conflict before the tasks take place so that your team are armed with the skillset to deal with the issues they face.

    Otherwise you could end up creating conflict rather than arming your team with the ability to deal with it.

    5. Building trust

    Trust is essential in any team. Team building activities help build trust among team members, making it easier for them to rely on each other.

    Trust is also important both vertically and horizontally within an organisation. By putting employees into team building activities with members of the management team, you enable these groups to work together, encouraging communication that may not have previously been these.

    This can lead to more transparency between staff and management, making communication easier in the workplace through the development of mutual respect.

    6. Increased productivity

    With improved communication, collaboration, and trust, teams become more productive. They can work together more efficiently, resulting in better outcomes.

    From a management perspective, what more could you want?

    7. Employee retention

    Happy and engaged employees are more likely to stay with an organisation. Team building activities can contribute to employee satisfaction, reducing turnover rates.

    In fact, if you are struggling with employee retention rates, it’s often a positive first step to ask the employees that are leaving what their reasons are for doing so. It’s also useful to get feedback from current employees to find out how they feel regarding their workplace.

    If there is a common theme which suggests staff aren’t happy with where they work or they don’t feel valued by management, then a team building day or two a year can boost morale and help with employee retention.

    8. Skill development

    Team building activities often involve problem-solving, leadership, and creative thinking. These activities provide opportunities for employees to develop valuable skills.

    At How To Basically, we offer your employees the chance to develop a range of DIY skills that can be useful in every day life. But by putting them into situations they aren’t used to, armed with a new skillset and their colleagues, we give them the opportunity to develop the soft skills mentioned that also benefit their work life.

    9. Breaks routine

    One of the underrated benefits of team building activities is that they break the monotony of daily work routines, providing a refreshing change and allowing employees to de-stress.

    Although not much more needs to be said about this, it is a potentially vital benefit to your team. After all, sometimes it’s just good to be away from the office, even if it is with your colleagues!

    10. Encourages creativity

    Engaging in activities outside the usual work tasks encourages creative thinking, which can be applied to work-related projects.

    It doesn’t matter whether that team building activity is Go Karting, a cooking class, a photography class or one of How To Basically’s team building days, your team will be put in a position where they have to become more creative.

    This could be by cooking a new type of food they’ve never cooked before. It could be painting creatively. Or it could be working out a new route around the Kart track.

    What’s important though, is that you encourage your team to come up with new solutions and ideas, no matter what the task is.

    And speak to the organisers to ensure they are aware you want creativity to be front and centre of your team’s day.

    11. Promotes diversity

    Team building activities bring together individuals from different backgrounds and departments, fostering diversity and inclusivity.

    So whilst the world is increasingly global and many people are coming into contact with people from different backgrounds, it can sometimes be difficult to breakdown the cultural barriers that exist between employees.

    A corporate team building day can often be the solution as it encourages your team to mix together, particularly if you proactively mix the groups up.

    Tasks such as cooking classes, How To Basically’s DIY courses, or escape rooms can be fun ideas to encourage your diverse staff to mix.

    12. Boosts employee well being

    Improved relationships and job satisfaction contribute to the overall well-being of employees. And everyone in the work place will remember that fun activity that all of their colleagues went to.

    It could well be the social event of the work year, the day or night that your staff talk about for days, weeks or months, bringing happiness and laughter to your office.

    13. Provides feedback

    Team building activities often involve feedback sessions, which can help employees understand their strengths and weaknesses.

    Most importantly though, management should be open to feedback following the activity, whether that’s positive or negative.

    By being open and honest, this builds better communication and trust, two of our 15 positives.

    14. Promotes leadership

    In some activities, individuals have the opportunity to showcase leadership skills and potential.

    For example, in an escape room activity, it often makes sense to appoint a leader. This allows the leader to separate up the tasks and gives them the final say over how the team works together.

    This type of activity could be very useful if there is someone the organisation wants to encourage into a leadership role.

    Or, alternatively, if there is a particularly introverted colleague who you want to bring out of their shell, then this type of task can be very useful.

    15. Fun and enjoyment

    Last but not least, team building activities are simply fun! They offer a break from the daily grind and allow employees to enjoy themselves. What sane employer wouldn’t want that for their team?

    The negatives of team building activities

    While team building activities offer numerous benefits, it’s important to acknowledge that there can be downsides as well.

    1. Time consuming

    Some team building activities can take up a significant amount of time, which may affect productivity in the short term.

    You also have to consider the timing of these activities and events. If your team has a big deadline looming, then it’s probably not the best time to take a day out of the office.

    However, some industries ALWAYS feel like they have a big deadline looming, so potentially there’s never a good time.

    This means that management need to show strong leadership and take a long term view to team building, and ensure their team attend these activities and events to improve their morale.

    However, at How To Basically, our Corporate Team Building days in Sussex only take 3 hours to complete, unless you want a longer, more bespoke experience. We often find these serve as half day experiences that can be supplemented by a team lunch or dinner down the pub for further bonding.

    2. Resistance

    Not all employees are enthusiastic about team building activities, and resistance can sometimes be a hurdle.

    This can be for a variety of reasons. They may not be interested in a particular activity for cultural or religious reasons. They may have a disability that stops them being fully involved.

    They may have social anxiety that means they thoroughly dislike such events. Or it may be that they work from home 100+ miles away and can’t justify the drive or staying overnight when it means being away from their family.

    In this regard, communication with staff is vital to find out why there is resistance and to try and work through it.

    However, don’t pressure staff into attending if they’ve made it clear they don’t want to. This will only have a negative impact on staff morale in the longer term.

    3. Cost

    Organising team building activities can be costly, particularly for larger teams or organisations. This is why, when organising a team building activity, it is always important to set a budget.

    If you have no budget, consider doing a free activity either at your office or potentially organising a quiz night down the local pub or bar for your staff.

    4. Ineffectiveness

    If not planned well, team building activities may not achieve the desired outcomes and can be perceived as a waste of time.

    This is why setting goals and communicating these to staff is important. In an ideal world, you would discuss the goals with your staff before the events to ensure buy-in.

    That means that staff can reflect after the event and focus of their achievements against the agreed goals, which will hopefully improve morale rather than leading to the event being perceived as ineffective.

    5. Forced Participation

    In some cases, team building activities can feel mandatory, which might not resonate well with all employees.

    So whilst it’s not a bad thing to ask employees why they don’t want to attend (it may be that they’ve had a bad experience of that type of event before, for example), do not force staff to attend.

    This will only lead to negative outcomes for managers and the staff members themselves.

    Other questions we get asked

    Are team building exercises mandatory?

    Team building exercises are not typically mandatory, but many organisations strongly encourage employees to participate to try and build the teamwork, creativity and morale we spoke about earlier.

    The idea is to create a voluntary and enjoyable experience that benefits everyone involved. However, it’s essential to respect individual preferences and not make participation obligatory.

    How often should I do team building days?

    The frequency of team building days can vary widely. Some organisations opt for monthly or quarterly activities, while others may hold them annually or as needed.

    The right frequency depends on the goals of the activities and the needs of the team. As well as the budget available.

    What is the purpose of team building days?

    The purpose of team building days is to improve teamwork, communication, and morale within a group.

    These activities aim to enhance the overall performance of a team and create a more positive and cooperative work environment.

    Why are team away days important?

    Team away days offer a change of scenery and provide a break from the usual office environment.

    They allow team members to relax and bond outside the workplace, which can strengthen their relationships and boost morale.

    Should managers participate in team building activities?

    Yes, managers should participate in team building activities. They are human and they are a part of the team, after all.

    Involving managers in these activities demonstrates their commitment to the team’s success and fosters a sense of unity within the organisation.


    In conclusion, team building activities have a host of benefits, including improved communication, enhanced collaboration, and increased morale.

    However, it’s essential to be aware of potential downsides, such as the time and cost involved.

    Ultimately, the decision to participate in team building activities should be voluntary, and they should be designed to enhance the overall well-being and performance of the team.

    If you want to learn more about How To Basically’s Corporate Team Building activities in Mid-Sussex, go here.

    Alternatively fill in our form below to contact us about our Corporate Team Building days. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Corporate team building form