12 Cohesive Team Building Activities Post Pandemic

Aavni Desai
July 14, 2021
5 min read

It’s been a rough year, and as the world opens up, so do we. Virtual team building activities might have been all the rage, or so we pretended as we worked from home in our pyjamas, but now it’s time for real-time, real-world team building activities. But with a twist! For real, a twist. No boring office-y activities in 2021.

Going through the Covid-19 pandemic proved how important team building is when it comes to mental health at work. Opening up to our second “new normal” as we step back into the world could require some team building to ease us in.

Here’s a list of our top 12 quick and easy Team-Building Activities for some post-pandemic fun.

1. Appreciation Circle 🟠

Location: Office/Work from home (WFH)

Objective: Setting a considerate and thoughtful tone within the team

Duration: 30 seconds to 1 minute per colleague 

How-to: The pandemic left a lot of us feeling blue and isolated. Bust the blues by forming an appreciation circle with your teammates in order to let each other know what they appreciated best about another person in the team sets a happy and cohesive work environment. Name a colleague and a good characteristic they possess. Nominate another teammate to do the same for another colleague. A little appreciation goes a long way and helps everyone reconnect with each other.

The twist: The teammates must mention which moment they noticed this quality.

2. 20 Up 🆙

Location: Office

Objective: Providing a lighthearted moment, spontaneity, some physical activity and understanding team dynamics 

Duration: 15-30 minutes; until 1 member is left in the circle who emerges as the winner


How-to: Sit in a circle, don’t think about Covid if you’re vaxxed and Covid free. Count to, or randomly blurt out a number till you reach 20. Jump into the circle each time you say a number. If another teammate jumps into the circle and says the same number(s), the count starts all over again. It’s a great way to introduce some spontaneity to the environment and physical activity to keep everyone awake after a year of working from home. Members are required to work together, understand dynamics and communicate to a limited extent - all great team building activities! Not only to be cognizant of the group dynamic, but to work together—with limited communication—to reach your goal.

The twist: Everyone who jumps into the circle at the same time has to display a hidden talent they have.

3. Solve a Puzzle 🧩

Location: Office/WFH

Objective: Building good communication within the team

Duration: 30 seconds to 1 minute per colleague

How-to: Pick a physical puzzle, or online one - however big or small. Hand out pieces of it to your co-workers if it's offline. For online games, pick an app with a multiplayer mode. A brain teaser from a book or the crossword from the Times’ makes for a classic high-tea team building activity. It definitely tops the list of team builders’ games! Use the moment of peace at the end of solving the puzzle to reflect on the team’s strategy, cohesiveness and to recognize contribution. 

4. Show and Tell 📢

Location: Office/WFH

Objective: Enables employees to portray their self image with others to set the tone

Duration: 1-2 minutes per employee

How-to: Team building activities post pandemic, could include a little bragging. Teammates get to highlight their biggest achievements, get their dose of appreciation and light. Teammates also stay updated on everyone’s wavelength. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone! This is a great activity  you do online as well, and in a large or a small group. But remember to ensure the language is civil and does not come off condescending to anyone. New recruits can be encouraged to highlight a moment of glory from their days at university or a previous office. Ensure to widen the scope of what they can share to add some inclusivity to the game. 

5. Board/Card Games 🃏

Location: Office

Objective: Building good communication, confidence and a relaxed atmosphere

Duration: Depends on the game you play; 30 minutes to 1 hour for a card game, and much longer if you decide to champion Monopoly

How-to: Yes, a game of Uno or Monopoly can lead to the next World War, but we survived a pandemic. Add excitement to the office space by hosting a board or card game night. You can also play Cards Against Humanity’s SFW version, or Jenga if you will. It’s a great way to bring out everyone’s inner child and competitive natures. We could all do with a little glee and motivation in these times. 

6. Treasure Hunt 🗝️

Location: Office

Objective: Building problem solving skills and unity 

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the level of difficulty and number of chits 

How-to: Set out clues around the office in hidden notes, leaving a hint as to the next note’s location. New recruits get to explore the office and old ones get to reminisce all over again. The physical activity of solving it together is a great way to build team cohesiveness. You can ask company based questions or questions about each other in each note. You can also add fun facts based on which teammates are required to find the next chit. A bounty of good things, all at once. We’ve all wanted to feel this way off late. Adding a basket of treats at the end of it which suits the likes of your teammates is key!

The twist: Have the team solve it together or divide the team into two groups, thereby moderating numbers. 

7. Set Up a Projector for Movie Night 📽️

Location: Office

Objective: Building a comfortable atmosphere in the office and giving everyone a topic of conversation to bond over

Duration: Depends on the movie

How-to: Find an empty wall, set up a projector and a white screen - you’re good to go. You can also use the conference rooms for this purpose if it makes your life easier.  Set up a poll and let everyone choose the movie they want to watch. Arrange for a snack and drinks bar, and throw in some rugs and pillows to make it super-comfy.

The twist: Everyone must pick a chit out of a bowl before the movie. Each chit includes a team member’s name that they must sit next to. It’s a great way to form new friendships within the team

8. Line-Up 🧍

Location: Office

Objective: Building a comfortable atmosphere in the office, adds spontaneity

Duration: 15-20 minutes

How-to: Line your team up, set the stopwatch, and let everyone guess in what order you’ve lined them. The chronology could be based on birthdays, seniority, or height. It adds the fun of a brain teaser and personal fact-finding game together. Everyone gets physically comfortable around each other and learns something new. It’s a great conversation starter too.

9. Lunch & Learn 🍲

Location: Office

Objective: Builds healthy intra-office relationships and mentorship 

Duration: A couple of hours

How-to: Team building activities should be full of learning about one another, and getting physically comfortable around one another. Mental and physical connection is what makes us human. A lunch & learn session to open the floor to conversation, another team building activity and so on, is key. Let new friendships begin, new talent be discovered, and a hobby shared. Lunches are a great way for teammates to find mentors and peers as well. 

The twist: Let seniors or juniors pick chits from a bowl in order to allocate themselves onto a table.

10. A Face-Off 🎭

Location: Office

Objective: Building a comfortable atmosphere in the office and giving everyone a topic of conversation to bond over

Duration: 1-2 minutes per person

How to: Masks on if you aren’t vaxxed, but if you are, then face-off. Host a competition for Best Dressed, Best Meal, Best Poetry or the Funniest Meme. It brings about everyone’s personality and interests to the forefront. This is easily one of the best team building activities to do so while adding a competitive touch. 

The twist: Let everyone vote on their top 2 favorite outfits or meals.

11. Hack Fest 💻

Location: Office

Objective: Building a comfortable atmosphere in the office and giving everyone a topic of conversation to bond over

Duration: A couple of hours

How-to: We know how much our tech-gurus love their hack fests. You are free to organize an in-office fest. But this is about hacking each other’s teams. Inter-department cohesiveness is vital to organizational success. Have HR work on Content, or Marketing work in Legal. Mix and match, set a task, and see what solutions team members come up with. 

12. Hire a stand up comedian 🎤

Location: Office

Objective: Building a comfortable atmosphere in the office and giving everyone a topic of conversation to bond over

Duration: An hour 

How-to: Contact artist management companies to hire a comedian. Let the comedian know about the employees, their traits, and your office's quirks. Stand up comedians are a great way to add a humorous touch to your coworkers' perception in the office. It encourages a light-hearted atmosphere that we'll all need post pandemic! 

The twist:
You can combine different games into one team building activity or take a quick break off work for just one. Pick your favorite team building exercise to get in touch with everyone - new and old. Take in the post pandemic air to the fullest and above all - stay safe.

Mental Health
Aavni Desai

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