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Team Building Ideas

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13 Onsite Team Building Ideas That Will Hardly Cost a Dime

Don’t want to spring for a pricey offsite company retreat? You can still have happy employees with these fun team building activities at the office.

The letter "J" for Justworks.
Jan 03, 20204 minutes
Here are some team bonding ideas that are on a budget.

If showing employee appreciation is important to your company, but you’re on a budget, onsite team building is a great place to start. It’s perfect for team bonding experiences, minus the price tag. We’ve listed 13 ideas that let your employees let loose and bond together, without putting a strain on your budget.

And if you’re looking for 97 more, check out our eBook: 109 Ways to Appreciate Employees on a Budget.

Team Building Ideas

1. Mix it up with Random Lunches

Randomly pair workers in groups of four or five to grab lunch. It’s a great way to break the ice and form both friendships and working relationships little by little in the office. This is a monthly tradition at Justworks. To keep it easy we use Excel to group employees together and then send out an email with the groups and lunch spots nearby.

2. Host a Mocktail Hour

Mix some non-alcoholic juices together for a great tasting beverage. There are plenty of refreshing recipes to choose from. Schedule some time during the afternoon to get your team together on-site and try a variety of different drinks. By doing this over a traditional happy hour, the people who don’t drink alcohol and the employees who may not be available after work hours feel included.

3. Keep Puzzles around the Lounge

Not only is it a stimulating way to take a break, but it’s also an economical way to boost employee motivation. Puzzles have many benefits — especially when it comes to helping you relax.

4. Play Two Truths and a Lie

This is a fun way to get to know your team better. You can do this with new team members to introduce them to the company. Have them come up with two truths and a lie and have the rest of the team try and figure out which is which.

5. Keep Board Games around the Office

The number of fun office games are endless. Board games allow a structured social interaction with room for play, which makes the perfect environment for team bonding and a positive shared experience.

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6. Host a Games Tournament

Use those board games you invested in, have a cards tournament, or hook up a TV and a video game console for some intense competition. Raise the stakes with team rewards (or just some good snacks), and voila — fun team building ideas accomplished.

7. Have an Arts and Crafts Night

You may be surprised by how elaborate macaroni art can get. Crafts by Amanda also offers some great online tutorials and ideas: think Instagram cabinets, vintage frames for desktops, keychain charms, or even tie-dye and bracelet making.

8. Throw a Company Themed Trivia Night

Decide what you want to quiz on: will it be industry knowledge or facts about your employees? Generate teams randomly so that people have the opportunity to get to know people outside of their team. Throw some chips and dip into the mix and you have a party.

9. Organize a Scavenger Hunt

Accomplish this in the office itself or have an organizer plant the clues at a nearby park or designated area. The more action and adventure involved, the better.

10. Play Bingo

This game isn’t just for retirement homes. Theme it with branded stamps or company colors to add some flair, and employees will have fun at work in no time. The winner always gets a prize so getting creative with what kind of prize can be fun and it doesn't have to break the bank.

11. Have a Company Spelling Bee

Someone on your team must be able to spell elucubrate, and everyone will enjoy the element of nostalgia. Even if you have employees who aren’t strong spellers, they’ll likely enjoy the tension as it gets down to the final three. Making participation optional is a great way to take the pressure off and throwing some snacks in will entice your team to show up and support their fellow employees.

12. Keep a Dartboard in the Office

What more is there to say? Having a dartboard is a cheap and fun team bonding activity at work.

13. Bring Someone Special to Work Day

Kids, parents, grandparents, friends: the more the merrier. This is also a great opportunity to host a potluck or go to the park — all low-cost ideas that won’t put a big dent in the company budget.

Developing bonds with your team is essential for a happy working environment. Regardless of how you choose to cultivate these work relationships, it’s important you do what works for your company and choose team building ideas that fit your team and your culture.