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Home » Blog » Bringing the Joy Back: Team Building Activities for Work

Joy at work may seem elusive or even out of reach at this moment because let’s face it, things have been rough. But there is reason to be optimistic. There’s a lot of it. 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed people’s lives forever. Not only did it bring havoc in the health scenario but also to the economy. Frankly speaking, it’s one of those occurrences that we’ll tell our grandchildren about, similar to how life altered during World Wars I and II or the Great Depression. It’s bigger than many earlier societal revolutions, not just because of its devastating effects, but also because it has impacted so many of us at once, changing every element of life from the most important (job, money, health) to the most ordinary. We’ve been in a state of instability for a long time, with news of forwarding advances being followed by news of backward steps.

Meanwhile, finding happiness at work might be difficult. As the old adage goes, “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”. This might appear too wonderful to be true. Work is, after all… work. It’s generally thought of as drudgery, something that has to be done in order to pay the mortgage, buy the medications and do the other important things in life. However, this approach leaves a lot out.

Work, in fact, can be a source of joy. It can provide a sense of purpose and meaning, as well as opportunities for challenge and development, and amazing connections. Nothing less is acceptable, and a shift in our expectations can go a long way towards achieving this feeling of happiness.

What is the Importance of A Happy Working Experience?

“Happy Employee = Happy workplace”

Humans spend 80% of their time at work. This implies that we spend a major portion of our life at work. So if this is true, what are we doing about it? My question is, how are you working? Is your work bringing you joy? Do you have a happy working environment because our working experiences have a huge impact on our life? It’s true!

Our job experiences have an impact on not just our professional life, but also our personal lives too. If we’re dealing with rudeness or high levels of stress at work, it’s impossible to share our best selves with our families, friends, and life partners. A joyful working experience brings back the joy to our families. Not only this but workplace stress has a bad impact on our sleep too.

When employment isn’t enjoyable, it can have far-reaching consequences like poor performance. Likewise, the inverse is true. When things go well at work, it can have far-reaching good consequences for the rest of our life. Troubled times can enable us to see things in new ways, and fresh and expanded perspectives are often beneficial.

The good news is that we have the ability to create happiness. Joy is an experience that we can embrace, develop, catalyze, and cultivate, rather than something we merely aspire to obtain or for which we wait passively. We have the ability to select and create true happiness. You have the option of choosing joy when it comes to choosing a company, leader, or job. You may choose happiness when you have control over your obligations and collaborate with coworkers. When it comes to making sense of your work, you have the option of taking a cheerful approach. Let’s get started right away and see how we can establish a positive working environment.

Team Building Activities for Work

Team building is one of the most important aspects of a joyful work experience. But what is team building? Team building is something that happens below the actual surface. It is something that is unseen but definitely felt. If we go further in team building, we will look at the relatively uncomfortable topics that many of us find it difficult to discuss, such as: ‘These are my company’s aims…’ For instance, the silent resentments felt when one person is assigned a piece of work that another person desires or what happens after individuals leave meetings or conferences? The narrative the team tells about themselves and the leader. 

So what are we doing towards team building? Are we doing something? Are we using some tools, some techniques? Well, if team building is something that you need, here are a few team building activities that can help you out.

4 Team Building Activities For Work You Might Want to Try


This is an activity where the participants need to introduce themselves with the help of their name. They should present their first name with the help of an acronym of their name.

Purpose: The purpose of this activity is to establish relationships among the team members with the help of knowing interesting things about each other. This activity may also prompt some small talk later.

When: You can use this activity when the participants don’t know much about each other and you don’t have time to prep before the activity.

Material: None

How: You can begin the activity by dividing the people in groups and giving each group five minutes to think about interesting facts about themselves that correspond to their first name. Then you can ask them to share his or her acronym.

Example: “Hi my name is Parth. P is for Paris. My favorite holiday destination is Paris. A is for Aunt Mary is my favorite relative. R is for Racing. In my pastime, I indulge in car racing. I is for iphone. I prefer iphones over android. S is for smart, because I am a smart guy!”

Help: If participants are stuck, explain to them that they do not need to strictly follow the guidelines. For instance, “L” may stand for “Loving chocolate,” “Loving chess,” or “Loving snow,” among other things.

Prepare to share your own acronym with the group as an example.

You can do this game to simply get to know each other or to start a meeting without asking the debrief questions.

Take a look at these instead of making acronyms about themselves, have participants make acronyms from their first names that correspond to the type of work they do (customer service, research, etc.), a current project they are working on, or a problem they are all facing (you might be surprised at some of the creative solutions!).


This is an activity where the members of the team are divided into smaller groups to draw their vision of an ideal work environment without speaking to each other.

Purpose: To check the understanding between members. To see how much they can communicate without using words.

When: There is a communication gap. When there is a minor conflict between the individuals in the group due to voice tone or non verbal cues.

Material: Coloured marker, flip chart paper and tape.


  • Divide the individuals into small groups of 4 to 5 people.
  • Give each group one flip chart and some markers.
  • Let each team draw a picture of an ideal environment for the group. Money is not a problem. Then can explore and be creative with their work.
  • Team members cannot talk to each other while planning or drawing.
  • After some time (15 minutes or more) have each team share their drawing.


  • What were the similarities and differences amongst the drawings?
  • What methods did you use to communicate with one another? (I acted things out, did small sketches on scrap paper, took notes, and so on.)
  • Even when you couldn’t use words, how accurate were you in communicating with each other? (They’ll probably be shocked at how well they communicated and collaborated without using words.)
  • What does this mean for us when we get back to work?

According to studies, words account for 7% of communication, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and nonverbal cues account for 55%. Words transmit 18% of the content of telephone calls, but tone communicates 82 %.

Decide ahead of time if the group will be able to communicate by writing notes (using words). Observe what they do well as they work and bring it up at the Debrief. Give a one-minute warning before the time runs out.

Instead of the paper and markers, use moulding clay or building blocks.

Allow participants to speak exclusively with their mouths closed to emphasise the importance of voice tone (for people who spend a lot of time on phones). Their lips will never open, but their voice box allows them to grunt and produce other noises. The tone will be heard!

Request that they draw a solution to a problem that your company is now experiencing. This will be more challenging and time-consuming.


This activity is primarily concerned to allow the participants to give each other advice on handling work pressure and what problems.

Purpose: The purpose of this activity is to help the individuals solve problems and get creative ideas to deal with their work issues.

When: you can use this activity when individuals need to see the value of the other person’s input and help.

Material: A pen and a paper


  • Start the activity by asking the participant to write one problem or concern they are facing at the top on a piece of paper. Give a time of two minutes to each member to this task.
  • Then ask each member to pass their papers to the participant on the left.
  • Now each participant has at least one minute to read the problem in front of him and write an advice in order to solve the problem.
  • Pass the paper again and repeat it as many times, until the paper reaches the original owner.

Example: I face trouble making eye contact while giving negative feedback.


  • Try practicing in front of the mirror.
  • Try the method of role play with a friend.
  • Make sure that your feedback is not attacking the other person.
  • Remember it may not be as negative as you think.


  • How many people came up with one or more suggestions that will actually assist them address their problem?
  • What was it like having to give advice? (On the spot, stumped, recognised and admired, under pressure to come up with something great, etc.)
  • Why don’t we seek each other’s assistance more frequently? (We don’t want to intrude, believe we have to know the answer ourselves, don’t trust others to come up with good ideas, and so on.)
  • What does this mean for us when we get back to work?

Encourage people to give incomplete counsel. If a participant is stumped for ideas, he or she can add a few words of encouragement and support or recommend a different resource to seek help from.

It is not necessary for the suggestion to be innovative.

Try This: Form a circle and sit in it. The first person speaks briefly about his or her issue or worry. Everyone else in the room takes turns giving suggestions out loud. The first person is unable to speak (for example, to explain why something will not work; instead, they must listen and thank the others for their assistance.

Instead of issue solving, this activity can be used to generate creative ideas. For instance, where should we eat our holiday dinner, and how can we improve community service participation?


This activity is primarily concerned with announcing the participants to increase their understanding ability.

Purpose: any purpose of this activity is to raise awareness of team emphasis with the use of balloons.

When: you can use this activity when you feel that the members of the team cannot see the value of the other person and there is a lack of awareness of emphasis.

Material: Balloons 


  • Distribute 3 balloons to each member of the team.
  • Ask them to consider where the emphasis is in this team in terms of team, task and individual.
  • To show the differences in emphasis, have them inflate the balloons.
  • Go around the room and inquire as to why the balloons were inflated to the size they were.
  • Encourage people to speak their thoughts and emphasise that it is fine to do so. You’re attempting to promote independence.

Example: John came to the conclusion that a team should prioritise the three areas of team, task, and person. If one area is overemphasised for an extended period of time, it will have a negative impact on the other areas.

Task: Concentrate on the job at hand and the tasks that must be completed.

Team: Focus on building a sense of team, such as through briefings, meetings, and team goals.

Individual: concentrate on myself, what I desire, and what I require.

How to Run a Successful Team Building Activity?

Step 1: Choose an activity that suits your team

When there is no defined aim, even the best team-building exercise might turn into the worst team-building experience. Why put in the time, effort, and money to do something if you can’t see what company value or team gain you’ll get out of it? Concentrate on how you want to improve your team’s effectiveness, and then choose an activity that will help you achieve your goals! Begin with a clear goal in mind and stay focused on it.

Step 2: Prepare before the activity

You want to make certain that everyone has a positive learning experience. Plan and prepare ahead of time so you know how to proceed with your task. If you go into your activity with a sense of competence and confidence, it will be the most effective. Make sure you gather all the material and set up the room well. Go through the activity well, so that you know what you want to do.

Step 3: Explain the activity well and check for understanding

When people understand why they are doing something, they are more engaged. They are also more likely to participate if they are aware of all the regulations up front and know exactly what is expected of them. Set the tone, describe the activity, explain the regulations, and lead the team through the steps of the activity as you explain them. Ascertain that your staff understands the activity and that they do not hesitate to seek assistance from you. With patience and a few basic review questions, you should be able to clear up any ambiguities. Laying down a few ground rules can help minimise competition from getting out of hand, but they must be agreed upon up front. Ascertain that your staff is aware of the activities.

Step 4: Run the activity and reinforce the learnings

After they’ve started the activity, check to see if they’re following the instructions or regulations. Encourage and support each and every one of them. Make yourself available to answer questions or reroute the group. Keep an eye out for topics you’ll want to bring up later in the Debrief during the activity. It’s fine to scribble down a few reminders. If the activity is timed, keep an eye on the clock and perform a “time check” every now and then.

When you’re coaching, giving feedback, or leading staff meetings, keep the action and the lessons acquired in mind. If the activity was a big hit, you might want to do it again soon. Plan follow-up activities that will reinforce, accentuate, and expand on what you’ve learned so far.

Finding Fun at work by Rejecting the Hustle Culture

Finding joy and working towards finding joy at work are two different lanes. Ideally, the ability to find joy is in not doing too much. If you work too much towards it, the fruit of achievement becomes tasteless. But that doesn’t mean that you should enter the world of “busy-is-cool lifestyle” known as the hustle culture. People sometimes utilise busyness as a statement of status “I’m so busy!” in response to “How are you?” indicating a sign that they are important, that they have a set of skills that are in high demand. Or they who have a lot on their plates are highly respected and sought after. 

Despite social standards to the contrary, our religion of busyness is really harming our effectiveness and delight. It’s time to set aside your to-do list and discover methods to unwind the hustle culture. Let’s break the busyness habit for better health, better thinking, innovation, creativity and above all, the development of the team.

You can have joy and a deep sense of happiness if you want it. Joy is something you can embrace, and happiness is something you can acquire, rather than something you must wait for or something only a few lucky people can achieve. Make a conscious effort. Recognize the value of joy, and don’t let myths about work-life balance hold you back. Keep things in perspective, be alert, be positive, and remember that you can generate happy moments. Follow these activities discussed above and bring the joy back to your workplace. Always remember, a happy employee is equal to a happy workplace. Let’s bring back the joy at work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to run a successful Team Building Activity?

Steps to run a a successful Team Building Activity are as follows:

  • Choose an activity that suits your team.
  • Prepare before the activity
  • Explain the activity well and check for understanding.
  • Run the activity and reinforce the learnings

What is the Importance of a happy working experience?

Working in a happy environment restores happiness to our family. Furthermore, occupational stress has a negative impact on our sleep.

It can have far-reaching implications when work isn’t joyful. In the same way, the inverse is true. When things go well at work, it can have a positive impact on the rest of our lives. We can perceive things in new ways during difficult circumstances, and new and broadened perspectives are often useful.

What is team building?

Team building is a process that takes place under the surface. It’s something that can’t be seen but can be felt. If we take team building a step further, we’ll look at some of the more challenging things that many of us find difficult to address, such as: ‘These are the goals of my organisation…

How can we find Fun at work by rejecting the Hustle Culture?

Finding joy at work and working to find joy at work are two separate paths to take. The ability to find delight is ideally found in not doing too much. When you work too hard for something, the result of your labour goes stale. However, this does not imply that you should join the hustle culture’s “busy-is-cool” lifestyle.

Why is it that a happy employee is equal to a happy workplace?

If you desire it, you can have joy and a deep sense of happiness. Happiness is something you can have rather than something you have to wait for or something only a few lucky people can have. Follow the steps outlined above to reintroduce joy to your workplace. Always keep in mind that a happy employee equals a happy workplace.