Just like every machine needs oiling once in a while, every team needs a team-building retreat. Groups of people work so much better once they’ve gotten to know each other a little more. Playing games and puzzles together helps coworkers create an environment where everybody can do their best. So take this opportunity to learn about ten team-building activities that will help your team work better, smoother and faster!
1. Scavenger Hunt
Objective: Strategy and collaboration
Time: 1-3 hours
Tools needed: Fully charged phones to record every challenge.
How to play: The group is broken up into teams and given a list of challenges to complete. They can range from finding a specific object, doing a particular craft or performative activities like singing or making a skit.
Purpose: Scavenger Hunts use fun activities to nudge people into breaking down professional walls and being more casual around each other. It also makes them practice goal setting and task delegation. Sometimes lip-syncing to the newest Ariana Grande song can be just what you need to strengthen team coordination and problem solving!
Where to play: SaffronStays Summer Salt, with its wide spaces, allows teams to strategize at their own pace, offering plenty of room to move about. This 6-bedroom property near Akshi beach also allows space for the game to spill over onto the lawn.
2. Untangle A Human Knot
Objective: Mind exercise
Time: 15-20 minutes
Tools needed: None
How to play: The whole team must stand in a circle and each person must reach across and link hands with two other people, except the ones right next to them. Soon, a knot is created. The team must work together to untangle themselves.
Purpose: This game drives team members to collaborate with each other and come up with constructive strategies, while also allowing for a little awkwardness and a lot of giggling to break the ice.
Where to play: Open-air areas like the wide lawn in SaffronStays Gardenia (a seamless garden rolling up to the first floor), are the best spots for a game like this and the cool Alibaug sea-breeze around this private pool villa will ensure that nobody has to deal with sweaty hands!
Objective: Trust building
Time: 8-10 minutes per round
Tools needed: Objects like balloons, paper cups, chairs, pillows.
How to play: Divide the group into pairs and spread a number of non-sharp objects on the floor. One member will be blindfolded and asked to get from one end of the room to the other without touching any of the ‘mines’. The other member must guide the blindfolded one only with verbal cues.
Purpose: This team-building activity fosters communication and trust between team members in a fun and exciting way!
Where to play: Pick SaffronStays Sundowner for its wide-open lawn, elegant gazebo or elongated patio — making this 8-bedroom Karjat villa suitable for a delightful game of Minefield. Trust falls are all the more fun when you do it surrounded by hills and greenery.
4. Build A Story With 5 Keywords
Objective: Promotes creative thinking
Time: 8-10 minutes per group
Tools needed: None
How to play: Break up the crowd into groups. Each group must make a unique story with the same 5 keywords given to everyone.
Purpose: The activity pushes team members to be as creative as possible within a fixed framework. You’ll be surprised at how quirky each interpretation is!
Where to play: What you need for a storytelling session is a quiet spot where every voice can be heard. The gazebo on the banks of Andre Lake at SaffronStays Foresta By The Lake is an ideal place for the game and also a key feature of the sprawling 6-bedroom estate.
5. Two Truths And A Lie
Time: 25-30 minutes
Tools needed: None
How to play: The whole group must sit in a circle and one by one reveal two truths and one lie about themselves. The rest of the group must figure out which one is the lie.
Purpose: A great ice-breaker, team-building activities like these will result in the team members knowing a little more about one another and paving the way for them to get along better.
Where to play: A quiet, cosy nook where everyone is audible, like any of the rooms in SaffronStays Kairos Athena, which is only 1.5 hours from Mumbai. The bright and tasteful decor combined with the scenic views of Kalote Lake will set just the right mood!
6. Memory Game Relay
Objective: Improve memory.
Time: 30-45 minutes
Tools needed: A deck of cards
How to play: Spread out 5-10 pairs of playing cards on the floor, face down, in random order. One by one, the players must go and pick two cards. If you get a pair of cards you win, if not you do a predetermined activity — like 10 jumping jacks! The goal is to remember the place of each card and get all the pairs as the game progresses.
Purpose: While this game is great for testing one’s memory, it also becomes a way to foster sportsmanship among the team. It can be played individually or even in groups to get that competitive spirit going!
Where to play: A luxurious private villa in Alibaug, SaffronStays Osaree has a large poolside verandah that is the perfect spot for this game. You can even arrange for local delicacies and cocktails to make their way to you as you play.
7. Shark Tank
Objective: Cross-department interaction
Time: 45-60 minutes
Tools needed: Only a bucket full of imagination
How to play: Have groups of 3-4 people come up with an idea for a product and pitch it to a set of judges. The most investor-worthy idea wins!
Purpose: A little competitiveness can be a healthy catalyst for teamwork. Bringing Shark Tank from the screen into real life might give your team members a spark of inspiration to work harder and be more proactive!
Where to play: Large rooms with a luxurious air and comfortable seating arrangements, like those in SaffronStays Falcon Hill. The 6-bedroom property is surrounded by beautiful forest land. Wouldn’t it be nice if the backdrop behind the judges was a view of Lonavala’s gorgeous valley?
8. Tied Together
Time: 30 minutes
Tools needed: Gift wrapping paper, empty boxes
How to play: Put together pairs of people who have never worked with each other and tie one’s left hand to the other’s right. Each pair must then gift wrap a box. The best wrapped box wins!
Purpose: This team-building activity not only cultivates communication and coordination but also teaches one about having limitations and how to work around them — something that can be directly applied to work situations.
Where to play: SaffronStays Raanwaara and Aranya Vilaas has seating areas that are perfect for games like these. A cluster of 10 cottages, this property has gorgeous common areas for everybody to mingle. The quirky vibe of this pool villa will make sure the energy stays up!
9. ABC Hunt
Time: As short or long as you like
Tools needed: Objects from daily life
How to play: The host calls out three random letters and each team must bring objects starting from each of those letters. The fastest ones win! Queen of Sheba is an alternative wherein the host asks for specific objects.
Purpose: Playing this game in teams of 3 or 4 is a good way to encourage camaraderie amongst the employees.
Where to play: The vibrant SaffronStays Casa Manga in Karjat creates a happy vibe that will keep everybody smiling as they rush to grab AirPods, books, cameras, dice and so on. This charming 4-bedroom holiday home also has a massive swimming pool!
10. Forensic Sketch Artist
Objective: Communication and creativity skills
Time: 20-25 minutes
Tools needed: Laptop/tablet for the image, paper and drawing tools
How to play: Two groups play against each other. Each group assigns a forensic sketch artist. The rest of the players are shown an image of a face and must describe it to the artist who will sketch it out. In the end, the two sketch artists will compare their drawings and the more accurate one wins.
Purpose: Rather than drawing skills, this game presents the players with an opportunity to understand how to best communicate with one another.
Where to play: Wouldn’t it be nice to play this game in decorative outdoor seating areas like at SaffronStays Aatman? Nestled in Mahabaleshwar’s hills, the jumbled shouts of hair colour and eye shape will be levelled out by chirping birds and stunning sunset.
And while there is something or the other to learn from all of these team-building activities, don’t forget that it’s just as important to have fun. Sometimes, leisure and recreation can lead to the clearest minds of them all!