When companies hold outdoor team building activities, it opens up a wide range of activities and possible benefits that aren’t available indoors.
People who have friends at work tend to feel more dedicated to their jobs and employers. Even so, team bonding is not always easy. This is especially true when some team members work part-time or remotely. Outdoor team building activities offer unique opportunities that team leaders cannot organize indoors. People have more room to move about and engage in physical activities that require more cooperation with others compared to an indoor team building activity.
A report by Harvard Medical School newsletter identified several of the benefits of outdoor activity including an increase in vitamin D, elevated moods, and improved concentration. The only caveats are that team leaders must consider safety when setting up outdoor team building games as well as the physical challenges of team members. For example, people with allergies should be able to opt out and those who use a wheelchair, for example, should have a modified form of the outdoor activities available to them. All outdoor activities should be organized with an eye toward access and involvement for all team members.
All outdoor activities should be organized with an eye toward access and involvement for all team members.
Click on any of the letters below to jump to activities that start with that letter.
26 ideas for outdoor team building activities
A is for archery tag. Using non-lethal foam arrows, players aim at opposing team members to eliminate them from competition.
B is for botanical gardens. Give employees the afternoon off or meet on a Saturday morning to enjoy the sights and open outdoor space at the local botanical gardens.
C is for charity walk. Each team signs up as a group to collect pledges and complete an outdoor walk starting at the company parking lot.
D is for double dare. Team leaders set this up in a game show format and then have each team compete in several outdoor activities. Obstacle courses, pie-eating contests, and searching for a medallion that reveals a special prize are some popular games to play.
E is for egg drop. Break the team into small groups and provide supplies such as bubble wrap and newspaper to wrap around a raw egg. The group whose egg does not break when dropped from a distance of at least 20 feet is the winner.
F is for freeze tag. Bring back an outdoor activity most people remember from their childhood. Each person tagged cannot move until another person who is not “it” taps them on the shoulder.
G is for geocaching. Ask each participant to download a geocaching app on their smartphone and have teams compete to find objects hidden by management using only the clues from their apps.
H is for hiking. Find a nearby trail and have a friendly competition to see which team can have all members finish it in the least amount of time.
I is for impromptu orchestra. Each team finds random items to use as instruments to play a song assigned to them by the team leader. This outdoor activity should spark a lot of creativity and laughs.
J is for joining a sports team. Playing together on a softball, bowling, or other type of sports league each week is an excellent way for co-workers to build relationships over time.
K is for kayaking. Renting a kayak for each team member is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors. While each person will be in their own kayak, they should remain close together in the water for safety purposes.
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L is for live sporting events. Choose a local professional or college team to support and buy tickets for the entire department. People can vote on which team they prefer to see.
M is for moving help. Locate a disabled person, low income family, or senior citizen who could use free moving help and send a small team to assist them.
N is for navigation. Assign each person a partner and have them take turns wearing a blindfold in a safe location outside. They can only use directions from the other partner to get from Point A to Point B. This navigation game is excellent for building trust.
O is for outdoor movies. Set up a screen outside and allow employees to sit on the grass, a blanket, or a lawn chair and enjoy watching the movie and eating snacks.
P is for paintball. Players use a paint gun to eliminate other players when a splatter of paint hits them.
Q is for BBQ potluck. Ask each team member to bring their favorite barbeque item to share with coworkers and provide plenty of time for people to chat.
R is for rafting. Whitewater rafting can be an excellent opportunity for team building. Team leaders just need to make sure they set up the experience with a professional rafting company that will teach team members safety lessons and answer their questions.
S is for Sports Day. Allow half a day away from the office for small groups to compete against each other in a scavenger hunt, potato sack race, tug-of-war, and other fun outdoor team building activities.
T is for tree planting. Corporate tree planting events are a popular outdoor team building activity that allows people to work together and support the environment at the same time.
U is for Ultimate Frisbee. Divide the group into 2 teams and make sure each person gets a chance to throw the frisbee. The Ultimate version relies on every participant to ensure fair play through the honor system.
V is for volunteering. Team leaders should find out what most people prefer to do and then contact a local organization to arrange a time for their team members to participate. Typical examples of volunteer activities include cleaning a park or highway, hosting an outdoor food or clothing drive, and walking dogs from the local animal shelter.
W is for water balloon toss. Divide the group into two teams and have every person throw a water balloon to a partner. Each successful catch means the player has to take a step backwards until only one person remains standing.
X is for AX throwing. Set up strong dart boards outdoors and have each team member take turns throwing a small ax towards the target. The team with the most marks nearest to the bullseye wins. Or visit an ax throwing venue nearby.
Y is for yoga. Each outdoor team works with a yoga instructor to learn movements that allow them to relax and improve their physical well-being.
Z is for ziplining. For a great team building activity and some fresh air, team leaders can set up a ziplining course with help from a local company to provide the supplies and offer instructions.
Do you need a break from HR tasks?
Maybe you would love to set up more outdoor team building activities for your group, but just do not have the time to do it. HR tasks take up so much time that there is little left for anything else that is not directly work-related. Zenefits can help. Contact us today to learn more about out how we can take HR, benefits, and payroll tasks off your hands so you can concentrate more on team building.