How to Plan Quick Team Building Activities in 3 Easy Steps

It’s a common misconception that quick team building activities aren't as effective as longer and more in-depth ones. But the reality is that there are plenty of activities available that still deliver outstanding results, even in a short timeframe.

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It’s a common misconception that quick team building activities aren't as effective as longer and more in-depth ones. But the reality is that there are plenty of activities available that still deliver outstanding results, even in a short timeframe. 

When you think of team building, you might imagine long, full-day events, but it doesn’t have to take up a whole ton of your time. While longer and more involved activities are extremely valuable tools, time-efficient events can still have a positive impact on your employees and your organization. The right activities can still help you maximize even short windows of time.  

From enhanced employee engagement and wellbeing to increased productivity and improved communication (among many other benefits, such as these 30 great reasons), you can gain big benefits from team bonding activities in almost any timeframe. The key to striking the perfect balance between time-efficiency and effective outcomes boils down to a few main factors, including identifying the right opportunities, knowing what you want to achieve, and understanding what to look for. 

Here are three steps to planning quick team building activities that will still deliver great results.

1. Look for Outside-the-Box Opportunities – The first step in finding a great time-efficient activity is to get a bit creative and be proactive in looking for innovative opportunities. If you’ve always thought team building demanded a lot of time to do, then there are probably a whole ton of fast and easy opportunities you haven’t even considered yet. For example:  

  • At the Beginning of an All-Hands Company Gathering – Even for staff who know each other well, a cold start can be natural at an all-hands meeting. A short team building activity can be a great way to get a little bit of energy into the room, so your team starts the meeting feeling excited and motivated.  
  • Getting from One Place to Another – Whether you’re heading from one meeting to another or taking your group out for lunch, consider swapping your cab or Uber ride for a walk (weather permitting, of course!). Then, you can turn the trip to your destination into a high-energy activity, such as a scavenger hunt, helping colleagues bond, have fun, and see their city in a new way – whether the walk is twenty minutes or an hour. 
  • As a Surprise Midday Office Reenergizer – If your team has been working hard and is feeling a bit tired, reward them for their efforts with a quick surprise midday activity to get them reenergized. Taking half an hour out of an afternoon to give your employees a quick, fun, and light-hearted break from work will provide them with a much-needed boost.  
  • To Break Up Back-to-Back Meetings – You know the days when your team is stuck in back-to-back (to-back-to-back) meetings. It can be hard to stay focused and remain engaged. Finding a few minutes for a speedy team building activity between meetings can help break up the day and provide some welcome variety – just what you and your colleagues need to help you power through! And if you’re looking for other ways to incorporate activities into a conference, seminar, or full-day meeting, give this article a read. 
  • At a Company Social Gathering – Heading out for cocktails with your team? Hosting a company potluck? Getting together for a big company party? Whatever the occasion, team building can bring a new element of fun (and learning) to any company social gathering. And it doesn’t have to take up too big of a portion of the event
  • As a Quick Welcome for New Team Members – If you’ve had a recent influx of new employees, that’s the perfect opportunity to host an activity designed to help them get acquainted with their new colleagues. Get your group together for an ice breaker event to help new colleagues forge strong connections.
2. Understand What You’re Hoping to Achieve – There are quick team building programs available to meet any business need or goal. In order to find the right  for your needs and get the most out of the short time you have available, it’s important to understand from the outset what you’re hoping to achieve. This could include:  
  • Increasing communication skills 
  • Becoming better problem-solvers and analytical thinkers 
  • Breaking down silos between employees, teams, and departments (for more insight on this, check out our blog article on the topic 
  • Getting to know each other better  
  • Doing some good in the world and giving back to the community (you might be surprised how much of an impact you can have – just check out this case study on how we helped Loblaws raise over $18,000 for charity!) 
  • Simply having a little fun together  
3. Pick the Right Event – Once you’ve identified a great occasion for a fast team building event and determined the goals that you’d like to achieve, it’s time to get your planning underway. And when it comes to planning an activity that can be done in a short timeframe, you should look for activities that are free of time-consuming processes and parameters. Look for events that: 
  • Require minimal set-up and tear-down time 
  • Don’t utilize a lot of physical materials and equipment 
  • Are digitally hosted or app-based 
  • Can be executed flexibly at almost any location available to you 

At Outback, we offer a ton of activities that meet these criteria. They require no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. 

Here are five fast team building events which are available in our express format which can be completed in under one hour and can drive outstanding results for your team and your organization without monopolizing your whole day: 

  • Random Acts of Kindness – If you’re in search of a way to do some good in the community, Random Acts of Kindness is perfect for you. In this app-based philanthropic activity, your group will get together and head out into your city to perform as many good deeds as possible for others before time runs out – however much time you have.  
  • Wild Goose Chase – Whether you want a new and exciting way to get from A to B or are just looking for an awesome way to have fun with your colleagues, we recommend the ultimate scavenger hunt (in our opinion!). With Wild Goose Chase, your team will head out into your city and explore unlike ever before while completing a series of high-energy photo and video challenges. Best of all, this activity is completely self-guided using our smartphone app, so it can be as long or as short as you want.  
  • Code Break – For an easy way to get your group’s brains refreshed and reenergized in a hurry, Code Break is the perfect activity. In this app-based brainteaser activity, colleagues will break out into teams, they’ll have to think outside the box, exercise their problem-solving skills, and leverage each other’s unique strengths in order to solve a series of puzzles, riddles, and trivia questions. 
  • Team Pursuit – No matter if you have 20 minutes or an hour, you can use that time to help your team get to know each other’s strengths – and have some fun in the process – with Team Pursuit. This competitive, high-energy, app-based activity helps your group to learn new things about each other and discover their hidden talents by competing in a diverse range of photo and video challenges. The goal is to complete as many challenges, earning as many points as possible, before time runs out. 
  • Getting to Know You – When it comes to helping colleagues get acquainted, we’ve got the perfect social icebreaker activity. With Getting to Know You, your team will need to proactively learn more about each other in order to tackle photo and video challenges that require them to find people in the group that match specific criteria. Whether at a company social function or as a time-efficient way to help forge connections with new colleagues, this is a great option.  



Learn More About Quick Team Building Activities for Your Corporate Work Group  

For more information about time-efficient team building activities that can benefit your employees and your organization, just reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants. 

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