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17 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities

17 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities featured image

Problem-solving is a critical skill for professionals and with team building problem-solving activities, you can sharpen your skills while having fun at the same time.  

Updated on August 31, 2021

In the professional world, one thing is for sure: problem-solving is a vital skill if you want to survive and thrive. It’s a universal job skill that organizations seek in new potential employees and that managers look for when considering candidates for promotions.  

But there’s a problem.  According to Payscale , 60% of managers feel that new grads entering the workforce lack problem-solving abilities – making it the most commonly lacked soft skill.  

Problem-solving skill needs to be practiced and perfected on an ongoing basis in order to be applied effectively when the time comes. And while there are tons of traditional approaches to becoming a better problem-solver, there’s another (much more interesting) option: team building problem solving activities. 

The good news? This means learning and having fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And you can create a stronger team at the same time. 

11 In-Person Team Building Problem Solving Activities for Your Work Group  

1. cardboard boat building challenge, 2. egg drop , 3. clue murder mystery, 4. marshmallow spaghetti tower  , 5. corporate escape room, 6. wild goose chase, 7. lost at sea  , 8. domino effect challenge, 9. reverse pyramid  , 10. ci: the crime investigators, 11. team pursuit, 5 virtual team building problem solving activities for your work group  , 1. virtual escape room: mummy’s curse, 2. virtual clue murder mystery, 3. virtual escape room: jewel heist, 4. virtual code break  , 5. virtual trivia time machine.

  • 6. Virtual Jeoparty Social

There are a ton of incredible team building problem solving activities available. We’ve hand-picked 11 of our favorites that we think your corporate group will love too. 

a cardboard boat building challenge for problem solving team building

Split into teams and create a cardboard boat made out of just the materials provided: cardboard and tape. Team members will have to work together to engineer a functional boat that will float and sail across water without sinking. Once teams have finished making their boats, they will create a presentation to explain why their boat is the best, before putting their boats to the test. The final challenge will have teams racing their boats to test their durability! Nothing says problem-solving like having to make sure you don’t sink into the water!

egg drop is a great team building problem solving activity

Every day at work, you’re forced to make countless decisions – whether they’re massively important or so small you barely think about them.  

But your ability to effectively make decisions is critical in solving problems quickly and effectively.  

With a classic team building problem solving activity like the Egg Drop, that’s exactly what your team will learn to do. 

For this activity, you’ll need some eggs, construction materials, and a place you wouldn’t mind smashing getting dirty with eggshells and yolks.  

The goal of this activity is to create a contraption that will encase an egg and protect it from a fall – whether it’s from standing height or the top of a building. But the challenge is that you and your team will only have a short amount of time to build it before it’s time to test it out, so you’ll have to think quickly! 

To make it even more challenging, you’ll have to build the casing using only simple materials like: 

  • Newspapers 
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber bands
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Cotton balls

Feel free to have some fun in picking the materials. Use whatever you think would be helpful without making things too easy! 

Give your group 15 minutes to construct their egg casing before each team drops their eggs. If multiple eggs survive, increase the height gradually to see whose created the sturdiest contraption.  

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of using eggs for this activity, consider using another breakable alternative, such as lightbulbs for a vegan Egg Drop experience. 

solving a crime is a great way to practice problem solving skills

With Clue Murder Mystery, your team will need to solve the murder of a man named Neil Davidson by figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime.

But it won’t be easy! You’ll need to exercise your best problem-solving skills and channel your inner detectives if you want to keep this case from going cold and to get justice for the victim.

do a spaghetti tower for team building problem solving activity

Collaboration is critical to problem solving. 

Why? Because, as the old saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This expression reflects the fact that people are capable of achieving greater things when they work together to do so. 

If you’re looking for a team building problem solving activity that helps boost collaboration, you’ll love Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower.  

This game involves working in teams to build the tallest possible freestanding tower using only marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti, tape, and string.  

The kicker? This all has to be done within an allotted timeframe. We recommend about thirty minutes.  

For an added dimension of challenge, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower to make it a little more top heavy.  

Whichever team has the highest tower when time runs out is the winner! 

corporate escape rooms are unique team building problem solving activities

If you’ve never participated in an escape room, your team is missing out! It’s one of the most effective team building problem solving activities out there because it puts you and your colleagues in a scenario where the only way out is collaboratively solving puzzles and deciphering clues.  

The principle is simple: lock your group in a room, hide the key somewhere in that room, and have them work through challenges within a set time frame. Each challenge will lead them one step closer to finding the key and, ultimately, their escape.    

At Outback, we offer “done-for-you” escape rooms where we’ll transform your office or meeting room so you don’t have to worry about:

  • Seeking transportation for your team 
  • Capacity of the escape rooms  
  • High costs 
  • Excessive planning  

That way, you and your team can simply step inside and get to work collaborating, using creative problem solving, and thinking outside the box.   

wild goose chase is a great scavenger hunt problem solving team building activity for work

In this smartphone-based scavenger hunt team building activity , your group will split into teams and complete fun challenges by taking photos and videos around the city. Some examples of challenges you can do in this activity are:

  • Parkour:  Take a picture of three team members jumping over an object that’s at least waist-high.
  • Beautiful Mind:  Snap a photo of a team member proving a well-known mathematical theorem on a chalkboard.
  • Puppy Love:  Take a photo of all of your team members petting a stranger’s dog at the same time.

It takes a ton of critical thinking and problem-solving to be crowned the Wild Goose Chase Champions!

your teammates will love lost at sea team building activity

Can you imagine a higher-pressure situation than being stranded at sea in a lifeboat with your colleagues? 

With this team building problem solving activity, that’s exactly the situation you and your group will put yourselves. But by the time the activity is over, you’ll have gained more experience with the idea of having to solve problems under pressure – a common but difficult thing to do. 

Here’s how it works. 

Each team member will get a six-columned chart where: 

  • The first column lists the survival items each team has on hand (see the list below) 
  • The second column is empty so that each team member can rank the items in order of importance for survival  
  • The third column is for group rankings  
  • The fourth column is for the “correct” rankings, which are revealed at the end of the activity 
  • The fifth and sixth columns are for the team to enter thee difference between their individual and correct scores and the team and correct rankings 

Within this activity, each team will be equipped with the following “survival items,” listed below in order of importance, as well as a pack of matches:  

  • A shaving mirror (this can be used to signal passing ships using the sun) 
  • A can of gas (could be used for signaling as it could be put in the water and lit with the pack of matches) 
  • A water container (for collecting water to re-hydrate) 
  • Emergency food rations (critical survival food) 
  • One plastic sheet (can be helpful for shelter or to collect rainwater) 
  • Chocolate bars (another food supply) 
  • Fishing rods (helpful, but no guarantee of catching food) 
  • Rope (can be handy, but not necessarily essential for survival) 
  • A floating seat cushion (usable as a life preserver)  
  • Shark repellant (could be important when in the water) 
  • A bottle of rum (could be useful for cleaning wounds) 
  • A radio (could be very helpful but there’s a good chance you’re out of range) 
  • A sea chart (this is worthless without navigation equipment) 
  • A mosquito net (unless you’ve been shipwrecked somewhere with a ton of mosquitos, this isn’t very useful) 

To get the activity underway, divide your group into teams of five and ask each team member to take ten minutes on their own to rank the items in order of importance in the respective column. Then, give the full team ten minutes as a group to discuss their individual rankings together and take group rankings, listed in that respective column. Ask each group to compare their individual rankings with those of the group as a whole. 

Finally, read out the correct order according to the US Coast Guard, listed above.  

The goal of this activity is for everyone to be heard and to come to a decision together about what they need most to survive.  

If your team works remotely, you can also do this activity online. Using a video conferencing tool like  Zoom , you can bring your group together and separate teams into “break-out rooms” where they’ll take their time individually and then regroup together. At the end, you can bring them back to the full video conference to go through the answers together. 

colleagues thinking outside the box with a domino effect challenge team building problem solving activity

Many problems are intricately complex and involve a ton of moving parts. And in order to solve this type of problem, you need to be able to examine it systematically, one piece at a time.  

Especially in the business world, many problems or challenges involve multiple different teams or departments working through their respective portions of a problem before coming together in the end to create a holistic solution. 

As you can imagine, this is often easier said than done. And that’s why it’s so important to practice this ability.  

With a collaborative team building problem solving activity like Domino Effect Challenge, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do as you and your group work to create a massive, fully functional chain reaction machine. 

Here’s how it goes. 

Your group will break up into teams, with each team working to complete their own section of a massive “Rube Goldberg” machine. Then, all teams will regroup and assemble the entire machine together. You’ll need to exercise communication, collaboration, and on-the-fly problem solving in order to make your chain reaction machine go off without a hitch from start to finish. 

reverse pyramid is a team building activity that makes colleagues think about problems in new ways

Being a great problem-solver means being adaptable and creative. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy team building problem solving activity, you’ll love the reverse pyramid. 

The idea here is simple: break your group out into small teams and then stand in the form of a pyramid.  

Your challenge is to flip the base and the peak of the pyramid – but you can only move three people in order to do so.  

Alternatively, rather than doing this activity with people as the pyramid, you can do another version –  the Pyramid Build  – using plastic cups instead.   

This version is a little bit different. Rather than flipping the base of a pyramid to the top, you’ll need to build the pyramid instead–but in reverse, starting from the top cup and working down. 

With this version, you’ll need 36 cups and one table per group. We recommend groups of five to seven people. Give your group 20 to 30 minutes to complete the activity. 

To get started, place one cup face down. Then, lift that cup and place the subsequent two cups underneath it. 

The real challenge here? You can only lift your pyramid by the bottom row in order to put a new row underneath – and only one person at a time can do the lifting. The remaining group members will need to act quickly and work together in order to add the next row so that it will balance the rest of the pyramid. 

If any part of your pyramid falls, you’ll need to start over. Whichever team has the most complete pyramid when time runs out will be the winner!  

solving a crime is a great way for team members to use problem solving skills

The value of being able to approach problems analytically can’t be overstated. Because when problems arise, the best way to solve them is by examining the facts and making a decision based on what you know. 

With CI: The Crime Investigators, this is exactly what your team will be called upon to do as you put your detective’s hats on and work to solve a deadly crime. 

You’ll be presented with evidence and need to uncover and decipher clues. And using only the information at your disposal, you’ll need to examine the facts in order to crack the case. 

Like many of our team building problem solving activities, CI: The Crime Investigators is available in a hosted format, which can take place at your office or an outside venue, as well as a virtually-hosted format that uses video conferencing tools, or a self-hosted version that you can run entirely on your own.  

team pursuit team building is great for problem solving skills

Each member of your team has their own unique strengths and skills. And by learning to combine those skills, you can overcome any challenge and solve any problem. With Team Pursuit, you and your team together to tackle challenges as you learn new things about one another, discover your hidden talents, and learn to rely on each other.

This team building problem solving activity is perfect for high-energy groups that love to put their heads together and work strategically to solve problems as a group.

colleagues doing a virtual team building problem solving activity

If you and your team are working remotely, don’t worry. You still have a ton of great virtual team building problem solving options at your disposal.

virtual escape room mummys curse

In this virtual escape room experience, your team will be transported into a pyramid cursed by a restless mummy. You’ll have to work together to uncover clues and solve complex challenges to lift the ancient curse.

team members doing a fun virtual clue murder mystery

You’ve probably never heard of a man named Neil Davidson. But your group will need to come together to solve the mystery of his murder by analyzing clues, resolving challenges, and figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit a deadly crime. 

This activity will challenge you and your group to approach problems analytically, read between the lines, and use critical thinking in order to identify a suspect and deliver justice.  

escape rooms are fun and unique team building problem solving activities

If you and your team like brainteasers, then Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist will be a big hit.  

Here’s the backstory.

There’s been a robbery. Someone has masterminded a heist to steal a priceless collection of precious jewels, and it’s up to you and your team to recover them before time runs out.

Together, you’ll need to uncover hidden clues and solve a series of brain-boggling challenges that require collaboration, creative problem-solving, and outside-the-box thinking. But be quick! The clock is ticking before the stolen score is gone forever.

try virtual code break as a way to use problem solving skills with teammates

With Virtual Code Break, you and your team can learn to be adaptive and dynamic in your thinking in order to tackle any new challenges that come your way. In this activity, your group will connect on a video conferencing platform where your event host will split you out into teams. Together, you’ll have to adapt your problem-solving skills as you race against the clock to tackle a variety of mixed brainteaser challenges ranging from Sudoku to puzzles, a game of Cranium, riddles, and even trivia. 

Curious to see how a virtual team building activity works? Check out this video on a Virtual Clue Murder Mystery in action. 

trivia is a great problem solving activity for colleagues

Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from pre-pandemic 21st century through the decades all the way to the 60’s. 

This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes, is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing. 

Your virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “table hopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers! 

And if your team loves trivia, check out our list of the most incredible virtual trivia games for work teams for even more ideas.

6.  Virtual Jeoparty Social

Virtual Jeoparty Social is a fun high energy virtual team building activity

If your remote team is eager to socialize, have some fun as a group, and channel their competitive spirit, we’ve got just the thing for you! With Virtual Jeoparty Social, you and your colleagues will step into your very own virtual Jeopardy-style game show—equipped with a buzzer button, a professional actor as your host, and an immersive game show platform! Best of all, this game has been infused with an ultra-social twist: players will take part in a unique social mixer challenge between each round. 

With the right team building problem solving activities, you can help your team sharpen their core skills to ensure they’re prepared when they inevitably face a challenge at work. And best of all, you can have fun in the process. 

Do you have any favorite team building activities for building problem-solving skills? If so, tell us about them in the comments section below! 

Learn More About Team Building Problem Solving Activities  

For more information about how your group can take part in a virtual team building, training, or coaching solution, reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.     

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15 Team Building Problem Solving Activities

15 Team Building Problem Solving Activities

In this article you will find:

  • 15 problem-solving activities for your team to master
  • Frequently asked questions about team building

Here are 15 problem-solving activities for your team to master:

15 Problem-Solving Activities

1. a shrinking vessel.

Why adaptability is important for problem-solving:

Adaptability is highly associated with cognitive diversity, which helps teams solve problems faster, according to the Harvard Business Review. Innovation and disruption are happening faster than ever before. People, teams, and organizations that can adapt will come out on top.

What You'll Need:

A rope or string

Instructions:

1. Using the rope, make a shape on the floor everyone can fit into.

2. Slowly shrink the space over a time period of 10-15 minutes.

3. Work together to figure out how to keep everyone within the shrinking boundaries.

2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps with: Collaboration Why collaboration is important for problem-solving: “Collectively, we can be more insightful, more intelligent than we can possibly be individual,” writes Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline. We can solve problems better as a team than we can alone, which means developing your team's collaboration skills will lead to better problem-solving outcomes.

What You'll Need (per team):

20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti

1 roll of masking tape

1 yard of string

1 marshmallow

1. The goal of this exercise is to see which team can use the materials provided to build the tallest tower within an allotted time period. The tower must be able to stand on its own.

2. To make this exercise more challenging, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower. This team problem-solving exercise helps teams think on their toes while building camaraderie and leadership.

3. Egg Drop

Why decision-making is important for problem-solving:

Making decisions isn't easy, but indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Decision-making activities help your team practice making quick, effective choices. Train your team's decision-making muscle and they will become more adept at problem-solving.

A carton of eggs

Basic construction materials such as newspapers, straws, tape, plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, etc., tarp, or drop cloth

A parking lot, or some other place you don't mind getting messy!

1. Each team gets an egg and must select from the construction materials.

2. Give everyone 20-30 minutes to construct a carrier for the egg and protect it from breaking.

3. Drop each egg carrier off a ledge (i.e. over a balcony) and see whose carrier protects the egg from breaking.

4. If multiple eggs survive, keep increasing the height until only one egg is left.

4. Stranded

Helps with: Communication and Decision-Making Why communication is important for problem-solving:

More employees work remotely than ever before. Good communication skills are vital to solving problems across increasingly virtual teams. Working on communication skills while your team is together will help them better solve problems when they're apart.

Your team has been stranded in the office. The doors are locked, and knocking down the doors or breaking the windows is not an option. Give your team 30 minutes to decide on 10 items in the office they need for survival and rank them in order of importance. The goal of the game is to have everyone agree on the 10 items and their ranking in 30 minutes.

1. Divide everyone into small teams of two or more.

2. Select an overseer who isn't on a team to build a random structure using Lego building blocks within 10 minutes.

3. The other teams must replicate the structure exactly (including size and color) within 15 minutes. However, only one member from each group may look at the original structure. They must figure out how to communicate the size, color, and shape of the original structure to their team.

4. If this is too easy, add a rule that the member who can see the original structure can't touch the new structure.

Collaboration

A lockable room

5-10 puzzles or clues (depending on how much time you want to spend on the game)

The goal of this exercise is to solve the clues, find the key, and escape a locked room within the time allotted.

Hide the key and a list of clues around the room.

Gather the team into the empty room and "lock" the door.

Give them either 30 minutes or 1 hour to find the key using the clues hidden around the room.

7. Frostbite

Decision Making, Adaptability What You'll Need:

A blindfold

1 packet of construction materials (such as card stock, toothpicks, rubber bands, and sticky notes) for each team

An electric fan

Picture this... Your employees are Arctic explorers adventuring across an icy tundra! Separate them into teams of 4-5 and have them select a leader to guide their exploration. Each team must build a shelter from the materials provided before the storm hits in 30 minutes. However, both the team leader's hands have frostbite, so they can't physically help construct the shelter, and the rest of the team has snow blindness and is unable to see. When the 30 minutes is up, turn on the fan and see which shelter can withstand the high winds of the storm.

8. Minefield

An empty room or hallway

A collection of common office items

1. Place the items (boxes, chairs, water bottles, bags, etc.) around the room so there's no clear path from one end of the room to the other.

2. Divide your team into pairs and blindfold one person on the team.

3. The other must verbally guide that person from one end of the room to the other, avoiding the "mines." 4. The partner who is not blindfolded can't touch the other.

5. If you want to make the activity more challenging, have all the pairs go simultaneously so teams must find ways to strategically communicate with each other.

9. Blind Formations

1. Have the group put on blindfolds and form a large circle.

2. Tie two ends of a rope together and lay it in a circle in the middle of the group, close enough so each person can reach down and touch it.

3. Instruct the group to communicate to create a shape with the rope a square, triangle, rectangle, etc.

4. If you have a very large group, divide them into teams and provide a rope for each team. Let them compete to see who forms a particular shape quickest.

10. Line up Blind

1. Blindfold everyone and whisper a number to each person, beginning with one.

2. Tell them to line up in numerical order without talking.

3. Instead of giving them a number, you could also have them line up numerically by height, age, birthday, etc.

11. Reverse Pyramid

1. Have everyone stand in a pyramid shape, horizontally.

2. Ask them to flip the base and the apex of the pyramid moving only three people.

3. This quick exercise works best when smaller groups compete to see who can reverse the pyramid the fastest.

12. Move It!

Chalk, rope, tape, or paper (something to mark a space)

1. Divide your group into two teams and line them up front to back, facing each other.

2. Using chalk, tape, rope, or paper (depending on the playing surface), mark a square space for each person to stand on. Leave one extra empty space between the two facing rows.

3. The goal is for the two-facing lines of players to switch places.

Place these restrictions on movement:

Only one person may move at a time.

A person may not move around anyone facing the same direction.

No one may not move backward.

A person may not move around more than one person on the other team at a time.

13. Human Knot

1. Have everyone stand in a circle, and ask each person to hold hands with two people who aren't directly next to them.

2. When everyone is tangled together, ask them to untangle the knot and form a perfect circle without letting anyone's hand.

Our last two problem-solving activities work best when dealing with an actual problem:

14. Dumbest Idea First

Instant Problem Solving What You'll Need:

1. "Dumb" ideas are sometimes the best ideas. Ask everyone to think of the absolute dumbest possible solution to the problem at hand.

2. After you have a long list, look through it and see which ones might not be as dumb as you think.

3. Brainstorm your solutions in Wrike. It's free and everyone can start collaborating instantly!

15. What Would X Do

1. Have everyone pretend they're someone famous.

2. Each person must approach the problem as if they were a famous person. What options would they consider? How would they handle it?

3. This allows everyone to consider solutions they might not have thought of originally.

Looking for more team building games? Check out these virtual icebreaker games Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities that Don't Suck.

People also ask these questions about team building activities

Here are the answers to the most common questions about team building activities:

What is the team building process?

This process of learning to work together effectively is known as team development. Bruce Tuckman, an educational psychologist, identified a five-stage development process that most teams follow to become high performing. He called the stages: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.

What is team building?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines team building as: “The action or process of causing a group of people to work together effectively as a team, especially by means of activities and events designed to increase motivation and promote cooperation.”

How often should you schedule team-building activities?

One of the most important aspects of team building is that it is an ongoing process. One team-building session can be effective, but your team could benefit more from multiple sessions. In fact, it may be beneficial to make it a part of your regular program. For team building to be effective, you should repeat it as often as you feel it is useful. This largely depends on the activity you choose. You can do quick activities on a more regular basis since they don't interfere with the regular work schedule. You will probably conduct longer, more elaborate activities less frequently so the team can get work done.

What you should do now

More articles.

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12 Conflict Resolution Activities for Teams

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12 Charity Team Building Activities for Meaningful Impact

12 Accountability Team Building Activities

12 Accountability Team Building Activities

SnackNation

14 Best Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities For 2024

The best teams see solutions where others see problems. A great company culture is built around a collaborative spirit and the type of unity it takes to find answers to the big business questions.

So how can you get team members working together?

How can you develop a mentality that will help them overcome obstacles they have yet to encounter?

One of the best ways to improve your teams’ problem solving skills is through team building problem solving activities .

“86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.” — Bit.AI

These activities can simulate true-to-life scenarios they’ll find themselves in, or the scenarios can call on your employees or coworkers to dig deep and get creative in a more general sense.

The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, you have to prepare for the unexpected. It just happens that team building activities help with that, but are so fun that they don’t have to feel like work ( consider how you don’t even feel like you’re working out when you’re playing your favorite sport or doing an exercise you actually enjoy! )

Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities

What are the benefits of group problem-solving activities?

The benefits of group problem-solving activities for team building include:

  • Better communication
  • Improved collaboration and teamwork
  • More flexible thinking
  • Faster problem-solving
  • Better proactivity and decision making

Without further ado, check out this list of the 14 best team-building problem-solving group activities for 2024!

Page Contents (Click To Jump)

Popular Problem Solving Activities

1. virtual team challenge.

Virtual Team Challenges are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue. The challenge generally involves members of the team brainstorming, discussing, and creating solutions for a given problem.

Participants work both individually and collaboratively to come up with ideas and strategies that will help them reach their goals.

Why this is a fun problem-solving activity: Participants can interact and communicate with each other in a virtual environment while simultaneously engaging with the problem-solving activities. This makes it an enjoyable experience that allows people to use their creative thinking skills, build team spirit, and gain valuable insights into the issue at hand.

Problem-solving activities such as Virtual Team Challenges offer a great way for teams to come together, collaborate, and develop creative solutions to complex problems.

2. Problem-Solving Templates

Problem-Solving Templates are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue. The challenge generally involves members of the team utilizing pre-made templates and creating solutions for a given problem with the help of visual aids.

This activity is great for teams that need assistance in getting started on their problem-solving journey.

Why this is a fun problem-solving activity: Problem-Solving Templates offer teams an easy and stress-free way to get the creative juices flowing. The visual aids that come with the templates help team members better understand the issue at hand and easily come up with solutions together.

This activity is great for teams that need assistance in getting started on their problem-solving journey, as it provides an easy and stress-free way to get the creative juices flowing.

Problem Solving Group Activities & Games For Team Building

3. coworker feud, “it’s all fun and games”.

Coworker Feud is a twist on the classic Family Feud game show! This multiple rapid round game keeps the action flowing and the questions going. You can choose from a variety of customizations, including picking the teams yourself, randomized teams, custom themes, and custom rounds.

Best for: Hybrid teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Coworker Feud comes with digital game materials, a digital buzzer, an expert host, and a zoom link to get the participants ready for action! Teams compete with each other to correctly answer the survey questions. At the end of the game, the team with the most competitive answers is declared the winner of the Feud.

How to get started:

  • Sign up for Coworker Feud
  • Break into teams of 4 to 10 people
  • Get the competitive juices flowing and let the games begin!

Learn more here: Coworker Feud

4. Crack The Case

“who’s a bad mamma jamma”.

Crack The Case is a classic WhoDoneIt game that forces employees to depend on their collective wit to stop a deadly murderer dead in his tracks! Remote employees and office commuters can join forces to end this crime spree.

Best for: Remote teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: The Virtual Clue Murder Mystery is an online problem solving activity that uses a proprietary videoconferencing platform to offer the chance for employees and coworkers to study case files, analyze clues, and race to find the motive, the method, and the individual behind the murder of Neil Davidson.

  • Get a custom quote here
  • Download the app
  • Let the mystery-solving collaboration begin!

Learn more here: Crack The Case

5. Catch Meme If You Can

“can’t touch this”.

Purposefully created to enhance leadership skills and team bonding , Catch Meme If You Can is a hybrid between a scavenger hunt and an escape room . Teammates join together to search for clues, solve riddles, and get out — just in time!

Best for: Small teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Catch Meme If You Can is an adventure with a backstory. Each team has to submit their answer to the puzzle in order to continue to the next part of the sequence. May the best team escape!

  • The teams will be given instructions and the full storyline
  • Teams will be split into a handful of people each
  • The moderator will kick off the action!

Learn more here: Catch Meme If You Can

6. Puzzle Games

“just something to puzzle over”.

Puzzle Games is the fresh trivia game to test your employees and blow their minds with puzzles, jokes , and fun facts!

Best for: In-person teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Eight mini brain teaser and trivia style games include word puzzles, name that nonsense, name that tune, and much more. Plus, the points each team earns will go towards planting trees in the precious ecosystems and forests of Uganda

  • Get a free consultation for your team
  • Get a custom designed invitation for your members
  • Use the game link
  • Dedicated support will help your team enjoy Puzzle Games to the fullest!

Learn more here: Puzzle Games

7. Virtual Code Break

“for virtual teams”.

Virtual Code Break is a virtual team building activity designed for remote participants around the globe. Using a smart video conferencing solution, virtual teams compete against each other to complete challenges, answer trivia questions, and solve brain-busters!

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Virtual Code Break can be played by groups as small as 4 people all the way up to more than 1,000 people at once. However, every team will improve their communication and problem-solving skills as they race against the clock and depend on each other’s strengths to win!

  • Reach out for a free consultation to align the needs of your team
  • An event facilitator will be assigned to handle all of the set-up and logistics
  • They will also provide you with logins and a play-by-play of what to expect
  • Sign into the Outback video conferencing platform and join your pre-assigned team
  • Lastly, let the games begin!

Learn more here: Virtual Code Break

8. Stranded

“survivor: office edition”.

Stranded is the perfect scenario-based problem solving group activity. The doors of the office are locked and obviously your team can’t just knock them down or break the windows.

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Your team has less than half an hour to choose 10 items around the office that will help them survive. They then rank the items in order of importance. It’s a bit like the classic game of being lost at sea without a lifeboat.

  • Get everyone together in the office
  • Lock the doors
  • Let them start working together to plan their survival

Learn more here: Stranded

9. Letting Go Game

“for conscious healing”.

The Letting Go Game is a game of meditation and mindfulness training for helping teammates thrive under pressure and reduce stress in the process. The tasks of the Letting Go Game boost resiliency, attentiveness, and collaboration.

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Expert-guided activities and awareness exercises encourage team members to think altruistically and demonstrate acts of kindness. Between yoga, face painting, and fun photography, your employees or coworkers will have more than enough to keep them laughing and growing together with this mindfulness activity!

  • Reach out for a free consultation
  • A guide will then help lead the exercises
  • Let the funny videos, pictures, and playing begin!

Learn more here: Letting Go Game

10. Wild Goose Chase

“city time”.

Wild Goose Chase is the creative problem solving activity that will take teams all around your city and bring them together as a group! This scavenger hunt works for teams as small as 10 up to groups of over 5000 people.

Best for: Large teams

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: As employees and group members are coming back to the office, there are going to be times that they’re itching to get outside. Wild Goose Chase is the perfect excuse to satisfy the desire to go out-of-office every now and then. Plus, having things to look at and see around the city will get employees talking in ways they never have before.

  • Download the Outback app to access the Wild Goose Chase
  • Take photos and videos from around the city
  • The most successful team at completing challenges on time is the champ!

Learn more here: Wild Goose Chase

11. Human Knot

“for a knotty good time”.

Human-knot

The Human Knot is one of the best icebreaker team building activities! In fact, there’s a decent chance you played it in grade school. It’s fun, silly, and best of all — free!

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: Participants start in a circle and connect hands with two other people in the group to form a human knot. The team then has to work together and focus on clear communication to unravel the human knot by maneuvering their way out of this hands-on conundrum. But there’s a catch — they can’t let go of each other’s hands in this team building exercise.

  • Form a circle
  • Tell each person to grab a random hand until all hands are holding another
  • They can’t hold anyone’s hand who is directly next to them
  • Now they have to get to untangling
  • If the chain breaks before everyone is untangled, they have to start over again

Learn more here: Human Knot

12. What Would You Do?

“because it’s fun to imagine”.

Team-building-activity

What Would You Do? Is the hypothetical question game that gets your team talking and brainstorming about what they’d do in a variety of fun, intriguing, and sometimes, whacky scenarios.

Best for: Distributed teams

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: After employees or coworkers start talking about their What Would You Do? responses, they won’t be able to stop. That’s what makes this such an incredible team building activity . For example, you could ask questions like “If you could live forever, what would you do with your time?” or “If you never had to sleep, what would you do?”

  • In addition to hypothetical questions, you could also give teammates some optional answers to get them started
  • After that, let them do the talking — then they’ll be laughing and thinking and dreaming, too!

13. Crossing The River

“quite the conundrum”.

Crossing-the-river

Crossing The River is a river-crossing challenge with one correct answer. Your team gets five essential elements — a chicken, a fox, a rowboat, a woman, and a bag of corn. You see, the woman has a bit of a problem, you tell them. She has to get the fox, the bag of corn, and the chicken to the other side of the river as efficiently as possible.

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: She has a rowboat, but it can only carry her and one other item at a time. She cannot leave the chicken and the fox alone — for obvious reasons. And she can’t leave the chicken with the corn because it will gobble it right up. So the question for your team is how does the woman get all five elements to the other side of the river safely in this fun activity?

  • Form teams of 2 to 5 people
  • Each team has to solve the imaginary riddle
  • Just make sure that each group understands that the rowboat can only carry one animal and one item at a time; the fox and chicken can’t be alone; and the bag of corn and the chicken cannot be left alone
  • Give the verbal instructions for getting everything over to the other side

14. End-Hunger Games

“philanthropic fun”.

Does anything bond people quite like acts of kindness and compassion? The End-Hunger Games will get your team to rally around solving the serious problem of hunger.

Best for: Medium-sized teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Teams join forces to complete challenges based around non-perishable food items in the End-Hunger Games. Groups can range in size from 25 to more than 2000 people, who will all work together to collect food for the local food bank.

  • Split into teams and compete to earn boxes and cans of non-perishable food
  • Each team attempts to build the most impressive food item construction
  • Donate all of the non-perishable foods to a local food bank

Learn more here: End-Hunger Games

People Also Ask These Questions About Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities

Q: what are some problem solving group activities.

  • A: Some problem solving group activities can include riddles, egg drop, reverse pyramid, tallest tower, trivia, and other moderator-led activities.

Q: What kind of skills do group problem solving activities & games improve?

  • A: Group problem solving activities and games improve collaboration, leadership, and communication skills.

Q: What are problem solving based team building activities & games?

  • A: Problem solving based team building activities and games are activities that challenge teams to work together in order to complete them.

Q: What are some fun free problem solving games for groups?

  • A: Some fun free problem solving games for groups are kinesthetic puzzles like the human knot game, which you can read more about in this article. You can also use all sorts of random items like whiteboards, straws, building blocks, sticky notes, blindfolds, rubber bands, and legos to invent a game that will get the whole team involved.

Q: How do I choose the most effective problem solving exercise for my team?

  • A: The most effective problem solving exercise for your team is one that will challenge them to be their best selves and expand their creative thinking.

Q: How do I know if my group problem solving activity was successful?

  • A: In the short-term, you’ll know if your group problem solving activity was successful because your team will bond over it; however, that should also translate to more productivity in the mid to long-term.

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Team Building Exercises – Problem Solving and Decision Making

Fun ways to turn problems into opportunities.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

problem solving team building ideas

Whether there's a complex project looming or your team members just want to get better at dealing with day-to-day issues, your people can achieve much more when they solve problems and make decisions together.

By developing their problem-solving skills, you can improve their ability to get to the bottom of complex situations. And by refining their decision-making skills, you can help them work together maturely, use different thinking styles, and commit collectively to decisions.

In this article, we'll look at three team-building exercises that you can use to improve problem solving and decision making in a new or established team.

Exercises to Build Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills

Use the following exercises to help your team members solve problems and make decisions together more effectively.

Exercise 1: Lost at Sea*

In this activity, participants must pretend that they've been shipwrecked and are stranded in a lifeboat. Each team has a box of matches, and a number of items that they've salvaged from the sinking ship. Members must agree which items are most important for their survival.

Download and print our team-building exercises worksheet to help you with this exercise.

This activity builds problem-solving skills as team members analyze information, negotiate and cooperate with one another. It also encourages them to listen and to think about the way they make decisions.

What You'll Need

  • Up to five people in each group.
  • A large, private room.
  • A "lost at sea" ranking chart for each team member. This should comprise six columns. The first simply lists each item (see below). The second is empty so that each team member can rank the items. The third is for group rankings. The fourth is for the "correct" rankings, which are revealed at the end of the exercise. And the fifth and sixth are for the team to enter the difference between their individual and correct score, and the team and correct rankings, respectively.
  • The items to be ranked are: a mosquito net, a can of petrol, a water container, a shaving mirror, a sextant, emergency rations, a sea chart, a floating seat or cushion, a rope, some chocolate bars, a waterproof sheet, a fishing rod, shark repellent, a bottle of rum, and a VHF radio. These can be listed in the ranking chart or displayed on a whiteboard, or both.
  • The experience can be made more fun by having some lost-at-sea props in the room.

Flexible, but normally between 25 and 40 minutes.

Instructions

  • Divide participants into their teams, and provide everyone with a ranking sheet.
  • Ask team members to take 10 minutes on their own to rank the items in order of importance. They should do this in the second column of their sheet.
  • Give the teams a further 10 minutes to confer and decide on their group rankings. Once agreed, they should list them in the third column of their sheets.
  • Ask each group to compare their individual rankings with their collective ones, and consider why any scores differ. Did anyone change their mind about their own rankings during the team discussions? How much were people influenced by the group conversation?
  • Now read out the "correct" order, collated by the experts at the US Coast Guard (from most to least important): - Shaving mirror. (One of your most powerful tools, because you can use it to signal your location by reflecting the sun.) - Can of petrol. (Again, potentially vital for signaling as petrol floats on water and can be lit by your matches.) - Water container. (Essential for collecting water to restore your lost fluids.) -Emergency rations. (Valuable for basic food intake.) - Plastic sheet. (Could be used for shelter, or to collect rainwater.) -Chocolate bars. (A handy food supply.) - Fishing rod. (Potentially useful, but there is no guarantee that you're able to catch fish. Could also feasibly double as a tent pole.) - Rope. (Handy for tying equipment together, but not necessarily vital for survival.) - Floating seat or cushion. (Useful as a life preserver.) - Shark repellent. (Potentially important when in the water.) - Bottle of rum. (Could be useful as an antiseptic for treating injuries, but will only dehydrate you if you drink it.) - Radio. (Chances are that you're out of range of any signal, anyway.) - Sea chart. (Worthless without navigational equipment.) - Mosquito net. (Assuming that you've been shipwrecked in the Atlantic, where there are no mosquitoes, this is pretty much useless.) - Sextant. (Impractical without relevant tables or a chronometer.)

Advice for the Facilitator

The ideal scenario is for teams to arrive at a consensus decision where everyone's opinion is heard. However, that doesn't always happen naturally: assertive people tend to get the most attention. Less forthright team members can often feel intimidated and don't always speak up, particularly when their ideas are different from the popular view. Where discussions are one-sided, draw quieter people in so that everyone is involved, but explain why you're doing this, so that people learn from it.

You can use the Stepladder Technique when team discussion is unbalanced. Here, ask each team member to think about the problem individually and, one at a time, introduce new ideas to an appointed group leader – without knowing what ideas have already been discussed. After the first two people present their ideas, they discuss them together. Then the leader adds a third person, who presents his or her ideas before hearing the previous input. This cycle of presentation and discussion continues until the whole team has had a chance to voice their opinions.

After everyone has finished the exercise, invite your teams to evaluate the process to draw out their experiences. For example, ask them what the main differences between individual, team and official rankings were, and why. This will provoke discussion about how teams arrive at decisions, which will make people think about the skills they must use in future team scenarios, such as listening , negotiating and decision-making skills, as well as creativity skills for thinking "outside the box."

A common issue that arises in team decision making is groupthink . This can happen when a group places a desire for mutual harmony above a desire to reach the right decision, which prevents people from fully exploring alternative solutions.

If there are frequent unanimous decisions in any of your exercises, groupthink may be an issue. Suggest that teams investigate new ways to encourage members to discuss their views, or to share them anonymously.

Exercise 2: The Great Egg Drop*

In this classic (though sometimes messy!) game, teams must work together to build a container to protect an egg, which is dropped from a height. Before the egg drop, groups must deliver presentations on their solutions, how they arrived at them, and why they believe they will succeed.

This fun game develops problem-solving and decision-making skills. Team members have to choose the best course of action through negotiation and creative thinking.

  • Ideally at least six people in each team.
  • Raw eggs – one for each group, plus some reserves in case of accidents!
  • Materials for creating the packaging, such as cardboard, tape, elastic bands, plastic bottles, plastic bags, straws, and scissors.
  • Aprons to protect clothes, paper towels for cleaning up, and paper table cloths, if necessary.
  • Somewhere – ideally outside – that you can drop the eggs from. (If there is nowhere appropriate, you could use a step ladder or equivalent.)
  • Around 15 to 30 minutes to create the packages.
  • Approximately 15 minutes to prepare a one-minute presentation.
  • Enough time for the presentations and feedback (this will depend on the number of teams).
  • Time to demonstrate the egg "flight."
  • Put people into teams, and ask each to build a package that can protect an egg dropped from a specified height (say, two-and-a-half meters) with the provided materials.
  • Each team must agree on a nominated speaker, or speakers, for their presentation.
  • Once all teams have presented, they must drop their eggs, assess whether the eggs have survived intact, and discuss what they have learned.

When teams are making their decisions, the more good options they consider, the more effective their final decision is likely to be. Encourage your groups to look at the situation from different angles, so that they make the best decision possible. If people are struggling, get them to brainstorm – this is probably the most popular method of generating ideas within a team.

Ask the teams to explore how they arrived at their decisions, to get them thinking about how to improve this process in the future. You can ask them questions such as:

  • Did the groups take a vote, or were members swayed by one dominant individual?
  • How did the teams decide to divide up responsibilities? Was it based on people's expertise or experience?
  • Did everyone do the job they volunteered for?
  • Was there a person who assumed the role of "leader"?
  • How did team members create and deliver the presentation, and was this an individual or group effort?

Exercise 3: Create Your Own*

In this exercise, teams must create their own, brand new, problem-solving activity.

This game encourages participants to think about the problem-solving process. It builds skills such as creativity, negotiation and decision making, as well as communication and time management. After the activity, teams should be better equipped to work together, and to think on their feet.

  • Ideally four or five people in each team.
  • Paper, pens and flip charts.

Around one hour.

  • As the participants arrive, you announce that, rather than spending an hour on a problem-solving team-building activity, they must design an original one of their own.
  • Divide participants into teams and tell them that they have to create a new problem-solving team-building activity that will work well in their organization. The activity must not be one that they have already participated in or heard of.
  • After an hour, each team must present their new activity to everyone else, and outline its key benefits.

There are four basic steps in problem solving : defining the problem, generating solutions, evaluating and selecting solutions, and implementing solutions. Help your team to think creatively at each stage by getting them to consider a wide range of options. If ideas run dry, introduce an alternative brainstorming technique, such as brainwriting . This allows your people to develop one others' ideas, while everyone has an equal chance to contribute.

After the presentations, encourage teams to discuss the different decision-making processes they followed. You might ask them how they communicated and managed their time . Another question could be about how they kept their discussion focused. And to round up, you might ask them whether they would have changed their approach after hearing the other teams' presentations.

Successful decision making and problem solving are at the heart of all effective teams. While teams are ultimately led by their managers, the most effective ones foster these skills at all levels.

The exercises in this article show how you can encourage teams to develop their creative thinking, leadership , and communication skills , while building group cooperation and consensus.

* Original source unknown. Please let us know if you know the original source.

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Top 15 Problem-Solving Activities for Your Team to Master

May 27, 2022 - 10 min read

Brianna Hansen

Some people see problems as roadblocks, others see them as opportunities! Problem-solving activities are a great way to get to know how members of your team work, both individually and together. It’s important to teach your team strategies to help them quickly overcome obstacles in the way of achieving project goals.

In this article, you’ll explore 15 problem-solving activities designed to enhance collaboration and creativity. Additionally, if you want to discuss the insights and outcomes with your team after the activities, you can use Wrike’s actionable meeting notes template. This template allows you to record meeting discussions, assign action items, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

The importance of problem-solving skills in today’s workplace

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According to a 2019  report by McKinsey , soft skills are increasingly important in today's world — and problem-solving is the top area in which skills are lacking. A company or team’s success weighs heavily on the willingness of managers to help employees improve their problem-solving abilities. Team building activities targeting focus areas like communication and collaboration, adaptability, or strengthening decision-making techniques help.

All problem-solving processes start with identifying the problem. Next, the team must assess potential courses of action and choose the best way to tackle the problem. This requires a deep understanding of your team and its core strengths. A problem-solving exercise or game helps identify those strengths and builds problem-solving skills and strategies while having fun with your team.

problem solving team building ideas

Problem-solving games aren't for just any team. Participants must have an open mind and accept all ideas and solutions . They must also have an Agile mindset and embrace different structures, planning, and processes. Problems usually arise when we least expect them, so there's no better way to prepare than to encourage agility and flexibility.

Another aspect to keep in mind when engaging in problem-solving games and activities: There are no winners or losers. Sure, some games might end with a single winner, but the true goal of these exercises is to learn how to work together as a team to develop an Agile mindset. The winning team of each game should share their strategies and thought processes at the end of the exercise to help everyone learn.

Here’s a list of fun problem-solving activity examples to try with your team. From blindfolds to raw eggs, these problem-solving, team-building activities will have your team solving problems faster than Scooby and the gang.

Classic team-building, problem-solving activities

1. a shrinking vessel.

Helps with: Adaptability

Why adaptability is important for problem-solving: Adaptability is highly associated with cognitive diversity, which helps teams solve problems faster , according to the Harvard Business Review. Innovation and disruption are happening faster than ever before . People, teams, and organizations that can adapt will come out on top.

What you’ll need:

  • A rope or string

Instructions:

1. Using the rope, make a shape on the floor everyone can fit into.

2. Slowly shrink the space over 10-15 minutes.

3. Work together to figure out how to keep everyone within the shrinking boundaries.

2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps with: Collaboration

Why collaboration is important for problem-solving: “Collectively, we can be more insightful, more intelligent than we can possibly be individually,” writes Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline . We can solve problems better as a team than we can alone, which means developing your team’s collaboration skills will lead to better problem-solving outcomes.

What you’ll need (per team):

  • 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 roll of masking tape
  • 1 yard of string
  • 1 marshmallow

1. The goal of this exercise is to see which team can use the materials provided to build the tallest tower within an allotted time period. The tower must be able to stand on its own.

2. To make this exercise more challenging, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower. This team problem-solving exercise helps people think on their toes while building camaraderie and leadership.

3. Egg Drop

Helps with: Collaboration, decision-making

Why decision-making is important for problem-solving: Making decisions isn’t easy , but indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Decision-making activities help your team practice making quick, effective choices. Train your team’s decision-making muscles and they will become more adept at problem-solving.

  • A carton of eggs
  • Basic construction materials such as newspapers, straws, tape, plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, etc., tarp, or drop cloth
  • A parking lot, or some other place you don’t mind getting messy!

1. Each team gets an egg and must select from the construction materials.

2. Give everyone 20-30 minutes to construct a carrier for the egg and protect it from breaking.

3. Drop each egg carrier off a ledge (i.e. over a balcony) and see whose carrier protects the egg from breaking.

4. If multiple eggs survive, keep increasing the height until only one egg is left.

4. Stranded

Helps with: Communication, decision-making

Why communication is important for problem-solving: More employees work remotely than ever before. Good communication skills are vital to solving problems across  virtual teams . Working on communication skills while your team is together will help them solve problems more effectively when they’re apart.

Here's the setting: Your team has been stranded in the office. The doors are locked, and knocking down the doors or breaking the windows is not an option. Give your team 30 minutes to decide on ten items in the office they need for survival and rank them in order of importance. The goal of the game is to have everyone agree on the ten items and their rankings in 30 minutes.

Creative problem-solving activities

Helps with: Communication

What you'll need:

1. Divide everyone into small teams of two or more.

2. Select an overseer who isn't on a team to build a random structure using Lego building blocks within ten minutes.

3. The other teams must replicate the structure exactly (including size and color) within 15 minutes. However, only one member from each group may look at the original structure. They must figure out how to communicate the size, color, and shape of the original structure to their team.

4. If this is too easy, add a rule that the member who can see the original structure can't touch the new structure.

  • A lockable room
  • 5-10 puzzles or clues (depending on how much time you want to spend on the game)

1. The goal of this exercise is to solve the clues, find the key, and escape a locked room within the time allotted.

2. Hide the key and a list of clues around the room.

3. Gather the team into the empty room and "lock" the door.

4. Give them 30 minutes to an hour to find the key using the clues hidden around the room.

7. Frostbite

Helps with: Decision-making, adaptability

  • A blindfold
  • 1 packet of construction materials (such as card stock, toothpicks, rubber bands, and sticky notes) for each team
  • An electric fan

Instructions:  Your employees are Arctic explorers adventuring across an icy tundra! Separate them into teams of four or five and have them select a leader to guide their exploration. Each team must build a shelter from the materials provided before the storm hits in 30 minutes. However, both the team leader’s hands have frostbite, so they can’t physically help construct the shelter, and the rest of the team has snow blindness and is unable to see. When the 30 minutes is up, turn on the fan and see which shelter can withstand the high winds of the storm.

8. Minefield

  • An empty room or hallway
  • A collection of common office items

1. Place the items (boxes, chairs, water bottles, bags, etc.) around the room so there's no clear path from one end of the room to the other.

2. Divide your team into pairs and blindfold one person on the team.

3. The other must verbally guide that person from one end of the room to the other, avoiding the "mines."

4. The partner who is not blindfolded can't touch the other.

5. If you want to make the activity more challenging, have all the pairs go simultaneously so teams must find ways to strategically communicate with each other.

9. Blind Formations

1. Have the group put on blindfolds and form a large circle.

2. Tie two ends of a rope together and lay it in a circle in the middle of the group, close enough so each person can reach down and touch it.

3. Instruct the group to communicate to create a shape with the rope — a square, triangle, rectangle, etc.

4. If you have a very large group, divide them into teams and provide a rope for each team. Let them compete to see who forms a particular shape quickest.

Quick and easy problem-solving activities

10. line up blind.

1. Blindfold everyone and whisper a number to each person, beginning with one.

2. Tell them to line up in numerical order without talking.

3. Instead of giving them a number, you could also have them line up numerically by height, age, birthday, etc.

11. Reverse Pyramid

Helps with: Adaptability, collaboration

1. Have everyone stand in a pyramid shape, horizontally.

2. Ask them to flip the base and the apex of the pyramid moving only three people.

3. This quick exercise works best when smaller groups compete to see who can reverse the pyramid the fastest.

12. Move It!

  • Chalk, rope, tape, or paper (something to mark a space)

1. Divide your group into two teams and line them up front to back, facing each other.

2. Using the chalk, tape, rope, or paper (depending on the playing surface), mark a square space for each person to stand on. Leave one extra empty space between the two facing rows.

3. The goal is for the two facing lines of players to switch places.

4. Place these restrictions on movement:

  • Only one person may move at a time.
  • A person may not move around anyone facing the same direction.
  • No one may not move backward.
  • A person may not move around more than one person on the other team at a time.

13. Human Knot

1. Have everyone stand in a circle, and ask each person to hold hands with two people who aren’t directly next to them.

2. When everyone is tangled together, ask them to untangle the knot and form a perfect circle — without letting go of anyone's hand.

Our last two problem-solving activities work best when dealing with an actual problem:

14. Dumbest Idea First

Helps with: Instant problem-solving

1. "Dumb" ideas are sometimes the best ideas. Ask everyone to think of the absolute dumbest possible solution to the problem at hand.

2. After you have a long list, look through it and see which ones might not be as dumb as you think.

3. Brainstorm your solutions in Wrike. It's free and everyone can start collaborating instantly!

15. What Would X Do

1. Have everyone pretend they're someone famous.

2. Each person must approach the problem as if they were their chosen famous person. What options would they consider? How would they handle it?

3. This allows everyone to consider solutions they might not have thought of originally.

Looking for more team-building and virtual meeting games? Check out these virtual icebreaker games or our  Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities that Don't Suck.

Additional resources on problem-solving activities

  • Problem-Solving Model : Looking for a model to provide a problem-solving structure? This detailed guide gives you the tools to quickly solve any problem.
  • The Simplex Process:  Popularized by Min Basadur's book, The Power of Innovation , the Simplex Process provides training and techniques for each problem-solving stage. It helps frame problem-solving as a continuous cycle, rather than a “one and done” process.
  • Fun Problem-Solving Activities and Games : Looking for more ideas? Check out this list of interesting and creative problem-solving activities for adults and kids!
  • The Secret to Better Problem-Solving:  This article provides tips, use cases, and fresh examples to help you become a whiz at solving the toughest problems.

How to organize problem-solving activities with Wrike

If you want to make problem-solving activities more effective, consider using team collaboration software such as Wrike. 

Wrike’s pre-built actionable meeting notes template helps you keep track of meeting discussions, assign action items, and keep everyone in the loop. It’s an effective tool to streamline your problem-solving sessions and turn insights into real projects.

Brianna Hansen

Brianna Hansen

Brianna is a content marketing manager at Wrike. When she's not writing about collaboration and team building games, you'll find her in the kitchen testing out the latest recipes, sharing her favorite wine with friends, or playing with her two cats.

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5 Unexpected Ways To Improve Team Collaboration

5 Unexpected Ways To Improve Team Collaboration

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Making Mistakes at Work: What to Do if You're in the Wrong

Making Mistakes at Work: What to Do if You're in the Wrong

All of us have felt the fear of admitting when we’ve made a mistake at work. We may be terrified to tell our manager, or nervous about the impact our mistake could have on the business. But mistakes are completely normal and should be viewed as an opportunity to grow. This article aims to provide a deeper insight into why this fear of making mistakes at work exists and how to overcome it. We’ll also provide advice to managers on how to react and problem solve collaboratively as a team.  Why is there a fear of making mistakes at work? Making mistakes at work can be scary. This is especially true if you’re the sole breadwinner of your household or rely on your position for everyday expenses like rent. When the stakes are high, it’s normal to worry about what-if scenarios when something goes wrong. 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Follow these steps to overcoming work-related stress and bounce back stronger than before after you’ve messed up:  Step 1: Process your emotions It’s natural to feel frustrated and embarrassed when something goes wrong at work. But, after a few seconds, the feeling should pass and you can begin to think logically. If it doesn’t happen quickly, take some time to process these emotions. Talk it out with a trusted friend, voice journal about it in your car, or take a walk outside to get some fresh air before starting fresh.  It can be hard to maintain a sense of balance when you’re upset. Try to make sure that your emotional response is proportional to the mistake you made. Step 2: Keep perspective If you make an error at work, it’s likely not a life-or-death situation. Most of the time, it can be corrected or resolved quickly. If you don’t find the right perspective, your mind may get too focused on the negative consequences of your mistake, which can trigger more errors in the future. 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Even in the most high-pressure situations, doing so with care is not only good for morale but will prevent similar mistakes in the future. How a manager reacts to mistakes at work can make all the difference between transformational leadership and losing otherwise great employees.  Great managers understand that we can all learn from our mistakes. Mistakes help us develop as individuals and as a team.  Great managers can also recognize when they themselves have made mistakes. Before you approach a team member, take a close look at yourself to see if you're really worried about their work. If so, what do you think about their performance? Who is responsible for their work so far?  You may find that you’ve contributed to the environment, the process, or the miscommunication that made the mistake possible. 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Afterward, encourage them to learn from it and avoid repeating the same mistake. When communicating with an employee who has made a mistake, in-person meetings are often best. However, many teams are now made up of contractors, gig workers, and freelancers who work remotely so a physical location is not always accessible. If that’s the case, lean on digital tools to illustrate the issue.  For example, reports and individual task assignment lists from project management tools. These can also be used to prevent future mistakes, as managers can easily use them to communicate the actions and behaviors expected of team members and improve the overall work management process.  There may be times when mistakes happen over and over again. If that’s the case, the employee may be engaging in a pattern of behavior that keeps them from performing at their best. Managers can step in and provide ideas for healthy habits that will prevent the same type of mistake from cropping up again.  For example, you can ask a marketing team member to overcome a common marketing mistake of missing a content publishing deadline by writing a to-do list every day. This will help them stay on top of their tasks while also motivating them to finish their work at the same time.  In a nutshell, it’s important to understand that punishment for infrequent mistakes is unfair and ineffective. These mistakes offer opportunities to improve, which both managers and employees can embrace. How to admit a mistake in a professional environment You may end up in a situation in a professional environment where an apology is needed. And when it comes to making mistakes at work, honesty is the best policy. Certain actions can break trust, but an apology can help rebuild it.  In your explanation, it's important to detail why you acted the way you did. It shows that you care about how those around you are affected by your actions. It's important to address the person you're apologizing to by name, regardless of their status. Having an open conversation can help both of you understand the other person better, and it can prevent an insincere apology from happening. If the mistake you made affected someone personally, it's important to validate the feelings of the other person. Having the courage to admit that you're sorry can make a huge difference in how people treat you.  Take responsibility for your actions and have a plan in place for how to make amends before you approach the appropriate person or people.  Having a plan in place shows that you're thinking about how to make things right. You may even want to read about examples of taking responsibility at work and model your behavior on whichever feels appropriate for the situation.  However, don’t get carried away and make promises you can’t keep. It's important to set goals that are realistic so that you can avoid repeating the mistake.  If your apology is accepted, you can then try negotiating a solution by asking the other person to reflect on the situation and consider their feelings.  After you apologize, make a greater effort to keep your promises and not repeat the same mistake. Doing so can help improve the situation and make the other person feel more comfortable. How to learn from mistakes at work It's important to come clean and admit your mistake, but it's also important to move forward with a positive mindset. You'll most likely feel a bit down about your mistake right after it happens. But by learning from it, you can improve and become more resilient in the long run.  Start by creating a plan for improvement. If you made a minor mistake, then creating personal goals and action plans will help you put those lessons into action. You can learn a universal lesson from nearly any situation, no matter how unique it is. For example, if you learned that a mistake was made because of your forgetfulness, implementing organizational strategies to improve your memory could help. Next, keep track of progress over time in a notebook or virtual document. Be sure to note the highlights along with the lowlights. Look for patterns. As they come up, add them to your action plan or personal goals list.  Monitor whether or not these changes have led to better, more consistent outcomes. If not, adjust and keep going.  Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help if you're unsure which strategy or tool will work best for you. Managers are there to support your performance. If you approach them with honesty and vulnerability, they’ll likely be flattered you thought to ask. They may even offer advice or make changes that will improve productivity for you and the rest of the team.  In conclusion The pressure to perform at a high level can often result in mistakes and inefficient habits. Learn from your mistakes and take ownership of them. Communicate in an open and honest manner. Ask for or provide help when needed and remember that every new mistake is also an opportunity for better performance. How Wrike can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes at work With so many files, folders, updates, and chat threads to keep track of, mistakes are easily made when you try to get through your day without a work management platform. Wrike offers a variety of features to help you stay on top of your workload easily, and avoid unnecessary confusion that can lead to mistakes at work. Full project visibility, including real-time updates and approvals, means that you can ensure every stakeholder is informed of what you're working on, with your tasks going to the correct approver every time. One shared space with over 400 app integrations means communication has never been easier, no matter where you or your team are based. 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17 team building problem-solving activities that actually work

Wouldn’t it be great to go to work every day and everything just … works? While that’s a lovely daydream, in reality, we face challenges from time to time.

And when it comes to challenges, one thing remains true: Having a team you can rely on makes whatever it is way easier to deal with. 

It’s time to support your team in their personal growth and work on those problem-solving skills. The best way to do that is through some targeted team building activities . 

We’ve compiled a list of the best problem-solving activities, sorted by duration and your team’s needs. Bonus point: A lot of them are free !

Effective team building problem-solving activities

One of the most daunting aspects of team building is looking up ideas for things to do, not knowing whether they work. So we did the hard part for you and hand-picked the best team building activities to overcome obstacles. 

1. Improve collaboration with Work Buddy

Price: 14-day free trial, afterwards 7€ per user

Time : 15-20 minutes

Best for: Improving collaboration through understanding other team members' work preferences

Work Buddy is an innovative way to get teams on the same page! It's a fun and interactive quiz that helps team members understand each other better, leading towards improved collaboration. Through this session, you'll gain insights into your colleagues' working style - hours they prefer communicating during, their long-term goals, and more - which can help create stronger relationships within the workplace for more effective achievement of shared objectives. Work Buddy is free to try .

Boost team performance with Gomada's activity 'Work Buddy'

2. Practice to become a Communication Master

Best for: Exploring and understanding communication biases in the team

You're not alone if you've noticed misunderstandings or inefficient communication in your team. According to a recent study, 86% of knowledge workers report experiencing communication issues at work . Shortcomings in communication are estimated to lead to losses in profit of more than one trillion $ each year in the US alone.

Communication Master is an activity that helps your team practice explaining ideas in a clear and efficient way. It's challenging and fun, and you can try it for free .

Improve communication within the team with Gomada's Communication Master activity.

3. Follow the GROW process

Price: Free

Time : 2-3 hours

Best for: Taking a tried and tested approach to problem-solving

Arguably the best way to tackle organizational problems is by applying a model already tried and tested in business coaching. The GROW model is precisely that. GROW is an acronym in which each letter represents a step in the problem-solving process.

How it works:

  • G - Goal: Align on the goal(s) you want to achieve. Be as precise as possible and include numbers, time frames, etc. 
  • R - Reality: Observe where you are on the journey to achieve your goal. What still lies ahead of you?
  • O - Obstacles & Options: Which obstacles does your team currently face, and which challenges do you anticipate in the future? Consider various approaches to overcoming the (possible) roadblocks.
  • W - Way forward: Write down concrete action steps that you will take moving forward, including responsibilities and timelines.

Watch this role play video to see how you can put GROW into action.

4. Assess personality types

Price: Free Time: 60-90 minutes

Best for: Increasing empathy and enhancing teamwork

If your teammates constantly clash with each other, chances are they have different personality types. Understanding differences within your team is critical for good collaboration and teamwork, the pillars of successful problem-solving. To get going, take a personality test together and learn about each other's strengths and weaknesses. Have a follow-up discussion to talk about how you can collaborate better in the future. 

Question starters for your discussion:

  • Were you surprised by your results?
  • Where does your personality benefit your work?
  • How can you balance out each other's weaknesses?  
  • How can you build on each other's strengths?
  • Have you found a new appreciation for your teammates?

5. Have a well-being talk

Price: Free Time: 60 minutes ‍

Best for: Making sure your team is mentally prepared to tackle problems

If you feel like your team is lacking motivation and not on the top of their game, it may be time for a well-being check-in. Have an open conversation about mental health and your employees' feelings. Identify triggers for stress in the workplace; these typically include: 

  • Content of the job 
  • Role within the organization
  • Professional development
  • Work relationships
  • Company culture
  • Working conditions
  • Personal reasons

Once you have identified the most prominent issues, create an action plan to improve your team’s mental well-being. If you need help facilitating this, Confetti offers a Mental Health Workshop led by a professional expert.

6. Online hackathon

Price: Free 

Time: 24-48 hours

Best for: Boosting teamwork and innovation; Solving a specific problem in your organization

A hackathon is an event in which people of different disciplines come together to solve a common, real-world problem. It is the perfect activity for quickly innovating processes within your organization. Hosting a hackathon online allows you to invite team members from all around the world.

There are already great resources about organizing virtual hackathons available. To get you going, here’s a quick rundown on the most important steps:

  • Settle on the problem that your team should tackle, develop the deliverables, and invite industry experts to serve as a jury
  • Choose a video conferencing platform so the participants can stay in touch throughout the hackathon
  • Divide your team into smaller action teams. This works best if you involve different departments to mix and match different strengths and skillsets
  • When the day of the hackathon arrives, hold a kick-off meeting to explain the process of the event 
  • Have fun and get excited about great results

problem solving team building ideas

Leah Buchholz

Remote Expert & Jr. Content Marketer

Large groups

Prep required

Share fun facts and bond with a team quiz

Have your participants choose from a list of questions they’d like their coworkers to answer about them, before watching as they guess the right answer.

share-fun-facts-and-bond-with-a-team-quiz

problem solving team building ideas

Run a guided recognition activity

run-a-guided-recognition-activity

problem solving team building ideas

Organize a virtual cooking class

Hire a professional chef to help your team cook a delicious lunch or dinner. May be difficult for co-workers with families. To find providers and get tips, read our blog about virtual cooking classes.

organize-a-virtual-cooking-class

problem solving team building ideas

Hire a stand-up comedian

hire-a-stand-up-comedian

problem solving team building ideas

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Table of contents

Discover virtual team building with Gomada

Gomada auto-generates the optimal activity sequence for your team. All you need to do is schedule the activity.

problem solving team building ideas

Virtual team building problem-solving activities

If your team is working in a remote or hybrid setting and you’re looking for some fun games that strengthen problem-solving skills, the following activities are a match.

Related : The best team building software tools & apps.

7. Yes, and …

Time: 5-15 minutes

Best for: A quick game to foster creativity and flexibility

One of the best ways to strengthen your team’s ability to think quickly and adapt to unknown scenarios is through improv games. This one is perfect for beginners as it doesn’t require any acting, and your team can participate from the comfort of their home office chairs. 

To play the game, one person begins to tell a story, and the rest of the team has to build on it by replying with "yes, and". One after the other, everyone contributes one or two sentences, but people have to react quickly to keep the flow of the story going. 

You can determine the order in advance, for example, by first name or age, or keep it open to increase the difficulty level.

8. Flash of genius

Time: 15- 20 minutes

Best for: Quick thinking, boosting creativity, healthy competition

Have you ever had a flash of inspiration at a random moment? The one that prompts you to jot down your brilliant idea on a piece of paper or a napkin? That’s what this game is all about.

Before the game starts, you have to prepare several problem statements. These can be real, like ‘A team from another department constantly messes up your work. What do you do?’ or imaginative, such as ‘Aliens have landed on planet earth and kidnapped humans. What do you do?’. During the session, the participants then need to develop solutions to these problems. 

  • Split the team into small groups and ask everyone to write down their approaches on a digital collaboration board 
  • After two minutes of brainstorming, every team gets one more minute to decide on their number one solution
  • For the finale, everyone presents their approach to the rest of the group

9. Codenames

Time: 15-30 minutes

Best for: Thinking outside the box, risk evaluation, communication

​​Codenames was initially released as a card game but is now also available as an online version. In this game, two teams must try to identify agents hiding behind codenames. 

  • The playing field consists of 25 cards labeled with codenames (random words)
  • Both teams assign one spymaster who gets to see under which cards the agents for their team are hiding. The spymasters take turns giving their team members clues to find the right cards, but with one big restriction – they can only say one word.
  • The goal is to find all the right words before the other team finishes.

To be the fastest team, it is useful to give clues that connect different terms, but players have to be careful not to guess the cards that belong to the other group. Thus, the participants must find the right balance between risk-taking and passing on an opportunity to score.

10. Domino effect

Price: 0- 29€/person

Best for: Collaborating asynchronously and working together on one goal

The idea behind this activity is simple; you knock over one object that sets a second in motion, which is followed by a whole chain of reactions. What makes it difficult is that the team has to create this domino effect without being in the same place. Therefore, each team member has to create one part of the process and film it.

This is what it looks like: 

  • Person 1 begins the series by knocking over a random object and making a video of it; let’s say they choose a ball that knocks down a book
  • They inform person 2, who creates a video of a book falling onto a bottle. 
  • Then, person 3 has to start their video with a bottle falling on the object of their choice and so on.
  • In the end, all videos are cut together. 

The activity requires strategic thinking and good communication to have a consistent string of domino effects and is perfect for teams who work across different time zones. You can either set it up yourself or get a professional agency to support you.

11. Escape room

Price: 0-30€/person

Time: 15-90 min.

Best for: Refining attention to detail and logical thinking with a gamified experience

If you’re not already familiar with the concept of escape rooms, you’re missing out! In short, your team has to solve various puzzles and riddles while following a mystery tale. Only if they find the hidden clues will they reach the solution and escape the room. 

This makes escape rooms an excellent problem-solving team building activity for adults. Participants have to practice their patience and logical thinking. Virtual escape games usually take place over a video conferencing tool so participants can discuss their ideas as the game proceeds. One of our favorite escape room experiences is this Sherlock-inspired detective story.

12. Panel of Experts

Time: 15-30 min.

Best for: Helping team members to step out of their comfort zone through improvisation

Panel of Experts is another improv game that is great for fostering creativity and spontaneity as your team will have to create dialogues without any prior preparation and script.

How it works: 

  • You determine one show host and two to four ‘experts’; the rest of the team will act as an audience. 
  • Everybody in the audience can call in a topic they would like the group to discuss for two minutes. Collect all ideas and agree on a topic to start with.
  • The actors now have to engage in a conversation in their respective roles. 
  • After each round, assign the roles to new team members.

Your team will have collaboratively put up some entertaining scenes, and who knows, maybe you will discover some actual special-interest knowledge.

13. Sort the group

Time: 10-15 minutes

Best for: Improving communication; Getting to know your team

Sort the group exercises are exactly what they sound to be: As a team, you have to get in order following different attributes like height, age, duration at the company; you name it. The difficulty lies within the fact that you aren’t allowed to talk or write. Team members have to develop other ways to communicate and get in order.

Pro tip: You can open a shared document, write down the names of the participants and rearrange them until everyone agrees on the final result.

Trust Activity

Ups & Downs

Core dimension

What cheers us up and tears us down can be very different. Get to know your team’s motivators and demotivators.

problem solving team building ideas

Offline problem-solving activities for team building

If you’re pumped to do some team building in person , we’ve picked the right activities for you.

14. The minefield

Price: 0-10€

Best for: Practicing communication and listening skills and advancing trust between team members

This classic team building activity works very well to build trust in your team without the awkwardness of trust falls or entangling human knots. You’ll have to prepare a playing field beforehand, consisting of a starting and finishing line, and put some obstacles (e.g., bottles) in between. 

  • Divide the team into several small groups. Each team lines up at the edge of the playing field.
  • Each participant is given a blindfold to put on when it is their turn. You can use face masks or anything else to cover the eyes.
  • After giving the go, the groups must try to guide their 'blind' teammates through the minefield using verbal instructions alone. If a person touches an object, they have to start over. If they make it through the minefield, the next person can start. 
  • The fastest team wins. 

Pro tip: To make the game more difficult, you can rule that players cannot give directions (front, side, back) but must think of a code to guide their teammates.

15. Picking up trash

Time: 30 minutes - 3 hours

Best for: Teams looking to make a real impact beyond simple games

What better way to connect with your team than simultaneously doing something great for the environment? Have your team walk around the area around your office and pick up trash together. Afterward, you come together and brainstorm ideas on how to tackle the garbage problem. Maybe your neighborhood could profit from some more trash cans? Higher fines for littering? A better deposit system? Get creative!

You can also turn it into a challenge. To do so, divide your crew into smaller groups and assign each one the task of collecting as much rubbish as they can. After some time, you evaluate who had the most original approaches and picked up the most trash. 

Either way, you train your problem-solving skills on a real-world issue and do some good for nature.

16. Speed-dating

Time: 10-20 minutes

Best for: Fostering 1:1 conversations around work issues

While speed dating is best known for finding new romantic partners, it can also be applied to the working environment. 

Here is how it works:

  • Divide the team into two groups, one of which positions itself in an inner and the other in an outer circle. There should always be two people facing each other. If you’re an uneven number, create one pair that always moves together.
  • A game leader asks a question for which both partners have one minute to answer.
  • Then the inner circle moves so that two new team members are facing each other.
  • The game ends when everyone has returned to their original partner.

Some questions to inspire your own:

  • If you could change one thing in your workday, what would it be?
  • Would you rather have more time or more money? Why?
  • What would you do if your laptop suddenly just stopped working?

17. Scavenger hunt

Price: Varies

Time: 2-3 hours

Best for: Fostering cross-team collaboration and boosting team morale

Another classic team-building activity that is great for promoting problem-solving. You have to work together as a team to find clues that will ultimately lead you to a goal. 

As far as preparation goes, you will have to decide between setting up the activity yourself or a professional provider. Depending on which option you choose, you will have to invest more money or time (yes, we are referring to the last game here). Either way, your joint search will have your team think outside the box and socialize with others. 

What are the benefits of problem-solving team building activities for businesses?

Problem-solving is an essential skill for every team. In particular, strengthening your team member’s decision-making and adaptability skills will ensure that your daily operations run a bit smoother; say a new process isn’t going as planned, or an essential co-worker falls sick, your team will be able to handle it. You also set out your organization for success when facing more drastic challenges, such as, uh, a global pandemic or changes in the company’s strategy. 

Some of the skills your team will improve on when regularly engaging in problem-solving team building activities are:

  • Out-of-the-box thinking
  • Communication
  • Creativity 
  • Flexibility
  • Collaboration

Using team building problem-solving games

Investing time into team building activities that support problem-solving is the best way to empower your team in their abilities to overcome work challenges. Whether you’re an experienced leadership team looking to boost your decision-making and critical thinking skills or a young team working on collaboration and communication , these activities set you up for success. 

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45 team building games to improve communication and camaraderie

Alicia Raeburn contributor headshot

Team building games bring everyone together without the added pressure of work. Here, we’ve listed 45 of the top team building activities broken down by icebreaker, problem solving, indoor, and outdoor games.

As Ashley Frabasilio, Employee Engagement Manager at Asana puts it, “Creating a shared experience for teams to build relationships is one of the best ways to increase trust and encourage collaboration."

Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, quick icebreaker games, or activities to bond with your remote team members, we compiled a list of over 45 team building games that you’ll actually enjoy. 

How to make team building inclusive

Teams with an inclusive culture tend to be more transparent, supportive, and happy because everyone feels accepted. It’s essential to make any team activity feel productive and enjoyable for the entire group, regardless of personalities or skill sets. Whether you’re working on building an inclusive remote culture or want in-person teams to feel more comfortable together, consider the following for an inclusive team building experience:

Inclusive team building means including everyone. Depending on the type of team building activity, you may benefit from hiring an outside expert to facilitate a team building event that everyone can participate in. Plus, the activity may feel more authentic because a professional is guiding you.

If you have introverts on the team, they may not be as excited about an exercise that involves lots of social interaction and do better in small groups. 

Teammates with speech, sight, or hearing impairments may feel left out during a game that involves blindfolding players and communicating without looking at each other.

Physically active games could exclude physically impaired teammates. 

Before choosing one of the team building games from this list, take stock of everyone's abilities. Find an activity that everyone on your team can participate in. Maybe even send out an anonymous poll to see what kinds of activities your team would be willing to partake in. Ultimately, the best team building activity will be the one that everyone can enjoy.

Team icebreaker games

Icebreaker questions and activities are the perfect “getting to know you” games but they’re also fun to play with teammates you’ve known for a long time. You can play them to get everyone up to speed for a meeting (especially on those 8am calls) or use them to introduce new team members.

Team icebreaker games

1. Two truths, one lie

Team size : 3+ people

Time : 2–3 minutes per person

How to play : Ask everyone in the group to come up with two facts about themselves and one lie. The more memorable the facts (e.g., I went skydiving in Costa Rica) and the more believable the lies (e.g., I have two dogs), the more fun the game will be! Then, ask each team member to present their three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie.

Why this exercise is great : This game is perfect for groups who don’t know each other well yet. The details you share can be used as building blocks for late conversations (“What else did you do in Costa Rica?”) to give you a better idea of who you’re working with.

2. Penny for your thoughts

Team size : 5+ people

How to play : You’ll need a box full of pennies (or other coins) with years only as old as your youngest team member (not the time to brag about your 1937 collector’s penny). Ask every team member to draw a coin from the box and share a story, memory, or otherwise significant thing that happened to them that year. This can be anything from learning how to ride a bike to landing your first job.    

Why this exercise is great : This is a fun twist on a stress-free and simple icebreaker that gives everyone the chance to share a personal story with their team. You can play multiple rounds if the stories are on the shorter side or let team members elaborate on their stories to gain deeper insight into their lives.

3. Mood pictures

How to play : Prepare a variety of images before you play. You can collect newspaper clippings, magazine cutouts, postcards, and posters or print out different images from the internet (Pinterest is a great spot). The images should show landscapes, cities, people, shapes, or animals in a variety of colors and perspectives.

Lay all the images out and ask team members to each pick one that resonates with their current mood. Once everyone has picked an image, ask them to share what they resonated with, how it makes them feel, and why they picked it.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise is a great way to get a meeting or a workshop started because it allows you to get a feel of the room in a creative and unexpected way. You don’t always have to ask your team to pick an image that reflects their mood—it can also be their expectations for a workshop, their feelings about a current project, or how they hope to feel at the end of the day. As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so this exercise makes talking about feelings easier for a lot of people.

4. One word exercise

Time : 5–10 minutes 

How to play : Pick a phrase related to the meeting topic and ask everyone to write down one word that comes to mind on a post-it. Then, gather these words on a whiteboard or put them in a presentation. For example, if you’re hosting a meeting about your annual holiday event. Everyone would take a moment to respond with the first word that comes in their head. If the team is responding with words like stress or exhaustion, you might want to rethink your process.

Why this exercise is great : This is a way to collect opinions, thoughts, or feelings about a meeting that’s well within most people’s comfort zone. You’ll have the chance to read the room before diving into the topic and may uncover some concerns or questions to focus on, which will make the meeting more beneficial to everyone.

5. Back-to-back drawing

Team siz e: 4+ people 

Time : 5–10 minutes

How to play : Split your team into groups of two and make them sit back to back. Hand one person a pen and piece of paper and show the other person a picture of something that’s fairly simple to draw (e.g., a car, a flower, a house). This person now has to describe the picture to their teammate without actually saying what the item is so they can draw it. They’re allowed to describe shapes, sizes, and textures but can’t say, “Draw a lily.” Once the blind drawing is finished, compare it with the original to see how well you communicated.

Why this exercise is great : This activity is a fun way to polish your communication skills, especially your listening skills. It also gives your team a chance to get creative and innovative by thinking outside the box to describe the image to their teammate.

6. Birthday line up

Team size : 8+ people

Time : 10–15 minutes

How to play : Ask your entire team to form a line in order of their birthdays without talking to each other. You can encourage other forms of communication like sign language, gestures, or nudges. If you want to add a little bit of pressure and excitement to the exercise, add a time limit! 

Why this exercise is great : Besides learning everyone’s birthday (which can always come in handy as a conversation starter later on), this exercise encourages your team to learn to communicate towards a common goal without using words. Although this can be a challenge and get frustrating, this exercise promotes problem framing skills, cooperation, and non-verbal communication skills.

7. Charades

Team size : 8–10 people

Time : 10–25 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of four or five people. The person who goes first is given or shown a random object (e.g., printer, stapler, keyboard) in private. They then have to demonstrate how to use the object without actually showing it in front of their team. Their team gets 30 seconds on the clock to shout out the correct word (you can adjust the time depending on the difficulty of the objects).

Then it’s the other team’s turn. You’ll keep playing until every team member has had the chance to demonstrate an object to their team. 

Why this exercise is great : This classic game is a nice way to break up a mentally taxing day and get your team to do a creative exercise that isn’t work-related.

8. Swift swap

Team size : 10–20 people

How to play :  Split your team into two groups and line them up facing each other. Team A gets a quick observation period (15–30 seconds) in which group members have to memorize as many things about the people in front of them as possible. Then team A turns around while team B changes as many things about their appearance as possible. 

Anything from changing the line up order to swapping shoes with someone or changing your hairdo is fair game. After about 45 seconds, team A turns back around and gets 5–10 minutes to find out what’s changed. You can adjust the time depending on the size of your group.

Why this exercise is great : This game is a great way to break up a long day and take everyone’s minds off work for a little while. Your team also gets to practice time-sensitive non-verbal communication during the swapping phase.

9. Code of conduct

Time : 20–30 minutes

How to play : This game is a great way to tune into a new project or workshop. Write the two categories “meaningful” and “enjoyable” on a whiteboard and ask the group to share what they believe is needed to accomplish these two things for your project or workshop. This can be anything from “regular breaks'' to “transparency and honesty,” which could fall under either category.

Everyone will choose ideas that they agree are both meaningful and enjoyable . Record these values in a shared tool to establish the code of conduct for your upcoming project or workshop. This list will function as a reminder for the team to uphold these values.

Why this exercise is great : Whether it’s the first day of a workshop, the beginning of a new project, or simply a Monday morning, this exercise is great to get everyone on your team on the same page. By establishing group norms and values early on and holding everyone accountable with a written code of conduct, you can create a sense of cohesiveness. If you’d like to do this exercise virtually, use our team brainstorming template to collect everyone’s thoughts.

10. Common thread

Team size : 10+ people

Time : 30 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of three to five people. Then ask your team to find things everyone in their group has in common. This can be a favorite TV show, an ice cream flavor nobody likes, or a common hobby. Encourage your teammates to find common threads that aren’t too superficial or obvious. The more things they can find that everyone in the group has in common, the better! If you have the time, bring everyone together afterward and ask the teams to share their experiences.

Why this exercise is great : This fun game allows your team to find commonalities that they may not get a chance to discover otherwise. It’s also a great way to reunite teams that feel a bit divided. Talking about shared likes and dislikes can be helpful to reconnect you with teammates.

Remote or virtual team building games

Bonding with your teammates can be more difficult when you’re working remotely. Remote or virtual team building games can improve remote collaboration , motivate teams , and create a sense of community even though you’re physically apart. You can use Zoom to connect with your teammates or do quick team building exercises via your remote work software during the day.

Virtual team building games

If your team is located across multiple time zones, you may have to get creative with scheduling. Ashley Frabasilio, Employee Engagement Manager at Asana encourages leaders to schedule these activities during normal work hours. Ensure that the activity is appropriate for all participants in all time zones so no one feels excluded. Using work hours for these exercises can also increase the participation rate because you’re not interfering with personal time.

11. Show and tell  

How to play : Ask everyone in your team to bring something they’re proud of or that brings them joy to your next meeting. This can be anything from a pet to a plant, a painting they did, or a certificate they received. Everyone gets two to three minutes to show off their item and answer questions from the team if they have any.

Why this exercise is great : Show and tell isn’t just fun for kids, it’s also a great way to connect with your team. You’re probably going to learn something new about your teammates and may get a couple of conversation starters for your next meeting from this game.

12. Photo caption contest 

How to play : Collect a few funny photos—for example a few memes that have recently been circling the internet. Send these to your team before the meeting and ask everyone to submit their best photo caption for each image. You can put these together in a quick presentation and present them to your team during the call. You can have a good laugh together and even vote for the best captions.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise is a fun way to get creative as a team and have a good laugh together.

13. Morning coffee 

Time : 15–30 minutes

How to play : Schedule regular coffee calls for your remote team to give everyone a chance to get to know each other like they would in an office setting. You can schedule team calls with four to five people or randomly assign two people to each other that switch every time. You can offer these casual calls once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month, depending on your team size and the interest in this opportunity. 

Why this exercise is great : Remote teams don’t often get a chance to just chit-chat and get to know each other without talking about work or feeling like they’re wasting meeting time. By designating 15–30 minutes on a regular basis to a casual call, your team members will have a chance to bond with people they might not typically interact with.

14. Lunch and learn

How to play : Hold a weekly or monthly “lunch and learn” where one team member presents a topic to the whole team during their lunch break. This presentation can be on a tool everyone uses at work, on a lesson learned from a recent project, or even on a book they read that everyone can learn from. 

Why this exercise is great : These events are a great opportunity for your team to connect in a more casual yet educational setting. If your team budget allows, send restaurant gift cards to your team members so they can order lunch for the call.

15. Online group game  

Time : 30–60 minutes

How to play : Invite your team to play a game online together. This can be an actual video game if everyone happens to use the same console at home or you can download an interactive game (like Jackbox ) which you can screen share with the rest of the group. 

Why this exercise is great : Playing a video game or an interactive game that has nothing to do with work can be a fun way to switch things up, create a more casual work environment, and get to know each other better. It will also give people with great sportsmanship a chance to shine!

16. Trivia games 

Team size : 6–20 people

Time : 30–90 minutes

How to play : Start a meeting with a quick game of trivia or host a regular virtual trivia night at the end of the work day. You can play a game of office trivia (e.g., facts about the company) or pick random other themes like TV shows, music, or national parks. To mix things up, ask other team members to host trivia night.

Why this exercise is great : Whether you’re making the trivia game office-themed or creating a regular team activity that takes everyone’s minds off of work, you’ll get to spend time with your team playing a competitive, educational, and entertaining game that gives everyone a chance to bond.

17. Quarterly challenge  

Time : One month

How to play : Create an optional challenge for your team to participate in. The challenge can be centered around healthy eating, meditation, journaling, or reading. Create a chat or thread where your teammates can exchange their experiences, wins, and questions to keep each other motivated and accountable throughout the month. 

Make sure your team knows that participation is optional. It never hurts to ask for feedback to spark future team challenge ideas.

Why this exercise is great : Creating a challenge like this for your team shows them that you care about their work-life balance. By offering a quarterly challenge, you provide your team with the opportunity to share an experience together. Plus, it’s always easier to complete a challenge when you have a team who supports you and an incentive to work toward.  

18. Personality test  

How to play : Send a personality test to your team and ask everyone to share their results in a chat or during your next team meeting. This can be a formal test like the Enneagram or StrengthsFinder . For something more lighthearted, you can send a fun quiz like the Sorting Hat to find out which Hogwarts house you belong in or a Buzzfeed quiz (e.g., “ What Kitchen Appliance Are You? ”).

Why this exercise is great : Depending on the type of quiz your team takes, this can become a funny icebreaker before you start a meeting or turn into a discussion on your team’s combined strengths and challenges. 

Problem solving games

Playing problem solving games with your team helps them level up their teamwork skills, resolve issues, achieve goals, and excel together. Whether you’re using new brainstorming techniques or going out for a team adventure, these fun team building activities are the perfect way to improve your team's problem solving skills.

Problem solving games

19. Your first idea

Team size : 5–12 people

Time : 10–20 minutes

How to play : Ask everyone in your team to write down the first idea that pops into their head when they’re presented with the problem. Compile the list and review it as a team.

A fun twist on this game is to ask everyone to write down their worst idea. After reviewing with the team, you may realize that some ideas aren’t that bad after all. You can play this game with a real-life problem, a fictional one, or when you’re brainstorming new ideas to pitch.

Why this exercise is great : We often get too much into our heads about problems and solutions. By writing down the first solution that comes to mind, we can uncover new perspectives and fixes.

20. Back of the napkin

Team size : 6–24 people

Time : 15–20 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of two to four and present them with a variety of open-ended problems. These can be work-related, imaginary, or even environmental problems. Every team gets a napkin and pen that they have to sketch or write their solution on after they’ve discussed the issue as a group. These will then be presented to the rest of the team.

Why this exercise is great : Some of the best ideas have allegedly been recorded on napkins (hey, when creativity strikes you’ll write on anything). This game imitates this scenario while challenging your team to collaborate on solving a creative problem.

21. Create your own

How to play : Each team member will create an original problem-solving activity on their own and present it to the group. Whether this entails a physical, mental, or creative challenge is up to your team. If you have the time, play some of the games afterward!

Why this exercise is great : Coming up with your own games is fun and a real creative challenge. It also allows your team members to showcase their strengths by creating challenges they’ll be prepared to tackle.

22. Spectrum mapping

Team size : 5–15 people

How to play : Present your team with a few topics that you’d like their opinions and insight on. Write them down on a whiteboard and give everyone sticky notes and pens. Ask them to write down their thoughts and pin them on the whiteboard underneath the respective topic.

Now arrange the sticky notes as a team. Try to group similar ideas together to the left of the topic and post outliers toward the right side. This will create a spectrum of popular thoughts and opinions on the left and more extreme ideas on the right.

Why this exercise is great : This game will help you map out the diversity of perspectives your team has on different topics. Remember that unpopular opinions don’t have to be wrong. Embracing this diversity can help you uncover new perspectives and innovative ideas to solve problems you’re facing as a team. 

23. What would “X” do? 

Team size : 5–10 people

Time : 45–60 minutes

How to play : Present your team with a problem and ask everyone to come up with a famous person or leader they admire. This can be a celebrity, a business person, or a relative. Challenge your teammates to approach the problem as if they were that person and present their solution (extra points for playing in character).

Why this exercise is great : Getting stuck in your own head can often keep you from solving a problem efficiently and effectively. By stepping into the shoes of someone else, you may uncover new solutions. Plus, it’s fun pretending to be someone else for a little while!

24. Team pursuit

Time : 1–3 hours

How to play : Form groups of two to six people that will compete against one another in a series of challenges. You can buy a team pursuit package online or create your own game, which will take a good amount of prep time. 

You’ll want to create a set of challenges for your team: cerebral challenges that test logic and intelligence, skill challenges like aptitude tests, and mystery challenges which usually ask for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking (e.g., come up with a unique handshake, take a fun picture, etc.).  

Why this exercise is great : A solid game of team pursuit will create a fun challenge that gives everyone a chance to shine and show off their talents. Whether you’re a good runner, a quick thinker, or a creative mind, everyone will be able to contribute to the success of the team. This game will bring your team closer together and show them new sides of their teammates that they may not have been aware of.

25. Code break

Team size : 8–24 people

How to play : This brain teaser is a fun activity that you can play indoors or outdoors to challenge your team. Outback Team Building offers self-hosted, remote-hosted, and on-site hosted events that include several codes your teammates have to find and break to make it through the course.

Why this exercise is great : This challenge requires creative thinking, creates a competitive environment, and works with large groups because you can break off into smaller groups.

26. Escape room

Time : 2–3 hours

How to play : Visiting an escape room is always a unique experience and a great way to spend an afternoon with your team. If you have multiple escape rooms nearby, ask your team if they have a general idea of what theme they’d like to explore (e.g., history, horror, sci-fi) and try to pick something you’ll think everyone will enjoy.

If you’re super creative and have the time and resources, you can put together an escape room on your own!

Why this exercise is great : Solving the mysteries of an escape room with your team will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates, foster communication and collaboration, build trust, and become a shared memory that connects you together.

Indoor team building games

Most of these indoor games can be played in an office, conference room, or a hallway with a small team, but you may need a bit more space if you’re inviting a larger group to join in.

Indoor team building games

27. Perfect square

Team size : 4–12 people

How to play : Divide your team into groups of four to six and ask them to stand in a tight circle with their group. Ask everyone to blindfold themselves or close their eyes and give one person a rope. Without looking at what they're doing, the teams now have to pass the rope around so everyone holds a piece of it and then form a perfect square. Once the team is sure their square is perfect, they can lay the rope down on the floor, take off their blindfolds (or open their eyes) and see how well they did. 

Why this exercise is great : This game is about more than perfect geometric shapes, it’s an amazing listening and communication exercise. Because no one can see what they're doing, your team members have to communicate clearly while figuring out how to create a square out of a rope. Besides, it’s often really funny to see how imperfect the squares come out.

28. Memory wall

How to play : You’ll need a whiteboard and sticky notes for this game. Write different work-related themes on the whiteboard such as “first day at work,” “team celebration,” and “work travel.” Hand each teammate a few sticky notes and ask them to write down their favorite memories or accomplishments associated with one or more of these themes. Invite everyone to share these with the team to take a walk down memory lane and post the notes on the whiteboard as you go.

Why this exercise is great : This is a nice way to end a week, long day, or workshop because you’ll share positive experiences with one another that will leave your teammates smiling. If you’re finishing up a work trip or multi-day workshop, you can also do a slimmed-down version of this by asking everyone to share their favorite memory or biggest accomplishment of the last few days.

29. Turn back time  

How to play : This team building exercise works best in a quiet atmosphere with everyone sitting in a circle. Ask your team to silently think of a unique memory in their lives. You can give them a few minutes to collect their thoughts. Then, ask everyone to share the one memory they’d like to relive if they could turn back time.

Not everyone may be comfortable opening up at first, so be sure to lead with vulnerability and make everyone in the room feel safe about sharing their moment.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise is a great way to help your team members remember their priorities and bond on a deeper level. In a team that’s facing disconnection or stress, sharing personal highlights that aren’t work-related can help create a sense of togetherness. Although the exercise doesn’t take too long, it’s best to do it toward the end of the day so your team has a chance to reflect on what’s been said.

30. Paper plane  

Team size : 6–12 people

How to play : Split your team into groups of two to four and hand out card stock. Give each team 10–15 minutes to come up with the best long-distance paper plane design (they’re allowed to do research on their phones or computers) and a name for their airline.

When the paper planes are done, have a competition in a long hallway or outside to see which plane flies the farthest. 

Why this exercise is great : This exercise requires team members to collaborate on a project with a tight timeline. It is a great activity to practice communication skills, delegation, and time management.

31. Build a tower

Team size : 8–16 people

How to play : Divide your team into groups of four or five and provide them with 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. Challenge each team to build the tallest tower possible using only the supplies you gave them. When finished, the tower has to support the marshmallow sitting on top. Set the timer for 20 minutes and ask everyone to step away from their masterpiece when it runs out so you can crown a winner.

Why this exercise is great : This challenge is a great way to improve problem solving skills and communication within your team. Your team members will have to prototype, build, and present the tower in a short amount of time, which can be stressful. The better they work together, the more likely they are to succeed.

32. Flip it over

Team size : 6–8 people

How to play : Lay a towel, blanket, or sheet on the floor and ask your teammates to stand on it. The goal is to flip the piece over without ever stepping off of it or touching the ground outside of the fabric. You can make the challenge more difficult by adding more people to the team or using a smaller sheet.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise requires clear communication, cooperation, and a good sense of humor. It’s a great way to find out how well your teammates cooperate when presented with an oddly difficult task.

33. Sneak a peek 

Team size : 4–20 people

How to play : Create a structure out of Lego pieces and hide it in a separate room. Divide your team into groups of two to four people and give them enough Legos to replicate the structure in 30 minutes or less.

One player per team is allowed to sneak a peek at the original structure for 15 seconds, then run back and describe it to their team. The person who gets to sneak a peek rotates so everyone gets to see the original at some point during the game. The team that first completes the structure as close to the original wins! 

Why this exercise is great : During this game your team gets to focus on teamwork and communication. Since only one person at a time is allowed to look at the original, team members may see and describe different things. The more complex the structure is, the harder this game will be.

34. Pyramids

How to play : Pick a large open area for this game like a hallway, a meeting room, or the cafeteria. Divide your team into groups of four to six and give each team 10 paper cups. Ask the teams to stand in a line with about 8–10 feet between the team members. Now it’s a race against time!

The first person in each line has to build a pyramid with four cups at the base. Once they’re done, the second player has to help them carry the pyramid to their station (this can be on the floor or at a table). They can slide it on the floor or carry it together but if the pyramid falls apart, the players have to reassemble it on the spot before continuing their journey. At the next station, the second player has to topple the pyramid and rebuild it before the third player gets to help them carry it to the next station. This continues until the pyramid reaches the last station. The team that finishes first wins the game

Why this exercise is great : This game is fun to play during a mid-day break, fosters communication skills, and promotes teamwork.

35. Shipwrecked

Team size : 8–25 people

How to play : The premise of the game is that you’re stranded on a deserted island and only have 25 minutes to secure survival items off the sinking ship. Place items like water bottles, matches, food, etc., in the “shipwreck area.” You can also print pictures on index cards to make things a bit easier. The quantity of each item should be limited, with some items having more than others (e.g., more water than food, fewer tarps than teams, more knives than ropes, etc.).

Divide your team into groups of two (or more if it’s a large team). Once the clock starts, they have to gather as many items as they deem worthy from the shipwreck and rank them in order of importance. Since the items are limited (some more than others), the teams will not only have to prioritize the items within their own group of people but also negotiate, trade, and exchange items with other teams. 

Why this exercise is great : This game will challenge problem-solving abilities, encourage collaboration, and enable your team to flex their leadership skills. Typically, teams with strong leadership qualities will have the most success in making these quick decisions.

36. Team flag

Time : 30–45 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of two to four people and provide them with paper and pens. Each group now has to come up with an emblem or flag that represents their team. Once everyone has completed their masterpiece, they have to present it to the rest of the teams, explaining how they came up with the design. This exercise is also a great opportunity to discuss how each group identified their common values and created alignment during the design process.

Why this exercise is great : This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Your team will not only have to come up with a unique design that represents their collective identity but they’ll also have to collaborate on putting pen to paper and presenting their flag or emblem at the end of the game.

37. Salt and pepper  

How to play : You’ll need a list of things that go well together like salt and pepper, left sock and right sock, day and night, peanut butter and jelly, or yin and yang. Write these words on individual pieces of paper and tape one sheet of paper on every team member's back. 

Ask your team to mingle and find out what’s written on their back by asking questions that can only be answered with yes or no (e.g., “Am I sweet? Do you wear me? Am I cold?”). Once the participants find out who they are, they have to find their match!

Why this exercise is great : Your team can use this game to bond with one another and improve their communication skills. If you have a large team, this exercise also gives them a chance to interact with people they may not usually get to talk to.

38. Sell it

Time : 45–90 minutes

How to play : Ask your teammates to each bring a random object to the meeting. Everyone then has to come up with a logo, slogan, and marketing plan to sell this object. After 30 minutes, each team member has to present their new product to the rest of the team. If you have a larger team, divide them into groups of 2–4 people and ask them to collaborate on their product pitch.

Why this exercise is great : This game is great to switch things up if you don’t already work in marketing or sales. It’s also fun to play with others as it allows your team to get creative and have fun with everyday objects.

39. The barter puzzle

Time : 1–2 hours

How to play : Divide your team into groups of three or four people and give each a different jigsaw puzzle of the same difficulty level. Ask them to complete the puzzle as a team. The twist: each puzzle is missing a few pieces that are mixed in with an opposing team’s puzzle. The teams have to figure out ways to get the pieces they need from the other teams by negotiating, trading pieces, or even exchanging teammates. Every decision has to be made as a team. The first team to complete their puzzle wins.

Why this exercise is great : Every decision made will have to be a group decision which challenges your team to improve their problem solving skills.  

Outdoor team building exercises

If you want to get a larger group together for a team building exercise, why not take things outside? Outdoor team building is also a great way to get your teammates to interact without the distractions of screens or smartphones. Whether you want to catch a breath of fresh air or get some sunshine together, these exercises will help you bond with your teammates outside of the office.

Outdoor team building games

40. The minefield

Team size : 4–10 people

How to play : Create a minefield in a parking lot or another large, open space by sporadically placing objects like papers, balls, cones, and bottles. Split your team into groups of two and ask one person to put on a blindfold. The other person now has to guide the blindfolded teammate through the minefield only using their words. The blindfolded person is not allowed to talk and will be eliminated if they stop walking or step on anything in the minefield. 

The objective of the game is to make it to the other side of the minefield. The teams can then switch so another person will be blindfolded and guided through the field on their way back. You can also distribute pieces the blindfolded person has to pick up on their way through the field to add another difficulty level.

Why this exercise is great : This game is not just a trust exercise for your teammates but also a fun way to practice active listening skills and clear communication.

41. Earth-ball  

Team size : 5–20 people

Time : 15–45 minutes

How to play : You’ll need a balloon, beach ball, or volleyball for this activity. Ask your team to stand in a circle and keep the balloon or ball in the air for as long as possible. To make it a real challenge, no one can touch the ball twice in a row. The bigger your team, the more fun this game will be!

Why this exercise is great : This fun challenge is a great way to get your team moving. If you’re struggling to keep the ball up for longer, try to come up with a strategy to improve your time.

42. Scavenger hunt

How to play : Put together a scavenger hunt for your team. This can be in the form of a list of photographs they have to take (e.g., something red, all teammates in front of the company logo, the CEO’s car, etc.), items they have to collect (e.g., company brochure, yellow sticky note with manager’s signature on it, ketchup packet from the cafeteria, etc.), or other activities they have to complete on a designated route. 

Why this exercise is great : The more people that tag along, the more fun this game will be. You can group people together who don’t know each other very well to allow them time to bond during this exercise. Try to come up with company-specific quests for your team so they learn a few fun facts along the way. You can offer prizes for the most creative team or the first to finish the challenge to boost motivation.

43. Egg drop 

Time : 60–90 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of two or three people and give each team a raw egg (keep some extras in case they break before the grand finale). Then put out supplies like tape, straws, rubber bands, newspapers, and balloons so the teams can build a structure for the raw egg that will protect it from a fall out of a second or third story window. 

Each team has 60 minutes to complete their structure. When the time is up, ask your teams to gather their eggs and egg cages to drop them out of the window. This grand finale will reveal which team engineered and built the best cage.

Why this exercise is great : Collaborating on a design and building a cage will challenge your team’s problem solving and collaboration skills.

44. Team outing

Team size : Any

How to play : Plan an outing for your team. You could attend a cooking class or go to a museum together. If you want to have something your teammates can work toward, plan to run a 5K together or host a ping pong tournament. You can also do something more casual like inviting your team to hangout at a bowling alley after work where you can play a few games in a casual and fun setting.

Why this exercise is great : Taking your team somewhere new will help break down some of the walls we often build in a professional setting. While you’re still at a company function, you’re more inclined to connect through casual conversation at a restaurant or park than you would at the office.

45. Volunteer as a team

How to play : Organize a team event during your regularly scheduled workday. This can be a charity event, yard sale, or fundraiser for a cause your team cares about. Even though these are enjoyable, scheduling them during work hours makes this feel like more of a perk than an obligation.

If your team members have a few causes they’re truly passionate about, consider making this a monthly or quarterly event. You can also rotate the charities that you’re helping out to accommodate your team’s different interests.

Why this exercise is great : Experiencing helper’s high can improve your personal health and mental state. Sharing this rush that doing good can give you will help your team bond on a deeper level. 

Benefits of team building

Team building is more than a fun break from your everyday routine at work. It also:

Improves communication, trust, and collaboration skills

Promotes a collaborative culture by bringing teammates together

Fosters agile decision making and problem solving skills

Boosts team productivity and morale

Uses creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking

Ashley Frabasilio believes that:

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A common goal is to create a memorable and meaningful experience for folks to connect. Some questions to consider when planning an impactful team-building activity include: What do I hope folks walk away with? I.e., a new skill, a deeper connection to one another, personal development, a moment of delight, etc.”

Ask yourself these questions before proposing a team building activity so you can reap the full benefits of the exercise.

Bring your team together, creatively

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build your team’s confidence, connection, and teamwork skills. While team building is fun, it’s also important to connect with your team on an everyday basis. To build one of those connections in your day-to-day work, the right collaboration software is key. 

Looking for the right collaboration tool? See how Asana keeps your team connected, no matter where you’re working. 

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Problem Solving Activities to Improve Team Creativity

Problem Solving Activities to Improve Creativity

“Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it.”                                                                                                               – Travis Kalanick

Problem-solving is a skill that undoubtedly comes into play to improve creativity, execute and deliver projects delightfully. Strong problem-solving skills to improve creativity is a crucial asset for any team. Whether you’re a manager or fresher, easy problem-solving tactics will help you glide over tough decision-making faster and approach problems smartly.

For example, in project management, your team might find itself questioning things like “How would we handle tight deadlines while maintaining the quality consistently?” or “How do we ensure that we effectively track progress on multiple projects?”.

These are common challenges that are bound to arise on the job. However, being prepared and having the ability to handle difficult or unexpected situations is what will guide you to the end.

Luckily, there are many ways to develop problem-solving skills to create innovative solutions. Here’s how one can rewire the brain for problem solving and creativity. Let’s start with the basics!

What Are Problem Solving Activities?

Simply put, problem-solving activities are activities that help in building the capability to solve problems and overcome challenges. While finding effective solutions to complex problems isn’t easy, a step-by-step process of solving the problem at hand ensures that you implement the most effective solution.

One can resolve almost any problem by using the right techniques learned through various problem-solving exercises. All processes of problem-solving begin with identifying and defining the problem. Thereafter, one evaluates the possible course of action and selects the best approach for solving the problem.

For example, if you are starting an online store and have listed down all possible problems that can arise in the process, with the right problem-solving techniques you cannot only eliminate those issues but also can bring out the best possible solution to help you scale and grow. 

Problem-solving activities are highly sought-after activities that help in imbibing key problem-solving skills.

Let’s take a look at these skills.

  • Analytical skills
  • Adaptability, Quick thinking ability
  • Logical reasoning
  • Communication skills
  • Perseverance, Motivation skills
  • Collaboration
  • Team skills
  • Cooperation
  • Decision-making skills, Leadership skills
  • Visual perception skills
  • Critical thinking skills, Negotiation skills

Read More: Excel in Project Execution With These 5 Surefire Tips

The Importance of Developing Problem Solving Skills in Today’s Workplace

You may question: How will I benefit from developing problem-solving skills in my team members? Are these skills important for my team to attain business goals?

Well, have you ever found yourself saying, “Let’s think outside the box for this project” to your team? We are certain that you have, and that is exactly why you need to understand what it takes to level up your team’s ability to convert problems into actionable solutions for the team to succeed together. After all, company performance is closely tied to improving team members’ problem-solving skills.

Good problem-solving skills encourage quick and creative thinking, leading to better decision-making and ultimately increased company growth. Teams and leaders who approach problems thoughtfully perform better and find realistic solutions.

Let’s take a step back and understand ‘ What it takes ?’ to level up your team’s ability to convert problems into actionable solutions.

The secret to a thriving business lies in solving problems effectively. This is where good teams outshine the mediocre ones, isn’t it?

So how do the good teams do it?

Good teams approach problems in a fresh and creative manner at every step of the way. They have learned how to generate ideas and come up with out-of-the-box solutions. 

Guess what they have mastered?

Yes, problem-solving skills!

Here are a few advantages that you should expect from your teams that have acquired problem-solving skills:

1. Better risk handling

Managing risk means acknowledging that undesired or uncertain events may occur at any stage of the process. Problem-solving skills help in being confident of your capability to turn risks into opportunities by going beyond the expected.

2. Better communication

Problem-solving skills equip you with solving issues in a way that minimizes accusations and brings about a resolution regarding the problem. This efficient approach helps foster intra-team communication eventually leading to better understanding.

3. Improved productivity output

Adopting problem-solving techniques at the workplace has a positive impact on total productivity . Problem-solving skills help in implementing solutions in an effective and timely manner without any hindrance.

4. A proactive mindset

A proactive mindset enables identifying and executing the solution to a specific problem. Defining, generating, evaluating, and selecting the best solution is possible only when one has mastered the problem-solving skill.

Remember that not all problems are the same. Moreover, it is unlikely that the same solution will work each time for a particular problem. Scope and type of problems will vary according to the size, type, and goals of an organization. Likewise, solutions will be different for each. Thus, problem-solving skills are absolutely invaluable at the workplace.

20 Fun Problem Solving Activities to Improve Creativity

Problem-solving activities help in developing the skill of problem-solving by practicing exercises to equip a team or an individual with a convincing ability to handle and overcome problems and challenges. The below activities guide through the set of actions, approaches, and processes that one should undertake for devising strategies for solving a problem creatively.

1. Dumbest Idea First

Helps With: Creative problem solving

Why is creative problem solving important for problem-solving?

Creative problem solving allows you to relax your assumptions and approach a problem in an imaginative, unconventional way. The skill focuses on divergent thinking, thus redefining problem-solving.

What you’ll need: Nothing!

Directions:

Yes, this is an important activity for problem-solving. Encourage everyone to voice the absolute random and dumb solution to the problem in front of them. Who knows, you might just get an idea that can be shaped into an effective solution.

Come to think of it, most successful start-up ideas once seemed like the dumbest!

2. 40-20-10-5 

Helps With: Analytical skill

Why is an analytical skill important for problem-solving?

Analytical skill helps in assessing information and finding solutions using knowledge, facts, and data. This skill ensures that any solutions you implement are backed up logically and have been adequately thought out.

To apply this rule, explain your problem in 40 words. Cut it down to 20, then to 10, and finally to 5 words. This 5-word problem statement is the root of your problem and maybe even the solution!

3. Brainstorm Ideas

Helps With: Lateral Thinking

Why is Lateral Thinking important for problem-solving?

Lateral Thinking involves generating ideas using an indirect and creative approach that is not immediately obvious. It deals in insight restructuring and consciously coming up with alternative solutions for the given problem.

Brainstorming ideas is a powerful and one of the best problem-solving activities to get your team’s creative juices flowing.

The purpose of this activity is to produce as many new and creative ideas as possible.

Once the list of ideas is ready, you can then go on to explore the feasibility of each idea to arrive at the most suitable one.

4. Gamification

Helps With: Perseverance, Motivation skill

Why is perseverance important for problem-solving?

Perseverance is being absolute in purpose to continue in the pursuit of an idea or a goal despite setbacks and roadblocks. The quality is a given if you wish to develop the skill of problem-solving.

Why is motivation skill important for problem-solving?

Motivational skills can be defined as actions or strategies that elicit a desired behavior or response. To solve a problem, deriving self-motivation to get to the core of the problem is foremost.

We all have heard the phrase, “Work Hard, Play harder”. Guess it’s time to incorporate it into your work routine!

Gamification will turn ‘work’ into an entertaining and fun activity. You are required to set different types of rules and objectives for the team which they have to follow to earn desirable rewards that will let them win the game or should we say, solve the problem?

5. Shrinking Vessel

Helps With: Adaptability, Quick thinking ability

Why is adaptability important for problem-solving?

Organizations that can adapt quickly have an obvious advantage over their competitors as they have conditioned themselves to effortlessly adapt to changing circumstances while facing problems.

Why is quick thinking ability important for problem-solving?

If you are a quick thinker, that means that you act on problems easily, while being efficient and accurate in thought.

What you’ll need: A Rope/String

A Shrinking Vessel is a problem-solving activity with a simple concept. The idea is that you are in a situation of a sinking ship.

There is a predetermined space for the activity and the teams are divided equally. The entire team must work together to occupy a space, marked with a rope/string, that shrinks over time. It is the perfect game to bond with your teammates and craft a stellar creative strategy to be the last one standing.

6. Egg Drop Idea

Helps With: Logical reasoning

Why is logical reasoning important for problem-solving?

Logical reasoning measures your ability to reason logically by observing and analyzing circumstances. Logical reasoning aids in arriving at a rational conclusion about how to proceed.

What you’ll need: newspaper, plastic wrap, cotton, socks, and a handkerchief

The egg drop project involves designing a package or a container with everyday items that will keep an egg intact when dropped from a height.

Sounds fascinating, right?

It sure is! You can use whatever items or construction material you find around you and deem fit to save an egg. Some items that you may find around easily are newspaper, plastic wrap, cotton, socks, and handkerchief.

Reach out for these and more to save your egg!

Helps With: Communication

Why is communication important for problem-solving?

Being an effective communicator is essential to succeed and progress at the workplace. This is because one needs to successfully communicate ideas and recommendations for daily tasks and projects.

What you’ll need: Lego pieces

This is one of the most interesting team-building activities. This activity is all about observation and retention of design. For this activity, select an impartial individual to construct a random figurine using Legos in under 5 minutes.

Next, the competing teams have to replicate this structure in 10 minutes.

Sounds easy, right? Well, there’s a catch!

Only one person is allowed to look at the figurine at a time. The person has to then communicate the parameters like size, shape, color, etc. to his/her team members. Now, that’s some team-building activity!

8. Stranded

Helps With: Decision-making skill

Why is decision-making skill important for problem-solving?

Problem-solving and decision-making skills go hand in hand at work. Decision-making is an ongoing process in every organization whether big or small. Decision-making skills help in choosing between two or more alternatives to arrive at the best solution to implement.

What you’ll need: A room that can be locked

The setting is that your team will be locked in a room and will be given 30 minutes to choose 10 items that they will need for survival. Also, the items have to be chronologically listed.

9. Reverse the Pyramid

Helps With: Adaptability, Collaboration

Having adaptability skills means embracing problems with optimism. Adaptability reflects your willingness to respond to changing circumstances.

Why is collaboration important for problem-solving?

In the words of Peter Senge, “Collectively, we can be more insightful, more intelligent than we can possibly be individual”.

Collaboration facilitates the free exchange of ideas, knowledge, perspectives, and experiences leading to enhanced innovation.

This is one of the best problem-solving exercises for teams.

Make a team. Ask everyone to stand in the shape of a pyramid. Next, ask them to flip the base and the apex moving only 3 people.

Whichever team moves and forms the reverse pyramid fastest wins the activity.

10. Word on the Street

Helps With: Team skills

Why are team skills important for problem-solving?

Building strong team skills enables team members to come together for a common purpose. Employing team skills for problem-solving is a hallmark of high-performing teams.

It’s a fairly simple technique that involves interviewing all team members to gain their perspective on the solution that has been arrived at for a specific problem.

11. Human Knot

Helps With: Collaboration, Communication skills

Why are communication skills important for problem-solving?

When teams come together to solve a problem, no problem is big enough. Together, a team can overcome even the most difficult of obstacles. Active listening skills are an important element of communication skills.

Get ready for an entertaining problem-solving group activity!

Make everyone stand in a circle. Next, ask each one to hold hands with two people who aren’t directly standing next to them.

Now, ask them to untangle themselves and form a circle without letting go of anyone’s hand. Believe us, it’s going to be super fun watching them twist and turn to form the perfect circle.

12. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps With: Collaboration

What you’ll need: Uncooked spaghetti, 1 marshmallow, tape, and a string/thin rope

In this activity, you simply have to make the tallest tower within the set amount of time.

You’re given a handful of supplies to work with. Your task is to build the tallest free-standing tower that supports a marshmallow at the top of the tower! You’re given 18 minutes to complete the challenge.

13. Minefield

Helps With: Team skill, Trust

Why is trust important for problem-solving?

A well-analyzed solution will fail if the team lacks trust while implementing the solution. Building trust within the team is the first step towards problem-solving.

What you’ll need: An empty room, blindfolds, common office items like table, chair, bag, bottle

Place some objects like a table, chair, bag, bottle, etc. on the floor to act as obstacles in this activity.

Divide teams into pairs and blindfold one of them. The person who is not blindfolded has to verbally guide the person in blindfolds to the other end of the room, avoiding the ‘mines’.

14. Bonding Belt

Helps With: Cooperation

Why is cooperation important for problem-solving?

Cooperation for problem-solving means being part of a cooperative team that identifies and listens to each other’s perspectives on the proposed solution and works together as a team.

What you’ll need: A firm rope

Make teams of 5-6 people. Tie them together by a firm rope, tightly wrapped around their waists. Ask them to move as one unit from point A to point B in as short a time as possible. The teams have to ensure they stay ‘bonded’ as one unit.

15. Frostbite

Helps With: Decision-making skill, Leadership skill

Why is leadership skill important for problem-solving?

Leadership involves keeping the team aligned, energized, and focused on a common business goal. The ability to stimulate, challenge, and inspire others to devise creative solutions is what adds up to leadership skills .

What you’ll need: An electric fan, a packet of construction materials like card stock, rubber bands, and sticky notes, etc, a blindfold

The scenario for this creative problem-solving activity is that your team is on arctic exploration. You have to separate everyone into different teams of 4-5 members. Each team will choose a leader among themselves who will lead them on this activity. The teams have to construct a shelter to protect themselves from the storm that will hit in precisely 30 minutes. The catch is that the team leaders will not work as they can’t move their hands due to frostbite. Further, all other team members are temporarily blind due to snow blindness. After the time is up, you can turn on the fan and see whose shelter can endure the high winds of the storm. Come on, let’s see which team withstands the snowstorm!

16. Idea Mock-Up

Helps With: Analytical skill, Decision making skill

In this activity, the solutions to your problems are supposed to be projected via mock-ups to ascertain the best solution for the given problem. This enables receiving the most accurate feedback on the proposed solutions.

17. Futures Wheel

Helps With: Visual perception skill

Why is visual perception skill important for problem-solving?

Visual perception skills are the ability to make sense of what the eyes see. It involves organizing and interpreting the information and giving it meaning.

What you’ll need: Pen and paper

If you’re looking to explore the structural consequences of a proposed solution, then this activity is your best bet.

You start with writing the name of the topic in the center. Next, you form the first layer of the wheel with consequences to the solutions. In the next layer, you may go deep into the consequences of these consequences themselves. Jot these down in the order of importance. Analyze each aspect and complete this activity within a time period of about 30 minutes.

This visual technique will make it easier for you to outline the best method to go ahead with to attain the desired outcome.

18. Be a Character

Helps With: Initiative

Why is initiative important for problem-solving?

Taking initiative is the ability to independently assess problems and initiate action to attain solutions. It is a self-management skill and requires rational persistence to be able to solve a problem successfully.

Fancied being an imaginary character from a movie or block? Or just fancied being a famous personality?

Well, now is the time to bring out your inner persona and approach the given problem with the outlook and the perspective of the character or person who you’ve always admired. Embody the character for 15 minutes and see how you approach the situation at hand.

19. End in Mind

According to Dr. Stephen R. Covey, all things are created twice – first in the mind and then in the real world.

Logical reasoning helps you reason through ideas and decisions following a series of steps to conclude. This approach leads to efficient problem-solving.

The end in mind activity allows you to question the ‘What’, ‘Why’, and ‘How’ of any problem. It brings purpose and clarity to the solution you seek. You basically backtrack your way into finding a solution.

20. Stop, Start, Continue

Helps With: Critical thinking skill, Negotiation skill

Why is critical thinking important for problem-solving?

Critical thinking refers to the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively share thoughts and make justifiable decisions. The skill includes analyzing information and formulating creative solutions to complex problems.

Why is negotiation skill important for problem-solving?

Having negotiation skills does not mean that you give in or instantly compromise every time someone disagrees with you. Having this skill means demonstrating open-mindedness to prospects and team members. Active listening is crucial to develop this skill.

A Stop, Start, Continue Approach is a feedback framework made up of three things that a team should stop doing, three things that a team should start doing, and three things that a team should continue doing as they move forward to achieve their problem-solving objectives.

The purpose of the above-listed activities is to train your mind to think about how to solve a problem in new ways and for greater success. The purpose is also to have some fun through these activities while upgrading your skills.

Read More: How to Solve Project Management Problems in The Modern Workplace

The 10-Step Process of Problem Solving Ability

This simple 10-step process will guide you in solving problems to improve creativity.

  • Define the Problem
  • Analyze the Problem
  • Specify Underlying Causes
  • Brainstorm Ideas
  • List Possible Solutions
  • Create Solution Mock-Ups
  • Measure the Business Impact
  • Establish the Best Possible Solution
  • Implement the Solution
  • Evaluate Progress

Read More: 16 Best Project Management Softwares for Creative Teams

The Four P’s to Problem Solving

The problem-solving process is cyclic in nature. This is because there are bound to arise new problems while managing a project that accordingly demands new solutions.

This is where you measure, understand, and diagnose the problem that you wish to solve. The activities 40-20-10-5 and Dumbest idea first help in initiating a problem-solving process.

This is where you organize everything and generate possibilities through activities like Brainstorming and Word of mouth .

This is where you visualize and execute your plan. Activities like Futures wheel and Stop, start, continue fall in this stage of problem-solving.

This is where you analyze the solution and check for further improvement. Stranded and Shrinking Vessel are the activities that develop decision-making skills leading to problem-solving.

Face Challenges Head-on With Quick and Easy Problem Solving Activities

Doesn’t it look like it’s all under control now? Well, to be perfectly honest, it takes time and practice to be an effective problem solver.

The way we approach problems at the workplace can be improved by indulging in proven activities that help build problem-solving skills to improve creativity.

Once you have covered the basics of how to go about the problem-solving process and have a can-do mindset, we are sure that there is absolutely nothing that can deter you from confronting problems head-on.

The listed activities are the easiest mechanism to follow to master the skill of effective problem-solving at the workplace. This course of action will enable you to exert full control towards sure shot success in improving creativity with constructive problem-solving activities.

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David Miller

About the author

David miller.

David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in elearningindustry.com , simpleprogrammer.com . As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency. Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twitter , LinkedIn , and Facebook .

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Team Building World

Top 10 Team Building Problem Solving Activities

Top 10 Team Building Problem Solving Activities

Are you looking for some team building problem solving activities ?

Your employees’ ability to solve problems and make better decisions can highly contribute to creating a happy workplace.

How good is your team of employees at dealing with complex projects or day-to-day life problems?

Perhaps, this is a tough question for you.

So, why don’t you spend a little time with your teams to see how they work together to solve problems?

In this article, let’s see the top 10 problem solving activities that you can try. They will help your employees deal with obstacles and find solutions to any complicated issues.

Here are some of the best team building problem solving exercises that you can conduct with your staff.

If you want to know how you can conduct team building activities, you can read this article for inspiration:  How to Facilitate Team Building Activities in Your Workplace?

So, let’s go!

#1. Brainstorming Session

The goal of this activity is to brainstorm ideas based on a topic through collaboration.

Time: 10-20 minutes

Materials: Paper and pen

Participants: Any number of members per group

Instructions

  • Start by giving a topic to each group and instruct them to brainstorm ideas based on that topic.
  • Appoint an individual to write down the ideas of each group member.
  • Once this is done, check the ideas and share them with everyone.

Identify how each group member felt during the activity and how it can help them with problem solving in their day-to-day life. Also, discuss the importance of finding solutions together.

#2. Code Breaking

The goal of this game is to break the secret code as quickly as possible.

Time: You decide

  • Provide a secret code to each team. This secret code can be anything like picture puzzles, logic problems, riddles, etc.

For example,

“Find the two-digit secret number using the following clues:

The secret number is divisible by 4.

The sum of the digits in the secret number is 12.

The tens digit of the secret number is greater than the ones digit.”

  • The goal is to break the code fast. Set a time limit to complete the task if required.
  • The first team that breaks the code will win the game.

( Note: By the way, the secret number in the above example is 84. Feel free to come up with similar puzzles and challenge your teams to solve them in a very short time. Enjoy!)

Discuss how the employees worked together to solve the challenge. Encourage them to share their ideas and strategies.

#3. Create an Ad

The goal of this game is to create an advertisement for the suggested product. This is one of the problem solving activities to improve the creativity among team members.

Time: 15-30 minutes

Materials: Poster papers and Markers

Participants: 3-8 people in a group

  • Divide the participants into small teams.
  • Introduce a new product to each team and explain its features as well as benefits.
  • Now, instruct them to create an advertisement for this product.
  • Then, each team should create an ad script through discussion.

Discuss the strategies and ideas used in creating the ad. How did the employees come up with creative solutions? Encourage them to share their learning points from this game.

#4. Human Knot

The goal of this activity is to create a knot by holding the hands of others and untangling everyone without letting go of their hands.

Time: 10-15 minutes

Materials: None

Participants: 6-12 individuals per group

  • Instruct the team members to form a circle by standing shoulder to shoulder.
  • Then, each person should lift their right hand and try to catch the hand of another person who is standing across the circle.
  • After that, each person should lift their left hand in the air and catch the hand of a different person.
  • Make sure that no member is holding the hand of someone who is standing directly next to them.
  • Ask the team members to untangle everyone without letting go of their hands.

Discuss how the employees worked together as a team to achieve this goal. What strategies did they use? How did their communication style help them in solving this problem? Encourage the employees to reflect on the importance of teamwork and collaboration.

#5. Inter-Group Problem Solving Challenge

This is one of the interesting problem solving games you can try with your employees. Here each group should create a unique problem and challenge the other groups to solve it.

Materials: None (But can use paper and pen if needed)

Participants: At least 2 people per group

  • Divide the participants into small groups.
  • Instruct each group to come up with a self-created, unique problem and write it on paper.
  • Now, ask each group to share their problems with the other groups and let them find the solution in a given time.
  • Finally, find out the best-performing group by evaluating which group created the most complicated problems and which group solved more problems.

Discuss how the groups came up with unique problems and solved the problems created by others. Encourage the group members to appreciate the efforts of each other and think about ways to improve their problem-solving skills in the future.

#6. Jigsaw Puzzle

This activity is to improve the problem solving skills of employees through discussion, negotiation, and collaboration. In this activity, participants are required to complete a puzzle with the help of others.

Materials: Jigsaw puzzle pieces and small bags

Participants: 4 or more people per team

  • Have a jigsaw puzzle for each team.
  • Split each team into 2 small sub-teams.
  • Divide the jigsaw puzzle and put an equal number of pieces into two different small bags.
  • Ask each sub-team to choose one bag.
  • Instruct each sub-team to assemble the puzzle within a certain time limit.

(Note: Each sub-team may think they are competing against each other, but they can’t complete the puzzle unless they discuss and collaborate with the other sub-team.)

  • Allow extra time for each sub-team to discuss, negotiate, and collaborate with the other sub-team and complete the puzzle.

Discuss how the teams communicated and collaborated while working on this activity. Ask them to reflect on their decision-making processes and team dynamics.

#7. Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt is one of the popular problem solving exercises. The goal of this exercise is to find a list of items based on the clues given.

Materials: Clues and a list of items to find

  • Split the participants into several groups.
  • Give each group a list of items they need to find out along with certain clues.
  • Set a time limit for the activity.
  • Now, the group members should search for the items based on the clues given and get back within the allowed time limit.

Discuss the decision-making strategies used by the groups during the activity. Also, ask each group to share their experience and what they learned from the activity.

#8. Spider’s Web

The goal of this activity is to move through the spider web from one side to the other without touching it.

Materials: String, rope, or yarn to form the spider web

Participants: Any number of individuals in a group

  • Create a spider’s web between two trees using duct tape or Nylon cord.
  • Instruct the group members to stand on one side of the spider’s web.
  • Now, group members must travel to the other side of the web without touching it. They are not allowed to travel over, under, or around it.
  • If somebody touches the web, ask him to go back and restart again.

Figure out the strategies used by each group to solve this problem. Ask them how they came up with the solution and what other solutions could have been used.

#9. The Great Egg Drop

The goal of this game is to build a structure that protects the eggs while dropping from a certain height.

Materials: Cardboard, paper, tape, scissors, and eggs

Participants: Any number of members in a group

  • Instruct each group to find several materials to build a structure.
  • Give some time for each group to plan their strategy and build the structure by putting the egg inside.
  • Once this is done, tell them to drop the structure from at least 10 feet in height.
  • Check how many groups have survived their eggs successfully? If there is more than one group, then the one that utilizes fewer materials for building the structure can be declared the winner.

Compare each group’s outcomes and discuss different methods of problem solving. Also, discuss the importance of planning and being mindful of how resources are used.

#10. Toxic Waste

The goal of this activity is to neutralize toxic waste and save the world. Here each team should transfer the toxic waste from the radiation zone to the safe zone without causing any harm to its members.

Materials: Balls, Buckets, and Ropes

Participants: 3-8 members in each team

  • Form a circle of 8 feet in diameter with a rope and place a small bucket with balls (toxic waste) in the middle to represent the radiation zone.
  • Create a safe zone by placing a large bucket (neutralization bucket) around 30 feet away from the radiation zone.
  • Instruct the teams to neutralize the toxic waste by transferring it from the radiation zone to the safe zone within a certain time. They must maintain a safe distance from the radiation zone during this time.
  • Now, give the teams two ropes to transfer the toxic waste, and also allow them 5 minutes for planning. Then, they can execute their plans.
  • Finally, see the results.

Discuss how each team approached the task and how teamwork played a crucial role in completing it. Also, emphasize the importance of planning before executing any task.

Want Some Unique Team Building Activities?

If you want some unique activities (both in person and virtual) for your employees, you can get my new e-book:

The Busy Leader’s Guide of Unique Team Building Activities: 30 Fully Customizable Exercises That You Can Conduct with Any Group of Employees, Anywhere

Final Words

By engaging in the above activities, employees can develop their problem solving and decision making skills. Thus, it is important to include them in any team building sessions. This will not only help build trust among your employees but will also help them become better problem solvers and more effective communicators. Ultimately, this will lead to stronger teamwork and overall success for the organization.

Like this article on “Top 10 Team Building Problem Solving Activities”? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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64 team building activities to bring your team together (and have fun!)

problem solving team building ideas

Team building activities can make all the difference when it comes to job satisfaction , employee engagement and organizational success . But even with the best intentions, it’s not sufficient to simply bring a group of people together. Effective team building activities can help your group feel more connected and able to collaborate more effectively .

But how do you choose the right activity, and where do you get started when trying to encourage team bonding or alignement? We're here to help with this collection of simple and effective team building activities!

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Building a highly effective team takes effort , consideration, and the deployment of a thoughtful group process . Remember that teams are composed of relationships between people and all relationships need care and attention. The team-building activities below are a great place to start!

That said, some employees may bristle or cringe at the mention of team building activities, and with good reason. Done badly, team building at work can be unimaginative , unproductive, or a waste of time for all involved . 

We’ve put together a collection of proven team-building activities, games, and exercises that cover everything from communication and collaboration to alignment and vision . 

Whether you’re working in a small team or as part of a large organization, taking the time to develop your team and enable everyone in your group to do their best work is time well spent. Let’s take a look!

What are team building activities? 

Team building is an activity or process designed to help build connections between members of a team, create lasting bonds, and enable better teamwork and working practices.

Team building activities might include running team games and activities, holding group discussions, hosting away days, or simply doing things together as a team. They key is that the exercise is designed to bring your team together in a fun and engaging way.

problem solving team building ideas

What is the main purpose of a team building activity? 

The main purpose of any team-building activity is on improving some aspects of how a team works together while bringing everyone together in a shared experience .

This might include working on communication, collaboration, alignment, team values, motivation, and anything else that can enable a group to work together more effectively. It might also include resolving conflicts, sharing skills, or simply bringing your group together in a shared experience.

Broadly speaking, any team building effort should be designed to help bring team members closer or find ways to first define and then move towards your shared goals as a group .

As Forbes notes , team building is “most important investment you can make for your people.” On this point, it’s worth noting that team building doesn’t just happen during the activity and so being purposeful your choice of exercise is important.

The best team building activities hold space for building connections in a way that spills over into day-to-day work and creates lasting bonds. It’s not enough to throw your team into an escape room or scavenger hunt without first thinking about why or how this will benefit your team!

After you’ve chosen some engaging team building activities, it’s time to design a complete process that will engage your team while achieving your desired outcomes.

SessionLab makes it easy to build a complete team building agenda in minutes . Start by dragging and dropping blocks, add activity timings and adjust your session flow to create an effective session.

problem solving team building ideas

What are the main types of team building activities?

Team building activities are games and exercises that help a group collaborate on a shared goal, discuss important issues constructively, share in a fun experience or find better ways of working together.

These activities can take forms – from quick and funny games you use in your regular meeting, or the may be part of a larger process or team development workshop.

Being purposeful and knowing the objective of your session means you can choose an activity accordingly. Sometimes, your team will come together because they have problems to solve, or you might just want to have fun and celebrate your wins. Pick the right activity for the right time to ensure your team is onboard and ready to engage!

Here are the main categories of team building activity that you might want to use with your team. We’ve made it easy to get started with the right activity for your team by including the length of each game, how many participants can play and how hard it is to run alongside clear instructions.

Team get to know you activities

Starting the team building process can be difficult, especially if you’re working with a new team who don’t yet know each other well. The activities in this section are focused on helping teams get to know each other better and start to develop bonds and trust as a team.

Even if your team has been around a while, learning more about one another and building deeper bonds is useful for both team cohesion and group happiness. These are also great activities to use when trying to improve employee engagement and company culture – any organization is only as strong as the bonds between its people!

Try these get-to-know-you games to encourage conversation and break the ice – especially if you’re working with a remote workers who might not be in the office together.

3 Question Mingle

Conversation is often the best starting point when it comes to team building, but without structure, it can be difficult for groups to get moving. In 3 Question Mingle, each team member writes three questions on sticky notes and then has a one minute meeting with another person. They each ask another one question and then trade those post-its. Invite the group to move around the room asking questions in pairs and swapping questions afterwards. 

Not only does this team building activity help an entire team get to know each other, but it also invites the group to ask the questions they want to ask. By combining structure with self direction, you can get your team building workshop off to the right start! Bonus points for adding those sticky notes to a memory wall for later reflection!

3 Question Mingle   #hyperisland   #team   #get-to-know   An activity to support a group to get to know each other through a set of questions that they create themselves. The activity gets participants moving around and meeting each other one-on-one. It’s useful in the early stages of team development and/or for groups to reconnect with each other after a period of time apart.

9 Dimensions Team Building Activity

Building better team relationships and improving group dynamics often means sharing something about ourselves and finding space to discuss and be honest. In this team building exercise, give each team member a set of red, green, yellow and blue dots alongside the 9 dimensions you’ll be looking at. Each participant puts a dot on each dimension based on whether they believe they’re crushing it or need to do more work. 

By sharing some of their 9 dimensions, your team gets to surface things they’re proud of, as well as those that need work. You’ll explore what your group is aligned on in the debriefing section and then move forward together as a team.

9 Dimensions Team Building Activity   #icebreaker   #teambuilding   #team   #remote-friendly   9 Dimensions is a powerful activity designed to build relationships and trust among team members. There are 2 variations of this icebreaker. The first version is for teams who want to get to know each other better. The second version is for teams who want to explore how they are working together as a team.

Awareness Circle

Getting to know people is easier for some members of a group than it is for others. While extroverts can start chatting to new team members with ease, introverts may find it more difficult to bond with their team and create meaningful team bonds.

In this activity, you’ll encourage a group to get to know each other without speaking and show that everyone in a team has a connection. Another great takeaway from this activity is to take note of the diversity (or lack thereof) in the room and consider this as a point for future team development. 

Awareness Circle   #teampedia   #team   #icebreaker   #opening   This activity helps participants to get-to-know each other without saying a word.

Best and Worst

Teambuilding activities are often at their most effective when you ignite the passions of everyone in a group and bring up talking points that enable people to share something of themselves with the team.

Best and Worst asks each participant to ask one question about the best and worst thing they want to learn from the group. For example, “What’s the best recipe you know?” or “What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?” After putting all the questions in a hat and choosing a random pair, invite the group to share their answers and related stories.

Best and Worst   #teampedia   #get-to-know   #opening   #icebreaker   #team   This activity could easily break the ice at the beginning of a workshop, enabling participants to get to know each other in a fast process.

Break the Ice with The Four Quadrants Activity

Sometimes pictures are better than words when it comes to helping a team get to know one another. Creative games like this one can also be especially effective at helping introverts or distanced teams share with the group.

Start by handing out sheets of paper and inviting each participant to draw a 2×2 grid and pose four questions to the group. Each team member draws their answer in one of the grid squares and once the time limit is up, invite the group to share. If you’re looking for a fun game that encourages creative thinking while being visual and memorable, look no further! 

Break the Ice with The Four Quadrants Activity   #team   #icebreaker   #get-to-know   #teambuilding   The Four Quadrants is a tried and true team building activity to break the ice with a group or team. It is EASY to prep for and set up. It can be MODIFIED to work with any group and/or topic (just change the questions). It is FUN, COLORFUL and VISUAL.

Group Order

Supporting the get-to-know process at the start of a session or with a new team can be as simple as asking participants to group themselves together based on what they know about each other and inviting them to find out what they don’t.

This activity requires nothing more than getting your group together in a room and asking them to line themselves up in an order based on a criterion such as distance from home to the workplace, birth date in the calendar year or number of different countries visited. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get people talking and sharing when in pursuit of a common goal.

Group Order   #get-to-know   #energiser   #icebreaker   #thiagi   #team   This is an energizing activity that helps members of a group get to know each other, network, and recognize what they have in common.

Happiness Exercise

Good teams know how to appreciate one another and share joyful, happy experiences. When a new team is getting to know each other, using an exercise that encourages the sharing of positive stories and experiences not only allows people to connect but also builds a positive atmosphere in the room.

You might also use this team building activity at work or with a more established team. If your team has been going through a challenging period, it can be transformational to share things that make everyone happy and defuse stress or tension as a team.

Happiness exercise   #teambuilding   #icebreaker   #warm up   #remote-friendly   This exercise is a simple application of the principles of Appreciative Inquiry.

Just One Lie

Not all team building games need to reinvent the wheel. Particularly with new teams or groups that aren’t used to team building, keeping it simple with a tried and tested method can be your best bet.

Just One Lie is adapted from the well-known icebreaker two truths and a lie, though encourages participants to mingle and share lots of facts about themselves with one another – great for breaking the ice and getting to know one another too!

Just One Lie   #icebreaker   #energiser   #team   #get-to-know   This method is adapted from the well-known icebreaker ‘Two Truths And A Lie’  to create an activity that you could return to throughout a meeting.

Both groups and individuals go through many twists, turns and changes throughout their life. At its best, team building not only helps create better teams but allows time for reflection and deeper sharing between participants.

With Life Map, encourage your group to draw or create a collage of their life story they can then share with the team. This kind of deeper getting to know your exercise can really help bring a team together and allow for meaningful self-reflection too! 

Life map   #team   #teampedia   #icebreaker   #get-to-know   With this activity the participants get to know each other on a deeper level.

Name Juggling

Working with new teams means having new names to learn. Team building starts with getting to know everyone, but how can we make this more fun and dynamic than simple introductions?

In this get to know you game, start by having everyone stand in a circle and introduce themselves by name. Introduce a ball and have people state someone’s name before throwing the ball to that person. That person thanks the person who passed the ball by name before then passing the ball on to someone else. Once people get comfortable, spice things up by introducing more balls and trying to keep them in the air!

Name Juggling   #teampedia   #icebreaker   #energiser   #get-to-know   #team   Name Juggling is another variation of a try-to-learn-everyone’s-name but the game guarantees high energy level as well as some strategic thinking.

Finding you have things in common with other team members is one of the cornerstones of effective teamwork and communication. While conversation games or other team building activities might ask for an in-depth approach, Open Fist helps teams bond with a simple, effective activity.

Sharing little known facts about ourselves can help teams be more cohesive and by limiting the number of shared facts to the amount of fingers on a hand, this quick team building activity can fit into an agenda with ease.

Open Fist   #get-to-know   #icebreaker   #thiagi   #team   Teams work better when they find things in common. Stronger teams reduce turnover, increase pleasant interactions, and improve productivity.

Personal Presentation

Team building is all about building trust and openness between teammates. Sharing personal experiences and enlarging the social aspects of the group with presentations not only allows everyone to get to know each other but also encourages team development skills too.

For this team building method, ask each participant to prepare a presentation including three things that have shaped who they are as a person. Encourage creative thinking by asking teams to use simple drawings and words to visualize their presentation too.

Personal Presentations   #hyperisland   #team   A simple exercise in which each participant prepares a personal presentation of him/herself sharing several important experiences, events, people or stories that contributed to shaping him or her as an individual. The purpose of personal presentations is to support each participant in getting to know each other as individuals and to build trust and openness in a group by enlarging the social arena.

Cross the Circle

Finding common ground and shared experiences across a diverse group is what team building is all about. In this playful team building activity, participants are encouraged to cross the circle in response to questions posed by a person in the middle.

For example, “Cross through the circle if you have worked here more than 5 years.” or “Cross through the circle if you can play an instrument.” After each stage, a new person gets to pose a question and your team gets to know one another and their commonalities in a simple, effective way.

Cross the Circle   #teambuilding   #get-to-know   #energiser   #team   #thiagi   This activity provides a playful way for participants to find commonalities among themselves.

Funny team building activities

In an increasingly stressful environment of deadlines and meetings, it’s worth remembering the value of joy, play and simply have fun as a team.

Injecting fun and laughter into your team building event is effective on many levels. We often recommend starting a session with one of these activities, as they can help set a more relaxed and personable tone in an instant.

We’ve also found that some of the more memorable moments of our sessions have come out of these kinds of activities. It’s lovely to have something funny to reference in future meetings too!

Bringing team members out of their shells and loosening them up with a funny game can also help prevent existing hierarchies or team structures from affecting the team building session. 

You can also use these funny team building activities to kick off your session, or when the energy levels drop and you need to get your team re-engaged for the team workshop ahead. Let’s take a look.

Having fun and energizing your team is a great way to kick off your team building event. Bang is a simple and effective game that encourages quick reactions and fun – perfect for both new and established teams to play together! 

Start by electing a sheriff and having the rest of the group stand in a circle around them. The sheriff spins around and points at one person in the circle and says “bang!” That person then crouches as quickly as possible. The two people on either side of the person crouching must quickly point at each other and shout the other’s name. Whoever does not react quickly enough is eliminated. Try using this one at the beginning of a team building event to really loosen up the group!

Bang   #hyperisland   #energiser   Bang is a group game, played in a circle, where participants must react quickly or face elimination. One person stands in the middle of the circle as “the sheriff”, pointing at other players who must quickly crouch while those on either side of them quickly “draw”. A good activity to generate laughter in a group. It can also help with name-learning for groups getting to know each other.

Build-a-Shake

Creating a secret handshake was something many of us did as kids. This team building activity taps into that same sense of creativity and also encourages team members to get to know each other while sharing and building on their handshake in pairs. By moving between pairs and teaching others the steps of your handshake, this also helps create group closeness and cohesion. We love team building activities or office games that encourage people to bring a little of themselves to the table and Build-a-Shake is a great example of that!  

Build-a-Shake   #teampedia   #energiser   #get-to-know   #opening   #team   How to introduce yourself in a fun, creative way? Build a handshake!

Simple tasks that require team focus, cohesion, and awareness are great for any group working on team building. In Count Up, a team has to come together and count up to twenty with their eyes closed and without any other communication. People cannot say more than one number at a time, and if two people speak at the same time, the group must start over. 

Though it seems simple, this team building exercise can really demonstrate the power of effective teamwork and is a great opener for a team building workshop. 

Count Up   #hyperisland   #team   #energiser   #remote-friendly   In this short exercise, a group must count up to a certain number, taking turns in a random order, with no two people speaking at the same time. The task is simple, however, it takes focus, calm and awareness to succeed. The exercise is effective to generate calm and focused collective energy in a group.

Follow the Leader

When performing online team building, simple activities are often the best strategy in ensuring participation and removing frustration. Follow the Leader is a great team building energiser suitable for online and offline teams.

In virtual settings, put Zoom into gallery view and invite people to perform an action in the frame of their screen that other participants have to follow. Being a little silly is encouraged and this team building exercise often results in laughter and energy as a result! 

Follow the Follower   #zoom   #virtual   #physical   #teambuilding   #connection   #energiser   #opening   #remote-friendly   #ericamarxcoaching   One person is designated as the leader.  Others copy exactly how the leader moves.  The leader calls on a new person to be the leader, and so on. Follow the follower variation is when the leading gets passed to the entire group and no single person is leading.

Portrait Gallery

Creative team building activities are great for breaking the ice or energising a team via play. In Portrait Gallery, you and your team will collaboratively create portraits of everyone in the group and have a fun, electric set of portraits to display afterward.

Start by splitting your group into two teams. Team B will draw portraits of Team A, though every 10-15 seconds, they’ll pass their current drawing to the next person to continue. By the end of this team building game, you’ll have a set of eclectic portraits for everyone in the group and have broken the ice significantly too! 

Portrait Gallery   #hyperisland   #team   #icebreaker   The Portrait Gallery is an energetic and fun icebreaker game that gets participants interacting by having the group collaboratively draw portraits of each member. The activity builds a sense of group because it results with each participant having a portrait drawn of him/herself by the other members of the group together. It also has a very colourful visual outcome: the set of portraits which can be posted in the space.

Fun team building games are a great way to start any group development process, and they’re even better if they energize the team too! Snowball is a great activity for getting people out of their seats and moving around while also breaking the ice. 

Start by asking a question relevant to your group and ask each participant to write an answer on a piece of paper. Once that’s done, invite everyone to crumple their paper and come to the centre of the room to have a snowball fight! After a few minutes, ask everyone to keep a snowball and find the person who wrote the answer. Not only does this team building exercise invite energy into the room, but it encourages people to get to know each other too.

Snowball   #get-to-know   #opening   #energiser   #teambuilding   #team   This is a great activity to get people up and moving around in a playful way while still learning about each other. It can be related to any topic and be played at any time during the group’s life.

Celebrity Party

You’ve likely played the game where you stick the name of a random celebrity on your head while then asking questions to help you guess who it is. (Or at least seen a film where someone else does it!) It’s simple, but it absolutely works when you want to break the ice or just generate some laughter and conversation.

This classic team building game is a great way to warm up large groups, encouraging mingling and have fun too. Ask participants to be creative, keep it light and not to give hints and you have all the makings of an effective team building exercise.

Celebrity Party   #teampedia   #icebreaker   #communication   #diversity   #team   #action   Great activity to help people warm up in a new environment.

Non-verbal improv

Whether you’re working with remote teams or co-located groups, having fun when you get together should never be undervalued. We love simple games that are also ways to begin conversations about how we’d like to work together more effectively.

This improv game is easy to touch and is a great way to build team connections while raising some smiles. Start by preparing some actions on post-it notes, such as drinking a glass of water or eating pasta. Next, invite participants to mime the action without speaking. Include more difficult and amusing scenarios to challenge the group and create some funny opportunities for team connection!

Non-verbal improv   #improv game   #energiser   #fun   #remote-friendly   An improv game where participants must use non-verbal communication and actions to communicate a phrase or an idea to other players. A fun game that’s a great way to open a discussion on better communication!

Rock, Paper, Scissors (Tournament)

Encouraging team members to play and have fun is an often overlooked aspect of building better teams. Play is an inherently human activity, and by doing this as a team, we can start to see ourselves as more than just a group of people who work together.

In this version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, large groups pair off until only two players remain for a final showdown. We love that losing players become fans of the winners and cheer them on. This is a quick and easy team game that can build excitement and get the group ready for deeper team building activities to come!

Rock, Paper, Scissors (Tournament)   #energiser   #warm up   #remote-friendly   This is a fun and loud energiser based on the well-known “Rock, Paper, Scissor” game – with a twist: the losing players become the fan of the winners as the winner advances to the next round. This goes on until a final showdown with two large cheering crowds! It can be played with adults of all levels as well as kids and it always works! 

Fun team building activities often ask the group to let go of their inhibitions and find space to be playful and silly. This game from Hyper Island encourages the group to perform some loud, exuberant moves to emulate our favourite historical raiders – the Vikings.

You might use this activity during a longer workshop or meeting to energize a group and create a memorable moment with your team. For bonus points, have a group photographer capture those moments and put them on a history wall for reflection later!

The Viking   #hyperisland   #energiser   In this group game, players stand in a circle and perform a series of loud physical moves, passing from one person to the next. When a player hesitates or makes a mistake, he or she is eliminated and the game continues. The game generates laughter and playfulness in the group.

Wink Murder

We love team building exercises that include space for friendly competition and laughter. Wink murder is a variation on a classic party game that asks every team member to try and catch the wink assassin, whose job it is to eliminate the other players by winking at them without being caught.

We especially like the fact this game makes team members to use creative thinking while playing. Run multiple rounds with extra rules such as adding an accomplice to spice things up and have even more fun!

Wink Murder   #icebreaker   #energizer   #group game   #team   #teambuilding   A fun energizer where one player must try and eliminate the rest of the team by winking – all without being caught.

problem solving team building ideas

Corporate team building activities

Running team building games in the office can be a great way to finish up the week, onboard new team members or just boost employee engagement.

While all of the activities in this post are suitable for the office, the team building games in this section are especially effective in a corporate environment where some team members may need some coaxing or you want to gently introduce important topics.

Try these activities if you want to add an opportunity for your team to bond during a corporate training session, all-hands or other office event.

Appreciations Exercise

Office trivia can be fun, but you know what’s better? Taking a moment to appreciate each team member and uplift everyone in the group.

This method is designed to help everyone in a group receive appreciative feedback on their strengths from others. Start by sitting the group in a circle and having each participant write their name on a piece of paper and pass it to the person on their left. Each person writes down what they have most valued about the person whose name is on the sheet before passing it along.

At the end, share these appreciations and celebrate everyone in the group! You might even include this activity during a happy hour to truly celebrate one another!

Appreciations Exercise   #team   #appreciation   #self esteem   #remote-friendly   When you hear about your strengths from others and acknowledge them to yourself, this builds your motivation and self-confidence. If you do this at the end of a workshop, you go away feeling good about yourself and your colleagues too.

Cover Story

Bringing an activity that encourages creative thinking and imagination can be an effective method for getting team mates involved at your next corporate event. In this game, small groups create a magazine cover with your team on it and add headlines and taglines that show the best possible version of your team.

By defining the ideal future state for the organization your group can see what actions they might take today while also creating a fun and useful artefact for the team. Use as many sheets of paper as you need!

Cover Story   #gamestorming   #idea generation   #organizational development   #vision   #strategy   Cover Story is a game about pure imagination. The purpose is to think expansively around an ideal future state for the organization; it’s an exercise in visioning. The object of the game is to suspend all disbelief and envision a future state that is so stellar that it landed your organization on the cover of a well-known magazine

Coat of Arms

Even established teams have more to learn about one another. A corporate team building activity is a great time to encourage groups to go deeper and share who they are as a team.

In Coat of Arms, each team member begins by drawing a personal coat of arms and then sharing it with a partner. The partner interprets the coat of arms and then presents it to the rest of the group. This kind of getting to know you activity taps into group creativity and is a fun way of helping your team bond. 

Coat of Arms   #teambuilding   #opening   #icebreaker   #team   #get-to-know   #thiagi   Coat of Arms exercise provides a way for participants to introduce themselves and their colleagues, particularly for groups who think they already know each other very well. Almost invariably participants discover something about their colleagues of which they previously had no idea. Occasionally this revelation has an immediate and direct application to another participant’s current project or challenge.Because this activity forces people to use drawings rather than words, it is particularly useful as a dual-purpose introductory exercise in training sessions that deal with such topics as innovation, creativity, and problem-solving.

My Favourite Manager

Leaders and managers can be a deciding factor in creating a great company culture and employee happiness. In this game, get started by bringing your team together to discuss their favourite and least favourite managers.

This corporate team building activity is great at creating a safe space to discuss management styles and create empathy between teams. You’ll often find team members can shift their perspective, learn something about how they relate to their leaders and have fun too!

My Favourite Manager   #management   #leadership   #thiagi   #teamwork   #remote-friendly   Participants work individually, assuming the roles of three different people and brainstorming their perceptions of three most favourite managers and three least favourite managers. Later, they work with a partner (and still later, in teams) to prepare a list of dos and don’t-s for improving employees’ perception of a manager’s style.

Who are you? The Pirate Ship exercise

Explore team roles and responsibilities in a lighthearted manner is a great way to spend time during an office event.

In this simple but powerful team building exercise, share the image of the crew of a pirate ship. Next, invite participants to reflect on who they most identify with on the ship. Who is the captain? Who is looking out for land or maintaining the deck? By reflecting together around a fun premise, you can encourage meaningful discussions with your grop.

Who are you? The pirate ship exercise (dinámica del barco pirata)   #team alignment   #team   #remote-friendly   #teamwork   #warm up   #icebreaker   This an easy but powerful exercise to open a meeting or session and get participants to reflect on their attitudes or feelings about a topic, in the organization, team, or in the project.

History Map

Building effective teams is often a process of ideation, reflection and iteration over time. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of just how much a team or organization has grown. With this corporate team building activity, invite your group to reflect and build on their collective experience with a memory wall that collects moments over a fixed period of time.

It’s a great way of reinforcing major takeaways, celebrating the highlights and creating a sense of closure and progress. By also encouraging the creation of a shared visual resource, History Map also enables creativity and a sense of fun that can provide the perfect end to a project or working session. 

History Map   #hyperisland   #team   #review   #remote-friendly   The main purpose of this activity is to remind and reflect on what group members or participants have been through and to create a collective experience and shared story. Every individual will gain a shared idea of what the group has been through together. Use this exercise at the end of a project or program as a way to reinforce learnings, celebrate highlights and create closure.

Birds of a Feather

It’s not uncommon for teams to naturally form sub-groups with common characteristics. This exercise effectively shows how consciously creating more diverse groups can make teams more resilient and productive.

Get started by giving each team member an index card with a single letter on it. Then ask people to form a group of five people as quickly as possible without any further instructions. Next, ask the groups to form the longest word possible from their cards. It will quickly become apparent that the best way to win the game is with a team that has diverse cards.

This simple game is a great introduction to a wider conversation about diversity or inclusion. As always, debrief learnings and invite deeper conversation in the group to make this activity a success.

Birds of a Feather   #teamwork   #diversity   #team   #creativity   #thiagi   Participants naturally want to form groups with common characteristics. This exercise illustrates how diverse groups have access to more resources and provide a greater variety of solutions. Each person is given an index card with a letter on it, and then asked to form a group of five people. Participants assume that they should get into groups with others who have the same letter. However, when the facilitator asks them to form the longest word possible with the letter cards, they realize that it would have been more beneficial to have created a diverse group.

Corporate meetings can sometimes be heavy going, but they don’t need to be. In this fun teambuilding game, encourage your group to loosen up while working together to solve a puzzle that involves their bodies!

Start by getting your team members into groups of 7-12 people. Ask each group to stand in a circle, close their eyes and then link hands with two other people in the circle. Next, ask each group to work to untangle the human knot they have created without breaking the chain. This is a really fun game that requires clear communication, collaboration and a little flexibility too!

Human Knot   A physical-participation disentanglement puzzle that helps a group learn how to work together (self-organize) and can be used to illustrate the difference between self-organization and command-control management or simply as a get-to-know-you icebreaker. Standing in a circle, group members reach across to connect hands with different people. The group then tries to unravel the “human knot” by unthreading their bodies without letting go of each other people’s hands. As a management-awareness game to illustrate required change in behavior and leadership on a management level (e.g., illustrate the change from ‘task-oriented’ management towards ‘goal/value-oriented’ management).

Team communication and collaboration activities

Team work doesn’t always come naturally, and effective team collaboration needs attention, reflection and work in order to happen. It’s not enough to just assume your team members will be able to work together efficiently: all teams can benefit from a strategic and well-thought approach to how they communicate and collaborate.

Whether you’re having a team away day or using methods expressly designed to improve collaboration, you’ll find inspiration in the activities here!

These team building exercises are helpful whether you’re trying to solve miscommunication or collaboration issues, or just want to strengthen your company culture or communication skills.

Conflict Responses

It’s important to remember that every team is made up of individuals and sometimes, conflicts or disagreements can arise. While its regular working practice to disagree, our responses to conflict and how we deal with them when they arise are in our control and can be improved.

In this exercise, reflect on previous conflicts as a team and collectively create a set of guidelines to use in the future. Resolving issues effectively is a massive part of team collaboration, and by including all team members in this process you can get more meaningful results too.

Conflict Responses   #hyperisland   #team   #issue resolution   A workshop for a team to reflect on past conflicts, and use them to generate guidelines for effective conflict handling. The workshop uses the Thomas-Killman model of conflict responses to frame a reflective discussion. Use it to open up a discussion around conflict with a team.

Heard, Seen, Respected

Team empathy is a vital ingredient of good team work though whatever the size of your organization, it can sometimes be difficult to walk in the shoes of others and see things from other perspectives.

Heard, Seen, Respected is a team building activity designed to help participants practice deeper empathy for colleagues and build the kinds of bonds and working practices that can improve team collaboration. By inviting participants to notice patterns in the stories shared and find common takeaways, it’s a great way to get everyone involved on the same page and improve communication skills too.

Heard, Seen, Respected (HSR)   #issue analysis   #empathy   #communication   #liberating structures   #remote-friendly   You can foster the empathetic capacity of participants to “walk in the shoes” of others. Many situations do not have immediate answers or clear resolutions. Recognizing these situations and responding with empathy can improve the “cultural climate” and build trust among group members. HSR helps individuals learn to respond in ways that do not overpromise or overcontrol. It helps members of a group notice unwanted patterns and work together on shifting to more productive interactions. Participants experience the practice of more compassion and the benefits it engenders.

Myers-Briggs Team Reflection

One potential obstacle to effective team collaboration is when members of the group don’t fully understand one another. Team building activities for work that encourage participants to not only try and understand their colleagues but themselves can be especially helpful when helping a team be more cohesive.

In this activity, invite your group to first take a version of the Myers-Briggs personality test. Start by asking each team member to reflect on their own personality type before then moving towards small group discussion. 

When using this activity, it’s important to correctly frame the usage of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) framework: This can be a useful framework to understand different communication preferences between people, but team members should not be labeled or put into boxes based on their self-reported preferences. 

Myers-Briggs Team Reflection   #team   #hyperisland   A workshop to explore personal traits and interpersonal relations using the Myers-Briggs personalities model. Use this tool to go deeper with your team to understand more about yourselves and each other on personal and professional levels.

Strength Building exercise

Exercises for team building come in many varieties. In this activity, the emphasis is on the team championing one another and increasing confidence, self esteem and mutual trust.

Start by asking team members to share an event where they accomplished something that made them feel good about themselves. The rest of the team chimes in to suggest two to three strengths they must have exhibited in order to achieve the accomplishment. Team collaboration often means helping others on the team achieve their best, and this activity helps the group uplift one another meaningfully and effectively.

Strength Building exercise   #team   #appreciation   #self esteem   #remote-friendly   People develop confidence and self esteem as they discover that their achievements and skills are valuable. This is an exercise for team building and for increasing self esteem and mutual trust.

Strength Envelopes

All members of a team have unique strengths, capabilities and working preferences. When working as a group, you can improve engagement and group workflow by having each participant utilize their strengths and do work that interests them the most.

With this team building activity, ask participants to write their name on an envelope and invite other members of their team to spend a few minutes writing down strength statements for that person. Place these in the envelope and pass them along so at the end of the session, each person has a set full of strengths they can use as the basis for reflection. 

Strength Envelopes   #appreciation   #self-awareness   #feedback   #team   #thiagi   #teambuilding   #action   This activity helps working teams to discover and share individual strengths and to increase their engagement by structuring their jobs around these strengths. Suitable for people who work together (for example, members of an intact work team) organized into playgroups of 5 to 9 members.

Team of Two

Whether you work in a small startup or a multinational organisation, the reality is that a large part of your working day will be spent working in pairs and interacting on a one-to-one basis. Whether in-person, over email or on video chat, finding ways to work together more effectively is vital for effective teams.

Try this team building exercise to help empower your groups toward more effective communication skills and have more meaningful interpersonal relationships at work. As a member of a remote team, I’ve found this method to be personally useful time and time again.

Team of Two   #communication   #active listening   #issue analysis   #conflict resolution   #issue resolution   #remote-friendly   #team   Much of the business of an organisation takes place between pairs of people. These interactions can be positive and developing or frustrating and destructive. You can improve them using simple methods, providing people are willing to listen to each other. “Team of two” will work between secretaries and managers, managers and directors, consultants and clients or engineers working on a job together. It will even work between life partners.

What I Need From You (WINFY)

Some of the best team building activities focus on helping your group improve their teamwork skills and communicate and collaborate better as a team. A sometimes overlooked part of working as a team is clearly articulating what you need from other people and knowing how to ask for it.

What I Need From You is a team building method designed to help team members better articulate their core needs and be transparent with the group. This leads to a more cohesive team that works together with integrity and understanding.

What I Need From You (WINFY)   #issue analysis   #liberating structures   #team   #communication   #remote-friendly   People working in different functions and disciplines can quickly improve how they ask each other for what they need to be successful. You can mend misunderstandings or dissolve prejudices developed over time by demystifying what group members need in order to achieve common goals. Since participants articulate core needs to others and each person involved in the exchange is given the chance to respond, you boost clarity, integrity, and transparency while promoting cohesion and coordination across silos: you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again!

Team problem solving activities

Teams often come together to solve collective problems as a group . Whether these are large projects or simply finding better ways to work together on a day-to-day basis, solving problems is something all teams should do – in or out of a conference room!

Enabling better team practices with a game that asks for creative problem solving is a wonderful way to bring everyone together. We love using these kinds of team building exercises to bring large groups together to solve a fun, simple problem.

By engaging team members in this way, they not only have fun, but they learn how to work together more effectively and reflect on how they can take that learning back to their day work.

In this section, we’ll look at team building exercises you can use to encourage creative thinking, problem solving and teamwork in an experiential way!

Blind Square – Rope Game

Nothing energizes a team workshop like a seemingly simple problem that also gets everyone moving and engaged. In this team problem solving game, start by tying a length of rope into a circle and invite the participants to plan how to make the rope into a perfect square while blindfolded.

After planning time, team members is blindfolded and has ten minutes to form the square. By debriefing afterwards, your group will find communication, planning and attention to detail are all important aspects of team problem solving – all while having fun too!

Blind Square – Rope game   #teamwork   #communication   #teambuilding   #team   #energiser   #thiagi   #outdoor   This is an activity that I use in almost every teambuilding session I run–because it delivers results every time. I can take no credit for its invention since it has existed from long before my time, in various forms and with a variety of names (such as Blind Polygon). The activity can be frontloaded to focus on particular issues by changing a few parameters or altering the instructions.

Crocodile River

We love team building activities that challenge the group to work together in inventive ways and also help energize a workshop setting. Crocodile River is a team problem solving exercise that challenges team members to support one another physically as they look to move across a wide outdoor space.

By changing the setting and inviting problem solving and strategic thinking to solve a challenge, your group not only stretches their problem solving muscles but also works on team communication, leadership and cooperation. As with any more abstract team building game, be sure to debrief afterward for best results!

Crocodile River   #hyperisland   #team   #outdoor   A team-building activity in which a group is challenged to physically support one another in an endeavour to move from one end of a space to another. It requires working together creatively and strategically in order to solve a practical, physical problem. It tends to emphasize group communication, cooperation, leadership and membership, patience and problem-solving.

Classic team building games like Egg Drop offer tried and tested ways to encourage teams to solve problems together while improving the way they communicate. This game often generates a bunch of laughter and creative thinking too – how can we save this poor egg!

In this team problem solving activity, invite small groups to build a freestanding structure that can support the dropping of an egg from seven feet. Include some caveats and challenges to make it more difficult and encourage an even greater degree of team collaboration. Just make sure you bring a mop for afterwards!

Egg drop   #teampedia   #collaboration   #teamwork   #icebreaker   #team   This fun activity could be used as an icebreaker for people who have just met but it can be framed as a method that shows and fosters team communication, collaboration and strategic thinking as well.

Helium Stick

Bringing team members together with problem solving activities that also encourages play can perform multiple functions. Not only do you encourage teamwork and the building of various team skills but you can have fun and promote laughter too.

Helium Stick is an example of a simple team building game that does double duty by encouraging fun, physical activity while introducing and exploring some core team building concepts. Ask the group to lower a long pole to the ground while keeping all of their fingers in contact with the pole at all times – more difficult than it first appears!

Helium Stick   #teampedia   #team   #teamwork   #icebreaker   #energiser   A great and simple activity for fostering teamwork and problem solving with no setup beforehand.

Lego Challenge

Creating something is often the purpose of bringing your team members together. Tap into the engaging process of co-creation and collaboration with this team building game using LEGO.

Building on the concept of LEGO Serious Play, this exercise is a great way of encouraging play, out-of-the-box thinking and creative approaches to existing problems. Additionally, each team member has a secret assignment which increases the challenge and encourages finding inventive ways to cooperate effectively and achieve both personal and team goals. 

LEGO Challenge   #hyperisland   #team   A team-building activity in which groups must work together to build a structure out of LEGO, but each individual has a secret “assignment” which makes the collaborative process more challenging. It emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, conflict, cooperation, patience and problem solving strategy.

Marshmallow Challenge with Debriefing 

Real-life challenges are often time-sensitive and need to be considered thoughtfully and pragmatically. Team building activities for work are especially effective when they help create this same sense of urgency while encouraging team work.

In just eighteen minutes, groups must build the tallest free-standing structure out of materials including: spaghetti, tape, string, and one marshmallow, placing this last item on top. In this version of the team building game, there’s a debriefing section which encourages reflection on the roles of everyone in the team. 

Marshmallow challenge with debriefing   #teamwork   #team   #leadership   #collaboration   In eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top. The Marshmallow Challenge was developed by Tom Wujec, who has done the activity with hundreds of groups around the world. Visit the Marshmallow Challenge website for more information. This version has an extra debriefing question added with sample questions focusing on roles within the team.

Getting outside and doing fun, physical activity can be a great way to bond teams and mix up a normal working routine. In this team problem solving game, participants are asked to work to make holes in a grid of string and rope that can safely and effectively accommodate everyone in the group getting through at once. Team members are not allowed to touch the string or rope and with diverse groups, the difficulty this presents makes for an interesting problem solving challenge for teams to solve. 

Spider web   #team   #teampedia   #warm up   #outdoor   #physical   This is an active team building game and requires participants to move about a lot and so can be also used as an energiser.

Stress Balls

At one point or another, most teams will be asked to perform effectively under pressure, whether that’s generated by internal or external stressors. By using team building games that help participants work together and communicate effectively even under difficult circumstances you can prepare your team members for almost anything!

Stress Balls is a fun game to help start exploring team resilience and problem solving under pressure, and it’s easy to run with large groups too! Start by simply passing a single ball around the room before adding more complex rules to help team members learn a valuable lesson about communication and teamwork!

Stress Balls   #energiser   #communication   #teamwork   #team   #thiagi   #action   #icebreaker   Understanding the importance of communication and teamwork is an important requirement for high performance teams of knowledge workers. This exercise is an effective energizer that requires communication and teamwork. Ask participants to form a circle and throw a ball around to simulate the movement of a message. Change different variables such as speed, quantity, and complexity to create a mess.

Scavenger Hunt

Activities that encourage groups to use teamwork and communication to achieve their goals are great ways to build team spirit. A classic scavenger hunt is a wonderful way to bring large groups together and have fun doing something a bit different!

Be sure to use office trivia, inside jokes or aspects of your company culture to inform this fun team building activity. You’ll find it much more effective if it’s tailored to your group. Bonus points if you can mix in activities that speak to the various departments or skillsets in the group during your scavenger hunt!

In the virtual-friendly version below, you’ll also find rules to help you run this activity with a remote team.

Virtual scavenger hunt   #energiser   #teambuilding   #remote-friendly   A fun team-building energiser that encourages groups to recreate the scavenger hunt experience in a fully remote environment! 

Team bonding and trust building activities

Mutual trust is a vital ingredient for any group of people working together, though it doesn’t always emerge organically. Taking the opportunity to build team bonds and create trust creates benefits for team connection, happiness and your company culture too!

While many of the fun team building activities above will bring your team together in some way, these methods are designed to expressly create better team bonds and build trust.

When working on improving team trust, we recommend being open about the goals of the exercise and encouraging the group to be honest . Being intentional during these activities can really help bring the group together!

Trust Battery

Great teamwork isn’t just about bringing a group of people together into the same space. Without honesty, openness, and trust, your team can’t collaborate effectively and can lead to frustration or frazzled relationships.

Trust Battery is a team building activity designed to help all members of your group reflect on their trust levels and rebuild those batteries with lower levels. By encouraging all members of a team to meaningfully reflect, you can enable better team collaboration and help your team feel closer and more cohesive too.

Trust Battery   #leadership   #teamwork   #team   #remote-friendly   This self-assessment activity allows you and your team members to reflect on the ‘trust battery’ they individually have towards each person on the team, and encourages focus on actions that can charge the depleted trust batteries.

Telling Our Stories

Everyone has a story to tell, though without a framework or guiding principles, surfacing those stories in a way that makes everyone feel safe and head can be tricky – especially for new teams. Team building activities that combine self reflection, sharing and structure are great for helping people to get to know each other deeply and build better bonds.

In Telling Our Stories, invite participants to reflect on childhood, young adulthood and today while answering questions on colored post-it notes. By sharing from the full gamut of our experiences, your team can get to know one another meaningfully and create trust too. 

Telling Our Stories   #hyperisland   #team   #teambuilding   To work effectively together team members need to build relations, show trust, and be open with each other. This method supports those things through a process of structured storytelling. Team members answer questions related to their childhood, young adulthood, and now; then weave them into a story to share with the rest of their team.

Better Connections

Great teamwork and collaboration is all about building stronger relationships and connections and this often means taking the time to see each other as more than just our job title. Once we get a fuller picture of who we are outside the office, everyone can feel more seen and understood. This is one of the cornerstones of team bonding and trust!

Encourage people who know each other the least to pair up and create space for meaningful reflection too – your team culture will thank you for it! It’s also a great way to improve communication skills and break down silos.

Better Connections   #interpersonal relationships   #teambuilding   #team   #connection   #thiagi   #get-to-know   We build a stronger relationship with people when we see them as human beings with whom we share similarities in terms of family and life situations. It is very difficult to form strong relationships with people about whom we know very little.We feel more connected to “full” people. For example, take John, the accountant. If I think of John as an accountant, I might put him into a box of what I think I know about accountants. I might not feel connected to accountants and will treat him accordingly. But when I think of John as a keen mountain climber and outdoor adventurer with two children, one of whom is graduating from university next month, then John becomes human to me, and I can feel connected to him.

Feedback: Current Strongest Impression

Giving and receiving feedback is a great team building activity that sees benefits long after your session. When we find ways to be more open with one another and say what we really think, the results can be transformative for any group.

This activity is a great one to bring to any event where you want to improve team bonding, as it creates a safe and simple way to start practicing more honest feedback. The next time you think about how to improve the way your team works together, think about whether you have a good feedback culture. The trust that good, open feedback can create is a fundamental part of any high performing team!

Feedback: Current Strongest Impression   #hyperisland   #skills   #feedback   Regular, effective feedback is one of the most important ingredients in building constructive relationships and thriving teams. Openness creates trust and trust creates more openness. Feedback exercises aim to support groups to build trust and openness and for individuals to gain self-awareness and insight. Feedback exercises should always be conducted with thoughtfulness and high awareness of group dynamics. This is a good first feedback exercise. It supports individuals to try out giving and receiving a very basic form of feedback in a safe way.

When a team doesn’t trust one another, the atmosphere and culture of a team suffers. Creating space to align and create a shared understanding of what trust means to your team is a great way to build team bonds and improve the way you all work together.

Start this activity by bringing together a set of trust cards containing characteristics, behaviours, attitudes, habits, values, and beliefs associated with trust in the workplace. Next, ask participants to create their own trust cards and move towards creating three core trust cards for your team.

By co-creating the output together, this team building activity is great for ensuring buy-in and creating long-lasting trust.

Trust   #thiagi   #issue analysis   #trust   One of the most important concepts in the workplace is trust. It affects performance, informal and formal relations, atmosphere of the workplace etc. With this activitiy you cn discover what one thinks about trust.

Translated Rant

Team building workshops are a great place to give your team room to have fun, vent and be honest with one another. Creating space for honesty while also building communication skills is the goal of this fun team building activity!

Split your group into pairs and have one person rant about a pet peeve for 60 seconds. Next, have the other person translate this rant while focusing on what the person really cares about. This kind of deep listening activity is fundamental to creating team trust, and sharing some of our annoyances in the group is great for building bonds too!

Translated Rant   #active listening   #emotions   #values   #trust   #conflict   #introductions   #opening   #connection   One person rants for 60 seconds. The second person translates their rant into what they care about and value.

problem solving team building ideas

Team purpose and alignment activities

Even the best teams can have differences of opinion and approach. While different viewpoints and perspectives are useful in many situations, it’s also vital that everyone is aligned on team purpose and vision.

Aligning on how the team will work together is an important part of helping the team be happy, productive and pulling in the same direction.

In this section, we’ll look at team work activities to help improve team alignment and get everyone working towards the same purpose. Let’s get started!

Alignment & Autonomy

Activities that help improve each member of your team work more effectively and feel empowered to operate autonomously can be great for improving employee happiness and productivity. If we feel aligned on the core purpose and goals of our team while also being given the space to work in the way that is right for us, we can boost employee engagement and job satisfaction too! 

In Alignment & Autonomy, invite participants to reflect on times when they felt aligned and autonomous versus non-aligned and non-autonomous. By sharing, reflecting, and then ideating on solutions, your whole group can move forward together.

Alignment & Autonomy   #team   #team alignment   #team effectiveness   #hyperisland   A workshop to support teams to reflect on and ultimately increase their alignment with purpose/goals and team member autonomy. Inspired by Peter Smith’s model of personal responsibility. Use this workshop to strengthen a culture of personal responsibility and build your team’s ability to adapt quickly and navigate change.

Engineering Your Team OS

When seeking to improve teamwork, it can be useful to think of your team as a system with complex, interlocking parts which may need a gradual refresh and redesign. This kind of abstraction can help prevent discussions from becoming too personal or difficult and ensure that your team alignment efforts are a success.

In this activity, your team designs an ideal working system by making aspirational statements and then methodically chooses a single statement to work towards ahead of the next meeting. By making positive changes incrementally, your team can achieve alignment and better working practices in a meaningful and sustainable manner. 

Engineering Your Team OS   #team   #hyperisland   This is designed to work as a standalone workshop or as a companion to the Team Self-Assessment tool . Using reflections and insights on your working process, your team will ‘update’ its operating system by making deliberate choices about how to work together. The goal is gradual development, not a radical shift. You will design an ideal-state for your team and slowly work towards that.

Generative Relationships STAR

Better working relationships start with shared reflection and the discovery and discussion of existing working patterns. This team alignment activity invites participants to assess their team along four vertices: Separateness, Tuning, Action and Reason and jointly shape next steps and future actions.

By including the whole team in the alignment process from start to finish, you can get meaningful buy-in and see real results! We love using this on an online whiteboard too. It can be a great way to help remote workers consider their inter-personal relationships!

Generative Relationships STAR   #team   #liberating structures   #teamwork   You can help a group of people understand how they work together and identify changes that they can make to improve group performance. All members of the group diagnose current relationship patterns and decide how to follow up with action steps together, without intermediaries. The STAR compass tool helps group members understand what makes their relationships more or less generative. The compass used in the initial diagnosis can also be used later to evaluate progress in developing relationships that are more generative.

Team Canvas Session

Team alignment isn’t always straightforward. The more large, complex or multi-discipline your team is, the trickier it can be to help the group mesh and understand their roles and responsibilities to the team and each other.

In Team Canvas Session, you and your team create a shared visual resource for understanding and articulating your goals, values and roles of your team. It can be used for general alignment, for onboarding new team members and even for defining the structure and purpose of a brand new team – simply recreate or download the team canvas and get started today!

Team Canvas Session   #team alignment   #teamwork   #conflict resolution   #feedback   #teambuilding   #team   #issue resolution   #remote-friendly   The Team Canvas is Business Model Canvas for teamwork. It is an effective technique to facilitate getting teams aligned about their goals, values and purposes, and help team members find their role on the team.

Team Self Assessment

All groups need to go through a period of reflection and self-assessment in order to grow. But without structure or a guiding framework, these discussions can become bogged down or unproductive. With this reflective team building activity, you can enable a thoughtful and thorough team self-assessment along six guiding dimensions.

Start with individual reflection before bringing everyone back together to debrief and see what you’re aligned on and what needs more work. By then narrowing these down to the most important elements, you can align and enable better co-working practices quickly and efficiently!

Team Self-Assessment   #team   #hyperisland   #remote-friendly   This is a structured process designed for teams to explore the way they work together. The tight structure supports team members to be open and honest in their assessment. After reflecting as individuals, the team builds a collective map which can serve as the basis for further discussions and actions. The assessment is based around 6 dimensions. Each one encouraging the team to reflect and analyse a different and crucial element of their behaviour.

Letter from the Future

Without a cohesive shared vision, teams can become unproductive or harbor frustration on team direction. By spending time with visioning activities, you can help everyone push in the same direction while still utilizing their unique talents.

In Letter from the Future, invite your team to imagine all the changes that might impact them in the next 5 years and write a letter back from that point. Ask your team to cover what’s been accomplished in those five years, and what kind of challenges and obstacles were overcome to make this happen. Remember to remind teams that good letters have a beginning, middle, and end and that they should read clearly – this will help during the sharing and debriefing section of this method!

Letter from the Future   #strategy   #vision   #thiagi   #team   #teamwork   Teams that fail to develop a shared vision of what they are all about and what they need to do suffer later on when team members start implementing the common mandate based on individual assumptions. To help teams get started on the right foot, here is a process for creating a shared vision.

Team Purpose & Culture

Defining your team’s purpose and culture is an integral part of team building. By clearly articulating why your team exists and how you will all work together to fulfill that purpose, you can align and bring focus to all the work you do. This team values and vision activity aims to create a shared visual resource that your team can refer to in the future.

It also uses wisdom from other successful organizations to help enable meaningful conversation and move from individual purpose statements to a single one for the whole team. If you’re looking for a complete process that can guide your team values and vision efforts, this method from Hyper Island is worth a try!

Team Purpose & Culture   #team   #hyperisland   #culture   #remote-friendly   This is an essential process designed to help teams define their purpose (why they exist) and their culture (how they work together to achieve that purpose). Defining these two things will help any team to be more focused and aligned. With support of tangible examples from other companies, the team members work as individuals and a group to codify the way they work together. The goal is a visual manifestation of both the purpose and culture that can be put up in the team’s work space.

Checkout and recap activities for your team building workshop

The process of team building and enabling a group to work together more effectively can be involved and exhaustive.

As with any group process or workshop, taking the time to reflect, recap and check out can ensure the lasting impact of what was covered in the session.

You’ll often find that finding time to close team building activities creates space for further employee engagement and reflection. Getting team members involved in choosing the next activity or coming up with a theme for the next round of office trivia!

In this section, we’ll take a look at some great team building activities for closing a session and for recapping the main learning points. Let’s dive in!

Check-in / Check-out

Ensuring everyone in a group is present, focused and committed to the work of a session is a vital ingredient in making a team building session a success. With this workshop method from Hyper Island, you can not only start and end your session the right way, but you can help everyone in your group be seen, heard and understood by the rest of the team.

This is especially useful with a remote team, where ensuring clear connection between team members who don’t share a physical office is especially important.

This activity also helps encourage reflection and brings the workshop to an effective close – be sure to give it a try!

Check-in / Check-out   #team   #opening   #closing   #hyperisland   #remote-friendly   Either checking-in or checking-out is a simple way for a team to open or close a process, symbolically and in a collaborative way. Checking-in/out invites each member in a group to be present, seen and heard, and to express a reflection or a feeling. Checking-in emphasizes presence, focus and group commitment; checking-out emphasizes reflection and symbolic closure.

The trip back from a team building event is a great place to share feedback and appreciate one another. Don’t have a bus? No worries! Create a few rows of chairs and simulate the experience for this reflective closing activity.

Once you’ve gotten the chairs of the bus set-up, ask participants to speak the person next to them and share: what they like about the other person, what they appreciate and what about the other person makes them happy. Speak for just 45 seconds each and then ask the group to switch seats.

Bus Trip   #feedback   #communication   #appreciation   #closing   #thiagi   #team   This is one of my favourite feedback games. I use Bus Trip at the end of a training session or a meeting, and I use it all the time. The game creates a massive amount of energy with lots of smiles, laughs, and sometimes even a teardrop or two.

One Breath Feedback

In particularly large teams, it can be tempting to forgo the closing activity or individual feedback steps just because it will take so long and it can be hard to maintain energy and interest. One Breath Feedback solves this problem by giving each participant the space of a single breath to check out and reflect on the session. By ensuring that everyone has room to speak and be heard while also placing a time limit on the reflection, you can cap off a team building workshop effectively and intelligently.

One breath feedback   #closing   #feedback   #action   This is a feedback round in just one breath that excels in maintaining attention: each participants is able to speak during just one breath … for most people that’s around 20 to 25 seconds … unless of course you’ve been a deep sea diver in which case you’ll be able to do it for longer.

Team building workshop templates

Building better teams often starts with designing an effective group process. Whether this takes the form of a workshop or meeting, you’ll want a balance of activities, ice breakers and reflective methods in order to help your group align and grow together.    

In this next section, we’ll take a look at some example processes with a complete template you can use to get started. Let’s take a look.

Team development day for a new team

Helping new teams to bond and find a shared purpose and value system is often best achieved with a well designed group process. Try the team development day template when working with a brand new team or one which has seen large growth and is in need of development.

Here, you’ll find a complete one-day group process full of team building activities that can take a group from getting to know each other all the way through to defining their needs and making commitments. 

Team Development Day for a New Team
Emotional Culture Workshop

Good teams are empathetic and in touch with their emotions. Using the emotional culture deck , this workshop can be run in under 3 hours and helps your team define and improve working relationships and the emotional culture of your team.

Taking the time to articulate and define these items ensures that everyone in your group is seen, understood and valued, and that you have a shared language for moving forward.

Team Dynamics Workshop

Cohesive teams that work well together are those with an understanding about what makes a team and how it functions.

Support your team building activities with this half-day workshop template and guide your group through a process of understanding and building on the dynamics of working together. 

Team Dynamics Workshop Template

Team building sessions made easy

Designing an effective team building workshop means creating a balanced agenda of activities and group discussions while also keeping everything on time.

With SessionLab, you drag, drop and reorder blocks to build your agenda in minutes.

Your session timing adjusts automatically as you make changes and when you’re done, you can share a beautiful printout with your colleagues and participants.

Explore how teams use SessionLab to collaboratively design effective workshops and meetings or watch this five minute video to see the planner in action!

problem solving team building ideas

Over to you

Enabling better teamwork and building stronger, more cohesive teams isn’t easy. Whether you’re running a team building day, team workshop, or simply adding some team building activities to your meetings, we hope that some of the methods above can help you and your group come together and do better work. 

Got a team workshop to plan? Check out our complete guide to workshop planning to make the process a breeze. Want to start creating your agenda quickly? Use a meeting or workshop template to save time designing or get inspiration.

Which of these team building activities is your favourite? Is there anything missing from the list above? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear about how we can all improve our team building efforts.

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Hey there, Thank you so much for sharing this interesting stuff ! I will share these ideas with my HR Departments. And I am sure this blog will be very interesting for me. Keep posting your ideas!

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All the training techniques have been well thought pit, planned and illustrated with tangible objectives which in itself is incredible to say the least. Have learnt so much which O shall incorporate and refine in my Workshops…Than you Team Session Lab

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problem solving team building ideas

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problem solving team building ideas

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Let's Roam Team-Building Blog

Fun Team-Building Problem-Solving Activities

problem solving team building ideas

Teamwork is what allows organizations to overcome their biggest obstacles and thrive in a crowded global marketplace. As Andrew Carnegie said generations ago, teamwork is what enables “people to attain uncommon results.” When teams work together effectively, they can give their employers a competitive edge and increase their individual and collective levels of success. Even teams that sometimes seem like they’ll work seamlessly on paper fail to meet, let alone exceed, the mark, whatever that goal might be. As a manager, it’s your job to help the team you oversee succeed. One way you can do that is by engaging your team in some fun team-building problem-solving activities.

It’s important to note that the point of those activities isn’t to ensure everyone likes one another. While it would be great if your entire team consisted of friends, the odds are better than not that some team members may simply not like others—and that’s okay! A team doesn’t have to consist of BFFs to be effective and goal-oriented. In fact, the differences that exist between the members of your team will give everyone a chance to learn, gain alternative points of view, and achieve greater effectiveness.

Creative Problem-Solving Activities from Let’s Roam

The experts at Let’s Roam have carefully constructed a series of team-building activities that will help you to build stronger connections, increase productivity, and improve morale. These exercises can be used in the office, or virtually for remote teams, and focus on problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and more. Our planners will work with you to ensure that your next event is a worthwhile endeavor for your staff, so don’t hesitate. Get started today!

The Two Cs: Communication and Collaboration

For the members of a team to work well together, they must know how to communicate and collaborate. Those two critical skills will be the basis for your team’s ultimate success. Luckily, some team-building activities are designed to enhance employee communication and collaboration abilities.

The Best Team-Building Problem-Solving Activities

Can you tell what i changed.

“Can You Tell What I Changed?” is a communication activity that doesn’t take too long. To get started, divide your team into two groups and have each one form a line that faces the other. Give the members in each line the opportunity to observe the individual standing across from them for a minute or two.

Instruct one line to turn around and have the members of the other make five changes to their appearance. Those changes can be as simple as letting their hair out of a ponytail, removing a pair of glasses, and/or taking off a tie. After the members of the second line are done making changes, have the people in the first line turn back around. Ask the members of the first line to identify the changes they recognize.

This activity is a great icebreaker for teams that were only recently put together. It’s also an innovative way to enhance people’s observation skills and to get them to pay attention to things they may overlook otherwise.

Let’s Create a Story for the Ages

Creativity is an important skill that’s often necessary for problem-solving. “Let’s Create a Story for the Ages” is an effective team-building exercise that will enhance your team’s ability to communicate and think creatively.

To prepare for this activity, gather a series of sequential pictures that are big enough for everyone to see. Hang those pictures in the front of the room and have your team sit down where they can see them.

Ask one team member to start a story by coming up with one line about the first picture. Once that person shares the story’s opening line, have another person repeat what was just said and come up with the next sentence. Continue in this manner until your team has told a complete tale that covers all the pictures on display.

A variant of the activity just described is to divide your group into small teams, each consisting of four or five people. Give each of the new teams a piece of paper, pen, and 15–20 minutes to write its own story about the pictures. When the time limit expires, have each team present its story to the rest of the group. After each team has read its tale, allow your whole team to discuss the different interpretations of the pictures.

We Stand Together

“We Stand Together” is a fun, at times guffaw-inducing activity that requires employees to communicate and collaborate to succeed. Divide your team into pairs and have each pair sit back-to-back with their arms linked. The goal of each pair is to then stand up as one without unlinking their arms. Once a duo accomplishes this task, you can assign another pair to the first so that all four can attempt to achieve the same goal together.

Whether they’re working in a pair or foursome, participants will have to communicate and collaborate to stand as one. If anyone is ticklish, be prepared for your whole team to enjoy a few moments of shared laughter, which can truly go a long way in uniting your team.

Activities to Improve Team-Building and Problem-Solving Skills

When you’re confident your team has developed the collaboration and communication skills to succeed as one, it’s time to move on to activities that will help them develop the team-building and problem-solving abilities they’ll need to succeed as a unit. Be sure to pick activities that will help everyone develop the critical talents they’ll need to succeed.

For example, problem-solving requires team members to brainstorm, flex their logical and lateral thinking muscles, actively listen, engage their creativity, and adopt a “what if” mentality. Whereas communication and collaboration are the basis for successful team-building and problem-solving, these other abilities are what your team needs to build on top of that foundation, so to speak.

Build a Campsite

While taking your team on an outdoor retreat may help members develop some team-building and problem-solving skills, that’s not what’s being suggested here. Instead, you can move the furniture in a conference to the side and gather the following items: a small tent, some tennis balls or softballs, and enough chairs and blindfolds for every member of your team.

Divide your team into groups of five or six. Pick one group to kick things off, instructing them to bring their chairs closer to the tent and balls while having the others move their chairs back. The chosen group members should then put on their blindfolds and attempt to make a campsite.

The goal is for them to put up the tent, construct a ring for a campfire using the balls, and position their chairs around the fire ring all while blindfolded. To accomplish this feat, the group will have to work together and solve problems along the way. This activity is fantastic for developing adaptability to challenging conditions.

The Lego Challenge

If you have young kids, then you know that stepping on a Lego without a shoe on isn’t a fun experience. Now, you have reason to go around, collect all those pain-inducing building blocks, and put them to use without feeling guilty. Just be sure you collect enough Legos!

Divide your team into groups under ten. Give each group a set of Lego blocks. Instruct each group to build a structure using their playthings, but only share scant details about what the final structures should look like or what their purpose should be. Give the groups an hour or more to finish their projects depending on how many Legos they have to work with. When the designated amount of time expires, let each group show off its creation and explain what it is. Then, allow your whole team to discuss the various structures, the motivations behind each one, and how improvements might be made.

The goals of this team-building activity are to refine problem-solving techniques improve communication between team members.

Untying the Knot

“Untying the Knot” is a really fun activity to engage your team with. Depending on the size of your team, the whole team can do this as one, or you may have to parcel out members into several groups of ten or less. Assuming your team is small enough to do this together, have everyone stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a circle facing each other. Each person should extend their right hand and take ahold of someone else’s.

Everyone should then do the same with their left hands, making sure they don’t grab the two hands of the same individual who’s across from them. The result will be a hand-holding human knot, which your team members must work together to untangle without letting go of anyone’s hands.

Although this activity may seem simple enough, it will challenge your employees to engage in teamwork before they’re “free.” It will also require some creative thinking and innovative problem solving for the activity to come to an end.

Red Rover Variant

You might remember dashing across the street while trying to avoid being tagged as a kid when you played “Red Rover,” but this variant of the childhood game is comparatively tame and less physically tiring. At least, it’s meant to be tamer and less physically taxing.

Your entire team can do this activity together, or you can break the large group into smaller teams. If you’re dividing your staff into groups, have each one pick a person who’ll act as the “farmer.” The remaining members of each group will assume the role of villagers.

The farmer in each group is responsible for transporting three things to the other side of a figurative river using a boat. A dog, some rice, and a chicken are the things the farmer must get to the other bank. The farmer’s dilemma is as follows:

  • The farmer can only transport one thing on the boat
  • Leaving the chicken and the dog on the same shore without supervision isn’t feasible because the dog might eat the chicken
  • Similarly, the chicken can’t be left unsupervised with the rice because the animal may consume the grain

How will the farmers and their respective villagers complete the task of getting all three items to the other shore with those constraints? After the game, allow some time to come together to assess their approaches and discuss the different outcomes.

If you want to enhance your team’s problem-solving skills with “Egg Drop,” it’s best to warn your employees to dress down a few days in advance of this team-building activity, as things have the potential to get messy. As you may have inferred from the name of this game, you’ll also need to get some eggs to play, as well as a few other supplies.

You’ll divide your team into two or more groups. Each group will be charged with creating some sort of protective packaging for its eggs. The goal is for each group to fashion packaging that will protect the eggs from breaking when they’re dropped from a pre-determined height.

To incentivize your team, designate a reward that the winning group will get to enjoy and tell everyone what the prize is before the competition begins. The team that designs the packaging that keeps the most eggs wins.

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry! You can still come up with a prize that won’t cost much, or perhaps won’t cost anything at all. For example, you can let each member of the winning team park in your parking spot for a day. Alternatively, you can let the winning group enjoy an extra day of causal dress the following week.

What Would You Do

While there will be some instances when your team will have a lot of time to solve a problem, it’s likely your employees will have to make decisions fast at other times. To give your team members the chance to practice their quick decision-making abilities, you may want to set aside time for them to engage in an activity called “What Would You Do.”

In this activity, each team member will be given the opportunity to pretend to be the famous person of their choice. Once in that role, the famous individual will be presented with a problem. First, the person must decide if the problem is even worth solving. If it is, the individual must come up with potential solutions in a set period of time. After those solutions are divulged, the team can discuss them and look for possible improvements to each suggested resolution.

Puzzling (AKA “The Barter Puzzle”)

Your employees might find themselves puzzled when they play “Puzzling.” For this activity, you will need to divide your team into smaller groups and come prepared with a different jigsaw puzzle for each group. Before giving each its puzzle, mix a few pieces into the boxes that will be given to other groups.

As each group labors to be the first team to finish its puzzle, its members will eventually realize some key pieces are missing. When the other groups come to the same realization, they’ll need to identify which group or groups have the pieces they need and figure out a way to get them.

The ensuing inter-group bartering may include things like loaning a member to another group. It may also include bribes like buying lunch. Whatever tactics are used, your employees are sure to have a good, collective laugh as they engage their powers of persuasion, teamwork, and problem solving—and there’s nothing puzzling about that, is there?

Escape Room

In recent years, escape rooms have become pretty common and readily accessible in many locations. Even if one isn’t located close to your business, you can create one in your building with just a bit of effort.

The point of an escape room is to challenge the people in the room to work together to find the key and get out of the locked space. Themed escape rooms give you the chance to challenge your team in different ways that are in keeping with various subjects.

For your team to get out of the room, your employees will have to uncover and decipher a series of clues. Every clue will point them in the direction of another hint they’ll need to act upon until they find the final clue that will identify the key’s hiding spot.

Scavenger Hunt

You can involve your team in an indoor or outdoor company scavenger hunt , but this type of activity is even more engaging when you plan it across multiple locations. The goal of a scavenger hunt is for your employees to find sundry items that are either widely accessible or hidden in different places. With each successive discovery, your employees will find a clue that indicates where the next item on their list of things to recover is located.

You can add an element of competition to a scavenger hunt by dividing your team into small groups that will compete to see which group will find all the things on their list first. Heightening that spirit of competition is easy. All you have to do is announce an enticing prize that will be given to the winning group before the hunt begins.

Can You Build It

“Can You Build It” is a game that requires participants to make careful observations, communicate clearly, solve problems, and work as a team. For this game, you’ll need to break out the Legos once again or pick up different materials that can be used to create a structure that you’ll build in advance of your employees engaging in this activity.

To start, hide the structure you built so that no one can see it. Give your team the materials they’ll need to recreate what you made. Allow one person to see your structure. That individual will then describe the structure to the rest of the team and the team will work together to try to recreate it.

If your team fails to make a facsimile of your structure, let someone else take a peek at your creation. Your team will then try to recreate the structure again. The activity will continue in a similar manner until your team successfully and accurately replicates your structure.

This activity engages many of the talents that are necessary for effective team building and problem solving. It requires teammates to trust each other and brainstorm, for example. Communication, observing, and coming up with clever solutions are also required in “Can You Build It.”

That’s One Way to Hula

All you need for “That’s One Way to Hula” is a hula-hoop and some good-spirited employees. For this activity, have your team stand in a circle holding hands. Break the circle by separating two of those joined hands and slip a hula-hoop onto the arm of one of the participants before rejoining their hands. The challenge then becomes for each participant to pass the hula-hoop to a coworker without letting go of the hands the person is holding.

If your team is large, consider separating it into groups. By doing this, you can create a competition to see which group can get the hula-hoop around the entire ring of participants the fastest.

Plan a Fundraiser

While encouraging your team to volunteer is certainly laudable, the problem with doing so is that your team’s success isn’t in the capable hands of its members. If, for example, your team volunteers at an animal rescue, your employees will be told what to do and how and when to do their assigned tasks.

Although volunteering is undeniably worthwhile, rewarding, and necessary for many non-profits, having your team plan a fundraiser may be a better way to give back to others. By planning a fundraiser, your team will have to work together to choose the type of event you’ll host. Your employees will then need to develop a plan to achieve their common objective.

From picking a venue to choosing how to market the fundraiser, deciding who’ll be invited to the event, identifying a realistic fundraising goal, and much more—your team will have plenty to decide and a lot of tasks to execute to pull off a successful event. As is the case with a lot of functions, even ones for great causes, obstacles will probably arise, which your employees will need to come together to overcome.

Social responsibility is one of the key drivers behind employee engagement across industries. Engaging your team with a fundraiser is a great way to improve their team-working and problem-solving abilities while helping them feel more satisfied with their jobs.

As a bonus, putting together a fundraiser can help your business generate some goodwill and increase customer loyalty. Increasingly, consumers are seeking out businesses that share their values. By having your team plan a fundraiser, you can demonstrate that your organization cares about the same things that your ideal customers do.

Team-building and problem-solving activities are a win-win for your team, your business, and your target audience. In addition to facilitating the development of professional skills, these exercises can help you to come away with a clear indication of which team members have the greatest potential to evolve into future team leaders.

Have you utilized team bonding activities? Use the comment section below to let us know which problem-solving activities you have tried and whether or not you experienced positive results.

If you want to start team-building with your employees, don’t hesitate to contact Let’s Roam to help you to plan and customize company events . Whether your group is in an office, remote, or a combination of stationary and virtual teams , our professional guides will help you every step of the way!

Frequently Asked Questions

The expert event guides at Let’s Roam have documented several effective problem-solving exercises . They also offer team-building activities including scavenger hunts , custom trivia , and more.

In addition to facilitating the development of skills such as communication, collaboration, and adaptability, problem-solving exercises can help business managers to identify future team leaders.

You can help your team with a series of problem-solving activities . Plan team-building events that will challenge employees’ collaborative skills, problem-solving techniques, and leadership abilities.

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problem solving team building ideas

  • August 24, 2021
  • Featured , Management Tips , Mental health , Team Building , Virtual Experiences

Post: The 13 Best Team Building Problem Solving Activities

Employees playing reverse pyramid a team building problem solving activity

This post was last updated on, August 13th, 2022

There is a team-building problem-solving activity for everyone. Whether you’re looking to have fun and make new friends or sharpen your team’s skills, team-building activities are the perfect solution!

In this blog post, we will cover 13 team-building activities that can help improve problem-solving skills while increasing productivity and morale.

Benefits of problem solving activities team building

We all know the importance of team building . It’s how we build relationships, foster creativity, and innovate in order to succeed. One way that team building is done today is through problem-solving activities.

Problem-solving activities:

  • Build stronger teams, improve morale and encourage employees to work together. Collaboration is improved because teams are better able to solve problems together when they’re more engaged with each other
  • Foster better communication skills among team members, especially amongst remote teams.
  • Provide an outlet for creative thinking and increase confidence in employees who may not otherwise speak up or participate in departmental meetings.
  • Group problem-solving activities help your team increase productivity and motivation within the workplace and can align employees with company goals and objectives.
  • Improve mental health of team members by reducing stress and improving the moods of team members.

Problem solving team building activities are hands-on, creative, and collaborative. They help team members trust each other more in order to grow their relationship as teammates. 

Oftentimes problem-solving team-building activities can be done virtually which is important for virtual teams or remote companies who don’t have the opportunity to interact face to face.

What is problem solving in team building?

Rather than having so-called frivolous fun with ice breaker questions and virtual happy hours (those types of team building activities do have their place) problem solving games are about identifying leadership and decision-making skills by solving problems.

The more efficient a team is at problem-solving activities, the more successful they can be at actually solving real-world problems in the workplace.

Quick and easy team building problem solving activities

It’s time to have some problem-solving fun! Here are some quick and easy team-building games for your next event.

The blind drawing game challenge

In this creative problem solving challenge, team members have to rely on their teammates for input when drawing an object from a list.

Each team chooses one participant to wear a blindfold while another member describes the item they must draw without telling the “artist” exactly what that item is.

The team whose drawing is closest to the actual item at the end of the activity wins!

Ideal for small groups of up to six.

Stumped for ideas on what to draw? Ask teams to draw your company logo.

Pro tip: to make this simple team building exercise even more challenging, have each non-drawing team member provide just one clue as to what the item is.

Inspired by the Jodie Foster Panic Room movie, group members of this team-building activity must take refuge in a boardroom, but before they do each participant must take with them just one item they feel will help their team’s survival before locking the door.

Once inside each participant must present to the rest of the team why they choose their specific item and then work together to rank the items in order of importance to their overall survival.

Pro tip: Each team must decide in 30 minutes or less whether or not their goal is to either survive in the panic room for a long period of time or to break free! In those same 30 minutes, teams must also collect their 10 items so time is of the essence.

Reverse Pyramid

While using copious amounts of red plastic cups is not ideal, nor environmentally friendly, playing with glass cups or ceramic mugs may potentially be dangerous.

In ‘Reverse Pyramid’, teams must build the tallest pyramid from the ground up. Starting with just a single cup (recyclable paper cups are also another great alternative) teams must work together to lift the top of the tower to add to the base below.

Hard to imagine? Watch this YouTube video of a ‘Reverse Pyramid’ in action.

Classic team building problem solving activities

The famous high school egg drop experiment.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall … Humpty Dumpty had a great …(sorry we couldn’t help ourselves).

The egg drop team building exercise, also known as ‘Defend the Egg’ is a problem solving skills game that involves building a structure out of random ordinary items such as masking tape, rubber bands, sticky notes, etc that will protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a high elevation.

The goal is to have each team build a structure that they can agree upon that will not only protect the egg but also allow it to be retrieved afterward.

The team with the highest percentage of successful drops wins!

Ideal for groups of up to six people.

The Lego challenge

The Lego challenge is one of the best team-building activities out there. In this activity, groups have an hour to complete a piece with their given number of LEGO bricks (which may vary depending on complexity).

After time runs out, everyone will get together and show off what they made!

The goal? Improve communication among team members by refining methods for problem-solving through creative thinking.

Domino effect challenge

Though it may sound like a simple game, the Domino effect challenge is an initiative that has been used in schools and businesses all over the world.

The challenge? To create the largest chain reaction contraption possible using whatever materials you wish including dominos should you choose to.

In this collaborative and creative problem solving exercise, participants are split into teams, and each work together on building their own individual section of the challenge.

Once group members agree on their final design, or time is up, all teams will then come together to either join their sections together to create one cohesive chain reaction, or to compete against each other.

Ideal for teams of up to five people.

Fun fact: The Guinness World Record of the most dominoes toppled by an individual is 321,197 by Liu Yang (China). And the Guinness World Record for the largest human mattress chain of dominoes was 2,019 people by Ortobom Globo of Sao Paulo Brazil #truestory!

Fun team building problem solving activities

Organizational jenga.

Think of the board game Jenga, with a twist. Divide your group into small teams and give them equal numbers of blocks, either wooden blocks or an actual Jenga set!

After everyone has built their structure as per company hierarchies, divide resources evenly between each group so they are balanced in size and type.

Now comes the fun part: take turns removing one block at a time without destroying any other pieces on that level- if there is too much weight on top then it will collapse!

This exercise gets people thinking about what happens when we don’t have the right personnel for every position.

This team building activity is great for groups of up to six people.

Pro tip: Use colored blocks instead of regular ones and get ready for laughter when someone knocks down another person’s block.

The marshmallow & spaghetti tower

The spaghetti tower is a classic team-building game and a great way to use up leftover spaghetti in your kitchen cupboards.

Participating people gather uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows, to build the tallest tower possible.

Besides the structural integrity of the tower, teams are then evaluated on three major factors: the amount of towers, tower height, and uniformity.

Got a remote team? In the virtual team building version, participants create their own towers, rather than building one grand freestanding tower.

Escape room 

Escape rooms are excellent group problem solving exercises that usually take place in an hour or so.

Players have to solve puzzles and riddles based on a theme to escape the room.

Teams are usually split into groups of six and have an hour to solve the puzzles in order to escape from the room. If they fail, then they are locked inside until their time expires!

They’re quite difficult to create on their own, so you may need to team up with an escape room company for this. Ideal for groups of up to six people, with one or two facilitators, present along the way, and reasonably priced at approximately $25+ per person.

Best Virtual Problem Solving Games & Activities for Groups

Geocache adventure.

This treasure hunt will require a GPS device, in the form of an app on your phone or built into it. The clues you hide are part of a bigger question that needs to be solved by finding and locating Geocaches within different locations.

One variation is using QR codes around the office or home where we can mix geographic coordinates with other hidden treasures which could be identified through any smartphone-enabled camera (i.e., scanning for riddles).

This activity promotes creative problem solving while working together as teams towards accomplishing specific aims at designated times!

Online escape rooms

Being “trapped” in an escape room is a satisfying challenge for any puzzle solver. With digital versions, you can now enjoy the experience from anywhere with just your computer!

Players are given a set of puzzles or clues and have to use their problem solving skills in order to escape.

This team building activity is great for groups of up to four people, with one team member as the team leader who can allocate tasks so everyone feels involved.

Virtual scavenger hunt

A virtual scavenger hunt is perfect for a team that is working remotely and wants to have a little bit of fun while problem solving. It also makes for a great team building event if you’re looking to change things up while increasing your sense of teamwork. Here are the basics: 

Your group will be given a list with different items, locations, or actions written on it.

Each item has been assigned a point value so teams (or individuals) can compete against each other by trying to collect as many points before time runs out.

As the world becomes increasingly more competitive, businesses are looking for new ways to keep their small teams happy and productive. One way of doing this is through problem solving activities that present novel tasks in a fun environment.

Working with others on challenges can help build better communication skills with remote teams as well as make teams more cognizant of team roles.

Businesses all over are starting to realize how important group interaction is for improving morale while also making work environments less stressful since it’s always nice having peers there who will support you.

Team building problem solving activities like these provide an excellent opportunity for teams from various departments to interact easily without feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliar circumstances—while also getting comfortable with taking risks and thinking outside the box.

In the professional world, one thing is for sure: problem solving is a vital skill if you want to survive and thrive. It is a universal skill sought by employers and managers alike.

Problem solving activities are perfect opportunities to explore different aspects of what it means to be an effective team while still being a collaborative team.

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Develop Good Habits

17 Team Building Problem Solving Activities & Exercises

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Whether you work in an office or online, it is important to establish a strong foundation as a team. Good communication and collaboration skills are essential for any successful team, but problem-solving skills are what will help you through the tough times.

Life is unpredictable, which is why problem solving skills are critical to learn , starting at a young age. They help us deal with the curveballs that will inevitably be thrown our way from time to time… without spiraling off course into a panic .

Table of Contents

What Are Problem Solving Skills?

Problem-solving skills are the ability to identify and solve problems creatively and effectively . They involve analyzing a situation, coming up with a plan of action, and then following through with that plan. These types of skills are important in both personal and professional life.

In your personal life, you will no longer have the same constant helping hand or be able to make excuses as you could in childhood . When something happens, you will need to be able to figure out a way to fix it yourself. In your professional life, being able to solve problems quickly and efficiently will make you an invaluable asset to any team.

Why Problem Solving Activities Are Important In the Workplace

There are many benefits to having strong problem solving skills in the workplace. For one, it can help improve morale among team members. When everyone is working together to solve a problem, it can create a sense of camaraderie and teamwork .

It can also help hold team members accountable for their actions. If a problem arises, everyone will need to work together to solve it instead of placing the blame on one person. This will help create a more cohesive team that is better able to handle difficult situations.

Finally, problem solving skills can help improve productivity in the workplace. When problems are solved quickly and efficiently, it allows the team to move on to other tasks more quickly.

17 Problem Solving Activities

Activity #1. brainstorming.

This is a great activity for getting the creative juices flowing. Get your team together and have them come up with as many ideas as possible for solving the problem at hand. The more ideas, the better!

One way to start may be to ask everyone to write down their ideas individually, then have each person share their idea with the group. Once all the ideas are on the table, you can start to narrow down which ones are the most feasible.

Activity #2. Role-Playing

If you are ready to get the team members to think outside the box, have them take on different roles and come up with solutions from those perspectives. The roles can be anything from a customer to a company CEO.

Write down roles on a piece of paper and put them in a hat or bowl. Have each team member draw a role and then have them work on coming up with solutions from that perspective.

Activity #3. Logic Puzzles

These types of puzzles are great for testing your team’s critical thinking skills. There are a variety of different logic puzzles available online or in puzzle books .

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Logic puzzles can be a great team-building activity as they require everyone to work together to find the solution.

Activity #4. Word Association

This is a simple but effective way to get ideas flowing. Write down a list of words or phrases related to the problem and then have your team come up with solutions based on those words.

Let's take the word “online safety” for example. Some potential solutions could be creating strong passwords, using two-factor authentication, or avoiding phishing scams or unnecessary social media use at work .

Activity #5. Debate

This activity will help get the team thinking about the issue from different angles . Have each team member take a side of the debate and then have them argue their points.

After everyone has had a chance to speak, have the team come to a consensus on the best solution.

Activity #6. Process Mapping

This activity is great for visual learners. Get a whiteboard or large piece of paper and map out the steps that need to be taken to solve the problem. This will help the team see the issue as a whole and spot any potential roadblocks.

Activity #7. Mind Mapping

This is similar to process mapping but is more focused on coming up with ideas. Write down the main issue in the center of the paper and then have team members come up with ideas that branch off from that.

Activity #8. Fishbone Diagram

If you are looking for another visual activity that can help a team see the different factors that contribute to a problem, try the fishbone diagram. Draw a large fish skeleton on a whiteboard or piece of paper and then have team members add in the different factors that contribute to the problem.

Activity #9. 5 Whys

Have the team start with the main issue and then each person takes turns asking “why” until you get to the root cause of the problem. Five times is usually sufficient to solve most problems. This is very effective for uncovering hidden problems.

One example may involve sales:

The problem is that our sales are down:

  • Why? Because we’re not getting enough foot traffic in the store.
  • Why? We’re not advertising enough.
  • Why? We don’t have the budget for it.
  • Why? There is too much inventory loss/theft.
  • Why? High employee turnover.

Activity #10. Scenario Planning

Think ahead and prepare for potential problems in the future. Have the team come up with different scenarios that could happen and then brainstorm solutions for each one. A perfect example may be different ways to escape the building in the event of an emergency.

One approach can involve escape routes, another can focus on the steps needed to shelter in place, and the last can highlight who is responsible for what during an evacuation.

Activity #11. SWOT Analysis

Before coming up with solutions, it is important to understand the different factors that could impact them.

The SWOT analysis activity will help the team identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with the problem. This will help them come up with more informed solutions and deeper thinking.

Activity #12. Reverse Brainstorming

To prevent boredom, do what you can to get the team to think outside the box. Instead of brainstorming ways to solve the problem, have them come up with ways to make it worse. It may sound counter-productive but it can help the team see the issue from a different perspective and come up with more creative solutions.

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Reverse brainstorming works by having the team come up with as many bad ideas as possible. Once they have exhausted all the ways to make the problem worse, they can then start thinking of ways to fix it.

Activity #13. Problem Solving Workshop

This is a more structured way of approaching problem solving as a team. It involves breaking the team into small groups and having each group come up with solutions to various specific problems.

Once all the groups have had a chance to share their ideas, the team can then vote on the best solution. You may want to start with a problem not directly related to the job and have the teams solve it. Next, ask them how the same approach can be used at the job. An example of this may include the team solving a Rubik’s Cube and then asking them how they can apply that same level of critical thinking to their work.

Now let's think about how to do team building and problem solving for the increasing number of people working remotely. Team building remotely may have its unique challenges but it is not impossible.

Remote Problem Solving Activities

Activity #14. coffee chat.

This is a great way to get everyone on the team introduced to each other, especially if you have new members coming on board. Set up a time for everyone to jump on a video call and chat over coffee (or tea!). This can be done weekly or monthly, depending on the size of the team. It is a great way to informally chat about issues and concerns and can get the ball rolling on real solutions.

During the early days of the pandemic, my writing group set aside the writing topic for a session and decided to do an online happy hour with great success. We got to chat about other issues not directly related to writing and we all got useful insights.

Activity #15. Show and Tell

Who says team building problem solving activities can't be fun? This is a nice way for everyone to get to know each other on a personal level. Have each team member choose an item from their home that has special meaning to them and do a “show and tell”. Ask if each person can find an object related to helping them do their job or something completely unrelated. This is a great way to build rapport, get to know each other on a personal level, and of course – solve certain problems.

For example, someone may demonstrate hand exercises or stretching techniques to help with issues that stem from sitting at a desk or typing all day.

Maybe people in the group struggle to use a certain design program or add attachments to emails. Someone can use screen share to show an easier way to do something that has stumbled their colleagues.

Activity #16. Virtual Office Tour

Another way to get everyone acquainted with each other and the idea of working from home is to do a virtual office tour. This can be done by having each team member give a quick tour of their home office (or workspace). This is also a great way to get everyone comfortable with using video conferencing if they are not already. The reality is, everyone is not accustomed to working from home yet and a virtual tour from someone more experienced may help ease anxiety and provide peer-to-peer teaching. I

Activity #17. Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt can either be done in person or online. If you are doing it remotely, you can use a program like Zoom to break everyone into small groups. Give each group a list of items they need to find and set a time limit. The first team to find all the items (or the team with the most items) wins.

You can make the scavenger hunt related to work or you can make it more general. If you want to make it work-related, you can have teams find things like “a picture of someone wearing a hard hat” or “an item that starts with the letter E”. If you want to make it more general, you can have teams find items like “a picture of a pet” or “an item that is green”.

Final Thoughts about Problem Solving Activities

There are many benefits in the workplace to executing problem solving activities, whether in person or remotely. You can even conduct team building activities outdoors for a nice change of pace.

Team building exercises like these can help build rapport, provide peer-to-peer teaching opportunities, and help with critical thinking skills .

The most important thing is to find something that works for your team and that everyone is comfortable with. And with a little creativity, you can find ways to build your team no matter where they are located. You don’t need to be in close proximity to grow closer .

If you have children, you may want to check out 11 Fun Problem Solving Activities for Kids and 21 Fun Team Building Activities for Kids , as it’s never too young to teach this valuable skill.

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Are you looking to enhance your or your team’s problem-solving abilities? Engaging in activities specifically designed to stimulate your and your team’s critical thinking skills can be an excellent way to sharpen your problem-solving prowess. Whether you enjoy puzzles, brain teasers, or interactive challenges, these activities provide an opportunity to overcome obstacles and think creatively.

By immersing yourself in problem-solving activities, you can develop valuable strategies, improve your decision-making abilities, and boost your overall problem-solving IQ. Get ready to unlock your full potential and tackle any challenge that comes your way with these exciting activities for problem-solving.

In this article, we will explore activities for problem-solving that can help enhance your team’s problem-solving skills, allowing you to approach challenges with confidence and creativity.

What Are Problem Solving Activities?

Problem-solving activities or problem-solving exercises are interactive games requiring critical thinking to solve puzzles. They enhance teamwork & critical thinking. Examples include building towers, navigating simulated challenges, and fostering creativity and communication.

For instance, imagine a team working together to construct the tallest tower using limited materials. They strategize, communicate ideas, and problem-solve to create the best structure, promoting collaboration and inventive thinking among team members.

Some widely practiced problem-solving activities include:

  • A Shrinking Vessel: Teams must fit into a shrinking space, testing their cooperation and adaptability.
  • Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower: Participants build a tower using marshmallows and spaghetti, promoting creative engineering.
  • Egg Drop: Protecting an egg from a fall challenges problem-solving skills.
  • Desert Island Survival: Teams simulate survival scenarios, encouraging creative solutions.
  • Rolling Dice: A simple yet effective game involving chance and decision-making.
  • Build a Tower: Constructing a stable tower with limited resources fosters teamwork and innovation, etc.

13 Easy Activities For Problem-Solving Ideas to Enhance Team Collaboration

Team building activities offer a great opportunity to test problem-solving abilities and promote effective collaboration within a group to problem solving group activities. By engaging in these activities, teams can break the monotony of the workplace and create a more inclusive and welcoming environment.

Here are nine easy-to-implement activities that can bring substantial change to your team culture and overall workplace dynamics.

#1. Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles

Objective: To enhance problem-solving skills, vocabulary, and cognitive abilities through engaging crossword puzzles. 

Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes 

Materials Needed:

  • Crossword puzzle sheets
  • Pens or pencils
  • Distribute crossword puzzle sheets and pens/pencils to each participant.
  • Explain the rules of crossword puzzles and the goal of completing as many clues as possible within the given time.
  • Participants individually or in pairs work on solving the crossword puzzle by filling in the correct words.
  • Encourage critical thinking, word association, and collaborative discussions for solving challenging clues.
  • At the end of the time limit, review the answers and discuss any interesting or challenging clues as a group.
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving: Participants engage in critical thinking while deciphering clues, promoting effective problem-solving skills.
  • Vocabulary Expansion: Exposure to new words and phrases within the crossword improves vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Cognitive Stimulation: The mental exercise of solving the puzzle stimulates the brain, enhancing cognitive abilities.
  • Team Collaboration: If done in pairs, participants practice collaboration and communication to solve clues together.
  • Achievement and Motivation: Successfully completing the crossword brings a sense of accomplishment and motivates individuals to explore more puzzles.

Tips for Facilitators:

  • Provide varying levels of crossword puzzles to accommodate different skill levels.
  • Encourage participants to share strategies for solving challenging clues.
  • Emphasize the fun and educational aspects of the activity to keep participants engaged.

#2. A Shrinking Vessel

A Shrinking Vessel

Estimated Time: 10-15 Minutes

  • Materials Needed: A rope and a ball of yarn
  • Prepare the Setting: Lay a rope on the floor in a shape that allows all team members to stand comfortably inside it. For larger teams, multiple ropes can be used, dividing them into smaller groups.
  • Enter the Circle: Have all team members stand inside the rope, ensuring that nobody steps outside its boundaries.
  • Shrinking the Circle: Begin gradually shrinking the rope’s size, reducing the available space inside the circle.
  • Adapt and Maintain Balance: As the circle shrinks, team members must make subtle adjustments to maintain their positions and balance within the shrinking area.
  • The Challenge: The objective for the team is to collectively brainstorm and find innovative ways to keep every team member inside the circle without anyone stepping outside.
  • Collaboration and Communication: The activity promotes teamwork and open communication as participants strategize to stay within the shrinking circle.
  • Adaptability: Team members learn to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, fostering agility and flexibility.
  • Creative Problem-Solving: The challenge encourages inventive thinking and brainstorming to find unique solutions.
  • Trust Building: By relying on each other’s actions, participants build trust and cohesion among team members.
  • Time-Efficient: The short duration makes it an ideal icebreaker or energizer during meetings or workshops.
  • Observe and Facilitate: Monitor the team’s dynamics and offer guidance to encourage equal participation and effective problem-solving.
  • Encourage Verbalization: Prompt participants to voice their ideas and collaborate vocally, aiding in real-time adjustments.
  • Debrief Thoughtfully: Engage the team in a discussion afterward, reflecting on strategies employed and lessons learned.
  • Emphasize Adaptability: Highlight the transferable skill of adaptability and its significance in both professional and personal contexts.

#3. Human Knots

Human Knots

  • Objective: Improving Collaboration & enhancing Communication Skills

Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes

  • Materials: None required

Procedure: 

  • Organize your team into a compact circle. For more sizable teams, subdivide them into smaller clusters, with each cluster forming its own circle. 
  • Direct each individual to grasp the hands of two other people in the circle, with the exception of those positioned directly adjacent to them. This action will result in the formation of a complex “human knot” within the circle. 
  • Present the challenge to the group: to unravel themselves from this entanglement while maintaining their hold on each other’s hands. If preferred, you can establish a specific time limit. 
  • Observe the team members collaborating to unravel the knot, witnessing their collective effort to devise solutions and free themselves from the intricate puzzle.
  • Team Cohesion: The activity encourages team members to interact closely, promoting bonding and understanding among participants.
  • Effective Communication: Participants practice clear and concise communication as they coordinate movements to untangle the knot.
  • Problem-Solving: The challenge stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving skills as individuals work collectively to find the optimal path for untangling.
  • Adaptability: Participants learn to adapt their actions based on the evolving dynamics of the human knot, fostering adaptability.
  • Trust Building: As individuals rely on each other to navigate the intricate knot, trust and cooperation naturally develop.
  • Set a Positive Tone: Create an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, emphasizing that the focus is on collaboration rather than competition.
  • Encourage Verbalization: Urge participants to articulate their intentions and listen to others’ suggestions, promoting effective teamwork.
  • Observe Group Dynamics: Monitor interactions and step in if needed to ensure everyone is actively engaged and included.
  • Reflect and Share: Conclude the activity with a debriefing session, allowing participants to share their experiences, strategies, and key takeaways.
  • Vary Grouping: Change group compositions for subsequent rounds to enhance interactions among different team members.

#4. Egg Drop

Egg Drop

Helps With: Decision Making, Collaboration

  • A carton of eggs
  • Construction materials (balloons, rubber bands, straws, tape, plastic wrap, etc.)
  • A suitable location for the activity
  • Assign each team a single egg and random construction materials.
  • Teams must create a carrier to protect the egg from breaking.
  • Drop the carriers one by one and increase the height if necessary to determine the most durable carrier.
  • The winning team is the one with the carrier that survives the highest drop.
  • Decision Making: Participants engage in critical decision-making processes as they select construction materials and determine carrier designs.
  • Collaboration: The activity necessitates collaboration and coordination among team members to construct an effective carrier.
  • Problem-Solving: Teams apply creative problem-solving skills to devise innovative methods for safeguarding the egg.
  • Risk Management: Participants learn to assess potential risks and consequences while making design choices to prevent egg breakage.
  • Celebrating Success: The victorious team experiences a sense of accomplishment, boosting morale and promoting a positive team spirit.
  • Provide Diverse Materials: Offer a wide range of construction materials to stimulate creativity and allow teams to explore various design options.
  • Set Safety Guidelines: Prioritize safety by specifying a safe drop height and ensuring participants follow safety protocols during construction.
  • Encourage Brainstorming: Prompt teams to brainstorm multiple carrier ideas before finalizing their designs, fostering diverse perspectives.
  • Facilitate Reflection: After the activity, lead a discussion where teams share their design strategies, challenges faced, and lessons learned.
  • Highlight Collaboration: Emphasize the significance of teamwork in achieving success, acknowledging effective communication and cooperation.

#5. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps With: Collaboration

Estimated Time: 20-30 Minutes

Materials Needed (per team):

  • Raw spaghetti: 20 sticks
  • Marshmallow: 1
  • String: 1 yard
  • Masking tape: 1 roll
  • Tower Construction: Instruct teams to collaborate and utilize the provided materials to construct the tallest tower possible within a designated time frame.
  • Marshmallow Support: Emphasize that the tower must be capable of standing independently and supporting a marshmallow at its highest point.
  • Prototype and Iterate: Encourage teams to engage in prototyping and iteration, testing different design approaches and refining their tower structures.
  • T eamwork and Communication: Promote effective teamwork and communication as team members coordinate their efforts to build a stable and tall tower.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Evaluate each tower based on its height, stability, and the successful placement of the marshmallow at the top.
  • Collaboration: Participants collaborate closely, sharing ideas and working together to design and construct the tower.
  • Innovative Thinking: The activity encourages innovative thinking as teams experiment with different strategies to build a stable tower.
  • Time Management: Teams practice time management skills as they work within a specified time limit to complete the task.
  • Problem-Solving: Participants engage in creative problem-solving to address challenges such as balancing the marshmallow and constructing a sturdy tower.
  • Adaptability: Teams adapt their approaches based on trial and error, learning from each iteration to improve their tower designs.
  • Set Clear Guidelines: Clearly explain the materials, objectives, and evaluation criteria to ensure teams understand the task.
  • Foster Creativity: Encourage teams to think outside the box and explore unconventional methods for constructing their towers.
  • Emphasize Collaboration: Highlight the importance of effective communication and teamwork to accomplish the task successfully.
  • Time Management: Remind teams of the time limit and encourage them to allocate their time wisely between planning and construction.
  • Reflect and Share: Facilitate a discussion after the activity, allowing teams to share their design choices, challenges faced, and lessons learned.

Sudoku

Objective: To engage participants in the strategic and analytical world of Sudoku, enhancing logical thinking and problem-solving abilities. 

Estimated Time: 20-25 Minutes 

  • Sudoku puzzle sheets
  • Pencils with erasers
  • Distribute Sudoku puzzle sheets and pencils to each participant.
  • Familiarize participants with the rules and mechanics of Sudoku puzzles.
  • Explain the goal: to fill in the empty cells with numbers from 1 to 9 while adhering to the rules of no repetition in rows, columns, or subgrids.
  • Encourage participants to analyze the puzzle’s layout, identify potential numbers, and strategically fill in cells.
  • Emphasize the importance of logical deduction and step-by-step approach in solving the puzzle.
  • Provide hints or guidance if needed, ensuring participants remain engaged and challenged.
  • Logical Thinking: Sudoku challenges participants’ logical and deductive reasoning, fostering analytical skills.
  • Problem-Solving: The intricate interplay of numbers and constraints hones problem-solving abilities.
  • Focus and Patience: Participants practice patience and attention to detail while gradually unveiling the solution.
  • Pattern Recognition: Identifying number patterns and possibilities contributes to enhanced pattern recognition skills.
  • Personal Achievement: Successfully completing a Sudoku puzzle provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts confidence.
  • Offer varying levels of Sudoku puzzles to cater to different skill levels.
  • Encourage participants to share strategies and techniques for solving specific challenges.
  • Highlight the mental workout Sudoku provides and its transferable skills to real-life problem-solving.

Escape

Helps With: Communication, Problem-solving, & Management

  • A lockable room
  • 5-10 puzzles or clues
  • Hide the key and a set of clues around the room.
  • Lock the room and provide team members with a specific time limit to find the key and escape.
  • Instruct the team to work together, solving the puzzles and deciphering the clues to locate the key.
  • Encourage efficient communication and effective problem-solving under time pressure.
  • Communication Skills: Participants enhance their communication abilities by sharing observations, ideas, and findings to collectively solve puzzles.
  • Problem-solving Proficiency: The activity challenges teams to think critically, apply logical reasoning, and collaboratively tackle intricate challenges.
  • Team Management: The experience promotes effective team management as members assign tasks, prioritize efforts, and coordinate actions.
  • Time Management: The imposed time limit sharpens time management skills as teams strategize and allocate time wisely.
  • Adaptability: Teams learn to adapt and adjust strategies based on progress, evolving clues, and time constraints.
  • Clear Introduction: Provide a concise overview of the activity, emphasizing the importance of communication, problem-solving, and time management.
  • Diverse Challenges: Offer a mix of puzzles and clues to engage various problem-solving skills, catering to different team strengths.
  • Supportive Role: Act as a facilitator, offering subtle guidance if needed while allowing teams to independently explore and solve challenges.
  • Debriefing Session: Organize a debriefing session afterward to discuss the experience, highlight successful strategies, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Encourage Reflection: Encourage participants to reflect on their teamwork, communication effectiveness, and problem-solving approach.

#8. Frostbite for Group Problem Solving Activities

Frostbite for Group Problem Solving Activities

Helps With: Decision Making, Trust, Leadership

  • An electric fan
  • Construction materials (toothpicks, cardstock, rubber bands, sticky notes, etc.)
  • Divide the team into groups of 4-5 people, each with a designated leader.
  • Blindfold team members and prohibit leaders from using their hands.
  • Provide teams with construction materials and challenge them to build a tent within 30 minutes.
  • Test the tents using the fan to see which can withstand high winds.
  • Decision-Making Proficiency: Participants are exposed to critical decision-making situations under constraints, allowing them to practice effective and efficient decision-making.
  • Trust Development: Blindfolding team members and relying on the designated leaders fosters trust and collaboration among team members.
  • Leadership Skills: Designated leaders navigate the challenge without hands-on involvement, enhancing their leadership and communication skills.
  • Creative Problem Solving: Teams employ creative thinking and resourcefulness to construct stable tents with limited sensory input.
  • Team Cohesion: The shared task and unique constraints promote team cohesion and mutual understanding.
  • Role of the Facilitator: Act as an observer, allowing teams to navigate the challenge with minimal intervention. Offer assistance only when necessary.
  • Clarity in Instructions: Provide clear instructions regarding blindfolding, leader restrictions, and time limits to ensure a consistent experience.
  • Debriefing Session: After the activity, conduct a debriefing session to discuss team dynamics, leadership approaches, and decision-making strategies.
  • Encourage Communication: Emphasize the importance of effective communication within teams to ensure smooth coordination and successful tent construction.
  • Acknowledge Creativity: Celebrate creative solutions and innovative approaches exhibited by teams during the tent-building process.

#9. Dumbest Idea First

Dumbest Idea First

Helps With: Critical Thinking & Creative Problem Solving Activity

Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes

Materials Needed: A piece of paper, pen, and pencil

  • Problem Presentation: Introduce a specific problem to the team, either a real-world challenge or a hypothetical scenario that requires a solution.
  • Brainstorming Dumb Ideas: Instruct team members to quickly generate and jot down the most unconventional and seemingly “dumb” ideas they can think of to address the problem.
  • Idea Sharing: Encourage each participant to share their generated ideas with the group, fostering a relaxed and open atmosphere for creative expression.
  • Viability Assessment: As a team, review and evaluate each idea, considering potential benefits and drawbacks. Emphasize the goal of identifying unconventional approaches.
  • Selecting Promising Solutions: Identify which seemingly “dumb” ideas could hold hidden potential or innovative insights. Discuss how these ideas could be adapted into workable solutions.
  • Divergent Thinking: Participants engage in divergent thinking, pushing beyond conventional boundaries to explore unconventional solutions.
  • Creative Exploration: The activity sparks creative exploration by encouraging participants to let go of inhibitions and embrace imaginative thinking.
  • Critical Analysis: Through evaluating each idea, participants practice critical analysis and learn to identify unique angles and aspects of potential solutions.
  • Open Communication: The lighthearted approach of sharing “dumb” ideas fosters open communication, reducing fear of judgment and promoting active participation.
  • Solution Adaptation: Identifying elements of seemingly “dumb” ideas that have merit encourages participants to adapt and refine their approaches creatively.
  • Safe Environment: Foster a safe and non-judgmental environment where participants feel comfortable sharing unconventional ideas.
  • Time Management: Set clear time limits for idea generation and sharing to maintain the activity’s energetic pace.
  • Encourage Wild Ideas: Emphasize that the goal is to explore the unconventional, urging participants to push the boundaries of creativity.
  • Facilitator Participation: Participate in idea generation to demonstrate an open-minded approach and encourage involvement.
  • Debriefing Discussion: After the activity, facilitate a discussion on how seemingly “dumb” ideas can inspire innovative solutions and stimulate fresh thinking.

This activity encourages out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem-solving. It allows teams to explore unconventional ideas that may lead to unexpected, yet effective, solutions.

#10: Legoman

Legoman.

Helps With: Foster teamwork, communication, and creativity through a collaborative Lego-building activity.

Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

  • Lego bricks
  • Lego instruction manuals

Procedure :

  • Divide participants into small teams of 3-5 members.
  • Provide each team with an equal set of Lego bricks and a Lego instruction manual.
  • Explain that the goal is for teams to work together to construct the Lego model shown in the manual.
  • Set a time limit for the building activity based on model complexity.
  • Allow teams to self-organize, build, and collaborate to complete the model within the time limit.
  • Evaluate each team’s final model compared to the manual’s original design.
  • Enhanced Communication: Participants must communicate clearly and listen actively to collaborate effectively.
  • Strengthened Teamwork: Combining efforts toward a shared goal promotes camaraderie and team cohesion.
  • Creative Problem-Solving: Teams must creatively problem-solve if pieces are missing or instructions unclear.
  • Planning and Resource Allocation: Following instructions fosters planning skills and efficient use of resources.
  • Sense of Achievement: Completing a challenging build provides a sense of collective accomplishment.
  • Encourage Participation: Urge quieter members to contribute ideas and take an active role.
  • Highlight Teamwork: Emphasize how cooperation and task coordination are key to success.
  • Ensure Equal Engagement: Monitor group dynamics to ensure all members are engaged.
  • Allow Creativity: Permit modifications if teams lack exact pieces or wish to get creative.
  • Focus on Enjoyment: Create a lively atmosphere so the activity remains energizing and fun.

#11: Minefield

Minefield.

Helps With: Trust, Communication, Patience

Materials Needed: Open space, blindfolds

  • Mark a “minefield” on the ground using ropes, cones, or tape. Add toy mines or paper cups.
  • Pair up participants and blindfold one partner.
  • Position blindfolded partners at the start of the minefield. Direct seeing partners to verbally guide them through to the other side without hitting “mines.”
  • Partners switch roles once finished and repeat.
  • Time partnerships and provide prizes for the fastest safe crossing.
  • Trust Building: Blindfolded partners must trust their partner’s instructions.
  • Effective Communication: Giving clear, specific directions is essential for navigating the minefield.
  • Active Listening: Partners must listen closely and follow directions precisely.
  • Patience & Support: The exercise requires patience and encouraging guidance between partners.
  • Team Coordination: Partners must work in sync, coordinating movements and communication.
  • Test Boundaries: Ensure the minefield’s size accommodates safe movement and communication.
  • Monitor Interactions: Watch for dominant guidance and ensure both partners participate fully.
  • Time Strategically: Adjust time limits based on the minefield size and difficulty.
  • Add Obstacles: Introduce additional non-mine objects to increase challenge and communication needs.
  • Foster Discussion: Debrief afterward to discuss communication approaches and trust-building takeaways.

#12: Reverse Pyramid

Reverse Pyramid.

Helps With: Teamwork, Communication, Creativity

Materials Needed: 36 cups per group, tables

  • Form small groups of 5-7 participants.
  • Provide each group with a stack of 36 cups and a designated building area.
  • Explain the objective: Build the tallest pyramid starting with just one cup on top.
  • Place the first cup on the table, and anyone in the group can add two cups beneath it to form the second row.
  • From this point, only the bottom row can be lifted to add the next row underneath.
  • Cups in the pyramid can only be touched or supported by index fingers.
  • If the structure falls, start over from one cup.
  • Offer more cups if a group uses all provided.
  • Allow 15 minutes for building.

Teamwork: Collaborate to construct the pyramid.

Communication: Discuss and execute the building strategy.

Creativity: Find innovative ways to build a tall, stable pyramid.

Clarify Expectations: Emphasize the definition of a pyramid with each row having one less cup.

Encourage Perseverance: Motivate groups to continue despite challenges.

Promote Consensus: Encourage groups to work together and help each other.

Reflect on Failure: Use collapses as a metaphor for overcoming obstacles and improving.

Consider Competitions: Modify the activity for competitive teams and scoring.

#13: Stranded

Stranded.

Helps With: Decision-making, Prioritization, Teamwork

Materials Needed: List of salvaged items, paper, pens

  • Present a scenario where teams are stranded and must prioritize items salvaged from a plane crash.
  • Provide teams with the same list of ~15 salvaged items.
  • Instruct teams to agree on an item ranking with #1 being the most important for survival.
  • Teams share and compare their prioritized lists. Identify differences in approach.
  • Discuss what factors influenced decisions and how teams worked together to agree on priorities.
  • Critical Thinking: Weighing item importance requires analytical thinking and discussion.
  • Team Decision-Making: Coming to a consensus fosters team decision-making capabilities.
  • Prioritization Skills: Ranking items strengthen prioritization and justification abilities.
  • Perspective-Taking: Understanding different prioritizations builds perspective-taking skills.
  • Team Cohesion: Collaborating toward a shared goal brings teams closer together.
  • Encourage Discussion: Urge teams to discuss all ideas rather than allow single members to dominate.
  • Be Engaged: Circulate to listen in on team discussions and pose thought-provoking questions.
  • Add Complexity: Introduce scenarios with additional constraints to expand critical thinking.
  • Highlight Disagreements: When priorities differ, facilitate constructive discussions on influencing factors.
  • Recognize Collaboration: Acknowledge teams that demonstrate exceptional teamwork and communication.

Now let’s look at some common types of problem-solving activities.

Types of Problem-Solving Activities

The most common types of problem-solving activities/exercises are:

  • Creative problem-solving activities
  • Group problem-solving activities
  • Individual problem-solving activities
  • Fun problem-solving activities, etc.

In the next segments, we’ll be discussing these types of problem-solving activities in detail. So, keep reading!

Creative Problem-Solving Activities

Creative problem solving (CPS) means using creativity to find new solutions. It involves thinking creatively at first and then evaluating ideas later. For example, think of it like brainstorming fun game ideas, discussing them, and then picking the best one to play.

Some of the most common creative problem-solving activities include:

  • Legoman: Building creative structures with LEGO.
  • Escape: Solving puzzles to escape a room.
  • Frostbite: Finding solutions in challenging situations.
  • Minefield: Navigating a field of obstacles.

Group Problem-Solving Activities

Group problem-solving activities are challenges that make teams work together to solve puzzles or overcome obstacles. They enhance teamwork and critical thinking.

For instance, think of a puzzle-solving game where a group must find hidden clues to escape a locked room.

Here are the most common group problem-solving activities you can try in groups:

  • A Shrinking Vessel
  • Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
  • Cardboard Boat Building Challenge
  • Clue Murder Mystery
  • Escape Room: Jewel Heist
  • Escape Room: Virtual Team Building
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Dumbest Idea First

Individual Problem-Solving Activities

As the name suggests, individual problem-solving activities are the tasks that you need to play alone to boost your critical thinking ability. They help you solve problems and stay calm while facing challenges in real life. Like puzzles, they make your brain sharper. Imagine it’s like training your brain muscles to handle tricky situations.

Here are some of the most common individual problem-solving activities:

  • Puzzles (jigsaw, crossword, sudoku, etc.)
  • Brain teasers
  • Logic problems
  • Optical illusions
  • “Escape room” style games

Fun Problem-Solving Activities

Fun problem-solving activities are enjoyable games that sharpen your critical thinking skills while having a blast. Think of activities like the Legoman challenge, escape rooms, or rolling dice games – they make problem-solving exciting and engaging!

And to be frank, all of the mentioned problem-solving activities are fun if you know how to play and enjoy them as all of them are game-like activities.

Team Problems You Can Address Through Problem Solving Activities

Fun problem-solving activities serve as dynamic tools to address a range of challenges that teams often encounter. These engaging activities foster an environment of collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, enabling teams to tackle various problems head-on. Here are some common team problems that can be effectively addressed through these activities:

  • Communication Breakdowns:  

Activities like “Escape,” “A Shrinking Vessel,” and “Human Knots” emphasize the importance of clear and effective communication. They require teams to work together, exchange ideas, and devise strategies to accomplish a shared goal. By engaging in these activities, team members learn to communicate more efficiently, enhancing overall team communication in real-world situations.

  • Lack of Trust and Cohesion:  

Problem-solving activities promote trust and cohesiveness within teams. For instance, “Frostbite” and “Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower” require teams to collaborate closely, trust each other’s ideas, and rely on each member’s strengths. These activities build a sense of unity and trust, which can translate into improved teamwork and collaboration.

  • Innovative Thinking:  

“Dumbest Idea First” and “Egg Drop” encourage teams to think outside the box and explore unconventional solutions. These activities challenge teams to be creative and innovative in their problem-solving approaches, fostering a culture of thinking beyond traditional boundaries when faced with complex issues.

  • Decision-Making Challenges:  

Activities like “Onethread” facilitate group decision-making by providing a platform for open discussions and collaborative choices. Problem-solving activities require teams to make decisions collectively, teaching them to weigh options, consider different viewpoints, and arrive at informed conclusions—a skill that is transferable to real-world decision-making scenarios.

  • Leadership and Role Clarification:  

Activities such as “Frostbite” and “Egg Drop” designate team leaders and roles within groups. This provides an opportunity for team members to practice leadership, delegation, and role-specific tasks. By experiencing leadership dynamics in a controlled setting, teams can improve their leadership skills and better understand their roles in actual projects.

  • Problem-Solving Strategies:  

All of the problem-solving activities involve the application of different strategies. Teams learn to analyze problems, break them down into manageable components, and develop systematic approaches for resolution. These strategies can be adapted to real-world challenges, enabling teams to approach complex issues with confidence.

  • Team Morale and Engagement:  

Participating in engaging and enjoyable activities boosts team morale and engagement. These activities provide a break from routine tasks, energize team members, and create a positive and fun atmosphere. Elevated team morale can lead to increased motivation and productivity.

By incorporating these fun problem-solving activities, teams can address a variety of challenges, foster skill development, and build a more cohesive and effective working environment. As teams learn to collaborate, communicate, innovate, and make decisions collectively, they are better equipped to overcome obstacles and achieve shared goals.

The Benefits of Problem Solving Activities for Your Team

The Benefits of Problem Solving Activities for Your Team

#1 Better Thinking

Problem-solving activities bring out the best in team members by encouraging them to contribute their unique ideas. This stimulates better thinking as team managers evaluate different solutions and choose the most suitable ones.

For example, a remote team struggling with communication benefited from quick thinking and the sharing of ideas, leading to the adoption of various communication modes for improved collaboration.

#2 Better Risk Handling

Team building problem solving activities condition individuals to handle risks more effectively. By engaging in challenging situations and finding solutions, team members develop the ability to respond better to stressful circumstances.

#3 Better Communication

Regular communication among team members is crucial for efficient problem-solving. Engaging in problem-solving activities fosters cooperation and communication within the team, resulting in better understanding and collaboration. Using tools like OneThread can further enhance team communication and accountability.

#4 Improved Productivity Output

When teams work cohesively, overall productivity improves, leading to enhanced profit margins for the company or organization. Involving managers and team members in problem-solving activities can positively impact the company’s growth and profitability.

How Onethread Enhances the Effect of Problem Solving Activities

Problem-solving activities within teams thrive on collaborative efforts and shared perspectives. Onethread emerges as a potent facilitator, enabling teams to collectively tackle challenges and harness diverse viewpoints with precision. Here’s a comprehensive view of how Onethread amplifies team collaboration in problem-solving initiatives:

Open Channels for Discussion:

Open Channels for Discussion

Onethread’s real-time messaging feature serves as a dedicated hub for open and seamless discussions. Teams can engage in brainstorming sessions, share insightful observations, and propose innovative solutions within a flexible environment. Asynchronous communication empowers members to contribute their insights at their convenience, fostering comprehensive problem analysis with ample deliberation.

Centralized Sharing of Resources:

Centralized Sharing of Resources

Effective problem-solving often hinges on access to pertinent resources. Onethread’s document sharing functionality ensures that critical information, references, and research findings are centralized and readily accessible. This eradicates the need for cumbersome email attachments and enables team members to collaborate with precise and up-to-date data.

Efficient Task Allocation and Monitoring:

Efficient Task Allocation and Monitoring

Problem-solving journeys comprise a series of tasks and actions. Onethread’s task management capability streamlines the delegation of specific responsibilities to team members. Assign tasks related to research, data analysis, or solution implementation and monitor progress in real time. This cultivates a sense of accountability and guarantees comprehensive coverage of every facet of the problem-solving process.

Facilitated Collaborative Decision-Making: Navigating intricate problems often demands collective decision-making. Onethread’s collaborative ecosystem empowers teams to deliberate over potential solutions, assess pros and cons, and make well-informed choices. Transparent discussions ensure that decisions are comprehensively comprehended and supported by the entire team.

Seamless Documentation and Insights Sharing:

Seamless Documentation and Insights Sharing

As the problem-solving journey unfolds, the accumulation of insights and conclusions becomes pivotal. Onethread’s collaborative document editing feature empowers teams to document their discoveries, chronicle the steps undertaken, and showcase successful solutions. This shared repository of documentation serves as a valuable resource for future reference and continuous learning.

With Onethread orchestrating the backdrop, team collaboration during problem-solving activities transforms into a harmonious fusion of insights, ideas, and actionable steps.

What are the 5 problem-solving skills?

The top 5 problem-solving skills in 2023 are critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and data literacy. Most employers seek these skills in their workforce.

What are the steps of problem-solving?

Problem-solving steps are as follows: 1. Define the problem clearly. 2. Analyze the issue in detail. 3. Generate potential solutions. 4. Evaluate these options. 5. Choose the best solution. 6. Put the chosen solution into action. 7. Measure the outcomes to assess effectiveness and improvements made. These sequential steps assist in efficient and effective problem resolution.

How do you teach problem-solving skills?

Teaching problem-solving involves modelling effective methods within a context, helping students grasp the problem, dedicating ample time, asking guiding questions, and giving suggestions. Connect errors to misconceptions to enhance understanding, fostering a straightforward approach to building problem-solving skills.

So here is all about “activities for problem solving”.No matter which activity you choose, engaging in problem-solving activities not only provides entertainment but also helps enhance cognitive abilities such as critical thinking, decision making, and creativity. So why not make problem solving a regular part of your routine?

Take some time each day or week to engage in these activities and watch as your problem-solving skills grow stronger. Plus, it’s an enjoyable way to pass the time and challenge yourself mentally.

So go ahead, grab a puzzle or gather some friends for a game night – get ready to have fun while sharpening your problem-solving skills!

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8 Problem-Solving Team Building Activities

Soft skills are becoming more important in today’s workplace, with problem-solving skills becoming a top area in which skills are lacking. To work effectively as a team, it is important to learn how to overcome different challenges and find the best solution to resolve any issue. 

Our selection of team building activities , not only contributes to building cohesion and communication but they’re also designed to boost your team’s decision-making skills.  Teams will develop the ability to critically assess problems and explore different solutions, rather than getting stuck in the details. 

Developing problem-solving skills is linked to better company performance, as good problem-solving skills will lead to better decision-making. While some people are naturally good at the process of problem-solving, everyone can learn this skill through our selection of team building events .

Why Problem-Solving Skills Are Important in Today’s Workplace

Problem-solving and decision-making team building activities help teams break a problem down into 5 different stages:

  • Defining the problem : This very first step involves identifying the issue, and how important it is. 
  • Analysing : This step involves analysing the problem, and its nature and asking yourself why it is happening. 
  • Describe : Break down the problem in as much detail as possible with the goal of having a clear and comprehensive understanding of what must be done to overcome it.
  • Diagnose : Diagnosing the problem involves getting to the root causes. It’s about understanding why the problem exists and what factors or variables contribute to it.
  • Test : The testing stage is where you implement potential solutions to the problem. You examine whether the proposed solutions work and if they effectively address the issue. 

Going through this problem-solving process helps a team learn basic strategies they can apply at the workplace and in real-world scenarios. 

When engaging in problem-solving games and activities, it’s crucial to understand that there are no winners or losers. The primary goal is to cultivate teamwork and collaboration.

Benefits of Problem-Solving Team Building Activities

London Treasure Hunts London Team Building Activities

As the team building activities will be set in a relaxed and fun environment, they will put everyone in a positive frame of mind, where participants can express their thoughts with no judgement. 

  • Real-World Application : 

Challenges presented in the different problem-solving team-building activities often mimic real-world scenarios. This will allow participants to directly apply the skills developed during the activity to their workplace, making the experience highly practical and transferable. 

  • Active Participation and Engagement

Introducing any of these problem-solving team-building games will position participants as active contributors rather than just listening in. 

  • Building Better Work Relationships

The addition of decision team building activities helps break up any existing cliques within groups and encourages participants to interact with other people they might otherwise not interact with.  This is an excellent way to help build effective work relationships for the future.

Our Top 8 Problem-Solving Team Building Activities

Here’s our list of fun problem-solving activities to try with your team, ranging from icebreakers to Olympic-style challenges. These team-building exercises aim to boost decision-making skills and foster teamwork, ensuring your team is adept at tackling challenges together.

It’s A Rat Trap!

Its a Rat Trap

Participants work together to construct a series of intricate contraptions using giant Meccano-like components. Each contraption is designed to trigger the next in a chain reaction, leading to a captivating finale where a one-ton weight drops onto a model rat. The key to success lies in the precise sequencing and coordination of each device.

This activity encourages group members to engage actively, enhancing their communication, leadership, teamwork, and morale. It’s an ideal team-building exercise for promoting unity within a team as they use their ingenuity to determine the proper order and roles in the contraption’s assembly

Give a Helping Hand – The Hand Project

Sopra Steria The Hand Project 30

But Robot Wars is not only about construction; it also involves strategic gameplay. Your team will have to plan the strengths and weaknesses of their own robots and those of their opponents. This strategic element introduces resource management challenges as teams will have to make informed choices about the best components for their robots.

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Around the World Conference Activity

The time constraint of completing challenges within 80 minutes adds an element of urgency. Teams must manage their time effectively, prioritising tasks and making quick decisions – key aspects of problem-solving in real-world situations where time is often a critical factor.

The Bigger Picture

Merry Masterpiece

This resource management aspect encourages participants to make informed choices within constraints – a key aspect of problem-solving.

Build a Bike for Charity

A group photo of colleagues sitting and standing behind bikes they built for charity at a corporate event.

The added element of building a bike will instil a sense of purpose and community among team members. Knowing their efforts will contribute to a charitable cause will foster a sense of fulfilment, along with increasing their Social Responsibility.

Wheels for Walkies

Wheels For Walkies

Knowing that your team’s efforts will contribute to improving the lives of dogs and giving them back their freedom, will inspire a sense of purpose and motivation among your team members.

Treasure Hunts

GPS Treasure Hunts 1

Corporate Treasure hunts involve deciphering clues and navigating through a variety of interesting locations. Your team must use their problem-solving skills to interpret clues, choose the correct path, and navigate efficiently to reach each destination, improving navigational problem-solving skills.

Our treasure hunts incorporate codes, riddles, and puzzles to win different amounts of points. Teams must work together to decode messages and solve puzzles to progress in the hunt. Our questions draw upon all kinds of fine detail and hidden elements within the hunt location, with many clues based on the inscriptions on monuments as well as history, architecture, and modern life.

Choose Team Tactics to Boost Your Team’s Problem-Solving Skills

Our selection of problem-solving team-building activities is designed to boost engagement, uplift morale and improve decision-making in a fresh and different way. Sometimes, they even push colleagues beyond their comfort zones, having the entire group involved in overcoming challenges that can be applied to real-world scenarios. 

With almost 30 years of experience as corporate team-building event specialists, we’re dedicated to adding a refreshing twist to your team dynamics. For more ideas, check out our Top Team Building Activities and Events , and our Leadership Team Building Activities to boost other skills in your team. 

Get in touch with us and book your next problem-solving game today!

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problem solving team building ideas

Team building activities your team will actually enjoy [15+ activity ideas]

What are team building activities.

Team building activities are fun activities you do with your coworkers to build a stronger team. They're like the social events of the work world, but with a purpose: strengthen team bonds.

Team building activities bring people together, help your teammates build relationships, and make work feel less like, well, work. During these activities, you'll get to know your colleagues better and share some fun moments with them in the midst of your strict professional activities.

Whether you're bonding over board games or doing outdoor challenges, team building activities are all about creating a positive vibe and making work more enjoyable.

When to take time out for team building activities?

  • A new member joins the team;
  • During trainings
  • Reorganization of the team (two teams merged for example);
  • During an off site seminar;
  • Before a meeting (to break the ice);
  • After a period of high stress;
  • At the start of a new project;
  • To celebrate achievements.

Depending on the duration of your team building, don't forget to ask your team about their availability. It may not be ideal to offer team building on the day of the quarter's closing!

5 main reasons why team building activities important

Team building activities offer a wide range of benefits that contribute to the overall success and effectiveness of a team:

Strengthened Bonds

Fun activities strengthen bonds and help you get to know each other and build great relationships. You’ll develop stronger connections and form lasting (work) friendships, which enhances team cohesion and solidarity.

Increased Motivation and Morale

Team building activities boost morale and motivation by providing opportunities for you and your teammates to have fun, relax, and unwind together.

Engaging in enjoyable activities outside of work can help alleviate stress and create a positive work environment where team members feel valued and appreciated.

Improved Communication

Team building activities encourage open communication, but also remote communication for your online teams, and foster better relationships among your team members. 

By participating in activities that require collaboration and interaction, you and your colleagues learn to communicate more effectively, share ideas, and resolve conflicts constructively.

Enhanced Collaboration

Team building activities promote teamwork and collaboration by encouraging your team to work together towards a common goal. Team members develop trust, respect, and a sense of camaraderie, which strengthens the team as a whole.

Improved work environment

The sense of camaraderie provided by team building activities creates a supportive and nurturing environment. Individuals feel valued, appreciated, and motivated to contribute their best efforts.

Team building activities also help to break down barriers and promote inclusivity within teams. Regardless of hierarchical or departmental differences, team members come together as equals to collaborate and engage in shared experiences.

[Outside the office] Indoors Team building activities

problem solving team building ideas

1. Escape game

What you will need: Book a session at an escape room facility or set up a DIY escape room with puzzles, clues, and a locked room.

How long: Around 1-2 hours

Why is it a great idea? It's not only fun and thrilling but also promotes teamwork, problem-solving, and communication. Plus, the adrenaline rush from racing against the clock adds an extra layer of excitement!

Imagine this - you and your team are locked in a themed room, and the only way out is to solve a series of puzzles and challenges within a set time limit.

You'll need to work together, pooling your strengths and brainpower to decipher codes, find hidden clues, and unlock the mysteries of the room. 

With every puzzle solved, you'll inch closer to freedom, but the clock is ticking! It's an exhilarating race against time that'll have your team bonding like never before.

2. Cooking class

What you will need: Book a session with a specialized organization. Otherwise you'll need to find a kitchen space, ingredients for the chosen recipes, cooking utensils, and a skilled instructor or chef.

How long: 2-3 hours, allowing time for preparation, cooking, and enjoying the meal together.

Why is it a great idea? Cooking classes combine teamwork, creativity, and delicious food! Cooking together fosters collaboration, communication, and a sense of accomplishment as you work towards a common goal - creating a tasty meal together.

Your team gathers in a cozy kitchen, donning aprons and armed with recipes and fresh ingredients. 

Under the guidance of a seasoned chef or cooking instructor, you'll embark on a culinary adventure, chopping, sautéing, and stirring your way to culinary perfection. As you work together to create mouthwatering dishes, you'll bond over shared tasks, exchange cooking tips, and perhaps even discover hidden culinary talents among your teammates. 

And the best part? At the end of the class, you'll sit down together to enjoy the fruits of your labor, savoring not just the food but also the memories you've created together.

3. Theater classes

What you will need: A space for rehearsals, a theater instructor or facilitator

How long: Sessions can vary in length, but typically 1-2 hours per session

Why is it a great idea? It's an excellent idea because it encourages teamwork, creativity, and stepping out of comfort zones. Through acting exercises and improvisation, team members learn to communicate effectively, build trust, and embrace vulnerability in a supportive environment.

Step into the spotlight with your team during theater classes.

In a theater class, you'll dive into a world of imagination, creativity, and collaboration. 

Through a series of acting exercises, improv games, and scene rehearsals, you'll learn to trust your instincts, listen closely to your fellow actors, and work together to bring stories to life on stage.

4. Blind test

What you will need: A selection of music, movie clips, or other audio recordings, and a way to play them without revealing their identities. Some Youtube videos are very good for this purpose.

How long: 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Why is it a great idea? Blind test is a fun and interactive way to test your knowledge, spark friendly competition, and discover shared interests among team members.

As the music plays or the movie clips roll, your team will race against the clock to identify songs, movies, or TV shows without the aid of visual cues.

With each correct answer, you'll earn points, bragging rights, and perhaps even a few dance moves! Blind Test is guaranteed to get your team laughing, bonding, and drawing on their pop culture.

[Outside the office] Outdoors team building activities

problem solving team building ideas

What you will need: Suitable hiking trails, appropriate footwear and clothing, water, snacks, a great itinerary and motivation.

How long: The duration can vary depending on the chosen trail and fitness levels of participants, typically ranging from 1-4 hours.

Why is it a great idea? Hiking promotes teamwork, physical activity, and appreciation for nature. Plus, it's inclusive, accommodating even those who don't typically enjoy sports activities.

Lace up your hiking boots and pack your backpacks: you’re off to an adventure through scenic trails and lush landscapes. As you trek through forests, climb hills, and navigate winding paths, you'll support and encourage each other, sharing stories and laughter along the way.

With every step, you'll strengthen bonds, conquer challenges, and create lasting memories amidst nature's beauty. Hiking also welcomes even those who aren't fond of traditional sports activities, making it a perfect choice for teams of all interests and abilities. 

6. Sports day

What you will need: Sports equipment and facilities for various activities (e.g., soccer balls, relay race props, etc.), and perhaps some prizes for winners.

How long: A half-day or full-day event, depending on the number of activities and the pace of the day.

Why is it a great idea? A sports day with your colleagues promotes healthy competition, and physical fitness. It offers a break from routine work tasks and allows sporty team members to bond while engaging in friendly rivalry and active play.

Get ready to unleash your competitive spirit and cheer on your teammates in an action-packed sports day. From relay races to tug-of-war showdowns, you'll compete in a series of fun and exhilarating challenges that put your teamwork and athleticism to the test.

Whether you're dribbling a soccer ball down the field, passing the baton in a relay, or racing to the finish line, sports day is all about camaraderie, sportsmanship, and celebrating the joy of movement together as a team. 

Keep in mind, this activity is best suited for teams with a sporty inclination and may not appeal to everyone.

7. City scavenger hunt

What you will need: Clues, maps, smartphones or cameras for documenting discoveries, and perhaps some small prizes or treats for finding the treasure.

How long: Typically 2-3 hours, depending on the number of clues and the size of the city.

Why is it a great idea? A treasure hunt encourages teamwork, problem-solving, and exploration in a dynamic urban environment. It also offers a unique opportunity to discover hidden gems and landmarks within the city.

Be ready to discover your city in a way you never did before with an epic treasure hunt with your team!

Armed with a set of cryptic clues and a keen sense of curiosity, you'll journey through bustling streets, historic neighborhoods, and vibrant districts, solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries along the way.

From deciphering hidden messages to uncovering hidden treasures, every clue brings you one step closer to victory. You'll bond with your teammates, share laughs, and create unforgettable memories while exploring the rich tapestry of culture and history that the city has to offer.

[At the office] Icebreaker team building activities

problem solving team building ideas

Start your next meeting with a short ice breaker to foster a positive tone and encourage participation and engagement among your teammates.

8. Two Truths and a Lie

What you will need: Nothing.

How long: 10-15 minutes, depending on the number of participants.

Why is it a great idea? It's super simple, interactive, and encourages team members to share personal anecdotes and learn interesting facts about each other.

You’ll break the ice with a classic team building activity at the office: game of Two Truths and a Lie! Each team member takes turns sharing three statements about themselves - two truths and one lie. The rest of the team listens carefully and tries to guess which statement is the lie. As team members take turns sharing their truths and lies, laughter ensues, and bonds are formed as everyone learns more about each other in a fun and lighthearted way.

The "Two Truths and a Lie" activity is also well-suited for online environments. In virtual settings, asynchronous communication platforms like Claap offer you an ideal space for hosting this activity.

Your team members can pre-record their video, and take advantage of asynchronous video communication so  everyone can view the videos whenever they like.

9. Show and Tell

What you will need: Participants bring an item from home that has personal significance or tells a story.

How long: 20-30 minutes, depending on the number of participants.

Why is it a great idea? It's a great icebreaker because it encourages self-expression, storytelling, and bonding over shared experiences and interests.

With the “Show and Tell” activity, you’ll share and connect with your team. Each participant brings an item from home that holds personal significance or tells a story. It could be a cherished keepsake, a meaningful photo, or an object that represents a hobby or passion.

As each team member takes turns presenting their item to the group, they share the story behind it, sparking conversation, laughter, and perhaps even a few surprises.

Show and Tell is a wonderful opportunity for team members to express themselves, learn about each other's lives, and build connections based on shared interests and experiences.

10. Lost on the Desert Island

What you will need: Nothing but imagination and creativity.

How long: 30-45 minutes, depending on the number of participants.

Why is it a great idea? It's a creative and thought-provoking icebreaker that encourages teamwork, problem-solving, and collaboration in a fun and imaginative way.

Imagine that your team has been stranded on a desert island with limited resources and must work together to survive. Each participant takes turns sharing one item they would bring with them to the island and explaining why it's essential for their survival.

From practical tools to sentimental treasures, every choice sparks discussion and debate as team members weigh the pros and cons of each item.

Lost on the Desert Island is a fun and engaging icebreaker that encourages creativity, teamwork, and imagination while fostering camaraderie among team members.

[At the office] Problem-solving team building activities

problem solving team building ideas

11. Marshmallow challenge

What you will need: Marshmallows, spaghetti sticks, tape, and a measuring tool (ruler or measuring tape).

How long: 20-30 minutes for planning and building.

Why is it a great idea? It encourages creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving in a fun and competitive setting. Plus, who doesn't love building with marshmallows?

You’ll put your engineering skills to the test (no problem if you don't have an engineering background) with the Marshmallow Challenge.

Armed with marshmallows, spaghetti sticks, and tape, your team will have 18 minutes to construct the tallest freestanding structure possible.

Sounds simple, right? Not so fast! As you quickly discover, balancing marshmallows and spaghetti sticks to create a stable tower requires careful planning, communication, and collaboration.

With each failed attempt, you'll learn from your mistakes, adapt your strategy, and work together to overcome obstacles.

12. Puzzles

What you will need: A variety of puzzles such as jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers, or logic puzzles.

How long: Depends on the complexity of the puzzles and the number of participants, typically 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Why is it a great idea? Puzzles are great for critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration in a fun and engaging way.

Exercise your brainpower and unleash your inner sleuths with a selection of mind-bending puzzles.

From jigsaw puzzles to logic games, your team will work together to piece together clues, solve riddles, and unlock hidden mysteries. With each puzzle solved, you'll sharpen your critical thinking skills, strengthen your teamwork, and celebrate small victories together.

Whether you're unraveling cryptic codes or piecing together intricate patterns, puzzle time is the perfect opportunity to bond with your team, flex your mental muscles, and have a blast.

13. Strategy board games (Catan, Risk, Ticket to Ride…)

Let’s take the example of Catan

What you will need: Catan board game.

How long: Typically 1-2 hours per game.

Why is it a great idea? Catan encourages strategic thinking, negotiation, and resource management.

Catan is a popular strategy board game where players compete to build settlements, cities, and roads on the fictional island of Catan. 

Through strategic placement of settlements and resource management, players aim to accumulate victory points to win the game. 

The game fosters teamwork as players negotiate trades, form alliances, and strategize together to expand their territories and thwart their opponents' plans. It provides a dynamic and engaging team-building experience that challenges players to think critically, communicate effectively, and work together to achieve their goals.

[Online] - Team building activities that can be carried out online

problem solving team building ideas

14. Quiz session

What you will need: Quiz questions covering a variety of topics, pen and paper for each participant or a digital device for answering.

How long: 1-2 hours.

Why is it a great idea? It encourages teamwork, friendly competition, and learning in a fun and interactive way.

Put your knowledge to the test with an exciting quiz session that's sure to challenge and entertain!

From trivia questions to brain teasers, your team will compete in a series of rounds covering a wide range of topics. You’ll answer questions from pop culture to history to science and beyond (even your corporate culture can be covered!).

With each question answered, you'll earn points and perhaps discover hidden talents among your group.

Whether you're flexing your mental muscles, debating the correct answer, or cheering each other on, quiz time is the perfect opportunity to bond with your team, showcase your smarts, and have a blast!

15. Play short online games (virtual pictionary) 

What you will need: Access to the internet and to the Skribbl.io website.

How long: 30 minutes per game.

Why is it a great idea? Skribble promotes creativity in a fun and interactive way. Virtual Pictionary encourages participants to think quickly and express ideas visually.

Virtual Pictionary, played through the online platform Skribbl.io, is a dynamic and engaging team building activity that combines drawing skills with quick thinking. 

Participants gather virtually and join a private room on the Skribbl.io website, where they take turns drawing and guessing words or phrases within a limited time frame.

Each round, the participants must guess the word based on the drawing before time runs out.

16. Five clicks away (with Wikipedia)

What you will need: Access to the internet and to a web browser.

How long: 20-30 minutes.

Why is it a great idea? It's a short and fun activity, compatible with remote teams.

Five Clicks Away is a thrilling online team building activity that challenges participants to navigate the vast expanse of Wikipedia in pursuit of a specific target page.

The facilitator selects a starting page and a target page on Wikipedia. Then, team members must navigate from the starting page to the target page using only the hyperlinks provided on each Wikipedia page they visit.

Five Clicks Away is a captivating and educational team building experience that fosters critical thinking and curiosity while tapping into the wealth of information available on Wikipedia.

Foster a collaborative work environment with Claap

Claap is an all-in-one video platform that will definitely improve collaboration and effective communication in your work environment. 

Claap helps you optimize remote team communication and bring your teams together, despite distance, different time zones or language barriers.

To help you overcome these obstacles and promote collaboration, Claap offers:

  • Meeting recordings with audio and video transcriptions ;
  • AI-generated notes , transcripts and summaries according to a desired template. 99 languages available;
  • All-in-one video platform to store your sales videos and collaborate with your teams (thanks to comments, threads, annotations…);
  • Screen and webcam recording.

Embrace the virtual environment and leverage Claap.io to unite your team towards your shared objectives.

Don't hesitate to try Claap with our 14-day free trial (no credit card required).

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Top 22 Virtual Problem-Solving Activities to Strengthen Any Team

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We live in a fast-paced environment where challenges often arise, both personally and professionally.

Especially in today’s workplace, professionals have to deal with social, ethical, and organisational problems.

This is where problem-solving skills come into play.

Strong problem-solving tactics can improve creativity and help team members make efficient and informed decisions.

While every professional might not be a natural born problem-solver, there are a lot of resources to help develop these skills.

In this article, we’ll go over the definition of problem-solving activities, their main benefits, and examples that can be put into practice in the workplace.

What Are Problem-Solving Activities?

What are problem solving activities

These activities require problem-solving skills, which help find solutions for difficult situations.

Like any other skill, these tactics are best learnt through practice.

To make problem-solving activities worth the ride, participants have to be open-minded, listen to others, and accept alternative ideas and solutions.

An agile mindset can also be beneficial when participating in such activities because they’re based on understanding, collaborating , learning and staying flexible.

As problem-solving games are group activities, participants must be willing to collaborate and embrace agility and flexibility.

Another critical aspect is creating the mindset that there are no winners or losers.

The goal of these activities is to share strategies and learn from each other, rather than compete against one another.

The Four P’s to Problem-Solving

The four Ps to problem solving

By following the four P’s in the problem-solving guide, one can resolve almost any problem that comes along.

Problem-solving activities begin with a discovery phase, where the problem is identified.

This is the step where you understand, dissect, and learn about the problem you’re trying to solve.

Until the problem has been well defined, you can’t move forward and prepare to form the right solution.

After you’ve analysed the problem, you have to develop several courses of action to solve the issue.

This is the phase where you generate several possibilities to ultimately decide on the best course of action for your problem.

After the problem has been defined and resolutions have been listed, it’s time to take action.

This is the step where you find the best approach and implement a plan that needs to be followed with precision.

You need to first visualise your plan and then execute it.

When the problem has been solved, you need to evaluate the plan and assess whether it could be improved for future situations.

While you should do your best to solve the issue, the truth is that there is always room for growth.

Reviewing and checking for room for further improvement is essential because it can help you achieve even greater results in the future.

Benefits of Developing Problem-Solving Skills in the Workplace

Benefits of developing problem solving skills in the workplace

Employees are often asked to think outside the box for projects or find alternative solutions for work problems.

Problem-solving tactics are a great way to practice valuable skills relevant in the workplace.

There are a lot of situations where processes and workflow in organisations need improvement. Or, when deadlines are tight, team members have to find ways to deliver on time.

These are the exact scenarios that can be overcome if the team is able to turn problems into actionable solutions.

After all, performance is closely related to employee efficiency as achieving companies’ goals on time is crucial to success.

Having team members with good problem-solving skills means they can use critical thinking to make better decisions and ultimately increase business productivity and growth.

There are a wealth of advantages that problem-solving activities can bring to teams.

Here are a few benefits you can expect from employees well equipped with problem-solving skills:

Better risk management

Simply put, risk management skills help people know what could go wrong, assess risks, and finally take action to solve an issue.

Some people are very good at handling risk, while others are afraid of risky situations.

Whichever way your team members are naturally inclined, problem-solving techniques are here to help.

Participating in problem-solving tasks trains the mind to handle stressful situations better.

It’s impossible to avoid risk, and this is why it’s essential to be confident that your team knows how to handle risk and turn it into opportunity.

Better thinking

Better thinking

Team problem-solving techniques stimulate better thinking by pushing people to find progressive alternatives.

Better thinking also develops analytical skills, which help people find logical explanations for problems and identify practical solutions.

Better communication skills

As mentioned earlier, problem-solving activities are group tasks that can only be performed if participants work together.

Humans are competitive by nature which can be problematic when trying to create a cohesive team. Problem-solving skills nurture understanding and collaboration within a company.

By solving problems together, employees learn how to better communicate and listen to others.

Having transparent and effective communication improves engagement and productivity and leads to better relationships .

Increased team cohesion

If your team already has good communication skills , this will likely lead to increased team cohesion .

Regardless of your business’s profile or size, success comes from having a united team.

Team cohesion reduces anxiety, brings motivation, and increases employee satisfaction.

Being on a cohesive team means that employees work together for the same goal, and everyone contributes to the group’s overall success.

People are social creatures, so it’s imperative that everybody feels heard, understood, and included.

Efficiency / increased productivity

Exercising problem-solving activities can boost performance and workplace productivity, leading to overall growth and profits.

Having solid problem-solving skills equips employees with the ability to find efficient solutions promptly.

By reducing the time spent solving specific problems, companies benefit from improved workplace productivity , leading to better profit margins.

creativity

Problem-solving activities foster creativity and encourage team members to express their ideas.

Creative thinkers know how to find the balance between analytical skills and innovative solutions, thus providing new perspectives.

No matter how well-established company processes are, there are always situations that require alternative ways of thinking.

Creative thinking skills boost people’s confidence in putting forth unique ideas.

List of the Top 22 Virtual Problem-Solving Activities

Virtual problem-solving activities for teams are meant to challenge participants to think outside the box and find solutions to problems while also having fun. Remember that these exercises should be playful and enjoyable.

Here is a list of virtual problem-solving activities that teams of any size can play:

  • Dumbest Idea First
  • Brainstorm Ideas
  • End in Mind
  • Stop, Start, Continue
  • Idea Mock-Ups
  • Be a Character
  • Crossword Puzzles
  • Online Escape Rooms
  • Murder Mysteries
  • Virtual Hackathons
  • Treasure Hunts
  • Moral Challenge
  • Improv Games
  • Poem/Story Challenge
  • What Would You Do?
  • Lost at Sea
  • Coworker Feud
  • Virtual Code Break
  • War of the Wizards
  • Ultimate Game Show

Online problem-solving activities can be played through video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Webex, etc.

Let’s take a closer look:

1. Dumbest Idea First

Dumbest Idea First, as the name suggests, is a problem-solving exercise in which participants are asked to think of the dumbest possible solutions to the problem presented.

After all ideas have been presented, look through the list.

You might be surprised to find that some ideas are not as dumb as first thought!

Helps with : creative problem-solving .

2. Brainstorm Ideas

One of the most common problem-solving activities is brainstorming ideas with your team.

Brainstorming ideas’ objective is to generate as many ideas as possible.

After the list is complete, team members review them and decide which is most suitable for the given scenario.

There are a lot of methods to aid the brainstorming process.

You can play word games, create a mood board, play improv games, or even doodle.

Helps with : lateral thinking.

3. End in Mind

The End in Mind technique is an excellent activity for solving group problems that require participants to start with the end.

In this exercise, you have to backtrack, finding solutions for the issue.

It challenges team members to think of the “what,” “why,” and “how” of a problem, thus coming up with alternative approaches.

Helps with : analytical thinking.

4. Stop, Start, Continue

“Stop, Start, Continue” is a technique used for delivering or requesting feedback.

This problem-solving activity consists of a list of three categories that each member has to think about:

  • Stop: three things that the team should stop doing
  • Start: three things that the team should start doing
  • Continue: three things that the team should continue doing

This exercise aims to solve problems in new ways while also having fun.

Helps with : team cohesion, critical thinking.

5. Idea Mock-Ups

Idea mock-ups are processes in which solutions to problems are found via mock-ups.

It’s a virtual solving problem activity as you can use images from the internet that can be easily shared with the team members.

This exercise aims to have players try out a bunch of different scenarios until the perfect match for the problem is found.

6. Be a Character

Be a Character

Have you ever dreamed of being a character from a movie or a book? Then this is the perfect exercise for you.

By playing this group game, participants impersonate a character and approach problems through that person’s mindset.

Helps with : creativity , thinking outside the box.

7. Idea Trial

The Idea Trial is another fun virtual problem-solving activity that encourages participants to find solutions for a particular problem.

Players need to present their ideas to the “court.”

They can go through the entire process, such as opening and closing statements, and call witnesses to support their ideas.

Helps with : risk management, communication skills.

8. Crossword Puzzles

Everybody has heard of crossword puzzles, but not everyone has thought of transforming them into a virtual problem-solving activity.

All you have to do is use an online crossword puzzle to create a custom puzzle for your team.

To make it more exciting and engaging for your team, you should consider your company’s niche and your teammates’ interests.

Helps with : critical thinking.

9. Online Escape Rooms

Like in-person escape rooms, their online counterpart requires participants to escape rooms and work together to solve puzzles virtually.

Digital escape rooms provide two alternatives for players: either a Zoom room led by a host or from a specialised website.

These are significant virtual problem-solving activities that are both fun and challenging.

Helps with : cooperation, communication.

10. Murder Mysteries

Murder mysteries are story-based problem-solving activities that require participants to take on the roles of suspects and detectives.

The aim of the game is to identify the killer by searching for clues and occasionally solving small puzzles.

These group exercises are complex because they require players to be observant and search for hidden clues using logic.

Luckily for you, there are many options for playing murder mystery games online .

Helps with : observation, logical thinking.

11. Virtual Hackathons

Hackathons are events where a group of people pitch a product or service in a given period.

Even though it originated in the programming world, hackathons can be easily applied to any industry.

Virtual hackathons refer to the online version of these events, where participants work together via online meeting software to design solutions.

These are great virtual team problem-solving activities because they don’t require much organisational work.

You just have to announce the event’s theme, explain the problem when the hackathon begins, and set a timeline.

Helps with : efficiency, cooperation.

12. Treasure Hunts

Like escape rooms or murder mysteries, treasure hunts are group games that require players to find hidden objects by following a trail of clues.

Treasure hunts are fun problem-solving activities that teach participants how to collaborate and communicate with each other.

They can have specific themes or be a more general hunt.

Helps with : communication, cooperation.

13. Moral Challenge

While most group problem-solving activities focus more on finding alternative problem resolutions, moral challenges lean more towards ethics.

These group techniques are just as important as the others as not all problems are factual; some are ethical.

Moral challenge exercises are better played in a group because each participant can represent a different opinion or moral belief.

The moral issue becomes harder to resolve and implicitly forces team members to find common ground.

Moral challenges are equally important in decision-making processes as rational thinking.

Some of the most well-known moral challenges online are the Moral Machine or the Dilemma .

Helps with : communication skills.

14. Improv Games

Improv games have their roots in acting and comedy and are group activities designed around participants’ acting without a script, or improvising.

These problem-solving activities force players to keep the story going in an entertaining and logical way.

This kind of group exercise helps build collaborative skills while boosting team members’ confidence.

Helps with : collaboration, imagination.

15. Poem/Story Challenge

If most of the problem-solving activities mentioned are based on logical thinking, the poem/story challenge revolves around writing skills.

While not all businesses rely on this, it’s still an excellent exercise for groups, as it stimulates the imagination and improves public speaking.

All you have to do is ask participants to create a story or a poem using a limited word bank.

After they have crafted their stories, they read them aloud in front of the group.

Helps with : creativity, public speaking.

16. What Would You Do?

“What Would You Do?” is a hypothetical problem-solving activity that challenges your team to brainstorm ideas and react to different scenarios.

To play this game with your team members, prepare some problem-solving stories in advance, then read them one by one.

Participants have to say what they would do in these circumstances.

Helps with : lateral thinking, imagination.

17. Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea, also known as Stranded at Sea, is a team-building activity that encourages interaction and teamwork.

Give participants a scenario where they’re stranded on an island with just a handful of objects.

To increase their chances of survival, they need to rate the objects based on their utility.

Players should work individually first and then together to decide which objects are most important.

If multiple groups play this game, the moderator can ask each group to compare their individual and collective rankings.

They should also consider why any scores differ.

At the end of the game, players reflect and feedback on their choices.

Helps with : decision making, collaboration, critical thinking.

18. The Hunt

Treasure Hunts

Its purpose is to challenge players to collaborate under pressure as they compete for glory.

This is a virtual problem-solving activity suitable for a business of any size.

It works best played in small teams of four or five, so players have the opportunity to interact with one another.

Helps with : team decision making, lateral thinking, creativity.

19. Coworker Feud

Coworker Feud

This game is a new take on the classic game show Family Feud, and it consists of multiple rapid rounds.

The players are asked to provide fast answers to a fun assortment of questions the host presents.

The aim is to guess the five most popular answers to win points for the round.

The team with the most points is declared the winner of the game.

Helps with : fast-thinking, communication.

20. Virtual Code Break

Virtual Code Break is a virtual team-building activity specially designed for remote players.

Its purpose is to challenge players to think outside the box, improve problem-solving skills, and leverage their own and each other’s skills.

This game uses an intelligent video conferencing solution so that teams of all sizes can play from anywhere globally.

Players compete against each other by answering trivia questions and solving riddles and puzzles.

Helps with : better thinking, collaboration.

21. War of the Wizards

War of the Wizards is a 90-minutes virtual team-building activity that promises to be both fun and creative.

To play this game, participants roleplay as powerful wizards to conquer evil forces through the power of storytelling.

They have to play mini-games and competitions, develop their characters, and make decisions together to win.

Helps with : teamwork, imagination.

22. Ultimate Game Show

Ultimate Game Show

In this 90-minute virtual event, players bond together as a team while playing different quizzes to win the final prize.

This competition works for hybrid teams, as well as for fully remote teams.

Helps with : collaboration, fast-thinking.

Plenty of organisations face daily challenges that affect team productivity and get in the way of attaining business goals.

While it’s impossible to avoid those situations, there are many ways to train team members to work collaboratively to resolve problems effectively.

Problem-solving activities act as educational tools that bring all participants closer as a team and help them develop problem-solving skills. By nurturing solution-generating capabilities, your team learns to communicate better, act fast in risky situations, and find creative solutions.

The virtual problem-solving activities listed in this article are excellent practices for real-life conflict resolution that can benefit everyone within an organisation.

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Stefan is a Co-Founder and a President of Brosix. His many years experience as a programmer, give him an unique perspective to lead the team and build Brosix in a way to best serve the customers.

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  1. 17 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities

    1. Cardboard Boat Building Challenge 2. Egg Drop 3. Clue Murder Mystery 4. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower 5. Corporate Escape Room 6. Wild Goose Chase 7. Lost at Sea 8. Domino Effect Challenge 9. Reverse Pyramid 10. CI: The Crime Investigators 11. Team Pursuit

  2. 15 Team Building Problem Solving Activities

    ‍ 15 Problem-Solving Activities 1. A Shrinking Vessel Why adaptability is important for problem-solving: Adaptability is highly associated with cognitive diversity, which helps teams solve problems faster, according to the Harvard Business Review. Innovation and disruption are happening faster than ever before.

  3. 14 Brain-Boosting Problem Solving Group Activities For Teams

    1. Virtual Team Challenge Virtual Team Challenges are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue. The challenge generally involves members of the team brainstorming, discussing, and creating solutions for a given problem.

  4. Team Building Exercises

    Exercise 1: Lost at Sea* In this activity, participants must pretend that they've been shipwrecked and are stranded in a lifeboat. Each team has a box of matches, and a number of items that they've salvaged from the sinking ship. Members must agree which items are most important for their survival. Tip:

  5. Top 15 Problem-Solving Activities for Your Team to Master

    Article content. The importance of problem-solving skills in today's workplace. Classic team-building, problem-solving activities. 1. A Shrinking Vessel. 2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower. Creative problem-solving activities. Quick and easy problem-solving activities.

  6. 17 team building problem-solving activities that actually work

    Effective team building problem-solving activities. One of the most daunting aspects of team building is looking up ideas for things to do, not knowing whether they work. So we did the hard part for you and hand-picked the best team building activities to overcome obstacles. 1. Improve collaboration with Work Buddy.

  7. Problem Solving Games, Activities & Exercises for Adults

    1. Espionage! (Team Favorite) For an exciting game of social deduction, check out Espionage! This thrilling experience will put your team's wits and instincts to the test. Espionage! offers the following: a 90-minute session led by an experienced host undercover teams of agents and spies challenging puzzles, tasks, and maneuvers

  8. 15 Team Building Problem Solving Activities to Unleash Your Crew's

    Problem-solving activities require team members to communicate clearly, share ideas, and actively listen to one another. These activities provide a platform for improving both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. 2. Building Trust and Collaboration. Trust is the foundation of any strong team.

  9. 14 Brain-Tickling Team Building Problems

    Teammates must analyze, discuss, and execute team strategies to include every member within the perimeter. Shrinking Feeling underscores adaptability and group response to change. 9. Trading Pieces. Trading Pieces is a spin on the barter puzzle, one of the most well-known team building problems.

  10. Top 10 Problem Solving Group Activities for Your Team

    5. Tallest tower. One the classic group problem-solving activities, simple construction projects can help teams develop strategies to overcome out of the box problems. Using only two materials, teams will compete to make the tallest marshmallow spaghetti tower in a set amount of time.

  11. 45 Team Building Games to Psych Up Your Team [2023] • Asana

    Alicia Raeburn January 14th, 2023 28 min read Jump to section Summary Team building games bring everyone together without the added pressure of work. Here, we've listed 45 of the top team building activities broken down by icebreaker, problem solving, indoor, and outdoor games.

  12. Top 20 Problem Solving Activities to Boost Team Decision Making

    - Travis Kalanick Problem-solving is a skill that undoubtedly comes into play to improve creativity, execute and deliver projects delightfully. Strong problem-solving skills to improve creativity is a crucial asset for any team.

  13. Top 10 Team Building Problem Solving Activities

    Ask them to reflect on their decision-making processes and team dynamics. #7. Scavenger Hunt. The scavenger hunt is one of the popular problem solving exercises. The goal of this exercise is to find a list of items based on the clues given. Time: 15-30 minutes. Materials: Clues and a list of items to find.

  14. Best 20 Problem-Solving Activities to Challenge Your Team

    Written By Loumee for teams Problem-solving activities are a great way to get to know how people in your team work individually and together. They are also great for team building, as they help people understand the way in which others think and behave, which provides strategies to apply to the workplace.

  15. 64 team building activities to bring your team together

    9 Dimensions is a powerful activity designed to build relationships and trust among team members. There are 2 variations of this icebreaker. The first version is for teams who want to get to know each other better. The second version is for teams who want to explore how they are working together as a team.

  16. Fun Team-Building Problem-Solving Activities

    Creative Problem-Solving Activities from Let's Roam. The experts at Let's Roam have carefully constructed a series of team-building activities that will help you to build stronger connections, increase productivity, and improve morale. These exercises can be used in the office, or virtually for remote teams, and focus on problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and more.

  17. 13 Team Building Problem Solving Activities

    Group problem-solving activities help your team increase productivity and motivation within the workplace and can align employees with company goals and objectives. Improve mental health of team members by reducing stress and improving the moods of team members. Problem solving team building activities are hands-on, creative, and collaborative.

  18. 17 Team Building Problem Solving Activities & Exercises

    Activity #1. Brainstorming This is a great activity for getting the creative juices flowing. Get your team together and have them come up with as many ideas as possible for solving the problem at hand. The more ideas, the better!

  19. Problem-Solving Activities To Help Promote Team Building

    Problem-solving team-building activities are an effective way to improve team collaboration. The key to making them effective is having well-planned activities. These activities facilitate shared experiences, bringing team members closer together. Here are a few problem-solving team-building activities to try: 1. The collapsing space game.

  20. 13 Problem-Solving Activities & Exercises for Your Team

    #1. Crossword Puzzles Objective: To enhance problem-solving skills, vocabulary, and cognitive abilities through engaging crossword puzzles. Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes Materials Needed: Crossword puzzle sheets Pens or pencils Procedure: Distribute crossword puzzle sheets and pens/pencils to each participant.

  21. Top 8 Problem-Solving Team Building Activities

    Real-World Application: Challenges presented in the different problem-solving team-building activities often mimic real-world scenarios. This will allow participants to directly apply the skills developed during the activity to their workplace, making the experience highly practical and transferable. Active Participation and Engagement

  22. 16 Fun 30-Minute Team Building Activities

    1. SKYJO This fast-paced card game is perfect for unwinding before a meeting or after a long work day! The goal of the game is to end the round with the least amount of points possible. Here is how to play the game: Deal 12 cards to each player. Participants cannot look at their cards. Put the remaining cards in a draw pile.

  23. Team building activities your team will actually enjoy [15+ activity ideas]

    11. Marshmallow challenge. What you will need: Marshmallows, spaghetti sticks, tape, and a measuring tool (ruler or measuring tape). How long: 20-30 minutes for planning and building. Why is it a great idea? It encourages creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving in a fun and competitive setting.

  24. Top 22 Virtual Problem-Solving Activities to Strengthen Any Team

    2. Brainstorm Ideas. One of the most common problem-solving activities is brainstorming ideas with your team. Brainstorming ideas' objective is to generate as many ideas as possible. After the list is complete, team members review them and decide which is most suitable for the given scenario.

  25. 20 Top Survival Team Building Exercises for Work

    Fishing is a great team building activity, as folks can share fishing tips and bond. Plus, being out on the water is a fun way to relax. 11. Navigation Lesson. A Navigation Lesson is a valuable survival team building exercise. This activity can enhance communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.

  26. Roseburg Public Schools on Instagram: "Let's take a moment to

    45 likes, 0 comments - roseburgpublicschools on January 30, 2024: "Let's take a moment to appreciate Child Development Specialists (CDS) and their classes that ha..."