8 Unusual (Non-Cheesy) Team Building Exercises

Are people in your office feeling a little bit blue this January? These team building exercises will help you to perk everyone up and get energised this month!

June 20, 2023

We’re only just over half-way through January and this year might already be feeling like a drag in your workplace...

But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Just like building pre-Christmas cheer, we think that lifting the mood in the office post-holidays is really (if not more) important.

So if you're looking for a way to reward staff or cheer up your colleagues, why not try these 8 unusual team building exercises!

1. Blindfolded Food Tasting

Would you trust your colleagues enough to let them choose an unknown food for you to taste? I’m not sure I would!

This team-building activity is just a bit of fun and all you need is a blindfold and variety of foods (sauces, spices, drinks, etc.) - and it's probably best left til a Friday afternoon.

One by one, you can take it in turns to either gain trust from your colleagues, or lose it forever by torturing their taste buds!

P.S. make sure you’re aware of any allergies first or this could end very badly, very quickly.

2. Blindfolded Driving

If you’re working in an office full of daring adrenaline junkies, then this could just be perfect to take the working relationships to the next level.

Like the food tasting, someone has to be blindfolded. Unfortunately, that’s the driver.

The driver then has to rely on the passenger to give them pointers on how much they need to steer to keep on track, lefts or rights and even speed variations!

I have seen this done once, and it involved trying to get the car onto the back of a moving truck down an airstrip… this is possibly a bit dangerous so maybe stick to slower speed versions of the event.

The only downside is that this would require a day or afternoon out of the office at least to run the event, so that’s something to consider.

Check out this link to find out more about the activity.

3. Paintballing

This is a classic. True, it is a painful classic, but there’s no doubt that this is a great team building exercise.

Generally, if you go via a good company, there are different areas and different objectives, all of which require communication and teamwork to be completed effectively.

So, fancy shooting your manager? Just organise a company paintball event.

4. Zombie Evasion

As a slight variation on paintballing, instead of shooting each other, you have to eliminate all of the zombies that are coming to get you. (Sounds terrifying.)

Working together to collect different items and solve different puzzles, you’ll find out if you would ever actually want to put your “life” in your colleague’s hands.

Click here to find out more.

5. Play Board Games

You probably have a fairly mixed team in terms of age, interests, fitness and mobility, so it's not always easy to organise something that everyone will enjoy.

The best thing about board games? Everyone can get involved.

You could have multiple games set up on different stations, or just have one game going and a “winner stays on”.

Obviously there are quicker and longer games to play too, hence it is definitely worth asking people what they’d like to play and taking a vote. (Monopoly probably won't work if you have a big team).

6. Cardboard Boat Racing

Have you got a backlog of cardboard boxes in your storeroom? Then this is definitely a great way to recycle them.

Split into teams and build your own boats – but ensure that everyone has the same resources so it’s fair.

Then, test them out on the water! Every team has to race and everyone should have to participate.

Obviously you’re going to be motivated to move if your boat is sinking and giving up beneath you, cardboard definitely isn’t boat making material so it’s all the more fun!

Warning - you're probably going to get wet with this activity, so wear appropriate clothing!

7. Sports Day

If you’re located near a park then putting on a Sports Day can be a great way to get people to work together.

Think up some events then write them out on pieces of paper and put them into a hat (only write as many slips as there are spaces in the event).

Then get everyone to pull a slip of paper from the hat to see which activity they'll be taking part in!

You can do things such as:

  • The three legged race
  • Tug’o’War
  • Football/Cricket/Rugby/any other team based sports
  • Relay races

And a lot of other stuff.

For most people, it will probably give them a chance to reminisce about their school days too.

8. Dragon’s Den

If your office is lacking creativity at the moment, and you’re not sure how to boost it, then you should definitely consider this idea.

Pick four people to head a table of “Dragons” or judges, and then sort everyone else into teams.

Give a task like they do in The Apprentice and have everyone design a product or come up with some kind of idea, relevant to your business.

Then after an allocated time have your teams present their ideas to the four Dragons. The best idea wins!

Hopefully after throwing ideas back and forth between teams everyone will be raring with creative juices to input into their work too.


The best way to get everyone buzzing about these kinds of activities is to add a competitive element and offer some kind of prize, even if it’s something small.

Chocolates, a bottle of fizz, an hour extra for their lunch break, or something else would definitely do.

If you’re not the decision maker, then talk to someone who is. Explain that everyone seems to have a nasty bout of the January blues and put some ideas forward to perk everyone up.

Who knows? You could even start a company-wide tradition!

Either way, good luck and may the best teams win.

And don’t forget, you can subscribe to our blog here to receive a weekly update with our Friday Funnies!

Happy Friday!

Coburg Banks - Multi-Sector Recruitment Agency
We help great people get brilliant jobs in top companies.

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