Updated: September 01, 2022

Types of Team Building: Main Categories

You found our guide to the types of team building.

Types of team building are different approaches to forming and managing groups.

Specifically, the types of team building are:

  1. Communication team building
  2. Personality assessment team building
  3. Physical team building
  4. Problem solving team building
  5. Skills team building
  6. Values team building
  7. Team bonding
  8. Virtual team building
  9. Large group team building
  10. Small group team building
  11. Indoor team building
  12. Outdoor team building
  13. Company offsites
  14. Team building retreats
  15. Socially distant team building

So, here is the list!

List of team building types

Forming a close-knit team requires getting members to understand, trust, and respect each other. To facilitate this process, we suggest mixing up the types of team building activities you choose to help develop your team’s chemistry.

1. Communication team building

When working as a team, your people need to communicate needs and project updates. Having strong communication skills is especially important if your team is fully remote. Communication team building activities focus on developing those skills in the context of fun games that require people to use language to express ideas.

Here is a list of the best communication building activities for work.

2. Personality assessment team building

When you have a large team, you will find a diverse set of personalities present in the workplace. While your organization benefits from having people from all walks of life, it may take considerable effort for these different personality types to understand each other and find what working style is the most compatible for them. Personality assessment team building activities help determine what personalities are at your workplace and how your team can best collaborate.

You can start with this list of free online personality tests for team building.

3. Physical team building

If you used to play sports, then you may recall that physical activity is a great way to bond with your teammates. This principle applies to your coworkers, too. By participating in physical team building activities, your team puts their bodies to the test, with the experience often resulting in strengthened bonds. The fact that you and your team members will walk away from these physical team building activities with improved health and fitness is an added benefit.

Here is a list of the best team building workouts.

4. Problem solving team building

Work can often feel like putting out a series of fires, and employers value people who have strong problem solving skills. Problem solving team building activities help teams practice and hone this ability, which better equips your team to face whatever future challenges emerge.

Here is a list of problem solving games for teams.

5. Skills team building

Sometimes your team needs to gain certain skills to fulfill the company’s mission. If this requirement is the case, then consider using skill building activities to motivate your team to improve. Since skills team building activities provide a structured environment to learn together, these activities enrich your team’s knowledge and let your team collectively grow.

Learn more about team building skills.

6. Values team building

Is your organization known for philanthropy or some other lofty principle? The best way to gain the trust and respect of your team is to follow up your company’s high ideals with action. Values team building activities spur your team to demonstrate your company’s principles through collective activities. Designing team building exercises around these principles gets your whole team involved, which helps make everyone feel included.

Here is a list of ways to volunteer with virtual groups.

7. Team bonding

Sometimes the best way to create a cohesive team is to grant time where your people can hang out outside of a work environment. Removing your team from work-designated roles gives people the opportunity to get to know each others’ authentic selves and grow friendships. Since team bonding activities are oriented towards having fun and relaxing, these events are also great stress relievers, which helps sustain your team’s productivity at work.

Here is a list of the best team bonding ideas for work.

8. Virtual team building

When working on a dispersed team, build up an arsenal of team building games that can be held online. These virtual team building events are held over video conferencing software, and require few additional materials outside a strong internet connection. These virtual activities provide opportunities for  remote teams to get to know each other and feel more connected.

Here is a list of virtual activities for team building online.

9. Large group team building

Large group team building exercises aim to involve and engage as many employees as possible. These activities often happen at major company events like retreats, picnics, conferences, all-hands meetings, and mass training. Participants complete these activities in one large group or in bigger mini-groups. The goal of these activities is for teammates to connect and work with several other coworkers.

Here is a list of icebreakers for large groups.

10. Small group team building

Small group team building focuses on deepening relationships between groups of closely connected employees. This type of team building happens most frequently within project teams or departments, and typically involves 10 or fewer participants. The goal of this approach is to foster small group dynamics and build trust and familiarity between team members who interact and collaborate on a regular basis.

Here is a list of ideas for small group team building and list of icebreakers for small groups.

11. Indoor team building

Indoor team building activities are events and games that are doable inside. These exercises are good fits for in-office gatherings or bad weather months like winter. These activities tend to be popular with teammates who are not outdoorsy or have conditions that would make staying outdoors for long periods of time uncomfortable. Since many of these activities can be done within the office, this type of team building is also ideal for last minute team building or quick team building that does not require travel.

Here is a list of indoor team building activities.

12. Outdoor team building

Outdoor team building are activities that can be done outside. Examples include hiking, camping, outdoor movies, and ropes courses. These ideas allow employees to get fresh air and sunshine and enjoy nature and can be a positive mood booster. These activities work well for outdoor events such as company picnics, field days, and team retreats.

Here is a list of outdoor team building activities.

13. Company offsites

Company offsites are team building events where employees travel to a third party location together to enjoy a certain activity. Common examples include team dinners, company parties, corporate retreats, and sporting events. Team offsite ideas include escape rooms, lunches, museum tours, and concerts. These experiences can occur at venues like resorts, adventure courses, hotels, restaurants, and parks. Part of the allure of this type of team building is the ability to travel to a new location and temporarily escape work responsibilities to focus on enjoying time together with coworkers.

Learn more about company offsites.

14. Team building retreats

Team building retreats are days dedicated to intensive team bonding. These events can be as short as half a day or as long as a week. Often, organizers hold retreats at an offsite location such as a resort, on a cruise ship, at a convention center, at a campsite, or at an adventure course. Sometimes, retreats happen in a separate part of the office. The point of moving to a different location is to create a space where employees are free of work distractions and can focus on getting to know fellow team members and learning how to work better together. Some retreats involve entire companies and divisions, while smaller retreats host a single team or department.

Here is a list of company retreat ideas.

15. Socially distant team building

Socially distant team building became relevant during the COVID pandemic. These activities tend to be outdoors, virtual or otherwise avoid close contact. For example, you could do a photo based scavenger hunt where participants submit photos from different locations.

Learn more about socially distant team building.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know about these types of team building, you should have a greater understanding of how different activities can bring your colleagues together. By planning diverse team building programming, you are sure to make your employees feel happy and fulfilled.

Feel free to check out this collection of team building tips and this list of team building games for more ideas.

FAQ: Types of Team Building

Here are some frequently asked questions about the different types of team building activities. 

What are the main types of team building activities?

The main types of team building activities include:

  • Communication team building
  • Personality assessment team building
  • Physical team building
  • Problem solving team building
  • Skills team building
  • Values team building
  • Team bonding
  • Virtual team building
  • Large group team building
  • Small group team building
  • Indoor team building
  • Outdoor team building
  • Company offsites
  • Team building retreats

Activities can fall into more than one team building category.

Do different types of team building have different goals?

Different types of team building have different goals. For example, company retreats seek to create fellowship on an organizational level, while team retreats are more invested in fostering small group dynamics. Virtual team building focuses on being engaging and creating connections between remote teammates, and problem solving team building seeks to improve critical thinking skills.

What type of team building should you do?

The type of team building depends on your organization’s goals and available resources. Different types of team building are suitable for different reasons. The first step to planning an event is to decide the objectives of the exercise. Next, take a look at the budget to determine what kinds of venues are options and how many participants you can accommodate. You can also survey employees to find out which kinds of team building are most interesting to the staff.

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