Team building is wonderful for the culture and camaraderie of your business. Your employees will understand one another on a deeper level when they get to problem-solve in a non-work environment and may benefit from blowing off some steam while paintballing or building spaghetti bridges. 

Team building can be an effective way to improve employee mental health, too. Team building activities break up the monotony of the work week and give folks a chance to raise the issues they face at work. 

However, before budgeting for a scavenger hunt or an escape room, you need to take stock of your staff and plan team-building activities that are appropriate and engaging for everyone. 

Workplace Mental Health

Mental health is a hot topic in business management at the moment. Many employees are still struggling with pandemic-era burnout, while others feel disconnected from their peers after moving to a remote work model.

Team building exercises can help you identify the signs that your employees are struggling with poor mental health. Staff who are stressed and overworked will be eager to return to their desks and unlikely to engage in team-building activities. Stressed staff who engage in activities will likely perform poorly as negative mental health in the workplace can undermine cognitive performance by 35%. 

Avoid the temptation to cancel team-building exercises if you notice that staff are overworked. Use a team-building activity to signal the start of a new campaign that seeks to build social connections, reduce stress, improve collaboration, and build mental health. 

Building Social Connections and Trust

Your staff will perform better when they trust each other and care about one another’s well-being. Employees who are on the same page can build a winning team for your business and are the backbone of every successful project. 

Start building connections and trust by hosting volunteer activities and service projects. Your employees will love showing their altruistic side and will gain a sense of purpose and pride while aiding the community. If a volunteer project sounds like a good fit for your firm, consider activities like: 

  • Community Clean-Ups: Spend a half-day cleaning up the local park and residential areas near your premises. Be sure to share your teams’ efforts on social media so their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. 
  • Gardens and Allotments: Set aside some of your space for the green thumbs at work. Folks love working together on a shared project and will be proud to share the fruits of their labour with their family and peers. 
  • Fundraising Events: Fundraisers require careful planning and cross-department collaboration. As such, they’re a great way to get everyone involved in a cause that means a lot to your team. 

Volunteer opportunities, like hosting community clean-ups and service projects, are the ideal way to build trust and form strong social bonds in your team. Giving folks a chance to garden and grow produce can help alleviate stress, too, which is vital for the long-term success of your business. 

Stress Reduction

A stressed-out workforce is a sure sign of a struggling business. Folks who experience work-related chronic stress are usually overwhelmed by the number of tasks they have to complete and will look to jump ship as soon as possible. 

Reduce employee stress and create a more positive workspace by hosting team-building events that help staff decompress. For example, if you’ve had a successful year, you may want to reinvest some of your profits into a work vacation for your team. Pitch a few destinations, and plan a getaway together. This shows staff that they don’t have to work till breaking point year-round and can reaffirm your commitment to employees’ social and mental health. 

You may not have the budget for a big-ticket team-building activity like a business vacation. Instead, plan small stress-reducing team activities like movie nights and book clubs. These cost-effective team-building exercises give folks a chance to connect over a common interest in film or novels. Maximize buy-in by assigning a new “leader” each month who will be responsible for leading the book club or hosting a post-movie discussion. 

Inclusive Activities

Team building is a great way to reduce employee stress and improve engagement at work. However, you need to make sure that all of your staff can participate in the activity before you pitch a team-building exercise. 

If you want to get your staff out of the office, consider inclusive outdoor team-building activities like:

  • Attend a local event (concert, theatre performance, farmers’ market)
  • Group Yoga
  • Host a field day
  • Take a hike

These activities can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your employees. If you do decide to go outdoors, it is vital that no employees feel left behind. Your paintballing idea may go down well with some, but folks who cannot participate will resent the activity and others will feel guilty about participating. 


Mental health is a top priority for business leaders today. You can improve the mental well-being of your employees and increase workplace productivity by embracing inclusive team-building activities. Even low-budget activities, like a book club or movie night, show you care about your staff and are committed to their success as part of your team.