The Frequency

How to Design Team Bonding Events that Actually Bring the Team Closer

How to Design Team Bonding Events that Actually Bring the Team Closer

How to Design Team Bonding Events that Actually Bring the Team Closer

Uncovering the secrets to successful team bonding, we’ve gathered seven insights from CEOs, Directors, and other leaders. From an impromptu gathering for drinks that fostered genuine connections to a nature retreat that promoted openness and relaxation, discover why these events were more than just fun—they were transformative for the teams involved.

  • Impromptu Drinks Foster Genuine Connections
  • Culinary Challenge Reflects Core Values
  • Fishing Trip Builds Camaraderie
  • Pro Bono Work Enhances Team Pride
  • Camping Trip Breaks Down Social Barriers
  • Family Picnic Blurs Hierarchical Lines
  • Nature Retreat Promotes Openness and Relaxation

Impromptu Drinks Foster Genuine Connections

One truly memorable team-bonding event we had at Taskade involved an impromptu gathering behind a Japanese supermarket for some casual drinks. We grabbed beer and sake, settled in, and just enjoyed each other’s company. There was something special about the simplicity of the setup—it didn’t involve elaborate planning or forced team-building activities. The casual, fun, and incredibly relaxing atmosphere allowed everyone to open up, share stories, and connect on a personal level.

John XieJohn Xie
Co-Founder and CEO, Taskade

Culinary Challenge Reflects Core Values

One of the most memorable and successful team-bonding events was what we fondly refer to as the Culinary Challenge.

Given our focus on the food and beverage industry, we wanted to create an event that fostered team bonding and reflected our industry’s essence. The Culinary Challenge involved dividing our team into small groups, with each group assigned the task of creating a dish that represented a core company value, such as innovation, collaboration, or commitment to excellence.

What set this event apart was its creative approach to team building. It took us out of the conventional office setting and into a more dynamic, hands-on environment. Each team was given a budget and a time frame to plan, source ingredients, and prepare their dish. This required teams to strategize, assign roles based on each member’s strengths, and work closely to execute their vision.

The event culminated in a shared meal, during which each team presented their dish and explained how it symbolized their assigned company value. This was followed by a group vote to select the dish that best embodied the spirit of our company, though in truth, every team was a winner for the creativity and collaboration they displayed.

The Culinary Challenge was meaningful for several reasons. Firstly, it tapped into the culinary passion that naturally resonates with our team. Secondly, it encouraged creativity and innovation, pushing teams to think outside the box. Most importantly, it reinforced our core company values in a tangible, memorable way, deepening our team’s connection to our mission and each other.

This event underscored the importance of aligning team-bonding activities with an organization’s culture and values. By doing so, we strengthen team cohesion and reinforce the principles that guide our work. The Culinary Challenge remains a highlight for many of our team members and a testament to the power of creative, value-driven team-bonding experiences.

Laurie HyllbergLaurie Hyllberg
Vice President, Kinsa Group

Fishing Trip Builds Camaraderie

Last year, our team went on a fishing trip as a team-bonding event. It was truly amazing because it allowed us to relax and unwind outside of the typical work setting, while also providing an opportunity for us to work together toward a common goal of catching fish!

The event was meaningful because it fostered a sense of camaraderie among team members as we shared laughs, stories, and tips on fishing techniques—which none of us had. It also helped us to appreciate each other’s strengths and skills in a different context, outside of the office.

Tom MolnarTom Molnar
Operations Manager, Fit Design

Pro Bono Work Enhances Team Pride

The team collectively took a day to go to a local non-profit organization and applied their skills to help them get their house in order from a business perspective. Marketing folks set them up with better email templates and gave them suggestions on their style guide; accounting and finance went through their processes and offered improvements and best practices; IT took a look at their computer setup, etc.

You could really feel the pride that everyone had at the end of the day for having used the same things they do at work in this new context, really helping to boost performance for this non-profit. The debrief at the end was full of energy, and the team was ready to hop into another local business in the future.

Kate KandeferKate Kandefer
CEO, SEOwind

Camping Trip Breaks Down Social Barriers

Something that’s impressed me in the past was a team camping trip. It combined a lot of different aspects of team bonding—getting out of the work environment, doing something physically challenging that required everyone to help, and, of course, some social lubricant around the campfire at night once everyone is good and tired, and social barriers are down.

You get away from the regular rhythms of life and the office, and I find that this helps break down a lot of the little issues people have with each other. Something about sharing a bottle of wine as you sit in a circle around the fire really brings people together, in my experience.

Dragos BadeaDragos Badea
CEO, Yarooms

Family Picnic Blurs Hierarchical Lines

Once a year, we organize a friends-and-family picnic get-together. It involves kids, sometimes parents, blankets, drinks, picnic baskets, hopefully sunshine, and a lot of games. It’s completely un-work-related; there are no workshops. In fact, the policy is that all business chat is banned, and anyone who is caught discussing business has to wear a particularly amusing headpiece. We draw teams and race against each other in competitions such as egg-and-spoon, potato sack relay, Giant Jenga, and all sorts of other games.

What this event achieves, over and over again, is breaking those hierarchical barriers. The CEO might be teamed up with our facilities man, members of our Sales team with employees from the manufacturing plant, directors with interns. It’s a lot of fun, with no pressure, and it really creates shared experiences which sit at the basis of great interpersonal relationships. It’s this type of connection that makes people work well together.

Will BakerWill Baker
Director, Skirtings R Us

Nature Retreat Promotes Openness and Relaxation

We had a company off-site in January on a farm about a two-hour drive from the city. Being in nature at the foot of a huge mountain range and breathing lovely fresh air gave our team a chance to start their day in a relaxed fashion.

This then set the precedent for what was a really valuable team-bonding event where each team member was able to open up and show a side of themselves that they normally would not have in the office.

Marc BromhallMarc Bromhall
Founder, StorageBuddy

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