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13 Team Building Activities to Boost Office Morale in Winter Months

Approximately 38% of Americans report that their mood declines during the winter. Learn how team building activities can boost employee morale.

The ideal workspace is a team that’s in sync with each other and can solve any problem. When the winter blues come, it can be a little more challenging to make this vision a reality. Luckily, a couple of team-building activities can propel your workers back on track.


Does employee morale decrease during the Winter?

Winter sadness is more common than you think. About 38% of Americans report that their mood declines during the coldest season. It’s understandable why some workers aren’t at their best selves when coming back to the office after the holidays.

It can be hard to manage a team when everyone’s emotions are scattered or unfocused. Productivity can run low while outputs come in slow. It’s essential to mitigate this kind of atmosphere and build up the team again with some winter activities.


13 team building activities worth trying

Teams in different industries will have their own preferences for team-building activities. A good leader will communicate with your staff to determine what will help them relax during these times of stress. Feel free to comb through this outline of suggestions and see what would get your team members fired up, too.


1. Hold a trivia event

A team trivia game with your team invites friendly competition and connections. While you can find a local venue that offers these events, there are also some benefits to hosting and running it by yourself. You have control over what sort of trivia to quiz members on. Aside from generalities, add a couple of questions that could be related to your work field.


2. Organize a tam brunch

Food is always a surefire way to bring people together, so it can be fun to organize a brunch for your office. Assign team members with a certain type of food and have a potluck table or head to a nice venue. Keep things casual and give staff the time to mingle with one another.


3. Head to a sports field

If your employees are looking for an adrenaline rush for team building, they aren’t alone. About 26% of adults in the U.S. see sports as the superior park and recreation activity. A sports field can be a great avenue to bond with your team. Run a game of volleyball or try go-karting against other team members.


4. Visit a bowling alley

When you want to stay warm, you can head to a nice bowling alley. Order some food and drinks before forming teams and getting competitive. For bigger teams, you can look for facilities offering other games besides bowling. For instance, you can split staff among activities like mini golf, pool or darts.


5. Organize a ski trip

Bring your team members to the ski resort if you want to go into the cold head-on. You can try out all the winter activities, from skiing down a slope to skating on ice. If you want an event that’s a little more coordinated, you can do a snowman-making competition. It can bring out kids at heart and relieve stress.


6. Try a maze or escape room

A maze is a classic team-building activity, but you can also try out an escape room. A study had 81 different teams participate in an escape-room simulation. Individual cognitive motivation positively relates to team performance during the trials. Stimulating each participant’s mind can be the key to better teamwork.


7. Throw a costume party

If you would rather do something silly together as a team, throw a costume party at the office. It can be quite the experience to have your usually serious coworkers show up in dinosaur onesies and exciting cosplays. Remember to strike up a conversation and find common interests among one another.


8. Hold a paint and sip session

Happy hour can be a great team-building experience, but it may get out of hand when there’s too much alcohol. A fun balance is be a paint-and-sip session after work hours. Prepare a couple of canvases, paint brushes, color palettes, wine and cheese to get this rolling. You can even offer a grand prize for the person who makes the best painting.


9. Let loose during karaoke hour

To take a break from being competitive, try out karaoke for a change. Do a few holiday songs or put out some decade-old tunes. You might just discover an employee who’s incredibly talented at singing. But if that doesn’t happen, at least your members can still bond over some iconic songs and have fun during this season.


10. Play online games

Online games are perfect for smaller and more remote startups with few members. They can also be suitable for different departments. Go with a couple of classics like Pictionary and Connect Four to play something that everyone’s familiar with. If you want to try a puzzle game, Pico Park can accommodate up to eight players and promotes cooperation in the team.


11. Arrange a bingo night

Another relaxed team-building activity would be to organize a bingo night. You can have a small snack bar and prepare a bunch of cards that employees can choose from. Don’t forget to add a few fun prizes your employees can take and use if they win. You can also do vouchers or subscription services.


12. Organize a baking competition

Another food-related team-building activity would be an in-office baking contest. Rent a space and give a recipe your team can complete together. Cupcakes or muffins can be reasonably easy to do. You can keep the snacks at the office pantry to munch on throughout the week. It can also be cool to donate the sweets to a charity.


13. Hold a hotel seminar

A nice bed for a good night’s sleep can be the ultimate mood booster in winter. You can bring your team members for an overnight hotel stay and arrange a work seminar. It can be an excellent opportunity for team members to impart skills and lessons during the afternoon. When nighttime comes, you can give your hardworking staff free time as a treat.


Bring the office closer in the cold

No matter what you pick, team-building activities can be the perfect break from a bleak winter. It also makes office members connected. This newfound closeness should help work run smoothly during the winter.


Beth Rush is the career and finance editor at Body+Mind. She has 5+ years of experience writing about time management strategies and the power of human design to reveal entrepreneurial potential. She also writes about using the emotion of awe to activate our leadership prowess.


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