10-minute team activities to boost startup work productivity
Team activities create a space for collaboration and bring employees together. Not only are they valuable in improving communication between employees, but team activities can also increase productivity and morale levels. This is especially important for smaller startups and essential for workers newly emerging from Work From Home environments.
The beauty of team activities is you don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of time or money to achieve a great work environment and the benefits on work performance that come from this. So, to help startups out of the trenches of lockdown lethargy, we've outlined our favourite 10-minute team-building exercises that will help employees to tackle the workday.
Insta Take 10
This is a 10-minute photo competition outing where the person who takes the best picture in this time wins a prize (whether that be a lunch on the house or an early clock-out). This is a great opportunity for employees to stretch their legs and be creative outside of the workplace. Insta Take 10 is also a perfect way to jazz up the company’s social account and show how you're making the most out of restrictions easing.
Sporcle is a trivia quiz website that we love at BrighterBox. Whenever we need a pick-me-up as a team, we randomly choose a letter from the alphabet and play one of their many letter quizzes together. Like most trivia, Sporcle quizzes test general knowledge - from your geography and science understanding to your awareness of football leagues! Timed trivia quizzes are great for getting the team involved and sharpening the skills and know-how needed to perform under pressure.
This is an online drawing and guessing game that is much more tricky than it sounds. Skribbl.io takes turns giving a person a word or phrase to depict, such as 'shaving' or 'sticks and stones', while the others in the group have to guess what is being drawn. For those of us who aren't gifted with artistic vision (or just can't draw on a phone screen), prepare yourselves for outraged colleagues shouting, 'You call THAT a kettle?'. This is one to try if you're wanting to test visual communication skills or just need some comic relief.
Most office employees spend entire days in slouched positions with their shoulders hunched, neck strained, staring down at computers. Stay at home orders have also meant improvising home working set-ups, with the use of sofas, beanbags, and rickety kitchen chairs causing many of us to be our chiropractor's best friend. A guided stretch is great to combat these physical stresses by reducing fatigue and increasing coordination. A team member can lead the exercise or there is a wealth of YouTube content dedicated to flexibility that the group can watch together. So get stretching! The sooner you do, the more energised and limber you'll feel.
Name that song / Sing-along session
Music has many physical and mental benefits, like reducing stress and elevating moods, as it releases dopamine (the feel-good hormone) in humans. So, try to incorporate this into your employees' workday! Music has the ability to change the atmosphere of a workspace - team activities like 'Name that song' (where each person takes turns playing a song snippet and the rest of the group guess the title and artist), is an easy way to get employees out of a sluggish mood and discover their co-workers' music tastes at the same time.
Desk decorating contest
A timed desk decorating contest is an engaging activity and a fun way to spice up an otherwise familiar space. Newly decorated office digs is bound to give employees a boost and make them feel like they're contributing to the overall environment of the company. Feel free to set a theme or base it on events (Halloween, Christmas, you know the drill).
Cappuccino/ Juice walk
When the afternoon hits, energy levels always seem to taper. This is a fantastic time to grab a coffee or juice with the team and go for a walk around the local greenspace. Changing up the scenery in your employees' workday to a natural setting can reduce stress, revitalise, and improve long-term wellbeing. As sunnier days are becoming more and more frequent in the UK, coffee walks and walking meetings are looking even more appealing.
Mind mapping sessions are a great way to let the creative juices flow and encourage collaboration across the company. Employees have the chance to get out of their heads and open up to different viewpoints. It’s the perfect exercise to come up with new ideas and makes the creative process feel more inclusive.
Top tip for team activities
The activities your team decides to engage in can be completely unrelated to their work or incorporate real-time work goals. No matter what you do, always remember to read the room before suggesting an activity. If deadlines are tight and clients are being demanding, not everyone may be up for a stroll or sing-along. So, be sure to ask whether or not the whole team is on board. We think the best way to initiate these activities is to block off time in the workday so that anyone who is able to can join and those who can't don't feel any pressure.
Now try one of these activities out for yourselves and see productivity soar! Or if you're looking for more activities to test out, take a look at our 5 ways to bond with your team during a pandemic.
Editor's note: This blog was originally published on 6th June 2018 and has since been updated.