Every team is different, and is made up of unique individuals with their own strengths, weaknesses, and ways of working. One thing which unites them, however, is that they all can benefit from fun problem solving activities; games and exercises which bring each team member together, and allow them to explore strategies, think creatively, and seek out inventive solutions to a range of different challenges.
Problem solving team building activities have been a staple of corporate culture and office life for decades, and while the activities themselves have (thankfully!) moved on from the dull, unimaginative exercises of yesteryear, the principle behind them has stayed more or less the same. The great thing about problem solving activities is that they’re much like any other team building exercise or away day: they provide an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, communicate freely and effectively with your team members, and explore different skills and decision-making abilities.
Problem Solving Activities: Revealing Skills, Increasing Communication
At Eventwise, we know the power and effectiveness of team building activities and events better than anyone. For years, we’ve been innovating and hosting some seriously creative and wacky team building away days, ranging from Lip Sync Battle to Disco Dodgeball, as well as slightly more serious and sophisticated events, like our Sushi Making day and Cook and Dine. Each one has proven, time and time again, to boost team cohesion, improve communication and confidence within teams, and generally lift morale.
There are thousands of different ways to get your team to come together and start exploring new channels of communication, or to begin identifying skills and weaknesses they may not have realised they possessed. From the simple to the wacky, and from activities inspired by TV game shows to those which bring out your inner sleuth, we’ve got the team building activities which are perfect for bringing together colleagues, opening up a sense of trust and fun, and providing truly memorable moments.
For this blog, we’ve put together ten of our all-time favourite problem solving games and activities, which have been carefully created to provide the ultimate effectiveness, while also offering a superb day out. These aren’t your office team building classics, which we’ve all yawned through a thousand times before! We’re here to introduce some games and away days which been curated to get your team working together, communicating clearly, and demonstrating their problem solving and decision making prowess. What’s more, they’re all incredibly enjoyable and off-the-wall, and are sure to be fondly remembered for years to come!
1. Murder Mystery
Improves: Analytic thinking, role-play, focus
Who doesn’t love a great murder mystery? In this classic ‘whodunnit’ activity, everyone is a suspect until proven otherwise! It’s a fantastic way to really leave the office behind, and explore both your analytic mind and teamworking skills, while having a whole load of fun throughout.
This activity involves your team members acting as detectives, and following a series of clues and scenarios, which gradually unravel to point to a key suspect at the heart of a grisly murder. Your team will examine the evidence, think up the leading questions to ask, and then set out their accusations based on a motive and all that they’ve seen unfold before them. It’s the ideal activity for bringing people together, and getting them to take on different roles in the pursuit of a common goal.
2. Escape Rooms
Improves: Lateral thinking, working under pressure and to tight deadlines
Escape rooms are a craze which has been sweeping up and down the country for some years now, and it’s hard to think of a better activity for testing your team members’ mettle, getting them to think laterally, and pulling together to achieve a simple objective: getting out of there!
This activity is all about keeping calm under pressure, and working proactively against a ticking clock of a deadline. The team will have just sixty minutes to pool their resources and minds, figure out a series of clue-based tasks that will allow them to complete the mission. It’s high-octane, thrilling fun, and there’s no time for deliberation - everyone’s got to get involved, and do all they can to escape!
3. Go Crazy In Country
Improves: Logic, stamina, endurance, and teamwork
If your team members are of a certain age, they’ll have grown up with the classic ‘point and click’ mystery games we all used to love. This fun, weird, and wonderful activity is fully reminiscent of those objective-based games, and it’s sure to bring out the very best in each individual.
Bringing together a murder mystery, a treasure hunt, a photo mission, and physical and mental challenges of all kinds, your team will need real stamina to get through the quest and reach their goals. They’ll have to use logic, reasoning, and their wits to win, and there are no short-cuts to be taken in this activity! The perfect excuse to get out in the fresh air, and enjoy working together while utilising a wide range of highly transferable professional skills.
4. Spy School Challenge
Improves: Working with new devices, problem solving
If your team often need to work with new systems, devices, or technologies, then the Spy School Challenge activity is sure to be right up their street! Even if not, it’s a fantastic activity which involves a whole number of different challenges and tasks, and which requires team members to employ their finest spy skills while working together to complete a mission.
With high-tech gadgetry in their hands, the team will have to use GPS and image-recognition tools to get from one location to another, seeking out clues as they go. It’s a way to sort the natural leaders from the analytic minds, and to allow each colleague’s key skills to shine in a fun and dynamic setting
Improves: Discretion, working under pressure, following briefs
In this brilliantly dynamic and pulse-racing activity, your team will receive a mission briefing, which sets out a series of objectives, and photos of specified targets. In order to win, the teams must discreetly gain intelligence on their targets, and figure out the best ways to win... all without being seen or rumbled in any way!
In workplaces where discretion is key, and deep focus is required to work on individual and group projects, close communication and careful thought is paramount. This fun activity ups the ante by making your team members into a pack of secretive hunters, who need to pull together their knowledge and skills to choose their moment, and then strike!
6. Crime Scene: Investigation
Improves: Creative thinking, observational skills, communication
In workplaces up and down the country, team members must analyse information, follow leads, and piece together a puzzle in order to gain perspective on a bigger picture. If you’re looking for a team building activity which ticks all those boxes, and improves communication and team skills by a considerable degree, then this one might just be perfect for you!
Your team will enter an incident room, in which something terrible has recently taken place. By gathering evidence, brushing for fingerprints, using DNA samples and odontology, they will become real detectives on the trail for clues. By putting together all the information and intelligence, and by listening carefully to witness statements, they will be able to draw up a timeline of events… which will then point the finger to the guilty party!
7. High Roller
Improves: Resource sharing, working in smaller teams
Who doesn’t love a roller coaster? This highly creative activity is all about working together in small groups, before coming together as a whole to produce something truly remarkable. After all, there’s no point in individual projects if they aren’t all working side by side for the greater good.
Each small group is tasked with creating one sixth of a roller coaster track. By working side by side, and by facilitating smooth and flowing communication between each group, the finished product should fit together beautifully… and then it’s time to stand back, and gaze in awe at the results! By interacting on different levels, teams really can produce something extraordinary.
8. QUBE Challenge
Improves: Individual work, boosting morale, showing support
If you and your team are fans of TV game shows, then it’s going to be a real treat and an unrivaled thrill to get involved in this particular activity! On the one hand, it’s all about showing off each team member’s individual skills and abilities once they’re inside the ‘qube’. On the other, it’s about showing support, giving advice and passing on enthusiasm, and sharing that sense of belief and drive that leads you all towards a common goal.
9. GPS Taxi Treasure Hunt
Improves: Time management, planning, creativity
We’re all familiar with treasure hunts - we’ve been playing them since childhood. This activity, though, brings a new twist to a classic, and lets your team members feel as if they’re in the middle of a heist movie, trying to get across the city while solving clues and reaching objectives.
This particular activity is fantastically dynamic, and it’s the perfect way to enjoy a day out of the office doing something seriously off-the-wall! It’ll test your team members’ planning skills to the max, while also encouraging creative thinking, fast decision-making, and great time management. All in all, it’s a real blast!
10. Operation Chinatown
Improves: instruction following, creativity, role allocation
When it comes to real team-building environments, which allow incredible leadership skills and creativity to shine, there really is nowhere quite like the kitchen! This activity combines a treasure hunt with a cookery class, and involves teams heading off to Chinatown with a shopping list, some cash, and a map, where they’ll have to explore the winding streets in order to find a list of exotic ingredients and items. Upon returning, they’ll need to follow careful instructions, and whip up a delicious three-course meal to share with their colleagues.
Unusual, fun, and a brilliant way to explore overlooked aspects of their environment, this activity brings together a whole host of different skills, which eventually result in something that everyone can share and benefit from. Perfection!
Using Problem Solving Activities For Improving Skills, Boosting Morale, and Uncovering Hidden Talents
As we’ve seen, here at Eventwise we have a fantastic portfolio of problem solving activities to suit a range of teams, which use a real out of the box thinking and are a whole load of fun. The activities will keep your colleagues engaged and provide lasting results.
They are a really fun and dynamic way to break up the working day. These activities improve that all important morale and get you team members talking, laughing and working together more closely than before.
At Eventwise, we spend pretty much all of our time dreaming up exciting new team building activities and away days for corporate teams, and we’ve got a massive array of activities just waiting to be explored and enjoyed. If you’re interested in seeing the benefits such activities bring, we’d love to hear from you and have the chance to tell you all about it. Get it touch today!