“Team building.” How do those words make you feel? If you felt just a little bit like groaning, you are not alone. Up to 31 percent of employees have a negative perception of team building activities. At the same time, corporate team building activities have been proven to encourage communication, trust, bonding, and productivity among employees. So how do you get all of the benefits from team building AND get buy-in from employees? You make it fun. Here are just a few of the elements of truly enjoyable (and productive) corporate team building activities.

Fun corporate team building activities get you out of the workplace.

Employees spend most of their waking hours in the workplace. And while they might love their jobs, they love a break from the office even more. So if you want to create fun corporate team building activities, make sure they occur outside the workplace. Instead, find a corporate event venue (like PINSTACK) where they can enjoy fun, good food, and bonding away from the stresses of the office. Your employees will be much less likely to sneak off to check their email or be distracted by unfinished projects, and much more likely to relax into the fun events you have planned.

However, fun corporate team building activities take place during work hours.

Can your team have fun together off the clock? Absolutely. But chances are, if your corporate team building activities are a work requirement, your employees are going to want them to happen during work hours. Taking evening and weekend time away from their families, hobbies, and personal activities can lead to resentment and stress. To ensure a fun time together, try to plan your team building for regular work hours, when most of your employees would be at the office anyway (and cut them some slack when it comes to their workloads so they can actually enjoy the time away from their desks).

Don’t forget that fun corporate team building activities can include serving others.

While fun corporate team building activities can include purely entertaining pursuits (such as cooking or bowling), serving others can also be an effective way to build team bonds and help people feel good about their time spent together. For example, consider a team building with a purpose package from PINSTACK, where you can build bikes for underprivileged children, provide books to at risk kids, or send gifts to troops overseas. Making a difference together can mean an enjoyable, meaningful, and bonding experience for your team.

Fun corporate team building activities match the interests of the team.

This may go without saying, but make sure your group building activities are actually something your team will find fun. For example, are your employees an energetic bunch who would enjoy an active game of laser tag or a game-show inspired event? Or would they prefer learning a new cocktail recipe or culinary technique instead? Do you run a nonprofit organization where helping is in your employees’ DNA? Maybe they would prefer a philanthropic endeavor for their day together (Or maybe they want to do something just for themselves for once). Pick something that matches what you know of your team’s interests so they come to the event already excited about what the day holds.

However, fun group building activities also introduce employees to something new.

Have you gone bowling three times in the last four years for your annual retreat? Does your team groan when you bring up the subject of a chili cook off—again? You want to choose corporate team building activities that match the interests of your team, but people also thrive off doing new things. That is why fun group building activities introduce employees to new ideas, activities, and challenges. Ditch the bowling for laser tag; switch the chili cook off for a philanthropic endeavor, or introduce employees to a game-show inspired day. Not only will these challenges encourage teamwork and collaboration, but they might just help your employees discover new interests and talents along the way.

Fun corporate team building activities always include food.

The way to your employees’ hearts will be through food, so make sure all of your team building endeavors include plenty of opportunities to enjoy quality food. Ensure the presence of both snacks and meals, and make sure the food is good (No fast food allowed). Then your team can enjoy fun activities and good food, always a winning combination for a good time.

Don’t be afraid of adding challenge to your corporate team building activities.

Part of the goal of group building activities is to encourage teamwork, collaboration, and creative thinking, so don’t shy away from competition and challenge when planning your corporate team building activities. Whether your team be working together to build bikes for kids, concocting a delicious new cocktail, coming up with a marketing campaign for a chili cook off, or enjoying a little friendly game show competition, the fun and the success of a team building activity lies in its ability to challenge participants.

Remember that fun corporate team building activities include everyone.

Finally, group building activities can only be fun if they include everyone. As a result, when planning your event, choose an activity that everyone can participate it, and that most, at least, will enjoy. Ensure that the team building activities put everyone on equal footing with each other (unless, of course, you are pitting employees against the bosses), so that office politics and hierarchy do not interfere with people’s ability to enjoy the fun.

Creating fun corporate team building activities means making sure that your activities align with your employees’ preferences, needs, and interests. From getting them out of the workplace to choosing activities of interest to challenging your team to making sure you include everyone, careful planning should help you create a fun event that employees will look forward to year after year. If you need help finding a corporate event venue or choosing the right activities for your group, don’t be afraid to reach out to PINSTACK. Our facilities and team building packages are tailored to provide a fun and productive team building day.