The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and the humidity is rising. Summer is just around the corner, which means that it’s a good time to start thinking about summer team building activities.
Summer is often a time when people take vacations, and where business slows down a little. This makes it the perfect time to set up a team building event for your team members. Summer is also a great time for team building because the weather is usually better for outdoor activities.
While it may get hot during the daytime, the nights are usually a bit cooler, making evening activities a great choice. And if it gets too hot, there’s always air conditioning.
Summertime has another thing going for it when it comes to planning team building activities–the general mood. People are just generally more happy and less stressed during the summer (all that sunlight, probably), so everyone is more likely to be in the right mindset for a fun activity.
FInally, a summertime team building activity can raise everyone’s spirits and boost camaraderie before the fall, when the workload picks up with the drive and everyone heads towards wrapping up the year. Summer, with its more relaxed pace and flow, presents an excellent spanse of time to get team members to bond and come together.
With that being said, in the following post we offer a list of some of the best summer team building activities we can recommend. Here you’ll find a mix of outdoor and indoor activities, with some online options thrown in as well for good measure. So no matter what kind of team you have, this list will give you the tools to plan an amazing event this summer.
1. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
What could be greater than getting outdoors, solving fun challenges, and exploring a new area with your fellow team members? Outdoor scavenger hunts get your team out of the office and into a puzzle-solving world where they have the chance to discover and bond, while being able to pick up a shaved ice or soft-serve ice cream along the way. This is what makes outdoor scavenger hunts one of our favorite summer team building activities.
At Invite we have a number of options for scavenger hunt locations, including Asakusa, Yokohama and Nihonbashi. All of these areas have their own unique charms and fascinating personalities, which players get to experience first-hand when they play. Outdoor scavenger hunts are the perfect blend of relaxed day trip and purposeful team building exercise.
2. Host a BBQ
Nothing says summer like barbecues. Which makes them the perfect summer team building activities. Spend time outside, enjoying the sights and sounds of summer while enjoying good food (and maybe some drinks as well). Remember, team building doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to plan–sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective.
3. Suitcase Mystery
What is the Suitcase Mystery? That in itself is part of the fun of the game. All we can is that it’s a suitcase filled with a series of challenges that can only be solved by working together. Almost like a Russian doll, as players solve each puzzle in the suitcase, a new layer appears.
What’s most fun about the Suitcase Mystery series is discovering all the exciting props and curious objects that appear as players go through the game. The strangeness and out-of-this-worldliness of it all gives team members something to laugh and talk about. There are actually two different games in the series, Suitcase Mystery: Classic and Suitcase Mystery: Flight Plan both of which have their own unique set of puzzles and aesthetics for you to choose from.
While Suitcase Mystery is played indoors, we still recommend it for teams looking for fun summer team building activities. Because it’s easily transportable, it can go anywhere you are having an event–including hotels, resorts, or conference halls. But even if you aren’t planning on going anywhere, Suitcase Mystery is a great choice for those hot summer days when you don’t want to leave the AC.
4. Team building workshop
Summer is generally considered to be a time for taking a break from learning and training. However, some people and teams do like to study and learn, even during vacation time, which is why team building workshops can still be great options for summer team building activities.
Invite Japan’s team building workshops include a lecture on a topic related to team building, such as Anger Management, Team Roles, or Psychological Safety. After the lecture we provide facilitated reflection time, group discussions, and a series of three short team building activities (around 15~20 minutes each), that solidify the lessons learned from the lecture.
Workshops can be added onto our existing programs as supplemental programs, or they can be done as stand-alone programs. Either way, team building workshops can give your team some educational nourishment and opportunities for shared learning over the summer season.
5. River hike
Hikes make great summer team building activities because, like many other suggestions on this list, they let you spend time outdoors with your team. Hikes also give your team members a lot of time to just simply chat to each other and get to know each other better as people. While any type of hike would be fun, the reason for choosing a river hike is that it’s easy to cool off if you get too hot. Find a spot where you can sit down for a while and you can spend a great day playing in the water, eating, and having fun.
6. Picnic in a park
A similar type of activity that gets people outside without as much planning as a hike is a picnic in a park. Simply bring a bunch of blankets or mats, and some food and drink and you have yourself a day. Picnics make great summer team building activities because of how relaxed they can be–again, you’re just spending time together and enjoying nature. But just by getting people outside of the normal routine and office space, you’ll instantly see people connect and engage more.
7. Head to the local festival
Japan is known for its myriad of local festivals, many of which take place in the summer season. Offering food, dance shows, and oftentimes fireworks at night, these little local festivals have lots of charms, and make easy-to-plan and quick summer team building activities. Go as a team, pick a spot to meet up at and call home base, and then go enjoy yourselves.
Other countries have festivals in the summer too, since the weather’s nice. So find out where the nearest or most convenient festival is and relish the summer vibes.
8. Some (light) sports
Another way to spend time outdoors with your team is by doing some sports. We commend light sports like frisbee, lawn bowling, or catch, especially if it gets really hot out, or if you have some tea members that aren’t into sports. But if you happen to have a team that’s willing, then by all means play some more intense games like soccer or kickball.
Sports make for fun and simple summer team building activities. And having some (lightly) competitive games is a good way to build bonds among team members and raise everyone’s motivation.
9. Online Team Building Games
We know it’s not entirely in keeping with the summer theme, but online team building games are still great options for summer team building activities. This is especially true if you have team members traveling to different places or countries, or if you have an international team.
Online team building games are also relatively easy to plan and implement. They don’t require finding venues or figuring out the logistics of people all getting to the same place. Which make them perfect summer team building activities, fit for the more relaxed and laid-back summer vibes.
Invite Japan has two great options for online team building. Tabitantei takes teams on a tour around Japan, while Secret Agent: The Last Mission gives teams the chance to play international detectives on the case of an art heist. Both games offer fun and interactive puzzles in unique virtual environments.
10. Head to the beach
A list of summer team building activities wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a trip to the beach. Probably when most people think of summer, they think of the beach. Relaxing on the sand, playing in the water, and soaking up the good energy all around. You can add an extra layer of team bonding to this by spending a day on the beach with your team. Bring some food and drinks and everyone is sure to have a great time chilling and chatting with each other.