Should Know 3 Fresh, Fun Ideas to Bring Your Team Together

Are your team-building go-tos stale? Likely. Freshen up with these action-packed adventures.

Kitchen Cookoff
Degree of difficulty: Degree of difficulty
After camera company Lytro restructured, employees needed some bonding time. The Mountain View, Calif.-based team headed to the Kitchen Challenge at Parties That Cook, a competition inspired by Iron Chef and Chopped. “It really played to so many different types of personalities,” says Lytro HR manager Jenny Garcia. After judging, teammates feasted on their meals over wine. “It was one of the most popular things we’ve ever done.”

Locked Up
Degree of difficulty: Degree of difficulty
Escape rooms — those self-contained scavenger hunts in which puzzles are solved in order for participants to break free — are good for more than just birthday parties: They’re also a way for colleagues with diverse skill sets to collaborate. “Our brains all work in different ways,” says research scientist Amanda Weidner, who took her team of faculty and staff from the University of Washington to Seattle’s Puzzle Break. “Even if you weren’t the puzzle solver, you still had a role and felt like you contributed.”

Survivor: Corporate Edition
Degree of difficulty: Degree of difficulty
Patrón took employees to Las Vegas’ Camp Rhino for an obstacle course, putting staffers through a gauntlet of challenges such as hanging rings, climbing walls and tire rolls. The intensity has its advantages: “If somebody couldn’t do the monkey bars, another team member would hold their legs and help them,” says Melissa Aupperle, VP of operations for Destinations By Design, who organized the activity for Patrón. “It was more strategizing how to get everyone through as opposed to finding their strongest players.”