It can be a daunting challenge to find the perfect team-building activity that challenges employees to think differently while fostering new bonds with colleagues. But while there’s a wealth of choice on your doorstep in London, the stereotypical trust falls and three-legged races won’t cut it for agile, innovative teams that crave unique experiences.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite team-building options in London that subvert the stereotypical. These inspired picks range from escape rooms to go-karting, accommodating teams of every size and type.
Team-building activities for small groups
If your team is on the smaller side, try opting for an activity that supports intimate interactions. These options are best for teams under 10 people, and if you’re lucky, your colleagues will walk away with a new understanding of the people they talk to every day.
Get to know London better with a treasure hunt
HiddenCity is a real-world adventure game that takes teams on a treasure hunt around the city, with a bread-crumb trail of clues and riddles that guides players down hidden alleyways and overlooked side streets. Taking place entirely over text message, it’s a fascinating way to get to know London, and even those who’ve lived here their entire life will appreciate the city from an entirely new perspective.
Team sizes are small, but multiple teams of five people can play at once. We recommend the Sherlock Holmes–themed “Moriarty’s Game” in Marylebone, a three-hour challenge (don’t worry, there are pub breaks along the way) that encourages players to work together to track down the villain’s safe house.
Go beyond happy hour by mixing cocktails with mini golf
Situated on the doorstep of the Gherkin, Swingers is a moodily lit, 1920s-themed bar that combines two of life’s greatest pursuits: crazy golf and cocktails. Inside you’ll find two nine-hole mini-golf courses and, once you’ve tired of navigating miniature windmills and petite water hazards, your team can toast the winner on the gin terrace of the bar’s two-story clubhouse.
Friendly staff will serve you drinks on the green, and live DJs ensure the vibe never becomes sedate, though you might want to go easy on the margaritas if you want to stay under par.
Boost your problem-solving skills with an escape room
Escape rooms are a great way to build your team’s logic and problem-solving abilities under a strict time limit, as they demand both individual leadership skills and intense teamwork to succeed. Adventox Escape Rooms, next to Shepherd’s Bush tube station, offers two rooms of varying difficulty, in which teams of up to six players must work together to discover clues and solve a series of puzzles in under 60 minutes.
Escape room veterans should try the challenging “Escape from Alcatraz” scenario, which splits the team into two cells and forces them to work together to escape the prison island.
Team-building activities for medium-sized groups
If your team is between 10 and 20 people, you might want a bigger space that lets employees mingle and expand their social circle. These unconventional challenges are sure to spark conversation among colleagues who don’t normally interact.
Tap into your team’s competitive side with go-karting
Put your foot down and challenge your teammates at TeamSport Go Karting, a multilevel, 800-meter indoor track by Tower Bridge. Set across two floors, the course is packed with hairpin bends, daunting corners, and a long straight on which your electric kart can reach top speeds of up to 40 mph.
This is an ideal activity for teams with a strong competitive spirit, as racers battle under pressure and go tire to tire to shave seconds off their lap times. For team-building days, the venue offers a meeting room for post-race debriefings (or celebratory speeches), a winner’s podium from which to spray your champagne, and catering packages for peckish drivers.
Let off some steam with ax throwing
If your team is finding it difficult to get motivated ever since Game of Thrones ended, why not rekindle the medieval vibe with a day of urban ax throwing?
A four-minute walk from Vauxhall tube station, Whistle Punks offers teams of up to 12 people one and a half hours of hurling sharp objects at wooden targets. A trained instructor is on hand to give a full safety briefing, ensuring everyone leaves with all of their fingers, as well as coach you on all of the latest throwing styles and techniques. It’s a surprisingly addictive afternoon of fun, and a perfect way for teams to let loose with one another.
Team-building activities for large groups
It can be difficult to keep dozens of people engaged with a single activity, which means that groups of 40 or more will require strategic planning. Let the venue do all the heavy lifting by choosing an activity that’s well-suited to entertaining bigger teams.
Take over a Ping-Pong nightclub
Until now a uniquely American phenomenon, beer pong is finally making its grand debut in London. Bounce, a happening Ping-Pong nightclub in Farringdon, takes things to the next level, adding projection technology, app connectivity, and ball-tracking software to create a digitally enhanced version of the classic college party game that can accommodate 40 or more people.
Bounce also offers an award-winning range of team-building activities that pair your team with their very own Game Guru, a comedian and entertainer who’ll organize group games across different skill levels and assist less experienced players—all while encouraging teamwork and cooperation.
Keep everyone engaged with laser tag
Nothing builds communication skills quite like crouching behind a tree with your colleagues while cowering from lasers. A short train ride south from London Bridge station, Go Laser Tag London is the closest forest laser-tag activity to the city.
It offers teams the opportunity to work with and against one another, either in direct combat or in pursuit of a shared objective in a sprawling, natural outdoor environment. Since Go Laser Tag can accommodate up to 140 players, it’s great for bringing together very large teams, and offers a variety of different laser-tag rifles and game modes to choose from. Better still, as the game is played with lasers rather than paintballs, your team will leave with happy memories rather than purple bruises.
For more tips on growing and inspiring teams, check out all our articles on Ideas by We.
Steve Hogarty is a writer and journalist based in London. He is the travel editor of City AM newspaper and the deputy editor of City AM Magazine, where his work focuses on technology, travel, and entertainment.