38 Team Building Problem-Solving Activities

Looking for some inspiration on team-building activities that also double as problem-solving exercises? Then look no further!

In our Management Training we often stress that a strong team is essential for achieving organisational goals, improving productivity and creating a positive work environment, and team building activities are one of the essential tools that really can make this a reality!

Designed to be interactive and fun, they encourage employees to work together and solve problems – increasing creativity and collaboration across your workplace.

So, whether you are looking to improve communication, or are just looking to build stronger teams within your organisation, these 38 engaging problem-solving activities are a sure-fire way to help you achieve your goals.

table puzzles

32 In-Person Team Building Problem-Solving Activities

If you want to implement more team-building activities, problem-solving activities, and other communication exercises into your team strategy, these 32 in-person options are all great ones to start with:

1. A Shrinking Vessel

The shrinking vessel helps you and your employees work on adaptability and learn to solve problems faster, especially in high-pressure situations.

This game involves using a rope or string to create a circle on the floor. Everyone stands inside the circle. Then, you will gradually shrink it, and everyone must work together to stay inside.

2. Blind Formations

Blind formations is another group activity that involves a rope. Instead of focusing on adaptability, though, this game helps you and your employees develop better communication skills.

For this activity, you’ll just need a rope and a blindfold for each team member.

The group will don their blindfolds and stand in a circle. Then, you’ll tie the ends of the rope together to form a circle that everyone reaches down and touches.

Once everyone has their hands on the rope, you will call out shapes (square, triangle, etc.), and the group must work together to form that shape.

3. Bonding Belt

The bonding belt activity allows your employees to work on communication and problem-solving.

For this activity, divide the team into groups of five. Then, bind each group with rope or tape.

Once everyone has been bound together, each group must move from one point to another as quickly as possible. Use a stopwatch to track each group’s time as accurately as possible.

4. Cardboard Boat Building Challenge

The cardboard boat-building challenge gives team members a chance to get creative and think outside the box (or boat).

The goal is simple: Use cardboard and tape to create a boat that floats across a body of water without sinking.

In addition to building such a boat, each team must also deliver a presentation explaining their reasoning for creating the boat the way they did. Then, they’ll put it in the water and test its functionality.

LeaderDNA button

5. Clue Murder Mystery

Everyone loves a good murder mystery, and Clue is the ultimate murder mystery game!

When playing Clue, you and your team members will collaborate and analyse a collection of clues to determine which character committed a murder.

It sounds simple at first. However, this game requires critical thinking, effective communication, and problem-solving to discover the correct answer.

6. Corporate Escape Room

Depending on where your business is located, you might have easy access to a corporate escape room.

Corporate escape rooms are businesses that allow customers to work together — while locked in a specially decorated room — to solve clues and figure out how to get out of the room as quickly as possible.

Many escape rooms have fun themes, from Sherlock Holmes-style murder mysteries to fantasy. Regardless of the theme, though, this activity allows everyone to work on collaboration, communication, and problem-solving.

7. Crack The Case

Crack the case is another version of a murder mystery game.

This activity is similar to Clue, but it allows in-person and remote employees to work together with the help of video conferencing platforms. Your team members can collaborate to review case files, discuss clues, and solve the mystery.

8. Create Your Own

If you really want to challenge your employees’ creativity, task them with creating their own team-building activity.

Divide your team into smaller groups. Then, assign each group to develop an activity that is unique to the business and aligns with its mission and values.

Not only does this challenge encourage team members to think outside the box and communicate effectively, but it also provides an opportunity for them to reflect on the company values and what they mean to them.

9. Dog, Rice, And Chicken

Dog, rice, and chicken is a silly problem-solving game that encourages your team members to let loose and blow off some steam.

One team member plays the role of the farmer, and the other team members are villagers. The farmer has three items: a dog, rice, and a chicken, which they must take across the river on a boat one at a time.

The villagers must work together to advise the farmer and propose the best way for them to transport the items without the dog eating the chicken or the chicken eating the rice.

10. Domino Effect Challenge

The domino effect challenge requires team members to create a fully functioning chain reaction machine. Divide the team into groups, then ask each group to design and build one part of the machine.

This game puts employees’ communication and collaboration skills to the test, as well as their ability to adapt and solve problems quickly.

11. Dumbest Idea First

This is another fun game for employees who need to stop taking themselves so seriously. It doesn’t require any equipment and encourages employees to think quickly on their feet.

The instructions for this game are simple. Ask everyone to think of the dumbest solution to a problem you’re trying to solve at the office.

After each person shares their ideas, you might find that there are actually some good ones that you and your employees can implement.

12. Egg Drop

The egg drop activity is useful in various situations, not just in science class. The egg drop activity challenges employees to work together to create a vessel that will support an egg and prevent it from breaking when it’s dropped from a great height.

This activity encourages problem-solving, communication, creativity, and collaboration. It also gives employees a chance to break out of their daily routine and do something with their hands.

13. End In Mind

Sometimes, you and your employees have to work backwards to find a solution. End in mind challenges team members to do precisely this.

For this activity, you’ll need to write down the steps, dates, and milestones involved in completing a specific project. Write each one down on a separate piece of paper.

Tell employees what the end result is. Then, encourage them to rearrange the pieces of paper in order, working backwards to figure out how the project was completed.

14. Escape

Can’t make it to a corporate escape room? No problem!

You can play Escape at your office easily. All you need is a room that locks, the key, a rope, and a series of puzzles or clues.

Use the rope to “lock” employees in the room after hiding the key. Then, challenge them to complete the puzzles or solve the clues to find the key and “escape.”

15. Frostbite

Frostbite helps your employees develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Crank up an electric fan to mimic an icy tundra. Then, tell your employees that they are Arctic explorers.

Divide them into groups of four or five, then ask each group to appoint a leader. The goal is for each team to build a shelter out of construction materials (paper, cardboard, toothpicks, rubber bands, etc.) with a 30-minute time limit.

There’s a catch, though. The leader has frostbite on their hands and can’t help, and the rest of the team members have snow blindness and can’t see.

While wearing blindfolds, the team members will have to listen to the leader’s instructions to build a reliable shelter.

16. Human Knot

Human knot encourages employees to communicate, collaborate, and solve problems creatively.

Stand in a circle, then ask each employee to grab the hands of two people not directly next to them. After everyone has found two hands to hold, the goal is to untangle the human knot (without letting go of any hands) and stand in a circle once more.

17. Legoman

This is another activity that allows your team members to be creative, think outside the box, and have some fun.

Divide the group into small teams of at least two people. Then, select one person to create a random structure out of Lego bricks in a 10-minute period.

When this person is finished, the other teams must replicate the structure in just 15 minutes. However, only one person gets to look at the structure. They must then relay information to their team members(s) and help them replicate it perfectly.

18. Line Up Blind

Here’s another activity that involves a blindfold!

For this activity, everyone is blindfolded. You’ll go around the room and assign each person a number.

When you’re finished, instruct the group to line up in numerical order without talking. You can also ask them to line up based on other factors, like height, age, etc.

19. Lost At Sea

Lost at sea challenges your employees’ problem-solving abilities in stressful situations. Each person receives a six-column chart that includes the following:

  • Column 1 features a list of survival items
  • Column 2 is empty; each team member will rank the survival items in order of importance
  • Column 3 is reserved for group rankings
  • Column 4 is dedicated to the “correct” rankings (revealed at the end of the activity)
  • Columns 5 and 6 allow team members to enter the difference between individual and correct scores, as well as the team and correct rankings.

Form groups of five. Then, ask each team member to rank items in order of importance individually.

Give the team 10 minutes to discuss their individual rankings and create a group ranking. When the 10 minutes are up, you’ll read out the official correct order, which goes as follows:

  • Shaving mirror (to signal passing ships using the sun)
  • Can of gas (for signalling if it’s poured in the water and lit with matches)
  • Water container (for collection and re-hydration)
  • Emergency food rations (essential for survival)
  • One plastic sheet (for shelter or rainwater collection)
  • Chocolate bars (additional food)
  • Fishing rods (helpful for catching food)
  • Rope (helpful but not essential for survival)
  • Floating seat cushion (potential life preserver)
  • Shark repellent (for safety)
  • Bottle of rum (for cleaning wounds)
  • Radio (helpful if you’re within range)
  • Sea chart (worthless without navigation equipment)
  • Mosquito net (not very useful unless you’re shipwrecked)

20. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

The marshmallow spaghetti tower activity encourages team members to work together, be creative, and communicate effectively. Each team will need the following:

  • 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 roll of masking tape
  • 1 metre of string
  • 1 marshmallow

Give each team a specific amount of time to build the tallest tower using the materials provided. It must be able to stand without help.

21. Minefield

Grab the blindfolds and challenge employees’ communication with the minefield game.

Lead everyone into an empty room or hallway. Place everyday office items throughout the room or hallway. Divide the group into pairs and blindfold one member.

The non-blindfolded member must verbally guide their partner from one end of the room to the other without hitting any “mines.”

22. Move It!

This activity gets your employees away from the desk and working together to solve problems.

Divide the group into two teams. Line them up front to back, so they’re facing each other.

Use chalk, tape, or rope to mark a square for each person to stand on. Leave an empty space between the facing rows.

The facing players must switch places. However, there are rules:

  • Only one person can move at a time
  • A player cannot move around anyone facing the same direction
  • No one can move backwards
  • A player cannot move around more than one person on the other team at a time.

coachig dna

23. Organisational Jenga

If you have access to a Jenga game, grab it and use it to develop communication and collaboration skills.

Label each block in a hierarchical order that aligns with your company’s hierarchy. Then, challenge team members to play the game as they normally would.

This activity emphasises the importance of the entire organisation working together to survive and thrive.

24. Reverse Pyramid

This activity doesn’t require any equipment. You just need your employees, who will stand in a pyramid shape.

Challenge them to flip the base and point of the pyramid by moving just three people.

25. Scavenger Hunt

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt to build a team. Divide your team into groups, then give each group a list of items to find and bring back within a set time period.

Whether you limit them to the office or set them loose in the neighbourhood, this activity is sure to get people talking and laughing.

26. Stranded

Instead of being locked in a room, your team is now locked in the office and unable to escape. Give them 30 minutes to decide which 10 items they need to survive and rank those items in order of importance.

27. Team Pursuit

Team Pursuit is an app-powered game that allows team members to learn more about each other and their unique talents. They’ll complete challenges by taking photos or videos or typing messages into the app.

Whichever team completes the most challenges before the timer goes off is the winner.

28. The Barter Puzzle

For this activity, you’ll need a collection of jigsaw puzzles with the pieces mixed up.

Divide the group into teams of five, and challenge them to compete to finish a puzzle first. They’ll need to negotiate, barter, and assign tasks to find all the pieces for their puzzle.

29. The Crime Investigators

This game is another murder mystery-style activity. Tell your team about a crime that has occurred. Then, challenge them to review evidence, decipher clues, and figure out who’s guilty.

30. Web Of Wools

Grab a spool of yarn or string for this fun and engaging activity.

Divide the group into two teams. Then, assign each team to entangle themselves using yarn or string. Then, tell the teams to switch webs.

One team member on each team will be blindfolded and tasked with untangling the web. They must take instructions from their other team members to solve the puzzle.

31. What Would X Do

This activity gives employees a chance to think creatively and have fun at the same time. Assign everyone to pretend they’re a famous person. Then, ask them how they would solve a particular problem if they were that person.

32. Wild Goose Chase

Wild Goose Chase is a smartphone-based scavenger hunt. Split the group into teams. Then, send them out into the city to take fun photos and videos suggested by the app.

video chat

6 Virtual Team Building Problem Solving Activities

Even if you manage a remote team, you can still use virtual team-building and problem-solving activities to bring team members closer together. Here are 6 suggestions that you can try during your next virtual group gathering:

1. Clue Murder Mystery

For many of us, Clue was our first introduction to the world of murder mysteries. You don’t have to gather around a board to play it anymore, either.

Virtual Clue brings your employees together to solve a murder mystery, analysing clues to identify the person with the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime. This game is a fun way for employees to work on their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

2. Code Break

Virtual Code Break gives your employees a chance to overcome interesting challenges and strengthen their problem-solving skills.

You can use video conferencing tools to work with team members and complete all kinds of puzzles and games, from Sudoku to Cranium. You can even work together to solve virtual jigsaw puzzles!

3. Escape Room: Jewel Heist

Escape rooms are all the rage these days for team-building activities. You don’t have to all be trapped in the same room together to enjoy them though.

Many virtual escape rooms exist for remote teams, including Escape Room: Jewel Heist.

When playing this game, you and your team will work together to recover stolen jewels before time runs out. You’ll have to use your problem-solving skills and creative thinking to solve the puzzle and escape.

4. Escape Room: Mummy’s Curse

Mummy’s Curse is a virtual escape room that traps your team in a pyramid with an awakened and agitated mummy. You’ll have to collaborate to solve clues, complete challenges, and lift the curse to escape the pyramid.

5. Jeopardy Social

Virtual Jeopardy Social puts you and your employees into your own game show. You even get a buzzer button to answer questions and a professional actor to host the vent.

In addition to answering questions and trying to score the greatest number of points, Virtual Jeopardy Social also incorporates social mixer challenges into each round. These challenges allow you and your employees to get to know each other better and develop stronger relationships.

6. Trivia Time Machine

Trivia games are popular team-building activities, and you and your employees can participate even if you can’t gather at a local pub together.

For example, Outback Time Machine takes participants back to the 1960s and features a series of fun, nostalgic questions that will get everyone talking and laughing. The virtual game show host also splits the group into teams and warms guests up with mixers to get everyone more comfortable.



Why Are Team Building Problem-Solving Activities Necessary?

Team-building activities, problem-solving exercises, and other group activities offer numerous benefits, regardless of the type of business you run. The following are some of the greatest advantages you and your employees can enjoy:

Get To Know Each Other Better

It’s remarkable that you can work next to someone everyday for years and still know next to nothing about them.

When you create opportunities for your employees to participate in team-building activities, you make it easier for them to get to know each other in a low-stress environment.

Playing games and solving puzzles together allows employees to learn more about each other’s personalities, their approach to difficult situations, and how they communicate.

Improve Communication

Speaking of communication, team-building activities also gives all employees a chance to work on their communication skills.

When team members collaborate to solve problems or complete a task, they get better at presenting issues, asking questions, and developing solutions. All of these insights help employees better understand each other when dealing with work-related tasks.

Improve Teamwork And Team Performance

Better communication leads to improved collaboration and teamwork.

If your employees know how to communicate with one another, it’s easier for them to come together and get things done. They’ll likely face fewer roadblocks along the way to completing projects and will have better attitudes throughout the process, too.

Foster Friendly Competition

Problem-solving and team-building activities might seem frivolous at first. However, they actually create friendly competition, which can help to motivate employees and push them to challenge themselves.

Contests and challenges can also help employees to feel more confident in themselves and their skills. If they’ve doubted their abilities, taking a break and engaging in a fun, competitive activity can motivate them and encourage them to trust themselves in the future.

Increase Innovation And Creativity

Many managers and team members notice that team-building activities and problem-solving challenges help them to be more innovative and creative. These activities allow them to practice thinking outside the box and looking at situations in a new way.

Create Better Company Culture

According to 57 per cent of UK adults, workplace culture matters more than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. Your company culture will suffer if your workplace is focused on productivity and task completion 24/7 and you never make room for fun.

Company culture doesn’t just make your existing employees happier, either. When you strive to improve company culture, you can also enhance your business’s reputation and attract talented job seekers in the future.

Increase Engagement And Improved Morale

When you enhance communication, strengthen relationships between employees, and improve the company culture, you’ll notice that employee engagement increases and morale improves.

Happy employees are productive employees who want to put their best foot forward each day.

If you invest in your employees’ well-being and provide opportunities for them to work together, solve problems, and have fun, they’ll thank you by being more invested in their responsibilities and producing better results.

Show Appreciation

Nearly 75 per cent of UK employees say they deserve more recognition for their work.

Regular team-building and problem-solving activities give you a chance to show appreciation to your employees. For example, you can use these events as a way to celebrate team members who have just met a milestone or accomplished a major goal.

Identify Leadership Potential

When you host team-building activities for adults, problem-solving challenges, and other events, you have opportunities to evaluate employees in different settings and assess their leadership potential.

It’s not always easy to tell who might make a good leader when your employees are going about their everyday tasks. When you put them in a new environment, though, and challenge them to solve a unique problem, you might be amazed at who stands out.


Whether your team gathers in a traditional office or is spread out across the globe, you can use team-building and problem-solving activities to bring them closer together, create a better company culture, and improve productivity and engagement.

So why not use the 38 activities discussed above as inspiration for your next group gathering? Or get in touch to find out about our Team Building Training where we can cover the techniques required to achieve a great team spirit – whilst delivering the fun!

Alternatively, check out our MBTI Training or DISC Assessments – both great for team building, whilst also giving you the essential tools to understand and work with your team better.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training

LeaderDNA button

Updated on: 29 June, 2023

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More arrow