What is team bonding? 

Team building is defined as the process of using daily interactions, activities and exercises to develop a group of people into a cohesive team. Holding hands with team building, the concept of team bonding focuses on strengthening relationships among team members.  Team building, which entails uniting the members into a group through common goals, is followed by team bonding. This binds a team together, giving them a better chance of establishing positive social relationships that empower them to achieve their common goals.   


Team bonding is ongoing 

Team bonding is an ongoing process through which members become closer and build trust and communicate with each other better over time. This can be helped by team bonding activities that pave the way for employees to get to know each other better. Spending quality time together, even if this not centered around work, can help to create a sense of belonging and team spirit that leads to increased loyalty to one another and to the team. 


Here are 5 ways to spend quality time together as a team:  

 1. Have lunch together 

Lunch might be the best team bonding initiative ever. It is a fantastic way to get the team to start chatting and feeling comfortable with each other. And it encourages employees to take a break. You could have a food truck visit the office once a month, organise pizza every Friday, or you could use sharing lunch within a diverse team to educate each other on food and heritage. It provides an ideal way to learn more about other cultures.  

2. Celebrate your people 

Employee appreciation should be an integral part of company culture, not just an annual event. 

Celebrating your employees’ milestones together, year-round is one of the most effective ways to build team camaraderie. Take every opportunity you can to give team members public recognition whether it is a birthday, work anniversary or for completing training. You could give out a certificate to honor an employee’s first full year with the company or give them an appropriate gift or reward to make them feel special.  

3. Reward your people 

Just like celebrating your employees, recognising their hard work and rewarding them shows you care and has the knock-on effect of building team bonds. Employees want to be recognised for their work and a reward does not necessarily have to be a monetary one. While monetary rewards support employees’ financial wellbeing, non-financial incentives support their social and emotional wellbeing. You could institute a peer recognition programme where employees recognise each other for work well done or going the extra mile. Here are five suggestions for non-financial rewards:  

  • Allow a member of the team to leave early or take a non-leave day off 
  • Provide the whole team with a breakfast basket at their desks 
  • Reward a valued employee with a pamper hamper that encourages self-care 
  • Present them with family tickets to an event or festival 
  • Invest in their continued skills development 

4. Engage in social impact initiatives together  

Whether it is volunteering, supporting a charitable cause or initiating sustainability efforts like recycling, contributing to the community and environment can foster a sense of unity and purpose within your team. Encourage your employees to initiate or join charities or community projects or campaigns that match their interests, skills and passions. Increase engagement by making it easy for employees to take advantage of volunteering opportunities and join in with colleagues who care about the same causes. As an extension of social impact, encourage the formation of employee resource groups based on common interests, diversity or kinship. These groups can provide support, nurture a feeling of belonging and create opportunities for networking. 

5. Do fun things together. 

Team bonding activities create shared experiences. In this way, fun team building activities can help your employees connect. Although they can be tricky to implement well, thoughtfully created team building activities can help break down barriers among employees and pave the way to more open communication. This helps the process of forging deeper bonds between employees.  

Virtual t
eam bonding

Virtual team bonding activities are an effective way to empower remote and hybrid employees to build deeper and stronger relationships by spending time together. You can consciously establish ongoing virtual company events and rituals that embody your culture and vision. You can spend quality virtual time together by organising and encouraging your team members to join in virtual coffee breaks or regular lunches – going as far as to have a food retail home delivery to each employee so you are all eating the same lunch.  


Here are seven additional suggestions for spending quality time together, remotely:  

  • Develop your soft skill sets together with online “lunchtime learning circles.” 
  • Sign up teams to participate in a virtual escape room – perfect for improving team collaboration and communication that will strengthen bonds.  
  • Over lunchtime you could regularly host an online trivia game or a quiz with prizes.  
  • Take turns in putting a team member in the hot seat at the end of your “Monday meeting” and ask questions to learn more about them. 
  • Hold an online cooking course where you prepare a recipe together – each person in their own kitchen.  
  • Provide a regular online yoga class where a yoga instructor leads the class, and team members participate from the comfort of their own homes.  
  • Start a message direct team book club to engage your team in helpful reading and sharing via a WhatsApp message or email chain.  


People all need human connections to flourish, and the workplace plays an important part in forging social connections. This is why, when business leaders prioritise team bonding, they can boost employee engagement and assist in deepening the bonds between employees. This, in turn, leads to greater employee satisfaction and a sense of belonging that has a positive effect on the work environment and productivity – be within it remote, hybrid or in person work environment.  

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment