14 Communication Team Building Activities

Learning how to communicate better is crucial. Check out these 14 communication team building games to learn more.
14 Communication Team Building Activities
Effective communication is one of the key elements of professional success. Team members who lack effective communication skills face bigger barriers and obstacles than those who don’t (The Economist).

Fostering and improving communication inside the workplace is not only advisable, but necessary.

However, both in-person and remote teams might not feel engaged enough to boost their communication skills by themselves.

That’s where communication games come into the scene - today, let’s take a deep look at the 14 best communication team building activities that positively impact many aspects of the workplace. 

Corporate colleagues playing at the office

Why Are Communication Team Building Activities Important?

Fun team-building activities offer benefits to both companies and team members alike, but enhancing a fun game with an "extra layer" significantly amplifies its advantages and strengthens cohesion.

In this case, the “extra layer” refers to turning a basic team building activity into a communication activity, but what are the benefits of doing this?

1. Improve Communication Skills

Having good communication in the workplace is not always easy.

This is a two-way problem as 69% of managers are uncomfortable when communicating with their employees, so it does not affect team members only. 

Open communication is the key to success - teams that communicate better and more engaged employees produce better professional outcomes, treat customers better, and are more likely to continue working at an organization (Gallup).

A great communication team building activity has the goal of improving the communication skills of the whole team, including team leaders and managers.

2. Reduced Conflicts and Misunderstandings in the Workplace

A purposeless group discussion can have harmful outcomes within companies, potentially leading to poor results.

Poor communication leads to employee burnout and heavily decreased productivity, according to Pumble.

But that’s not all - a study by SHRM titled “The Cost of Poor Communication” shows us how misunderstandings and lack of a team’s communication skills can negatively impact the earnings of a company.

By implementing communication team building exercises, it’s easier for teams to get to know each other and prevent these unfortunate scenarios.

3. Better Productivity and Results Through Teamwork

Great communication is directly tied to improved productivity.

According to SalesForce, 86% of executives and employees think the lack of effective collaboration and communication skills are the main causes of workplace failure.

Additionally, a research paper by CMS Wire demonstrates how productivity can be increased by up to 30% when team members are offered better communication technology and skills.

Communicating effectively is not optional these days - educating and forming groups that know how to communicate with each other creates a winning team in any professional domain.

14 Communication Team Building Activities

Beyond just improving communication skills, communication games are meant to be didactic, dynamic, and very engaging.

The following 14 communication activities for teams are fun, suitable for different group sizes, and can be easily implemented in different workplace settings.

1. Squid Game

“Squid Games,” the popular Netflix TV show, can now be brought straight into the workplace thanks to Teamland’s Squid Game.

This online game consists of sorting out different challenges related to the TV show (no violence is included).

By dividing team members into two teams (or more), they need to communicate effectively to become the last-standing team.

This is one of the most fun team building activities as it feels like playing a video game together where communication skills are vital to win.

  • Best For: Fostering communication and team bonding.
  • Group Size: Medium-sized remote groups, but it also suits a larger group (100+ team members).
  • Activity Duration: 1 hour.

2. Amazing Race and City Hunt

Learning the value of teamwork by participating in scavenger hunts it’s always fun, but let’s go one step beyond and go on a City Hunt, a unique experience tailored to your team’s specific city.

City Hunt is a virtual or in-person event where team members will need to solve riddles and mysteries as they explore a city of their choice.

If you want to make things even more interesting, the Amazing Race game is like a City Hunt, but with more challenges, materials, and mysteries to solve.

The Amazing Race has a blindfold eating challenge where participants improve their cooperation skills through communication. Let Teamland prepare these experiences for you and enjoy the benefits of communication team building activities.

  • Best For: Learning new communication methods and team working.
  • Group Size: Small, medium, and big-sizes in-person and remote groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 3 hours.

3. Back-to-Back Drawing

Back-to-back drawing consists of making team members pair up to test their communication games.

One team member will have a picture, and the other a blank piece of paper with pencils and colors.

The team member with the picture must explain the image they are holding in as much detail as possible so their coworker can draw it. Then, the host will give the final instruction to show the different drawings to the whole group.

As a team presents the final drawing, the host will compare it to the original picture to see how similar they look to each other. 

  • Best For: Enhancing listening and instruction-giving abilities.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 1:30 hours.

4. Business Communication Workshop

Learning the basics of business communication helps team members to perform better in important meetings and company events.

Teamland’s business communication workshop shows team members all the skills and strategies to improve their business communication abilities.

The activity is hosted by an expert, and it works great for learning a new ability and improving the different communication aspects inside the office.

  • Best For: Develop strong communication skills.
  • Group Size: Medium-sized groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.

5. Acting Emotions

Acting Emotions consists of grabbing different cards or pieces of paper and writing one emotion (sadness, happiness, surprise) in each of them.

The cards will randomly be assigned to team members, who need to form groups of 3-4 individuals. One member of the group must act at least one emotion, and the others need to correctly guess what emotion they are acting up

Reading facial expressions and paying attention to the actions of their coworkers is the only way to win this game, which directly improves the nonverbal communication skills of all participants. 

  • Best For: Develop emotional intelligence.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

6. Mirror

Mirror is a fairly simple yet highly effective communication game. Team members will pair up - a group leader will move without speaking, while the other needs to mirror their movements.

After a while, the host will ask them to change roles. As minutes pass, participants will find out that communicating non-verbally is easier when paying attention.

Non-verbal communication inside the workplace is very important, so developing non-verbal communication skills is vital to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts in the office.

  • Best For: Improving nonverbal communication skills.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized in-person groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

7. Lip Reading Liars

Lip Reading Liars is a fun, engaging, and interesting game that consists of dividing team members into groups of 4 people.

Two players will perform a scene without saying a word - they just can move their lips and perform without talking.

The other two team members will try to guess what the scene is about. By doing so, they learn how to interpret body language and non-verbal communication methods. 

One of the best things about Lip Reading Liars is that this game works for both in-person and remote teams via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.

  • Best For: Practicing communicating through body language.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized remote and in-person teams.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 1:30 hours.
Communication team building at the office

8. Zen Counting

To play Zen Counting, place each team member in a circle facing away from each other. Make them close their eyes and start counting from one to ten (each member has to say only one number).

As team members enter a relaxation state, they need to continue counting accurately without messing up the current count. If someone says the wrong number, the activity starts over.

Zen Counting teaches the importance of active listening, which is vital for enhancing communication skills.

  • Best For: Improving listening skills.
  • Group Size: Small in-person groups (up to 15 people).
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

9. Instant Artist

We all have some degree of creativity within us, and unleashing our inner artist is easier by participating in Teamland’s Instant Artist team building experience.

In Instant Artist, participants will be provided with painting materials and work together to create a unique piece of art.

The only limits are imagination - as members communicate with each other, the painting results can be as unique, strange, and unpredictable as possible.

  • Best For: Strengthen communication skills among coworkers.
  • Group Size: Medium and big-sized in-office groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.

10. Telephone

Telephone is a classic communication game that consists of making players line up. The first member of the row will say a phrase only once, and the next member should repeat the phrase to the ear of their coworkers as they hear it.

After five or ten minutes, the message should arrive at the last member of the row.

Then, they must say the phrase out loud to see if it matches the original meaning of the message.

This simple game teaches the importance of careful listening and clear communication, which makes it one of the best communication games to play in the office.

  • Best For: Learning the importance of clear communication and careful listening.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized in-office groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

11. Build a Bridge

Building a bridge is an experience that consists of crafting a homemade bridge with standard materials.

To make this game interesting, it is advisable to have at least three teams with the same number of participants.

Each group will build half a bridge (if there are two groups) or one-third of a bridge (if there are three groups).

Teamland provides all the required materials for the Bridge Build experience, and team members need to collaborate with each other to achieve the best possible result.

Also, communicating with their partner group is possible as the goal is to practice communicating and collaborating with others.

  • Best For: Boosting collaboration skills through effective communication.
  • Group Size: Medium and big-sized in-person groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 2 to 4 hours.

12. Charades

They say body language speaks louder than words - we all have played charades, and now, we can take advantage of the benefits provided by this game inside the office.

Playing charades is simple - participants divide into small groups, and they take turns acting while others try to guess the phrase.

The team that gets the correct answer first wins. Charades is one of the best experiences to foster great communication inside the office, both verbal and non-verbal.

  • Best For: Developing non-verbal and verbal communication skills.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized groups, both remote and in-office.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 1:30 hours.

13. This or That Guessing

“This or That” guessing, also referred to as “Tree or Bob Ross?” Because it consists of asking “this or that” questions to find an answer, it is a game where participants must try to guess an object using as few words as possible.

A team member will think about an item, for example, an apple. Then, the rest of the participants will ask “This or That” questions to guess the answer.

In this case, they can ask, “Car or Vegetable?” and the closest thing to apples would be vegetables.

The game continues until someone guesses the right answer. By limiting questions to only a few words, team members learn more straightforward ways to communicate their ideas.

  • Best For: Learning how to convey a message shorter and clearer.
  • Group Size: All kinds of groups (remote and in-office).
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

14. Another Way to Say

Another Way to Say is a simple yet highly engaging game that works to develop a larger vocabulary.

Gather all team members (remote or in-person), and throw different phrases so they can find at least one different way of saying that phrase.

For instance, for “paid time off,” another way to say this would be “vacation days,” “leave with pay,” and so on.

Team members cannot repeat phrases that have already been said, which challenges them to improve their vocabulary skills.

  • Best For: Developing varied vocabulary.
  • Group Size: Medium-sized online and in-office groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Summary: Best Communication Activities for Work Teams

It’s clear that the best communication exercises greatly improve communication skills, listening abilities, and even leadership skills of whole groups, both remote and in-person.

Team building activities provide a substantial ROI for companies in different industries (The ROI Institute), and by mixing them with communication games, the final outcome is extremely beneficial for everyone.

This is a summary of the 14 best communication games for work teams:

  1. Virtual Squid Game
  2. Blindfold Race
  3. Back-to-Back Drawing
  4. Business Communication Workshop
  5. Acting Emotions
  6. Mirror
  7. Lip Reading Liars
  8. Zen Counting
  9. Instant Artist
  10. Telephone
  11. Build a bridge
  12. Charades
  13. This or That Guessing
  14. Another Way to Say

Author Details

Written by:
Najeeb Khan
Head of Training & Events
Leadership Development, Team Training, Belonging, Diversity & Inclusion, & Innovation
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