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Seven Group Bonding Activities for When You're in Charge of Team Fun at the Office

Nothing bonds colleagues like performing a karaoke duet or cracking an escape room together.
By Suz Tucker
December 22, 2021
By Suz Tucker
December 22, 2021


in partnership with

Nothing bonds colleagues like performing a karaoke duet or cracking an escape room together.

The laws of the universe stipulate that every workplace employs at least one person who is vehemently opposed to organised fun. But we'd argue that's because it's all too easy to fall back on underwhelming group activities that involve shuffling around jugs of beer or chocolate swiss rolls (both of which are delicious, mind you).

If you're tasked with overseeing team bonding activities for your office, it's time to prove the naysayers wrong with some more inspiring options that'll keep the whole crew entertained. In partnership with American Express, we've pulled together a list of local experiences that'll get you and your colleagues out of the office and embracing forced fun.

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    Take work drinks to a whole new level with a whisky appreciation tasting at one of Sydney’s oldest bottle shops, The Oak Barrel. The monthly sessions are hosted by resident whisky educator, Scott Fitzsimons, who’ll take your palate on a journey across six different styles and expressions of whisky, from Scottish single malts to the latest releases from around the world.

    This is your chance to stand around with colleagues and use the term ‘mouthfeel’ as liberally as you please. While you’re at it, you’ll emerge with a newfound appreciation of whisky as well as that distinct warming sensation that only comes when partaking in a dram.

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  • 6

    Not content with sampling spirits? Then sign your workplace up for a cooking class at Tramsheds, Forest Lodge’s buzzy dining precinct. The crew at Flour Eggs Water runs a series of hands-on courses — including regular pasta workshops — that allow the focus to be on the food, keeping monotonous work chat well and truly off the flour-dusted table. Once you’ve brushed up your culinary skills, duck into the spacious Gelato Messina shop out the front and polish off dessert.

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  • 5

    Forget those boring corporate teamwork exercises involving straws, raw eggs or paper planes. A far better way to get the team working in harmony is by trapping them in a locked room with an increasingly tense hypothetical scenario and making them problem-solve their way out.

    Escape rooms have never been more popular and have a strong focus on successful collaboration, so they’re basically professional development disguised as fun (which will make the boss happy). Social Escape in Alexandria has four different escape rooms, each with a unique theme and premise, from a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery to a bank heist with a diamond-filled vault.

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  • 4

    If your office crew is a creative lot who would appreciate a more mellow bonding experience, roll up your sleeves and get your collective palms working a great hunk of clay. Auart’s new Petersham digs offers group classes for up to eight people, from one-time sessions for total novices to package classes for enthusiasts.

    There are few experiences that are more meditative than throwing clay on the pottery wheel and few things more hilarious than the collapsed gobs resulting from a first-time attempt on the wheel. Do yourself and your colleagues a favour and mark this in the calendar.

    Image: Age of Innocence Studio

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  • 3

    A bakery course during business hours means making bread while you make bread. And if your colleagues are going to learn to bake, you might as well ensure they learn from the masters.

    Sydney carb purveyor Bourke Street Bakery offers classes that teach the craft behind its famous sourdough. You’ll arrive to handfuls of flour and leave with armfuls of warm, crusty bread. If that’s not considered a rewarding afternoon out, we don’t know what is.

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  • 2

    If trivia nights at the pub aren’t quite cutting it anymore, you’re probably due for a night on the red carpet. Make your colleagues feel like obnoxious Hollywood execs with a private movie session at Palace Chauvel, where the old-school cinema vibes will transport them to a time before movies were viewed on phone screens.

    Recruitment tip: any employer that provides staff with popcorn and choc tops is looked upon extremely favourably by present and future hires.

    READ MORE Book Now Add to Playlist
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    You thought we’d have a list of group bonding experiences without karaoke on it? Well, you know what they say: when in doubt, belt it out. Nothing breaks the ice quite like a hot mic, a splash of dutch courage and the hits of Katy Perry piped at volume into a room.

    Dynasty in Chinatown is an after-hours institution that offers an excellent selection of new and old tunes to choose from, plus an elaborate drinks service, private rooms and the lounge bar, where you can wail the house down in a room full of strangers.

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Shop small to support the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express and the Shop Small initiative, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots.

Top image: Flour Eggs Water

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