Team events really can suck for the same reason so many other work things suck: Lack of empathy from management. I think people sometimes can't put themselves in others' shoes to see just how stupid work functions can be.
Michael Scott on the office is always enthusiastic about everything, even though it becomes a cringeworthy timesuck for everyone else.
We have a small team so it's easier but we really try to focus on things that are truly fun and not take that for granted.
One really fun thing we did was Escape the Room. It really fit the general team's interests and there was something for everyone. I doubt that would be true for a much bigger org. It worked for us.
There is a VR arcade in our office' neighborhood and I think that would be a fun excursion. Everybody can have fun on some level. It seems a fun space even if you don't really wanna try the VR.
Rock climbing was also fun. It was a chance for some team members to show off their relative mastery/experience, while others got to dip a toe into a new activity as complete beginners. It was an opportunity to root for each other, and burn off some steam.
Sharing passions in a non-competitive setting is fun and generally productive for the goal of team building.
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