Plan Your Yearly Schedule of Team-building Events


Now that we’re well into the second month of 2019, it is a good time to think seriously about your team-building schedule for this year. 

It’s important to plan out these events. Projects start to fill up, people’s schedules get busier, and fatigue starts to sets to set in. For now, 2019 is still a bit exciting and unknown. While we have still have the ability to set the agenda and lay strong foundations for the year, we should take the opportunity.

Setting a team-building schedule also means that you are taking team-building seriously. Any manager knows that in order for a project to be successful, it has to be planned out far in advance. Goals have to be set, budgets accounted for, and dates marked out for completion. If team-building is a priority, as it probably should be, then it will require similar inputs of planning, strategy, focus, and time.

Benefits of Thoughtful Team-building

There are so many benefits to team-building besides having fun. Here is a list of some of the great benefits of team-building, just in case you need a refresher:

  • Coworkers and teams learn more about how members operate and faces tasks.
  • Management also learns how team members face challenges outside a work environment.
  • Greater sense of cohesion and unity among coworkers.
  • Formation of long-lasting memories.
  • Encouragement of intergenerational socialization.
  • For international offices with staff of different nationalities–a deconstruction of language and cultural barriers preventing 100% team efficiency.
  • Stimulation of intelligence and skills that may not be challenged on a regular basis.
  • A stronger sense of different teamwork strategies and methods of making quick decisions.
  • Creative inspiration from solving puzzles within an extraordinary environment

The list really does go on and on. There are even health benefits associated with puzzle solving and escape games.

Give Yourself Time 

With these benefits in mind, there is no reason not to incorporate Invite Japan’s team-building events into your organization’s year-long strategy. It’s especially important to think ahead, so that you choose the right event or activity that fits your needs. If you’re planning for a large number of people, it can be difficult to find accommodations and facilities that can hold everyone, let alone team-building challenges that really stimulate growth in your team. Moreover, in order to prepare custom challenges and logistics for large groups of people, you want to give the planners adequate time to prepare a high-quality event.

And Commit 

Planning a whole year-long team-building strategy will necessarily require some extra time and thinking. Sorting out which events you want to incorporate and peppering them thoughtfully throughout the year can maybe seem daunting at first. But really, it’s no different than any other management project. And it can make the difference between a one-off boost versus a long-term trend upward. Much like resolving to be healthy and going to the gym (really any goal for that matter), doing it once might feel good, but won’t really lead to lasting results. Commitment and resolve are key.

Mix It Up

A year-long strategy would incorporate team-building events and workshops into the regular yearly schedule of seasonal events and social activities. Drinking parties and trips are still important, and provide plenty of social opportunities that office settings do not. Events like shin-enkais are ways of expressing the passage of time with colleagues and should be kept. The only issue is when these become the only events that your organization puts on, and when they become substitutes to team-building activities.

Inclusivity is Key 

The are a few issues involved with only planning social events and drinking parties. The first is that they only deal with one aspect of team-building–the social side. Other components of team-building, such as cooperation, decision-making and effective delegation are all left by the wayside. Another issue is that these types of social events may not be as inclusive as people think they are. Not everyone drinks alcohol, and so events focusing (or relying) on the consumption of alcohol to fuel socialization might exclude them. Also, some members might not feel comfortable in large group settings. So there might be legitimate reasons to switch up social events and allow other means of socialization and bonding to take place.

Breaking Out of the Routine

There’s still another reason for switching up the social event routine, which is that doing the same thing year after year will cause teams to stagnate. Teams need to be challenged in order to grow stronger. That’s why team-building activities, and especially puzzles and escape games work so well. They force teams out of their comfort zones and require them to combine skills. They thus test both individual strengths like math skills and logical reasoning, as well as how the team can effectively bring together these strengths to complete the mission. Planning multiple team challenges like these throughout the year will ensure your team’s continual and steady growth.

What a Year-long Team-building Strategy Looks Like

  • Maintaining fixed seasonal and company events like new year parties, hanami, end-of-the-year parties, etc.
  • Interspersing these events with small team-focused activities for project teams and work groups.
  • Larger section wide activities to promote cohesion among various work groups.
  • One company-wide event to encourage unity and motivate everyone together.

Invite Japan is Here To Help

Invite Japan offers a wide range of programs specifically tailored for different organization’s situations and needs. For any of the team-building events listed above, Invite Japan can help you plan a team-building focused experience using puzzles and interactive “escape game” style challenges.

  • Escape Games-3 exciting games at our facility, where we can accommodate up to 30 players at once. Perfect for smaller work teams.
  • Suitcase Mystery-We come to your office in this travelling mystery game. This game can have up to 100 players at once, making it great for larger groups like first-year workers or larger departments.
  • Workshop-A short presentation about team roles to provide a more intentional context for teams. This is followed by supplemental team challenges that allow teams to practice what they learned. This workshop can be added to any of our programs. It can fit any team size, from a group of 5 at our facility to over 100 in a conference room.
  • Hidden Secrets Journey-A scavenger hunt style game within a particular city or location anywhere in Japan. Generally for larger groups and perfect for conferences. So far we have offered HSJ in Yokohama, Asakusa-Skytree, and Sendai, and are always looking for new areas.
  • Collaboration Event-This involves adding activities or puzzles to an event that you are currently planning. This is particularly good for company-wide events.
  • Puzzle Bazaar-An offshoot of one of our collaborations which has become its own program. This event brings together a number of short puzzles into a round-robin style game with the possibility of staged puzzle competitions. Again, this is a perfect fit for large, casual events where entertainment is present. Puzzle Bazaar takes a lot of the potential of larger events to have team-building involved and makes it happen.


As you can see, our roster is filled with different styles of experiences which can fit any number of organizational events. We’ll help you come up with the right event to fit your strategy for you. So there’s no excuse for 2019 not to be the year where team-building becomes a priority in your organization