Finding team-building activities to suit people with different interests and passions can be a challenge, so we’ve put together a list of 50 games to play at work. Whether it’s a friendly soccer match or a cooking competition, you can rest assured that these games will elevate the employee experience by shaking up team dynamics and starting conversations.
50 office games to play at work
1. Friendly sports match
Break the office into teams and organize a friendly match of soccer, basketball, softball, or volleyball. This can be done at a local park or a grassy area on company property.
2. Cooking competition
Allow individuals to sign up as cooks or judges. The cooks will be put into a round-robin-style tournament. They must use items found in the office break room to prepare snacks for the judges. There will two rounds within each matchup; a savory round and a sweet round. The cooking competitions continue until one winner is identified.
3. Hula Hoop Circle
Have everyone form a circle and hold hands and put a hula hoop on the shoulder of one of the people. The goal of the activity is to get the hoop around all the members of the circle dropping hands.
4. International Day
Give people the opportunity to celebrate each other’s different backgrounds. On International Day people can bring in a favorite dish and share it with the rest of the office.
5. Flash Mob Surprise
Have managers organize departments into large dance troupes. The department can vote on a song and then choreograph a group dance to surprise another department. These flash mobs or surprise dances can occur throughout the year with each department getting its own chance to shine.
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6. Prank Wars
Block out a week of the year, one that may be less busy than others, and allow departments to prank other departments. The pranks should be fun and harmless, but brew a sense of friendly mischief and competition between departments.
7. Secret Snowman/Santa
Around the December holidays, put everyone’s name in a bucket and pass it around, allowing each person to pick out a name. They then buy a gift for the person whose name they picked out of the bucket. Gifts can range, though it is highly recommended to set a price limit.
8. Fitness Program
Before beginning, set a step goal for the office to reach by the end of the program. Supply all people with pedometers and have them record their steps for each day in a Google Doc or Google Sheets. At the end of the program, calculate the total steps and see if your office has achieved the goal.
9. The Bridge Challenge
Break people into teams and supply building equipment such as popsicle sticks, newspapers, tape, and glue. Each team will create a small bridge that can connect two books placed two feet apart. The team with the bridge that can hold the most weight will be crowned the winner.
10. Baby Picture Guessing Game
Have everyone bring in a baby picture of themselves. Place all the pictures in a common space and give people time to view them. Then, hold a vote to see if people can correctly match the pictures to their respective persons.
11. Volunteer at a Local Shelter
Organize a day where everyone from the office will volunteer together at a local animal shelter. This can be done on a workday or on the weekend.
12. Scavenger Hunt
Plan an office-wide scavenger hunt. Break the office into several teams, leaving clues all around the office. The first team to finish will be the winner.
13. Trivia Night
Break the office into teams and host a trivia night. Each team will have the opportunity to win a point if they are the first to correctly answer a question. Hold several rounds, eliminating the lowest-scoring team at the end of each round, until you are left with two teams. Save the hardest questions for the last round, allowing the two remaining teams to call on eliminated persons for help.
14. Game Break
Host a card game or board game tournament during lunchtime. Make available various board games and several sets of cards for people to use.
15. The Egg Drop
Provide teams with crafting supplies such as cotton balls, tape, newspaper, and cardboard. The teams must create an egg holder that will prevent the egg from being cracked when dropped from a predetermined height. The winning team is the team whose egg doesn’t break and has the lightest weighing holder.
16. Three-Legged Race
Break off people into groups of two. Each pair will be tied together at the ankles and must compete in a race against other pairs. The team to finish first while remaining tied together wins the race. This can be done in conjunction with other activities.
17. Office Themed Pictionary
Create teams, making sure to break departments up. Use the drawing-based charades game to help people educate their team members on what they do. Each member of each team will be given the opportunity to draw one aspect of his or her job, whether it be a day-to-day activity or something more complicated.
18. The Human Knot
Have all participating people form a circle. After the circle is formed, people will hold the right hand of one employee and the left hand of another employee. Make sure the people holding hands are standing across from each other so a human knot can be formed. The goal of this activity is to untie this knot without letting go of anyone's hand.
19. Blind Folded Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course through the office. People who volunteer to go through the course are blindfolded and guided through the course by their colleagues.
20. Cup Stacking
Provide each team with the same amount of plastic cups, making sure to keep the amount unknown until the start of the competition. Each team must use all of the cups to create a pyramid. Then they must break down the pyramid by stacking the cups one into the other. If a cup is missing from the stack or if a cup falls out of the pyramid, then the team must start again from scratch. Cup stacking can be very competitive – check out videos online of some of the champions – they’re fast!
21. Host a BBQ
Host a weekend BBQ for staff and their families. Make sure to have several food options that accommodate a range of dietary preferences as well as games for kids and adults to take part in.
22. Monthly Birthday Bashes
Pick a day each month to celebrate the birthdays of all those born that month. Decorate the office and provide a cake with the names of all the people celebrating their birthday on it.
23. Pumpkin Carving Competitions
Host an office-wide pumpkin carving competition during the autumn season. People can carve anything of their choice, though you can give bonus points for office-themed carvings.
24. Two Truths and a Lie
Have people share two truthful facts and a lie about themselves. The other people must guess which of the three statements is the lie.
25. Toilet Paper Ice Breaker
Hand out a roll of toilet paper, instructing your people to take as many pieces as they think they will need. When everyone has taken some toilet paper, inform the group that they must share one fact about themselves for each piece of toilet paper they took.
26. Drawing in the Dark
Break the team into several partnerships. Each group of partners sits back to back while drawing what their partner is dictating to them. Eventually, they will be able to look at each other’s artwork to see if it was what they had had in mind.
In this activity, people stand in a line waiting for a message from the person standing to their left. The first person in line picks a message to whisper down the line. This goes on until the message reaches the last person, who then says the message out loud. The goal is to communicate the message clearly so that the message isn't convoluted by the time it reaches the end of the line.
28. Encourage Workers to Run a 5k Together
Put together a team for a local fun run or marathon. Choose someone to champion the project and recruit coworkers. If it’s a charity run – the company may offer to pay registrations or match donations. The team can train together at lunchtime.
29. Describe your Feelings in Three Words or Pictures
Print our several pictures and words, both positive and negative. Spread them out on a table and ask people to pick any combination of three words and/or pictures to describe how they feel about a certain project or deadline.
30. Create a Collaborative Space
Set aside space for people to collaborate and let their creative juices flow. This space can be used when brainstorming new ideas or when working on group projects.
31. Tennis Ball Pick Up
Break the people up into teams. Each team needs one small bucket, one larger bucket, and several tennis balls. The objective is to put as many tennis balls as possible in the larger bucket without touching the balls with your hands or arms in the time allotted.
32. Idea Wall
Set up a whiteboard or chalkboard in an accessible area of the office. This board is an open suggestion and idea board. People can leave anonymous or signed ideas and suggestions on the board.
33. Scenario Jenga
Personalize your Jenga set to be used in the workplace; on each Jenga piece, write out a workplace scenario that your people could potentially encounter. Each employee will pick a piece out of the assembled tower and tell the group how they would handle the scenario written on their piece.
34. Create an Interdepartmental Newsletter
Each month, department representatives will meet and create a newsletter detailing what has been taking place in their respective departments in the past month. This newsletter will be emailed out to all people, keeping them informed on what their colleagues have been up to.
35. Who Can Create the Tallest Tower?
Supply teams with various objects such as newspaper, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, glue, tape, and marshmallows. The team that can create the largest tower in the allotted time is the winner of the competition.
36. Earth Day Celebrations
On Earth Day, have each department plant a tree or break up into small groups and discuss ways that the office can reduce waste.
37. Speed chatting
Break the office up into two varied groups, lining each group in front of the other. When each person and directly in front of another the activity can begin. Allow each pair to talk for minutes, before calling out "switch". When the switch is called, have only the innermost line move to its right so everyone has a new partner to converse with. Repeat until everyone has had an opportunity to talk to everybody else.
38. Avoid the Lava
The objective of this activity is to get your entire team from one side of the room to the other without having touched the floor. In order to achieve this goal, the group will only have access to two sheets of paper.
39. Surprise Colleagues with a Gift
At the beginning of each year, buy a number of plain, white ceramic mugs. Each month, a department will decorate the mugs with motivational messages and fill the mugs with treats and snacks and gift them to another department. This will continue until each department has received a mug with their surprise.
40. Bi-Weekly Yoga Classes
Hire a certified yoga instructor to come into the office every two weeks, giving your people the opportunity to unwind and relax during a stressful business day.
41. Pasta Challenge
Break the team off into groups of two, providing each pair with two paper plates and an uncooked string of spaghetti. The goal of this activity is for each pair to balance the pasta between them only using the paper plates, without breaking the pasta.
42. m&m Sharing
Assign each color m&m a certain ice breaker question like, “how many siblings do you have?” Then hand out bags of m&m’s to each employee having them share a fact for each of the first three different colors they pick out.
43. Paper Toss Basketball
Place one small trash can at the end of a room and have everyone line up right in front of it. Start shooting the paper ball as close to the bin as possible. All who make the shot continue on to the next round where everyone has taken one step away from the bin. Continue this until only one person is left.
44. Office Coloring Table
Set aside a table in the office that is filled with various coloring books, pens, pencils, and markers. Allow people to take coloring breaks when they need to reset their minds.
45. BINGO Night
Have an office-wide Bingo night, providing your people something fun and light-hearted to do. The winner of each round gets a special office-themed prize.
46. Desk Decorating Challenge
At the start of each season, hold a desk decorating challenge. Each season will be judged by a different set of people. The winner of each challenge will receive a small gift.
47. Silent Line Up
The goal of this activity is to have all people line up in order of how long they have been with the company, without talking. People will have to nonverbally communicate with each other in order to successfully complete the challenge.
48. Water Balloon Toss
A fun outdoor activity for a hot day. Perhaps recommend people bring a change of clothes. Break your team up into groups of two, providing each pair with a water balloon. Have each person stand ten steps away from their partner. When everyone is situated, yell “toss” and watch to see if everyone catches the water balloon. If anyone drops or pops their balloon they are eliminated. Continue until only one pair is left.
Organize an office-wide tug-of-war tournament for all to participate in. This can be department versus department or you can break the office up into teams of your choice.
50. Department Show and Tell
Have each department decide on the project they are the proudest of for the year. You will then have an office show and tell where each department shares what they are most proud of with other departments.
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