Can you remember the last time your office dedicated a day to team-building games? If the answer is no, maybe these activities can inspire that to change! Otherwise, if you’re looking for new additions, this is a good place to start. We compiled a list of 10 team building games every office should try from across the internet and shared a couple of our own, alongside an explanation of how each game benefits you.
Before we can share our recommendations, there are two questions that need to be answered.
What Is Team-Building & Why Is It Important?
Team-building is the process of improving group effectiveness by organizing individuals toward a common goal. Simply put, the longer people work together, the better they can recognize each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and the best approach for new assignments. Team-building games are played to achieve similar results, but instead of having a work-related focus, these are fun games that seek to help employees recognize and reinforce social relations.
Introducing these team-building games to the office can enhance the interpersonal skills of everyone involved. They can also bring improvements to leadership skills, trust, positivity at work, contributions toward a congratulatory culture, sociability and communication, fostering creativity, attracting and retaining top talent, and provide positive recognition. Plus, these games help introduce employees to each other, which is especially helpful for people working in different departments.
Ever heard of a team-building retreat? It’s a day-long (or multi-day) event that invites employees and team leaders to leave the office and play a handful of fun team-building games. There are even companies whose entire focus is based on hosting team-building retreats! They’re in the business of helping other teams grow stronger.
Booking a team-building retreat isn’t feasible for every company, but thankfully, organizing your own team event can be just as effective. The following is a list of 10 team-building games that every office should try!
- What it Does: Boosts sociability and communication
- Required Materials: None
- Description: This game asks players to sit in small groups of four to six members and find at least five things that each person has in common. The comparisons can be absolutely anything that links them together, such as a favorite food. Talking to new people becomes easier when you discover shared interests, and this exercise can help employees feel more comfortable getting to know their coworkers.
- What it Does: Enhances communication and trust
- Required Materials: A few blindfolds, various small objects such as cans or cones
- Description: This activity is best enjoyed outdoors on a large, open space such as a park, empty lot, or a location that has a clear beginning and end. Scatter the various small objects across the area and pair everyone up into teams of two. One person wears a blindfold and relies on the instructions from their teammate to reach the finish line, avoiding the objects on the ground in the process.
- What it does: Fosters creativity and enhances communication
- Required Materials: Ask every participant to bring an object from their desk.
- Description: Participants attempt to sell the audience on the item they chose. Everyone creates a logo, slogan, or marketing strategy based on their object and gives a short presentation on why the audience should buy their ‘product’. In the end, everyone discusses which was the strongest product pitch and why.
- What it does: Improves sociability and communication, boosts leadership skills
- Required Materials: Depends on activities chosen
- Description: Seeing as warm weather is back, now is the time for an outdoor field day. Any number of team-based games can be enjoyed as part of a field day, like tug-of-war, volleyball, or frisbee. But there’s plenty more where those came from! Check out more ideas for fun activities in a previous blog post we wrote about summer work parties.
- What it does: Encourages creativity and quick thinking
- Required Materials: Any number of random objects
- Description: Similar to What’s on Your Desk, this game asks participants to be creative. Employees are placed in groups and asked to gather a random object for each member. The group members each take turns acting out an alternative use for the item, without giving any verbal hints, while their audience guesses what the made-up function of it is.
- What it does: Enhances teamwork and communication skills
- Required Materials: None
- Description: This game is pretty simple! All it asks of players is to be attentive and count to ten. How hard can that be? First, form groups of 6 or more people. The group has each member count to ten, one at a time, but there’s a twist – just one person can speak at any given time, they can’t repeat numbers in a row, and can’t use hand gestures or give hints to help others that make a mistake. It sounds easy, but it can be easy to get tripped up if just one person messes up along the way.
Group Scavenger Hunt
- What it does: Encourages creativity and improves communication skills
- Required Materials: A list of the items to be discovered. Those items are up to you, but they should be reasonably easy to hide and capable of being found through normal means.
- Description: Scavenger hunts have stood the test of time as a great team-building activity. But in the digital age, new features have been brought to the table – such as a photo or video challenge. Using your smartphone, try recording a short video or snapping an inconspicuous photo of the object your team is seeking. Then, send it to every participant or a leader among each group of scavengers; this serves as their hint to find the object’s location. Piecing together clues based on environmental details will bring out the inner sleuth in everyone. This game works best in a large, open space such as a public park.
- What it does: Promotes positivity and a congratulatory culture
- Required Materials: Whiteboard, markers, post-it notes, and pens/pencils
- Description: This activity is incredibly wholesome and will likely manage to generate a few smiles. First, write down work-related themes on the whiteboard. A couple of examples from Cake HR include “My first day,” or “Team celebration.” Next, hand out post-it notes to members and ask them to write down their experiences related to the themes. The notes can then be placed on the whiteboard and shared with the rest of the group, making for a nice reminder of the past.
- What it does: Encourages creativity and improves leadership skills
- Required Materials: Sheets of paper or notebooks and pens/pencils
- Description: In this hypothetical scenario, the group survives a plane crash, landing themselves far away from civilization. They’re given a list of items useful for survival and eventual rescue and must rank the items from most to least important. Group members start by creating their own personal lists and afterward share them with the group. After reviewing these lists, the group must then agree on a finalized ranking of the items that are most and least important to survival.
This game challenges participants to recognize opposing viewpoints and work with others to reach an agreeable resolution. Additionally, it can show how each member defends their opinion in a debate-like scenario.
- What it does: Enhances sociability and encourages a congratulatory culture
- Required Materials: At least eight cornhole bean bags, two cornhole boards
- Description: Cornhole is a classic outdoor summer party game, but if your office has a spacious indoor area, it can work just as well there. It’s an approachable and casual game that is perfect for socializing with coworkers, but if you want to make it more competitive, consider setting up a bracket to test your mettle.
By the end of a team-building event, the organizer might be wondering if coworkers enjoyed the time they spent. There are a few good signs to look out for to help answer this. If you notice associates laughing, engaging in positive conversation, or if they are eager to share photos from the event, it’s a good sign that the team-building games are a success.
These are just ten examples of great team-building games that every office should try, but there’s plenty more where that came from. If you’d like to see new posts as soon as possible, you can stay up-to-date by following us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.