Fun office games for employees
Albert Einstein might have summarized it in the best way: “Play is the highest form of research”. Office games create an informal atmosphere which helps to create trust at the workplace, boost morale and foster engagement among your staff. The more trust is present in a team, the more innovation will take root.
However, in our daily operation we often forget to play. More than ever we need to think differently as our reality is changing with a rapid speed. Time to bring in crazy ideas and to challenge our perspective on many topics.
So, how now to incorporate some play and fun challenges into your work?
This blog will give you and your coworkers concrete ideas to spice up your office fridays: from a quick 1-minute competition, word games to play from behind your desk to an indoor activity for all employees. Some games have a serious character, some of them are pure play. Pick one of them and see for yourself what works best in your office setting.
Can you already feel the innovation boiling?
Happier people work harder. So let’s get started!
At Sendsteps we’ve selected a top 10 fun games to play in office. When bored on fridays then your coworkers will always be in for:
- Guess who: Write down names on cards of famous people. Let employees pick a card randomly. Takes 30-second turns on interviewing the person that has a name. Answers can only contain “yes” or “no”. The one that has most names guessed correctly is the winner. One of the easy word games to play, but with a lot of fun guaranteed!
- Escape room: Get out of the trusted office environment and challenge your team with visiting an escape room. There’s many types out there as escape rooms become increasingly more popular.
- Pingpong: Prevent an after lunch dip and play a game of pingpong. The pingpong table will become a nice spot to socialize and over time a metaphor for fun in the office.
- Circle of Questions: Formulate a list of unexpected questions. Let every attendee pick one question to address to their neighbour. Like: “What’s the best memory of your grandmother”, or “What do you find the world’s most beautiful place”?
- Truth and lies: Let everyone come up with a truth and two lies. The rest of the group has to decide which of the three situations told is the truth.
- Post-It Note Adventure: Hide an object indoors and let post-its throughout the office give clues on where to search next for the hidden object. And of course: make sure to think of fun prizes!
- Tidy the place: As silly as it may sound, but cleaning and tidying together will create a crisp work environment and is an easy socializing activity.
- Volunteer for a day: Some companies provide one day a year off to together work on a voluntary project. Do good for society and in the meantime bond with your work peers!
- A movie, a story: What is your favorite movie and what does it say about you? Pick an online video trailer, show it and briefly share your thoughts with the movie.
- Personality tests: There are hundreds of personality tests out on the web. From light to serious. Pick a test that fits best and discuss the outcomes with your team.
Want to break the routine in your weekly office meetings? Let coworkers conduct a 5 minute interview with each other about their last week’s project [on itself already a valuable team building exercise in still a corporate vibe.]:
When done, let everyone give a 1-minute pitch with 1] a summary of the story of the other 2] a compliment to the other and 3] a suggestion to improve. A simple, yet more serious intervention. Want to stick to more fun games to play? Simple and indoor? Then you might want to check again our previous blog on 5-minute team building activities and other interactive fun games!
Games in office don’t always need to take long. There’s many small fun activities that only take 1 minute of your time. Imagine when you can have a laugh for a minute in all of your meetings throughout the week!
One of these quick fun office games is to appoint someone in office who picks a fun yet inspirational quote that represents the theme of team building. Your team member has to prepare this in advance and the team can take turns per week. Either start or end your meeting with the quote and then boast that the indoors company vibe!
Being in a corporate environment doesn’t mean adults can’t have fun! So time to bring in a classic. Maybe one of the most famous activities in the category group games – the helium stick!
Get yourself a helium stick, or otherwise a thin and light rod. Let the attendees stand up, face each other, stretch their arms and point out the index fingers. Now put the stick on their fingers and instruct them to bring the stick together to the ground. Sounds easy? Just wait and see!
Want to add some little team competition onto the office work floor? Then try this intellectual exercise:
Make two teams. One team defines a well-known phenomenon, person or object. For instance “pyramids”, “Mandela” or “the golden age”. Then define 5 words that relate to this pick. E.g. in the case of Mandela: “Robben Island”, “Apartheid”, “South Africa”, “ANC” and “Nobel Prize”. Now the other team gets to know the topic and has to mention within a set time all of the keywords.
Competitive coworkers might not add to the vibe at the office. It’s a different cup of tea when you’re about to play a game with them. At work “listening” is a skill that cannot be practised enough. One of the activities fostering this skill, is back-to-back drawing:
Divide your team in pairs. Let everyone sit back to back. One partner has an illustration, the other partner has pen/pencil and paper to draw. From here the partner with the illustration has to tell the other partner on how to draw the illustration. This requires not only careful explanation, but also clear questioning from the other person who is drawing the picture.
Why stay in the office? Leaving the workplace and finding yourself with your coworkers in unexpected non-corporate places, can easily sparkle new energy and ideas! Browse the web for just 10 minutes and see the big offer of great outdoor activities.
Surprise your office staff and go kayaking on a river, build a hut in the forest or plan a horse-whisperer session! Depending on your budget, you can find a lot of fun things to do. Some of the activities have a clear team building element to it. Others are simply good fun!
There’s many fun games out there [as the previous section shows]. Yet, there are also games with a more serious character. In this last section we’ll deal with a few of these games:
Ever thought of what your staff is really thinking about their work conditions? How do they experience the food in the canteen, are they happy with the setup of their office workplace and do the value either more money or more free time when it comes to it?
These or very different subjects can easily be addressed with an online questionnaire. For instance to be composed through the Sendsteps Audience Response tool. As soon as the results are gathered [let’s say over the course of a week or so], then a non-management member can present the results to the management. Before showing the actual outcomes, you can build in a moment to let the managers discuss amongst each other of what they think the outcome will be. The more serious questions don’t leave much space to call it a game any longer, but you can vary with the depth of questions and see how it best relates to the setting of your discussion. As such its either one of the more serious management games or in the end, a strategic session.
When presenting to your employees you can easily turn a serious presentation into an element of fun. Something to think about and to play at work. Consider a question within your presentation with which your office team can decide on the next subject to discuss. Or test their knowledge about the theme you’re addressing.
One of the other nice word games, is to ask colleagues to come up with words representing their feelings about a certain theme. Words that you can than turn into a word cloud. E.g. “What is your biggest motivation to work at this project?”. Attendees can send in words like “sustainability”, “teamwork”, “profit” or “challenging”