Silhouette of people hiking at sunset

By Bond Collective Staff

Searching for a fun and effective way to engage your employees and encourage team-building? Office games may be the answer.

Teams of all sizes benefit from taking a few minutes out of the workday to come together for a bit of good, clean fun that also serves to reinforce the bonds of cooperation and collaboration.

In this article, we discuss the best office games you can use to create a cohesive and productive team for your business.

Office Games To Engage Your Team

Employees playing office games for team building

1) Possibilities

Here’s how the game of Possibilities works:

  1. Pass a unique item around the group so that everyone can get a look at it.

  2. Set a time limit (two or three minutes works well).

  3. Give the item to one person and ask them to stand up and demonstrate a use for the object without speaking.

  4. At the same time, the rest of the team has to guess what the person is demonstrating and what the object is supposed to be.

  5. After the team guesses the correct activity or the time runs out, pass the object to another person and start again.

If you want to make it even more competitive, divide into two teams and award points for correct guesses.

2) This Instead Of That

This Instead Of That is a fun way for your team to exercise its creative muscle on a problem that doesn’t apply to work.

The rules are simple and you can run this office game as one unit or divide into smaller teams for a more competitive feel.

  1. Make up a long list of random items and distribute a copy to the team(s). If you want to go the extra mile, assemble all the items on your list in a tote or large crate and present the collection to your team during the game.

  2. Present them with a novel situation (e.g., they’re stranded on a desert island, they have to lift all four wheels of a car off the ground, etc.).

  3. Then challenge them to pick four items they would use to solve this problem.

  4. Ask them to explain what they would do with the four items and why they chose those over the other items on the list.

In some versions of this game, you can tell the team that they have as much or as many of the four items as they want.

3) Silver Lining

Employees in a meeting planning for office games

This office game helps your team learn how to reframe negative situations in a positive light and trains them to always look for the silver lining.

  1. Divide the group into teams of two.

  2. Task each group of two with describing a negative event in their lives (two individuals and two events per team). The event can be personal or work-related.

  3. Then ask each team to share the same story again from a positive point of view (e.g., what they learned, how they grew as a person, etc.).

  4. Give everyone 10 minutes to prepare both versions of their story, and then come back together and share.

For a shorter version, ask for one event from each team (instead of two). You can also schedule time for group discussion after each story.

4) Scavenger Hunt

Among the many office games you can play with your team, Scavenger Hunt is one of our favorites.

Here’s a simple version you can play anywhere.

  1. Divide all the individuals playing the game into two or more teams. It’s best to settle on the total number of teams before you play the game so you can assemble enough items for everyone.

  2. Hide all the items around the office.

  3. Set a time limit (e.g., 10 minutes).

  4. Challenge the teams to find as many items as possible and get back to the starting position before time runs out.

  5. The team with the most items wins.

There are so many different ways to customize this king of the office games that we don’t have room to list them all here.

Get creative with your scavenger hunt and it will quickly become one of your team’s favorite activities.

5) Puzzle Race

puzzle pieces

Another of our favorite games is the puzzle race. It’s super simple:

  1. Purchase several copies of the same jigsaw puzzle (300 pieces or less works well).

  2. Divide into teams.

  3. Challenge the teams to be the first to assemble their puzzle.

Award prizes to the team that does it the fastest.

6) Negotiations Office Game

Negotiations is a variation on the puzzle race described above. This time, teams receive different jigsaw puzzles and are tasked with assembling theirs before the other team.

But there’s a twist.

  1. Before the game begins, switch a few pieces from one puzzle with pieces from the other puzzle (mark the back so you can return the pieces to the correct puzzle if the teams can’t do it).

  2. Tell the teams that they have to negotiate with each other in order to get their pieces back and finish the task.

  3. Set a time limit and begin.

Sit back and watch the fun.

7) Top 10 Items

Divide into teams and pose the same hypothetical situation to all (e.g., they’re stranded in a lifeboat, lost in the desert, alone in the wilderness, etc.).

Ask them to create a list of the top 10 items they would take with them.

Go around the room and have each team describe their list and why they would want those 10 items.

Be sure to leave time for discussion.

8) Over The Fence

With rope, string, or — if you’ve got the knowledge, know-how, and equipment — lasers, set up an “electric fence” and task teams with crossing the barrier without touching it.

To make it even more difficult, you could have the teams hold hands or tie ropes onto their wrists so they have to use their heads and work together as a unit.

This takes a bit of planning and time to set up, but the results are well worth the effort.

9) Human Knot

Employees playing the human knot office game

As office games go, the human knot is one of the more familiar. The concept is simple but the execution is hard:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle facing each other.

  2. Everyone puts their right hand into the circle and takes a hold of another hand.

  3. Then everyone puts their left hand into the circle and takes a hold of another hand.

  4. The team must work together to undo the human knot without releasing hands.

10) Describe And Draw It

This office game is a variation of Pictionary that everyone is sure to love.

  1. Sit two people back to back.

  2. Give one person an object.

  3. Give the other person a pad of paper and a pencil.

  4. The person with the object must describe it without saying what it is.

  5. The person with the paper must draw the item based on the other person’s description.

Award points for the most accurate drawing.

Workspace Affects Your Office Games And Engagement

Office space area to play office games

While the office games themselves are an integral part of engaging your employees, there is another factor that affects how your team works together — the workplace.

In fact, the office environment you provide for your employees is one of the most effective ways to foster team unity.

Your employees won’t be playing a game every day — there’s just not time.

But they will be interacting with each other within the space you provide for a good portion of their time at work. That’s where the engagement and team-building truly begins.

If your workspace is drab, uninspiring, or poorly laid out, no amount of office games will raise your team’s productivity past a certain level.

The simple act of basing your team in an inspiring workspace removes all limits and makes engaging your team much easier and more successful.

That’s where the benefits of coworking spaces at Bond Collective come into play.

Bond Collective provides everything from communal work environments to dedicated desks to private offices. You even have access to plush conference rooms to suit all your business needs.

Add to that Bond Collective’s many amenities, such as:

  • Lightning-fast internet

  • 24-hour access

  • Custom build-outs

  • Private label mail service

  • Daily on-site cleaning

  • Bike storage

  • Concession food market

  • Guest reception and greeting

With all those benefits available at each and every one of Bond Collective’s many locations across the country, it’s easy to see how their coworking spaces draw your team members together in a cohesive unit and give them the ability to succeed at any problem, task, or project that comes their way.

For more business advice and to learn about the advantages of coworking spaces for startups, digital nomads, remote workers, and enterprises of all types and sizes, visit today.