Let’s be honest, there are a tonne of companies out there that have a pretty stale office life. The good thing is, we’re finding that with a lot of younger business owners or HR Managers stepping up, the importance of ‘fun’ is being emphasised a whole lot more - which is having such positive implications for the workforce.
Gone are the days when it’s just about doing the work. Nowadays, it’s also about creating a fulfiling atmosphere and fostering teamwork, conversation and collaboration.
And what better and easier way to do it than introducing games into the office? No, we don’t mean you need to buy a PS4 and sit your workers down to play it every day. But even little games at the end of the work week or to finish off a big project would be a welcome way to build chemistry between your workforce. They’re a great way to help the team wind down and bond over something that isn’t just work.
Here are 9 games that you can play at your office:
Allow individuals to sign up as cooks or judges - and put cooks into a round robin style tournament.
Participating workers must use items found in the office break room to prepare snacks for the judges. If you’re a small office - you can quickly nip down to the local supermarket to find some spreads, biscuits and other items that can be used (if you’re well prepared… You might already have a sneaky snack box from your good friends at tukr, just sayin').
Have 2 rounds. A sweet and savoury competition. The cooking competition will continue until a winner is identified.
Flash Mob Surprise
Organise departments into dance groups. The departments can vote on a song and must choreograph a dance to surprise another department with. These flash mobs can occur at any time throughout the year, giving each department or team their own time to shine.
Much like the good ol’ muck-up days on your last day of high school or senior classes - you can block out a week of the year (typically you’d want a quieter week for obvious reasons) and allow departments to play pranks on one another. The only rule - pranks should be fun and harmless but may promote a sense of friendly mischief and competition between departments. Think balloon filled offices, sticky notes all over cars, unidentified noises, wrapping everything in tin foil and much more.
Baby Picture Guessing Game
Have everyone in your team bring in a cute baby picture of themselves, and place it in a common space where people will be able to see them all. Hold a vote to see if people can correctly match the pictures to the respective person. Whoever guesses the most people correctly wins.
Plan a scavenger hunt by hiding clues around the office. Break the office into several teams, and the first team to finish will be the winner. An optional extra is adding in prizes along the way - so the first team to solve a particular clue will be rewarded with movie tickets, a free massage or anything else you choose!
Toilet Paper Ice Breaker
This one is good for rapidly growing companies that may have an influx of new people. Hand out a roll of toilet paper and allow people to take as many as they think they’ll need. Once everybody has the toilet paper, inform them that they must share a fact about themselves for every piece of toilet paper they took.
Who Can Create the Tallest Tower?
Break the office into teams and supply them with various objects such as newspaper, icy pole sticks, toothpicks, glue, tape, blue tack, marshmallows, paper, paper clips, etc. The team that can build the tallest tower in a given amount of time will win.
Avoid the Lava
This a childhood classic, so why not bring it into the office? Play a game of 'Avoid the Lava' in the office - with the objective being getting the entire team from one side of the room to the other without touching the floor. To achieve this, you can set various rules - such as only allowing 2 sheets of newspaper, allowing the use of chairs, or whatever you choose.
Silent Line Up
Have people line up in order of how long they’ve been with the company - but the rule is that nobody is allowed to talk. People will have to communicate through other means of communication in order to successfully complete the challenge. You can also set other rules so that they’re not allowed to write on a piece of paper.
Prizes for winners?
While it’s not essential to have a prize - it is another motivating factor for teams to work together better. Prizes don’t necessarily have to be monetary - but can also be experiential or ‘special treatment’.
While office games are a great way to foster collaboration and teamwork - it’s important to note that even games wouldn’t be able to help fix a toxic work culture. If you're attempting to use this as a bandaid to cover a much larger organisational problem, it would be best to look into the core changes that need to be made before you introduce fun activities like the above.