As pc/nametag's in-house Word Wizard, Meaghan creates educational content that brings people together and drives meaningful conversations in the events industry.
Does the thought of playing staff meeting games make you cringe? If so, we get it. Playing icebreakers and corporate games is not everyone’s cup of tea. But the good news is that team bonding doesn’t have to be awkward. We’re saying goodbye to boring office games that everyone dreads!
Here’s a list of eighteen activities managers and leadership teams can use to build trust, improve employee engagement, and create familiarity among colleagues—without the cringe. 😉
Implement office meeting games like these at your next department stand-up, company update gathering, or, dare we say, just for fun.
Table of Contents
- 5-minute team office games
- 1-hour team meeting games
- Workplace spirit week ideas
- Free Guide: Employee Engagement Toolkit
5-Minute Office Games for Work Meetings
1. Name that Logo
Split staff members into teams. Give each team a sheet of a dozen semi-popular logos. Set the timer for five minutes, instructing players to take their best guess at each logo. The team that guesses the most companies correctly wins. You can make this game even more educational by including logos of popular companies or organizations related to your industry.
2. Survive the Island
Tell participants that they are about to be stranded on a deserted island for a week. Each person is allowed to bring one item with them. After splitting into groups, each person must briefly explain why they chose their item and how they play to use it on the island. Teams must work together to devise a plan of how they will use all items to survive. May the best survival plan win!
3. Paper Tower Frenzy
With just a few sheets of paper, give teams five minutes to build the tallest paper tower they can. Teams are not allowed to use tape, glue, or any other materials. Instead, they must work together to roll, fold, and tear their pieces of paper to create their masterpiece. When time is up, measure the height of each tower and select a winner. This game can also be played with dried spaghetti and marshmallows instead of paper.
4.6-Degree Connection Challenge
This game is all about making connections and pushing your team to tackle a difficult problem in a creative way! Put everyone into small groups, then give each group two random items that are not closely related. Within five minutes, teams must work together to discuss how item #1 connects with item #2 in six degrees or less. Once time is up, a judge decides whether the connections make sense.
5. People Bingo
Make a custom bingo square with categories like “Someone with blue eyes,” “Someone who plays piano,” “Someone who’s been to Mexico,” and “Someone who has an older sibling.” Players must fill out their cards by asking others whether an attribute applies to them. The first person to achieve Bingo wins! Make the game harder with difficult attributes, like “Find someone who dislikes your favorite food.”
This employee networking idea is a great way to help improve company culture. If you're looking for game square inspiration, check out our Company Kick-off Bingo Card example:
6. Paper Airplane Contest
The Paper Airplane Contest is a playful way to encourage creativity and friendly competition among employees. Provide each employee with a piece of paper and set a time limit (e.g., 5 minutes) for them to design and construct their paper airplanes. Then, gather everyone in a large open area and have a contest to see whose paper airplane can fly the farthest or perform the best tricks. Award prizes to the winners.
7. Emoji Pictionary
Emoji Pictionary is a modern twist on the classic game, challenging employees to guess phrases or movie titles using only emojis. Prepare a list of phrases, company-related terms, or popular movie titles, and translate them into emoji form. Display the emojis on a screen or a whiteboard. Employees take turns guessing the correct answers. The person with the most correct guesses wins a prize.
8. Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is a classic icebreaker game that helps employees get to know each other better. Ask each employee to come up with two true statements and one false statement about themselves. In a group setting, each person takes turns sharing their three statements, and the rest of the group tries to guess which one is the lie. It's a fun way to learn interesting facts about coworkers.
9. Jenga Icebreaker
Jenga Icebreaker combines the excitement of the classic Jenga game with icebreaker questions to encourage team bonding. Tape slips of paper with icebreaker questions on the blocks of a Jenga game. During the game, when someone pulls a block, they must answer the question written on it. This helps facilitate conversations and connections among employees while playing the game.
1-Hour Team Meeting Games
1. Protect the Egg
The egg drop contest involves creating a device that can successfully keep a raw chicken egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height. Split staff members into two or more teams. Give each team a limited amount of time to design and construct a contraption to protect their egg. Provide various materials to use, like cardboard, toilet paper, recycling materials, rubber bands, glue, tape, string, balloons, popsicle sticks, and bubble wrap. Don’t forget to lay down a tarp before testing!
2. Convince the Sharks
In this game inspired by the television series Shark Tank, put everyone into small groups and have them create a fun product pitch for a panel of “investors” (I.e., the Sharks). The goal of this game is to have team members take turns convincing the Sharks that their idea is brilliant enough to invest in. Groups get one hour to create a slide deck, draw a diagram, create a skit, or otherwise prepare their spoken pitch to win their deal. Products can be as silly or serious as groups want.
3. Create For a Cause
This activity is perfect for organizations looking to give back to their communities. Have your entire team work together to build or create something unique that can be donated to a local non-profit organization. For example, your team could build a “free little library,” construct a wooden bench, plant trees, paint a mural, or design cards for a local hospital or nursing home. We love this activity because it allows everyone to see the positive impact their teamwork has had.
4. Sneak a Peek
Have a “game master” use LEGOs, modeling clay, building blocks, or art materials to craft an object or structure. Divide your team into groups, then have one member of each team “sneak a peek” at the hidden object/structure for 10 seconds. After taking mental notes, the peeking person must return to their group and describe what they saw. The group can start recreating the structure based on what the person saw.
If the structure is not complete after a minute of building, send another member of your group to once again “sneak a peek.” Return to your group and give more directions. This rotation continues until the group feels confident that they have recreated the structure. The winner of this game is the first group to successfully recreate the object. This game is best played in short lightning rounds.
5. Taste Maker Match-up
Before the game begins, create a list of food pairings that go well together, such as the following:
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Salt and pepper
- Cheese and crackers
- Bacon and eggs
- Grilled cheese and tomato soup
- Cookies and milk
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Burger and fries
- Cake and ice cream
- Coffee and donuts
- Butter and popcorn
- Chips and salsa
Write each individual food on a piece of paper, then tape one sheet to each person’s back. Ask participants to mingle with the group. Not only must they identify what is written on their backs, but they also must identify their food pair. The only rule is they can only ask yes/no questions (I.e., "Am I a breakfast food?” “Am I a food that is served cold?"). Have attendees carry notepads to take notes.
6. Office Trivia Challenge
Office Trivia Challenge is a fun and interactive game that tests employees' knowledge of company history, culture, and quirky facts. Create a set of trivia questions related to the company's milestones, products, founders, or inside jokes. Divide employees into teams and host a trivia competition using a game show-style format. The team with the most correct answers wins prizes or bragging rights.
7. Office Charades
Office Charades is a hilarious game that promotes communication and creativity. Prepare a list of work-related phrases, office jargon, or company names and write them on separate pieces of paper. Divide employees into two teams. Each team takes turns sending a representative to act out the word or phrase without speaking while the rest of the team tries to guess what it is. The team with the most correct guesses wins.
8. Desk Decoration Contest
The Desk Decoration Contest allows employees to showcase their creativity and personal style by decorating their workspaces. Set a theme for the contest (e.g., holiday-themed, favorite movie, or futuristic). Employees have a designated time to decorate their desks based on the theme. A panel of judges or a company-wide vote determines the winner, who receives a prize or a trophy for the best-decorated desk.
9. Minute to Win It Challenges
Minute to Win It Challenges are a series of quick and entertaining games that test employees' dexterity, coordination, and problem-solving abilities. Set up various challenges with common office supplies or simple items. For example, the "Stack Attack" challenge requires participants to stack cups into a pyramid using one hand in under a minute. Award points to employees who successfully complete each challenge, and the person with the most points at the end wins a prize.
Workplace Spirit Week at the Office
From themed days to spirit-raising activities, silly games, and friendly competitions, workplace spirit week has the potential to help teams build cohesion, solve problems, celebrate accomplishments, and strengthen company culture.
Workplace spirit week involves five business days (or all seven days) of employee engagement activities in which teams, departments, or companies gather to have fun and strengthen bonds with their peers.
Like high school spirit week, workplace spirit week can help your team form fond memories of a time when work was put on pause so everyone could have fun. Plus, who doesn't enjoy looking forward to a week full of fun and friendship? Themed activities are a go-to strategy for promoting work/life balance, showing appreciation to employees, and reducing employee burnout.
Fun Games for Work Meetings: Recommendations from Readers
Incorporating office meeting games into the work week can quickly liven up the office atmosphere and boost team spirit. We hope you've enjoyed the previous game ideas we shared. Now, we'd love to hear from you—what are your favorite games for work meetings?
Whether it's an icebreaker, a team-building activity, or a creative brainstorming game, we want to know what gets your team excited and engaged. Leave a comment below and share your go-to games for work meetings.
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