Unable to think of fun indoor team building games? Here are 11 exciting and simple games that will make your employees feel like comrades.
Teamwork is a pillar of every successful company, but this is sometimes hard to achieve. Especially in today’s high-stress environment and lifestyle. If only we could return to stress less time in our lives and just have fun. Well, maybe we can still catch a glimpse of it via games. As children, we were learning and growing by playing games. We learned to communicate, be open-minded, selfless, forgiving and understanding. Through games, we sharped our skills in organizing, verbalizing and solving problems that were presented to us. The highest level of cooperation is achieved mainly through playing sports.
So why would games we use in team building in your company be any different? Well, they are not. They have the same goal of achieving camaraderie, unconventional thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, even friendly rivalry while simultaneously being fun. Here’s a look at a few fun teambuilding games which you can use at your next team meeting.
1. Memory wall
Memory wall is a game especially useful in collectives and teams where individuals know each other for quite some time. The general idea behind this game is to re-live shared memories which will bring colleges closer together and reminiscence them of the ‘good old’ times they’ve spent together. It’s sort of ‘get-together’ after a very long time.
Preparing for this game is very easy since you only need a few sheets of paper, some markers and tape. Of course, you need your team as well. A number of participants can be as low as 6 or as high as 50 which also affects the duration of this game. It can last between 45 and 90 minutes.
First of all, give each participant a sheet of paper, a marker and some tape. Ask them to take their time and think of the positive memories they had on their working place and write them down. 15 minutes should be enough. After that ask them to draw their favorite memory on a clean sheet of paper. They can do this individually or in pairs or even in groups that shared the same memory. Drawings can be precise recreations or abstract rendition of actual memory. Give them at least 30 minutes for this task. When the time is up, ask participants to tape their drawings on the wall. After you put pictures on the wall, ask for volunteers to step up and expand on their memories.
The result should be a pleasant environment and feel that reaffirms the positive relationship between colleges.
2. Spectrum mapping
Spectrum mapping is an excellent game from which you can learn about your employee’s perspective, opinions and their way of thinking about a specific topic or set of issues. This game is particularly suitable for people who are usually shy and don’t talk or express their opinion so much.
Preparation for this game couldn’t be easier – you just need a whiteboard and some sticky notes, and that’s all! Of course, people will be useful too.
Participants usually range from 5 to 15, and you will need 30 minutes to one hour for achieving a point of this game – to express views and share diverse views.
In the beginning, identify topic or topics on which you’ll like to get opinions and insight from participants. Write the topic down on a whiteboard and wait for participants to write down their ideas about the topic on a sticky note. After this is done, put the sticky notes on a whiteboard arranged along the horizontal line. Work with the group until you organize the most popular ideas on the far left and least favorite views on the far right. That way you will get a broad „spectrum “of diverse thoughts and opinions which can tell you a lot about your team and the individuals on the side. This game is especially useful if you set a topic about your firm, corporation or business because you can reveal an astonishing amount of thinking outside-the-box.
3. Shark tank
This game can be particularly exciting to play because team members get to be entrepreneurial but you can also play as an investor to pick the best proposal. Also, this game requires excellent collaboration and teamwork. The objective of this game is to present your team’s imaginary products in front of investors which are called „Sharks “. „Sharks “get to be the judges so this role would preferably be given to someone from your senior staff.
This game can be played with up to 24 people, divided in a team from 2 to 6 participants. Amount of time needed for this game is usually around 90 minutes.
After dividing participants into teams, ask them to come up with an imaginary product which will they develop together. The task must be taken seriously because every good product needs a brand name, brand slogan, business plan, marketing plan and of course financial data which composes of profit margins, market size, predicted sales, etc. This is very important because these brands are going to compete with one another for investments. Choose 3 to 4 „Sharks “and get them to come up with their theoretical background (manager of some fictional clothing firm, or owner of some F1 team, etc.). You can give them fake money from monopoly or some similar game so that they have a feeling of investing real money. Encourage them to take an interest in presented brands and to ask questions, negotiate and above all, choose the best brand idea. The winner is the team which secures most investments.
This is definitely a fun way to practice real teamwork, to inspire big thinking and to spark creative ideas in your team.
4. Back of the napkin
Another fun game to make your team work better and also to be creative but at a breakneck pace. Point is for the team to draw a solution of a problem on a back of a napkin.
For this game to succeed, you will need some napkins, paper sheets, and some pens. The number of participants is anywhere between 6 and 24, divided into teams of 2 to 4. Signature of this game is its fast pace – you will only need 10 to 20 minutes to play this game.
Think of as many open-ended problems as you can. They can be related to business, environment, products, etc. Then give them a napkin (paper sheet) and pens and ask of them to draw a solution to the problem through a sketch, graph or chart. After they do, evaluate all of the answers and pick the best one. Prizes can also be included.
The result should be swift and creative solutions to a wide range of problems while your team has worked in a stimulative and dynamic atmosphere.
5. Office trivia
Office trivia is an entirely casual and relaxing teambuilding game which focuses on team bonding. Preparation for this game is virtually non-existing, and you can play this game both as an indoor and outdoor activity.
Office trivia is all about fun so for preparation you will only need a few index cards on which you will write your questions. A number of participants is not defined and the amount of time for this game is around 30 to 60 minutes depending on the atmosphere.
Get creative because the whole game depends on you to come up with the trivial questions about work, workspace and people. Ask questions like „What color is the carpet in the conference room? “, „How many people are named Mark in the sales department? “, „Who has the most items on their desk? “etc. You get the point – get creative, whole fun depends on your imagination. After you’ve come up with questions and answers, write them down and let the quiz begin. Direct questions to the whole group and let the fun start because the winner is the participant with most correct answers. To make this game even more fun and engaging consider forming teams and introducing some „buzzers “to make it more look like a real quiz or pub quiz game.
6. Odd couples
Another great game to mix, what seems on the first look, unmixable. Every team has individuals that are very different, so the goal of this game is for these different personalities to find something in common. In this way, you are encouraging your staff to communicate and to get to know each other better. Finally, they can become a more efficient team. You will need some paper and tape. The number of participants is from 6 to 20, and you will need 45 to 60 minutes for this game.
For this to work you will need to come up with a list of different pairs of objects that, for some reason, go well together. Like „salt and pepper“, „chocolate and cheese pizza“, „Oreos and orange juice“, etc. After you have your odd combinations, write each object name from the pair on a separate sheet of paper. Tape a sheet of paper with object name to every participant back. Preferably, try to tape opposing pairs on people with opposing personalities, but in the end, this is not mandatory. Then encourage them to mingle in the group and to find out what object are they. The trick is that they can only ask yes or no questions like „I’m I sweet? “, „Do I add flavor to food? “or similar questions. After people find out what object are they, people have to find their odd pair and find at least three things they have in common.
This game is the answer to one of the most significant challenges for every team, and that is bringing different people together. A game like this can make them mingle with people they usually won’t talk. In the end, you will get a better team no matter what differences divide them because they also know what they have in common.
7. The barter puzzle
Very fun, intuitive and little bit tricky game. Point of this game is teamwork but also skillful communication, barter and diplomatic negotiations as well as fun. The only minus of this game is that is time-consuming – you can end up playing this game for several hours! But the fun times are guaranteed.
The number of participants is not defined for this game, but they need to be organized in equally sized teams. Give each group a jigsaw puzzle of equal difficulty. Then set a time limit for them to complete their puzzle, hour or two. Winner of this game is the team that finishes their puzzle first. Next, explain that they need to complete the puzzle as a group but that some pieces from their puzzle are at some other teams’ puzzle. Mainly, they need to come up with a way to simultaneously work on the puzzle and on finding missing pieces. After missing pieces are found, they need to convince an opposing team to give them their parts. These can be achieved through barter, exchange, donating time to another group, even by a merger. Point is that they decide and do it as a team.
As you can see, this game is very interactive and beneficial on many levels – racing against time, doing several tasks at once and developing communication and negotiation skills as well as learning how to function and make decisions as a group without fights.
8. Organizational Jenga
This game is designed to show every participant how the collective works, why are there so many members, departments and is also beneficial to understand the role of each piece of that collective. Hierarchies are explained as well. To play this game, you will need more time just like the barter puzzle game. Preparations should be relatively simple, only find a Jenga game, some paper, and tape. You get to decide how many participants will play.
Before you start playing, write down names of different departments (e.g., IT department, HR department, support staff department, manager…) that are present in your organization on sheets of paper. Stick those papers onto Jenga blocks. Labeled Jenga blocks should reflect the composition of your organization (e.g., if 10% of your staff is HR, so should 10% of the blocks). Divide your team into groups and give them an equal number and kind of blocks. Now the fun starts – specify the type of structure you want them to build. You can also just guide them through the process, or you can even let them create any arrangement they want. Each team must develop their own structure. After they are finished, tell them to start taking out blocks one at a time, but the structure must remain robust. In this way, your team gets the idea of many different departments that make your corporation, firm or office. Also, they can see why are all those departments and staff needed for the proper functioning of your organization.
If you still have some time to spend, go to round two. In this new round tell your team to build a structure that can withstand removal of some blocks. In this way, you may end up with a more efficient but equally rigid structure with fewer parts that can be allocated for other purposes.
9. Use what you have!
Also, an entertaining but a little bit time-consuming game. This is an excellent game for challenging your team’s problem-solving abilities as well as group interaction skills, all well packed in fun and friendly competition.
To prepare for this game, you will need to figure out where to find supplies because the goal of this game is to build something unique for each team but from an identical number and type of resources. Usually, Lego bricks work like a charm, but you can also use an extensive form of paper, cardboard, wooden blocks or something similar. The number of participants is up to you as well as the amount of time for this game.
Before you start, divide individuals into teams and give them the equal amount of building materials. Set a time cap and give them a specific building project (e.g., a castle, a house, a skyscraper…). Everything else, how are they going to do it and in what form, is entirely up to them. After they finish, you can organize a grading event to make it even more fun.
This game will get your team to work together on problem-solving, fun, creative quest with a reduced amount of options and building materials.
10. Show and tell
Show and tell is a simple game in the form of letting each team member bring something or present something that he does in his spare time as a hobby or a passion. Most people are eager to share their interests with a group, but not all people are able to make that happen. Some team members may be shy or passive, so this game is perfect to include them as well as everybody else.
Just set aside one point in your regular working day for one individual to express themselves. This exercise shouldn’t be longer than 15 minutes and you can have a question and answer afterward. The number of participants is, naturally, the number of your team members.
In this way you are going to get individuals feeling equally included and valued inside the group.
11. Penny for your thoughts
This is probably the most straightforward game to perform on this list but maybe the most intimate one. It is a simple way to get to know each other a little bit better and to relax the participants.
You just need coins that are not older than the youngest of the participants. Put the coins in some sort of a container (box, hat, pencil holder…), shake it a bit and let each person pull out one coin. Have each person share something significant that happened to them in that year from which is the coin they pulled out.
Have some fun and make your bunch a competent and happy team.