Team bonding… really? Isn’t that just a waste of time? You can hear your team cry, “Just let us get to work!”
Hey, don’t shout. We hear you, but team bonding games can be entertaining, promote collaboration and even improve productivity. Games help develop relationships between people who otherwise wouldn’t say one word to each other. A little fun goes a long way to creating a more productive and friendly environment, so try these 10 super fun team building games and systematically destroy unhappiness at your office.
1. Start an Office Game Show
Admit it. When you have a day off, you promise yourself you’ll be productive, but all you end up doing is watching daytime TV. It’s okay. That stuff is addictive and fun. Hey, maybe you could bring some of that wholesome entertainment into work.
Think about it, why not break the office into two teams and have them compete like on Family Feud? If you’re really ambitious, you can prepare by surveying the office with a series of silly questions, collect the responses and see which team comes up with most correct answers.
2. Mad Libs
Everyone loves Mad Libs. You know, those dull stories with select nouns, adverbs and adjectives removed. Ask the team to fill in the blanks and then read the story afterwards. It’s never short of absurd and often very funny. Nothing brings people together faster than laughter.
3. Go Team!
There are lots of team building activities that use competition and teamwork to accelerate the bonding process. Start a touch-football league or go bowling. Get smaller teams together and have them build and race go-carts. Create an expedition to climb K2. It doesn’t matter, let the team members choose the sport or activity they like. Who knows, they might even continue doing it after their work is done.
4. Rap Battle
Biggie Smalls isn’t dead; he’s living in the hearts of your team members. OK maybe not, but I bet your team can at least participate in a rhyming game.
Have them form a circle, and turn on a background beat on YouTube, or better yet have a talented team member beatbox. Then, each person in the circle comes up with a line for a rap song. The next person in the circle has to come up with another line that rhymes with the one before it. If you can’t think of a line, you’re out. Eventually you’ll be left with two rappers. One will be crowned champ, the other doused in mom’s spaghetti.
The pressure of the performance and the improv nature of the game is sure to get the blood and the laughter flowing. Some team members might feel a little vulnerable, but letting your guard down is a great way to cement bonds between coworkers.
5. Board Games
You see, back in the dark ages, before digital technology armed people with videogames, there were these things called board games, like Monopoly, Risk and Chutes and Ladders. Okay, that last one is for little kids, but board games have gotten more sophisticated and challenging.
Board games aren’t for everyone, but if your team has tape holding together their eye-wear and argues loudly about the best Star Wars movie, then playing board games is probably a good route for team bonding.
There is all manner of games that require strategic thinking and cooperation, and not all of them pit members of the team against one another. There are board games, such as Hoopla or Pandemic, where everyone works together as a team.
6. Exquisite Corpse
The Surrealists came up with this game almost 100 years ago, but it remains one of the funniest things you can do with three people and a piece of paper. First, break up the team into groups of three. Then hand out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to each group.
Next, fold the paper into thirds and assign each group either the head and shoulders, torso, or legs and feet. The first person draws the head, the next the torso, and the last the legs. The trick is to hide the previous drawing by folding the paper, so no one can see what the other person drew.
The big reveal is always strange and often hilarious. You don’t have to know how to draw to participate, in fact, that might make the final image even better.
7. Laser Tag
What better way to exorcise your blood lust than to go on a totally harmless rampage? Enter laser tag. You just pay for the team to play, break them up into two or more groups and set them loose. It’s not only a good teamwork game, but it also helps relieve stress after a tough stretch of work.
What, there’s no laser tag near you and you don’t want to spend the money and the team doesn’t want to spend their free time mixing with their coworkers? Okay, don’t worry, just buy a couple of Nerf guns and have a lunchtime duel or a morning office battle to let off steam and have some fun.
8. Music Soothes the Soul
What is a rock band other than a group of individuals working together towards a single goal? To play music with any group involves active listening and teamwork. Everyone needs to pull their own weight. Try it at your office and the result will be beautiful music, or maybe just fun-fueled noise.
Probably a lot of people on your team play an instrument, and the rest of them can sing to some extent. If they can’t do either, then they can always dance! Rent a practice space or just use the office. If there’s someone who is just not at all musical, have them run the tape recorder, create flyers for the jam sessions or just be a groupie. No, wait, scratch that last one.
9. Have a Party
While it’s a good policy to celebrate the end of a successful project, why stop there? Often the best way to get people to work well together is to get them feeling comfortable with one another. What’s more casual than a party? Office parties can often be stressful, so work to make this one relaxed and about getting to know people. Go to a pizzeria or have food brought in. Let people play their favorite songs. Keep it low-key and just have fun.
10. Let the People Decide
Rather than enforce fun, like some facist Richard Simmons, give the team ownership of the process. What would they like to do? Get everyone talking. Have them take turns. Give one week to each person to lead the fun brigade. This engages the team, makes everyone feel important and will probably elicit some pretty wild suggestions.
Once you have that team working like a well-oiled machine, you’ll want to give them the best set of tools to get the job done. That’s where ProjectManager.com comes in handy. Our cloud-based project management software gives them a collaborative platform to take that team building to the next level. See how it can foster more cooperative teams by trying our software for free for 30 days.