You may not have time for a full scavenger hunt before your next meeting, but fear not. There are plenty of speedy work games that can build team spirit and boost morale in under 15 minutes. Here are seven fun team-building activities for work that your team members can enjoy.
Field of Trust
Supplies Needed: A blindfold, office objects such as seat cushions, throw pillows and large paper cups. Time:15 minutes
For this activity, clear out a break room or meeting room so you can scatter your objects across the space. Divide workers into pairs, and have one cross the “field of trust” blindfolded while the other shouts directions. If the worker touches one of the cups or other objects, it's game over. This game demands plenty of colleague collaboration, but it can also highlights listening skills and good communication within work teams.
Supplies Needed: Bite-sized candies, paper cups, a medium-sized plastic container, and chopsticks for every worker. Time: Five minutes
Pour candies into the plastic container, and give each worker two chopsticks and a paper cup. Divide workers into two even teams, and give them one minute to get as many candies into their individual cups as possible using nothing but chopsticks. Once time is up, workers can count up their candies and add them to a team tally to see which team got more. This fun icebreaker can energize your team and can get workers laughing and socializing to boost camaraderie. Plus, it's a good way to serve a treat before a meeting.
Supplies Needed: Various office supplies. Time: One minute
For this speed team-building game, separate your workers into two teams. Use sticky notes with team names or colors to label an equal number of office supplies for each team. Hide these items around the office. You can even place objects for both teams together in some places. Use a timer to give teams one minute to find as many items with their team names as possible, bringing them back to a designated table or other space. Whichever team finds the most items, or finds all their items fastest, is the winner. This exercise can foster healthy workplace competition while raising morale as team members celebrate found treasures together.
Supplies Needed: Photos or illustrations, pens, notepads. Time: 10 to 15 minutes
To begin, divide workers into pairs and have them sit back-to-back. Give one worker a picture, and hand the other a pen and notepad. Now, have the picture-equipped workers describe their images to their partners without using the actual name of anything in the picture, such as "bee" or "flower" for example. The other workers must then try to draw the description. After five minutes, have pairs compare their photos and drawings, and give them time to discuss the differences before switching places with a new picture. You can use this team-building game to help workers hone their communication skills as well as highlight the importance of interpretation.
The Possibility Game
Supplies Needed: Staplers, tape dispensers, and other random office supplies. Time: Five minutes
This is a good office team-building game for a smaller group, inspiring creativity and innovation. You can start by giving an object to each worker, and ask them to think about an alternative use for their object. One at a time, have workers demonstrate the alternative use, without speaking, in front of the group. Their co-workers have to try to guess the use the worker is demonstrating.
The Finish Line
Supplies Needed: Rope or cord, digital camera. Time: Five minutes
Looking for a team-building game to help get employees really working together? Consider stretching a rope or cord at the far end of a cleared meeting or break room as a finish line. Tell your team, or multiple smaller teams, to run across the room and cross the line at the same time. If one worker goes ahead or is left behind, the team can try again. You can use a digital camera to measure whether the team meets its goal. By the end of this activity, workers could have a greater appreciation of the conscious effort that teamwork requires.
The Alphabet Activity
Supplies Needed: Pens, notepads. Time: Five minutes
After dividing workers into even teams, give each team a few letters of the alphabet to write down. They now have five minutes to find as many objects in the room as possible whose names begin with those letters. Whichever team writes down the most names wins. This quick activity can really get the gears turning in team members' brains, helping to inspire creative thinking as workers start emptying their pockets, using alternative object names or even bringing things in from another room.
Try to be sure to gather up the office supplies you need early in the day, and set games up before gathering workers to save time. After each game, allow a few minutes for discussion so workers can better absorb the lesson and socialize. Stronger camaraderie is likely to follow.
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