8 office games to help improve employee satisfaction

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Office games are a great way to develop relationships between employees and improve office morale. Regular activities can have a positive effect on employee output and the overall atmosphere within the workspace. Discovering new ways to introduce team-building exercises at work can help you to keep employees happy and promote a friendly and productive atmosphere. In this article, we explain how office games can benefit the workplace and list eight team-building activities.

Why play office games?

Office games are a great way to raise morale and ensure that employees enjoy working for the company. There are numerous benefits to having happy, satisfied employees. These employees are more likely to stay with the company for a long period, produce quality work and seek promotion and development.

Make sure that team-building activities don't interfere with work or deadlines. Pick the right type of game depending on the industry and the organisational culture of the company. There's a range of games and activities to choose from, so you can easily find something that suits your workplace and team. Consider asking employees what activities they'd like to do. This is usually the easiest way to find an activity that appeals to everyone. Games that focus on working together as a team are especially beneficial.

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8 games for the office

Here are some fun activities you can implement in the workplace:

The paper plane

Making a paper plane is something that most people know how to do with varying degrees of success. It's a simple game where the plane that flies the farthest wins. Employees can compete individually, but competing in teams allows them to co-operate on new designs and features and creates a competitive spirit. It also encourages communication, teamwork and innovation. You can award prizes to the winning person or team for the longest distance flown, best design or most clever name.

This is an activity that you can do in lots of different locations. It's a great idea to hold the activity outside of the usual workspace whenever possible. Gather the team and have the competition outside, in a warehouse or from the top of the building if it's safe to do so.

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Egg and spoon race

An egg and spoon race is great for inciting laughter and competition. Competitors play in teams to complete a race while carrying an egg on a spoon. To make things harder, competitors can use a small teaspoon with a large egg. This is a great way to foster camaraderie between competitors and spectators. For an activity like this, let people volunteer for the races themselves. This way, people can enjoy the activity as a spectator if they wish. You can award prizes to the best-dressed competitors, the most co-operative team or the most determined employee.

This activity can help teams learn how to work well together. It also shows you who's most passionate about getting involved in company activities. These people are often willing to put in extra effort at work and are more likely to stay with the company for a long period. Making this a relay race allows more people to participate and adds difficulty by requiring them to pass the egg to another person without dropping it. This is an easy activity to set up because most people are familiar with it and all it requires are eggs and spoons.

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Never have I ever

Never have I ever appears frequently at parties and gatherings, but you can create your own version with office-friendly rules. One way to carry out the game is to instruct employees to stand in a circle around the office, establishing one corner of the office as I've never and another corner as I have. You can offer statements like 'Never have I ever attended an office holiday party' and have anyone who has done the action stand in the I have corner and anyone who hasn't in the I've never corner.

Preparing statements and ideas in advance can help you ensure this game goes smoothly. Make sure that the never have I ever statements are appropriate for work so that all employees feel comfortable participating. You can also encourage employees to take turns making statements.

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Who am I?

In Who am I? you assign a celebrity identity to each player without telling them who their celebrity is. The most common way to set up the game is to write celebrity names on note cards or pieces of paper and then attach one to the forehead of each player. Employees can then walk around the office and ask each other questions to try and identify the character on their heads. Players can offer each other clues by answering the questions with yes or no responses.

You can prepare the celebrity identities in advance or give people a list of celebrities to choose from. Try to make funny or creative choices. One way to make the game more interesting is to prepare a list of questions that the players can ask each other. Players can only ask the questions on the list. Ensure the questions are well-written and interesting so every player has the ability to discover their celebrity identity.

The story game

To play the story game, instruct employees to sit in a circle and give each player a blank piece of paper and a pen. Each player can then write the first sentence of a story. When everyone has written a sentence, they pass their sheets of paper to the person on their right, who can then add one more sentence to the story. Continue passing the papers around the circle and adding sentences until everyone receives their original piece of paper back. At the end of the game, everyone can share the stories that resulted from the collaboration.

Office trivia

You can set up a game of office trivia about any subject you desire, but it's fun to write questions about the company or office. After writing a list of questions, bring all players together and ask them one question at a time. Employees can play individually or in teams and receive points for each correct answer.

The employee or team who answers the most questions correctly is the winner of the game. Make each round progressively harder and offer rewards for the winners to encourage participation. The objective of this game is to foster teamwork and a competitive spirit.

Puzzle trades

In puzzle trades, you sort employees into teams of at least three members. Give each team the pieces of a unique jigsaw puzzle with pieces from other teams' puzzles mixed in. They can then start assembling their puzzles and can trade or negotiate with other teams that they think might have pieces of their puzzle in their set. Whichever team successfully collects all pieces of their puzzle and assembles it first is the winner of the game.

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Talking in circles

Talking in circles requires a group of at least four employees and a long piece of string. Tie the piece of string together at the ends to form a large circle, and instruct all players to stand around it. Have players pick up the string and ask them to form different shapes, like a square, infinity symbol or triangle. Employees can reposition themselves while holding onto the string to manipulate it, working together to form each shape. You can make this game more challenging by blindfolding players or only permitting certain players to speak.

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