19 Competitive Team Building Games for Work

Home » Resources » Competitive Team Building GamesUpdated: August 27, 2022

You found our list of the best competitive team building games.

Competitive team building games are activities that improve team bonds via competition. For example, Bingo, charades, and lego building. The purpose of these games is to boost team morale, practice communication and problem-solving skills, and help team members get to know each other better.

These challenges are a subset of team building games, and team building events, and are similar to team building exercises and workplace competitions.

This list includes:

  • competitive team games for adults
  • team competition games
  • fun competitive games for groups
  • competitive activities

Let’s get down to it!

List of Competitive Team Building Games

From Charades to Human Snakes, here is a list of competitive games that you and your team can play to increase trust and boost team morale.

1. Balloon Caterpillar Race

The balloon caterpillar race is a fun way to get office employees to work together to achieve a common goal. This race is one of the most fun competitive team games for adults.

To play this game, divide your team members into two groups. Each player has a balloon placed between them and the player in front of them and behind them. This arrangement forms a “balloon caterpillar.”

The teams have to move around obstacles, and the first team to get to the finish point without dropping a balloon wins. If any team drops a balloon before the finish line, that team has to start the race all over again. Teams can run the race simultaneously, or you can use a stopwatch to record scores.

2. Human Snakes

This activity involves the use of non-verbal cues to guide teams to victory! The goal of this game is for team members to drop objects into a container while blindfolded.

To start the game, divide your team members into two or more groups of 4 to 7 players. Players on a team stand in a straight line. Next, blindfold all team members except the player at the back of the line. This player is the sighted member and guides the rest of the team.

The sighted member guides teammates by tapping their shoulders. Team members who successfully drop a throwable into the container, remove their blindfold, go to the back of the line, and become the sighted member. A team wins when all team members have successfully dropped an object in the bucket.

3. Build A Bridge

Build a bridge is a fun game that encourages teamwork. Essentially, you and your team members have to be engineers for a day!

To start the exercise, divide players into teams. Each team must design and construct a bridge from the provided materials. Materials can be as simple as old bottles, glue, and cardboard. The team whose bridge can bear the most weight without collapsing wins the game. This game engages team members’ creativity and organization skills.

Check out more problem-solving activities for groups.

4. Charades

Charades is a game most folks know. To start the activity, divide players into teams, and each team chooses a representative. This representative then selects a word or phrase to act out without using words while other team members guess the prompt. To keep the clues secret, write the words or phrases on paper and place the slips in envelopes. The phrases can be related to movies, animals, occupation, or relevant to your business.

The winner is the team with the highest number of correct guesses at the end of the game. You can set a time limit on rounds to make the game more challenging. Charades is definitely one of the more enjoyable office team building games.

You can use a charades generator to come up with prompts.

5. Scavenger Hunts

A scavenger hunt is a way to promote your team’s competitive spirit. To prepare scavenger hunts, hide various objects around your workspace. You can do this activity indoors or outdoors. If your team is large, then divide contestants into groups. However, small teams can play as individuals.

You can apply variations to the winning criteria of the game. For instance, the first group to find a certain number of hidden objects wins the game. Or, the first group to find a particular object wins the game. You can set a time limit to make the hunt more challenging.

For more inspiration, check out this list of scavenger hunts for adults.

6. Virtual Bingo

Virtual team building Bingo is a great way to get your team talking and laughing. To begin, find or make a virtual Bingo card.

After that, schedule a calendar invite during a time when most teammates are free to play. It helps to be clear that the meeting is a team-building activity and let teammates know that they will be playing Bingo.

As the host, you have the option of reading each square at random. The squares may contain numbers or information relevant to your team. For example

  • someone who has visited Asia
  • someone who can play piano

Teammates to whom the description applies will virtually raise their hands or speak up. Players who have this description on their cards will mark the square. Of course, whoever yells “Bingo” first wins. Then, as needed, take a break for chit-chat and anecdotes.

If time allows, then you can play through many Bingo cards.

Pro tip: Make sure the winners receive some goodies. Emailed gift cards are usually recommendable for this kind of game. Regardless, you can still opt for other reward options like cash prizes, promotions, or free tickets to a concert.

For more ideas, check out remote work Bingo.

7. Fantasy Football

A fantasy football league is a game where participants manage an imaginary team of real-life football players. The participants score points based on the actual statistical performance of the real-life players they pick for their teams. A fantasy football league is an exciting way to help remote employees bond and get to know each other more. You can play the game on a shared spreadsheet or within a Slack thread.

Check out this superb guide to creating your company’s first fantasy football league team from Bleacher Report.

8. Typing Speed Races

Typing Speed Races make one of the best competitive virtual team building games. However, you are welcome to play the game in office settings. This challenge involves producing a selected text free of errors as quickly as possible with a keyboard. To play this challenge, you can take a typing test through a typing test website. Then you can paste the test results through email or on the company’s message board. Finally, compare scores and challenge coworkers to beat your highest marks.

You can make a typing speed race more interesting by teaming up with other employees to form a squad. To determine which group wins, add or average the highest scores. For fairness, ensure that all competitors take the same test from the same website.

Typing speed races are fun online challenges that help remote employees build skills and play online games together.

Check out more virtual team challenges.

9. Baby Photos

The baby photos game helps remote teammates get to know each other. However, the exercise works best if the team members understand what coworkers look like. Before the game, ask each team member to email their baby photos to you. Then form a word or slideshow document with these photos and share the presentation via email, Slack, or while screen-sharing during a Zoom meeting.

The game’s goal is for participants to guess who is who within a specific time limit. Be sure to collect the answers and award points accordingly. You can give a prize to the team member with the most marks. The baby photos game is a simple but fun way to get remote team members to know each other more.

10. “Get Fit”

“Get Fit” is one of many team building fitness games that keep remote employees fit and healthy and inspires friendly competition. Work from home teams find this game enjoyable, energizing, and productive. To play this game, you can either provide smartwatches with fitness apps for your team or use the health apps on their smartphones to set challenges. Examples of these challenges include

  • whose heart rate can go the highest in a specific time
  • who can do the most exercise on their day off?
  • Who can take the most number of steps during weekends?

Also, you can set weekly goals and monitor team progress through the fitness apps.

For similar activities, check out online team fitness providers.

11. Lego Building

Lego building is one of the most popular competitive team building activities. The challenge does not require a high degree of expertise. To carry out this activity, divide your team into two or more groups. Next, assign lego blocks to each team and instruct the groups to construct specific structures. To make the activity more challenging and rewarding, set a time limit.

The group that completes construction first wins the game. Lego building is an excellent way to improve your team’s attention to detail and promote team cooperation.

12. Paper Plane Contest

Crafting a paper plane can be a fun and worthwhile away-from-the-desk experience. In this contest, divide your team into groups and assign contestants materials to make a paper plane. Materials can be as simple as paper, tape, and paper clips.

Each group has to craft and name a unique paper plane. Upon completion, each group throws their planes in the air while the judge notes how far the plane travels. The group whose plane travels furthest wins!

13. Tug of War

Tug of War is a competitive team game in which two teams compete by pulling on opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other across a centerline. Ideally, the string should have an estimated circumference of 11cm, and you need to mark it in the middle with a centerline and two markers 4m out from the centerline. Divide your team into two groups. Each group should begin the pull by pulling the rope’s centerline directly over the line drawn on the ground.

The group that successfully drags the mark on the rope closest to the opponent across the centerline wins that round. Ideally, you should conduct three rounds to decide the winning group.

14. Three-legged Race

A three-legged race is a race in which one member of each pair has their left leg linked to the other’s right leg. The goal is for the partners to finish ahead of the other contestant pairs. The game requires a diverse skillset and results in lots of laughs. At the start of the race, divide your team into pairs. To win this competition, partners must work together. Carefully tie a length of rope around the ankles of both partners. When the participating groups are ready, give a go-ahead signal to racers. The group that crosses the finish line in the shortest time possible wins.

15. The Tallest Tower

This challenge tests teamwork. In this activity, members work together to achieve a common goal– build the tallest free-standing tower out of simple materials.

As with other contests, there are rules attached to this game. Each group works on building the tallest tower within a time limit. Once the time is over, measure the height of each group’s tower, and the group with the tallest tower wins.

This competitive team-building game requires inventiveness, solid leadership, task division, resource management, and decision-making skills. The exercise also aids in the development of your communication abilities.

16. Egg Drop

When it comes to team building games for adults, the egg drop game is unique. The game is also known as “Defend the Egg.” This exercise improves teamwork. Every organization requires teams to collaborate. This game is ideal for office get-togethers. The goal of this game is to keep the egg from breaking when dropped from a height. This exercise requires a team of no more than five people.

To start the challenge, divide your team members into groups and provide each group with materials like plastic straws, masking tape, newspaper, eggs, and cardboards.

Each group has to create a protective shield for an egg using the provided materials. Be sure to set a time limit and call the groups at the end of the specified time. Finally, drop each group’s structure from about eight feet. The group whose egg remains unbroken when dropped wins the game.

This game might be a bit messy, yet it is worthwhile because the activity reveals each team’s collaborative strength.

17. Pictionary

This board game has a two-player minimum and is excellent for small and large teams alike.

The materials to play the game include a pen, paper, and the Pictionary board game, which consists of the game board, a timer, two dice, and cards with words.

This game’s goal is to guess what the drawer is drawing from a deck of cards. If your guess is correct, then you can move across the board. The first player to reach the end of the board wins.

18. Trivia

Trivia is brain-tasking and exciting. The game is even more enjoyable when the questions relate directly to you and your team. There are thousands of questions you can ask about your colleague’s preferences and the latest inventions and renovations in your industry. This game at the office enhances workspace bonding and collaboration. Trivia is one of the competitive team building activities that do not require much preparation or explanation.

You can find sets of trivia questions online to make game setup easier. Here is a list of starter questions.

19. Soccer

Soccer is one of the best competitive team sports for work. Games can take place inside of your office instead of a stadium like the Allianz arena or Old Trafford. To organize a mini soccer match between team members, divide players into two or more teams of around eleven players. There are many variations of the game. For instance, the winner can be the team that scores the first goal or has the most number of goals within a specified period. You can customize the rules based on your preferences!

Conclusion

Playing competitive team games is a great way to improve collaboration. These games boost a team’s competitive spirit and increase morale. Many of these competitions are playable indoors or outdoors.

In light of the famous saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Engaging in these competitive activities with your team strengthens group bonds and increases productivity.

Next, check out these lists of DIY Amazing Race ideas and company offsite activities.

FAQ: Competitive Team Building Games

Here are some common questions asked about competitive team building games for work.

What is a competitive team building game?

A competitive team building game is a creative activity that members of a team can engage in to increase connectedness. Such activity facilitates working together for the purpose of achieving the team’s goal.

What competitive games improve teamwork?

Competitive games that facilitate bonding among workers while easing tension are numerous. Some of these team building games are board games, scavenger hunts, charades, human snakes, and the balloon caterpillar race.

What is the purpose of competitive team building games?

Competitive team building games encourage employees to work together, enhance strengths, and resolve flaws. It is sometimes necessary for employees to take a break from the desk and ease tension.

How do you make team building more competitive?

To make team building more competitive, you can incorporate some challenges into your team’s schedule. Games as simple as charades can serve as “fun time” for employees. Other games include the tallest tower, baby photos, typing speed races, and soccer.

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Author: Grace He

Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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