35 Best Team Building Activities For Work

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August 07, 2020

This page includes our list of the best team building games for work.

Team building games are competitive activities that boost productivity and bring your team closer together. The best team building games give team members time to recharge and opportunities to discover new facets of each other.

Specifically, this list includes:

  • corporate team building games
  • team building games for the office
  • team building games without materials
  • indoor team building games for employees
  • DIY team building games

Plus a lot more ideas too, all of which are fun and most of which are free 🙂

So, check out the list!

List of team building games

From games that keep you on your feet to ones that test your knowledge, these surprisingly fun team building games are sure to be a hit at your office.

1. Murder Mystery Party

For fans of murder mysteries like Knives Out, a murder mystery party is a role-playing team building game. Each team member receives a character to play and the objective is to solve a murder. While some murder mystery hosts make up storylines, if you’re new to murder mystery parties, then opt for pre-made, free murder mystery games. To further incentivize your team, you can also award team members for best costume or acting, and give prizes for members who correctly guess the murderer.

2. Codenames

Codenames is traditionally an in-person board game. However, there is also an online version that makes for a great team building game for remote teams. At the beginning of the game, everyone can see a series of cards with words on them. The game then divides players into two teams and each team nominates a spymaster. The spymaster’s job is to get their teammates to guess the words marked with their team color. The team that guesses all their cards first wins the game. Codenames is a fun team building game because your team must work together to succeed.

3. Productivity Tracker

Productivity Tracker is a team building game for the office that spurs your team’s productivity by holding team members accountable. At the beginning of each week, your team members come up with a simple list of goals to achieve by the end of the week. These goals should be challenging, but not impossible. The winner of this game is the team member who is able to clear their goals for the longest number of consecutive weeks. Productivity Tracker is a great way to enhance productivity at the office because the game teaches team members how to set and follow through on goals. We like adding a prize here, too, to give your remote team an added bonus to strive for!

4. Online Office Games

Online Office Games is a great corporate team building game for remote teams. For this game, a host will lead your team in a series of competitions that are high-energy team bonding experiences. Since we provide you with these trained hosts, once you sign your team up, you can set aside the pressure of running a team building event and let our host take over. Your team is sure to have a great time!

Curious about whether Online Office Games is right for your remote team? Learn more about Online Office Games.

5. People Bingo

People Bingo is an exciting DIY team building game for learning more about the people you work with. Prior to playing, brainstorm a series of quirky experiences, organize your thoughts on individualized “bingo boards”, and distribute the boards to your team. During the game, players ask each other if they have experienced what is written in the spaces. If a player has had the experience, then that person signs the corresponding space on the asker’s bingo card. Like traditional bingo, the first player who collects enough signatures to form a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line across the board wins the round. Here is a game board you can use, and you can also make your own.

6. The Channel Closing Game

The Channel Closing Game is a game that compels your team to stay organized. Once a month, set a time to challenge your team members to close as many Slack channels as possible. These Slack channels should be ones that your team members rarely or no longer participate in. Ask your team members to keep track of how many channels closed. The person who closes the most Slack channels wins. The Channel Closing Game is a useful team building game because it increases productivity by removing possible distractions from Slack and injects a quick burst of friendly competition into your remote workplace.

7. Two Truths and One Lie

Two Truths and One Lie is another fun way to learn more about your colleagues. Best of all, this game requires no materials! In this game, a team member presents two true statements and one lie. The other members have to guess which statement is the lie. If any of the team members guess correctly, then that person earns a point. However, if no one guesses correctly, then the person who presented the statements wins a point. The winner is the person with the most points by the end of the game.

8. Pub-like Trivia

Pub-like Trivia is a stellar corporate team building game that tests your team’s knowledge, even if your workplace does not allow alcohol. First, prepare a list of trivia questions. The best trivia questions span a variety of subjects and are little-known facts. After coming up with your questions, divide players into teams. Teams can privately discuss answers before responding. The team that answers the most questions correctly wins. This is a great game for team bonding because teams need to collaborate and pool knowledge to succeed.

9. My Superhero Backstory

My Superhero Backstory tests your team’s creativity by having team members invent fun superhero-like origin stories for coworkers. These stories should describe how the team member came to work for your organization and are based on true events. Then, team members vote for the best backstory. My Superhero Backstory is an effective game for teams because it builds your team’s mythology and creates inside jokes that help team members bond.

10. ABC Hunt

ABC Hunt is an amusing indoor team building game that gets your virtual team out of their seats. In this game, a host names three random letters of the alphabet and the other team members scramble to find objects beginning with each letter. The person who finds three objects the fastest wins. ABC Hunt is also a versatile DIY team building game, since teams can play it remotely and at the office.

11. Pitch Me Your Business

If you want to spark your team’s entrepreneurial spirit, then Pitch Me Your Business is a wonderful game to try. For this game, team members have 15 minutes to come up with a basic business plan for an enterprise. Then, team members will present the business idea to a designated “investor”. The person who dreams up the most intriguing business wins. Pitch Me Your Business is a smart team building game without materials because managers can informally evaluate team leadership and entrepreneurial skills through this game.

12. Remote Work Bingo

Remote Work Bingo is an engaging team building game for remote teams that turns everyday virtual working experiences into something shared and fun. To play Remote Work Bingo, set a length of time that the game will run for. Then, distribute Remote Work Bingo boards to your team. Every time a team member encounters one of the events written on the board, mark it with an “X”. The team member who gets a line of “X”’s in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row first wins.

Don’t know where to start? Download our free Remote Work Bingo template and learn more about this delightful game.

13. Fancy Dress Day

Fancy Dress Day is an indoor team building game that breaks up the work week’s monotony. Every month, your team appoints a day where everyone comes in dressed to the nines. Then, team members vote on whose sartorial choices are their favorite. The person who receives the most votes is the winner of Fancy Dress Day and gets a reward. Fancy Dress Day is a great team building game because it lets your team express themselves through outfits, while also changing things up every once in a while.

14. Workout Challenge

Inspired by the “See 10, Do 10” viral Instagram challenge, Workout Challenge is game for teams that encourages your people to invest in physical fitness. Every day, a team member starts by recording a video doing ten push ups and sends it to a group chat, tagging another team member. The tagged team member then has to do ten push ups and tag someone else, and so on and so forth. Anyone who neglects to do ten push ups by the end of the day loses and must buy everyone else a coffee. The Workout Challenge is a fantastic team building game because it keeps your team active. Staying active is especially important since many office jobs require people to sit for long periods of time.

15. Line Game

The Line Game brings teams together by showing colleagues unexpected commonalities. Before initiating the game, create a list of experiences that underscore the commonalities your team members may have, ordering the list from lighthearted to more serious. Then, gather your team and have team members keep track of every experience. At the end of the game, collect your team’s responses and display the results, showing your team how much they have in common.

16. Forensic Sketch Artist

Forensic Sketch Artist is an engaging office game that tests your team’s communication and drawing skills. Split your team into two and set the scene by explaining that a robbery has just occurred. Appoint a forensic sketch artist for each team and name the other team members as witnesses to the robbery. Then, out of view of the sketch artist, show the rest of the team a face created by a random face generator. The witnesses must describe the face to the sketch artist, who must try to recreate the face based on descriptions from the team. The sketch closest to the generated face wins!

17. Guess the Baby

Guess the Baby is a charming game that asks team members to deduce whose baby picture is whose. Before the game begins, ask team members to submit a baby or toddler photo. Then, put the baby pictures up where everyone can see them and have team members submit a form or use post-it notes to record guesses. The team member who correctly names the most baby photos wins. Guess the Baby brings the team together by inviting them to share childhoods with fellow team members.

18. Five Clicks Away

Similar to Six Degrees of Separation, Five Clicks Away is an online team building game where team members attempt to connect two seemingly unrelated Wikipedia pages in five clicks. To begin playing, select two topics that seem to have nothing in common, such as BTS and the Battle of Mine Creek. Then, ask your team to use Wikipedia internal links from the first page to navigate to the second. Five Clicks Away is a game that both educates your team on obscure topics and hones your team’s research skills.

19. Ambassadors

Ambassadors is a lively game with no materials required where team members act as ambassadors for foreign countries. After assigning countries to players using a random country generator, each ambassador must describe the assigned country without revealing the country’s name. The winner is the player who guesses the most countries correctly. Ambassadors is a great game for team building because it is educational and requires your team to exercise creative and communication skills.

20. Heads Up!

Heads Up! is an app-based party game that can also be fun at the office. Created by Ellen DeGeneres, you can play Heads Up! with any number of people, which makes it suitable for both large and small teams. First, players select a deck and then a team member holds a phone to their forehead so the screen is facing outward. A word will appear on the screen and the other players will give hints to help the team member with the phone guess what the word is. Heads Up! is an exhilarating teamwork game because it creates a fun situation where your team must work together to triumph.

21. Never Have I Ever

A classic game often played at camp, teams can also play Never Have I Ever at the office. To start, players hold up five fingers. Then, in a circle, players name something that they have never done before. For example, “never have I ever baked banana bread.” Any team member who has had the named experience puts a finger down. The last person still holding up fingers by the end of the game is the winner. Through Never I Have Ever, players learn many interesting and surprising things about your coworkers.

22. No Context Pictures

No Context Pictures is a fun indoor team building game to discover more about your coworkers’ personal lives. Prior to the game, ask your team to submit an eccentric photo with no context. Then, post the photos in a place where everyone on the team can see them. Ask team members to submit short explanations of what is happening in the photos. The person who originally submitted the photo votes on which story they like the most. No Context Pictures is a great team building game because it helps paint a more complete picture of your coworkers by showing a different side of their lives that may not be visible at the workplace.

23. Work Limericks

Limericks are a whimsical form of poetry with a distinct rhythm. In Work Limericks, teams use creative muscles to write limericks based on work experiences. After familiarizing your team with guidelines on how to write limericks, give everyone a period of time to compose limericks. Then, have your team vote on which limericks are their favorites. The limerick with the most votes wins. Work Limericks is an excellent game because it lets your team exercise creativity and share creations with others.

24. Secret Gifter

Based on Secret Santa, Secret Gifter is a gift exchange game that you can play any time of the year. Players submit names and receive a subject to buy gifts for. To keep gifts fair and of similar quality, set a price limit and sponsor the purchase as a company. Then, on the designated day, publicly exchange gifts. During the gift exchange, team members guess who their Secret Gifter is. If a team member guesses correctly, then they win! Secret Gifter is a great game because it encourages team members to learn more about each other to buy the perfect gift. Plus, who does not like to receive a fun surprise?

25. Hangman

A game you’ve probably played as a child, Hangman can also be effective for team building. Not only is your team already familiar with the rules, but Hangman also expands your team’s vocabulary and establishes shared references that can be great future conversation starters. Also, Hangman is exceptional for team building because it unites the team by pushing your coworkers to work together to successfully guess the word.

26. Alphabet Chain

Alphabet Chain is a terrific game for teams who wish to increase vocabularies. In this game, your team first settles on a topic. Then, team members must name words that fit in that topic. However, every word proposed needs to begin with the last letter of the previous one. If a team member is unable to think of a suitable word and breaks the chain, then that person must withdraw. The winner of the game is the last person still remaining. Since Alphabet Chain only requires an expansive vocabulary to play, no materials are needed, making it an easy game to start with.

27. Catch the Bugs

For teams with a strong engineering presence, Catch the Bugs is a great office game that bolsters your team’s productivity. To play, your engineers should log the number of fixed bugs at the end of each day in JIRA or your company’s existing project tracking software. At the end of the week, the engineer with the most fixed bugs wins the game and gets a reward. Catch the Bugs is a notable team building game because it fosters your team’s competitive spirit and adds meaning to work.

28. Summer Book Club

If your team would like to join the 53% of Americans who read for fun, then Summer Book Club is an outstanding game for your team to nurture a reading habit together. Every week, your team logs the number of pages read and writes a brief reflection on the contents. At the end of the summer, the team member who reads the most pages wins the game. You can further enhance Summer Book Club’s team building element by setting up a collective team recommended reading list.

29. Guess the Film Buff

Guess the Film Buff is an entertaining game inspired by Guess the Refrigerator. Prior to the game, team members submit photos of DVD or home movie collections. If a team member does not have a physical film collection, then ask them to send a screenshot of their Netflix “My List”. Then, display the film collection pictures in a central location and have team members submit guesses for who the owners are by the end of the day. The person who guesses the most film collections correctly wins. Guess the Film Buff is a great game for teams because your team can learn about each others’ tastes, while also picking up new suggestions on what to watch next.

30. Team Charity Drive

Team Charity Drive is a meaningful game where your team competes together to make the world a better place. Select a charity your company would like to contribute to. Then, set a reasonable donation goal for the company to reach. If your team is able to achieve the goal by the end of the month, then treat your team to celebratory drinks or pizza parties. Team Charity Drive is an unique game because it serves to emphasize your organization’s values and instills the principle of giving back to the community in your team.

31. What’s On My Desk?

What’s On My Desk? is an office game where team members test how well they know each other. For this game, request team members submit photos of their desk setup. Once the photos are in, post the pictures in a shared space where everyone can see. Then, ask your team to turn in guesses on whose desk is whose. The person who guesses the most number of desks correctly wins. What’s On My Desk? is a great game because your team can become more familiar with each other through desk memorabilia.

32. My Next Meal

If your team is hungry for new recipes to try, then My Next Meal is the activity for you to try. At the beginning of the week, a different member of the team submits a photo of what is inside their refrigerator. Then, other team members present creative recipes using the ingredients seen in the photo. Everyone votes for the best recipe, and the recipe with the most votes wins. My Next Meal reduces the pressures of meal prep and also helps bring team members together through a love of food.

33. Team Film Festival

Has your team ever considered dabbling in low-budget filmmaking? Based on the 48 Hour Film Project, Team Film Festival is a DIY team building game that challenges your team to produce a film in 48 hours. Prior to the festival, split your employees up into filmmaking teams. Reveal the festival’s overall theme and assign genres to each team using a random draw. Give the teams 48 hours to write, shoot, and edit a five-minute film. Then, invite everyone to watch the short films together by holding a film festival. After screening all the films, ask team members to vote for categories such as “Best Film”, “Best Actor”, “Best Actress”, and “Best Screenplay” and give rewards accordingly. Team Film Festival is an amazing team building opportunity because filmmaking is a team activity that requires a lot of planning and cooperation, which are treasured skills in the workplace.

34. Dance Off

Dance Off is a fun game that lets your team express themselves through dance. As the name suggests, the objective of Dance Off is for your team to compete and see who the best dancer is. Create a playlist of danceable tunes and clear a space for your team to move freely. Then, have your team make a circle and begin playing music. Each team member gets a few minutes to show off moves in the center of the circle. Everyone votes for the most impressive dancer, and whoever gets the most votes wins. Dance Off lets your team cut loose and stay active, which is great for stress relief.

35. Plant Babies

With the mental health benefits of plants becoming more well-known, Plant Babies is an office game that encourages your team to grow plants at their desks. For this game, team members should each adopt a plant to care for. Then, as the Plant Babies surpass certain milestones, such as growing to certain heights or developing flowers, team members receive points. The team member who earns the most points by the end of every three-month period wins. Plant Babies invites your team to cultivate nurturing spirits and lets your coworkers create a more enjoyable office environment together.

Closing thoughts on team building games

Team building games are a great way to liven up the workplace and do something fun with your team. And it’s not all fun and games, there are a lot of benefits of team building too.

We will add more games to this list periodically, so be sure to bookmark it in your browser!

FAQ: Team building games

Unsure about what constitutes a team building game or why you should engage in one? Here are some common questions about team building games to help you:

What are team building games?

Team building games are competitions whose main goal is to promote productivity and cultivate friendships between team members. These games are usually low-stakes and focus on fun, and are not cutthroat matches.

What are the benefits of playing team building games?

The benefits of playing team building games include:

  • Fostering friendships among team members
  • Underscoring company culture
  • Bringing out hidden talents
  • Driving team cooperation
  • Creating shared memories
  • Boosting team morale
  • Inspiring team productivity
  • Strengthening communication
  • Honing conflict resolution
  • Breaking up the work week monotony
  • Encouraging new skill formation
  • Stimulating creativity

These benefits are all great reasons why your team should invest in team building games. Not only will your team work better, but your coworkers will also be happier while working.

What are some examples of team building games?

Some examples of team building games are:

  • ABC Hunt
  • Fancy Dress Day
  • Guess the Baby
  • No Context Picture
  • Team Charity Drive
  • What’s On My Desk?
  • Team Film Festival

What are the best corporate team building games for the office?

The best corporate team building games for the office are:

  • Murder Mystery Party
  • Productivity Tracker
  • People Bingo
  • Pub-like Trivia
  • Pitch Me Your Business
  • Workout Challenge
  • Forensic Sketch Artist
  • Plant Babies

The best corporate team building games for the office are designed to feel like a break from work, and provide opportunities to socialize with your team members. Feel free to alter the rules to better tailor the games for your team.

What team building games can you play without materials?

Need to throw together a quick and easy team building game? Here are some games that you can play without materials:

  • Two Truths and One Lie
  • Pitch Me Your Business
  • Never Have I Ever
  • Work Limericks
  • Alphabet Chain

These games are simple to put together and do not require a huge amount of commitment to host. Using a laptop and video conferencing service, all these games can also be played remotely with your team.

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Author: Michael Alexis

CEO of teambuilding.com. I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010.

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