7 Great Team Building Brain Teasers

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September 17, 2020

You found our list of the best team building brain teasers!

Team building brain teasers are games or activities that push teams to creatively problem solve. Because teams work together to solve brain teasers, the activities help bring colleagues together and foster team bonding at the office.

These brain teasers are a great way to develop team building skills.

This list includes:

  • brain teasers for team building
  • team building brain teasers with answers
  • fun brain teasers for teams
  • group brain teasers

And more 🙂

So, here is the list!

List of team building brain teasers

From games that are hands-on to games that train your eye, here is our list of fun brain teasers for teams.

1. Spot the Difference: Office Edition

team building brain teasers
Use this guide to get you started on Spot The Difference, with room to add your own ideas!

You may remember Spot the Difference games in magazines when you were a kid. Spot the Difference: Office Edition plays with a similar concept, but transplants the game to your real-life office.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Take your team to a corner of the office with items in it. This corner can be anywhere from the kitchen area to a workmate’s desk.
  2. Ask your team to memorize what they see, and then close their eyes.
  3. While everyone’s eyes stay shut, rearrange a few items.
  4. Keep track of the changes you made.
  5. Let your colleagues open their eyes.
  6. Have your coworkers list as many changes as possible.
  7. The player who spots the most differences accurately wins.

Spot the Difference: Office Edition is a fun brain teaser for teams because it transforms the office from a workplace to a puzzle. Also, any number of people can play, and you do not need specialized skills to win. Best of all, when team members rack their brains together, it facilitates team bonding.

2. Rebus or Bust

Rebus or Bust is a fun brain teaser for teams, where you and your coworkers solve rebuses. Rebuses are words, illustrations, and symbols that represent words or phrases. To play this game, split your team into groups, and have the groups compete to solve rebuses as quickly as possible. You can create your own rebuses or look for rebuses online. The group that solves the most puzzles by the end of the game wins.

Rebus or Bust is a great team building brain teaser because it spurs creative thinking, and your team needs to put their brains together to win. Not only will your team have a great time, but the event will help develop employee friendships.

Check out these example rebuses for inspiration. If you’re looking for a facilitated team building event with challenges (and a rebus puzzle!), then check out our Murder in Ancient Egypt activity.

3. Utilitarian Test

The University of Texas at Austin says that utilitarianism is a philosophical concept that “holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.” The Utilitarian Test takes the most famous utilitarian ethical questions, such as the trolley problem, fat man, transplant surgeon, and Heinz dilemma, and asks your coworkers to reveal how each person would handle each scenario.

You can also transform Utilitarian Test into a debate-centered activity by splitting your team into two groups to present arguments for their choice. Because you need to consider choosing from two controversial options, these group brain teasers are great team building games, which reveal a lot about how your team members think and what they value.

For more information on utilitarian questions to try, check out these resources:

Or, try searching for “utilitarian tests.”

4. Rube Goldberg Off

If you have seen videos where a complicated contraption accomplishes a simple task, then you have seen a Rube Goldberg machine. Rube Goldberg Off is a stellar brain teaser for team building, where teams compete to come up with the most inventive Rube Goldberg contraption.

To make judging between machines easier, set the task in advance that the mechanism needs to achieve, so all the Rube Goldberg machines have the same purpose. Rube Goldberg Off also works well for large group icebreakers that gives your team an opportunity to unleash their innovative spirit together, and taps back into a childlike appreciation for crafting and building things with their hands.

5. Fun with Logos

Have you ever noticed the hidden messages in logos? From FedEx to Toblerone, Fun with Logos asks your team to determine the hidden symbolism in famous logos. You can either compete in teams, or work together to spot the symbols.

Fun with Logos is exciting because it gives logos that you see every day new context, and gets people to think outside the box. Your team members will have fun deciphering the logo imagery together, and gain some new knowledge through participating in this brain teaser.

Get started with these logos and their hidden meanings.

6. Team Crosswords

Team Crosswords is when your team collectively solves crossword puzzles together. Crosswords can be notoriously difficult, so why not harness a bit of teamwork to solve them? Since Team Crosswords only requires you to select a puzzle and assemble your team, hosting a crosswords session at the end of every week is a simple way for your team to unwind.

Regularly playing Team Crosswords enhances your team’s trivia knowledge, and is a team building exercise that gives your colleagues the opportunity to gather once a week and work on a low pressure task together. This togetherness not only improves team bonding, but also boosts productivity and motivation.

Download free crossword puzzles for your team or make your own.

7. Seven Degrees of Separation

If you have ever heard of the game, “Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, then Seven Degrees of Separation operates on similar rules, except that connecting to Kevin Bacon is not the only ultimate goal.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Compile a bunch of objects or ideas that have no relation to each other.
  2. Write the objects or ideas on scraps of paper.
  3. Place the scraps of paper in an opaque container.
  4. Ask two different team members to pick a scrap of paper each.

Your team’s objective is to try to find some way to connect the two objects or ideas in less than seven steps.

Seven Degrees of Separation challenges your team to exercise their minds to find links that may not be apparent at first. This group brain teaser is a simple way to get everyone together that does not require any additional materials or much planning. If you feel your office having a slow day, then you can pull out Seven Degrees of Separation to break up the lull in activity.

FAQ: Team building brain teasers

Still not sure how brain teasers fit in with team building? Here are a few commonly asked questions about brain teasers for team building.

What are team building brain teasers?

Team building brain teasers are activities or competitions that teams solve together. The purpose of these brain teasers is to develop employee friendships through cooperation and teamwork.

What are some good brain teasers for team building?

Some good brain teasers for team building are:

  • Spot the Difference, Office Edition
  • Rebus or Bust
  • Utilitarian Test
  • Rube Goldberg Off
  • Fun with Logos
  • Team Crosswords
  • Seven Degrees of Separation

These group brain teasers are fun ways for teams to solve puzzles together, and encourage employees to explore their creative and intellectual sides.Through playing together, you may discover team member skills that you did not know about before.

What are the best group brain teasers?

The best group brain teasers are:

  • Spot the Difference, Office Edition
  • Rebus or Bust
  • Utilitarian Test
  • Fun with Logos
  • Team Crosswords

These brain teasers do not require purchasing additional materials and can be set up with the help of some research. These activities also exercise different skills, making them suitable for a wide range of companies.

How do you do brain teasers with teams?

To do brain teasers with teams, you need to:

  1. Audit your group’s strengths
  2. Research brain teasers that test your team’s minds
  3. Gather the necessary materials
  4. Set a time to hold the brain teaser
  5. Bring everyone together to solve the brain teaser

If you follow these guidelines, then you can find suitable brain teasers to play with your team. When selecting brain teasers, be sure to find ones that involve everyone, celebrate ingenuity, and will not make people feel bad if they cannot solve them.

Conclusion

Brain teasers are a fun way for your team to stay sharp by getting everyone to think on their feet. By getting your team to work together to solve these teasers, your team will also enjoy the benefits of team building, which help make your company become stronger than ever.

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Author: Jessica Chen

Team building content expert. Jessica has a double major in English and Asian Studies, and experience working with teams across cultures; including 3+ years in Taiwan.

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