Whether it's a staff retreat where you need team-building exercises or an office party that needs an icebreaker, picking out a game that's appropriate to play with your work colleagues can be tough. You want to avoid games that include inappropriate innuendos, awkward moments or that might lead to harassment charges. But of course, you don't want your colleagues rolling their eyes and being really bored. Finding the right game takes creativity and some good research.
If the occasion is an employee's birthday, create a quiz to test other people's knowledge of the employee. Hand out the quiz at the beginning of the party and give a prize to the person who gets the most points. Ask questions such as what is the person's favorite TV show, favorite food, favorite place to shop and even favorite Internet browser. You can also ask about his first job, where he was born and what type of car he drives. (Reference 1)
If the office party is bringing together different departments that don't often interact, you'll need a good icebreaker such as "Who Am I?" For this game, you'll write celebrity names on name tags and put a tag on each person's back or forehead. Everyone has to mingle and ask yes or no questions to figure out which celebrity name they got. Limit the number of questions that can be asked of any one person, forcing people to mingle with a large number of guests. (Reference 2)
If you're on a staff retreat, you'll want to include some team-building exercises to build rapport among the staff. One good option is the Minefield game. For this game, you'll designate a large square outside and place rocks and pine cones in the square. One at a time, each staff member is blindfolded and walks through the square, following the directions called out to them by their colleagues. If they step on a rock, they have to freeze in that spot until another team member steps on a pine cone. To make the game competitive, you can split into two teams to see which team finishes crossing the square first. (Reference 2)
Office Family Feud
If you're having a staff party, send an email beforehand with a list of 15 questions, such as "favorite shampoo," "favorite celebrity," and "what's the color of your toothbrush?" When the answers are emailed back to you, write out the top three answers in popularity for each question. You can divide them by the top answers given by each department, by the men and the women, or any other category you think of. Then hold a family feud style game where contestants guess which answers were the most popular for each category. (Reference 1)
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.