Trying to the balance with office party games that satisfy your teammates but don’t exclude them can be a difficult task.
Office parties are a necessary evil sometimes. Nobody loves going to them, they can sometimes be fun and other times events you dread popping up in your calendar. It’s your job to make everyone as comfortable as possible.
While the food and drinks budget is easy to fix, coming up with decent office party games is less easy. Office games can’t be regular games and there are a lot of factors to think about, for example:
- How do you come up with games that make everyone feel included?
- How do you pick games where teammates can have fun without feeling they’re making a fool of themselves in front of each other?
- How do you make sure both extroverted and introverted teammates are having equal fun?
If you’re feeling the stress, I totally understand.
And that’s why my answer is to choose office party games that double up as icebreakers. Icebreakers are normally used as the warmup before a party. Icebreakers are easy to play, quite silly in their nature and don’t take long to complete. That’s how I’ve come up with these games, which I’ve used many times.
To keep proceedings lighthearted, avoid awarding prizes during play and keep your rounds short. These games are silly and should stay that way.
Let’s get started with the first.
Belly Balloon Break
This office party game’s played against the clock. The only way balloons can be popped, is by being squeezed together between the players’ chests. No touching is allowed. Pair everyone up. The pair with the most balloons wins.
Steal one item from each teammate’s desk, then display them at your party along a table, as if they’re finds from an archaeological dig.
Now get everyone to work out which item belongs to who. This is a great way to brighten people’s spirits.
Couples Who Am I
Write out the names of each half of famous couples or pairings, on its own Post-It note. Then stick a Post-it to each person’s back. Now let them loose on the room and while circulating, their goal is to find the other half of their pair by asking only Yes and No questions about who they are.
Write out a list of quotes from well-known movies, for example, ‘To infinity and beyond’ from Toy Story. Cut up the list and shuffle them in a bowl. A player then pulls out a slip, reads it out and everyone guesses. Whoever guesses the most wins.
To up the stakes, award extra points to those who can name the character and actor/actress who said the line. The teammate reading the quote can also gain their own extra points, if they can act out the character to whom the line belongs.
Write down a different ingredient for a burger onto its own Post-It note (or piece of paper). Then tape each note to the back of each teammate. Players must now assemble themselves in the order the burger was made.
If your team is large enough, you can add a slight competitive vibe to things, by having two teams play against each other. The first one to finish wins. Make sure you have plenty of space for moving around in.
Death by Winking
Get everyone sat facing each other on the floor or on chairs arranged in a circle. Give each person a piece of paper (these should be pre-written) but marked out like this – one person gets a piece of paper marked with ‘M’ (for murderer), another for ‘D’ (detective), and everyone else gets one marked with ‘V’ (victim). Nobody must show anyone else what they got.
The detective must now find the murderer who starts “killing” by giving their target a subtle wink. Victims should die, as soon as you’re winked at; no dramatic deaths here, your victims simply lay their head against the table when winked.
The game ends, when the murderer is found. The fastest detective wins the entire game.
Guess Whose Job
Have you got a work story you’re dying to share with everyone? This office party game’s for you. It’s also a fun way for people to learn about your job.
Each person writes down 2 or 3 job-related facts on to single slips of paper. Shuffle the papers, then make sure everyone everyone takes 2 each. Players take it in turn to read theirs, leaving everyone to guess their owners. The funnier the stories, the better.
Have everyone stand in a circle. Each player takes it in turns to say ‘Ha ha’, ‘Ho ho’ or ‘Hee hee’. Anyone who starts laughing is knocked out. Keep the game going, until one person’s left.
Give everyone a minute to write down two true personal facts – and one that isn’t (the lie).
Each person takes it in turn to read out their statement. As they do so, the rest of the team votes on which one they think is the lie. The person with the least number of votes for their lie wins.
If your team is large, break everyone up into smaller groups. You can have the winners of each compete in a winner’s final.
Name That Song
You need to do some planning in advance, by deciding which type of music to use, e.g. by decade, genre or style. You also need to provide the music and music player to play the game.
Play the first five seconds of your song. Anyone who knows what it is shouts out the name. The FIRST right answer is the winner.
Award extra points if the person can sing the next line, and knows who the singer is and year of release. The player with the most correct answers wins.
Guess Which Movie
Cut up a list of several well-known movie titles, at least 30 to 50 to give you a good game. Shuffle the pieces in a bowl, then pair everyone, nominating the first pair to start.
This pair pulls a paper from the bowl and acts out a scene of the movie written on it. Make sure they do so silently, no words or sounds are allowed. Everyone else has to guess the movie. The winner in the audience then takes their turn with their partner by switching places with the first pair.. And so on. The game ends when all the pairs are done.
The Statue Game
This office party game’s rules need to be explained first, before people can begin.
- One person is chosen to be the statue
- At a certain point during the party, this person turns into a statue, in the middle of whatever they were doing
- As people start noticing, they too become statues
- The last person to notice becomes the next statue.
Great fun, especially when people turn into statues in the middle of conversation.
Create a bingo card of 25 squares, the center of each containing a statement. Each player gets a card and works the room, asking others for info. The first player to complete an entire row of squares – either across, diagonal or down – wins.
Statements could include: has lived in another country, has done karaoke, speaks a second language.
Office Photo Hunt Game
A team building game, everyone will work in pairs to hunt down items provided on a list. Make sure each pair has a digital camera.
Decide in advance which items they’ll look for – and whether your pairs will be hunting inside your workplace or off-site. Set a distance limit too. If outside, how far away? If inside, how many floors up or down?
Then set a time limit and send everyone off. The fastest team to complete the whole list is the winner.
The goal of this office party game’s for players to do the opposite of what you ask them. For example, you say “walk”, then they should stand still. Or, you say “crouch”, and everyone should stand up.
Anyone doing what you do ask them to do (i.e. not the opposite action) is out. Last player wins.
Finding memorable office party games that don’t cause your teammates any embarrassment can be a tough challenge. I hope this list gives you some nice ideas to start with.