Work is a lot more fun when you actually know your coworkers. That’s where icebreaker games come in. They are a great way to learn about your team members and bond with one another.
Would you rather?
This is pretty much the same game you played on the bus in middle school. Give your group two made-up scenarios to choose between. For example, would you rather never wear shoes anywhere again or always wear shoes even when you’re sleeping? Then have your coworkers vote. You can even call on someone each round and have them explain their choice.
This is a classic icebreaker game. Start by collecting one or two fun facts from everyone in the group (keep them anonymous). You’ll read each one and the group will guess which fun fact belongs to which team member. This is a great way to find out about your coworkers’ high school superlatives or previous career achievements. Need help coming up with a fun fact? Check out our guide: How to Come Up with an Interesting Fact About Yourself
Speed meeting game
Have half of your team sit one side of a long table and have the other half sit opposite. Set a timer for two or three minutes and have partners get to know one another. Each time the timer goes off, have each person on one side of the table move over one seat and repeat with their new partner.
Break into teams of three and give each person a piece of paper. In each small group assign one person the “head,” one person the “torso,” and one person the “lower body.” Then have the groups sit with their backs to one another and set a timer for five minutes. Everyone will use the time to draw their assigned body section. At the end of the five minutes, each team tapes together their mismatched three-part person. Give every group the opportunity to share their person with the group and take turns laughing at—and with—everyone.
Hot and cold
This icebreaker works a little better with smaller groups, but it can be good fun with a lot of people participating as well.
Split your group into two teams, and have one team leave the room for a moment. The group still in the room is tasked with hiding something (like a marker, a bundle of sticky notes, a water bottle, etc.) somewhere in the room. The group that waited outside comes back in to find the hidden item. The hiders will help the seekers by shouting whether they are “hot” or “cold.” Soon enough everyone will be shouting and laughing.
Team scavenger hunt
Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Break your team into groups. Give each group the same list of clues and send them out to find different letters that form a word or phrase. The team that completes all the clues and finds all the letters first wins a prize, like a fancy mouse pad or a desk decoration.
Everyone loves an online quiz. Have everyone take the same online personality quiz (checkout sites like BuzzFeed or 16personalities.com) before the team building session. Once everyone is at the session, have them group themselves by the results. For example, if they took the quiz Which Parks and Recreation Character Are You?, you will have a group of Leslie Knopes, some April Ludgates, and maybe even a Chris Traeger or two. Have each group discuss why they think they are that character.
For smaller groups, you can take turns taking the quiz on a big screen and discuss what questions and answers you think are the deciding factor.
This icebreaker game is a lot of fun—as long as you’re cool with marking up a set of Jenga blocks. On each block, write a work-appropriate personal question (here are 99 safe-for-work icebreaker questions), like What was your first car? What is your favorite food? Or, where was the last place you traveled? Then set up the blocks in a normal Jenga tower and play. Whatever question you pull is the question you answer.