Office-party games for large groups: a lot can go right
There are few instances of remote workers envying the long commutes and business dress codes of the nine-to-fivers. But now and then, envy and—dare we say—bitterness creep in as their coworkers reap the benefits of working in the office. One benefit is that the lunchtime chit-chat and office parties their coworkers enjoy spark bonding among staff. While remote workers are exposed to other forms of office culture—job orientation and weekly production meetings—they, unfortunately, tend to be left out of the very on-site office parties that help to forge collaborative work relationships.
Why are office-party games important for both on-site and remote workers? Forbes notes that rewards and relaxation tangibly improve employee relations and productivity. Unless your company is based in Silicon Valley, ping-pong tables, beer gardens, and other morale-boosting tactics aren’t budgeted for teams with a mixed on- and off-site workforce. But nearly every team can afford a gathering complete with lively office-party games for large groups, if you plan right.
Below you’ll find eight new and unique indoor office games for employees, all of which can be adapted to allow your remote workers to participate in your next office celebration. To do the party right, you need a game plan. Read more below.
Make technology your friend
Brainstorming indoor office games for your employees becomes much easier once you enlist the help of technology. First, make sure you’re equipped with tools to include your remote colleagues, before you attempt to create office-party games for large groups. Video-enabled conference tools like Skype, Google Hangouts, join.me, or GoToMeeting all help remote workers engage in face-to-face interactions (or the closest thing to this) and build lasting work relationships with their on-site coworkers. Find a tool that works for your team.
Next, locate a venue or conference room that has a screen broad enough to showcase the remote workers who will be teleconferencing in. Lastly, send an invite to all members of the organization, as you’d normally do for a group call, and let the games begin.
Office-party games for large groups you’ll actually want to play
- Little known facts: Ask team members to send a personal fact about themselves to only you, the facilitator. The more obscure, the better. Then, fire up the ol’ video conference and present these little known facts to the group. Whoever matches the most facts to the correct employee wins a prize. This office-party game is hilarious and revealing, even when used for large groups!
- Try your hand at trivia: Take a page out of FlexJobs‘s book of employee-engagement strategies. The fully remote team holds virtual trivia competitions throughout the year. Include this collaborative party game at your next event, and you’ll be surprised at the useless knowledge your employees keep stored in their brains—beyond their knack of Excel keyboard shortcuts, of course.
- Write a bucket list: Indoor office games for employees that acknowledge everyone’s personal goals go a long way in fostering meaningful relationships. Encourage your team to share their best bucket-list items or life goals at your next office party. Then, make it an ongoing competition to see who can check off the most items on their list within a given time frame. Display the chart in the office common area so everyone can monitor progress. It’s a novel way of learning about your colleagues. (How exciting would it be to learn that more than one team member hope to surf in Hawaii one day?) But this office-party game can also inspire your team to reflect on their goals—whether they’re in the room or not.
- “Best workspace” competition: Those who don’t want to stray too far their regular schedules can still engage in a bit of friendly competition that connects teams. Ask employees to send photos or videos of their workspace—both virtual and on-site. If a remote team member has a swanky setup straight out of Pinterest, allow them to play virtual tour guide for a minute or two at your next event. The best workspace wins.
- Office bingo: Seemingly standard indoor office games for employees such as bingo, charades, or Pictionary get a revamp when remote workers are invited to join by video. This is a great way to engage workers across the globe informally while forging relationships with office workers in a no-pressure situation.
- Karaoke crusade: If your team is bold, consider playing a game of karaoke and allow your remote workers to be the judges. Score performers on categories such as “most enthusiastic,” “best stage outfit,” or “most on-pitch.” Awarding trophies to the winners is encouraged. These types of office-party games for large groups can easily be themed. Consider a pumpkin-carving contest on Halloween or holiday desk-decor competition at Christmastime.
- Most embarrassing photo contest: If your team is a lighthearted bunch, consider playing a game that throws you back to your pre-teen days. Ask your remote and on-site workers to add hilarious childhood pictures to a Dropbox folder the whole team can access come game day (crying on Mickey Mouse’s shoulder, anyone?) Then, try to guess who’s who. Double down on the “hilariously embarrassing” theme by awarding the winner a workplace-appropriate gag gift.
- Name that song: No party is a party without music, so why not enlist the help of your team to create a party playlist. Ask workers to share some of their favorite tracks to be compiled into a master list. Or, take it one step further and create a collaborative playlist on a streaming site. Play the first five seconds of a song at your next event and allow guests to shout out the title if they know it. Extra points goes to the person who sings the next line, knows the artists’ names, or the year of a song’s release. Trust us, heads will be bobbin’.
Drumming up original office-party games for large groups is no easy feat when your team is scattered all over the map. Still, it’s a task worth tackling, considering the relationships that are championed. Incorporate a few of these amusing ideas into your next event, and you’ll find everyone replies to the RSVP sooner moving forward.