Team building Smeam Building
October 24, 2014 10:33 AM   Subscribe

We're having our semi-annual meeting at my office and me and another co-worker have been assigned the task of coming up with two activities for the 40ish people in attendance that will take 10-15 minutes long each. Help me come up with some interesting, fun, not cliche activities for our group.

We aren't looking for team building activities or anything touchy feely. Normally we do stuff like trivia competitions, but people are getting sick of trivia. I'm hoping you guys have some properly brilliant ideas for 10-15 minute long activities for an office meeting. We're a pretty friendly bunch and pretty easy going so it doesn't have to be super corporate.

- We have two time slots to fill, each between 10-15 minutes long. We could possibly combine the two slots in to one awesome half hour long activity but it would have to be pretty awesome.
- approx 40 people, all adults
- must be indoors
- nothing too physical
- dividing people in to teams is fine
- The meeting is in december so winter/holiday/christmas themed activities would be fine, but no problem if they aren't
- inexpensive (we have a very limited budget)
- nothing raunchy or inappropriate
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Work & Money (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe a murder mystery? This is actually really fun - and there is even a Christmas themed one here.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 10:50 AM on October 24, 2014

Everyone brings a phone camera or is provided a camera. Everyone is tasked with taking a picture of everyone in the room, inc selfie, within 15 minutes. Or some variation of that.
Fun and a bit of a challenge.

Selected pics might be used later on a company wall or something.
Newer people would benefit IDing faces.
posted by artdrectr at 10:51 AM on October 24, 2014

How about a scavenger hunt type of thing where you have to find people who meet certain requirements like.

Find someone who has a twin
Find someone who has been to all five continents
Find someone who been on TV

then enter all the completed forms into a drawing for a simple prize.

It gets people meeting and learning about one another.
posted by brookeb at 10:55 AM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

As part of a training class, we were divided up into 4 teams and had to put together a smallish (maybe 30 pieces?) puzzle. BUT! Three pieces of each puzzle was in another team's box, so we had to ascertain which pieces were missing and run to other tables to find the pieces. We weren't told about the missing pieces, either, so there was some detective work.

Winner gets bragging rights.
posted by kimberussell at 10:56 AM on October 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

Arrange yourselves in birthday order* given some constraint, like within a very short time limit or without talking.

(*Not years, just months/days.)
posted by phunniemee at 11:06 AM on October 24, 2014

I just mentioned telephone pictionary in another thread about family activities, but my team at work recently did it as a teambuilding activity and it was a lot of fun in that context too.
posted by capricorn at 11:08 AM on October 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Rock-paper-scissors war!

Everyone pairs up and plays rock-paper-scissors (best out of three, establish the rules up front, etc.). After the first round, the winners pair up to play another round, and - this is the key - the losers joins their winners' crew, cheering for her, clapping, talking [work-appropriate] smack about the new opponent. And so on, until there is a rock-paper-scissor champion of the workplace.

I ASSURE you this is great fun, and moves from quiet rock-paper-scissors to excited mania quickly. This may be less workable if some participants have mobility challenges, since you do need to move around a room as your teams evolve.
posted by teragram at 11:09 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I second the rock paper scissor thing as well! We did this once as well, and had a small trophy made. Seriously simple and SO fun.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 11:28 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The only team-building/enforced fun activity I have ever enjoyed were the "Minute to Win It" type games we did at a former employer. (Our Fun Committee found them all over the internet, it's apparently a big party thing.) We generally did 5-6 teams of 5-6 people.

The most popular ones were sort of engineering-y. Like we had to stack six apples but could only have 2 on the bottom, or there was one that involved threading 3 (dry) penne onto a (dry) linguine noodle without using hands. Tallest card house in 10 minutes.

We discovered many hidden talents among our coworkers, and also found out who the nastiest cheaters were.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Big ol' game of Two Rooms and a Boom?
posted by the dief at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2014

Capricorn mentioned Telephone Pictionary. I was going to say the same thing, but I call it Pictodash. Here is a site where you can see examples of what the output looks like. Just keep hitting refresh and you will see a new one each time. I guarantee that this game will have people rolling in the aisles. There will be plenty of people who complain "I can't draw" but these people end up being the funniest.
posted by oxisos at 12:15 PM on October 24, 2014

Do the Marshmallow Challenge! I've done this with my co-workers and it was great fun (This is saying something because I'm a shy introvert who usually hates "team-building exercises"). It's supposed to be 18 minutes, but you could get away with 15.
posted by Joh at 11:35 PM on October 24, 2014

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