About the Corporate Playbook

Fun Office Games for Any Occasion: Icebreakers, Energizers, and More


          Playworks believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid, but our Playworks’ Playbook isn’t just for kids! Many of our games are fun for all ages, so we compiled them into the Playworks Corporate Playbook with some grown-up modifications to suit any office.

          Why are office games important? It is hard for kids to focus at school, and adults struggle with this same problem at work. Over 90% of educators at our schools agree that Playworks increases cooperation between students, the ability to focus in class, the use of conflict resolution strategies, and feelings of inclusion. The same concepts are applicable at the corporate level, as employees are more likely to be fully engaged at work if they are having fun. Investing a little time on fun activities can significantly improve office morale and contribute to future company success.

          Our Corporate Playbook offers games for every occasion: icebreakers for getting to know your coworkers, Minute Moves & Energizers to liven up meetings, indoor cooperative games for your next office break, and outdoor cooperative games for the next time your team needs some fresh air. Whether these games are used as 10 minute breaks in the day, or are organized into an office game-day a few times per year, it is a fun and easy way to excite the office. Simple rewards like competing for food incentives are always good motivators. Who wouldn’t want to have fun or earn free food at the office?

This blog highlights one game per week and offers insightful suggestions on how to best incorporate these games into an office setting. Have fun with these games and make sure to share with your friends!

Want access to all of the games in the Corporate Playbook? Download for free:

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Tuesday’s Taste of the Corporate Playbook: Commonality Competition

Commonality Competition

Icebreaker

Length of Activity: 10 minutes

Required materials: None

How to Play:

  • Form pairs or small groups and set a timer for anywhere between 2-3 minutes
  • When the timer starts, all teams will attempt to come up with as many commonalities as possible such as hobbies, movie/TV interests, favorite sports teams, birth month, previous jobs, etc.
  • After time expires, teams will share the commonalities they found.
  • The team with the most shared commonalities wins.

Competing against other pairs makes icebreakers much more enjoyable. This game will teach you a lot about your coworkers in a short amount of time. The entire group will walk away from this game with a better foundation for strengthening relationships in the future.

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Tuesday’s Taste of the Corporate Playbook: Mafia

Mafia

Indoor Cooperative Game

Length of Activity: 20-30 minutes

Required materials: none

How to Play:

  • With a group of 9+ players and 1 moderator, roughly 1/3 of the group should be Mafia members, with 2 total doctors, and 1 sheriff. The rest of the people are considered regular townspeople. These numbers are not strict, and can be modified for any group.
  • With everyone’s eyes closed the moderator will assign roles. First start by saying “Picking the Mafia” and lightly tap people around the group to select them. Do the same for the Doctors and the Sheriff.
  • After roles have been assigned, the moderator will say “Mafia, eyes open” so that they know who they are teamed with. Repeat the same with the Doctors and the Sheriff.
  • The objective of the game for the Mafia to eliminate everyone else, and vice versa.
  • There are night rounds and day rounds which alternate throughout the game.
  • First is a night round. Everyone is sleeping with their eyes closed. The moderator will say “Mafia, eyes open” who will then silently and collectively select one person to eliminate. After the moderator confirms their selection everyone closes their eyes. Next the moderator will say “Doctors, eyes open” who will select one person to save that they believe is being targeted by the Mafia. After the moderator confirms their selection everyone closes their eyes. Last, the moderator will say “Sheriff, eyes open” who will point to a person they believe is in the mafia. The moderator will either nod or shake their head, and then the sheriff will go back to sleep.
  • Next comes a day round, and the moderator says “Everyone, eyes open.” He will start the round by letting the group know who was killed by the mafia, or who was targeted but saved by the doctor. The more dramatic and fictional the story describing this event the better. He will also say if their was a sheriff on the scene of the crime, letting the group know if the sheriff guessed a mafia member. Now is the time for the group to discuss and try to find out who is in the mafia. The group must get a majority vote on who to exile from the town. To speed things up, put a time limit on how long they get, or else their opportunity will be skipped.
  • One somebody is eliminated, they must remain silent for the rest of the game.
  • This game requires a lot of deciphering lies and knowing who to trust. The doctors and sheriffs play key strategic roles of when to reveal themselves because they might be targeted by the mafia in return.
  • The villagers win if they eliminate all the Mafia members, and the Mafia wins if they eliminate all the villagers.

This elaborate game requires a little bit of explaining to new participants, so it may be useful to have them watch a game first. But once the rules are clear, the game is very easy to play. Test your ability to play multiple roles and handle the pressure of living a double life. This game involves strategy, trust, and reading others, and makes for an exciting office break.

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Tuesday’s Taste of the Corporate Playbook: Toaster Game

Toaster Game

Icebreaker, Minute Move & Energizer

Length of Activity: 10 minutes

Required materials: toaster, bread, toppings

How to Play:

  • Sit in a circle around a toaster and put some bread in.
  • Right after the bread is pressed down into the toaster, people must take turns around the circle quickly sharing a fact about themselves.
  • The person talking when the bread pops up must then eat the toast with whatever weird topping the group chooses.

This game adds some stakes to quickly reciting facts about yourself, or else be faced with eating an unusual snack. This game can be used as an icebreaker or quick office break, and is sure way to energize the office with the anticipation of the toaster’s pop.

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Tuesday’s Taste of the Corporate Playbook: Toilet Paper Game

Toilet Paper Game

Icebreaker

Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes

Required materials: toilet paper roll

How to Play:

  • In a circle, pass around a toilet paper roll and have each person take as many or as few pieces as they wish.
  • Don’t disclose what this number represents, or to make things more interesting, ask them to take as many pieces as they would normally use.
  • After the roll has made its way around the entire circle, each person takes turns sharing one fact about themselves for each piece of toilet paper they are holding.

This simple icebreaker makes it easy to share facts with the group, and it adds a funny twist to decide how many each person shares.

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Tuesday’s Taste of the Corporate Playbook: Building Competitions

Building Competitions

Indoor Cooperative Game

Length of Activity: 20-30 minutes

Required materials: Anything that can be found in an office

How to Play:

  • Tower Building Competition
    • Gather office supplies such as paper, pens, tape, staplers, balls, water bottles, etc. and assign monetary value to each item based on how valuable they are to building a tower.
    • Give each team an equal amount of “money” to buy or bid on these items.
    • After supplies have been dispersed, teams are welcome to trade supplies between themselves as the game goes along.
    • After 10-15 minutes, the team with the tallest, self-supporting tower wins.
  • Paper Airplane Building Competition
    • As simple as the name sounds: the person/team’s paper airplane that flies the furthest wins.
    • This challenge can also be done tournament style with head-to-head match ups until a winner is decided.

Put your engineering skills, resourcefulness, and teamwork to the test with these competitions. These fun games add fun competition between teams in the office. Make sure to plan out your design to buy the right materials and strategize to make helpful trades with other teams. Secondary awards can be given to the teams with the smartest/most creative/prettiest designs.

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