The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > The Game Room

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-09-2012, 06:59 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Morale/team building games for the office

I can't get into the backstory on this, but we're currently dealing with a bad situation at my job and morale is very low. I have been trying to think of some sort of game or group activity that we could do together that would cheer people up. We have a puzzle set up in the break room that people have been working on when they have some down time, but I'm trying to think of something a little more exciting and interactive.

I've already considered setting up an office game of Mafia, but although that could be fun I'm afraid a game based on lying is more a team breaking activity. We don't need any more stress than we already have. Something along the lines of a fantasy football league might be better, only not actually a fantasy football league because we don't have many sports fans. ETA: We're not in sales and we have different enough work duties that we couldn't compete to see who can sell the most widgets or complete task X the most times by the end of the month.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'll give some basics about our setup to make it more clear what would and wouldn't be practical. There'd be no official budget for this, but I'd personally be willing to spend around $50 on supplies or prizes.

Right now there are eight of us in the office on roughly the same schedule. We're all between the ages of 25 and 35, and all reasonably intelligent. FWIW our group is also majority female. We're physically divided between two different office suites in the same building, which also contains other offices and spaces that are open to the public. There are three of us in one suite and five in the other. Anyone might have a legitimate work-related reason to be visiting the other work space at just about any time during the day, but in general it would be easy for the two groups to talk amongst themselves without being overheard by the other group.

We all share the same large break room. We all have computers, but we wouldn't be able to play some multiplayer online game together. We do have an internal chat system that allows us to chat one-on-one or in groups. We all have white boards on our office doors where we could leave public messages for each other. Because of our job duties we wouldn't be able to all get together physically very often; we could probably do a once-a-week lunch break where we eat and play games, but that's about it. We could meet for lunch in small groups more often than that. Otherwise we'd have to be playing the game only when we have down time, either by ourselves or with whoever else happens to be free.

Last edited by Lamia; 03-09-2012 at 07:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-10-2012, 03:59 PM
Babale Babale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
I have to say, team-building games usually make everyone hate the leadership instead of bond with each other.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-10-2012, 05:35 PM
Odesio Odesio is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
I hate to sound mean, but if you're having serious morale problems then silly games aren't going to solve them. You have to look at the reasons behind the low morale and address those issues.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-10-2012, 05:44 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Orlando
Posts: 3,688
Nix the games, just bring beer and/or doughnuts. Just sit around talking in a relaxed environment will work better than any game.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-10-2012, 05:56 PM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Potluck! This gives each person a chance to go shopping for large quantities of ingredients for foods they wouldn't otherwise eat. Their spirits will be lifted when sampling the offerings of their fellow workers. Potlucks simultaneously allow everyone the opportunity to readily identify those with the lowest morale (the bearers of plates, cups, napkins, and plasticwear).

OK, no potlucks.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-10-2012, 06:23 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babale View Post
I have to say, team-building games usually make everyone hate the leadership instead of bond with each other.
Well, I'm not in leadership, and no one would be compelled to participate. I am just trying to think of something that would help to cheer my coworkers up. I don't think anyone hates the person who brought puzzles in for the break room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odesio View Post
I hate to sound mean, but if you're having serious morale problems then silly games aren't going to solve them. You have to look at the reasons behind the low morale and address those issues.
It's no mystery to any of us what the reasons are, but I really cannot discuss them here and am not in any position to do anything about them anyway. There isn't much that any of us can do, we basically just have to wait out a bad situation...and it is going to take months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanzy View Post
Nix the games, just bring beer and/or doughnuts. Just sit around talking in a relaxed environment will work better than any game.
When we get to talking the conversation tends to turn back to the stressful situation we're in, how frustrated we are with it, and how we wish there were something we could do about it. We really need some other subject that we can all talk about that has nothing to do with work. A game could fill that role, although I've also been thinking we might be able to use the conference room to have lunch and watch some good TV show on DVD/online once a week or so. A full length movie would be too long unless we split it up over several sessions, but it would only take 22-45 minutes to watch a TV show and that would easily fit within the lunch hour.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-10-2012, 06:50 PM
running coach running coach is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 15,710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamia View Post
Well, I'm not in leadership, and no one would be compelled to participate. I am just trying to think of something that would help to cheer my coworkers up. I don't think anyone hates the person who brought puzzles in for the break room.
You could do a re-enactment of the Ides of March.

Or increase the beatings until morale improves.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-10-2012, 06:55 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
My team has gotten into the habit of going bowling when we get stressed out. This provides a considerable break for us, as we are most definitely not in the bowling demographic. We've done it twice now, which means that I have now bowled...twice.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-10-2012, 07:59 PM
Keweenaw Keweenaw is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 620
My group worked a Habitat for Humanity project. Besides being really rewarding personally, I think people really saw each other differently with the shared experience. Looking forward to doing it again sometime.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.