In an article for "The Business Times," Microsoft CEO Bill Gates identified "building morale" and "creating a productive environment" as two traits of a good office manager. Office managers can use games during birthday parties or during warm-ups to build a sense of team spirit and create a fun, lively atmosphere. Games can also encourage trusting and open relationships among office workers, which leads to better communication and productivity.
Get to Know Me
Office warm-ups are games and activities played by co-workers before a meeting, at the start of the work day, or when beginning a new project. The "Get to Know Me" warm-up game helps introduce new co-workers and also fosters trust among existing employees. In this game, employees sit in a circle. Each employee pairs off with an adjacent co-worker and asks her partner three questions. These questions can consist of personal queries about achievement, such as "What are you most proud of in your career?" Encourage employees to open up to one another with questions such as "What is one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?" Participants can also ask their own questions, as well, "What's your ideal vacation and why?" At the end of this warm-up game, employees will have learnt more about their fellow workers.
A scavenger hunt is a great way to have fun and build morale during office birthday parties. In this game, the manager draws up lists of items hidden around the office. The workers break into two or more groups, depending on the number of people present. Working as a team, each group tries to find as many of the items on their list as possible within a set time limit.
My Name Means
Use warm-up games to stimulate creativity before beginning a new project. A sample brainstorming warm-up is the game "My Name Means." Divide workers into small groups. Each receives a sheet of paper and prints his name in caps. The group members describe their co-worker using adjectives that begin with each letter of his name. This warm-up is a fun way to help employees get their creative juices flowing.
Press Conference Game
Employees can play the "Press Conference" game during birthday parties or as an office warm-up. In the "Press Conference" game, one person is "it" and leaves the room during his turn. The remaining office workers decide which famous person, such as a celebrity, athlete or politician, that he must play when he returns.
When the person who is "it" comes back, he stands in front of his co-workers, who ask him questions that the famous person would likely hear during a press conference. The person who is "it" must determine which celebrity he is playing before a set amount of time expires. As a warm-up, this game stimulates creativity before meetings.
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