Team-Building Through Board Games: The 10 Best Games for Board Game Geeks
Team-Building Through Board Games: The 10 Best Games for Board Game Geeks

Team-Building Through Board Games: The 10 Best Games for Board Game Geeks

While there are numerous team-building activities available, one often overlooked option is board games.

Yes, you read that right – board games.

These classic, unplugged forms of entertainment can provide a unique and enjoyable way to bring coworkers together and promote effective collaboration.

In this article, we will explore our list of the top 10 board games to play at work, the importance of creative team-building, the benefits of incorporating board games in team-building activities and guidelines for playing board games at work.

So, let's dive in and discover how board games can become a valuable tool for team-building in the workplace.

The Best 10 Board Games for Team Building at Work

These games vary in complexity and style but all share the common goal of promoting teamwork, communication, and strategic thinking, making them ideal choices for team building in a work environment.

1. Pandemic

This cooperative board game requires players to work together to stop the spread of global diseases. It's excellent for team building because it encourages communication, strategic planning, and problem-solving under pressure.

2. Codenames

A word association game where players split into two teams and try to guess words related to a given hint. It's great for team building as it fosters teamwork, enhances creative thinking, and improves communication skills.

3. Ticket to Ride

This strategy game involves collecting and playing matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities across the world. It's beneficial for team building because it requires critical thinking, forward planning, and collaboration to win.

4. Dixit

A storytelling card game where players use abstract images to tell a story that others have to guess. It encourages creativity, listening skills, and empathy, making it a great tool for team bonding and understanding different perspectives.

5. Escape Room

The Game: Simulates a real-life escape room experience where teams must solve puzzles and find clues to escape before time runs out. This game is perfect for team building as it requires communication, teamwork, and logical thinking.

6. Settlers of Catan

A resource management game that requires players to build settlements, cities, and roads by trading resources with others. It promotes strategic thinking, negotiation skills, and cooperation, making it an ideal choice for enhancing teamwork.

7. Space Alert

A cooperative team survival game where players work together to defend a spaceship from threats. It's great for team building because it requires quick thinking, cooperative planning, and real-time decision-making.

8. The Resistance

A game of social deduction where players attempt to uncover spies within the group. It's excellent for team building as it encourages communication, trust-building, and critical thinking.

9. Werewolf (or Mafia)

A role-playing game where players take on the roles of villagers or werewolves. The villagers must find the werewolves before they take over the village. This game is great for team building because it involves strategy, persuasion, and social deduction.

10. Carcassonne

A tile-placement game where players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The game's strategy and cooperative elements make it great for team building, as players must make decisions that can affect others and negotiate for mutual benefit.

Why Creative Team Building Is Essential

Effective team-building is essential for any organization that wants to create a positive work environment and maximize productivity.

It provides the opportunity for employees to:

  • Connect on a deeper level
  • Build trust
  • Enhance communication
  • Develop problem-solving skills

One of the key benefits of creative team-building activities is that they offer a break from the routine.

In the fast-paced world of business, employees often find themselves caught up in a never-ending cycle of work-related tasks. This can lead to burnout and a lack of motivation.

But creative team-building activities offer more than just a break from work. They also encourage creativity and stimulate innovative thinking.

When individuals step away from their work-related tasks and engage in activities that require them to think outside the box, they tap into their imagination and embrace a more playful mindset.

This shift in perspective can lead to increased collaboration and fresh perspectives when they return to their work responsibilities.

Moreover, creative team-building activities provide a platform for employees to showcase their unique talents and skills. In a traditional work setting, individuals may not always have the opportunity to fully express themselves or explore their creative potential.

However, through team-building exercises that incorporate creativity, employees can showcase their abilities and contribute in ways that they may not have been able to in their regular work roles.

Additionally, creative team-building activities foster a sense of camaraderie and unity among team members.

When individuals engage in activities that are outside of their comfort zones or require them to work together towards a common goal, they build trust and develop stronger relationships with their colleagues.

This sense of camaraderie translates into improved communication and collaboration within the workplace, leading to a more cohesive and productive team.

The Benefits of Incorporating Board Games in Team-Building Activities

Board games offer a wealth of benefits when it comes to team-building activities.

Team Bonding

The best board games provide an avenue for team members to bond and develop stronger relationships.

As individuals engage in friendly competition, they share moments of laughter, excitement and friendly banter. These shared experiences create lasting memories and foster a sense of camaraderie among team members.

By building positive relationships, teams can improve collaboration, communication and trust, which are crucial for achieving collective goals.

Healthy Competition

Games promote healthy competition, encouraging individuals to work together towards a common goal while still enjoying a friendly rivalry.

This healthy competition not only adds excitement and engagement to the team-building activity but also fosters a sense of camaraderie among team members.

As they strive to outwit and outmaneuver each other on the game board, board game geeks learn to appreciate each other's strengths and develop a deeper understanding of their colleagues' unique perspectives and problem-solving approaches.

Level Playing Field

Additionally, board games provide a level playing field, where everyone has an equal chance to participate and contribute, regardless of their job title or position within the company.

In a corporate setting, where hierarchies and power dynamics can sometimes hinder effective collaboration, board games offer a refreshing change.

This equalizing effect helps break down hierarchical barriers and facilitates open communication between team members.

As individuals engage in friendly banter, strategize together and make joint decisions during the game, they learn to value each other's ideas and opinions, fostering a more inclusive and collaborative work environment.

Promotes Key Skills

Board games require vital skills for teamwork and project management, such as:

  • Strategic thinking/planning
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Logical reasoning
  • Analytical thinking
  • Innovative thinking

By engaging in these mental exercises within a game setting, team members can sharpen their cognitive abilities and learn to think critically under pressure.

The challenges presented by popular board games often mirror real-life scenarios, allowing individuals to practice their problem-solving skills in a low-stakes environment.

This not only enhances their ability to work together as a team but also equips them with valuable skills that can be applied to their professional lives.


Finally, board games can be a great icebreaker, especially for new team members or during team-building sessions, as they create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere that helps individuals bond and connect on a personal level.

As team members engage in friendly competition, laughter and shared experiences, they build rapport and trust with one another. This newfound camaraderie extends beyond the game itself, laying the foundation for stronger working relationships and improved collaboration in the workplace.

Top board games provide a common ground for team members to interact and get to know each other outside of their usual work roles, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie that can positively impact team dynamics.

Technology Free Time

Board games provide an opportunity for employees to take a break from technology and be unplugged, fostering a sense of mindfulness and reducing screen time.

This break allows individuals to recharge, improve focus and combat the mental fatigue that often accompanies long hours spent in front of a computer.

Guidelines for Playing Board Games at Work

When introducing board games for team-building at work, it's essential to establish guidelines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Here are a few key guidelines to consider:

  1. Choose games that are suitable for both beginners and experienced players, ensuring everyone can participate and feel comfortable, avoid those with complex rules. Consider factors such as playtime, complexity and theme.
  2. Set clear expectations regarding behavior, emphasizing the importance of respect, fair play and good sportsmanship throughout the game.
  3. Allocate a sufficient amount of time for gameplay, ensuring that individuals can fully engage in the experience without feeling rushed. You also don't want gameplay to interfere with work priorities.
  4. Encourage open communication and collaboration during gameplay, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and supporting one another within the game's context.
  5. Consider rotating teams or game partners, allowing individuals to interact with and get to know different colleagues in a fun and relaxed setting.
  6. Integrating board games into team-building events or designated time slots. This way, board games can serve as a refreshing break from the usual routine, fostering creativity, collaboration and problem-solving skills.
  7. Encourage participants to provide feedback and suggestions for future game selections is also important. Consider creating a suggestion box or an online platform where employees can share their thoughts and recommendations.

By following these guidelines, top board games can effectively facilitate team-building and create a positive and engaging experience for all participants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely! Online platforms and virtual board game simulations let teams play games like Settlers of Catan, Codenames, Monopoly or Scrabble. Virtual adaptations let team members foster camaraderie, improve collaboration, enhance problem-solving skills, boost morale and increase satisfaction. Friendly competition, developing trust and strengthening relationships leads to more cohesion and productivity.

It's important to create an inclusive environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their preferences. Not everyone is enthusiastic for board games. So offering various team-building activities like virtual escape rooms, trivia games, collaborative art projects or outdoor events ensures everyone can participate in a way that aligns with their interests.

Through board games, team members learn to listen actively, articulate thoughts clearly and collaborate. They must convey ideas, negotiate and adapt strategies based on other players’ actions. This builds trust and encourages open dialogue. Additionally, the relaxed setting lets team members bond and connect on a personal level, improving communication.

No. Games should promote teamwork, communication and organizations’ values and objectives. If the company emphasizes creativity and innovation, creative thinking and problem-solving games like Dixit or Concept may suit. Alternatively for strategic planning and decision-making, games like Pandemic or Power Grid could fit. Cooperative games with common goals foster unity.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating board games into team-building activities can be a refreshing and effective way to promote collaboration, foster stronger relationships and enhance communication within the workplace.

By embracing the unplugged fun of board games, organizations can create a positive work environment that enhances employee satisfaction, boosts productivity and cultivates a sense of camaraderie among team members.

So, the next time you're planning a team-building activity, consider bringing out the board games and watch as your team comes together in the spirit of unplugged fun.

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