Did you know that the Mars confectionery term “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play” was created by the late great legendary commentator, Murray Walker?
Whilst this phrase became synonymous with the Mars branding, it’s had somewhat of a revival in terms of peoples approaches to a work life balance.
Juggling adult life can be challenging, and even more so when starting a new role or changing career paths entirely. Irrespective of the age you are when this occurs, it can set stress levels and nerves at an all-time high.
Some industries offer phased induction processes, often it’s a case of a short time shadowing colleagues and then you’re put to work. It can be challenging to understand new language and protocols, aside from that, getting to know your colleagues and them getting to know you can also add to new job anxiety.
It is also an opportunity to get to know your own colleagues better in a more relaxed environment.
At 2-Work, we are very keen to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for our community and visitors. Whilst our own team work tirelessly to create activities and events that are suited for all of the wonderful mix of businesses who use our space, we wanted to explore the fun concept of ice breakers. So we set to work talking to our various members – new and existing – to get some insight into the types of things they have experienced throughout their careers.
We heard lots of weird and wonderful examples and took it upon ourselves to explore a little further to create our top 5:
1. GUESS THE BABY
Each member of the team has to bring in a baby photograph. They are then spread face down on a desk and mixed up. The fun starts when people try to guess whose picture belongs to which of their co-workers. It encourages great conversation, interaction and learning something about your colleagues childhood. Who knew Jeff from accounting wasn’t born with that gigantic beard?
2. 2 TRUTHS 1 LIE
As the title explains, each person must say two truths and 1 lie about themselves leaving their colleagues to guess which one is a lie. This game again creates a fun way to learn things about your colleagues whilst allowing the participants to be creative about their “lie”. However, it’s environment dependant and watch out for some things you may not have wished to learn about Linda from IT!
3. BROKEN TELEPHONE
This is a great game for new and existing colleagues to play because its about careful communication which often results in hilarity. Participants must stand in a line, or a circle and the starting player will think of a short sentence, for which they must whisper into the ear of the person on their left. This continues throughout the group until it reaches the last person who must then announce the sentence they believe to be correctly started with. If your team manages to complete this with the correct sentence start to finish, then that’s a success, however, quite often things are lost midway in translation and you can be assured – laughter is the best medicine.
4. cards against humanity
Not a game for a serious corporate environment but a great ice breaker for geographic teams who are not together often, or a more laidback office environment – mainly because – well….it’s described as “a party game for horrible people”. However, if you don’t mind a little innuendo, inappropriate language or general jokiness, this could be the ideal game for your teams and will certainly have your colleagues in stitches. The game is basic in nature – each person has their own stack of cards. Someone will draw a card which will be half a sentence and the players around will produce a card from their own deck to complete the sentence. If your solution is voted as the funniest, you win the round. You can print a free copy of this game from Cards Against Humanity website, as long as you promise not to use it to make money!
5. the marshmallow challenge
This works best with small groups containing 3-6 team members each. Each team will need a kit containing 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, one marshmallow, one meter of string, one meter of tape and one measuring tape. Each team is given 20 minutes and must assemble the tallest freestanding structure with the materials they have and it must support the marshmallow on the top without collapsing. It’s a superb ice breaking game or simply as a team bonding exercise as it encourages each team member to brainstorm and work collaboratively. It also seeks each participant to consider a Plan B option and as such used problem-solving skills. Just make sure competitive Kate from sales isn’t playing….she has been known to sabotage other teams efforts!