Go for the Gold With Office Olympics

Last Updated May 16, 2008 10:24 AM EDT

2377719775_6e9e056d9c_m.jpgDays are getting longer and hotter, and thoughts of office workers naturally turn to ... stupid games and goofing off. As I've argued before, nothing builds a team bond better than humor. And what could be more of a hoot than your very own Office Olympics, especially with the Beijing Games on the horizon?

Sure, I hear you now: Talk about a waste of time! Isn't this, in fact, the opposite of productive?

Well, if you're talking about getting actual work done -- yes. This is definitely not going to get your widgets made faster. But you'll recoup the few hours you spend by gaining a re-energized, happier and more bonded team.

At the very least, you'll have something to write about in the office newsletter.

Here are some ideas to get your Olympic torch lit. And feel free to add your own in the comments section!

Chair Rowing Seated competitors must push off with both feet. Bonus points for faking a rowing motion with hands. Can be done as an individual or team competition. Coxswain optional.

Target Shooting Contestants throw Sharpies at paper target from a fixed distance. Must leave a mark (on target, not contestant) to score.

Coffee Mug Marathon Athletes carrying coffee cups filled to the brim must circle the floor at least six times. Winners are judged by a combination of fastest time and least amount spilled. (Bonus points for using piping-hot coffee.)

Shot Put Employees attempt to heave a stapler the longest distance using traditional shot-putting techniques. (Event is best held in a parking lot or a padded room.)

Paper Sculling Individuals or teams construct a boat out of office paper and blow it across a tub of water in head-to-head competition. Sinking is an automatic DQ.

Office Ping-Pong Clear a conference table and set a line of books across the middle to make a net. Opponents use either a book or a bare hand to compete. Ping-Pong or other bouncy ball required. Hard hats optional.

Hurdles Competitors race down a hallway, leaping over reams of paper (low difficulty), boxes (medium difficulty), or office chairs (high difficulty/rather stupid).

Book Balance Beam Athletes prance across a narrow, stacked row of books at least 2 feet high and 8 feet long. Routines are evaluated, rated and, of course, mocked by a panel of judges.

(image by saeru via Flickr, CC 2.0)
  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for AnchorDesk.com and writes regularly for Law.com and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.