July 28, 2022

How to get the most out of a puzzle team building activity at work

A good puzzle team building activity can be a powerful tool. But you want to make sure you have enough time to complete each one once you start.

Many team building apps and activities have plenty of puzzling options.

Some of these puzzle team building activity ideas are complex. Others are simple. This can make it difficult to know which kind of activity to use at any given moment.

Here are several suggestions for different puzzle-based team building games depending on how much time you have for your next activity.

Puzzling activities that are short, medium, and long 

Team building activities that use puzzles can benefit your team in a lot of different ways. For instance, they can:



In order to tap into these benefits, you need to figure out how to use the right team building puzzle challenge for each occasion you’re in. Often this boils down to two things:


  1. How much time you have.
  2. Whether you’re working remotely or not. 


The suggestions below are all applicable in both in-person and remote circumstances (with one exception that we point out along the way). 


Critically, they’re also presented in order from short to medium to long suggestions. That way, you can choose a puzzle-based activity that fits your current time constraints.

Short team building puzzle games

Each puzzle team building activity below is ideal for a quick, free team building session. You shouldn’t need more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete each one. If you’re getting ready to kick off a meeting or have a few minutes before you start the work day, try one of these.

  • Solve a riddle together: Riddles work well, whether you’re on a video conference call or meeting face to face. There are many challenging riddles out there. Solve a couple before you get started on the work stuff!
  • Play Two Truths and a Lie: This one applies the puzzling fun to one of your team members. Have someone from your group present three facts about themselves: two that are true, and one that’s a lie. See if the rest of the team can figure out which is which.
  • Try a rebus puzzle as a group: Rebus puzzles take the riddling fun to a visual medium. This picture pieces game team building format is a great way to quickly get everyone’s brains stimulated.


Keep these puzzle team building activities bookmarked. That way you have options if you want to sneak in an activity that is both quick and challenging.

Medium team building activities using puzzles

This next set of team building puzzle games gives your team a bit more time to really develop their skills together. Plan on anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for each one.

  • Assemble Five Square Puzzles: This is a fun printable activity that works as a picture pieces team building game for work. It challenges each team member to create the same size square using three different shapes cut from paper. Do it in a conference room or online over a video stream.
  • Tackle some math puzzles together: These are similar to the short options above. However, a math-focused puzzle team building game can take more time, since, well …math is involved. The good news is that there are plenty of math puzzles online, complete with answer keys included!
  • Put together jigsaw puzzles: Many of these suggestions work for online team building. But a jigsaw puzzle team building activity typically works best in an in-person office setting. Why? Because it’s hard to put together an intricate puzzle over the internet. If you want to make this puzzle piece team building activity more challenging, split up your team into groups with different puzzles (and a few pieces from the other groups’ puzzles) and force them to barter for different puzzle pieces from other groups.

More complex puzzles, like these, challenge your team’s collective dynamic. Just remember to plan a little more time for each one so you’re not rushed.

Long puzzle team building activities

Finally, we have longer puzzle activities. These tend to require prep time, come with financial costs, and can take hours to play. But the reward is well worth the effort.

  • Bond over a murder mystery: There’s nothing like solving a puzzling murder together to build that emotional group dynamic. You can set up a puzzle activity for team building in your office or find a good online murder mystery alternative.
  • Extract yourselves from an escape room: Escape rooms are also good team building activities puzzles. This time, your team needs to problem solve with a time crunch, too! Again, there are in-person and virtual escape room options available. Just make sure to plan ahead.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt: A scavenger hunt is a cool geographic team building puzzle game. They help your team bond together and can be a great way to get out of the office. Even remote teams can benefit from a good virtual scavenger hunt from time to time.


If you’re looking for a longer team building exercise, use a puzzle option like these. They embrace fun, promote team bonding, and hone important group skills all at the same time.

Team bonding with puzzles

Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes. They can be quick and easy or complex and challenging.


It’s important to plan ahead each time you want to use a puzzle-based team building activity. That way you know you’ll have the time to properly solve each riddle, mystery, or math question when the time comes.

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