James Smart

Guess the desk

by .  
15 - 304 + Low

An energiser game for remote teams where participants share images of their work set-up and attempt to guess opponents' desks while bluffing their own!



Help your team share best working practices while also getting to know one another in an energising and fun way!



A gently competitive twist on an old remote-working standard, Guess the Desk is a game to help online teams get to know each other, share their workspaces while also having fun and getting energised!

Step 1:
Have every participant take a photograph of their desk or work set-up. Whether this is an actual desk, the kitchen table or the sofa, everything and anything works! Advise your participants to remove any obviously identifying things from their desks where possible!

Step 2:
Each participant sends the photograph to the facilitator over a private message and the facilitator then puts these randomly into an online whiteboard or shared Google Doc. 

Step 3:

The facilitator elects the first Desk President randomly. During each round, the Desk President gets to decide on the final vote of whose desk is whose. In the first round, have the group debate on who the first desk belongs to. Timebox this so they have only 60 seconds to decide.

When this time is up, the Desk President casts the vote. If they get it right, the Desk President gets a point. The Desk President then chooses the next President and play moves to the next round.

Continue in this way until all the desks have been guessed!

Additional rules for play:

If your desk is being guessed, your job is to convince the group it belongs to someone else. If the Desk President votes that your desk belongs to someone else - you get a point!

As Desk President, you cannot go against the group's decision if your desk is the one being deliberated. 

(These rules are part of what makes the game fun and competitive - you can play without them but they make participants bluff and really consider whose desk is whose!) 

Step 4:

Total all the points, find the winner and then debrief. Share best practices from the desk photos for remote work - pointing out good working set-ups and inviting participants to contribute on what ideas they might take from someone else's desk. 


Once you've played this game with a group once, you can't play the same version with them again. Instead of desks, try taking photographs of meals, bookshelves, gardens or wardrobes! 

If you want to up the ante, select one person randomly to be the Spy and tell them they are the Spy in private. The Spy's job is to make the group guess incorrectly during each round but without completely giving themselves away. 

The Spy gets ten points if they get to the end of the game without being found out.

Once per game, the group can table a motion to accuse a Spy. They vote as a group on who the Spy is and the Desk President casts the final vote. If they find the Spy, everyone on the team gets five points and the Spy is out for the rest of the game.

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