The COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly pushed most companies into adopting remote work arrangements. These new arrangements seemed to offer advantages to many employees and business leaders at first. However, as the pandemic continued to thrive, some industry experts are now acknowledging the emotional and mental toll of the physical distance that remote work entails.
According to a recent study on how work-from-home arrangements are making employees feel, 72% feel less attached to their teams and tasks (The Offsite Co, n.d.). A study on the neuroscience of social pain also indicates that social pain takes place when a person feels excluded, and it triggers the same brain regions as physical pain. These discoveries imply that lack of social interaction can negatively impact a remote worker’s mental wellbeing. (Petrova, 2019).
Employees who feel lonely and isolated will not feel comfortable working remotely and participating in other work-related tasks (Time Doctor, n.d.). Here, we will focus on how Zoom games can inspire both employees and managers, their diverse categories, and how they make the new normal interesting and manageable.
Whether a company is operating fully remote or just partially remote, playing Zoom games is crucial in engaging remote employees and building a solid foundation for the company. Unfortunately, many companies are ignoring the importance of these activities and missing out on a lot of opportunities.
Current employees will feel supported and valued, while newly hired ones will feel welcomed and excited to start their first day of work. Teams will be given a chance to work on tasks in a healthy work environment, which nurtures efficiency and innovation. Solving a problem with a team also paves the way for establishing rapport and stronger professional relationships, leading to higher employee satisfaction (Time Doctor, n.d.).
Zoom fatigue is real, and managers may experience it, too. Through Zoom games, managers can figure out the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. This instance makes managing and distributing assignments more effective. It also allows them to identify what workers need to be able to perform their jobs well (Time Doctor, n.d.).
Quick Zoom Games
Quick Zoom games are simple games that will not be time-consuming for employees. These games do not also require much effort from them as they are just designed to break the ice and elicit quick bursts of laughter right before a meeting.
Five Things is an impromptu game that encourages team building. To start, ask one employee to think of a topic. Give him or her 15 seconds to come up with 5 items belonging to the topic. Afterward, he or she must choose another coworker to continue the game.
Guess That Movie
Before playing Guess That Movie, create a playlist with movie scenes first. During the game, mute all the Zoom meeting participants and play each movie scene for them to guess. Let them submit their guesses in the chatbox. Whoever guesses the correct movie first wins.
Pictionary is an all-time favorite board game, which can be easily adapted for virtual meetings. Share screens and choose the whiteboard app in Zoom. The employee who will be tasked to draw will receive instructions, while the rest of the team has a minute to guess the image. If the team does not guess the correct answer before the time is up, the other team gets to steal (Alexis, 2021).
Zoom Masked Singer
Zoom Masked Singer is the online adaptation of the popular show “The Masked Singer”. Enter the Zoom call with all videos turned off and alias as everyone’s names. Let each employee sing for a minute or two; then, have the rest of the team vote for their favorite singer. Once everyone has picked their favorite, let them guess who that singer is.
Read My Lips
Read My Lips turns situations of unintentionally muting oneself into something enjoyable. Here, one participant will mute his or her mic and utter a word or phrase. The rest of the team has a minute to guess what the uttered word or phrase was. Clues may also be provided in the chatbox if needed.
Zoom Games for Large Groups
Holding virtual meetings is hard, and it is even harder when participants are plenty. These Zoom games for large groups aim to make these meetings more attainable and less awkward.
Building a Storyline
Building a Storyline is an old and exciting Zoom activity. Have the entire team virtually create a circle. The first employee starts the story with an opening sentence and another unfinished one. The next employee finishes the previous line and continues with another unfinished sentence. Each employee will contribute until everyone has joined.
This game must be able to develop a sensible story, encouraging employees to unleash their creativity and skills for effective communication (Time Doctor, n.d.).
Guess the Emoji
Guess the Emoji is played by presenting a list of the Zoom meeting participants first. Next, have them guess the top five most-used emojis of each person within five minutes. Let them know if they have guessed the correct answers. The employee who guesses the most correct answers wins.
Each employee will choose a word or phrase spoken in their native language. Together with some clues, these words or phrases will be presented to the rest of the team. Everyone else must guess what each item means by relying on the clues. The first employee with the most number of correct guesses wins.
Language Class is perfect for global teams who speak different languages across the workplace. It lets everyone learn new things while understanding other cultures (Harper, 2021).
Let everyone express their frustration about their canceled trips through this game. Encourage them to post a picture of their favorite trip or their next dream travel location. Plane Ticket will have everyone talking about their most unforgettable memories or aspirations in life (The Offsite Co, n.d.).
Meme Chat makes it possible to talk in memes. Begin the game by choosing a theme. Then, send a related meme to the chatbox. The entire conversation must only go on through the exchange of memes.
Zoom Team Building Ideas to Deepen Professional Relationships
A deep professional relationship makes a team work. Featured below are Zoom team building ideas that will help employees recognize this facet.
Call of the Champions
Call of the Champions prompts the designation of roles during meetings. These roles may include:
A cheerleader who will cheer everyone up during the meeting and persuade them to do the same
A mover and shaker who acts like a cop, getting everyone back on track when something is not progressing
A shade thrower who will politely boo others
A photographer who will take snapshots of the team during the meeting
Zoom Werewolf is the virtual version of the famous game of deception. Play this game by privately messaging everyone about their characters. These characters must include a werewolf, a doctor, a hunter, a seer, and villagers.
After declaring that the night has fallen, everyone must close their eyes. For each round, the werewolf must eat someone, the doctor must save someone, and the seer must predict who the werewolf is. Have these characters submit their answers privately to keep the mystery alive.
Announce the rising of the sun and confirm the success of the werewolf. Then, ask everyone to share who they think the werewolf is, and eliminate participants every round. They would win if the werewolf survives until the end (Alexis, 2021).
Zoom Cribs, which is the virtual version of MTV Cribs or House Hunters, asks participants to show their homes to each other online. MuseumHack Marketing Associate Jesse Sussman believes that this game is an entertaining way to know more about the team and their personalities at home.
Aside from showing off their homes, employees may also show off their favorite items or spaces. This game promotes connection and camaraderie among the team (Time Doctor, n.d.).
Never Have I Ever: Zoom Edition
Make a list of general topics. Everyone begins with five points and loses one point for each item that they have done. The last person standing will be declared as the winner.
Never Have I Ever: Zoom Edition enables employees to find out new and fun information about each other and join a friendly competition at the same time (Time Doctor, n.d.).
A Channel for the Pets
A Channel for the Pets is one of the most favorite Zoom tasks of many employees. In this activity, a channel will be created solely for posting pictures of everyone’s pets. This is an almost effortless Zoom task but boosts team building and the workplace culture (Sussman, 2021).
Zoom Games to Promote Teamwork and Problem-Solving Skills
This section enumerates Zoom games that promote teamwork and problem-solving skills. These games can be extensive and pretty complicated but can achieve impressive outcomes (Smart, 2020).
The Aliens Are Here
Divide the entire team into smaller ones, each with three or four members. Tell them that the aliens are here on Earth, but they only know how to communicate using their incomprehensible language. Thus, each team must choose five pictures or symbols that they think best describe the company.
This game helps managers understand how employees perceive the company and its culture. It also helps enhance problem-solving and communication skills (Time Doctor, n.d.).
The Counting Game
The Counting Game works by having employees count to 10. If any of them mentions a number randomly, then count to one again.
Understanding body language and eye contact is more interesting during Zoom meetings, and this skill is necessary for everyone to learn. Strategies can also be planned for this game to become more effective.
War of the Wizards
As a collaborative storytelling game, War of the Wizards has RPG and escape room elements. For a long time, a team of wizards has been fighting in this game. Then, the rest of the team becomes the minions of the wizards who collect resources and magical things to end the ongoing war.
This game lasts for about 90 minutes, in which players will make stories, take actions, play the “Chaos Wheel,” and try to achieve results. It develops creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills (Alexis, 2021).
Let participants picture that they are stranded on a deserted island, and they have only brought seven items with them. These items must be mysterious and challenging, like fruit or vegetable seeds, a rope, a blanket, and so on. Then, divide the team into small groups and have them brainstorm on choosing the items. Once they are finished, conduct a team video meeting and talk about what they have planned.
This game will urge employees to use their critical thinking and strategic planning skills. It will also promote teamwork, friendly competition, and a sense of enthusiasm within the team (Time Doctor, n.d.).
Can You Hear Me Now?
Can You Hear Me Now? is played by assigning one person to be the speaker and the rest of the team will be the artists. The speaker uses an image from a random image generator. The mission is to have the artists draw that image successfully only by listening to the speaker’s description of the image. The twist is that the speaker must only describe the image through geometric shapes.
With limited instructions, this game improves communication skills and listening skills (Sussman, 2021).
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How Is the Video Conferencing Industry Crucial to Major US Sectors
How Is the Video Conferencing Industry Crucial to Major US Sectors Corporate firms use video calling programs.: 78
Corporate firms use video calling programs.
How Is the Video Conferencing Industry Crucial to Major US Sectors Businesses with about 250 employees have a higher chance to buy video calling software.: 83
Businesses with about 250 employees have a higher chance to buy video calling software.
How Is the Video Conferencing Industry Crucial to Major US Sectors SMEs are possibly to buy video calling software.: 27
SMEs are possibly to buy video calling software.
How Is the Video Conferencing Industry Crucial to Major US Sectors Hospitals are already using or are presently designing a telehealth service.: 75
Hospitals are already using or are presently designing a telehealth service.
How Is the Video Conferencing Industry Crucial to Major US Sectors Educators say video conferencing solutions will help more students earn sophisticated degrees.: 88
Educators say video conferencing solutions will help more students earn sophisticated degrees.
Other Fun Games to Play on Zoom with Coworkers
Zoom games indeed require more effort, cooperation, and commitment from each employee. However, as time passes and they get more comfortable with each other, they will be more willing to join future activities and build more friendships (Time Doctor, n.d.). Here are other fun games to play on Zoom with coworkers.
Whose Office Is It Anyway?
Trying to get familiar with everyone in a remote setup is not easy. Whose Office Is It Anyway? lets employees know more about their coworkers (Harper, 2021). Ask them to take a picture of their home offices and upload them online. Then, have everyone guess whose office is being shown for each picture.
Arm’s Reach Show & Tell
Arm’s Reach Show & Tell is played by giving employees only a minute to search for something within their arms reach that is significant to them. Each of them must share why a certain item has that kind of significance to them.
In Spreadsheet Wars, employees can show off their Google Sheets skills. Pick a theme like “most innovative calculation” or “create a recipe generator.” Employees can only use the spreadsheet software to propose a solution. This game can level up employees’ skills on Google Sheets and similar tools while having fun performing it (Sussman, 2021).
Pin the Map
Much to everyone’s surprise, research on the cultural diversity of distributed teams claim that cultural diversity in the workplace can also be a barrier. Thus, it is important for everyone to be familiar with each other to stop individual differences from interfering with team performance (Harper, 2021).
To play Pin the Map, create an interactive world map first. Then, ask everyone to show where they are born and where they are currently residing by pinning their picture onto the map. While playing the game, the facilitator should ask questions, like what their dream vacation place would be, the best food they have tried, and so on.
Provide everyone with a varied list of ten words. Set the timer for one minute. The first participant starts by describing the chosen word without mentioning the actual word. Then, the next participants go on. The winner will be the one who has the most correctly guessed words.
Articulate guarantees a great laugh for everyone.
Zoom Games: Making the New Normal Interesting and Manageable
At times, handling remote employees can be difficult for managers, but it is feasible. In fact, Upwork’s Third Annual “Future Workforce Report” says that 73% of companies will employ remote workers by 2028. With the right virtual activities, getting everyone on the same page on Zoom meetings will be just as easy as it is on face-to-face meetings (Time Doctor, n.d.).
Creating a virtual work environment that harbors collaboration, teamwork, and camaraderie is integral for companies, and there is no better way to achieve that than to facilitate Zoom games.