There have been a lot of companies in the last year that have found it necessary to shift to remote workplaces. This has offered them several opportunities for innovation and unexpected benefits. Even as the world begins to return to normal, many businesses are choosing to continue using the remote workplace. The zoom tool has become a staple for all kinds of functions so why not team building? Here are some zoom team building ideas.
If your business continues to utilize the remote workplace, know that team building is no less important online than in person. Team building can help your team work better together by helping employees communicate more effectively. Team building exercises can help employees understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses better as well, meaning that employees will be better equipped to do their daily tasks. All of these benefits will help your bottom line. Efficient workers mean lower overhead costs and better profits.
Using Zoom for team building exercises can be a convenient way for your company to incorporate more team building opportunities for employees without having to invest in more programs.
This article will offer you a list of engaging exercises to try at your next Zoom team building activity.
Some Challenges to Keep in Mind
If you employ Zoom team building activities and tactics, you should consider things before planning your first event. A lot of Zoom team building events don’t go perfectly the first time. Your company culture may not be at the level of openness you’re striving for, and so you’re looking at a group of employees that are already not communicating well. You want to set up your employees for success, and the first step for doing that is trying to create the right company culture.
Think about this. Do your remote workers talk outside of work, or about non-work-related topics? Offer a safe place for water-cooler talk through the current chat service you use. This can be the element that opens up communication and helps your employees understand each other more.
Water-cooler chat may be particularly vital for a multi-national business that has employees from across the world working together. Open communication can help them see each other as individuals, overcome prejudices, and understand each other’s schedules and obligations outside of the workplace. All of these can reduce communication frustrations, especially when employees are mostly speaking to each other through chat.
How to Pick a Good Zoom Team Building Activity
Make sure that your employees feel like your Zoom team building is for them… because it is. Involve them in the planning, or set up the meeting around an event that affects your business directly. Team building ideas like birthday or retirement parties make employees feel appreciated and valued. Other ideas could include celebrating the end of a project or getting together around the holidays.
Also, if you’re going to be using other programs for your activity make sure that everyone attending will be able to access them. Doing tests before your activity will help prevent confusion and ensure that everyone has a good time.
Using a Classic—Icebreakers
Never undervalue the power of the icebreaker. Though many think icebreakers are a tired way of introducing new people to each other, they are a tried-and-true method of opening the doors for communication. Icebreakers should be used with new members, but can also be used with teams that have been working together for a while.
Here are a few icebreakers you can try at your next meeting or Zoom team building event.
The Bowl of Questions
Get a big bowl and some paper. Either handwrite or type a list of questions. Cut the paper into strips so that each strip has only one question, and put all the strips in a bowl. Mix it up and pull a strip out when you’re ready to ask questions. This takes only a little bit of preparation and is an effective way to get people to open up about their lives without making them feel like the questions are pointed at them.
Two Truths, One Lie
Get your employees together on a Zoom call and introduce the game. Direct each person to tell two true things about themselves and one lie. It will be up to the rest of the group to determine which statement is the lie. This gets your employees learning about one another and also engages them in some basic problem-solving. This activity requires practically no preparation. It’s also a fun way of testing employees’ creativity while testing how much people really know about one another.
Uncommon Common Traits
To do this activity, get your team into a Zoom call, then break them into small groups. Have the groups figure out what they have in common, but use topics that don’t include something usual like location or favorite foods. Maybe they have the same hobbies or were all in their high school debate club. This activity requires little preparation and also gets your employees talking about their lives beyond the surface level.
Five Second Questions
This is a quick activity that can get quick responses from employees at a meeting on Zoom. Ask a question—either a random question or one from a pre-generated list—and give the person only five seconds to answer. This activity only requires as much preparation as you want to put into it. This often encourages honest, spontaneous answers. If someone’s answer is really crazy, you can always have them explain it. These spontaneous moments help make Zoom team building activities more engaging.
Zoom Team Building for Large Groups
When you have a large organization, it can be difficult to include everybody during meetings. Here are a few ideas that you can use for your company if you’re getting a large group of employees together.
NOTE: One of the features of Zoom is the ability to break any meeting up into smaller groups. These smaller groups can be mixed up to ensure that everyone gets to know each other no matter how big your team is.
This can be a good activity to pre-plan during a Zoom call, but one that can extend outside of a single meeting. Get everyone together and pair them up into small groups of two. Have two new buddies meet each other, and then make them pen pals for a week or two. This helps introduce new people to each other, and maybe even creates a new unexpected friendship.
In the real-world workplace, we both share and have individual workplaces. It is easy to tell someone’s frame of mind based on how their desk is decorated, or by looking at how disorganized it is. Get your large group into smaller break-out groups and have everyone give a short office tour.
Virtual Field Trip
Businesses of all kinds have been switching to remote work practices. This even includes famous art museums and landmarks. Host a Zoom meeting and then have the host screen share a virtual museum tour. Stop at exhibits to rate the art and share stories about your best and worst museum experiences. This requires little preparation and is a great way to learn about different personalities on your team.
Host a Happy Hour
A happy hour doesn’t need to include any adult beverages to be fun, but getting drinks together is an event that many employees do in the in-person workplace. There’s no reason a get-together can’t be hosted in the remote environment as well.
Here are a few activities that may spur your next Zoom team building event.
Netflix Watch Party
A great way to get a group of people together is by planning a watch party for a movie or the pilot of a TV show. Host a Zoom meeting and play the videos. If you want a casual environment, encourage people to react to the show out loud or in Zoom’s chat. After the movie or episode, have a conversation about who did and didn’t like the program. If it goes over really well, your work could watch an entire mini-series together.
I’ll Drink to That
This activity requires no preparation other than making sure that everyone has a drink. Pick a common phrase that is used often during Zoom meetings like “listen up everybody” and then have people drink whenever they hear the key phrase. This is easy and can be used at any of the other events that have been listed today.
Use These Activities at Your Next Meeting
Using effective remote team building activities will help improve communication at your business. As your employees build relationships, and thus the ever-important sense of trust, you will reap myriad benefits. Employees that trust each other are more willing to offer unexpected creative solutions to problems, face less personality-based communication issues in the workplace, and are better able to complete their work. Using Zoom for team building is convenient for many companies, and the lifelong memories your team will create while engaging together are worth the small investments that some of the activities may require. Remember to lead by example, too! If you are engaged, your employees will follow suit.