In today’s day and age, the technological developments of group meetings and collaboration have grown exponentially. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and corporations were using online meeting spaces to bring people together. Once Covid hit, platforms such as Zoom became increasingly necessary.
Now that we are finally coming out on the other side, many companies and corporations have found that remote work is still going to be profitable and productive, even though it is no longer strictly necessary.
Zoom is a platform that is free, user-friendly, and can incorporate many people at a time, even breaking off into smaller groups when necessary. Meetings can be recorded and shared, chats can happen inside the meeting, and people can screen share. It is an excellent resource for businesses to use for work, and it is also a perfect platform for team building.
Team building is one of the most important parts of building a successful company, although it often gets overlooked. Building a community of people who trust each other, respect one another, and who want to work together for a common goal while seeing the bigger picture… all of this can only be beneficial.
However, team building is often seen as a waste of time or something that people do not want to be a part of. When it is approached in the right way, however, it actually will save time, as work will get done more efficiently and productively with a solid team.
People who enjoy their team members and want to work collaboratively will also enjoy their work environment more and stay more loyal to the company, which saves time from the turnover of constantly hiring and retraining new employees.
All this to say that zoom team building is an idea that will benefit all companies in the future. Zoom can be used to create and solidify relationships, rapport, and an overall positive environment for a company or workspace. This positivity and strength of relationships will save a business time, money, and make it more efficient and profitable.
Read on for some theoretical ideas about team building activities in general and then for some specific Zoom team building ideas.
Foundations of Quality Team Building
As we already stated, some people don’t believe team building to be an effective use of time. This, however, is because it often is not done in the most effective way. Team building should be done with the foundational idea of creating empathetic colleagues who are in tune with each other’s needs, strengths, weaknesses, and experiences.
When people “get” each other, they become more human to one another. This allows them to work together in a more seamless, helpful way, especially when situations get difficult or call for critical or creative thinking.
Essentially, if you don’t use team building as part of your community culture, your business will be wasting precious resources. Human thought, labor, and the possibility that the entire team will not be working at their full potential as a unit means they aren’t running as effectively as they could. Remember the phrase, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”? That’s what team building does. It takes everyone’s strengths and puts them together into something bigger, while at the same time compensating for the places that need improvement.
Team building activities will help to keep a company’s mission and vision in line. Activities chosen should be aligned with the business’s goals.
They will also help ensure that people can speak their truths while knowing they will be respected, as well as trusted to keep others’ feelings and thoughts in a respectful place as well. One of Maslow’s basic human needs is to feel safe not only physically but psychologically. This ability to feel that we are in a safe space helps us perform our best.
Zoom team building ideas are great because they take the pressure off of people to perform in real life, and they give the group a place where they can all come together as equals. Once people feel led to begin sharing information about their lives (often by having others share), it opens a floodgate of compassion and understanding.
One of the important things to remember, too, is that none of this will work if your team does not have buy-in. Tell them that this will be a new part of the company culture, and stick to it! Give rewards for attendance and participation, make it enjoyable as well as a good use of time. Be respectful of people’s boundaries and time constraints while showing everyone that you as a leader are holding this in high regard.
To sum up, here is a list of the basic features your high-quality Zoom team building activities should have:
- Specific directions
- Clear communication
- Safe risk-taking
- Freedom of expression
- Definitive roles
- Accountability from all sides
- Teamwork and sharing of responsibility
- Support for differing opinions
- Goals to achieve together
- Trust, trust, and more trust
Zoom Team Building Ideas
Here is a list of plenty of Zoom team building ideas to get you and your group off to a good start. Remember to incorporate these often and regularly so everyone can begin feeling comfortable with them as a part of the new routine.
Roses/Thorns – Breakdown: Any video platform, small team size, no supplies needed, low-level prep, 30-60 min, high impact
- Each team member will take turns sharing a “rose” and a “thorn” from the previous week, weekend, or day, depending on when and how often you do this activity. (This could also be called ‘High/Low,’ ‘Rainbow/Storm Cloud,’ or anything else that has a positive and negative opposite.)
- This activity is beneficial because people can see that everyone has bad days as well as things that bring them joy. They will find a lot of commonalities with this Zoom exercise.
Virtual Happy Hour – Breakdown: Any video platform, mid-large team size, personal drinks or snacks, low/mid-level prep, 30 min, high impact
- This Zoom team building activity is exactly what it sounds like! Inform your team of the day and time, and that they can all bring their preferred food and/or beverage to their computer. Then, simply sign on and hang out, just as if you were together in real life!
- This activity is wonderful in its simplicity. It can be done with very short notice and with little planning. People love just getting to catch up with one another.
Who Did You Know? – Breakdown: Any video platform, any team size, no supplies needed, low-level prep, 10-15 min, high impact
- Begin each meeting with one “fun fact” question to the whole group. This could be favorite childhood movies, first memory, one bucket list item… the possibilities for this one are endless!
- This is a great Zoom team building activity that allows people to see commonalities among the group.
Photos of the Office – Breakdown: Any video platform, any team size, individuals’ desk pictures, low-level prep, 10 min, high impact
- Inform the team beforehand that you would like them to take a picture of their home workspace or desk. Tell them that the pictures can absolutely be candid; they don’t have to have a super clean or organized space! Then at the meeting, people can share their pictures and the organizer can even organize them into a collage.
- When people feel that they are a part of a larger team in which others are true, honest humans with real lives behind the screen, they work together better. Showing off your real-life workspace makes others able to see who you really are!
Lunchtime Learning – Breakdown: Any video platform, any team size, weekly “teacher” lesson, mid/high-level prep, 20 min, high impact
- This activity requires one person to be on the spot during a lunch break Zoom hour, but in a good way! Every week, one person will the get chance to speak, teach, or present about something they are passionate about. They could teach a skill, speak about their favorite author, or recite poetry. The sky is the limit!
- The phrase, “You learn something new every day” is a fun one to live by. We all have things to teach others and the capacity to learn new things ourselves. Being able to listen to and learn from one another is a great way to connect as a team.
These are just a few activities! There are many more zoom team building ideas out there to keep your team-building meetings fresh and exciting.
A fun way to keep people engaged if there is a lot of listeners at your party is to have a signal for people who are in agreeance. So, if during an activity people are sharing about an experience that made them frustrated, and others had the same feeling or experience, they could wave their fingers in the air, tap their nose, or some other gesture. You could give this a name, such as “twinkle fingers,” “on the nose,” or something else. This helps people realize that others are sharing their feelings without having to have too much outside conversation that takes up extra time.
Remember that this might take a while to get off the ground. Keep pushing and don’t give up! The benefits are immense and will continue rippling with time.