Remember that virtual team meeting you left with a wide smile on your face? Maybe it was someone’s birthday and the team decided to throw an impromptu party, or a teammate motivated you to be at your productive best? If you’re attending consecutive meetings for several hours every day, won’t you want an experience that focuses on team building, encourages collaboration and pushes you to be at your creative best? Stanford states that a virtual workspace and working from home boost employee productivity by 22%. And yet, almost 70% of professionals think their companies don’t take the necessary steps to manage stress and burnout. Despite continuous team meetings, the feeling of isolation impacts employee productivity by 21%.
At such times, companies need to gear up and take the initiative to make remote team meetings interesting. Virtual team building exercises prove to be very impactful in the long run, as 75% of respondents in a study by Boston Consulting Group believe that their performance improved significantly because of remote team building.
Why Should You Make Remote Team Meetings Fun?
Remote team meetings are hard – at least harder than face-to-face meetings. In in-person interactions, employees get more than just words. The facial expression, gestures, and interactive qualities of team leaders create a deeper impact. This isn’t easy to replicate in remote team meetings.
Yet, 77% of employees opt for remote work, as they feel more productive doing their work from home. 91% of professionals believe remote team meetings improve their work-life balance. When projections show that 73% of all teams can be remote by 2028, team leaders have to creatively conduct remote fun events to keep the spirits alive. These should encourage initiative by the teammates and promote collaboration. Such measures will help foster a sense of community while working from home.
How to Make Remote Team Meetings More Interesting
Harvard Business Review notes that better socializing practices between team members can improve the company's communication by 50%. Even studies by MIT conclude that employee interactions beyond formal meetings contribute to a team’s success. This is why it gets crucial to make remote work fun and interesting with team-building exercises. Here are seven simple activities that can help your team bond with each other and lead to mutual success:
1. Play digital card games
You probably don’t know this, but all your ‘The Office’ fan employees really want some time to just play Freecell like Meredith and Creed. Taking a few minutes to play digital card games with the team can give them a much-needed break. It’s easy to create rooms on the Playing Cards website and enjoy fun games like:
You can also play the online versions of ages-old favorites like Checkers and Ches. Such games can help employees see your human side, apart from the formal work-self, and they’ll start feeling more connected to the team. And the best part? You can use Loopin to easily keep a note of all the scores and reward the winners at the end of every month.
2. Quizzes and trivia games to amp up the fun competition
Water Cooler Trivia is an amazing quiz integration to make remote team meetings interesting. You can customize the schedule and levels as per your team and send them weekly quizzes directly through Slack, Microsoft Teams, or email. There are different categories to pick from, so you can have a new category as the theme for each week.
This weekly ritual can have teams bonding over something beyond work. Discussions on movies, art, paintings, world affairs, and business sense can cultivate from here. Water Cooler Trivia can also grade the results to have a winner.
3. Organize virtual background games
With work from home being the new norm now, virtual meeting apps have stepped up to make remote team meetings interesting. Almost all the leading virtual meeting applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer options to change your virtual background when your camera is turned on. At the beginning of the meeting, ask everyone to change their backgrounds to something relevant to their dreams and wishes. Once you’re through all the meeting agenda points you listed in Loopin, your employees can share little anecdotes about the background they chose.
- “I chose Eiffel Tower, I hope to see it someday.”
- “There’s my little puppy. I wish he gets well soon.”
- “That’s the car I am saving up to buy.”
Such personal stories can bring the team closer without even bringing them into the same space. These activities can also add an emotional layer to work meetings. When you do it the right way, employees will start looking forward to such sessions.
4. Play online icebreaking games
The distance has made it harder to interact and know all your teammates. Online ice-breaking games like Confetti can help your team engage better by guessing who’s who from little facts and photos.
Such activities can reveal many surprises about your teammates and maybe, for once – help people find good Secret Santa gifts – now that they know each other.
5. Games to increase active participation
At the beginning of the meeting, assign a word of the day. For example – “ink.” Whenever someone mentions this word, everyone claims – “word of the day.” Games like this ensure that the overall environment is relaxed and every teammate has fun.
6. Outfit reveal surprises
Don’t let the boundaries of pure professionalism restrict your team from having some fun during remote work sessions. Maybe with proper prior notice, you can announce in your meeting that all employees have to reveal their remote work outfits. It can be surprising to see how many people actually dress professionally to show up for work from home.
7. Virtual tours
Can’t take your whole team out for a picnic? Virtual tours to monuments and galleries by Google Arts and Culture, a trip to space with NASA, and several other virtual trips can instantly shift the mood on a slow workday.
Making Remote Team Meetings Meaningful - A Quick Guide
If you are wondering how to fit such activities into your work-centric approach to make remote team meetings interesting, here is a quick guide:
- Play virtual icebreaker games to amp up the competitive spirit in your team.
- Start remote work by announcing a word of the day.
- If the participation gets slower, announce the 'remote work outfit reveal' challenge.
- Fill in the brainstorming sessions with virtual backgrounds.
- Wrap up the day by discussing water cooler trivia, anecdotes behind virtual backgrounds, and “guess who it is” on Confetti.
- When you schedule meetings on weekends, grab some time for digital games and virtual tours too.
Have you ever tried any such team-building exercises at your workplace? Share your experiences with us and suggest some of your creative ideas to keep the team in sync, always!