Goodbye, Zoom fatigue! Make conference calls more productive and fun with these quick, easy, and free team building activities.
We think that the best activities for conference calls are short and sweet, between 15 and 30 minutes long. A quick team building activity can go a long way in boosting engagement and participation and can make meetings that much more fun! So before we get down to business, here is a list of our favorite team building activities to do before a conference call:
Sometimes called “roses & thorns” or “pits & peaks,” highs & lows is a quick and easy game that can be tagged onto meetings or virtual happy hours that welcomes remote workers to open up and get to know each other a little bit better. It’s also a simple team bonding exercise, making it perfect for when you have limited time on a video conference call to host a small activity.
In highs & lows, each team member takes a turn saying what their “low,” or worst part, of the week was. Then, they say their “high,” or best part. ☀️ Not only does this create an opportunity for staff members to open up about what they’re struggling with and celebrating, but it also gives leadership a little more insight into their team members’ day to day.
It’s a classic for a reason. The next time you’re kicking off a conference call, why not start with a quick icebreaker question? We’re not talking about the overplayed “what’s one fun fact about you?” Here at Confetti, we like to make icebreakers a bit more fun! 🧊
Instead of your standard icebreakers, why not shake things up a bit with questions like:
You can make them funny, weird, insightful, or a combination of all of the above! But if you’re strapped for non-boring icebreakers, we've got you covered with our icebreaker questions for work.
If you’ve got a longer or larger than average conference call on the docket, then consider keeping everyone engaged with a game of conference call bingo! 👀 Prior to the meeting, create bingo cards with items like:
… or anything else that is specific to your company or your team. Remember to keep it kind and make it as specific as possible! If your head of marketing always wears a tie with a fun pattern, put it on the bingo card!
Conference call bingo is a lot of fun for everyone to take part in, and almost guarantees that your team will have their cameras on and be locked into everything that’s being said.
In Super Superlatives, you’ll split your teams into small groups and ask them to assign superlatives to each other. 🌟 What ensues is a lot of laughs, insights into how your team members value each other’s strengths, and a better understanding of everyone.
You might be surprised to learn that Karen from HR is actually the “company clown” who can always put a smile on her co-workers’ faces, or that everyone thinks the marketing intern is most likely to be president one day.
From a team building standpoint, your employees will get the chance to compliment each other on their strengths and gain an understanding of what their coworkers value most about them. That’s a major confidence boost that will carry over into the work environment long after they log off of their conference call.
There’s no use in shying away from it: work from home is awesome because we get to spend the entire day with our pets. Plus, we take every opportunity we can get to show off our sweet little best friend. So, the next time you feel your staff losing steam during a video conference call, do a random pet check! 🐕
With a 5 minute time limit, have everyone who has a pet grab them and show them off! Everyone will love the serotonin boost they get from seeing their team member’s furry, scaly, and feathered friends.
For an extra energy boost, give out an “award” for the most creative pet name or take a vote for “pet of the month.” Then, feature a photo of that pet in your next internal email bulletin! Everyone will be eager to have their pet featured in the next one, making pet check a conference call tradition that everyone looks forward to.
Having remote employees most likely means you have team members based all over the country, or maybe even all over the world! Which means that there’s a lot of conversations to be had about what life is like in a different city or state. In Window Watchers, give each team member a couple minutes to describe what’s happening outside their window at that very moment. 🌳
What you’re left with is a (non-invasive) picture of where your fellow teammates live, what’s going on in their lives, and what they love about their neighborhood. This activity sparks a lot of conversations and questions, boosting communication skills and helping your remote workers feel more connected with one another.
At the start of each conference call, run a live, interactive poll for your employees to vote in real time. It can be related to the topic of the meeting, can be a poll about what they’re going to eat for lunch, or can be a completely random topic just for fun! 🗳️
You can do your poll using your video conferencing software’s polling feature, or just by having participants type their answer into the chat. This gives everyone a quick opportunity to share their opinion on something (and who doesn’t love to share their opinion every once in a while), and gives everyone something to discuss long after the meeting is over.
If you’re strapped for poll questions to ask your team, here are a few ideas:
If your team has a shared love for something, like football or Chinese food, tailor the poll to that! They’ll feel a sense of camaraderie and belonging with their fellow team members.
If you’ve got some music enthusiasts on the call, then this is the perfect team building game for you! Guess that song is a quick and easy game that gets everyone in the chat and excited about what’s to come. 🎵
You can play this game by either playing a karaoke track of a song, or having someone read the lyrics out loud. Then, everyone jumps into the chat to guess what the song is! If you have weekly or monthly meetings, start with an easy one and then get a little more obscure with each meeting. You’ll have everyone buzzing about what they think the next song is going to be.
We recommend giving out a small prize to the employees that correctly guess the song. Something like a $5 lunch voucher, logging off an hour early on Friday, or a small gift to make their home office feel more comfortable is a great option!
Want to host a full music trivia competition? 👉 Give Boom Box a try!
If your team feels like they spend more time on virtual meetings than they do sleeping (we’ve all been there), then it’s probably time to shake things up! A virtual background challenge is a great opportunity to learn a bit more about each other and get out of the hum-drum routine of jumping on video conference calls. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
Simply use the virtual background feature that your conferencing software already includes, and you’ve got yourself an easy and fun conference call activity!
To make this challenge more fun, send out a “theme” before the meeting starts. This can be related to upcoming holidays or seasons, or you can get creative and ask your team members to share/showcase something about themselves in their virtual backgrounds, like:
The list could go on, but get creative and tailor the “themes” to things that your teams love! If everyone has a shared love of football, and a sense of friendly competition once football season starts, ask them to make their background a picture of one of the teams that they think is going to be in the Superbowl!
Then, give everyone a few minutes to discuss each other’s backgrounds at the top of the meeting and get started with your agenda. You’ll find that your teams have good laughs, get to know each other better, and have things to talk about with each other even after the meeting is over.
Short-form video content has taken over the internet. Don’t believe us? Just ask your social media team.
Even if you haven’t had the pleasure of being in a company TikTok yet, chances are you probably have watched a short video in the past week that put a smile on your face. After all, who doesn’t love clips of funny cats or cute puppies? 🐶
For “clip of the day,” simply ask your team to submit their favorite (work appropriate) short video before the meeting starts. Then, display one of those videos (chosen at random, or selected as the “favorite”) before the meeting starts.
Working remotely can be an isolating experience at times and it’s easy to feel like you don’t know anything about the people that you’re working with on a daily basis. One way to get to know someone is through their home! 🏠
In a virtual home tour, you will have team members showcase a different part of their home each meeting. Maybe it’s a kitchen, a bedroom, or the living room. Or, you can select one or two team members each meeting to give the full home tour! Just remember to give employees a heads up before they’re asked to show off their home so that they get the chance to tidy up. No one wants to be surprised by being asked to show off their kitchen on the day that they didn’t do the dishes.
A lunch & learn is a popular activity in the office, so why not make it remote? The key to a successful lunch & learn activity is to pay for your team’s food so that everyone can eat and enjoy it together! You can do that by ordering food to their house, by giving everyone a gift card to a food delivery service, or by reimbursing their lunch up to a certain amount. 🥪
Then, while everyone is tucking in to their delicious lunch, have a guest speaker come in and teach something! You can have an expert come to talk about communication and networking, dealing with stress in a healthy way, self-care and mental health, or another topic that’s relevant and helpful to your employees.
A virtual scavenger hunt is always a good time. But if you don’t have enough time in your agenda for a full-blown scavenger hunt, do a speedy one! ⚡At the top or the end of your conference call, send team members off on a quick scavenger hunt–first one back wins!
Give your employees a time limit (we suggest 5 minutes), and have them find something like:
This activity will give your team members a quick boost of energy as they have the chance to get up from their desk, and something to discuss as you see what everybody brings back!
Everybody loves a good brain teaser every once in a while. So, why not start your next conference call or virtual happy hour with a trivia challenge? A quick trivia question is a great way to get everyone’s gears turning and minds warmed up for the meeting ahead. 🧠
You can incentivize winning the trivia challenge even more by offering prizes for the people who answer the questions correctly. It doesn’t have to be huge, something like leaving 30 minutes early or a cute piece of company swag is enough to get anyone excited!
One-word story is a great improv game, even for your team members who suffer from a little bit of stage fright. In this game, each player takes a turn giving one word to contribute to the story. One at a time, your team members will tell a story about whatever it is that their teammates make up! 💭
A quick improv game like one-word story is a good opportunity to help your employees think on their feet, get better at listening to one another, and to work as a team to get to the end of the story. Plus, it’s bound to generate a lot of laughs!
Praise feels great. It motivates us to do better, helps us understand what the people around us perceive as a strength, and generally just boosts the mood! If you want to turn your team building activity into an opportunity to praise your valuable employees, then start each conference call off with a praise train! 🚂
You can do this one of two ways:
You can choose an employee to highlight each week, and have everyone in the meeting give them a compliment. Or, you can have each person give a compliment to the last person to speak.
Either way, this gives your team members the chance to create an open line of communication between each other, and thank each other for their contribution to the team.
Like complimenting your team? Want to do it more? 👉 Give Workplace Gratitude a try!
A quick team building activity at the start or finish of a conference call is a great way to keep everyone engaged, excited, and happy. But, if you’re craving an even deeper team-building connection with your employees, then why not plan an entire team building event? At Confetti, we custom create team building exercises that everyone can enjoy.
For more tips and ideas on virtual team building, check out our ultimate guide.
Before you jump into the agenda, consider starting your next conference call with a fun icebreaker or unique team building activity! You can do a quick trivia question, ask everyone to show off their pet, or play a team building game to get everyone engaged, in a good mood, and ready to get the meeting started. Plus, these activities help build trust between team members.
Icebreakers can be simple, deep, funny, or all of the above! Some good icebreakers that everyone will want to answer include asking people questions about their personal or work goals, asking about their music or movie preferences, or asking them something silly like, “What is a GIF that describes your week?”
Remote team meetings can be made fun by introducing a quick team building activity that is somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes long. Including an activity like bingo, trivia, or highs & lows into your meeting is sure to make it fun!