11 Zoom Team Building Ideas & Activities

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September 29, 2020

Here is our list of the best Zoom team building ideas.

Zoom team building ideas are activities you and your team can do online during video calls. Maintaining team focus and morale from behind a screen can be a challenge, but these activities can add an element of excitement and team spirit to your weekly calls.

These ideas are similar to Zoom games and are a subcategory of virtual team building activities and online team building.

This list includes:

  • team building activities via Zoom
  • fun ideas for Zoom meetings with coworkers
  • group activities over Zoom

And other ideas too 🙂

So, here is the list!

List of Zoom team building ideas

From fact of the day, to online fortune telling, to un-birthdays, here is a list of fun ideas for Zoom meetings with coworkers.

1. Rock, paper, scissors

Speaking of childhood games, you can also adapt rock, paper, scissors for your Zoom meetings by using the reactions feature.

Rock paper scissors is part of our list of fun zoom team building activities.

The clapping emoji equals paper, the thumbs up equals rock, and for scissors, attendees should cross arms in an x shape. In one-on-one meetings, traditional rules apply: scissors cut paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes scissors. If you are playing the game in a large group, then the weapon with the most team members wins.

Since the game is quick and simple, this is an easy exercise to integrate into your Zoom meetings. You can play as many rounds as time allows. This activity adds fun to your remote meetings and introduces an element of psychology; dispersed workers must try to guess which tool team members will choose.

2. Background contest

One of Zoom’s most fun features is the ability to change backdrops. You should consider hosting a background contest.

To host a background contest:

  1. Pick a theme, such as under the sea, sci fi, or movie magic.
  2. Ask remote employees to create a Zoom background.
  3. Invite the team on a video call to reveal the creations.
  4. Vote as a team to choose a winner.

Background contests allow employees to express creativity. Remote coworkers can learn about colleagues’ senses of humor and personalities based on the choice of background. Also, since these competitions are a free and easy activity, you can hold the contests on a semi-regular basis.

3. Un-birthdays

Birthdays are great opportunities for work socialization and celebration, but can be too few and far between to serve as regular team building activities via Zoom. You may go half the year without a single coworker birthday, only to celebrate five in February. Un-birthdays offer an alternative by letting you celebrate anytime.

To throw an un-birthday party, invite team members to a Zoom meeting and engage in normal birthday party activities like:

  • Eating cake.
  • Singing happy birthday to nobody/everybody, or singing the un-birthday song from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Wishing. And since it is not really your birthday, you can share your wish without dooming it not to come true.
  • Sharing photos from birthday parties past.
  • Exchanging cards with kind messages.

Un-birthdays offer all the fun of birthday parties without any of the dread of actually aging. This activity is a fun way to bring the team together and celebrate, just because.

4. A frame a week

The photo a day video is an especially cool internet trend. Photographers take a self-portrait every day for years, and then combine the pictures into a time-lapse video. In the spirit of these short films, you can capture a team snapshot during every one of your Zoom meetings and combine your screenshots into a video at year’s end.

Here is how:

  1. During every meeting, use the capture screen or recording functions to take a picture or record a short video.
  2. Download and save your files to a folder.
  3. After one year, compile all photographs or video into a film. Be sure to pick a sentimental or inspiring song as the soundtrack.
  4. Send the file to your teammates.

While you can find more immediate group activities over Zoom, the end product of this exercise is too cool not to try. A frame a week video serves as a kind of time capsule to document the growth of your team, and a memento you can glance back on for years to come.

5. Whiteboard games

Like many video conferencing platforms, Zoom has a whiteboard feature. Many professionals use this setting for collaboration and brainstorming, but you can also play whiteboard games as a team building exercise.

To use the Zoom whiteboard:

  1. Start a Zoom call.
  2. Click on share screen
  3. Select the whiteboard option
  4. Check to confirm all users can annotate
  5. Use the menu bar commands to mark the board

You can use the whiteboard to play games like Hangman, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Pictionary, or you can make up your own games.

6. Snack time

Remote dinners have become one of the most popular Zoom team building ideas as companies transition to virtual offices. Meals have the power to connect workers, yet many employers overlook the underrated bonding power of snacktime.

In physical offices, coworkers chat in break rooms while snacking on leftover conference sandwiches, boxes of Girl Scout cookies, and slabs of birthday cake. Dispersed employees miss out on the communal snacks and the accompanying conversations.

You can build rapport among your remote team members by hosting snack times via Zoom. Simply block off 10-20 minutes during the workday and send teammates a Zoom invite. Once all attendees join the call, you can chat and enjoy a treat together.

You can provide a snack stipend, or you can send your team treats before the call. Snack subscription boxes make sending munchies to your team simple; you can check out this list from Wired for a few suggestions.

Because snack breaks are shorter than lunches or dinners, you can easily turn these informal meets into an ongoing activity.

7. Online fortune telling

From the oracles of ancient Greece to Miss Cleo in the 90’s, humans have long loved predicting the future. You can add a touch of the occult to your team Zoom calls by practicing online fortune telling.

A few suggestions:

Of course, these activities are just for fun, and you should not take prophecies seriously.

If you have more skeptics than believers on your team, then you can still have fun with fortune telling by sharing satirical horoscopes like the ones from The Onion. You can even write your own, if you feel creative!

8. Dress up days

Remote work boasts a lax dress code. You might already work 90% of the day in Spiderman pajamas, so showing up to a video meeting wearing a red lobster headband is really not much of a stress.

Dress up days are one of our favorite fun things to do over Zoom. These activities take up very little time, but make Zoom calls much more interesting and enjoyable. To hold a dress up day with your team, simply decide on a theme, and allow your team to arrive at the meeting in costume.

Suggested themes for dress up days:

  • Pajamas
  • Superheros
  • Historical figures
  • Literary characters
  • Twins (two remote colleagues coordinate to wear the same outfit)
  • Sports
  • Funny hats

Dress up days are simple ways to make video meetings fun and to fight off dreaded Zoom fatigue.

9. Dramatic readings

Adults love story time just as much as children; the only difference is that grownups cannot stand reading the same Curious George book ten times in a row.

You can delight the bookworms and kids-at-heart on your team by staging a more adult storytime via Zoom call. First, your group will pick a text, perhaps the script to a beloved sitcom, a chapter from a classic bestselling novel, or a celebrity’s Twitter account. Next, your group will take turns reading the work aloud during your video call. You can either assign parts or ask team members to read Popcorn style by randomly selecting new teammates to continue the story.

Your remote group can sharpen storytelling and presentation skills by reading dramatically. You can even record the readings and rewatch later.

10. Share your tabs

The nature of remote meetings tempts employees to multitask. Teammates can easily open extra files and browser windows and work on other projects. In fact, in a survey conducted by FuzeBox, 92% of respondents admitted to multitasking during remote meetings.

Share your tabs is one of many Zoom team building ideas that can help keep your team focused and engaged. You can turn the temptation to multitask into a game by challenging teammates to share screens randomly. Simply shout out, “Kelsey, share your tabs!” and spy on Kelsey’s desktop. You can tally and keep count of how many tabs any given team member has open during the screen grabs. Your team can also add a bit of fun by purposely planting funny images, perhaps a photoshop of Rami, the team leader, in a dance battle with Barack Obama.

11. Fact of the day

The world is full of tons of facts and more information appears on the world wide web every day. You can educate your teams with fascinating information by starting your Zoom meetings with a fact of the day.

You can find facts in a variety of ways. One of my favorite sources for snippets is the “Findings” section of Harper’s Magazine, which features gems such as “male ring-tailed lemurs exude a fruity perfume from their wrists.” You could also head to Wikipedia and use the “random article” command to navigate to a mystery page. If you want to create a challenge, then you could present the fact as trivia and ask your teams to guess correctly. The polling feature in Zoom can turn your information into an interactive pop quiz.

Conclusion

Zoom meetings mean less face-to-face contact, which makes maintaining the team’s attention and raising team morale a challenge. By embracing the video conferencing platform and utilizing tools of the internet, you can transform your standard Zoom meeting into an unforgettable team building experience.

Next, you can check out our post on video conferencing games for more ideas to spice up your next remote meeting.

FAQ: Zoom team building ideas

Here are some of the most common questions and answers about Zoom team building ideas.

What are Zoom team building ideas?

Zoom team building ideas are activities and games you and your team can play via video conference call. Though virtual offices interact mostly through computer screens, there are still plenty of ways you can socialize and have fun with your dispersed team members.

What are some fun things to do over Zoom?

Some fun things to do over Zoom include background contests, dress up days, and rock, paper, scissors.

What are the best group activities over Zoom?

Successful Zoom team activities keep team members engaged by demanding attention and active involvement. Some of the best group activities over Zoom include snack time, whiteboard games, and similar.

How do you make Zoom meetings fun?

You can make Zoom meetings fun by playing games and initiating activities that require participation and foster social interaction.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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