Who would have ever thought our webcams would get so much use? What used to be a once-in-a-while sort of thing is now pretty much the norm, as most of us will attend our fair share of video meetings each and every day. And while in many ways it has been a seamless transition (besides you-know-who with their dial-up era internet connection), it’s safe to say that touching base over video lacks at least some of the personality of what we used to do in person.
But that’s not to say there aren’t ways in which we can jazz up our video meetings, reconnect with our coworkers and capture the spark that used to make coming to work so much more enjoyable. In fact, in many cases, it’s quick and easy, without the need for equipment or preparation of any sort.
Here are some fun ideas to try out during your next video meeting:
Looking to break the ice at your next team stand up or Monday morning meeting? How about a bit of an MTV throwback? Have each video attendee take the team on a tour of their sprawling crib. (Bonus points if you show off the inside of your fridge.) It doesn’t have to be thorough either. Even just a quick turn of the camera will give everyone an idea of where they’ve been spending most of their time since we’ve all gone remote.
It’s as simple as it sounds. First you show and then you tell. Ask each attendee to prepare some special item that they can give a bit of background on. Maybe it’s a souvenir from their last vacation, a funny baby photo, or some other knick-knack that’s steeped in sentimental value. This is an easy opportunity for people to express themselves, have a laugh, and teach others a thing or two that they may not have known.
Because we’re all sick of seeing that same white wall! Most video conferencing apps allow you to alter your background, offering a number of default options or even letting you upload your own images. Encourage the team to run with it! You could even add a competitive angle. Best background wins a free beer? Yeah, we’re sold.
In case you need a run down of the rules. Paper beats rock. Rock beats scissors. And scissors? Hmm... We’ll have to get back to you on that one. A virtual rock, paper, scissors tournament may sound silly, but that’s only because it is. That doesn’t make it any less of a great idea. Fire off a few rounds and see who comes out on top.
Whether it’s right after work or sometime over the weekend, scheduling a remote team dinner or happy hour can be a great way to take the edge off. These days, all we do is work! People are looking to connect on a more personal level and talk about something other than KPIs. But don’t leave your team hanging with the bill! That’s a faux pas for sure. See what’s available budget-wide and provide everyone on your team with a maximum spend.
There are no shortage of games to be played that can either support online multiplayer or be connected to through your phone. Jackbox TV is one great example - a party pack of games that test people’s wit, quick-thinking, and in some cases, sense of decency. Have someone share their screen and watch as the madness unfolds.
We’re taking business casual to the next level. Instead of a Fun Friday, why not organize your very own costume party? Honestly, it’s a lot easier to get people interested in dressing up when they don’t have to take the bus into work.
You honeymooned in Hawaii, recently adopted a small dog from the SPCA, and were raised by a traveling circus. Care to guess which two are true and the other that’s a lie?
This get-to-know-you-game is a classic icebreaker. Have each team member share three “facts” about themselves: two that are true and one that’s a lie. Let the rest of the team take a guess at which two are true. Once everyone’s had their say, the speaker reveals what is what.