How to make virtual meetings fun
We have all been there, talking awkwardly over each other into a camera, watching your remote employees staring back with tiredness in their eyes and that bored glare. You’re using the same old PowerPoint slide and equally wanting the uncomfortable video call to end as much as the next boxed person on your screen. Whilst we are all adapting to working from home, virtual meetings are the new norm for remote colleagues. But just how do we boost employee engagement and build relationships whilst out of the office environment? Orbital has put together a list of ways to make your virtual meetings more fun for remote workers!
Icebreaker questions for virtual meetings
We know the initial connection can feel uncomfortable, waiting for each person to join the conference call, fiddling with mics and making sure everyone can be heard. That’s why opening a remote meeting with an informal, icebreaker question can be a great way to introduce the team to the meeting. Whether your ice breaker is humorous or a simple ‘how was your weekend?’ this can be an effective way to prompt discussions and slowly break into the formal meeting. We have put together a list of potential icebreaker questions which have proved successful for remote work meetings:
- Favourite strange (but excellent) food combo?
- What is the best Netflix series you have seen recently?
- Be honest, have you worked from your bed every day this week?
- What is your favourite quotation of all time?
As a leader, the best way to increase your chances of success are to take the first question. Answering your question can take away the awkwardness for others and give them time to think of an answer. Icebreakers are perfect to use in any meeting and can allow attendees to relax into the process. Once taking the first question, let the rest of the team discuss amongst themselves for a moment and give people the chance to take ownership throughout the meeting. Assigning people with roles and prompting individuals to talk about their current tasks keeps them engaged and gives others a feeling of importance.
Virtual team building activities and online games
Virtual games are a great way for remote workers to interact together. Naming these meetings as something fun and different can instantly build up the informality that the virtual meetup will hold. Why not create a ‘happy hour’ gathering in the evening once a week? There are a few virtual games which many people report have been successful and enjoyable for remote-teams. Below we are going to tell you about some of our favourites:
- Guess the artist
Ah, guess the artist! This game is where your inner-Picasso can shine. Guess the artist is a game in which each team members put together an image to tell a story. Whether that be a collage of their pets, a picture of their favourite pub, or a location that they enjoy visiting, this can be just about anything that they would like to share! You can then take each image, pin them to a virtual office, and then ask each colleague to place a sticky note of the name they believe created the image. Creating these personal images is a fun way to learn about others and discuss the reasons behind their chosen pictures.
Running a quiz can energise your virtual meetings. The quiz can either be done individually or, even better, put into two teams to work together! There are many types of quizzes that you can create; image-based, questions, ‘guess the location’. One fun idea is to have a quiz based on your business. We have put together a list of questions that you can potentially ask:
- What year did we start this company?
- What are the colours used in our logo?
- Why is our company named *****?
- What is the age difference between the oldest and youngest employee on our team?
- Altogether, how many children do our employees have?
- Lunch ‘n’ Learns
Lunch ‘n’ learns are a great way to get the team together for an hour a week, particularly on a Friday, to chat about how their days have been and about weekend plans. Chatting over lunch encourages those natural conversations to occur, which many of us are missing out of the office, and can help build friendships in the team. Prompting the lunch ‘n’ learn with some ice breakers as mentioned to begin can be an excellent way to ease everyone into the meeting.
- Scavenger Hunts
A virtual scavenger hunt can be an exciting game for your team and something different. You can create a list of household items that your team has to find or activities they can do and photograph. Decide on a theme, write down your clues, and whoever sends the correct results first wins! When it comes to building relationships within your team, a small game can go a long way.
- Visuals and videos
In virtual meetings, screen-sharing and embedding videos of tips or tricks relating to the topic spoken of are highly engaging. When collaborating with the team, presenting subjects visually whilst speaking can bring them to life and make it much easier for many to follow and give feedback. You never want your remote team feeling as though meetings are a drag; this is why mixing it up with various discussions, collaborative tasks, and choosing the right virtual platform is essential for them.
Video call fatigue
If you are currently working from home, you have probably come across the term ‘Zoom fatigue’ a few times now, trapped within the rigid grid, waiting nervously for your turn to talk. The anxiety that video calls can form in meetings can hinder collaboration and project growth, making people uncomfortable with the ‘performative’ feeling.
“Silence creates a natural rhythm in a real-life conversation. However, when it happens in a video call, you became anxious about the technology.” BBC
Remote teams are reporting feeling exhausted from using video calls as the primary method of keeping in touch with colleagues rather than face to face. There are many reasons that this is taking a toll on individuals, including feeling uncomfortable from gaze awareness, nerve-racking performance pressure, and issues with multi-tasking whilst being seen.
Orbital, the audio-only platform
Orbital has come up with a solution on how to make virtual meetings fun by creating an innovative new audio-only communications platform. You can feel like you are in the same room without staring back at each other over a screen. Creating an audio-only platform has been made possible by our unique audio-proximity function, making users able to create flexible meeting spaces, all on one link, under one galaxy. Your customisable virtual office includes endless breakout areas for the team to catch up, hold formal meetings, or chat over lunch. These conversations can take place simultaneously, with ease to navigate through your galaxy as you please. Once you have finished around the meeting table, you can pop back into your office or navigate to a ‘chillout zone’ for break-away chats.
Are you interested in onboarding your team to one of the most engaging virtual meeting platforms? Join Orbital today and watch your team flourish in online meetings. The Orbital platform is trusted by remote teams worldwide, with proven success stories from remote-teams, university and schools, and holding large virtual events. If you are interested in exploring Orbital, take a look at our free trial package and pricing list here.