People having fun with virtual icebreaker ideas

5 Minutes Games for Virtual Meetings

Aditi Singh
• January 19, 2024

(12 min read)

Virtual meetings are a significant part of the remote work culture. They bring employees and employers together on the same platform and help them align on different matters, no matter where in the world one may be placed.

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The importance of virtual meetings cannot be emphasized enough. But one important factor that needs more attention is how effectively these meetings can be conducted, considering that we can experience ‘virtual meeting fatigue’. 

To help combat this scenario, here are some ways to improve the effectiveness of virtual meetings. 

Strategies To Improve Coworkers Focus In Virtual Meetings

Setting Clear Objectives:

Define specific objectives and outcomes for meetings in advance. Convey the agenda to all the attendees before the meeting, providing them with enough time to come prepared and also have the right expectations. 

Use of visuals: 

Adding visual elements like slides, charts, and diagrams can make virtual meetings more engaging, break the monotony of successive meetings, and improve  attendees’ interest and participation.

Encourage webcam use:

Turning on the webcam during the meetings helps create a personal connection among attendees. Seeing familiar faces reduces isolation and increases accountability, making them more involved in meetings.

Use breaks wisely:

For longer meetings, it is important to schedule quick breaks in between so the participants can  take a few minutes to freshen up, stretch themselves, grab a quick snack, or just cool it off. These short breaks help them relax and restore focus.

5-minute games:

5 minutes of interactive games can improve concentration, increase engagement, and generally, make the meetings more enjoyable. When these games are carefully designed for intended audiences and used appropriately,  they can help break the ice and improve the effectiveness of virtual meetings. 

Importance of 5-minute game in Virtual Meetings

In a world where most of us spend a significant part of our days breezing through meetings, a 5-minute game could come as a refreshing change. Not only do we get to unwind for those few minutes, but it also helps the  meeting attendees interact with each other differently, and build a rapport that goes beyond work. 

Let’s take a quick look at the other ways in which 5-minute games can help organizations that rely on virtual meetings. 

Engagement: We’ve all attended meetings where there are one or two primary speakers and the rest are passive listeners. A 5-minute game before  getting on with the meeting can help the more reserved attendees shed their inhibitions and can actually make the meeting more interactive and fruitful.

Team Building: 5-minute games for virtual meetings can be transformative for remote teams, helping them bridge the gap that physical distance can create over time. Depending on which game you choose to play, you can gain insights into how your teammates approach a problem, work together and come up with ways to tackle an issue, share meaningful conversation or even giggles, and so much more! 

Creativity and Innovation: With participants having to make split-second decisions while playing,  these games also enhance creativity and innovation. 

When time is of the essence, one is forced to think out of the box and find ways to win the game. This encourages participants to embrace creativity, professionally as well!

Stress Buster: 5-minute games for virtual meetings are often designed to relieve stress, and minimize the pressure of the meeting. They help in distracting the mind and taking the edge off, especially on days when back-to-back meetings have drained one out! 

5-minute games For Virtual Meetings

The beauty of 5-minute games lies in their versatility. There is a game for every occasion, whether to increase engagement, creativity, innovation, or relieve stress.. There is something for every team. 

Icebreaker Emoji:

Whether we like it or not, emojis are a huge part of the internet culture. Playing a game involving emojis, like using them to convey movie titles or songs, can help break the ice before a meeting and, in the process, allow for the attendees to have fun. It can also help them to engage and participate in the meeting more actively 

Two truths and a lie:

This game is designed to encourage team members to share personal anecdotes and experiences in a lighthearted manner. The attendees share three things about themselves, where two of them are true and one is a lie – and the fellow attendees have to guess the lie. Since the game allows for participants to share parts of their personal lives with their teammates, it helps in getting to know one another in a fun way. 

Quick Drawing Challenge:

Think of this as a virtual game of pictionary where each player is given 30 seconds to draw out something, and the other players have to guess what it is. This game pushes participants to think outside the box and communicate complex words using a picture, quickly and effectively.

Collaborative Storytelling:

This idea of this game is to have each team member add just one line to a story. One after another, participants take the story forward, depending on how each one thinks it should progress. This is a great way for team members to share laughs and unleash their creative sides, while at the same time collaborating on a common goal. 

Team Trivia Blitz:

This game is just like a rapid-fire round, but the questions are posed to the team. The game induces friendly competition but also fosters collaboration among team members. With every question, the team’s knowledge is put to test. Whoever answers the most number of questions in the shortest amount of time, is deemed the winner.

Word Association:

The game begins with a random word, and the participants go on and utter the first word that comes to their mind. This game moves quite quickly and can be really fun. It is a great icebreaker game that helps teammates showcase their spontaneity and wit. 

5 Minute Lightning Talk

This game allows participants to present a topic they are passionate about, which can be both informative and entertaining. The game involves each participant talking non-stop about any topic they choose, without repetition and without hesitation. The one who goes the longest without breaking the rules, speaking coherently throughout, wins this game.

Something in Common: 

We humans often celebrate diversity but we sometimes ignore the fact that we do love to interact and bond on a deeper level with someone with whom we have something in common. This activity allows the participants to share something they have in common with their team members. Something in common involves the participants bonding over something they are fond of together, a habit they share or even a hobby; it could be anything that lets them connect with each other. 

Virtual Background Show and Tell:

A virtual background show and tell is a beautiful and unique way to share a glimpse of your life with colleagues. Whether the background is a home setup or a landscape, there is always a story to tell, and that helps in fostering connections with other team members. With a virtual background show and tell, we welcome our colleagues into our lives, spark a conversation, and also build a connection. 

Pictionary Story:

This is another interesting five minutes game where participants are given a set of words and they draw a picture based on their imagination from the words. The game is epitome of creativity as a group, filled with lots of laughter. The game also helps team members learn to collaborate in a very light environment.

Scavenger Hunt:

This game becomes very interesting because participants not only have to find items in their office or home but also have to do that within five minutes. The participants feel the rush and when they find those items, it indeed feels like a victory to them. The game brings lots of laughter among colleagues and helps them relax and open up to each other.

Rapid Fire Questions:

It is a fun way to open up to teammates and also helps them lower their inhibitions and relax in a safe environment. In this game, team members ask each other a series of questions in a short period of time and the player has to answer the first answer that comes to mind. It is a great game to make your friends spill their secrets but in virtual meetings, this game helps relax team members and builds trust as well.

Never Have I Ever:

This game is also an icebreaker. Here, one participant shares something they haven’t done and finds out which other members have done it and the game keeps moving forward, including every member sharing. This game makes the participants feel lively and brings lots of laughter. It’s a great game to play before a virtual meeting. It helps reduce stress and also works as an icebreaker.

Virtual Movie Session:

This is a good five minute activity to do with team members. Here, team members share their favorite movie or series and the whole team gets involved in discussing the particular show. This activity helps teammates share their observations and points of view and helps them feel like sharing them without judgement. This is also reflected in their work. They feel comfortable with the team sharing their thoughts on any project that they are working on.

Skribbl:

An interesting game where the digital screen becomes a shared canvas for the team members. One member draws a word and others guess what that word is. In the limited time, teammates should guess the words before the clock ticks off to win the game. Skribbl helps teammates improve their quick thinking and artistic way of thinking. 

Charades:

It is another interesting game to play in five minutes with your colleagues. Here, a participant acts out a word, phrase, or even a movie, and other participants depict what they are trying to say through the act. The team members have to guess the act within a limited time that evokes excitement among the whole team. This game also helps teammates improve their quick thinking through creativity.

Pancakes vs Waffles:

We all like sweets but somebody with a sweet tooth will hardly ignore the subject and the excitement it brings. In this game, teammates share whether they like pancakes or waffles, and other teammates share their opinions on them. This is a good exercise before virtual meetings, as the activity welcomes others to share their opinion in a non-judgmental environment. 

Story Nights:

Story nights give participants the opportunity to share a short story or their experiences with teammates, while others share their experiences based on the story. This game brings the team closer together and the walls built around them shed. The team members feel more comfortable in each other’s company and collaborating on work becomes easier. 

Implementing 5-minute game Effectively In Virtual Meetings

Now that we’ve seen some examples of 5-minute games for virtual meetings and also how they can help improve the productivity of your meetings and employees, let’s get to understanding how to select the right game and how to successfully carry out these games during virtual meetings.  

Define the Ideal Outcome

Once you define the ideal outcome expected from the game, the selection of the game becomes easier. Given that different games serve different purposes, you get to pick one based on what you would like to achieve. For example, if your objective is team building, two truths and a lie can be the perfect game for your team.

Stick to the Timeline

It is important to stick to the timeline or else the focus of the meeting will be diluted. It pays to remember that the purpose of the game is to make the meeting attendees more attentive and participative during the meeting.

Make the Game More Inclusive

Remote workers come from diverse backgrounds; So, it is important to select a game that will resonate with all participants. The goal is to create a meeting environment where everyone feels comfortable participating. 

Encourage Participation:

These games are meant to enhance meeting experience but it is important to keep in mind that preferences for the game may vary. So, while it is important to encourage participation, one cannot make it mandatory lest the participants feel intimidated and uncomfortable.  

Tech Friendly Games

The 5-minute game for virtual meetings should be easily understandable and simple to play. If it is too complicated and not tech friendly,  attendees may get frustrated and lose interest.

Remote working, while a boon to so many of us, can present its own set of challenges – One of them being virtual meeting fatigue. Playing a 5-minute game, every once in a while, before a meeting can mitigate this feeling, while allowing for attendees to relax and smile. 

And it is fair to assume that the most productive meetings are the ones we go into and get out of with a positive frame of mind, isn’t it! 

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