Is it really worth playing five-minute games during video meetings, or is it just a silly waste of time? If they are worth the trouble, when is the best time to let your team know you're taking a five-minute break from business to play a virtual game? Don't worry; we're here to answer exactly those questions. Let's take a look at what you need to know about using five-minute games in your virtual meetings.
At this point, we're all used to virtual meetings– they've become a part of the regular workday. While they're a great way to communicate information and connect with one another, being stuck in a string of back-to-back video meetings can get seriously exhausting after a while.
If you've noticed that your team is seeming a bit sluggish and disengaged recently, it might be time to throw a little fun back into the mix. While it might mean that you're due for a full-on team-building experience, you also might find that incorporating short games into your meetings can go a long way.
Is it really worth playing five-minute games during video meetings, though, or is it just a silly waste of time? If they are worth the trouble, when is the best time to let your team know you're taking a five-minute break from business to play a virtual game?
Don't worry; we're here to answer exactly those questions. Let's take a look at what you need to know about using five-minute games in your virtual meetings.
Figuring out how to run a successful virtual meeting can feel like an impossible feat– when you have team members that work remotely all around the world, it isn't always easy to feel like everyone is on the same page. Playing short games can be a great way to bring everyone together and create a sense of team cohesion without taking up too much meeting time.
One of the great things about five-minute games is that they come and go so quickly that they can really inject energy into a meeting. They aren't long enough for people to start feeling bored or losing focus, and they can create a brief moment of hilarity and mania that actually helps promote a more positive tone around the rest of the meeting.
We all know that there are plenty of benefits to remote work. As working from home has become increasingly common, employees around the world have been enjoying life without a commute, the freedom to live where they want, and the career opportunities that remote work opens up.
On top of that, it's pretty cool to be able to work in your slippers or throw a load of laundry in on your lunch break.
However, one of the drawbacks of distributed teams is that it can be hard to connect in the same way you can when working in an office together. There aren't nearly as many opportunities to make small talk or get to know one another around the water cooler, after all.
Playing games during your virtual meetings– even short five-minute ones– can be a nice way to bring the team together. Not only can it help combat the loneliness and isolation frequently associated with working from home, but it also gives everyone a chance to learn more about their teammates.
Short games can be great for helping your team learn how to work together and collaborate.
Whether a bunch of new people have recently hopped aboard or you've had a steady cast of characters for some time now, games are a great way to improve everyone's ability to work together as a team and solve problems.
Playing games as a team can also help boost both productivity and creativity. It gives everyone a welcome break from their work while also presenting them with challenges they can work to solve in creative ways.
The more opportunities you give your team to think outside the box or approach problems from different angles, the more you'll find they start applying that same creativity to their work.
Maintaining a positive company and team culture can feel like a struggle when your team has never met each other in person. There is no faster way to boost morale and bring positive energy to your team than to play a quick little game, no matter how silly it is!
Playing games together can also help build trust and camaraderie between people. By taking some time to engage in team-building games, you'll likely find that it helps create a general sense of positivity and a morale boost within your team.
One classic game, both in-office and out-of-the-office, is trivia. It's easy to play short little trivia games while you can also get into highly-competitive (but appropriately so, of course) extended games. If you want to really offer your team an opportunity to have some fun in a way that will definitely boost morale, check out our live virtual trivia experience. Heck, hold it after work with some happy hour drinks, and you'll likely find that your once-exhausted team is all of a sudden bursting with energy and motivation!
Are most of your team spending a lot of time on video meetings every day? If so, you'll want to consider that they might be at risk of Zoom fatigue, which can leave people feeling exhausted, unable to concentrate, irritable, and even physically achy.
Even though virtual games are obviously happening while on a video call, they can still help to prevent Zoom fatigue because they break up the monotony of business as usual. Creating variety in the type of content that your team is engaging with can be a big help, so consider incorporating some games to help them interact with one another in novel ways.
Games can also be great for improving communication skills on your team.
It's common for people working together to fall into certain rhythms and patterns of activity, and playing a game during your video meeting can take them out of their comfort zone in a way that builds valuable skills.
Let's face it– everyone's a little stressed out these days. Your team is working hard but can't work at their best when they're constantly burning the candle at both ends.
At the end of the day, playing some games during your video meetings can really help reduce anxiety and stress and take some pressure off.
Ok, so it's clear that there are a lot of reasons why you might want to sprinkle some games into your virtual meetings. At the same time, you can't dedicate half an hour or an hour to games every time you get together with your team; otherwise, you won't get any work done! Five-minute meetings can be a great way to begin, end, or break up your meetings while also enjoying the many benefits of playing games as a team.
Icebreakers can get a bad rap for being corny, but ultimately, the corniness helps encourage everyone to let their guard down and fully participate. Even if your team has been working together for a while, starting things off with a game can be a great way to break through the awkwardness that can sometimes take hold at the very beginning of a meeting.
Using icebreakers is particularly useful when your team is remote because there's a good chance that most of your team members have been silently working on their own up until the start of the meeting. It can be an abrupt transition to all of a sudden be expected to interact with a group of people on a video call, and an icebreaker game can burst through this issue to bring everyone onto the same page quickly.
For short meetings, you might not feel the need to take a break. If you're in a longer meeting with your team, though, a five-minute energizer game can be an awesome way to let everyone take their mind off of work for a minute. Beyond that, it allows you to transition between topics while allowing for some space in between, which means that everyone has the opportunity to refresh their mind before thinking about and discussing a new item.
You might even find it's a good idea to keep some five-minute energizer games in your back pocket, so to speak, so you can pull them out when you notice your team is starting to get a bit sluggish. If all of your attendees are low on energy, there's a good chance they aren't nearly as engaged with the topic at hand as you'd like them to be.
Whenever it seems like the team might need a little help getting motivated and tuning in, a short five-minute energizer can be a huge help. You might choose to connect the game to the topic you're discussing or use them as "palette cleansers" after engaging in some heavy, complex discussions.
Of course, you'll also want to stay tuned into how your team is feeling as it's possible that they need an actual break– away from the screen. During long meetings, it's a good idea to let everyone take a few minutes to walk around, drink some water, and otherwise not be sitting at their computer. You'll likely find that incorporating breaks during more intense meeting sessions can majorly impact everyone's ability to focus and be engaged in the discussion.
Finally, short games can also be a great way to end your virtual meetings. Since your team is working remotely, it's possible that the virtual meetings you hold are where they primarily interact with others. Rather than being all-business from start to finish, giving the team a few minutes to goof off and have some fun can really go a long way.
Ending your meetings with a short game can be a wonderful little ritual to start with your team– after all, who doesn't have five minutes to spare? You might find that taking even this small slice of time at the end of your meetings can have a truly impressive effect on your team's sense of shared culture and camaraderie over time.
Are you wondering what games you should play when you plan on having many attendees at your next meeting? Check out our ultimate list of virtual game activities for large groups for inspiration.
You didn't really think we'd sign off without giving you a list of fun five-minute games, did you?
Some of our favorites include:
Five-minute games can be a great ritual to add to your weekly team meetings– they're long enough to help everyone get their minds off work for a minute but not so long that you feel like you're not getting any work done. However, sometimes your hard-working team needs a little something more than a five-minute break away from their work.
If it's time for your team to really spend some quality time together (virtually, of course), then we've got great news for you. At PizzaTime, we specialize in offering virtual experiences and catering to remote teams around the world. Whether you want to hire a live music DJ for your next virtual happy hour or you want to treat everyone to pizza during a mini-games triathlon, we're here to help your team build stronger connections and have a great time while they're doing it.