The Slice

Communication Games for Remote Teams: Enhance Collaboration

August 4, 2023

Which games are best at improving communication skills for remote teams? Let's look at some of the most popular options you can schedule for your next meeting or event.

When it comes to organizational efficiency, collaboration and teamwork are two of the most essential tools. Enhancing collaboration skills among your employees can provide tons of appealing benefits for individuals and the organization alike– including increasing productivity, boosting creativity, better work-life balance, and more.

In order to have a strong team that knows how to work together seamlessly, communication is absolutely key. There are many practical ways to improve communication in your remote workplace, including instituting regular check-ins, establishing clear communication guidelines, and using collaboration tools.

Beyond setting up the systems that promote clear communication, though, most teams can benefit from the opportunity to practice collaborating outside the realm of "business as usual." By organizing social events that incorporate team-building activities or including communication-focused icebreakers into your meetings, your whole team can creatively stretch and strengthen their communication muscles.

Which games are best at improving communication skills for remote teams? Let's look at some of the most popular options you can schedule for your next meeting or event.

Virtual Escape Room

Virtual escape rooms are themed challenge events where your team can work together to complete tasks, find clues, and solve puzzles. This is an excellent way to boost problem-solving, project management, and communication skills. This is an excellent activity if you're looking to build stronger relationships within your team.

When your team engages in a virtual escape room, they will work together to achieve a specific goal bounded by time. This type of event has become increasingly popular because it's not just effective, it's also a boatload of fun!

Live Trivia

Live trivia is another collaborative event that can help your team work together better. Like virtual escape rooms, a part of the power of live trivia is that it doesn't feel like a team-building activity. Instead, it allows your team to enhance their collaboration skills while they have a roaring good time.

When you play live trivia with your team, the group is broken down into smaller segments. This creates a scenario where collaboration and a healthy competitive spirit are present, which can be tapped into during the workday.

Playing trivia also provides the benefit of helping to create a sense of community within your team. This is particularly important for remote teams, where workers have a tendency to feel isolated and relationship building is more difficult.

One of the great things about trivia is that you can organize the event both as a social event or reward for a job well done and as a team-building exercise. Combine your virtual trivia event with some fun cocktails and pizza, and you've got yourself a party!

Remote Pictionary

Another great way to enhance collaboration on your team is to play creative and interactive games like Pictionary. You don't have to get everyone together at the office to use this activity to boost teamwork and communication skills, though– this game also works exceptionally well when played remotely.

To play Pictionary virtually, you'll want to use a digital whiteboard tool such as the whiteboard feature on Zoom or Microsoft's Whiteboard app. Then, you'll want to designate a moderator who will keep track of both the score and the time.

Break everyone up into smaller teams, and it's time to start playing! You can come up with a way to decide which team is going first, whether it's a coin toss or having the moderator think of a number that the teams have to try and guess. In the latter example, the team that is closest to the number the moderator had in mind goes first.

The next step is to use a random word generator to prompt the first team to draw a picture. The team that is able to guess the word correctly gets a point and then has their shot at the drawing board. You can play this game for as many rounds as you'd like, and the team with the most points at the end wins!

This is another excellent collaboration enhancer for teams because it's just so much fun. Your team has the opportunity to boost their communication abilities and practice creative expression without it feeling in the least bit like work. Since it's such a hoot, you'll find that this type of activity also helps to foster a sense of community and build strong relationships within your team.

Communication Origami

This unique communication game can be played in person or remotely. When you utilize this exercise, the whole team can learn about the way that each individual can hear the same idea and interpret it differently.

Everyone just needs the same size piece of paper to begin with, and then you will start giving them instructions for folding the origami. The kicker is that everyone must keep their eyes closed and cannot speak while folding the paper. No clarifying questions are allowed– they just have to follow the instructions to the best of their abilities.

When the exercise is complete, everyone can compare their finished product. They'll likely be surprised both by what their own origami looks like after opening their eyes as well as by the diversity of outcomes the activity produced.

Online Book Clubs

Though not technically a game, you can "gamify" the book club experience in plenty of ways. Starting a book club is an awesome way to promote intellectual discourse within your team and give everyone the opportunity to engage with thought-provoking ideas.

A book club can enhance your team's communication skills by presenting complex ideas to the rest of the group. To incorporate some game-like elements, consider making a quiz, playing a rousing game of book-themed trivia, or playing virtual Pictionary based on concepts from the book of the month.

Photo Sharing Games

Breaking down the barriers between coworkers has always been a challenge, but it is particularly difficult when your team works remotely. Photo-sharing challenges are an excellent way to spark fruitful conversations and allow your team to get to know each other better.

Team members can showcase their individuality, personality, and creativity when you initiate a photo-sharing game.

There are tons of different prompts you can use for one of these challenges, including:

  • Showcasing their work-from-home desk setup

  • Sharing pictures of their pets

  • Sending pictures of the view from their office window

  • Displaying photos of their favorite vacation spot

  • Sharing pictures from their childhood

Photo-sharing challenges help your team learn more about their coworkers while also providing the opportunity to enhance collaboration and communication skills. It also lets them stretch their creative wings and help build a culture that is rich with strong relationships rather than just the typical tasks of the working day.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Another simple game you can play with your team to help boost their teamwork skills is a virtual scavenger hunt. Simple to set up, all you'll need to do is create a list of challenges or items that will be completed or gathered by participants during the game.

You can find lots of different pre-made lists online, or you can come up with your own. If you're focusing on items rather than challenges, try to think about the types of objects that would typically be in your employees' homes.

You can also combine directives to fetch items with simple challenges to help make the game more active, engaging, and fun. Players can earn points for each item or challenge they complete, and the person with the most points wins.

Icebreaker Games

Building a team that excels at collaboration requires strengthening a number of different skills and creating the ideal setting for teamwork. These include communication, coordination, cooperation, responsibility, mutual trust, and respect.

One great way to help boost communication, cooperation, and trust is to incorporate icebreaker games into your meetings. These games don't have to take very long to play– you can simply add them to the beginning or end of your team sessions to start stretching and building those collaborative muscles.

Let's take a look at some popular icebreaker games that focus on communication and collaboration.

Two Truths and a Lie

This quick game doesn't require any tools or setup, making it ideal for a fast activity incorporated into a meeting or other session.

Each team member will have a turn sharing three statements about themselves. The kicker is that only two statements are true– one is an outright lie. The rest of the team then tries to guess which one is a fabrication.

This game helps encourage communication and also sparks each participant's curiosity about their coworkers. Much fodder for strong relationships can be discovered during this game, as team members might realize they have more in common with their coworkers than they first thought. On the other hand, they will have the ability to gain a deeper understanding of their teammates, helping pave the way for strong working relationships and fewer conflicts or misunderstandings.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Another excellent remote communication game is called "Can You Hear Me Now?" Each team member will need paper and pens to play. They'll then take turns describing an item for the rest of the team to draw, but the key is that they are only describing the object one line or shape at a time.

The players who are drawing the picture will be tasked with trying to guess what the object is before they complete the drawing. This game is a hoot and emphasizes just how important it is to give clear instructions and communicate deliberately. Beyond that, it can show just how many different potential outcomes there can be from what appear to be simple and straightforward instructions.

Lip Reading Liars

Are you searching for a communication game that really gets your remote team involved and engaged? This activity really is a lot of fun– you'll find that even your shiest team members are drawn out of their shells!

This game can be played in person or virtually. To play remotely, have one or two players turn off the sound to their computer or wear noise-canceling headphones while two to four other participants act out a scene. The players that don't have access to the sound will then have to read both body language and lips to try and discern what the heck is going on in the scene.

The sketches should take only three minutes or less. Once they're done, the interpreters will have an opportunity to summarize what they think occurred.

As you might imagine, a lot of hilarious outcomes can emerge as the interpreters describe what happened in the scene. It gives everyone the opportunity to see just how many different interpretations there can be of a given scenario despite how obvious they might appear at face value.

Another Way to Say

Another Way to Say is a game that helps encourage creativity and collaboration at the same time.

One player will begin the first round by stating a common phrase everyone knows. Then, you'll give everyone the opportunity to share a synonym of the phrase until they simply can't come up with it anymore.

This game is an excellent way to show how many different ways one idea or thought can be expressed. Players can even come up with new idioms and phrases to try and describe the initial idea, helping to boost innovative thinking and outside-the-box interpretations.

Why Not Make It a Party?

A few years into the work-from-home revolution, we now know just how important it is to address remote work's unique challenges–namely, employees' tendency to feel disconnected and isolated. Though everyone loves working in their slippers and avoiding a long commute, working from home lacks the natural opportunity to socialize that comes with office work.

Beyond caring for the well-being of your workers, creating fun, social, team-building activities for your workers can have serious benefits for your organization. Hosting events that give everyone a chance to let their hair down, get to know each other better, and build essential teamwork skills is a win for everyone involved!

Is it time for your team to come together, have a little morale boost, and create shared memories? At PizzaTime, we help create memorable experiences through food, drinks, and virtual experiences. To get started, begin your order today.

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