22 Fun And Engaging Zoom Games To Play With Co-Workers
Proximity breeds familiarity and this in turn - if we are lucky enough - may lead to friendship. This is evident from the wide range of friendships that may be formed due to prolonged contact and exposure to those around us, be it our neighbors, classmates, or even co-workers. With the onset of work-from-home models dominating the workspace since the coronavirus pandemic, this opportunity to build a rapport with co-workers has become a challenge.
Zoom, a cloud-based communications platform has gained credence during this time owing to its virtual audio and video conferencing capabilities. But, beyond work communication, it also offers the opportunity for co-workers to enjoy some downtime together with its range of extensions available in its marketplace.
Breaking the Ice with Zoom games
With remote work replacing the need to congregate in physical offices, employees have lost out on the ability to gather together in relatively informal settings at their places of work. Previously, lunch breaks and mid-day breaks allowed employees to get to know one another as people as opposed to just colleagues During this time, it was possible for employees to discern mutual interests that extended beyond a common job profile or place of work.
Set against this backdrop, Zoom games for work serve as a great alternative that helps create this informal space that remote teams can take advantage of. Not only do these games help with team building, but they also encourage a healthy spirit of competition among employees. Read on to better acquaint yourself with popular Zoom games that are perfect to play together.
Game #1 Fishing for Lies
As the name might suggest, players are required to each take a turn providing two truths pertaining to themselves along with a lie. Other players must each guess which of the three statements is a lie. This game allows for co-workers to learn more about one another and laugh over potentially outrageous claims that may or may not in fact be true.
Consider the following examples to better understand this game.
Example 1. Pertaining to achievements
I am fluent in Italian and French.
My voice has been used for an obscure commercial.
I can juggle 6 balls at a time.
Example 2. Pertaining to food
I love flavored yoghurt.
I enjoy baking.
I dislike anything with chickpeas.
This free Zoom game for work makes for great stories to regale later and helps people learn interesting facts about each other’s personal lives.
Game #2 Virtual Musical Chairs
This game functions in a manner akin to ordinary Musical Chairs. The rules that govern this game are slightly different, however, owing to the fact that it involves remote players. As opposed to eliminating the last player who remains unseated when a song ends, this version of Musical Chairs involves eliminating the last player who remains dancing.
Simply set up a playlist on a music streaming channel of your choice like Spotify or Apple music which features lively songs and makes one Zoom call attendee responsible for handing the music. This person must play and stop this music at random intervals. Once the music stops, participants must stop dancing immediately. The last person dancing is eliminated.
Game #3 Bet on the Crowd
Bet on the Crowd is a great game as it encourages team building and allows participants to see how well they know their co-workers. This game takes advantage of the Zoom poll feature. One at a time, players are asked to ask the group questions and watch their co-workers answer the same via the poll feature. Prior to the overall preference being revealed, players get a chance to guess which option was voted for with a majority. Those who guess correctly win the round. Ultimately, the player that wins the most rounds is deemed to be able to read the room best.
Game #4 Who Wins the Bracket
Among the many free games to play on zoom with coworkers, “Who Wins the Bracket” is pertinent. The teams that are fans of tournament brackets will enjoy playing this game. “Who Wins the Bracket” is a game that seeks to find the winner of a particular category by pitting representatives of that category against one another until a single winner emerges.
Popular examples of topics used under this game include the following.
· Best snack food
· Best TV show
· Best cuisine
· Best song from the ‘90s
· Best author
In order to determine who is the best within each of these categories, create a tournament bracket. As one proceeds further down these brackets, the game will begin to narrow down on the final winner.
Game #5 Spot the Difference
This game is a classic and makes use of two images that are almost identical. Players are required to spot the differences that exist between these two images. Whoever guesses them first, wins. Although this game may initially appear hard, it is rather interesting and exciting as it allows players to focus on fun aspects of the pictures.
Game #6 Online Escape Room
Escape rooms are notorious for being entertaining and captivating the interest of all players. Online escape rooms function in a similar way despite players participating remotely. This game pushes co-workers to find viable ways to work together. Not only is this an immersive game, but team members must interact with one another in order to solve the mystery and get out of the virtual room they are trapped in. Players are provided with a wide range of options and have to carefully select the correct option. Popular online escape rooms include International Monster Hunter and The Grimm Escape.
Game #7 Something in Common
By playing this game, co-workers finally begin to realize just how much they have in common with one another. Using the breakout room option that Zoom provides, the staff is split into sub-teams. Although a list of 5 areas makes for a good starting point, co-workers may find that they have even more areas of interest in common with one another. Once an employee creates their list, they can rejoin the main Zoom room to share their findings with others.
Game #8 Lightning Scavenger Hunts
This game calls on the organizer to create a list of items or characteristics and keep it handy once the Zoom call begins. During the call, players are required to challenge their co-workers to gather the items from the list and show them on-screen to earn points. Winners of each round are encouraged to share stories about the item they successfully managed to gather.
Examples of items that can feature on a list include the following:
· Something blue
· Your favorite mug
· Something nestled within the pockets of your winter jacket
· A book that was not enjoyed by you
· A unique keychain
· A paperclip
Players can get creative with this game and can add more obscure objects to the list thereby adding to the challenge. While playing this game co-workers learn random stories and anecdotes about one another that can end up being rather amusing.
Game #9 Zoom “Conference Call” Bingo
Bingo makes for a viable game that brings with it many advantages in the context of team building. This is evident from the fact that it follows a familiar format, it involves enjoyable game mechanics and allows players to potentially win prizes.
Zoom Bingo boards can be found with ease on the internet or can be specially designed for your team by one or two team members prior to the call occurring. Popular phrases featured on Zoom Bingo boards may include:
· You sip your drink at the same time as a co-worker
· The phrase “before we start” is mentioned on the call
· Family member appears in the background of the call
· The phrase “can you hear me now” is mentioned on the call
To play Bingo over a Zoom call, make sure that the game board is provided to all co-workers who are then encouraged to track their progress while the virtual conference call takes place. The first player to mark off an entire row gets a prize.
Game #10 Zoom Trivia
This game involves testing your team’s knowledge on diverse topics at random. In order to play this game, a list of trivia questions and answers must first be compiled. Co-workers are then split into groups and assigned to Zoom breakout rooms. Each time the game master poses a question, each of the groups is sent to their respective breakout rooms. Whichever team returns with the correct answer first scores a point.
Game #11 Five Things
Recognized as an improv game, Five Things starts off with one co-worker naming a topic and another co-worker’s name. That person is given 15 seconds to name five specific items that are related to the topic. This player then chooses another topic along with another co-worker who continues to play in the same vein.
To understand this game better, consider player ABC who chooses “baking” as the topic and assigns the same to their co-worker XYZ to answer. XYZ then has 15 seconds to list five baking-related items which could be “baking sheets, icing sugar, cake tins, cupcakes, and sprinkles”.
Game #12 Virtual Murder Mystery
This game serves as a great icebreaker that can be played with ease over a Zoom call. By allowing co-workers to solve an engaging mystery, it helps them engage with each other while still keeping the proceeding intriguing.
Co-workers can work in teams and make use of breakout rooms in order to exchange clues and unravel the case. A game master helps guide the game and keep players engaged while moving the story forward. In order to ensure that this game runs smoothly the game master must set up private chats to allow guests to scheme with one another and discuss their own theories without revealing the same to all co-workers. Participants must also be able to rename themselves such that the suspects are familiar with each of the characters. Virtual backgrounds can also be used to add an element of mystery.
Shot in the Dark Mysteries serves as a great platform through which you can learn more about hosting such a game.
Game #13 Blackout Truth or Dare
An ideal group game to play on Zoom, Blackout Truth, or Dare involves one player acting as the dare-master. This person is responsible for calling out dares or truth. Co-workers who don’t wish to share must halt their webcam feeds.
This game continues on for a certain number of rounds or until a single player remains. The prompts provided by the dare-master range from silly to personal but must always be safe for work. Examples include “change your display name to your childhood nickname” or “recite the alphabet backward.”
Game #14 Codenames
Although this game is ordinarily an in-person card game, it can be played with ease online on Zoom. During the Zoom call, one player who is not allocated the role of spymaster shares their screen. Participants are then split into red and blue teams which each have a person allocated as a spymaster for their respective team. As players try to guess the cards their spymaster hints at, teams are sent into breakout rooms so that they can discuss their strategy. Whichever team correctly guesses all cards tied to their color first while steering clear of the forbidden card, wins the game.
Game #15 Desert Island Intelligences
This game is based on Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences which postulates that people can have varied strengths and abilities referred to as intelligence. As per Gardner, eight forms of intelligence people may have include:
This game makes use of these eight forms of intelligence by pitting eight individuals who each represent a different intelligence against one another on a desert island. Owing to the fact that the island has limited resources, players must vote one intelligence off the island at a time in order of their usefulness. As the definition of what constitutes usefulness is broad, this game encourages debate amongst team players. This game can be facilitated with the aid of the polling feature that Zoom calls have.
Game #16 War of the Wizards
This is a collaborative storytelling game that features elements of role-playing video games and escape rooms. The basic premise is that a group of wizards has been at war for several ages. Co-workers serve as the wizards’ minions responsible for gathering resources and magic items to bring the war to a peaceful end. The 90-minute-long game involves colleagues developing stories, taking actions, and spinning the “chaos wheel” to work through the results. This must-try game promotes creative thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving.
Game #17 Guess the Movie
If your team is full of movie buffs, this is a super fun Zoom game to try out during your next catch-up. Before the game begins, create a YouTube playlist that features different movie scenes. Once this game begins, make sure to mute each of the participants, and play the movie scene without accidentally revealing which movie it belongs to. Following this, ask the players to submit their guesses into Zoom’s chatbox. The first player to correctly guess the film wins the round. Have fun discovering which of your colleagues like the same genres as you.
Game #18 Virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors
Even if your co-workers didn’t grow up playing this game, its rules are fairly easy to explain and understand. Scissors cut paper, paper covers rock and rock crushes scissors. Players must seek to win by selecting one of the three offerings that are most likely to establish dominance over the other two offerings made by other players.
In order to adapt this game to Zoom, reactions features can be used in place of hand gestures. The 👏 emoji can be used to symbolize paper while the 👍 can be used to symbolize rock. Teammates can cross their arms if they want to symbolize scissors.
Participants must simply be prompted with the rallying cry of “rock, paper, scissors, shoot.” Following this, teammates have three seconds to respond. Once all responses are recorded, reactions are added up and the majority wins.
Game #19 Trial by Trolley
In order to play this game, a team must be divided into two groups wherein each group is assigned to one side of a track. After each group draws cards, they each place cards with characters onto the track. Once all players put down their cards, each group debates with the conductor over which side ought to be run over by the trolley. A little morbid, a lot of fun. The group that loses the debate ends up having their characters killed following which the game resets for the next round.
Game #20 Robot Training
This game involves one colleague sharing their screen on a Zoom call. The steps necessary to complete an action are dictated to the colleague. For instance, ask your colleague to open up Microsoft Paint and give them detailed instructions on how to draw a dog. The main purpose of Robot Training is to enhance communication and cooperation skills among co-workers creating a conducive environment for better collaboration.
Game #21 Zoom Pictionary
Although Pictionary is a classic board game, it has been easy to adapt it to remote teams. In order to play it on Zoom, colleagues must share their screens and take advantage of the whiteboard feature in Zoom. The teammate responsible for drawing will receive a prompt and must draw the same. The playing team is then given a minute to guess the drawing. In the event that this team doesn’t guess what the drawing is prior to the minute expiring, other teams have a chance to win.
Game #22 The Counting Game
A great office game to play on Zoom, involves co-workers counting to ten. In the event that any player says a number at the same time as another, the counting must restart. This game encourages co-workers to learn how to read one another’s body language and make eye contact. Making eye contact is harder during video meetings and this activity ensures that participants learn to align and anticipate each other’s actions.
All work and no play...
By incorporating online Zoom games during work calls, meetings have the potential to become more engaging and colleagues have the chance to discover sides of each other they may not have seen before. Whether it’s a quick weekly catch-up to have fun for an hour or a few hours every month, adding games to your to-do list is crucial to building a company culture that people are happy to be a part of.