The Management Centre
Call us: +44 (0)20 7978 1516
For Learning & Development: yvette@managementcentre.co.uk
For Consultancy: bernard@managementcentre.co.uk
Next public training: Emerging Managers Book now
graphic

Make your team meetings fun again!

man smiling at laptop

Fun activities to include in your online team meetings

We all know how enjoyable it is when we work within a close and supportive team. A team where people know and trust each other, where energy is high and the team solves problems together, spots opportunities together and creates new approaches together. Over the last year, we have heard from lots of people working remotely, that the physical distance is making it harder for their teams to feel as connected, or to welcome in new members of the team or to feel energised.

Fun activities in team meetings can help our team members connect to each and remind them of all the brilliant people they have on their side. When choosing an activity, it is important to consider the purpose of it, and that it delivers what you need. Some activities help your colleagues get to know each other and build a climate of openness and trust. Other activities help create the right energy that is needed for the meeting topics, whether that is solving a problem or generating new ideas or innovative approaches.

Whatever the activity you choose, ensure you follow these three golden rules:

  1. Keep it short. You can include a fun activity in every team meeting if you like but keep it short and focused. For many people, time is a scarce resource, and the time spent in meetings needs to be well used. The examples below take five to ten minutes.
  2. Don’t make them a competition. The overarching aim of all team activities is to bring the team closer together. If the activity has too much emphasis on winners and losers, then it will do the opposite. Even icebreakers like “tell us the most exciting thing about you” can put people on edge, if they feel their contribution is being judged.
  3. Consider different personalities. You may have people in your team who are always willing to speak up and try something new in front of others. You might also have introverts who may not enjoy being centre stage, so consider how to make the experience safe for them. You may also have reflectors in the team, so you may need to give them some pre-warning, to get the very best out of them.

The following are examples of fun things to try in your team meeting:

Five Finger Bingo

This is a great activity to help the team get to know each other better. Everyone holds up one hand with five fingers extended. You then read out different activities or experiences, and if a team member has done that activity or has had that experience, they put one finger down. The activity ends when one person has put down all their fingers, and they shout bingo. The following are some examples of what you can read out:

  • Has eaten ice-cream in the last week
  • Has knitted something other than a scarf
  • Can order drinks in a foreign language
  • Has fallen out of a tree
  • Has been to South America
  • Can do a cart wheel
  • Has swum in a waterfall
  • Has fallen off, or out of, a moving vehicle
  • Has had a pet snake / spider / insect
  • Has made bread from scratch
  • Can say a poem off by heart
  • Has had an allergic reaction to something

Depending on the time available, you can follow up on any of these to learn more from the people who put their finger down.

If your team prefers or needs a video-off method, you can also make bingo cards or use the Chat Function of your online meeting as an alternative.

Desert Island Discs

This activity helps people learn about their colleagues and can bring energy to the beginning of the meeting. Ask every member of your team to send you the name of a song that they love or are listening to a lot at the moment. In the team meeting play a snippet of one song and team members have to guess who chose it. You can then play another song or leave the others for future meetings. Make sure you include a song yourself. Be clear that all tastes are welcome. Where sound is an issue, you could substitute the music for lyrics, or support your team with live captioning.

Show and Tell

This one helps team members deepen their connections with each other. Ask every member of your team to show or describe to the group something they have which means a lot to them. It could be a prized possession, an item from childhood, something they have learnt from, or something they are passionate about. You can lead the way by going first, and you can reduce the “competition” element by choosing an item to show which isn’t overly grand. You could then ask one member of the team to share their item at each subsequent meeting.

woman with large teddy bear toy

Hypotheticals

This is a good activity to help people think in new ways, and is helpful if you need energy, creativity and innovation in your meeting. You give the team members a hypothetical question and give them a moment to come up with their own answer. The team then shares their answers and why they choose it. The following are some examples of hypothetical questions you could try:

  • If you had to switch places with a famous person forever, who would you choose?
  • If you had to stay the same age forever, what age would that be?
  • If you could only eat one colour of food for the rest of your life, what colour would you choose? An alternative is – if you could only eat food that starts with one letter of the alphabet for the rest of your life, what letter would you choose?
  • If you had to give yourself (or me) a new first name, what name would you choose?
  • If you could create a new national law, what law would you implement?
  • If you had to give wings to an animal that doesn’t have wings, which animal would you choose?
  • What odd habit or behaviour would you make socially acceptable if you could?
  • If you had to time travel when would you choose to go to?

Lateral Thinking

When you need your team to engage in problem solving, lateral thinking activities can get their brains going. There are no right answers to these activities, but they help team members consider the possibilities. You read the situation, and give everyone a minute to choose their answer, before everyone shares their reasoning. Situations can include:

  • You are alone in a dark cabin, with only one match. Within the cabin is a lamp, a fireplace, and a candle – which of these three would you light first?”
  • You are in the water after your boat sinks. There are a number of items in the water with you, but you can only get to two of them before they sink too. Which of these do you choose: a rope, a mirror, a knife, a book about the stars, a tin of tuna, a flashlight, and some sunscreen lotion?
  • You have inherited a dilapidated house and can only afford to do one room up at a time, whilst the rest stay in their broken-down condition. Which room do you choose: the kitchen, sitting room, bedroom, bathroom or study?

All these activities can help your team form deeper bonds and strengthen their understanding and trust with each other. Whatever activity you choose, have fun with it. And make sure that everyone’s contributions are listened to and appreciated. Suspend all judgment. You can also ask team members to come up with future activities and then lead those, to make team building a true collaborative effort.

If you have a great idea for making online team meetings more interesting, we’d love to hear it. Contact us online or call 020 7978 1516 to discuss how we can help your team with creativity, innovation and working together.

Share Make your team meetings fun again!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Contact us

You might also be interested in

Charlotte Scott

About Charlotte Scott

Charlotte specialises in leadership development, team facilitation and strategy development. Charlotte worked for over 20 years in the not-for-profit sector. Before joining =mc ten years ago, she created and implemented...

More