Virtual communication games are enjoyable communication activities to engage in during online meetings. For example, virtual postcard, inbox zero challenge, and can you hear me now?. The intention of these activities is to make virtual meetings more fun and enhance communication skills.
This post includes:
- virtual communication games for teams
- online communication games
- virtual activities to improve communication skills
- virtual team communication exercises
Here we go!
List of 17 virtual communication games
Virtual communication games and exercises are quite easy to conduct. For smaller groups of people, members may ask for a chance to take part by raising a hand. Bigger groups may need the host to subdivide it into the virtual break-away rooms. Here are some of the best virtual activities to improve communication skills.
#1. Check-in Greetings
Greetings enhance connection and promote positive conversations.
This check-in greeting activity requires each member to greet the group upon joining the meeting. The participants in the virtual meeting will send greetings notes to the team in the chat section. The length of the note is flexible. A good note would be around 50 words maximum.
Examples of such notes may include “Good morning team. I am glad to be part of this group”, and “Hi all. Hope you have a great day!”
This simple exercise allows members to perfect digital communication skills and build camaraderie with teammates.
#2. Send Individuals a Virtual Postcard
Virtual postcards serve similar communication purposes as traditional postcards. The major difference in correspondence is that the authors send the cards virtually instead of by post.
In this virtual postcard activity, the team leader will prepare and share the full list of participants’ names. Each member needs to send one postcard to every other member. Depending on the team’s number, the leader will determine and tell participants the number of postcards to send per day. For instance, if you have 20 members, then the leader may suggest sending one postcard daily. By the end of the month, you will have completed the exercise.
This ‘send individuals a virtual postcard’ exercise allows members to interact more personally. Members also get a chance to practice creative skills when they design the postcards. There are free online tools like the MyPostcard app and Canva to create virtual postcards. Members can share these postcards on platforms like Hangouts, WhatsApp, or private emails.
#3. Can You Hear Me Now?
Can you hear me now? is one of the top online communication games to play with coworkers. The game involves speaking, listening and thinking skills.
During the game, the host will describe an image by naming geometrical shapes. The members draw the item as described and try to guess the object before the drawing is complete.
To ensure that participants have fun in ‘can you hear me now’, choose familiar images, and be sure to share finished results. Good examples of prompts include everyday objects like a car, box or table.
#4. Virtual Back-to-back Drawing
Virtual back-to-back drawing tests attentiveness and reason.
The original game requires pairs of players to remain back-to-back and describe a picture for the other to draw. In the virtual version, the host will select a member of the meeting to be the describer. The rest of the team members become artists. The selected member will choose a picture to describe to the other participants. The rest of the members will follow the directions to draw the image. Finally, participants will share and compare the drawings. The artist whose image comes closest to the original takes the next turn as the describer.
#5. Inbox Zero Challenge
The inbox zero challenge is an exercise that promotes prompt communication.
In the inbox zero challenge, the host prompts the members to check and clean their inboxes. The goal is for team members to get up to date with all online communication. Participants can complete the inbox zero challenge by reading, responding, or organizing their messages.
Many organizations now rely on online apps like Slack alongside traditional emails, and you can include these platforms in the challenge as well.
#6. Sign Language Challenge.
The sign language challenge embraces diversity and promotes inclusivity in the workplace. This challenge particularly focuses on the hearing-impaired, and is one of the best online communication exercises for supporting persons with disability.
To conduct this sign language challenge, the host will assign random members tasks before the meeting. The tasks will involve communicating specific messages using sign language. Members will research the signs. When prompted, each team member will teach the rest of the members how to say certain things in sign language. For example, the task may be saying “Let us now have a 15- minute break.”
Using sign language at work is one of the ways of creating a positive working environment for people with hearing impairments. Additionally, the challenge is a fun learning moment that teaches new ways to communicate.
#7. Spot the Difference
Spot the difference is a popular game that compares and contrasts a given image. Virtually, you may use the same concept of studying a picture to trigger interesting discussions among the team members.
To make the game of spot the difference fun and interactive for adults, the hosts may choose two short clips that may relate to work. For example, if the organization deals with marketing, then you can show two different advertisements. Your teams will watch the clips and talk about the similarities.
Spot the difference relies on observation. Analyzing the clips will help members learn and improve.
Other areas to consider include customer service, and problem resolving process.
#8. Good Turn Challenge
One good turn deserves another is a common saying. This good turn challenge requires team members to appreciate good deeds.
The leader will split the group into teams using breakout rooms and will give each team a list of all the members’ names. However, the leader should ensure that no member discusses his or her own good deeds. In groups, members will brainstorm the commendable things the colleagues on the list have done. The recipients of these kind deeds may be an individual or the organization. Members will share ideas and plan ways of showing the honorees appreciation as a group. Sample ideas may include services like washing a member’s car or giving simple gifts.
This activity can motivate employees and increase teams’ overall productivity.
#9. Virtual Birthday Lineup
The birthday lineup is a fun activity in which members use signs, gestures, and codes to communicate.
An in-person birthday lineup game requires members to align themselves in order of their birthdays. Virtually, players observe each other without speaking. The players then list the names in the order in the chat. Finally, the host will read the correct list and members can score themselves based on how closely their lists matched the host’s list.
For a more fun and challenging spin on the birthday lineup game, the participants can rank members based on the year each coworker completed high school, began working for the organization, or got their first car.
#10. Shopping Spree
The shopping spree game is a twist on window-shopping. The game requires the group members to be creative and buy as many items as possible.
The leader will ask the participants to shop for a given need with a limited budget. The leader will provide a price list for different products at different stores. Players should aim to save. The participants will window-shop and list every relevant item to buy. For instance, the leader may ask groups to shop for a child’s first day in school. The group with the longest, most accurate list wins.
The game is a good communication activity as it engages teams in deep discussion and quick decision-making. To motivate your team better, you may decide to reward the winners with actual shopping vouchers.
#11. Comic Strips
The comic strip game encourages participants to use humor and storytelling to communicate.
The leader will provide participants with comic strips with empty dialogue boxes. In groups, the players will discuss and create the wording for the scene. It is up to the team’s creativity to script the funniest or the most relatable comic strip.
Some popular comic characters to consider may include Popeye, Dilbert, and Donald Duck.
Virtual communication games for teams, like the comic strip, are great ways to incorporate fun into remote workplaces and to boost online team morale.
#12. Funny Pet Contest
The funny pet contest is a virtual activity that involves collecting funny pictures or videos of you and your pet. Organizations may use the funny pet contest as one of their virtual activities to improve communication skills among employees.
The host will ask members to share funny pet photos. The leader will then randomly ask members to comment on the pictures. It might surprise you to learn what coworkers like about your pet. The host can make a collage of the pictures as a memento of the event, and later hang the picture in a shared office space. Or, the leader can send the collage to team members via email.
This virtual activity promotes communication and allows members to know each other better while getting to know cute animals. The activity may result in members forming a new relationship based on similar interests in the pets.
Online debates are forms of communication exercises that involve cross-examining an issue. Debates allow members to have constructive arguments on an issue’s pros and cons.
To conduct the debate, the host will group members in fives. The host then issues a list of the debate topics and members go into breakout rooms to discuss. The topics need to be engaging, and not necessarily workplace-related. At the end of a set time limit, teams rejoin the main room and share their thoughts.
Here are some debate topic suggestions:
- hiring a person based on skill versus knowledge
- saving versus borrowing to buy a home
- watching movies versus reading novels
- going for a road trip versus hiking
- spending a week without a phone versus a car
- adopting a dog versus a cat
While honing debate skills members also develop other communication skills such as tolerance and critical thinking.
#14. Read a Book Challenge
The read a book challenge seeks to promote reading to improve communication skills.
For this challenge, the host will give members a timeline to read at least one book. Members do not have to finish a book. However, each member must share insights from the chosen book during a Zoom call or within a Slack thread. The book could be nonfiction, fiction, or professional skill- building reads like communication books.
If you are searching for virtual team communication exercises that are both educational and interactive, then challenging your team to read a book would be a fruitful option.
#15. The Secret Word
Online communication games that involve active listening play a crucial role in enhancing communication skills. The secret word is a good example of games that improve participants’ alertness during virtual meetings.
To play, the team leader will mention a number of secret words to pay attention for during the session. The leader should space out these words throughout the meeting. Members keep track of every time they hear one of the buzzwords. Finally, each member will share the final tally for each secret word at the end of the call.
To encourage participant engagement, members can decide on a theme. The leader will then come up with secret words accordingly. For example, if the theme of the day is flowers, then the members can look out for names such as daisy, carnation, and tulips.
#16. Bucket List
The bucket list is an interactive activity where members discuss and list goals and talk about ways to achieve those goals.
The team leader will group members into breakout rooms. Each group will have a member from different departments. The leader will give different tasks to the groups. For instance, reducing debtors by 80% or introducing ten exciting menu items. Group members will discuss those issues and the way forward. The groups will rejoin and share insights. Departmental members will then compile a team bucket list inspired by ideas the groups shared.
The bucket list activity is among the top virtual communication games that improve communication, problem-solving and collaboration in teams.
#17. Search and Find
Search and find requires keen powers of observation.
The leader will give members a series of pictures with not-so-obvious details. The players’ task will be to interpret the images and find as many oddities as possible. The participants will list their findings. The group that gets the most correct answers wins the game.
This picture game promotes conversations among members as they search the images to find answers. This cartoon by Ella Baron, below, is a good example of search and find images.
Online communication activities and games play an important role in developing communication skills. Some outcomes for well-executed virtual games include improved teamwork, increased response time, and fewer misunderstandings caused by messaging.
There are various virtual communication games to try with teams, such as the sign language challenge and virtual postcards. These activities and games cover important aspects of communication like active listening, concise speaking, responsiveness, and constructive debates. The skills your team will gain empower them to become better communicators.
Next, check out this list of virtual icebreaker questions.
FAQ: virtual communication games
Here are answers to common questions about virtual communication games.
What are some virtual communication games to play with coworkers?
Some of the best online communication exercises for colleagues include:
- birthday line up
- read a book challenge
- funny pet contest
These activities are interactive and more interesting when involving more players.
What are the best virtual communication activities for work?
You can engage individuals in check-in greetings, the good turn challenge, and the shopping spree game. These virtual activities promote interaction, empathy, and open-mindedness.
What are good ideas to improve team communication in virtual offices?
Inbox zero challenge, the bucket list, and the sign language challenge are creative ideas for enhancing team spirit. These ideas are in line with most organizations’ objectives and core values. Also, the ideas foster respect and improve employee relationships, trust, and confidence.