Updated: February 25, 2023

Quick Team Building Activities For Conference Calls

You found our list of quick team building activities for conference calls.

Team building activities for conference calls are quick group activities for remote meetings. For instance, Conference Call Bingo, Can You Hear Me Now, and Rapid-fire Questions. The purpose of these activities is to help teammates get to know each other better and make call-in meetings more interactive and fun. These activities are sometimes called “online games for conference calls.”

These exercises are examples of video call games, virtual team building activities, virtual team bonding activities and 5 minute team building activities, and are similar to Zoom games and Microsoft Teams games. These ideas are online equivalents of quick team building activities.

This article includes:

  • free team building activities for conference calls
  • fun activities for conference calls
  • games to play on conference calls

Here we go!

List of team building activities for conference calls

Here is a list of games and activities to do as team building exercises during conference calls.

1. Lightning Scavenger Hunts

Lightning scavenger hunts are one of the best games to play on conference calls. This exercise gets teammates up and moving and brings high-energy to fight off Zoom fatigue.

During lightning scavenger hunts, players must get up from their computers and race to retrieve a requested item from around their home. The first teammate to show the object on screen wins a point. The game leader can also award extra points for the most interesting or amusing items.

The game master reads off items one by one. The group can play in teams, or individually.

Here are some starter prompts for the game:

21 Quick Team Building Activities For Conference Calls

Pro tip: Before starting the game, give players a warning to unhook wired earphones, move trippable objects away from their desk, and give kids, pets, or roommates a heads up.

Here is a full guide to lightning scavenger hunts, and a guide to doing scavenger hunts virtually.

2. Conference Call Bingo

Conference Call Bingo is a game that encourages teammates to pay attention during calls.

To start the game, send each participant a screenshot of a randomized card. Throughout the game, team members should be on the lookout for the actions and phrases listed on the card. The first teammate to call Bingo wins the game.

Here is a template:

For similar games, check out icebreaker Bingo, remote work Bingo and online team building Bingo.

3. Home Tours

Home tours are a way for remote coworkers to get to know each other better. During this activity, teammates show off the parts of their homes beyond the Zoom screen. For the sake of time, you can either assign a different team member to give a tour each meeting, or you can select a different part of the house to explore each session, like the kitchen or the bedroom.

Pro tip: Give teammates a heads up before the tour to give time to tidy up! It also may be a good idea to suggest team members join from a mobile device if they will be walking around.

You can also perform this activity asynchronously by asking team members to share pictures of their home offices, kitchens, happy places, and so on to a Slack thread or email chain.

Check out more get to know you activities.

4. Before and After

Before and after is a creative game for teams to play on video calls. At the start of each round, the leader selects one participant to be a hider. The host spotlights this teammate for fifteen seconds. Then, the hider turns off their webcam, removes or adds one item to the area within view of the screen, and turns the camera back on. Other players must guess the change. The first player to correctly spot the difference wins a point.

5. Conference Call Trivia

Trivia is one of the best games to play on video calls with teams. The game can be as quick or as long as you would like, and there are many ways to structure the activity. For example, you could kick off each conference call with a single trivia question, and the first player to say or type the correct answer wins a point. You could also split groups into teams by using breakout rooms and give each team a form to fill out, or you can screen share and use Kahoot! to facilitate the game.

Employees can play in teams or individually, and you can make each game a standalone or record scores and hold an ongoing tournament.

Here is a collection of starter trivia questions for team meetings.

6. Window Wanderings

Window wanderings is a way for remote employees to share their surroundings with the rest of their teammates. Each meeting, ask attendees to show or describe what is currently happening outside the nearest window. This exercise can make team members feel closer to each other while far away, and also encourages telecommuters to take note of the outside world instead of staring at the screen the whole work day.

7. Rapid-fire Questions

Rapid-fire questions are one of the best ice breakers for phone meetings and video meetings alike. These prompts are short, personal questions that attendees should answer quickly without thinking too much. This activity can uncover surprising facts about team members and help remote coworkers learn about each other more quickly. Plus, since question-and-answer goes fast, the exercise does not take up much time.

Check out this list of rapid-fire questions.

8. Icebreaker Openers

Icebreaker questions are one of the easiest free team building activities for conference calls. During each meeting, ask the group one silly or thoughtful question and give each team member a chance to share their answers out loud or in the chat. Though icebreakers traditionally happen at the beginning of meetings, you can also ask questions at the end of the call or during a break.

Here is a master list of icebreaker questions.

9. Pet Check-ins

Pet check-ins are one of the most fun activities for conference calls. One of the main perks of video calls is getting to see coworkers’ animals. Each meeting, take time to visit with fuzzy friends. For example, tell workers to join the meeting with the pet in-frame. These cameos can cut down on distractions and interruptions for the rest of the meeting, as attendees will be less tempted to comment when a puppy pops into the frame. Also, these check-ins help team members get to know each other’s furry family members and give remote employees an instant boost of happiness.

For similar activities, check out virtual take your dog to work day.

10. Remote Minute to Win It Games

Minute to win it games are the definition of quick. Each game takes place in sixty seconds or less, and typically involves an element of physical challenge. These activities can be a way to break remote teammates out of their shells and get teams moving and laughing together.

To play the games, simply pick and explain the challenge, spotlight participants, put a minute on the clock, and start the timer. Award points to the team or individual who completes the challenge first or performs best.

Examples of online minute to win it games include having to type a paragraph with your nose, drawing a picture on a sticky note on your forehead, or tossing a paper ball into a mug.

Check out this longer list of virtual minute to win it games.

11. Song of the Day

Song of the day is a simple team morale booster for conference calls. At the start of the meeting, listen to a song together as a group. You can take song requests from team members or have teammates take turns picking the song. This exercise helps team members learn about each other’s musical tastes and creates a shared experience that team members can bond over. Plus, adding music to meetings can be relaxing and uplifting, and can help teammates to find new tunes to enjoy while working remotely.

Pro tip: Add each song to a playlist and send the list to the team at the end of each quarter or year.

For inspiration, here is a list of team building songs.

12. Clip of the Day

Clip of the Day starts each meeting off with a short video. Ideally, the clip should be funny or touching. The video can either be homemade or something interesting found on the internet. You can assign a different team member to pick the clip each call, or ask team members to send along suggestions during the week and pick the most entertaining clip from those submissions. To play the clip on the call, share your screen and audio before playing the video.

13. Today I Learned

Today I Learned is a quick and easy sharing activity for conference calls. During this segment, each teammate takes a turn sharing a fascinating fact they recently learned. Participants can volunteer comments, or type responses into the chat box. Be sure to leave buffer time to discuss interesting tidbits as a group.

Doing this activity regularly encourages curiosity and continual learning and keeps teammates on the lookout for neat bits of info to pass along to the team. Not to mention, this exercise gets teammates more comfortable asking questions and learning from each other.

14. Snack Time

Snack time is one of the all-time best conference call theme ideas. Snacking is a standard part of the work day, and a bite is a powerful way for groups to bond. At the start of the call, take a moment to show off what snacks team members have brought to the call. This activity is effective because there does not need to be a reason for this kind of meeting beyond the purpose of team bonding, and treats can make work-heavy calls more enjoyable.

Pro tip: Cover or reimburse the cost of snacks or send employees boxes full of treats to choose from.

15. Blind Dates

Blind dates provide opportunities for more intimate conversations during large video calls. To do this activity, split attendees into breakout rooms. Then, give team members five minutes to chat and learn more about each other. You can send employees into the rooms with lists of conversation starters and icebreaker questions, however team members are free to chat about any topic as well. This exercise is a way for team members to connect with colleagues who they might not interact with on a regular basis.

Pro tip: Each time you do this activity, snap a screenshot of the breakout rooms so that you can keep track of which teammates have not been grouped together yet.

16. Non-work News

Non-work news is one of the easiest ice breakers for phone meetings, and one of the best ways to promote team bonding on dispersed teams. At the start of each phone or video meeting, take a few moments and allow team members to share personal news and wins. For instance, engagements, pet adoptions, getting interviewed, or starting grad school. These announcements do not need to be momentous. For example, a teammate might share that they recently tried an amazing ramen or beat their high score in a game, or that their kid scored their first touchdown or got a solo in the spring concert. This activity helps teammates see each other as human beings and encourages deeper connections between coworkers.

17. Polls

Most folks like talking about themselves from time to time. Polls are a fun way to share personal information during meetings. Simply pose a question to the group and then give participants a minute or so to respond. For example, “in your opinion, what is the worst (work appropriate) word in the English language?” or “what other continent would you most like to visit?”

You can share multiple-choice-style questions using the video conferencing software’s polling feature and instantly share results. Or, teammates can type their answers into the chat. Be sure to take a minute or two to chat about the results.

Check out this list of polling questions for teams.

18. Finish the Sentence

Finish the sentence is a sharing game that encourages players to get personal and creative. The meeting host reads out an incomplete statement, and attendees must finish the thought.

Here are some examples:

  • More than anything, I hope…
  • Home is where…
  • Nothing is better than…
  • Nothing is more annoying than…
  • Nothing beats homemade…
  • When I think of fun, I think…
  • My perfect day starts with…
  • Christmas isn’t Christmas without…
  • No workplace is complete without…

Players can either type answers immediately into the chat, or the host can give players a minute to respond before everyone reads out answers. This game can highlight opinions teammates share or ways colleagues think differently.

Pro tip: You can turn this exercise into a version of the Newlywed Game by challenging teammates to guess each other’s answers.

19. Virtual Backgrounds

Virtual backgrounds are one of the best free team building activities for conference calls. When inviting teammates to a video call, instruct attendees to come to the call ready with a themed Zoom background. Ideally, the picture should reveal a personal fact about the attendee. For example, dream vacation, favorite food, hometown, alma mater, or “something I collect.” You can also coordinate the theme with a special occasion, for instance a favorite movie during Oscar season or a holiday background.

You can take a moment to admire and comment on each other’s backgrounds. Otherwise, this exercise is quick, non-disruptive, and is easy to execute during Zoom calls.

Here are more ways to make virtual meetings fun.

20. Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now? is a listening game that helps remote teams improve their communication skills.

Here is how to play:

  1. One team member thinks of an object. (Random object generators can help!)
  2. That player describes the object for other teammates to draw.
  3. Other players try to guess the object before the drawing is complete.
  4. Once the drawings are complete, participants hold up their masterpieces.

This activity makes team members more aware of potential miscommunication and encourages folks to choose their words wisely. Plus, comparing drawings can be a ton of fun!

Learn more about Can You Hear Me Now?

21. This or That?

This or That? is a quick game teammates can play together on conference calls. The leader gives the group a series of either or choices, and participants must pick their preferences. For example, Coke or Pepsi, cats or dogs, or winter or summer.

To answer, players can use the reactions feature, type the answer in the chat, hold up a sign, or talk it out. The game goes quick and is an easy way to uncover common ground between teammates.

Check out this list of this or that questions.

Final Thoughts

Bonding on conference calls can be a challenge, especially when a large number of participants attend. Yet team building is especially important in distributed workplaces where co-workers get fewer chances to interact. Conference call team building activities make meetings more lively and interactive and give teammates a chance to learn more about each other and develop deeper connections. There are many games and exercises that require no supplies and take little time yet can vastly improve team morale and cooperation.

Next, check out this list of Zoom meeting ideas, this list of Zoom team building games, this list of virtual social ideas, and these free virtual team building activities.

FAQ: Team building activities for conference calls

Here is a list of common questions and answers about doing team building activities on conference calls.

What are team building activities for conference calls?

Team building activities for conference calls are group games, exercises, and events that employees can do together on phone meetings or video meetings. The purpose of these quick activities is to energize teams and strengthen connections between remote coworkers.

What are some free team building activities for conference calls?

Some good team building activities for conference calls include lightning scavenger hunts, polls, home tours, snack time, and finish the sentence.

How do you do virtual team building activities on conference calls?

To do virtual team building activities on conference calls, first choose an exercise, then gather the group together on a phone or video call. You can use tools such as breakout rooms to facilitate teamwork and organize games, or stay in one place. For timed games, use a smartphone timer or online timer. Opening activities should be quick and easy with plenty of time leftover to discuss important matters, however you should also factor in buffer time for the group to chat and bond. You can open the meetings with these ideas, or leave time at the end for optional activities if the meeting wraps up early.

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Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com.
Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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