October 13, 2021

Workplace gamification: Turn Your Zoom Call into a Game

Sam Caucci

Young man on a Zoom meeting

Are you all zoomed out? 

One of the most challenging aspects of running an effective workplace in 2021 is dealing with ongoing online meetings. We’ve all relied on this technology for the last year and a half, but many of us are tired of the same old meetings conducted over Zoom, Teams, or Google Meet. They may be effective, but they can’t replace the camaraderie and connections established during an in-person meeting.

Instead of stressing about getting employees back into an office environment that may not be safe, why not look to workplace gamification to increase your team’s motivation and engagement? This is a safe and effective way to build community while your staff are working remotely.

Today, we’ll guide you through some of our best practices for online meetings, then show you how you can improve them with remote workplace games.

The Challenges of Online Meetings

Despite all our best efforts, there are many challenges to running or even participating in an online meeting.

Even though most of us are using intuitive software like Zoom or Google Meet, it’s never foolproof. Technical difficulties can occur at any time, putting the meeting in limbo as the organizers try to get everyone back on the same page.

Many people, especially those with learning differences, also struggle to cope with the ongoing lack of non-verbal signals and social cues during online meetings. The lack of these simple cues can be exhausting and confusing, leading to many people becoming disengaged from the discussion.

These are just some of the myriad of challenges that come with online meetings. Some other common issues include:

  • Distractions
  • Lack of leadership
  • Lack of structure
  • Too much or too little commitment

Online Meeting Best Practices

To help mitigate some of these challenges for remote team members, there are certain habits you can develop to help make online meetings as useful and straightforward as possible. Here are some of our best practices for online meetings.

1. Each meeting should have a clear goal that is communicated to all participants.  

No one should be going into a meeting unsure of what needs to be accomplished. 

2. Dedicate time to social interaction.

This can be something as simple as an opening and closing greeting, or a flexible time at the end of a meeting for online socializing and small talk. This simple activity can act as an icebreaker game and build trust among employees working from home and familiarize them with the company’s culture.

3. Keep the number of participants small.

According to the Harvard Business Review, you should aim for no more than 8 participants for problem-solving or decision-making meetings and no more than 18 participants for brainstorming.   

4. Mark phase changes clearly.

If you have a multi-phase meeting, make sure to mark the beginning and end of each phase clearly. This allows participants to collect their thoughts and take a break between topics.   

Engaging Your Employees with Remote Workplace Games

Despite your best efforts, it can be challenging to keep online meetings both engaging and interesting. That’s where gamification comes in. Gamification is a way of boosting employee engagement through game mechanics, such as badges, points, or leaderboards.

By gamifying your virtual event or online meeting, you can help make it more engaging for your employees. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to get started.

1. Use small rewards for engagement

Everyone likes to have their effort acknowledged! A small reward given either randomly during the meeting or to the whole group for participation can help keep employees feel engaged.

2. Invite interaction

Inviting interaction is a great way to break up the monotony of long online meetings. Posing a question, doing an informal poll, or even just asking people to respond in the chat is a great way to start breaking the ice and getting participants more involved.  

3. Create teams

Breaking employees into smaller teams to complete a task or even just share their opinion is a great way to create deeper connections.   

4. Celebrate winners

Not everything has to be a contest, but creating a bit of friendly competition among your staff can help bring people out of their shells and drive employee engagement. Then, at the end, make sure to celebrate the winners.

Explore Workplace Gamification to Engage Your Employees

Workplace gamification is a great way to encourage deeper and more meaningful employee engagement, offering incentives for your team to improve their skills and learn together.

Want to try it for yourself? Try 1Huddle

Our easy-to-use platform is a great source of inspiration, and we can help as you design and implement virtual team building games  to help break up the monotony of online meetings.  

Sam Caucci Founder & CEO at 1Huddle