Raise your hand if you’ve used Zoom in the last 24 hours. Keep your hand raised if you’ve talked to family, friends, and coworkers all on Zoom in the last week! Yep, that’s what I thought. If you’re facing “Zoom Burnout,” you’re not alone. But for those Zoom calls that we must make, or that we muster up the energy for, there’s nothing wrong with livening them up a bit. So to crack a smile through your Resting Zoom Face, try some of these next time your team, or your loved ones, join you on a call.
Use “jazz hands” to clap for someone
The feedback from your speakers from a bunch of people clapping all at once may give you the heebie-jeebies. Many pairs of jazz hands, while viewed in Gallery View, however, are sure to make you laugh. Try prompting everyone to do some jazz hands after each participant takes their turn speaking. It’s so important in these times to not only bring levity to all situations, but to also get that blood flowing!
Have a group high five
Speaking of ways to get your blood flowing, let’s get those arms back in motion again. Everyone’s order of people in Gallery View will be different, so for this to work, everyone must stretch their hands to touch the top corners of their screen. Once everyone is in position, count 1-2-3 and pretend like both hands are high-fiving the people on either side of you. The moment of connection, though not actually physical, will make you feel good.
Change your Username
If you were in-person with a group, we would be encouraging you to utilize your Name Tag Real Estate. Since we can’t be close enough to each other to read name tags during the COVID-19 crisis, let’s try playing with the Zoom usernames instead. Prompt everyone on call to change their name to a word that describes them. Or maybe it’s a word for how they feel at that moment, or their favorite movie. The point is to learn about each other, using the tools at our disposal.
Did you know that the host of the meeting can create a poll that all other participants can vote in, right within the Zoom platform? You can use this feature as a simple warm-up activity to start a meeting. It might be fascinating to find out who got a full night’s sleep last night, and who only got 3 hours. (Hey person, you literally can only be at home, how are you not sleeping?!)
Or, this is a great tool to vote on meeting topics to make important decisions. The answers are anonymous, so everyone can feel comfortable choosing their favorite option.
Use breakout rooms
If you have a really large group, it might be useful for the host to utilize Breakout Rooms to create smaller groups. If a group brainstorm would be too overwhelming with all 40 participants, try groups of five or ten. After a set amount of time, the host can bring everyone back together and you can hear from each group’s spokesperson. This is a great way to break up the monotony of your Zoom calls, and also to give everyone a chance to be heard.
Stage a Group Photo
Want to end the meeting on a fun note? Tell everyone to pose and snap a screenshot in Gallery View. You can get creative and tell everyone to grab the nearest hat, or to pull a silly face. We can’t take photos in the office or at gatherings right now, but we still want the memories for the future.
This one is last because it’s a little more complicated than the other ideas. Swift Kick has done this twice already, once at our own company retreat, and once with a program we ran for orientation leaders. Ahead of time, create a list to screen-share of 4-5 things that each participant must find in their home. Then, give everyone five minutes to go snap a photo, or even physically grab the item, to bring back and share with the group. (If it’s a large group, they can share in breakout rooms!) The idea here is to give each other an inside look at your personal lives, with things you may not have thought to share otherwise. You can be really creative with the prompts, or go basic.
Small activities like these can make a big difference in creating a culture of connection from afar. We would love to hear your ideas for spicing up your Zoom calls, so share below!