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How to Play Virtual Charades for Work and Boost Employee Engagement

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By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

How to Play Virtual Charades for Work and Boost Employee Engagement

Charades can be fun, chaotic, or annoying, depending on your teammates and opponents. However, most people would agree that it’s generally a very enjoyable game. Therefore, it is no surprise that many organizations incorporate it into their team-building and de-stressing initiatives.   But what happens if your business is remote or most of your employees are not available physically? We’ve got great news for you — virtual Charades for work!

Yes, you can play Charades virtually with your team members. However, it will require some planning. Not to worry, we’ll show you the ropes.

In the following article, we’ll walk you through how to organize a successful virtual Charades game in the workplace, including the resources you need. You’ll also gain some insights into the benefits of playing Charades in the workplace.

Simplify your search for team building games through our comprehensive list of fun virtual team building activities, 10-minute virtual team building games, 5-minute games for virtual meetings, free virtual team building activities, and quick virtual team building activities. 

For even more games, remember to look at our guide to virtual team building activities for small groups.

1. Why Should You Play Virtual Charades?

Why Should You Play Virtual Charades?

1.1. Fosters team bonding

A game of Charades is a surefire way to boost team bonding and unity in the workplace. It can bring colleagues closer, whether they’re in the same department or not. Employees can develop stronger connections, build trust, and even discover different sides of themselves that can encourage more meaningful relationships.

Besides, the cheer that charade brings is a great way to break down barriers between colleagues and can work as a fun icebreaker for new hires.

1.2. Improves communication skills

A successful game of Charades relies heavily on effective communication skills even though you generally cannot use words. Therefore, playing this game in the workplace can improve non-verbal communication skills, such as facial cues, body language, and gestures.

As a result, you’ll find that team members quickly learn to communicate better with one another, even beyond the game.

1.3. Alleviates stress & boosts morale

Regardless of how evenly you try to distribute workloads and your working hours, it is almost impossible to eliminate work-related stress.

Introducing an element of fun and lightheartedness to the workplace with a game like Charades, it’s a light-hearted way to provide relief from work pressure, de-stress, and boost morale and positive energy among team members.

1.4. Increases creativity & innovation

Charades encourage out-of-the-box thinking and creativity as players must find innovative ways to convey ideas to their team members. Therefore, organizing virtual Charades for work can help enhance creative thinking and problem-solving skills in your employees.

The best part? It all happens in a fun environment and team members don’t even realize they’re learning and upskilling.

2. How Do You Play Charades Virtually?

How Do You Play Charades Virtually?

2.1. Set a format and select a video platform

Since you’re playing virtual Charades for work, the first thing you'll do is establish the video platform on which the game will take place. You’ll also need to make sure the platform can accommodate the number of players you’ll be having and has the facilities to ensure a successful game.

Some popular choices include platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet. With such solutions, you can play charades online for free.

But, before the games begin, it is important to ensure all participants have access to the selected platform and know how to join the virtual game room. Of course, you should test the platform beforehand to identify and resolve potential glitches.

2.2. Set the theme and share rules and regulations

Set the theme and share rules and regulations

Next, you want to run by some virtual Charades ideas and choose an engaging theme that adds excitement to the virtual charade game. It is usually best to choose a theme that generally aligns with the interests of your team members to ensure full participation. You could use a virtual charade generator to make it easier. Some common themes you may consider include movies, celebrities, wildlife, or even in-house topics that everybody knows.

So if you’re wondering what game can we play in a team meeting? You have that answer.

Once you’ve decided on the team for the virtual Charades, you’ll need to communicate the rules and regulations to all players. This includes discussing how the game will be played, the do's and don'ts, how to answer, time limits for each round, and the point system for correct answers.

It is important to establish fairness, inclusion, and objectivity here to create a level playing field. Also, make sure to emphasize sportsmanship and respectful communication.

2.3. Divide participants into teams

Virtual or not, Charades is a team game. So, once everybody knows how to play and what is expected of them, you can now proceed to divide up your employees into teams.

Dividing your workers into teams helps inspire team spirit and healthy competition as team members will need to work together to act out prompts and guess the answers. However, it is important to ensure each team has an equal number of players to establish fairness. Also, you may pick team captains or leave it up to each group to come up with their leader.

Either way, communicate the team groups early enough so that each team has time to plan tactics or assign roles before the game begins.

2.4. Choose categories

After picking the theme for your virtual Charades for work, you can take things a step further by selecting categories to keep these interesting. For instance, if the theme for the charade is movies, you can create categories like comedy, action, and horror.

As a rule of thumb, it is generally best to mix things up with both easy and challenging categories so that players of all skill levels can participate. Also, make sure that the categories you pick are something of a general consensus and not your specific preferences.

A well-curated list of categories helps create an inclusive environment where participants can showcase their knowledge, creativity, and acting skills.

Bonus tip? Ensure that your charade theme and categories are neutral and appropriate for the workplace.

2.5. Preparing the Charades list

To ensure a smooth flow during the virtual Charades online, it is essential to prepare a comprehensive list of charade prompts or virtual Charades words based on the selected categories beforehand. This way, there are no unnecessary pauses to come up with prompts.

However, while it is best to create enough prompts that can conveniently cater to multiple rounds of the charade, you should also keep them easy to understand and act. In other words, you’ll need to find a balance between challenging and impossible.

2.6. Play the game

Once you’ve gone through the above steps, all that’s left is the kick-off. However, before you start the game, it is usually best to quickly go through all the rules and guidelines to ensure all players are on the same page.

While the game is on, encourage participants to leverage their creativity and acting ability as much as possible as they take turns to act out the prompts.

In addition, it is important to maintain a fun and enthusiastic environment throughout a game of virtual Charades for work, especially since it’s virtual. So, make sure to provide positive feedback and engagement as the game progresses. You can also give room for friendly banter to keep things lively and ensure an enjoyable game experience.

3. Tips While Conducting Virtual Charades for Work

Tips While Conducting Virtual Charades for Work

3.1. Test technology in advance

In addition to ensuring that all participants are familiar with your chosen platform for virtual charades for work, you’ll also need to test the software ahead of the game day. For instance, you could play online charades on Zoom with a friend or two first. This helps you get familiar with the software and prevent technical glitches that can affect your gameplay experience.

3.2. Set clear instructions

Next, establish clear and concise ground rules regarding how the virtual Charades game will be played. But more importantly, ensure that your employees and their respective teams understand all the rules. This includes everything from time limits, gestures, how to answer, and penalties for erring.

3.3. Choose theme relevance

When picking a theme for your virtual Charades for work, pick a theme that resonates with the participants — your employees. Consider their preferences, demographics, and other factors to ensure you come up with an ideal theme. This ensures that every player can relate to the charade prompts and improves participation.

3.4. Use interactive features of the platform

Depending on the specific platform you choose, you may have access to some interactive features that can improve your Charades gameplay. It’s a great idea to leverage them. For instance, some video platforms give you access to reaction emojis, chat rooms, and polls in real-time. This can help you achieve a more enjoyable experience of online charades with friends.

3.5. Ensure efficient time management

You don’t want participants to get bored, and neither do you want your game of Charades to drag on indefinitely. Therefore, you'll need to set time limits for each round of Charades to ensure efficient time management and keep the game moving steadily. You can use a countdown timer or assign an in-game timekeeper.

3.6. Promote positive engagement and interaction

Promote positive engagement and interaction

Interesting engagements are a must-have in a game of Charades whether it is virtual or not. So, encourage participants to support, interact with, and cheer on one another during the game. However, it is also important to have a moderator that ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute.

3.7. Be flexible to incorporate changes

Virtual Charades for work comes with its fair share of challenges. So, you’ll need to be flexible and adapt based on the feedback you get from your participants. Be open to suggestions and don’t be afraid to make changes during the game to ensure an enjoyable experience for all team members.

4. FAQs

  • How do you play virtual Charades on Microsoft Teams?

First, you’ll need to create a channel or meeting on Microsoft Teams and invite all participants. Then, during each participant's turn, they can mute their microphone and video and perform the Charades gestures while others try to guess the answer. Their team members can use the chat feature in Microsoft Teams to type their guesses.

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