Working from home can really diminish the cultural aspects of going to the office and interacting with your coworkers. Whether its the quick chats at the coffee machine or the game sessions during lunch, I for one definitely miss it.
With many people working from home, we have to get a little more creative in order to bring that work culture along with us. One idea is to have a weekly one hour gaming session with your coworkers or team mates.
Having a chill gaming session on a Friday evening can really raise the work from home morale while improve the team and coworker relationship. It’s a fun opportunity to interact with them outside of the work scope.
With this in mind, I’ve created a list of 10 exciting games that you can play with your coworkers all through video call. It doesn’t matter whether you use Zoom, Skype, Teams or something else. As long as you can share your screen, everyone will be able to play these fun games.
I’ve only included games that are completely free or only require one person to have purchased them. It doesn’t make too much sense for everyone to have to buy a game so that you can play it with the team and most people will not be into that.
Here’s a quick summary of the 10 games I talk about in this article as well as my fun and effort ratings for each, the time need to play a round and the price bracket it falls under.
Keep in mind that only one person has to buy the game if there is a cost listed. That person will usually have to share their screen and the other coworkers can play from their computers or their mobile devices.
|Game Name||How Fun Is It||Effort Required||Time Needed||Cost|
|The Jackbox Party Pack||High||Medium||Low||$$|
|Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes||High||Medium||Low||$|
|Two Truths And A Lie||Medium||Low||Low||Free|
|Guess The Emoji Board||Medium||Medium||Medium||Free|
|Watch A Movie||Medium||Medium||High||Free|
Now if you like to play other popular multiplayer games in your free time, chance are some of your coworkers share similar interest. It’s a great idea to create a group at work so you can schedule gaming sessions where coworkers can come together to play.
This may be more appealing to people than playing with random strangers online, and it allows you to start creating great friendships outside of your immediate team or work scope!
1. The Jackbox Party Pack (Many Fun Games In One)
Jackbox Games has created a motherload of fun party games that can be played in the same room or over the internet. The Jackbox Party Pack is a collection of 5 or more individual games that you can purchased bundled. They have 7 different Jackbox Party Packs, and each has a unique collection of fun games.
Outside of the collection, there are also a few one off titles you can purchase such as Quiplash, one of my personal favorites.
How Jackbox games work is that one person needs to own the game and have it installed on their computer. For the work from home setup, that player will share the screen to the other players.
Each player including the owner has to go to jackbox.tv on a web browser and enter the 4 digit code generated by the owner to join the game. The web browser window can be on a computer or on the phone and is where the inputs for the game need to be entered. You may have to click buttons, draw pictures, and so on.
Different games are designed for different numbers of people. There are games that are for two players to games that are for 10 players or more. However, if you have more than the number of players for a game, a nifty audience feature is offered.
Additional people can join the audience and interact with the game, such as vote for the best answers and cheer for someone. The games are both fun to play and watch.
The games include various different genres including trivia, deception and mystery themed games, creative games and various one offs that are quite unique and so much fun. You’ll definitely find some game super fun and keep coming back to them.
Games also have varying lengths so whether you are going for a long gaming session or quick 5 minute game during scrum, one of the Jackbox games can meet your needs.
I love this game for its simplicity and ease of play. You don’t need to purchase anything or need any special tools to play the game, just your work computer and a meeting with coworkers.
You can teach this game to a new team member in the matter of seconds. It’s super easy to pick up and starts being fun right away.
To play Pictionary, simply share a whiteboard where everyone in the meeting can draw. Skype has this feature built in and other meeting applications may as well. You can also use a free whiteboard website online. Alternatively, everyone can use a drawing app on their computer such as paint and take turns sharing their screen.
Next, pick a person to go first. That person should generate a word using a free word generator such as this one. Then that person tries to get the others to guess the work by only drawing. The person who guesses correctly goes next.
My team likes to do this at the beginning of scrums for a few minutes and we usually get through 3-5 different people’s drawings. People can participate to their liking, but it’s generally super fun to take part in.
You can also make it more competitive by keeping a timer as well as scores. There are even proper Pictionary apps that you can use if you are really into it, but we’ve had so much fun with nothing but a word generator and Skype.
3. Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
This is a super fun party game for two or more players where only one person needs to own the actual game. The way Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes works is the owner of the game is in a bomb defusal situation with a bomb in front of them.
The other players have a Bomb Defusal Manual available online and they have to help the person to diffuse the bomb. These players can’t see the bomb at all. The player who can see the bomb can’t have access to the manual.
This is actually a great team building game and puts the team in a high pressure situation where they really need to work together to get the job done.
You can also play this game with a VR system to further inject yourself into the scenario, but it’s not required. All you really need to make this work is a group call, one person running the game on a PC or console, and other people accessing the manual in a web browser.
4. Family Feud
It turns out that you can play the classic game of Family Feud using only a group meeting with someone sharing their screen and a version of the game made in PowerPoint using freely available templates.
There is a bit of overhead available since you have to first fill the templates with questions and answer, but you can find a database of old family feud questions online to easily get started.
Playing the game is simple. One person needs to be the host and manage the PowerPoint. The remaining people have to split into two competing teams and play as per the original family feud rules.
5. Two Truths And A Lie
This is a fun team building exercise that’s also a bit of an ice breaker. Each person takes turns telling two or three truths about themselves with one lie mixed in. The team has to try to figure out which one is the lie.
If you keep the lie realistic, it’s harder to guess by the other players. However, the game is most fun when a person’s truths are also out there so you can’t tell the lie so easily. All you need is a voice meeting to play this game.
The classic game of charades can be played just as well using video chat. The objective of the game is for a person to try to get the others to guess a word by only acting it out. Speaking is not allowed. It’s just like Pictionary but instead of drawing you are acting.
You can use a free online word generator to choose a random word for charades. Pick someone to go first and the rest of the team guess the word. Whoever guesses it can go next.
You can also split the people into teams and play head to head to make it more competitive.
7. Guess The Emoji
Guess the emoji is another team game that doesn’t require any specific tools. The idea of the game is to guess which emoji are the top five emojis on each other person’s phone.
Simply set a time limit, make a list with every other person’s name on it, and write what you think are the top 5 emojis on that person’s phone.
When the time limit is over, and everyone has created their list, it’s time to reveal the actual top five emojis from everyone. You can award points based on how many a person got right and bonus points if they even go the correct order!
8. The Yawhg
The Yawhg is a role playing adventure game where you are a character in a town and the evil Yawhg is coming. The game is a storytelling masterpiece and each playthrough is different, based on your choices.
To play this game with your coworkers, one person has to own the game and stream it on the call. Nominate a person as the narrator to read the story. When it’s time to make a decision, the team should weight in on the choices.
The story in the game is randomly generated and anything can end up happening. While there are no winners or losers at the end of this 20 minute game, it is a wonderful experience. One that everyone will be sure to remember for a long time.
9. Among Us
I’m sure you have heard of Among Us as it’s one of the most popular games currently. This is a great game to play with the coworkers or the team because it’s free and can be played on smartphones.
The way Among Us works is that you and the team are crews on a space ship and there are two imposters among you. The crew have to try to figure out who the imposters are and vote them off the ship while the imposters try to kill the crew and become the majority on the ship.
The crewmates can also win by completing all the tasks they need to complete on the ship. While playing the game, you can’t talk unless there is a meeting called. During a meeting everyone shares information and suspicions as to who the imposters are and people try to get other people voted off or try to defend themselves.
This is definitely one of the more fun options, but requires a little bit of understanding of the game to get up to speed fast.
10. Watch A Movie
If you have an hour and half or two, a fun activity with the coworkers is to watch a movie. The idea is that once you decide on what movie to watch, one person can share their screen while streaming it and everyone can watch together.
You can use Netflix or any other platform you prefer. Another great idea is to have a chat going on the side to talk about events as they happen. If you have a small group, you can also talk during the movie from time to time.
It’s a little bit like going to the theatre and watching a movie, but from home.
Hamid Tahir is a Mechatronics Engineer and founder of WFH Overload. He is currently working from home and is dedicated to the continuous improvement of his home office setup. Hamid has extensive experience setting up workspaces and dealing with the related tech. He hopes to share his knowledge to help you create the most productive and comfortable work from home setup. Read More