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17 Virtual Team Building Activities To Try With Your Remote Team

Grace Lau
WRITTEN BY
UPDATED
August 05, 2022

Remote working is more common than ever – and with good reason! The only downside is communication. When you can’t talk face-to-face, it can be harder to get a read on someone’s tone, or build close working relationships.

 

To improve communication and relationships between colleagues, virtual team-building activities are crucial for the workplace. These are events for your team: group games, challenges, icebreakers, quizzes, workshops, etc. These can be run using remote team communication tools such as video conferencing or chat apps, and can be paid, or completely free.

 

Let’s look at 17 of the best virtual team-building activities, and some tips to make them a success.

 

 

team building activities impact company survey

Team building activities matter for any company.

 

The 17 Best Virtual Team Building Activities

 

1. Run regular movie nights

 

Dim the lights and grab your popcorn! Movie nights are a cheap and low-key activity to share with your colleagues.

 

First, vote on which movie you want to watch. Then, choose a time and date. If you host the event directly after a team meeting, it’s more likely that more people will be able to attend.

 

Many video conferencing platforms offer video sharing so that attendees can watch the film in sync, or you can use a extension such as Teleparty alongside Netflix or Disney+. Amazon’s Prime video also has options to create a ‘watch party’. With these you can synchronize video/audio across multiple devices and make use of their group chat.

 

It’s like the cinema, but low-budget, and you can chat as much as you like without getting shushed by your fellow moviegoers!

 

 

2. Kick off a fitness club

 

lady kick off a fitness-club

Teams who sweat together stay together.

 

When you’re working from home, it can be difficult to get your daily steps in. So, why not try a fitness challenge with your colleagues?

 

Many gyms began offering online fitness classes during the pandemic – some were filmed live by instructors while others were uploaded retroactively. Your team could attend one of these virtual sessions. Not only will it get your blood pumping, but it’ll also provide plenty of laughs.

 

If classes aren’t to your taste, you could try a collective challenge, like Couch To 5k. You could even buy an influencer’s fitness program to do together.

 

Getting competitive can help increase motivation. You may find that you perform better as a group than you could manage solo!

 

 

3. Play the price is right

 

This is an easy, low-prep game that just requires video call software. Colleagues display a random household object, and the other members of the team guess the original retail price. The person with the closest guess is the winner. Easy!

 

 

4. Arts and crafts challenge

 

arts and crafts challenge

Crafting can be a great way to put your creative hats on.

 

This is always a fun surprise challenge to suggest to your team. Set a timer for 30 minutes and ask everyone to make something using whatever materials they have at home. You could make a paper kite, a sock animal, or a bridge with straws.

 

As soon as the timer goes off, everyone stops. The point isn’t to create something elaborate and professional. It’s to get colleagues’ mental cogs turning, practice different time management techniques, and stimulate creativity. Afterwards, you can all share a laugh at your goofy inventions – a fantastic way to break the ice.

 

 

5. Icebreaker questions (Conversation starters)

 

Don’t write off this classic team-building tip! Icebreakers are low-prep activities you can use at the start of a meeting or during a longer event, such as a virtual team dinner.

 

Go around the group and ask each person to draw a question. To add another gaming element, roll a dice (real or virtual) to choose a question number from a list.

 

There are plenty of icebreaker generators and lists of conversation starter questions online. Some could include:

 

  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What is your silliest fear?
  • Would you rather be rich or famous?
  • Do you have any weird talents?
  • Which is the most underrated/overrated TV show?

 

 

6. Five Fingers

 

This game is like Have You Ever, adapted for video calls and more work-friendly (no rude questions!).

 

Everyone raises their hand, displaying five fingers. The main speaker draws from a list of fun and interesting “have you ever” questions. If you have had the experience, you put one finger down. Whoever puts all fingers down first is the winner.

 

Potential questions could include:

 

  • Have you ever gone scuba diving?
  • Have you visited three or more continents?
  • Have you ever seen a shooting star?
  • Can you speak two or more languages?
  • Have you ever been on a cruise?

 

 

7. Werewolf

 

Werewolf is an excellent game that can be played using minimal resources. This makes it ideal to play over a video chat platform.

 

The game has five roles: gamemaster, werewolf, villager, medic, and seer. The gamemaster should assign roles at random and message them individually to each member of the chat. The gamemaster narrates that night has fallen, and everyone should go to sleep. The werewolf decides which member of the group they want to “kill”, and messages them in the chat.

 

The medic can choose one person to save. The seer can ask the game master whether one person is the werewolf or not. They can ask about one person per “night”.

 

Afterwards, the gamemaster declares that it’s morning, and everyone in the group votes on who they think the werewolf is. If they incorrectly identify the werewolf, that person is eliminated.

 

There are plenty of different versions of the game available online or through apps like Wolvesville you can download.

 

 

8. Can you hear me now?

 

This is a game that can be played if your video conferencing platform has a shared whiteboard. If not, application integrations can be used so all attendees can participate.

 

One person is a speaker while the other attendees are artists. The speaker selects a random image and tries to describe it. However, they can’t say exactly what it is. Instead, they have to describe the shapes it is composed of.

 

For example, if you want to draw a person’s head and neck, you could say, “Draw an oval with a vertical rectangle attached to the bottom.” Whoever’s image comes to the closest wins.

 

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9. Recipe challenge

 

food picture challenge

Why not swap recipes with your teammates?

 

During the pandemic, many incorporated home cooking into their daily routine. So why not take the opportunity to share what you’ve learned?

 

Team members are invited to submit their favorite recipes. Once there’s a decent selection, you could select one per week for the whole team to try out. Colleagues can post pictures of their results in the chat.

 

 

10. Virtual escape rooms

 

Having keen puzzle-solving skills is necessary if your work involves problem solving or highly technical skills. Escape rooms are a fun way to practice these skills while also allowing your colleagues to demonstrate their strengths as a team.

 

It may not be logistically possible to go to a physical escape room, but there are plenty of virtual options, both free and paid.

 

Some have themes such as Doctor Who or Minecraft – perfect if your team has a nerdy side.

 

 

11. Happy hour trivia

 

Recreate all the fun and camaraderie of a pub quiz at home with your own virtual happy hour.

 

This activity requires a little more prep. However, it’s a hugely popular activity that allows your team to let out their competitive streak. You can source pub trivia questions online, or write your own. Including a few work-related trivia questions or jokes can help personalize it.

 

 

12. Two truths and a lie

 

This icebreaker is a classic for a reason. It also doesn’t require any extra resources, making it a convenient choice for virtual meetings.

 

The rules: The speaker gives three statements. Two are true, one is a lie. The other members of the group vote on which statement is the lie.

 

This is a great way to get to know the other members of the team better, and it’s also fantastic fun. It helps colleagues practice public speaking, puzzle-solving, and critical evaluation.

 

 

13. Guided meditation

 

Show employees you care about mental health by encouraging the team to attend group meditation. You could invite an expert to lead the call, or simply share a video of a meditation and start at the same time.

 

Meditation reduces anxiety and improves focus, confidence, and self-awareness. Plus, it makes you feel amazing. Afterward, your team can return to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything.

 

 

14. Guess the baby

 

This is an entertaining activity that can bring you closer to your colleagues and provide plenty of laughs.

 

In this game, all attendees are encouraged to submit a baby picture of themselves. The host should display the pictures alongside numbers. All colleagues should then match the names of their colleagues to the numbered baby pictures. This could be done using an online form, or they could simply write their answers in the chat.

 

Whoever identifies the most babies correctly wins.

 

 

15. Virtual debate club

 

If you loved Debate Club in school, you could bring it to work with a virtual version. Debating improves critical, analytical, and communication skills.

 

Organize your colleagues into two teams, and set up a meeting. Steer away from serious topics – this is for fun! Choose a question like, “Is Pluto a planet?” or “Is a hot dog a sandwich?”

 

 

16. Virtual show and tell

 

Show and Tell may be a kids’ school activity, but it actually works well over video call and requires minimal preparation or resources.

 

Attendees can present one item that is significant or meaningful to them and explain to the group why they chose it. This could be an hour-long session in which your entire team presents, or it could be implemented in small chunks, e.g. each person takes a five-minute turn at the beginning of a meeting.

 

 

17. Virtual book club

 

Any book-lovers on your team? Reading fiction is great for your brain: it aids creativity and focus, builds vocabulary, and makes you more empathetic.

 

Make a list of recent bestsellers and get your team to vote on which they would like to read. Then you could hold a meeting once every few weeks to discuss. (Remember to leave enough space between events–three weeks to a month at least! Reading a whole book every week is too much pressure.)

 

 

How to make your virtual team building activities a success

 

1. Sneak in activities into most meetings

 

Some team-building activities are full events or workshops in their own right. Some work best as fun warm-ups to get colleagues engaged.

 

Including a warm-up activity is a fantastic way to help your colleagues shake off their shyness. It gets everyone talking and raises the energy in the room, so when you get around to the business side of things, there are fewer of those dreaded awkward silences.

 

Don’t let your colleagues fall into a slump when working remotely. It’s too easy to sit passively in a remote meeting with the camera off, barely engaging. By adding interactive elements, you can inject excitement into the workday.

 

 

2. Get everyone involved – introverts included

 

Onsite, the physical presence of your colleagues demands attention. But online, you can keep your work tab open while you scroll and let your mind drift. With the increase of customer service automation all around us, many people may be more used to typing in a chatbox than expressing themselves aloud.

 

It may be challenging for quiet or introverted colleagues to focus, and they may find themselves getting overlooked or forgotten. This is why it’s crucial to choose activities that encourage every member of your team to participate in some way.

 

To promote strong bonds between colleagues and a warm, inclusive ethos in the office, activities should be accessible and enjoyable for all.

 

 

3. Use multimodality to give meetings more impact

 

why is multimodality so great

Multimodality is a useful concept to keep people more engaged.

 

This is particularly important for meetings, conferences, and workshops. People learn more deeply when they’re engaged through multiple channels. For example, it’s easier to read when the text is broken up with pictures or video. You can better follow instructions when there are accompanying diagrams or illustrations.

 

Over a video conferencing platform, you’re engaged through visual and audio channels. But you don’t have to limit yourself. Encourage colleagues to use all of their senses. Include elements such as taste (eg. food and drink) or texture (eg. building or making things with your hands).

 

With a little creativity, you can create a truly fantastic event that will make a lasting impression on your team.

 

 

4. Don’t forget about real life

 

Finally, employers should prioritize some meetings in person whenever possible. Augment virtual activities with at least some face-to-face time. Although not everyone will be able to attend, virtual activities have more impact when colleagues become more than text or an avatar on a screen.

 

 

Wrap up: Virtual Team Building Activities Matter!

 

To improve communication between team members, raise morale and enthusiasm, and build team culture while working remotely, virtual team-building games are essential.

 

We hope these ideas give you what you need to breathe new life into your daily meetings and establish a sense of warmth and inclusivity in the office.

 

 

Grace Lau

About The Author

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud outbound call center platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, and partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Grace Lau also published articles for domains such as eWebinar and NewsBreak Original. Here is her LinkedIn.