As 2022 looms on the horizon, many companies find that they have more and more workers in home offices rather than their office settings. This fact makes team building challenging because coworkers rarely check in around the water cooler or the coffee pot. The answer to this problem could be online team-building activities.
Virtual activities gather people together on a video conferencing platform to do activities and engage in a fun manner, but finding the right activity is sometimes challenging. These 20 fun games and activities will help your team connect, even if they have to connect virtually.
What to Look for in a Great Virtual Team-Building Activity
Before choosing activities to build trust and increase employee engagement, you need to know what to look for. Some of the factors that make a team-building activity really work include:
Teambuilding activities should be something people look forward to. You don't want them to dread the activity, but rather come to it ready to participate and have a little fun. A lighthearted, fun activity is important. Your team doesn't want to come together to discuss work outside of work hours. Make the activity lighthearted and fun.
Something That Meets a Need
Look around your company and see what needs to improve. Some ideas include:
- Improving communication: Team building activities that include plenty of communication will have a strong impact on the overall communication in your office, and that has long-term benefits.
- Adding professional development: While team building should be fun, it can also help with professional development by teaching a skill that benefits everyone on your team.
- Boosting morale: Are your team members struggling to enjoy their job? Look for something to boost morale around the office.
Something That Teaches
Even as adults, we benefit from learning. Learning something new improves confidence and overall morale, so why not learn something new together?
Look for something that is flexible and fits the platform you plan to use. Since you are looking for virtual team building, make sure the online games or activity you choose works over a virtual platform like Zoom or Skype.
Team building works best when everyone is engaged in the activity, so look for games that naturally require participants to be actively involved. Games where every player has a part to play or activities like wine and coffee tasting will pull everyone in.
Finally, choose a team-building activity that is easy to set up, so you don't have to invest a lot of time getting a fun activity going. Choosing something too complicated will cause stress for your leadership team, and that makes the activity less enjoyable.
20 Great Virtual Team-Building Activity Ideas for Remote Teams
Whether you remain virtual because of the pandemic or you have chosen virtual platforms because that works best for you, team building is challenging at times. These 20 activities will be a great fit for the virtual office as you seek to build connections within your team.
1. Virtual Painting With Painting To Gogh
Paint parties aren't just for date night. They also work well for team-building. You may not realize that you can do painting parties virtually, but you can. All you need is the right painting party company to offer the classes and the right supplies for your team. Set everyone up with the supplies, choose a painting that fits your company culture or a theme (like the holiday season), and schedule a time to paint together.
The great thing about virtual painting parties is that they do not require any previous skills. Your team will love creating beautiful art together with the step-by-step instruction from the program, and you will have some fun conversation along the way too.
Painting To Gogh offers virtual paint nights that work great as team-building activities. These parties include the art supplies, which get shipped directly to your team members, and video-based instruction. All you have to do is plan the event.
2. Virtual Beer or Wine Tasting
One of the perks of going to happy hour with coworkers is the ability to relax over some tasty drinks, but that's not possible with remote teams. A virtual beer or wine tasting can fit this need.
To make this work, have your team choose some beer or wine and have each team member either purchase the beverages themselves or purchase a kit that contains the beverages you selected. Then, schedule a time to meet to taste them and enjoy a question-and-answer session about the drinks.
Virtual Wine Tasting from Confetti offers kits that make it easy to implement this type of team-building activity without too much planning on your part.
3. Remote Coffee Tasting and Coffee Hour
Does your team love coffee? Turn that into a virtual team-building activity. With the right company, you can order a coffee tasting package and have it sent directly to each team member's home. Then, invite everyone to log into your favorite video conference platform to taste them together.
You'll get to experience something new in the form of flavored coffees, and you will be able to bond together over discovering mutual likes and dislikes.
The key to making a remote coffee tasting and coffee hour work is a company that offers this service, and Tea Vs. Coffee is one such company.
4. Trivia Night Team-Building Challenge
Virtual trivia nights can be engaging and entertaining, and they can help less extroverted team members shine. Consider a movie night-themed trivia or trivia based on a pop culture topic, or you can simply have a generic trivia game night.
Use trivia to do more than just entertain. Make it a team-building challenge by having your team members work together to complete trivia challenges.
Virtual Team Trivia from Teambuilding.com is a great platform to try. They offer pub-trivia-style activities that make it a fun virtual happy hour experience. Just request that your team members bring their own beverages to make it similar to a night out at the bar with friends.
5. Online Storytelling Workshops
With a simple prompt, can your team create an engaging story? An online storytelling workshop will help them tap into their inner creativity and learn to do so effectively.
This workshop has several benefits to your company. First, it builds teamwork and camaraderie so your team feels connected with one another. However, it also teaches them how to tell stories, which is a tool that helps your company move forward, especially in marketing. Effective storytelling often converts into a larger number of leads.
Storytelling Workshops from Museum Hack teach this skill using talented museum guides who are known for their skill in weaving an engaging tale.
6. Superhero Academy
Is your team ready to save the world and keep the super villains out? Superhero Academy is a great way to do it. This 1.5-hour experience takes your team through puzzles and even physical challenges so they can discover their inner superhero, and all you need is Zoom and computers.
If you have comic book lovers in your team, you'll love this game. Even if you don't, you'll find that the gameplay is engaging and makes it enjoyable for almost everyone.
Check out Superhero Academy from Teambuilding.com to get started.
7. Virtual Clue Murder Mystery
A virtual murder mystery will bring your entire team together to see "who done it?" Playing a giant virtual game of Clue will pull out people's problem-solving skills as they try to figure out who the murder is, where the murder took place, and what weapon was used.
This activity is fun, but it also requires quite a bit of collaboration. This collaboration strengthens communication while also boosting morale in the workplace when teams have to keep working remotely.
Outback Team Building has a Virtual Clue Murder Mystery in a box that is simple to tap as you plan this activity for your team.
8. Virtual Coworker Feud
Try family feud for the office with a virtual coworker feud party. This program offers an entertaining host that takes your team through several rounds of the game. Like Family Feud, it offers a survey question, and team members must determine which is the most popular answer to those questions.
This activity creates friendly competition around a game show that most people recognize and enjoy. While the winners may have bragging rights, the more important benefit is the teamwork that goes into this type of activity, which will improve your work around the office as well.
Virtual coworker feud needs the right platform and host, and you will get that with Confetti's Family Feud experience.
9. Take a Virtual Trip to Paris With Your Whole Team
The ultimate team-building activity may be a team trip to some far-off place, but you can't really meet up in Paris or London with your team while you are working remotely. You can, however, take a virtual trip with your team.
On a virtual trip, you can take in the sights, learn some history, and enjoy the views of a popular destination, all without having to leave home. Learning together can build camaraderie and give you mutual experiences to tap into in the future.
Woyago offers virtual team-building events that include tours of Paris, France. Tap into this 60- to 90-minute presentation for your entire team.
10. Guess That Coworker
For this game, your team members submit information, personality test results, and photos about themselves. To make this work well, they should be non-work-related facts and information. The game platform and facilitator combine these submissions into a presentation about the team.
The night of the event, your team will meet and watch the presentation, trying to guess which of their coworkers the fun facts are referring to. This is a fun way to create a company culture where people know each other well, and it can break down some of the walls that are natural with virtual workspaces.
This is a fun way to build camaraderie with remote team members, but it can be cumbersome to plan. Confetti offers a planning experience that will make it easier, complete with host and planning template.
11. Typing Speed RaceMost virtual offices do quite a bit of typing, but who is the fastest typist among your remote employees? Hosting a typing speed race will help you figure it out.
To do this, log everyone into Zoom for your virtual meeting, and then ask them to go to a typing test website. Host live typing tests or have people post their high scores to your Slack channel if they do it independently.
One of the easiest (and free) platforms to use for this is typingtest.com. Try the one- or three-minute testing option.
12. Virtual Dance PartyWith a fun playlist and a virtual video conferencing platform like Zoom, you can host a dance party with your remote work team. It may take a little while for them to get relaxed and into the groove, but you will watch people come out of their shells with this idea.
Virtual dance parties do require a good audio quality for your team, and you will have to deal with music that is not in sync time-wise, but with a little creativity, it can be done. Or you can choose a hosting platform and professional DJ to help.
Hey Mister DJ offers help setting up virtual dance parties complete with a dedicated host and the right streaming technology to ensure it goes well.
13. DIY Home Craft ChallengeCraft night is hard to do remotely, but you can implement a DIY home craft challenge. Encourage team bonding by asking remote workers to do a craft using items they have around the home.
Schedule a time to come together to show the home crafts. Reward prizes for the best one, as well as fun categories like "most innovative use of materials" or "wackiest finished product."
This is one activity that you don't need a company to help you run, but you can get some ideas from Kelly Leigh Creates on how to be successful in hosting a craft night for your team.
14. 5-Minute Icebreaker Questions
If you don't have a lot of time for your virtual team building but you want your team members to get to know each other, consider setting up a five-minute icebreaker question event. You can sprinkle these throughout the workday or even open a conference call with some icebreaker games. These don't have to take long, but icebreakers can go far in helping your team members get to know each other.
Keep in mind that icebreakers can be anxiety-inducing for more introverted remote employees. Go slow and make it simple for them to answer these questions.
You don't need a company or formal program to implement this strategy. Check out this list of icebreaker questions, and simply start implementing them in team meetings.
15. Virtual Book ClubBring your team together over a good book by hosting a virtual book club that is just for your team members. You can choose a great fiction novel or you can opt for something work-related that will improve your overall workplace through professional improvement.
A virtual book club requires you to all work on reading the book independently, then come together online to discuss it over video chat or an online forum.
Though you can choose just about any platform for your online book club, Bookclubz makes it easy to create a book club and send a custom link to all participants.
16. Virtual Trash Clean-Up ChallengeVirtual scavenger hunts are fun, but sending your team out in search of random items around town can be tedious if the team doesn't see the point. Also, finding a list that fits every team member's community is not easy. A better option is a virtual trash clean-up challenge.
Encourage your team members to get out into their local community to find an area that needs to be tidied, like a beach with garbage on it or a park filled with litter. Challenge them to take before and after photos to show their work. Arrange prizes for the best job. Not only will this be a type of community service activity, but it will also help remote teams see where each other lives.
While there's no company that offers this service, you can add some branding with it by posting the best pictures to your company's Twitter feed with the hashtag #trashtag.
17. Virtual Escape Room
Can your team escape, or will you run out of time? Virtual escape rooms have all of the fun of an in-person escape room but in a virtual setting. An escape room is an excellent virtual team-building game because you must work together to find the clues and get out of the room.
You can choose a virtual office-themed escape room or something more sinister or exotic to make it a fun experience. Consider setting up a few teams made up of small groups within your organization that can battle head-to-head for bragging rights after they successfully escape.
The Escape Game offers virtual escape room challenges that are perfect for coworkers. This platform takes the work off your shoulders so you are free to sit back and enjoy the activity.
Recommended Reading: 11 Best Remote Activities to Boost Employee Engagement
18. Online Karaoke ChallengeKaraoke nights can get people out of their comfort zone and into a more relaxed state, but going to a karaoke bar or club doesn't really work when you need virtual team-building ideas. However, you can do an online karaoke challenge instead.
Online Karaoke is done over Zoom and using an online karaoke player. Simply set up all of your team members with these tools, and you're ready to go.
Lucky Voice Karaoke has step-by-step instructions for using their app and online karaoke player to set up a virtual karaoke event.
19. 30-Minute Donut CallsDonut is a Slack extension that will create pairs of colleagues and arrange video calls between them. This virtual activity can eliminate the missing water cooler chit-chat. It is more formal than a virtual game night, but it can help create cohesion with your team.
This system is fairly easy to use. Set up the Donut system, then schedule pairings. Your team will get an alert about who they get paired with, and when the pairing is scheduled, then all they have to do is log in for a 30-minute chat.
Create your virtual watercooler by adding Donut to Slack. Then, set up your meetups so that your team members can get to know one another virtually.
20. Online GIF BattlesYou know that GIFs are some of the funniest things on the internet. A well-timed GIF in an online discussion can turn something serious into something hilarious. If you were going to have in-person team building, you could have a friendly competition virtually using these animated files. Using a Trello board, invite your team members to a board and start the battle.
The game is fairly simple. Trello will provide a prompt, and team members will submit GIFs that fit the theme in real-time. You will choose a judge, and that judge will determine the winner. This competition doesn't take long, so you can host one on a coffee break, but your entire team will enjoy coming together to share the hilarity that is GIFs.
Trello's GIF Battle Game makes it easy for you to set up a challenge and start enjoying this activity with your team.
Find Out Why Teams Love the Painting To Gogh ExperienceThe key to setting up a virtual team-building experience is ease, and Painting To Gogh offers experiences that require virtually no work on your part. Our team-building paint parties have everything, including supplies, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy learning and creating together.
You can do Painting To Gogh paint parties from any location, virtual or in-person, so you have the flexibility you need for success. Check out our paint party options, including these top picks for team building, and start planning your virtual team-building exercises with a paint party.