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57 Fun Virtual Team Building Activities, Games, & Ideas To Boost Remote Employee Morale In Online Teams For 2021

By August 31, 2021 September 30th, 2021 41 Comments

Virtual Team Building Activities

Virtual team building has the power to make remote teams feel as tight-knit as on-site teams. This is especially true if you leverage purpose, vision, and enthusiasm to plan crowd-pleasing virtual team building activities.

Expert evaluations of remote work suggest that…

“ . . . communication and shared identity within a team can mediate the effects of physical separation.”

“ . . . communication and shared identity within a team can mediate the effects of physical separation.” Click To Tweet

Strategically designed virtual team building activities provide communication while reinforcing a shared team identity. These online team games & activities can also mitigate the engagement-draining challenges of a remote or distributed workforce.

For example…

  • When remote workers feel their excitement slipping, a virtual team building activity can help them rekindle their passion by exposing them to excited co-workers.
  • When remote workers are craving more autonomy, a virtual team building activity can help them gain trust from their managers and peers.

So what’s the overarching secret to unlocking the benefits of virtual team building?

It’s commitment—commitment and passion from a strong leadership team.

Experts who’ve studied companies found that “transformational and visionary leadership” can get remote engagement levels up to on-site engagement levels.

Are you ready to commit?

This post features icebreakers, tools, curated WFH employee care packages, and virtual team building activities you can implement or share with leadership to build strong remote teams.

Pro-Tip: Use “Command + D” to bookmark this list – we update it often with new content. 

*Jump straight to our favorite fun virtual team building activities & games for remote teams 

Who Would You Like To Give Gifts To?

Clients & Customers Employees

Virtual Icebreaker Activities, Games, & Ideas

Icebreakers for remote teams are activities you can do at the start of a virtual meeting to create quick, personal connections with your co-workers. Virtual meetings can sometimes start with a few minutes of stiffness or awkwardness. Use any of the icebreakers below to overcome that awkwardness and conduct effective remote meetings.

(PS – Become a better professional in 5 minutes, each week by joining The Assist fam made up of 15,000+ subscribers.)

Rose/Thorn Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: About 1 minute per person
  • How-to:
    • Start your virtual huddle by having everyone share their rose (any positive that makes them feel grateful, happy, etc.) and also their thorn (a challenge). A rose can be work or non-work related along with their thorn.
    • For example…
      • Work Related:
        • Rose: I got an event partner to give me a refund today!
        • Thorn: A different event partner won’t give me a refund.
      • Non-Work Related:
        • Rose: I found time to go for a walk today today.
        • Thorn: There was no time to go for a walk today.

“I work in Enterprise Marketing at ZipRecruiter and our entire team is now remote. We do a daily standup call with my manager and Rose/Thorn is how we start every virtual meeting. It is a quick way to start off a team huddle and get everyone on the same wavelength.”

-Joanna Ericta, Senior Marketing Associate at ZipRecruiter

Crime Junkie Virtual Icebreaker

  • Adapted for: Clue Virtual Murder Mystery
  • Time: About 60 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Send out the Clue Virtual Murder Mystery link to everyone that plans on playing.
    • Using the app, your group will split into teams, examine clues, review case files, and channel their inner detectives.
    • Race against the clock to solve the mystery of who had the means, motive, and opportunity to murder Neil Davidson.
    • Your team will need to collaborate closely, and communicate effectively in order to successfully solve the case.
      • If you DO solve the case in time: Celebrate the virtual team building victory and discuss what led to the “aha” moment when everything clicked.
      • If you DON’T solve the case in time: That’s okay! Take this moment to do a group reflection on which challenges your team overcame and which ones stumped you.

Pro-Tip: Take the Crime Junkie virtual icebreaker activity to the next level with a curated one-of-a-kind Icebreaker Box from Caroo! Your detective coworkers won’t miss any clues by staying fueled with quality snacks and other icebreaking essentials.

Holiday Themed Virtual Icebreaker

Critical Thinking Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: About 2 minutes per person
  • How-to:
    • Start your online meeting by posing this lateral thinking question from Udemy to the group: “If you were alone in a dark cabin, with only one match and a lamp, a fireplace, and a candle to choose from, which would you light first?”
    • Give everyone 30 seconds to choose.
    • Have everyone share their answer on a platform like monday.com.
    • Spend about one minute discussing the differences in your answers and what you each learned from one another.

Escape Room Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: About 60 minutes or less
  • How-to:
    • Choose your adventure below:
    • If you’re going to escape, you HAVE to work together and communicate virtually.
    • Once you log onto the Zoom call your host will help you through the adventure while your Game Guide will be your eyes, ears, hands, and feet inside the online team game.
    • With the help of your Guide Game and your digital dashboard, you and your team will find clues, solve puzzles, and complete your mission.
    • Whether or not you complete your mission in time, the leader will be able to review what went well and what didn’t go so well during the virtual activity. The debrief after your online experience will no doubt be filled with lots of laughs and lessons learned.

Open Mic Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: About 10 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Give everyone a heads up that they will have about a minute at the beginning of the meeting to take the virtual stage.
    • Ask them to find or write an icebreaker joke, read a poem, sing a song, play the mandolin—anything they want!
    • Start your meeting with these glorious performances.
    • Allow ten seconds in between each for a rush of snaps and applause.

Squad Squabble Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: About 45 – 60 minutes (plus prep)
  • How-to:
    • Prep:
      • Find a virtual team building software to host the online game like Weve or Virtual Coworker Feud.
      • Build your teams.
      • Determine your questions (think about funny inside virtual office jokes).
      • Solicit answers from colleagues either through email or a survey.
    • Time to Play:
      • After the online team game is set-up, determine a host or roll with one of the experts from Weve!
      • Read the first question — the first team to buzz in gets to answer. For every answer on the board, they collect points.
      • If they receive 3 strikes (wrong answers!), control goes to the other team to determine the board.
      • Repeat the steps until you have a winner — the team with the most points wins the game!

We played a round of Squad Squabble (Virtual Coworker Feud) with our friends at Design Pickle to show you how this virtual icebreaker works… Still have no idea how 11 people said “Microwaving Fish” as an answer…

Trip To Paris Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: Woyago Virtual Trip To Paris
  • Time: About 60 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Select from Woyago’s catalog of laugh out loud authentic French activities:
        • Wine and cheese tastings
        • Live bike rides from the streets of Paris
        • French trivia and questions
        • Virtual get to know you activities
        • French vocabulary… and more!
    • Grab your virtual passport and beret to experience the magic of Paris from your desk!

Snapshot Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: About 5 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Ask everyone to use their phones to take a picture of something.
      • The something could include…
      • Pets
      • Kids
      • Desk space (Yes, even messy desk spaces)
      • Refrigerator
      • Outfit
      • Closet
  • Have everyone upload their pictures to a shared online whiteboard like this and/or doc to create a digital collage of everyone’s snapshot.
  • Spend a little time complimenting the pics or asking questions.

The final product may look something like this:

(Images courtesy of the SnackNation State of the Executive Assistant Facebook Group)

“Big Talk” Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: Outback Team Building
  • Time: About 10 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Start virtual meetings with a few minutes of organized “big talk” about global events and news.
    • Before the meeting, send out a current news story for the team to read.
    • At the start of the meeting, give everyone a minute to share their thoughts on the story without interruption or commentary.
    • Set aside 5 minutes after that for open group discussion.

Ice Cream Float Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: Unboxed Experiences by City Brew Tours
  • Time: About 30 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Connect with a private virtual event planner (like Unboxed Experiences) who will arrange for kits to be sent directly to all of your guests.
    • On event day, a virtual guide will show everyone how to make ice cream in a bag (seriously, it works!).
    • Guests will dance along to popular songs (featuring favorites like “Shake Your Groove Thing”) as they shake their ice cream ingredients until everything is perfectly frozen.
    • Finally, guests make their own rootbeer, orange soda, or cherry soda float to sip on as you transition to your next session.

Pro-Tip: Is your workplace big on work/family balance? This is one of those virtual team events that employees can get their families involved in. Kids especially love shaking up their ice cream, and your guests will appreciate having time to hang out with their families during the work day.

Dance Party Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: About 5 minutes (or the length of your chosen song)
  • How-to:
    • Tell everyone about the awesomeness that’s about to happen.
    • Do a quick sound check to make sure everyone can hear the host’s music.
    • Start your jam. (If you can’t decide, use a tool like Random List to get a random selection.)
    • Dance and probably laugh.

GIF Wars Virtual Icebreaker

  • Adapted for: Nectar
  • Time: About 1-2 minutes per person
  • How-to:
    • Using a virtual team building & recognition tool like Nectar, have each person take a second to send a shoutout to someone that has really helped them out or gone above and beyond for the team recently.
    • Make sure to add a GIF to each shoutout
    • Go around and vote on who added the best GIF (think Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity)

Pro-Tip: You can make this a recurring virtual activity by choosing ‘GIF War’ themes for each week like: movies, sports, dogs, cats, etc…

“Do You REALLY Know Your Team?” Virtual Icebreaker

  • Adapted for: Team Hunt
  • Time: About 10 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Before your next meeting, ask all your teammates to answer three “about me” questions in Team Hunt.
    • For example…
      • If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
      • What’s your favorite vacation spot?
      • If you were an animal, what would you be?
      • What’s your favorite movie?
    • At the meeting, share the answers and have your teammates try to pair the answers with the right person.
    • Once everyone has guessed, reveal who gave what answer.
    • If the results are interesting/surprising, have your teammates explain – It’ll get people laughing and learning more about each other.
    • Boom – instant virtual team bonding!

Fact Recall Mission Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: Weve
  • Time: About 7 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Each team member invited to play Fact Recall Mission introduces themselves and gives a “fact” about them; usually with a prompt, such as favorite vacation destination, most likely to see in concert, most binge-worthy show they recommend, etc.
    • Keeping the facts tucked away to memory, each player will try and recall who said what during the introductions.
    • A recommended show is a great option because everyone learns something about the person and also gets a great recommendation.
    • Vacation memories and concert bucket lists are fun and a great throwback to the good times.
    • The players in the group know each other too well? It’s still a great opportunity to play and use it to tell something about yourself as a warm-up. Everyone needs a new book recommendation or Netflix binge idea.

Online Quiz Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: QuizBreaker
  • Time: About 5 minutes per person
  • How-to:
    • Each team member you invite to QuizBreaker can answer up to 100 curated icebreaker questions that have been carefully researched to elicit fun learnings and build trust in teams. Players can skip any question they don’t want to answer.
    • Using the icebreaker answers from your team, QuizBreaker then generates unique ‘who said what’ quizzes for each member of your team. These are automatically sent out via email and can be scheduled to your desired timing, volume & frequency.
    • Every new round of QuizBreaker brings your team closer together at the same time as facilitating a fun virtual team building experience. Their gamified web app celebrates each correct guess.
    • For those teams who love a bit of competition, you can activate the Leaderboard feature to congratulate new winners each week.

“One Word And I’m In” Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: Less than 1 minute per person
  • How-to:
    • Start your virtual pow-wow with a Work-From-Home-Wellness Box and by having everyone pick one word to fill in the sentence “I’m ______ and I’m in”
    • For example…
      • “I’m stoked and I’m in”
      • “I’m ready and I’m in”

“At SnackNation, we start virtual meetings with the “One word and I’m In” activity. It’s quick, breaks the ice, and gives a pulse on the group’s energy.

Some common ones on our team are “I’m caffeinated and I’m In,” “I’m fired-up and I’m In, “I’m a-little-bit-tired-but-ready and I’m In.” Our team likes to get creative with the hyphens.”

-Victoria Holbrook, Brand Marketing Manager at SnackNation

“Name That Emoji Song Title” Virtual Icebreaker

  • Adapted for: Bonusly
  • Time: 3 minutes per person’s turn
  • How-to:
    • Start a group messaging chain either through phone or your employee recognition software platform of choice – like Bonusly.
    • Determine who goes first and put a timer on your phone for 3 minutes.
    • The first person looks at their last played song and then “attempts” to use only emojis that give hints to the title of the song.
    • Everyone else takes turns guessing the name of the song until the timer runs out.
    • At the end of the 3 minutes, reveal the song if no one guessed correctly and share why that was your last played song.

These have been some standouts from our team at SnackNation:

  • 🐴❌🏷️ – “A Horse With No Name” (America)
  • 🙈💡💡 – “Blinding Lights” (The Weeknd)
  • ❌⛰️🔼✅ – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
  • 🌊👀 – “Ocean Eyes” (Billie Eilish)
  • 💁‍♀️4️⃣🎄👉👤 – “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (Mariah Carey)

Virtual Team Building Activities & Games

Virtual team building activities can be online games that you play on a shared screen or unique, shared offline experiences you can use to build common ground for future conversations.

Online Team Games & Activities For Virtual Team Building

Whether you choose an online team game or an offline activity, you can rest assured that it will serve the goal of giving your team memory-making experiences they can share no matter how far apart they are.

Outback Virtual Team Building

  • Paid activity: $8 – $49 per person
  • Time: 1 – 3 hours (Various Options)
  • Best for: Teams of 3 – 1,000+
  • Formats:
    • Self-Hosted: Their team will provide you with everything you need to effortlessly and successfully plan your virtual activity, plus dedicated support.
    • Virtually-Hosted: Their professional event hosts will take care of everything for you – kick back, relax, and join in on the fun.

Are you looking for unique, fun, and engaging ways to keep your remote team social while social distancing? Outback Team Building & Training is currently offering 14 of their most popular team building activities in a virtual format specifically designed for remote corporate groups, some of our favorites are: 

💎 Virtual Escape Room (Jewel Heist): Solve a “virtual” heist with your team of quick-witted detectives as you complete online puzzles, riddles, and virtual trivia. This virtually hosted team activity is ideal for groups that love solving complex problems and aren’t afraid of a little friendly competition.

🔎 Virtual Clue Murder Mystery: Gather your remote team online and collaborate virtually to crack the case of a deadly crime in this virtual murder mystery online team building activity. Which team will be the first to solve the murder of millionaire, Neil Davidson?

🎗 Virtual Do-Good Games: Complete as many challenges as possible before time runs out. Each unique challenge is worth a different number of points — that are then converted into actual donation dollars to a charity of your choice. Do some good for a good cause while team building online!

🤔 Virtual Team Pursuit: Get your remote team together to compete in a series of online mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges. The virtually-hosted team pursuit activity will allow you to get to know your colleagues better, and enhance communication skills while showcasing each individual’s hidden talents.

🍻 Virtual Happy Hour Trivia: Sit down, grab a beverage, and partake in a challenging and fun online trivia competition at your favorite virtual pub, “Hamish McDuff’s”. Complete with a wacky and hilarious Scottish pub owner as your host, they’ll lead you through an unforgettable happy hour.

“The Virtual Clue Murder Mystery event was so much fun – it was for a fundraising event and everyone thought that it was very well-done. Brynne did an amazing job of leading our team, making it a super easy set up, and being a resource. THANK YOU!” – Microsoft (Virtual Clue Murder Mystery)

“The event was turn key and easy to follow. I liked that it wasn’t overly complicated, but challenging enough to keep the team engaged. Having an event coordinator run the event made everything easy to deal with.” – General Mills (Team Pursuit)

Here’s a quick 1-minute overview to show you how this virtual team building activity works:

 


Confetti

  • Paid activity: From $10 a person+
  • Time: About 30 – 90 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 5 – 500 (varies with activity)

Confetti is the only platform that gives you everything you need to plan memorable virtual team activities & events in just a few clicks.

It’s free to sign up and only takes ~20 seconds. Once inside, it gives you a playground of dozens of ideas that you can click and customize in a matter of minutes – with instant quotes directly available on the platform! For every event, they provide a briefing that includes all the details organized such as a designed invitation, host information, and a place to insert your points of contact.

Confetti cherry picks and curates vendors, ready to deliver the best experience possible within the date and times you need.

Hundreds of companies trust Confetti with all their virtual team building needs, including: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Uber, and Adobe.

Confetti has taken a huge workload off my plate in planning engaging employee experiences… True lifesaver!” – Room


Virtual Happy Hour

  • Free activity
  • Time: About 30 – 45 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 2 – 10

A big thanks to The Assist for sharing this idea! Here are some virtual happy hour tips:

Pro-Tip: Spice up your team meetings with City Brew Tours’ Virtual Beer and Cheese Pairing Happy Hour. Their unforgettable hosts will entertain, educate and captivate your team as they take you through the ins-and-outs of what to drink with a sharp cheddar versus a sriracha cheddar.

Select from one of City Brew Tours’ curated pairing boxes delivered right to their doors prior to your virtual event. You can even customize your boxes with branded swag like pint glasses, cheese boards and koozies!


Virtual Team Building Party In Paris

Bienvenue à Paris!

Woyago has created virtual tours that will allow you to travel to Paris for an hour or two! By combining storytelling and cheeky virtual activities, your team will learn hilarious French vocabulary, compete in ridiculous Parisian trivia, find their Parisian soul with absurd icebreaker questions, and learn quirky, insightful stories about Paris while connecting, interacting, and engaging with each other.

Between virtual wine and cheese tastings, live bike rides from the streets of Paris, French stereotype trivia, virtual team building activities, and French vocabulary that will make you laugh out loud, we promise that you’ll end up obsessing over Paris…just like them!

Whether your team is familiar with Paris or not, they will connect, interact, and engage with each other for the duration of the tour. Woyago’s lighthearted and comedic tone of the tours make this a very effective morale boost for virtual or hybrid teams of any size:

 


Weve

Weve offers something we haven’t seen anywhere else: a dedicated event host (MC and DJ!) that makes sure your event’s energy and engagement stays sky high. Whether onboarding newly remote employees or cultivating culture across distributed teams, Weve is engaging teams from companies like Spotify, Google, LinkedIn, GoFundMe, YouTube, Amazon, Uber, Ernst & Young, Salesforce, Dell, and more.

You won’t find your usual online team games here. Learn more at Weve!

Think more like:

  • Buzz-In Pub Trivia
  • The Giphy Challenge
  • Pictionary Drawing Contest
  • Live Polling and Voting
  • Karoke Battles
  • and more!

They’ve combined their unique brand of fun within a slick video conferencing interface and a hilarious host to bring remote teammates into the fold.


The Live Homebrew Experience

 

  • Paid activity
  • Time: About 120 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 10 – 100

Let your employees become brewers for the day in the comfort of their own home. “Zoom” through 2-hours of team building with the most hands-on activity you can have behind a computer. City Brew Tour’s Live Homebrew Experience requires no prior knowledge and comes with the equipment and ingredients to brew a full case of beer, shipped right to your door prior to the event.

Tip: They can even work with you to create a custom label and a team beer recipe! Some of our team’s favorites were:

  • Hop-Nation
  • SnackyLight
  • Beer Buddy

Let’s Roam Virtual Team Builders

Let's-Roam-Virtual-Teambuilding

  • Paid activity
  • Time: About 60 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 5 – 500

Let’s Roam Virtual Team Builders are the hottest new thing in the online team building game right now. These interactive challenges are comprised of 5 rounds that include: Trivia, Fact or Fib, Costume Party, Impersonations, Riddle Me This, and many more game types designed to get your virtual team building memorable moments!

What makes Let’s Roam Virtual Team Builders so unique is that you can play all of these online games through their innovative video conferencing platform that will have you bonding and laughing with your co-workers from anywhere in the world – pretty cool huh.

Here’s a quick 1-minute overview of how it works:

 


The Escape Game Remote Adventures

Escape Game

  • Paid activity
  • Time: 60 Minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 4+

Are you ready for a team game online that is fun, challenging, and always gives you a few “WOW!” moments? Then you’re ready for The Escape Game. Their virtual escape room will absolutely change your team’s communication and bring them closer together! Since it’s all done virtually, it works for any team big or small, and teams that may be spread across the country or the globe!

The Escape Game Remote Adventures are one of the most unique and fun virtual team building experiences out there. Not only is it the perfect analog for the workplace but your team will have so much fun making lasting memories together through this awesome, one-of-a-kind experience. It’s as simple as getting on a video call where your team will communicate with a host and direct a game guide with a live camera feed of the room. Find clues, solve puzzles, and (hopefully) escape!

Here’s a quick 1-minute overview of how it works:

 


Scavify

  • Paid activity
  • Time: About 45 – 60 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 20+

Nothing brings a team together like a scavenger hunt: the fun, the interaction, the problem solving, the friendly competition – it’s the perfect team builder. With Scavify, you no longer need to physically be together to bring all the elements of that perfect team builder together.

“My objectives were to engage my Leadership remotely without having to be on another Zoom/Teams/Skype call. Even though our meetings remotely have been productive, we have missed the opportunity to show our personalities. It has been a very stressful time and using Scavify was a great way to have fun and be a little silly. At the same time I was able to add some tasks related to business plans and concerns. A really great exercise!”

Through a mobile app and/or browser, individuals and teams can participate in a virtual scavenger hunt app that has them snapping photos, taking videos, answering questions, scanning QR codes, providing feedback and more from the luxury of their own home. Better yet, the Scavify app provides real-time interaction features like a leaderboard and photostream to keep remote teams connected during this time. The ability to leave the hunt open for a week (or longer) allows colleagues to compete on their own time when it works best for them.


Ice Cream Float Experience

  • Paid activity: Varies depending on customizations
  • Time: About 30 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 5+

If you have an energetic team that enjoys shaking things up, they’ll love the novelty of the Ice Cream Float Experience offered by Unboxed Experiences. During this fun (and often funny) virtual teambuilder, guests will mix together ice cream ingredients in a zip bag (everyone will receive an all-inclusive Ice Cream Float kit beforehand), then shake everything up over some ice and rock salt until…voila, homemade ice cream!

A guide leads the virtual team building event, sharing fun trivia about the history of the ice cream float and keeping everyone hyped up with a playlist of popular music to shake along to. Once the ice cream is done, and everyone has danced around a bit, guests will cool down with an ice cream float. Each Unboxed Experiences kit is customizable, so you can include swag and other gifts to put a smile on your guests’ faces.


QuizBreaker

  • Paid activity: Free Trial
  • Time: 5 minute setup and 3 minutes per round
  • Best for: Teams of 7 to 100 (you can create multiple teams)

QuizBreaker is a virtual icebreaker game that helps remote teams connect & engage in a fun way. In each round, players have to guess ‘Who Said What’ – a simple way for your online team to bond over things they have in common. You can schedule virtual icebreaker quizzes to go out via email multiple times per week and track winners via a gamified leaderboard. It’s used by hundreds of remote teams including at companies such as Google, New York Times & Microsoft to help build a positive company culture.


Water Cooler Trivia

Virtual Trivia

  • Paid activity: Free 4-week trial, then about $1 per participant per month
  • Time: About 5-10 minutes per week
  • Best for: Teams of any size (from 2 people to 2,000)

There’s a reason Jeopardy’s been on the air for 50 years: people LOVE trivia. That’s the same reason why teams flock to Water Cooler Trivia, a platform for automated weekly trivia quizzes. It’s a virtual team activity employees eagerly anticipate each week. Offices are emailed a Monday morning trivia quiz with responses due that night and results sent the next morning. That schedule is totally customizable. Importantly, it’s not a one-off event but a source of weekly fun and conversation for the team without any ongoing setup or maintenance tasks.

Water Cooler Trivia sparks conversation and competition between colleagues asking HOW Alyssa knew THAT. The thrill of pub trivia without the two-hour time commitment and logistics.

The contests are super customizable, meaning you can decide the

  • Categories (Pop Culture, Current Events, Science & Tech, etc)
  • Difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard)
  • Timing (day of the week and the time for the quiz and results)
  • Region (if you have global teammates and want to exclude US-centric questions)

WCT has thousands of trivia questions along with features like an office leaderboard, the “funniest wrong answer” each week, the option for departments to compete against each other, and even a bobblehead trophy for your team to move to the winner’s desk each week (when back in the office).

“Every time I see Water Cooler Trivia in my inbox I yell “YES!” My coworkers and I love it, and have discussions when the questions and responses come out. We have an entire Slack channel dedicated to Water Cooler Trivia.” -Content Writer at G2


Treasure Mountain

  • Paid activity
  • Time: About 60 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 3 – 7

Developed by expert online team game designers and a team with 5+ years developing unique virtual group events.

  • Schedule your game for anytime you want.
  • Built in timer so you can compete against other teams.
  • After you find the GOLD, download your teams Completion Certificate with Team Name and Team Time

We recommend splitting your company into small teams of 4-5 people with a team captain for each. Provide each team captain with an access code to Treasure Mountain. Online teams will then race through the riddles and challenges to be the fastest group to escape and get bragging rights at the next virtual all hands meeting!


Learning Circles from Atlassian

  • Free activity
  • Time: About 60 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 2+

Atlassian’s learning circle templates make it easy to plan a virtual educational activity about a topic relevant to your team’s work.

Pro-Tip: Don’t let the logistics of throwing a virtual team building activity slow you down. Have monday.com track budgets, store receipts, and document participants while you focus on what actually matters: having fun.


Selfie Games

  • Paid activity
  • Time: Up to 60 minutes, depending on how many rounds you play
  • Best for: Teams of 5 – 15

Players upload selfies and then add sketches and captions. The goal is to guess which captions and sketches were made up and which ones the person pictured actually added themselves.


The Offsite Co

  • Paid activity
  • Time: (3) 60 – 90 minute sessions
  • Best for: Teams of 10+

The Offsite Co offers the most comprehensive and unique set of virtual team building events and games out there. They focus on designing a series of activations to help their clients reach engagement goals while employees are working remote.

Every event is customized based on your company culture.

They take care of all of the online team game design, logistics and planning and even provide the most fun and professional facilitators we have encountered.

Here’s a quick 1-minute example of a Virtual Lip Sync Karaoke event through The Offsite Co:

 


Playingcards.io

  • Free activity
  • Time: Up to 60 minutes, depending on how many rounds you play
  • Best for: Teams of 2 – 6

Hop on this platform and play a variety of card games synchronously with your team during game night. Doing something as commonplace as playing cards with your remote team helps cultivate the sense of normalcy that makes distance disappear.


Jackbox Games

  • Paid activity
  • Time: Up to 60 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 5 – 15

As soon as one person purchases a game pack, your team can choose any screen-sharing platform and start playing games that test your wits (Quiplash), let you ask crazy hypothetical questions (Split the Room), create wacky word clouds (Word Spud) and so much more.

Tip: Pick a list of games and rounds you’re going to play before the meeting, or you might end up playing for two hours!


Trivia on Houseparty

  • Free activity
  • Time: Up to 60 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 2+

Jump on Houseparty, invite your team to join you, choose a trivia category, and start testing your common knowledge. The app provides immediate right-or-wrong feedback and shares results live, so everyone can stay pumped and in the game in real time.


The Drone Racing League Simulator

  • Paid activity
  • Time: Up to 60 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 2 – 6

Get competitive with your teammates as you race each other in this sophisticated simulator. Just purchase the game and use Steam’s Remote Play function to start playing with your team over the internet.


The Deserted Island Scenario

  • Free activity
  • Time: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 2 – 10

Join your virtual meeting and give everyone the bad news: They’ve been stranded on a deserted island.

Counter with the good news: They get to choose three items from a handy list of survival tools.

Provide a list of tools for everyone to choose from. The longer the list, the more interesting the online team game will be. You also don’t have to design your list to be sound from a survivor’s standpoint; you simply want everyone to think creatively.

  • 100-proof rum
  • Compass
  • Knife
  • Matches
  • Rope
  • Plastic tarp
  • An out-of-battery cell phone
  • Canvas tarp
  • Lighter fluid
  • Candy bars
  • Athletic shoes

Put your meeting on hold or pause while each person gets ten minutes to select their three items.

Resume the meeting and have everyone share which items they picked and also explain why. Allow time for each speaker to answer questions about their selections.

Now give everyone an additional five minutes to decide if they want to change any of their items based on what they just heard from their teammates.

Ask anyone who changed their list to explain why.

By the end of this virtual event idea, everyone will find themselves more open to new ideas and thankful for new perspectives–A great idea to introduce at your next virtual holiday party!

Offline Team Games & Activities For Virtual Team Building

Offline Book Club

Start a book club and have everyone do the reading independently and offline. Have everyone keep a log of their thoughts and impressions as they go. You can have your final discussion by exchanging snail mail letters, hopping on a conference call, or meeting in person.

Remote Scavenger Hunt

Since you won’t be able to plant items for people to physically find, your best bet is creating a list of subjective, goal-based items.

Here are some example prompts:

  • Find the item that makes you feel the happiest.
  • Find an item attached to a powerful memory.
  • Find your favorite way to connect to others.

Have teammates log and photograph their answers. Eventually, the team can share these logs via email or snail mail.

You can also try pre-planned virtual scavenger hunts. Scavify provides a variety of app-based, in-home scavenger hunts everyone on your team can share with their significant others or families.

Offline Employee Wellness/Fitness Challenge

Have everyone on the team vow to complete a fitness challenge. The outdoor team building challenge might be completing a certain workout every day or even achieving a specified fitness goal. As you all complete the challenges independently, you’ll know you’re not truly alone.

Pro-Tip: Push your employees to live up to their wellness goals with an incentivized employee wellness challenge hosted through a platform like Fond. Whether it’s achieving a certain number of steps per day or practicing weekly meditation, Fond makes it easy for companies to distribute points to employees who hit their goals. You can even customize Fond’s rewards catalogue with exclusive wellness-related rewards to recognize employees’ progress anytime they hit a major milestone.

Daily Gratitude Commitments

Have everyone on your team commit to completing daily gratitude journaling for a month. Doing this activity alone will make you feel amazing, but knowing your teammates are (figuratively) by your side will maximize your warm fuzzies.

Solve a Mystery

Solve Hunt A Killer mysteries independently. Get everyone on your team a 6-episode Hunt a Killer subscription. They’ll all receive a package full of clues to work through to solve a mystery. The exercise will be even more fun knowing you’re all solving the same case together.

Pro-Tip: If solving mysteries is your cup of tea, then we recommend checking out Clue Murder Mystery by Outback Virtual Team Building. Will your team be the first to solve the murder of millionaire, Neil Davidson?

Start a Pen Pal Program

Match everyone on your team up with an official pen pal. If this activity feels old fashioned, then own it. You and your pal can pretend you’re writing in Victorian England or during the American Revolution.

Daily Writing Prompts

Provide everyone with a daily writing prompt for an entire month. (Mailing out journals would be a nice touch if you have the budget!) Later on, you can get together (in-person or online) to discuss what you created.

Collaborative Craft Project

Select a collaborative craft project, such as a mosaic of painted rocks or a paper quilt, and ask everyone to create one piece independently. When you can get together to assemble the larger project, you’ll be delighted to see how all the individual displays of creativity come together.

Open-Ended Instructions Challenge

Challenge everyone to create something useful for the office using only items from their recycling bins and kitchen pantries. Have people share photos and descriptions of their completed items.

 

Virtual Team Building Tools, Apps, & Software

Virtual team building tools are typically softwares that empower companies to create and customize unified digital workspace experiences that promote transparency and collaboration within remote teams.

Remote Team Building Purpose

Description

Free Trial

Online Collaboration
Tools

monday.com is a project management and communication tool that helps teams overcome the challenges of remote work. See all the relevant details about your work (and communicate about them) in one place. You are also able to easily set up automations without coding experience to alert other team members when certain tasks are completed. 

Remote Culture
Building

Bonusly is a virtual platform that helps companies make their recognition programs both fun and organic. Forget all the reminders; Bonusly’s engaging platform pulls employees into recognition behaviors, so you don’t have to push. (Recognition initiatives are remarkably smooth when you make them fun!)

Remote HR
Solutions

Bambee can provide you with a dedicated HR manager. Collaborate remotely with your expert to nail down all the policies and procedures you need to understand to have a successful virtual team.

Online Collaboration
Tools

Nifty is a tool that gives creative teams the solutions they need to collaborate and create content seamlessly, even when they can’t be in the same place. It offers workflow solutions to help teams overcome remote speed bumps and continue creating.

Remote Culture
Building

Nectar helps companies improve employee happiness and satisfaction. This comprehensive employee experience platform puts all the tools you need to make remote work better at your fingertips. Manage recognition, rewards, surveys, insights, and more—all in one delightfully easy to use interface.

Team Communication Software

Nextiva provides teams with all the foundational tools they need to connect. Using just one robust online platform (and one service provider), you can deliver and manage reliable phone service to employees in multiple locations. Perfectly designed for the modern distributed workforce, Nextiva’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology allows people to make clear calls from any location using a computer or a phone.

Online Collaboration
Tools

Toggl helps overcome the productivity-draining impacts of having remote or disparate teams. Efficiently manage processes while also giving remote workers the flexibility they crave.

Team Communication Software

Slack is a virtual workspace that is essentially a chat room for your entire company. This software quickly becomes the place where remote work gets done. Channels allow you to organize communications for groups to share information, files, and more all in one place.

Remote Employee Engagement

Klaxoon is a tool that provides a full suite of functions to make sure virtual meetings and other communication touchpoints engage employees and meet intended goals. Use pre-designed templates to host brainstorms and meetings, collect votes, and more.

Remote Employee Engagement

Range provides remote teams with the functionality they need to stay strong and effective together. Easily host virtual check-ins and standups and ask your co-workers questions designed by teamwork experts to help everyone feel connected.

Remote HR
Solutions

Designed as a remote onboarding solution, CakeHR also provides virtual tools to help companies and human resources teams keep employees engaged and informed at multiple points in their remote office life

Online Collaboration Tools

ProofHub is a project management and team collaboration software that brings your remote teams, tasks, projects and communications to one place. Assign tasks with deadlines, collaborate with team members in real-time, track project progress, and stay in ultimate control of everything.

Fun Slack Apps For Online Team Games

Slack apps for virtual teams are fun extensions that can be used to help build remote employee culture and engagement. Since employees likely use Slack every day, the platform provides an ideal touchpoint for other programs and initiatives you want to try.

These apps seamlessly integrate into Slack to make your life as easy as possible.

  • Bonusly Slack Integration. Bring employee recognition to your audience in Slack.
  • Evergreen. Evergreen helps your team to give more peer to peer recognition to each other and plant trees. 🌳
  • Donut. Donut helps team members who’ve never met connect with one another.
  • Simple Poll. Create and launch polls in Slack where everyone can see them.
  • Standuply. Automate the management and education of your teams in Slack.
  • BirthdayBot. Be the person that always remembers and celebrates everyone’s birthday.
  • PlayPlay.io. It’s okay if your company doesn’t have a game room. You can play pingpong right in Slack.
  • KudosBot. Celebrate employees organically through Slack.
  • JukeBot. With Slack, this bot, and your Spotify account, you can create awesome playlists for your teams.
  • Icebreakers. Deliver conversation starters through a convenient Slack app. Perfect app for onboarding new employees.
  • IdeaKeep. Use Slack to share and vet ideas.

People Also Ask These Questions About Virtual Team Building Activities

 

Q: Why do virtual team building activities work?

  • A: A virtual team building activity will work when it facilitates emotional connections among participants. Activities that enable participants to learn new things about one another promote the kind of bonding that makes physical space disappear. Make your virtual team building activities work by using strategic ideas. To get you started, we’ve created a list of 57 virtual team building games and activities that offer unforgettable shared online experiences.

Q: What can I do to spice up my next virtual meeting?

  • A: Make a virtual meeting fun by adapting your meeting style to overcome the challenges of digital communication. Accept that you’re going to require frequent icebreakers and prompts to keep everyone participating and engaged. Get inspiration from our list of 5-10 minute virtual meeting icebreakers.

Q: How do I get started with a virtual team building activity in 2021?

  • A: To set up a virtual team building activity, you need a team, reliable technology, creativity, and an understanding of how to make virtual events successful. You’ll also need some good ideas. Check out our list of tried and true virtual team building ideas here. (We even have some suggestions that require almost no technology and are free.)

Q: What is virtual team building?

  • A: Virtual team building is using technology, emotional intelligence, and management skills to keep teams connected when they can’t physically be together. Virtual team building comes in many forms, but the effective programs make employees forget they’re not sitting in the same office.

Q: How do you celebrate with virtual teams?

  • A: You can celebrate with virtual teams by leveraging tools and resources to provide recognition and support as often as you would provide high fives or encouraging words in the office. Get your virtual celebrations off the ground with the tools and softwares featured here.

Q: How do you bond with a remote team?

  • A: You can bond with a remote team by making sure your virtual team building activities incorporate human elements, such as true information exchanges instead of rote information delivery. Managers should also stay up-to-date on current best practices for transcending distance and always have some fun and effective icebreakers like these on hand to warm up the team before meetings.

Q: What are some virtual team building challenges?

  • A: Some virtual team building challenges include unreliable technology, the absence of physical and social interactions, difficulty scheduling meetings across time zones, a lack of engagement and participation, and the false assumption that virtual events can be planned and executed the same way as in-person events.

Q: How can I keep my remote workers engaged?

  • A: Keep your remote workers engaged with frequent formal and informal check-ins. Provide words of recognition and encouragement throughout the day and commit to planning virtual team building events that overcome feelings of isolation and make remote workers feel like part of a larger team. Get your handy list of virtual team building ideas here.

Q: How do I know if my virtual activity was successful?

  • A: You’ll know if a virtual activity was successful by surveying your participants. Have them provide honest feedback and incorporate that feedback into future events. You may also be able to gauge your virtual activity’s success by observing engagement and participation during the event.

Q: Where can I find a virtual team building activity for my remote team?

  • A: Find a virtual team building activity in our comprehensive roundup of virtual icebreakers, games, and activities. We’ve outlined activities to fit any need or situation. Find quick icebreaker activities to complete at the beginning of virtual meetings, in-depth games to play online as a team, and even long-term team activities that require little or no technology.

(PS – Get more sh*t done with The Assist — the #1 free weekly newsletter made for assistants by assistants.)

 

In Conclusion…

Virtual team building activities & events have the power to transform your remote team members, making them feel connected, engaged, appreciated, and happier at work.

There are plenty of reasons to make that goal a priority. Given healthy attention and team building, remote teams can become just as effective as on-site teams while also bringing along added benefits, including the capacity to handle rapidly changing business environments.

We hope the information we’ve provided has left you feeling informed about what it takes to plan a successful virtual team building game and also empowered to see what works for your own unique and special team.

We can’t wait to hear your virtual team building success stories!

41 Comments

  • Bhargavi says:

    Is there any activity for Managers..Or any suggestions which I can try on the listed activities

  • Andrea says:

    Have to plan a team builder that would have typically been in person with about 50 people. This list offers a variety of activities that do not require cost and lots of supplies.

    • Richard Fendler says:

      Appreciate your comment Andrea! Our team at SnackNation just did the Go Game’s virtual team builder and it was a lot of fun! Would recommend that for a group of 50+. I can make an intro for you if that would be helpful to give you guys a discount. Feel free to shoot me an email: richard.fendler@snacknation.com

  • Jules says:

    Great list! What do you think about virtual group yoga? We’ve tried it with wombo.io and it’s been fun!

    • Richard Fendler says:

      Thanks Jules! We currently have a recurring virtual group yoga sessions at SnackNation. It has been huge hit and a way for us to all stay connected 🙂

  • Mark Nowit says:

    Such a detailed article due to the covid-19 our business have been massively suffering.
    I searched for virtual team building and your article popped up
    Currently, we’re using a HR Management Software called Silem for virtual team building hope it gets to our goal as expected.

  • Vinish says:

    Thanks for the activity list guys, we were doing normal video meet & organized a PUBG gaming tournament, will test out other activities listed out here & see how it goes.

    • Richard Fendler says:

      Big fan of the PUBG gaming tournament idea. Let me know how that goes and we can append the article with your feedback 🙂

      • Vinish says:

        Hi Richard,

        That Pubg gaming tournament worked pretty well for us. We got around 90 registrations out of 200+ employees & we arranged a 5 match tournament with different maps. For the first 4 matches, we have gone with 4 mem squad & then with maps of Livik, Erangal, Sanhok & Payload. Then based on the number of kills & ranking assigned points & picked a winner after 4 matches. The last match is a solo match erangel which is for the fun purpose though. Just like how we send an Email to all employees after the activity, we followed for this one also with the team standings & winners photos.

        Overall that was a fun event & we are looking for more possibilities in future with Ludo & other games by which the participant count will be increased.

        Feel free to add this in the article. 🙂 If possible, a link to our company website ( keka . com )

        Thanks

  • Pawan Kumar says:

    Hello Ashley, the article is really great. You shared some amazing team building activities here. We also do some fun activities at our company. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for sharing these team building activities and its really great. I gonna share these ideas in our company management team. I think it will help our coworkers confidence and team spirit. Once again thanks for this ideas.

  • Amanda says:

    Our entire team at The Center for Sales Strategy recently participated in a virtual scavenger hunt as part of a team-building activity. I’ll be honest, at first, I thought it was going to be a disaster! But it turned out to be SO much fun! You don’t consider games like this “team-building” until afterward and you realize how much you learned about people and how much you connected with them. We have happy hours, high-five Fridays, and more, but the virtual scavenger hunt will be a lifelong memory!

  • Virtual team building has the power to make remote teams feel as tight-knit as on-site teams. This is especially true if you leverage purpose, vision, and enthusiasm to plan crowd-pleasing virtual team building activities.

  • Very Insightful Article 🙂

  • Janhvi N says:

    Very useful blog post. In this pandemic we should do virtual team building! These activities are really helpful, thanks for sharing

  • Ronak says:

    Such a thorough post due to the covid-19 our service have actually been massively suffering.
    I looked for digital group building and your short article appeared
    Currently, we’re utilizing a Human Resources Monitoring Software program called Silem for online group building hope it gets to our goal as anticipated.

  • Robert K. says:

    Wow! Such a good list and they are easy to do too. I hope our department can do some virtual team building since even in 2021 things aren’t sure for the COVID to disappear.

  • Helen says:

    Team building is an important aspect of creating positive culture and cohesion in the work environment. These ideas for fostering relationships and engagement are insightful and evidently can mean the difference between helping teams realize their potential or teams losing motivation. Working remote has become a new reality for many individuals and while communication and shared identity can mediate the effects of separation it is apparent that what works for one team may not necessarily work for another. While there are many ways to personalize or engage a team and because every individual is unique and may have their own needs the element that stood out to me as being vital to get right is leadership/ management. Leaders that invest in their team and see their peers as assets can build rapport and generate better performance. Offering supportive elements and team building activities are ways to show care and concern, these emotional elements are part of human nature that help build lasting connections and productivity. A practical element of this is having synchronous communication channels (ex. Slack) in place not only to keep in contact but so that teams are able to see progress on projects, tools have been developed and are constantly being updated to allow remote teams to do more with predictions of future success in productivity and continued use. Despite productivity however I could not help but wonder what effect this will have on employees general well being in the long run. It was difficult for many to maintain a work life balance with mobile phone technologies enabling employees to be reachable 24/7 before the global pandemic, and now with more work now being done from home many have their personal and work lives to contend with in the same space at the same time. It is encouraging to see evidence that both spaces can compliment one another when handled well.

    • Richard Fendler says:

      Completely agree with your thoughts here Helen! Virtual team building is certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, that would trivialize the entire process IMO. Staying connected and engaged while working remotely is a floating target that requires constant assessment as situations evolve over time. Personally, I’m excited that we are having these conversations openly about employee mental health/wellbeing. The fundamental nature of the employer/employee relationship will also need to adapt as times change.

  • Its indeed amazing piece of writing, I would love to try these out with my team!!!

  • We have had been doing it. But I really wish we could have the normal team building activity.

  • Sweta Sharma says:

    Yeah! Precisely what I exactly need to know. You know, sometimes it happens that if you create a team of 10 employees who is friends but their personal disputes hurt the operation and other team member’s growth. But by using these team-building tricks, I know I will get success in handling the whole remotely working staff. Thank you so much Ashley Bell for sharing such a wonderful blog with us. Keep sharing!

  • The steps are excellent and very help for me. Thank for sharing article.

  • Techbmc says:

    This is indeed a very detailed and insightful article on Virtual Team Building Activities. I must commend you for this wonderful piece put out here. I really got value here. Thank you so much Ashley Bell for sharing such a wonderful blog with us. keep it up.

  • Awedus says:

    This is really interesting. Very useful information has been conveyed in this article! Thanks for sharing.

  • puja says:

    can anyone share the virtual games they are playing?

  • Check us out says:

    Nice post! Thanks for taking the time in sharing this post.

  • Hiresmart says:

    Awesome list of the best virtual team building activities for remote teams. These are the much needed information in this period. Thanks for Sharing

  • Queenstartv says:

    Nice information you got here. Thank you for sharing, I already got informed.

  • Vijayshree says:

    Great Share in this pandemic time, as correctly said new normal and virtual….A great way to encourage teamwork and boost employee engagement In HR activity.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. It’s a great article to help
    others understand the concepts in a much easier way.

  • Prem says:

    This is actually very nice information about team building and management. Keep sharing such a great article. Thanks

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