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57 Virtual Team Building Activities To Boost Remote Employee Morale In 2020

By October 14, 2020 October 29th, 2020 17 Comments

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Virtual Team Building ActivitiesVirtual 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 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, 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 virtual team building activities & games for remote teams

Icebreaker Activities For Remote Teams

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

Rose/Thorn Virtual Icebreaker

*This virtual icebreaker works best with a free remote employee culture building and recognition platform, such as Assembly

  • 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

Critical Thinking Virtual Icebreaker

*This virtual icebreaker also pairs well with the Clue Virtual Murder Mystery game from Outback Virtual Team Building.

  • 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.
    • Spend about one minute discussing the differences in your answers and what you each learned from one another.

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 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)

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 a 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.

“Do You REALLY Know Your Team?” Virtual Icebreaker

*This virtual icebreaker is a part of Let’s Roam Virtual Team Builders. It’s one of 5 “get-to-know-you” games in the remote team builders package.  

  • Source: Let’s Roam Virtual Team Builders (with fun games and built-in video conferencing)
  • Time: About 10 minutes
  • How-to:
    • Before your next meeting, ask all your teammates to answer three “about me” questions. (i.e. 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 team bonding!

Dance Party Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: Museum Hack
  • 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.

Fact Recall Mission Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: The Go Game
  • 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.

“One Word And I’m In” Virtual Icebreaker

*This virtual icebreaker works best when your team needs a pick-me-up. Enhance the experience by sending treats to your teammates, like SnackNation’s Work-From-Home Wellness Box.

  • Time: Less than 1 minute per person
  • How-to:
    • Start your virtual pow-wow by having everyone pick one word to fill in the sentence “I’m ______ and I’m in”
    • 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

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.

“Big Talk” Virtual Icebreaker

  • Source: TeamBonding
  • 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.

“Name That Emoji Song Title” Virtual Icebreaker

  • Time: 3 minutes per person’s turn
  • How-to:
    • Start a group messaging chain either through phone or your virtual team communication platform of choice.
    • 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)

Remote Team Building Activities And Games

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

Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Teams

Whether you choose a virtual activity 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: $7 – $68 per person (before 50% off discount)
  • Time: 1- 3 hours (Various Options)
  • Best for: Teams of 3 – 300
  • Formats:
    • Self-Hosted: Our team will provide you with everything you need to effortlessly and successfully plan your virtual activity, plus dedicated support.
    • Virtually-Hosted: Our 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 four of our most popular team building activities in a virtual format specifically designed for remote corporate groups. For a limited time, get 50% off your virtual team building activity.

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

Game Show Extravaganza: Remote teams can go head-to-head in this virtual online gameshow competition. Together, teams will need to tackle photo and trivia challenges covering everything from pop culture to politics as they race against the clock.

Code Break: Solve online puzzles, riddles, and virtual trivia with your remote colleagues in this brain-boggling virtual team building competition. This virtually-hosted activity is ideal for groups that love solving complex-problems and aren’t afraid of a little friendly competition.

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.

Get in touch with an Outback Virtual Team Building Employee Engagement Consultant to discuss your unique needs and find the perfect activity for your group. We can even customize the virtual activity to include challenges that are unique to your business and employees – family members can participate as well.

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

 


Virtual Happy Hour

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

A big thanks to Kisha from our Facebook group for sharing this idea! Here are some virtual happy hour tips based on her experience:

  • Use a reliable video conference call service, such as Nextiva.
  • Limit guests to 10 – 20 to boost engagement.
  • Have a variety of icebreakers prepared in case things get awkward. (Kisha found that doing a pet show-and-tell really helped boost everyone’s engagement.)

Pro-Tip: Spice up your team meetings with City Brew Tours’ Virtual Beer and Cheese Pairing Happy Hour. Their expert guides 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 creamy brie. Your co-workers can bring their own favorite brews, or you can select from one of City Brew Tours’ curated pairing boxes delivered right to their doors prior to your virtual event.


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 an online icebreaker quiz 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 team to bond over things they have in common. You can schedule 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.


Virtual Reality Rental – Sick Of Zoom? Try Virtual Reality Team Building!

Virtual Reality Team Building

Does the thought of hopping on yet another Zoom call make you cringe? Us too.

That’s why we made it our mission to find a better way. We remember a time when happy hours, team outings, and team building activities were more than just an exercise in seeing how long you can sit still and stare at your computer screen.

The good news is that there is a better way! It’s called Virtual Reality Team Building. It is budget friendly and specifically designed for teams working from home. New to VR? No problem! We will provide everything you and your team need to have a blast including shipping the equipment directly to each team member’s home.

Recent happy team building customers include: Amgen, Verizon, eBay, Roche, RCI, & Salesforce!

Here is a quick video showing you how Virtual Reality Team Building works:

 


Go Remote – The Virtual Water Cooler

  • Paid activity
  • Time: About 45 minutes
  • Best for: Teams of 10 – 20

Go Remote 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, Go Remote 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 games here. Learn more at thegogame.com!

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 – 50

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 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 game 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.

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 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.


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 an 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


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 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:

 


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.


Treasure Mountain

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

Developed by expert online 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. 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!


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.


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 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 activity, 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!

Non-Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Teams

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 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 Fitness Challenge

Have everyone on the team vow to complete a fitness challenge. The 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.

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 And 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 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.

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.

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 Culture
Building

Kazoo 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.

Online Collaboration
Tools

Swivle 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.

Online Collaboration
Tools

Hive 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 Remote Teams

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.

  • 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.
  • Bonusly Slack Integration. Bring employee recognition to your audience in Slack.
  • 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 2020?

  • 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 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 successful virtual team building events 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!

17 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!

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