17 Online Office Games to Re-Energize Your Remote Team
For hybrid and remote teams, taking part in online office games can be a great way to recharge their batteries, revitalize their bonds, and reinforce company culture.
Remote work offers a lot of great benefits, but it can also feel isolating at times, and that’s why online office games are a great way to keep your team connected and engaged.
After all, since in-person interactions and socialization are limited, 20% of remote workers struggle with loneliness which can, in turn, become strenuous on company culture. On the flip side of that coin, though, social connectivity makes employees two to three times more likely to maintain or increase their productivity in a remote environment.
Feeling unsure where to start when it comes to planning virtual office games your entire team will love?
We’ve got some suggestions for you.
- 10 Free Online Office Game Ideas
- 1. Never Have I Ever
- 2. Digital Card Games
- 3. Wikirace
- 4. App-Based Word Games
- 5. Codenames
- 6. Online Scavenger Hunt
- 7. Virtual Icebreaker Games
- 8. Type Speed Competition
- 9. Guess Whose Refrigerator
- 10. Guess Whose Workspace
- 7 Paid Online Office Activities
10 Free Online Office Game Ideas
If you’re looking for fun virtual office activities you can do with your team for free, here are ten suggestions we think you’ll enjoy.
1. Never Have I Ever
The rules of Never Have I Ever are simple: players take turns listing potential experiences they’ve never had, using the phrase “never have I ever…”
If someone has, in fact, done that thing, they have to take some action—whether it’s a sip of their drink at happy hour or a spin in their office chair.
This is a great way to find out hilarious new things about your colleagues.
2. Digital Card Games
Keep it simple! Classic card games can be a ton of ton without requiring much work to set up. And yes, they can be played online. Check out the website Playing Cards which offers all of your childhood favorites. Simply create a “room,” and choose from games, such as:
- Crazy Eights
- Go Fish
- Match Up
Add an extra social element by connecting through video while you play the game, so you can see everyone’s reactions and hear the smack talk!
Wikipedia isn’t just for finding information. Well, technically it is, but you can also use it for racing.
Hear us out: it’s called Wikiracing.
First decide whether to play individually or in teams. Then, select a random Wikipedia page. This will be your beginning page.
Next, choose a destination page.
The goal of this game is to get from the beginning page to the destination page using only links within the Wikipedia page.
Generally, the destination page is something very unrelated to the beginning page. For example, going from apple to orange would not be challenging, as you would simply start at the apple page, click a link to fruit and then proceed to orange. A race from Roman Colosseum to orthopedic surgeon would be a much more difficult game.
The first person or team to reach the destination page wins!
4. App-Based Word Games
Get the competitive spirit going by challenging your coworkers to a friendly round of your favorite word game.
There are plenty to choose from, including:
- Scrabble GO: You can now play the classic board game virtually with this new and updated version of online Scrabble.
- Words with Friends: Challenge your coworkers to dueling wordplay as you take turns building words crossword-puzzle style.
- Scattergories: Play your colleagues in the app-based version of Scattergories! You’ll need to come up with creative answers that start with a randomly selected letter to earn points.
Set up a video or telephone call to make the most of your competition.
Codenames is a game that involves splitting into two teams and having each team guess which words in a set are related to a hint-word given by a teammate (known as the spymaster). So, start by dividing up into teams—the red team and the blue team.
Then, head to the online version of Codenames and follow the start-up instructions.
When you’re playing this game virtually, have one player who is not a spymaster share their screen. As players attempt to guess which cards their spymaster hints at, send teams off into breakout rooms so that they can discuss their strategy. Whichever team successfully guesses all cards with their color first wins the game.
6. Online Scavenger Hunt
We know what you’re thinking: scavenger hunts are most definitely an in-person kind of activity. But they can easily be done virtually as well.
It’s simple: whoever’s coordinating the event just needs to develop a list of items that might be found in someone’s house and then call them out one by one.
As everyone scrambles to find the item, the first person back to their computer with it will get a point.
Have some fun with this and don’t be afraid to send people running all over their house, but just make sure the items you include are reasonably likely to be found in someone’s house.
7. Virtual Icebreaker Games
You know what they say. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! So, whether you’ve got new teammates getting onboarded or just want to get reacquainted with your existing colleagues after all this time apart, you’ll love virtual icebreaker games.
We know that the word “icebreakers” probably makes you cringe. It’s likely it brings to mind thoughts of tacky pick-up lines at speed dating sessions or an uncomfortable “get-to-know-your-colleagues” game.
But hear us out.
They can be fun, not awkward, and bring out some hilarious responses.
We wrote an entire blog post outlining 300 icebreaker questions for some quick and fun team bonding.
- Be honest, how often do you work from bed?
- If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?
- If you could add a word to the dictionary, what would you add and what would it mean?
- The zombie apocalypse is coming. Who are three people you want on your team?
If you got a laugh at those, check out the other 295 questions, then jump on a video conference with your colleagues and dive into them.
8. Type Speed Competition
Back in elementary school, you may have used tools to test how many words per minute you can type. Well, now you can use the same kind of tools to stir up some friendly competition among your colleagues.
Using a free tool like typingtest.com, ask each of the teammates to do a one-minute typing challenge and then have each person share their results.
You can do this individually or as teams, and if you really want to make things interesting, you can incentivize the game by offering a prize to the winning player or group.
9. Guess Whose Refrigerator
One thing that everyone has, and which is almost always a little different for each person, is a refrigerator.
So, for a simple online office game, you can play Guess Whose Refrigerator.
All you need to do is have everybody send a photo of their fridge to the person who’s coordinating the activity. Then you can show them all one by one, with each player submitting their answer for who they think this fridge belongs to.
Everyone who gets it right gets a point. Then, when every fridge has been shown, the person with the most points wins!
10. Guess Whose Workspace
You can broaden the scope of the last game to include your colleagues’ workspaces as well.
Since people don’t have cookie-cutter cubicles or desks at home, they’ve probably set their remote office up in a way that’s unique to them.
So, just like you would with their fridges in the last examples, have each employee send a photo of their workspace—or of a specific part of their office that they feel represents them—to the person organizing the game.
Then, have each person guess which workstation belongs to which person. For each one they get right, players get a point, and whoever has the most points after all the pictures have been reviewed wins!
7 Paid Online Office Activities
If you’re looking to take your online office games to the next level, investing in a hands-on paid activity is a great option. Here are seven cost-effective online office activities your workgroup will get a kick out of.
1. Virtual Jeoparty Social
If your remote team is eager to socialize, have some fun as a group, and channel their competitive spirit, we’ve got just the thing for you! With Virtual Jeoparty Social, you and your colleagues will step into your very own virtual Jeopardy-style game show—equipped with a buzzer button, a professional actor as your host, and an immersive game show platform! Best of all, this game has been infused with an ultra-social twist: players will take part in a unique social mixer challenge between each round.
2. Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist
With Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist, you and your team will need to retrieve a bounty of stolen jewels by uncovering hidden clues and solving a series of brain-boggling challenges. You’ll need to exercise collaboration, creative problem-solving, and outside-the-box thinking to track them down. But you’ll have to be quick! The clock is ticking before the stolen score is gone forever.
3. Virtual Clue Murder Mystery
Using video conferencing software alongside Outback’s proprietary app, your group will split into teams, examine clues, review case files, and channel their inner detectives as they race against the clock to solve the mystery of who had the means, motive, and opportunity to murder Neil Davidson.
4. Virtual Trivia Time Machine
Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from the pre-pandemic 21st century through the decades all the way to the 60s.
This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes, is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing.
Your virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “tablehopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers!
And if you’re team is a bunch of trivia lovers, you might want to check out our list of the best virtual trivia games for work.
5. Virtual Team Pursuit
Help your remote team get re-energized by tackling fun virtual challenges with their colleagues. In groups, your remote employees will tackle a series of mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges, earning points for each one successfully completed. Whichever has the most points when time runs out will be crowned the winners!
And if this sounds like it’s up your alley, you’ll probably love these 31 incredible Zoom games to play with your colleagues.
6. Virtual Happy Hour Trivia
This is no ordinary happy hour trivia game. In this activity, you and your team will take a trip to Hamish McDuff’s virtual pub. This hilarious Scottish pub owner is the legendary host of a trivia game with more than 20 category options to choose from, including sports, food and drink, and even celebrity real estate. This virtual pub trivia game is guaranteed to produce plenty of laughs and lift team “spirits.” It might even include a few special surprises.
And if you want even more ways to make your virtual social get-together even more fun, take a cruise through these 35 unbeatable virtual happy hour games for work.
7. Virtual Beach Staycation
Let’s be honest: we all love a good vacation. Luckily, Captain Furling has room for you and your colleagues on his virtually chartered yacht. Come aboard and channel your “inner Cancun” for a tropical online team building adventure.
Captain Furling’s chartered yacht welcomes online guests aboard his luxury vessel and quickly takes them out of their homes to a gorgeous beach in Cancun.
With ocean soundscapes and delightful vacation destination footage, your travel companions will compete with their knowledge of travel destinations, vacation-themed movies, summer pop hits, and even a cabana-wear contest. Your yacht captain gives guests a playfully immersive experience for a virtual team vacation from your workday that your colleagues truly deserve.
8. Water Cooler Trivia
If you’re trying to find fun and unique ways to keep your team engaged on an ongoing basis, Water Cooler Trivia is a great way to do it. Water Cooler Trivia integrates into your email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams channels and automatically sends trivia quizzes directly to your team members on a weekly basis. You can choose the trivia schedule and categories, and Water Cooler Trivia will write the questions, automate their distribution, and grade the results for you.
Remote work doesn’t have to mean being isolated from your colleagues. It’s just a matter of getting proactive in how you keep your team members connected. And with online office games like these, you can keep in touch, socialize, and have a lot of laughs together, all at the same time.
Does your organization participate in any online office games that we might’ve missed in this article? If so, let us know in the comments section and we’ll add it to this list for all to enjoy.
Learn about fun and high-energy virtual team building activities you can use as online office games.
If you’ve got questions about how virtual team building can be a fun and engaging way for your remote team to build bonds and connect with one another, reach out to an Employee Engagement Consultant.