35 Virtual Team Building Activity Ideas to Engage Remote Employees
We’ve compiled a list of 35 virtual team building ideas to improve morale and bond with your team during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated on March 28, 2022
Remote work is becoming the norm nowadays. And although remote teams may not be able to gather in the breakroom together or take part in traditional in-person company events, that doesn’t mean you can’t get still socialize, interact, have fun, and engage with one another.
There are a ton of virtual team building activities you can use, both free and paid, to help keep your remote team connected.
- 20 Free Virtual Team Building Activities to Try with Your Colleagues
- 1. Digital Card Games
- 2. Donut Meetups on Slack
- 3. Water Cooler Trivia
- 4. Kahoot! E-Learning
- 5. Online Trivia
- 6. Coffee Breaks and Happy Hours
- 7. Houseparty Games
- 8. Recipe Swap
- 9. Guess Whose Workspace
- 10. Movie Night
- 11. Personality Quizzes
- 12. Mario Kart Tour
- 13. Online Fitness Club
- 14. App-Based Word Games
- 15. 8 Ball Pool
- 16. Virtual Icebreaker Games
- 17. Virtual Lunch Meetings
- 18. Birth Map
- 19. Virtual Coworking
- 20. Online Drawing Activities
- 15 Incredible Paid Virtual Team Building Activities for Workgroups
- 1. Virtual Escape Room: Mummy’s Curse
- 2. Virtual Clue Murder Mystery
- 3. Virtual Jeoparty Social
- 4. Virtual Trivia Time Machine
- 5. Virtual Office Olympics
- 6. Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist
- 7. Virtual Game Show Extravaganza
- 8. Virtual Happy Hour Trivia
- 9. Virtual Do-Good Games
- 10. Virtual Code Break
- 11. Virtual Team Pursuit
- 12. Virtual Social Shuffle
- 13. Virtual Time Machine Trivia
- 14. Virtual Trivia Championship
- 15. Virtual Beach Staycation
20 Free Virtual Team Building Activities to Try with Your Colleagues
If you’re looking for a quick and free virtual team building activity, here are a few ideas you’ll love.
1. Digital Card Games
If you and your colleagues are interested in taking part in more classic pastimes together, the website Playing Cards 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!
2. Donut Meetups on Slack
Help members of your organization get to know each other better using the Slack-integrated Donut app.
You can create a variety of different programs that match employees up at a frequency of your choosing. From cross-departmental meetups to new hire introductions, the various ways to connect are endless!
How does it work? Donut will random introduce coworkers through direct message, encouraging them to organize a video chat. Whether they virtually enjoy donuts together is up to them – although highly encouraged by our team!
3. 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.
4. Kahoot! E-Learning
Make learning fun and stay connected with Kahoot! With Kahoot! for business, you can create an interactive question-and-answer presentation in minutes. This online platform offers quiz and open-ended questions, polls, word clouds, and more.
Not meant to be a serious learning and development tool, your questions should be upbeat and relevant to your organization. Think core values, company history, and fun facts about employees.
Once you’ve made your presentation, share your screen with your team using GoToMeeting, Zoom, or any of the previously mentioned video conferencing platforms, and let the e-learning begin!
5. Online Trivia
What’s more fun than putting your skills to the test at a game of virtual trivia with your colleagues? With an app like Springworks’s Trivia extension, you can integrate this fun and engaging game directly into your remote team’s Slack or Microsoft Teams workspace so that you can get together and tackle thousands of quizzes, word puzzles, and trivia questions together.
6. Coffee Breaks and Happy Hours
One of the most enjoyable things about working in an office environment is the social aspect – walking to a nearby coffee shop or going for after-work drinks with colleagues. These are likely the little things that you’re missing.
So, why not plan virtual coffee breaks or happy hours with your team? Using any of the available online video tools like Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts, you can easily establish a remote version of these social activities.
For example, you can schedule 15-minute meetups for coffee once or twice a week and set aside an hour after work once a month for virtual happy hour.
Don’t plan an agenda and try to avoid talking about work. This should be a purely social activity to help employees feel connected and engaged with one another.
7. Houseparty Games
By now, you’ve likely heard of Houseparty, the face-to-face social networking app that’s exploded in popularity over the last few months. And, although this group video chat platform may seem like just another FaceTime or Skype, Houseparty comes with some unique social features – namely games!
Through Houseparty, you can connect with your colleagues and play any number of available games. Here are some of the most popular ones that you can choose from:
- Heads Up!: This is a video-chat version of the hilarious game from Ellen DeGeneres. Players provide clues for a word that one person tries to guess.
- Chips & Guac: In this word association game that’s similar to Apples to Apples, you’ll need between three to eight players before you can get started.
8. Recipe Swap
Everyone’s got to eat, so why not incorporate a little bit of team building into your weekly cooking regime! Start off by asking each person on your team to share their favorite recipe. It could be breakfast, dinner, dessert – the choice is up to you!
Once everyone has submitted their recipe, challenge your colleagues to try one out each week. The entire group can tackle the same one, or you can all try your hand at something different.
Ask your team members to make the recipe before the end of the week and then block off some time to share how it went with each other on a Friday.
9. Guess Whose Workspace
Away from cubicles and uniformed desks, working remotely likely means that each of your colleagues now has a unique “office” setup. Even if they don’t have a home office.
You can turn this unusual circumstance into an opportunity to get to know your coworkers better. Ask each member of your team to snap a photo of a part of their workstation that they feel represents them or their personality.
After everyone has submitted their picture, host a video meeting. Share you screen and one by one have your group guess which item belongs to which team member. This will not only help everyone connect and get to know each other better, it can also bring some laughter to an otherwise odd work situation.
This is one of our favorite Zoom games for work!
10. Movie Night
Do you have a bunch of movie or television buffs on your team? While you can’t exactly head out to the movies as a group right now, you and your colleagues can all plan to watch the same film or show on the same evening.
Decide on a movie or TV show that everyone wants to see and plan a night that you can all commit to watching it. The next day, set aside some time – before a team meeting or at the end of the day – to discuss it.
You can go over themes, favorite characters, or theories that you have, and even encourage a little friendly debate!
Take your movie night to the next level and watch it at the same time as your coworkers while on a video communications app like FaceTime or Houseparty.
11. Personality Quizzes
Get to know your colleagues in a fun new way by taking a personality test together that reveals each of your quirky attributes. Set up a video conference call and go through the questions at the same time. Get your results and share!
Here are a couple different free personality quizzes that you can try with your team:
- 16Personalities: This test takes just over 10 minutes to complete and at the end you’ll receive detailed information about your personality type.
- VIA Character: A personality survey that requires 10 minutes of your time and results in a list of your top character strengths.
12. Mario Kart Tour
If you have a team who loves to game, Mario Kart Tour is a great virtual team building activity to try with your group.
Available for download on iPhones and Androids, you can play this app-based version of Mario Kart right from your smartphone. With access like that, it’s easy to take a quick 15-minute mental break with your team.
Challenge up to seven of your colleagues to a friendly round of races, featuring a cast of your favorite characters from the original video games. Have a video chat open on your computer at the same time to get the full competitive effect!
13. Online Fitness Club
Is your group the outdoorsy, adventuring kind? Just because you can’t head out for a hike or run with your team, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and encourage each other’s fitness goals.
With a social fitness app like Strava, you can easily track your physical activity – from workouts to bike rides – and keep up with your colleagues’ athletic accomplishments.
The app provides analytics for your personal achievements, while also sharing your activity to your network of friends. In your feed, you can also see what your connections have been up to, comment, and give kudos!
14. 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.
15. 8 Ball Pool
Shared appies and beer are likely not the only thing you’re missing about happy hour with your coworkers. For many, the bar games available at local establishments are half the fun of heading out for drinks with your team.
While our team can’t help you with darts or foosball, here’s a suggestion to satisfy your billiards fix: 8 Ball Pool.
With this online video game, you can challenge your colleagues to a virtual round of pool directly through Facebook. Simply sign up through the social network and let the games begin!
16. 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 164 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 159, then jump on a video conference with your colleagues and dive into them.
17. Virtual Lunch Meetings
If you want to give your team the opportunity to simply get together and socialize in a non-work capacity, you might want to consider hosting virtual lunch meetings from time to time.
The premise is simple: give each team member a preset budget – we recommend twenty dollars – that they can expense back to the company. Let everyone grab whatever they want for lunch and simply sign on to Zoom together to chat, catch up, and enjoy each other’s company.
You could even use your lunch meetings as an opportunity to learn new skills. Here’s a guide on how to host a virtual lunch and learn.
18. Birth Map
It can be a lot of fun getting to know a bit more about your colleagues and their histories. And with a virtual team building game like Birth Map, you might be surprised what you learn about people.
In this activity, you’ll need to create a collaborative Google Map. You can do this by:
- Signing into a Google account
- Click Menu > Your Places > Maps
- Click Create Map
- Decide on your location (this can be cities, landmarks, countries, or the entire world)
- Share your map by clicking Share > Sharing Settings and then inviting your colleagues
Once you’ve given access to your teammates, invite them to place a sticker on or near the place where they were born.
Then, using a video conferencing platform of your choice, ask your teammates to share a story from their birthplace or talk about their favorite thing about it.
19. Virtual Coworking
If your team used to thrive off of being in the office, remote work has likely been a challenging transition. Although you can’t be there in person to help support your team with this adjustment, you can offer an online alternative.
For example, some companies are choosing to provide “virtual coworking.” This essentially means keeping a video conference channel open throughout the workday, so that employees can attend and motivate themselves as they please.
It’s important to set ground rules with these open video calls though. Ensure that your team understands that it’s meant to help keep employees focused, and not be a source of distraction.
20. Online Drawing Activities
Looking to satisfy your employees’ creative outlets? A virtual team building activity that gets players to draw right on your screen might be just what you’re looking for.
Here are some free multiplayer options:
- Drawasaurus: Participants take turns drawing a word while everyone else tries to guess what it is. You can access Drawasaurus using your computer, phone, or tablet.
- Drawize: Select the Play with Friends option, create your name, pick your avatar, and either join an existing “room” or create a new one.
You’ll want to connect separately through a video app or your phone, so that you can talk to the people in your room.
15 Incredible Paid Virtual Team Building Activities for Workgroups
If you and your team are in search of a hands-on virtual team building activity that offers a ton of production value and engagement, you might want to consider investing in one of these paid virtual team building activities.
1. Virtual Escape Room: Mummy’s Curse
In this virtual escape room experience, your team will be transported into a pyramid cursed by a restless mummy. You’ll have to work together to uncover clues and solve complex challenges to lift the ancient curse.
2. Virtual Clue Murder Mystery
In one of our most popular app-based team building activities, groups connect virtually using the video communications platform, like Zoom, and the proprietary Outback app. From there, coworkers break out into teams to solve who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit a deadly crime.
Choose to work through the case on your own or have one of our event coordinators virtually host it for you.
Check out How MyZone Used Virtual Team Building to Boost Employee Morale During COVID-19 to see how this version of Clue Murder Mystery works. You can also watch the above video to get a sense of how you and your group can take part.
3. 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.
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 Office Olympics
Will your team earn gold? Channel your inner Olympian and flex your sports trivia knowledge with this Olympic-themed virtual team building activity for remote teams.
6. Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist
There’s been a robbery! Someone has masterminded a heist to steal a priceless collection of precious jewels, and it’s up to you and your team to recover them before time runs out.
Together, you’ll need to uncover hidden clues and solve a series of brain-boggling challenges that require collaboration, creative problem-solving, and outside-the-box thinking. But be quick! The clock is ticking before the stolen score is gone forever.
7. Virtual Game Show Extravaganza
Just because you’re separated from your coworkers, doesn’t mean that playing in an exciting game show-style competition is off the table! In the virtual version of Game Show Extravaganza, you and your team will connect using the video communications platform, Zoom, and the Outback smartphone app.
In groups, tackle photo and trivia challenges that cover a range of topics, including pop culture and politics. You can opt to run the activity yourself or have one of our event coordinators virtually host it for you.
8. 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.
If you’re looking for even more amazing online happy hour activities, check out our article: 33 Unbeatable Virtual Happy Hour Games for Workgroups.
9. Virtual Do-Good Games
Team up with your colleagues for a Virtual Do-Good Games to do some good in the world and give back to those in need, all while having a blast. This is a morale-boosting virtual team building activity that transforms friendly competition into charitable donations.
10. Virtual Code Break
Trivia wizzes will love the opportunity to flex their cognitive muscles in Virtual Code Break, another one of Outback’s virtual team building activities!
Using Zoom and the Outback smartphone app, groups will have to put their heads together to see who can solve the most puzzles, riddles, and trivia before time runs out. The team with the most points at the end will be crowned the winners!
Host the activity yourself or choose to have one of our event coordinators virtually run it for you.
11. Virtual Team Pursuit
Do you have a team that loves a good challenge? Then we’ve got the perfect virtual team building game for you.
In Team Pursuit, your team will need to get their energy levels up in order to tackle a series of mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges, earning points for each successfully completed challenge.
What kinds of challenges will you be up against? We’re glad you asked. A few highlights include:
- Air Band Geeks: Who used to or still does play an instrument? Find at least three band geeks and have them hold “air” versions of their instruments. Record a 5-second video of them playing part of a song.
- Juggling Responsibilities: Who can juggle? Take a 5-second video with that person juggling three or more objects.
- Tasty Trivia: You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it?
- Commonalities: Determine your team’s most unique commonality. Once you figure out the most unique thing your group has in common, write a rap or rhyme about it of at least 4 lines. Then record a 5-second video of a teammate performing it.
- Sing Along: Choose a popular song and rewrite the lyrics to be about your team. Record a 5-second video of your team performing it and enter the original song’s title in caption space.
Your team won’t be able to help but have a blast with this activity.
12. Virtual Social Shuffle
Get to know your colleagues and build better connections with this ultra-social virtual team building activity for remote groups. Your group will learn fun facts about one another as you tackle a series of themed discussion topics together and engage in exploratory conversations.
13. Virtual Time Machine Trivia
Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through pop culture history, in this virtual trivia game for remote teams! Transform your home offices into a virtual game show experience – game show host, scoreboard, buzzer, and all!
14. Virtual Trivia Championship
Compete with your colleagues, collaborate with your teammates, test your trivia knowledge, and conquer the leaderboard with this virtual trivia activity for remote work groups.
Virtual team building activities are a great way to connect your remote employees during this time of self-isolation and working from home. Whether you choose to participate in a virtual Clue Murder Mystery, an online game of cards, a video coffee date, or an e-learning session, these activities can all help boost employee morale and engagement.
15. Virtual Beach Staycation
We’re all in desperate need of a vacation. Luckily, Captain Furling has room for you and your colleagues on his virtually chartered yacht. Come aboard and transport to your “inner Cancun” for a tropical online team building adventure.
Has your group tried any virtual team building activities? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
Learn More About Discounted Virtual Solutions for Your Group
For more information about how your group can take part in a virtual team building, training, or coaching solution, reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.
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