24 Virtual Team Building Activity Ideas to Engage Remote Employees
We’ve compiled a list of 24 virtual team building ideas to improve morale and bond with your team during the COVID-19 Pandemic. With the majority of corporate groups working from their homes, virtual team building activities are one of the few ways you can help keep remote employees connected and engaged.
Updated on July 31, 2020
Although you may not be able to gather in the breakroom or take part in traditional company events right now, there are many virtual team building options to help your group stay engaged!
And if you’re unsure how to go about planning a virtual team building activity, don’t worry. We’ve got a resource for that too. Just click here.
In this article, you’ll learn about 20 ideas for virtual team building activities, including:
- Clue Murder Mystery
- Coffee Breaks and Happy Hours
- Houseparty Games
- Recipe Swap
- Game Show Extravaganza
- Digital Card Games
- Donut Meetups on Slack
- Kahoot! E-Learning
- Guess Whose Workspace
- Code Break
- Movie Night
- Personality Quizzes
- Mario Kart Tour
- Online Drawing Activities
- Training and Development
- Online Fitness Club
- App-Based Word Games
- 8 Ball Pool
- Virtual Coworking
- Coaching and Consulting
- Virtual Team Pursuit
- Virtual Icebreaker Games
- Virtual Lunch Meetings
- Birth Map
Our team searched the web and came up with a list of our top 24 favorite virtual team building activities. From pure fun to learning and development options, you and your colleagues can try any of the below to help stay connected during this unprecedented time.
Engaging Virtual Team Building Activities to Try with Your Colleagues
Stay social while social distancing! Here are 24 ways you can virtually connect with your teammates while working from home.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
- Trivia: Choose from 18 different decks that cover a range of topics and test your coworkers’ trivia knowledge!
- 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.
4. 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.
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.
6. 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!
7. 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!
8. 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!
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.
Trivia wizzes will love the opportunity to flex their cognitive muscles in 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. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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!
14. 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. Training and Development
Challenging your team to continue to grow professionally while they’re stuck at home can be a great way to keep employees motivated.
With Outback’s training programs, our professional facilitators will virtually instruct your entire group using Zoom. This provides the added benefit of your team members getting to be face-to-face (via video, of course) as they hone their skills.
Here are a few training options you and your group can choose from:
- Time Management: When Your Environment Has Changed and Expectations Haven’t
- Virtual Communication: What You Gain and What You Lose
- Laughter and Productivity: Why Both Are Needed Right Now
- Leading from Afar: Getting Results from a Distance
16. 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!
17. 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 boardgame 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.
18. 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!
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. Coaching and Consulting
It’s not just employees who need virtual team building right now. If your leadership group is struggling to remain cohesive through this time of isolation and remote work, a virtual coaching solution may be exactly what you need.
Working with one of our mindset and management consultants, you and your colleagues will be virtually led through a custom-built session.
Not sure where to start? Our team recommends the following solutions for leadership groups who are having trouble with the current situation:
- Change Management Consulting: Help equip your team to drive successful organizational change by fostering a mindset that allows your people to lead it.
- Unique Challenges Consulting: Learn how to adopt a success-oriented mindset when your organization comes up against a new and unique business challenge.
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.
22. 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 The Best 164 Team Building Questions and Icebreakers for Meetings, but you can apply them to almost any scenario.
- 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
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.
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.