Remote work has become noticeably more popular the past few years, and now, it’s more prevalent than ever. The global pandemic has caused companies as prominent as Facebook, Twitter, and Slack to make what may have once been a radical announcement: all employees can work from home forever. And that means it’s time for some virtual team building.
As we continue to work away from the office, employee engagement and team building are still important in order to help workers feel connected. Team leaders and HR managers alike know that putting in a little extra effort can go a long way in terms of growing your team and building team cohesion.
To help you on your way, we’ve put together this guide with 75 awesome team building activities to try out. Some take just a few minutes and can be added to the beginning or end of your daily virtual meetings, and others are better saved for a special event where you have more time. These include:
- Quick 5 minute virtual activities
- Virtual games
- Free virtual team building activities
- Paid virtual team building activities
- Virtual event ideas and celebrations
We encourage you to try a few and see what works for your team. Happy team building!
- Why is Team Building Important?
- Best Virtual Team Building Activities
- Bonus Virtual Team Building Activities & Event Ideas
- Virtual Team Building Tools & Software
Why is Team Building Important?
Remote employees have different challenges than employees who go into a physical workspace and interact with their coworkers face-to-face. It can be much more difficult to build strong relationships with teammates, and relationships are critical for increasing engagement, productivity, and retention.
Because of the challenges involved in forming and maintaining relationships remotely, many employees who work from home can become lonely. Whether your team is completely remote, partially dispersed, or anywhere in between, finding a way to connect online is critical to keep loneliness at bay and encourage relationship building.
The rest of this blog will cover some ideas for virtual team-building events and activities that you can do with your team anytime.
Best Team Building Activities
While many of these activities can be used on any virtual events or meeting platform, some of the instructions are more specific to Scoot’s virtual events platform, which offers guests the ability to move around from one conversation to another. It’s not required to use Scoot, but if you’re looking to boost engagement in virtual meetings, it’s an inexpensive way to do just that, with mingling, movement, and even music.
The best virtual team building activities are the ones you will actually do. And our team also believes in the power of laughter, so many of these are designed to help your team laugh a little. Whether you add them in before or after a virtual team meeting, or schedule a specific happy hour or virtual event and want to add some activities in to get the conversation going, these are 75 of the best virtual team building activities.
We’ve separated them out into two sections: this one below is full of the best virtual team building activities that don’t require too much planning or budget. The next section below includes some bonus activities and event ideas if you’ve got some cash and/or a longer planning window.
Lightning Scavenger HuntThis one is fun and doesn’t involve a lot of planning or money. The organizer creates a list of random items, and reads them out one at a time. Once an item is read, everyone runs to find one of those things and brings it back to their screen. You can give points to the first person to bring back that item, and the person with the most points at the end wins!
Elevator Pitch-OffThis one is especially great for sales teams, but it can work for anyone in the company. Have each person record a 30-second video of themselves pitching the company. Then you can watch them all together and vote on the best. These can be fun, because the time limit is pretty tricky for most people to abide by.
I SpyJust like the real-life version, but this time you have to look into people’s backgrounds to spy something. No background blurring allowed!
Split the RoomNow’s the time to ask crazy hypothetical questions and see where everyone stands. Ask any question, and then ask people to move to a particular side of the room based on their answer. Then chat among yourselves until the next question is asked.
Speed DatingTake the dating element out of this activity and it’s really great for getting to know your colleagues a little better. Split the team in half and have one half spread out around the Preciate room. This half will stay where they are, and the other half will rotate around the room. Spend 2, 5, or 10 minutes (however much time allows) with each colleague before moving on to the next person. You as the organizer can offer specific conversation starters or just let the conversation flow naturally, and hop into presenter mode or chat with the group when you’re ready for people to switch.
Name that BabyThis one takes a bit of extra planning but is adorable and fun. Ask each team member to share a baby picture of themselves with the organizer before the event. During this session, the host will share each picture and have your team guess who it is. You can also add these as Room Items inside a Preciate room and have your team move around from one picture to another and write down their guesses before sending them to the organizer.
Guess WhoOne person chooses a random coworker, and has the team guess who they are thinking of by asking yes or no questions. When eliminated, each person can turn off their screen until only 1 person is remaining.
“Most likely to….”If your team knows each other pretty well, superlatives can be a fun way to recognize each other. Come up with a list of “most likely to’s”, and then have everyone vote on who that sounds most like. These can be serious or silly, depending on what type of party you are planning.
Name Your Superpower
If you could have any super power, what would it be? Take turns going around the group and sharing what you would choose.
Blind PowerPointSend your lucky presenter a powerpoint presentation with 5 random slides in it (or you can choose to present it on their behalf). They have to talk through the slides without having seen the presentation in advance. This can be work related, or you can just make it silly. Either way, you’re in for a laugh.
Personal Facts Guessing GameSimilar to the baby picture game above, ask each person to send in one or 2 personal facts about themselves to the leader in advance. The organizer chooses one fact for each person, and lists them on a document without the names. Now open up a networking session in Preciate where people can move around the room freely, with the goal to identify who belongs to each personal fact. Everyone moves around to chat with others, just as you would in real life. The person who can figure out the most of them in the allotted time wins.
Guess the MovieBreak your group into small teams who spread out around the Preciate room. Show screenshots, quick clips, quotes from, or even the basic plots of 10 movies, and have teams name them and then submit them to the organizer. The team who gets the most right wins.
Rose, Bud, ThornThis activity is an opportunity to check in with everyone on the team on a more individual level. Each person takes a minute to share a Rose (something they are happy about), a Bud (something they’re looking forward to), and a Thorn (something they aren’t so happy about). It’s a quick way to check in and see how everyone is doing and what’s on their mind.
Desktop Show & Tell Each person in the group takes a turn sharing something on their desk or in their office with the group. This one is pretty simple but a great way to get to know each other and get a glimpse into their life beyond what you see behind them in virtual meetings.
Name that Song The host plays part of a song, and the first person to name that song correctly in the chat wins! (Just make sure no one is cheating using Shazam on their phones.)
Describe Yourself in 3 Words This is just as simple as it sounds. Go around the room and describe yourself in just 3 words. If you’re looking to get to know each other better, this can help. Great for new teams or welcoming new members during onboarding.
Company History Trivia How well does your team know the history of your company? Use a company history trivia game to find out, and offer a prize to the winner or winning team.
Never Have I Ever Take turns with one person going into presenter mode, and saying one thing they’ve never done. Anyone who has done this thing before must either turn off their camera or identify themselves. People get really creative with this one, and you’ll learn some interesting things about your colleagues!
Show Us Around We know so little of each other’s personal lives, even though we work from home. Name one person every week to give a little tour of whatever part of their personal lives they would like to share.
Bucket List Challenge Everyone goes around the room and shares their bucket list, which is a great opportunity to build connections with other coworkers beyond your work lives. Maybe you’ll meet someone else who wants to run a marathon or learn to brew beer at home. This is a great chance to increase team cohesion as you learn more about your team.
Would You Rather Would you rather have bionic arms, or bionic legs? Would you rather go into the past and meet your ancestors or go into the future and meet your great-great grandchildren? Would you rather have more time or more money? Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button on your life? Would you rather be able to talk with the animals or speak all foreign languages?
Trivia If you’re looking for just plain fun, trivia is always a popular option. You can have seasonal questions or change themes for each round. There are unlimited options. Break teams into groups, have them spread out in the Preciate room so no one else can hear them, and have one person from each team submit the answers to the host at the end of each round.
2 Truths & A Lie Divide the room into small groups of 4-7 people and have each team spread out. Each person takes a turn listing 3 facts about themselves, and the rest of the group has to guess which one is the lie. You will definitely learn something new about your colleagues.
Team Reflection We are often moving so quickly that we miss out on opportunities for reflection. Before jumping into your next virtual meeting, spend some time reflecting on the success of the company or the team. What has worked? What hasn’t? Who has been going above and beyond?
Meet the Pet or Person Yes, you probably know your coworkers by now. But do you know who else they live with? Ask each person to introduce their pets or another person in their house to the group.
Fun Fact Everyone can share a fun fact about themselves that the group may be surprised by.
Neck-Up Costume Contest Since we only know many of our remote colleagues from the neck up, we might as well embrace that and add a costume contest into it. Who can get more creative than popping on a hat or mask?
Product Trivia This is an alternative to company trivia, and a great option for sales teams specifically. If you’re looking for a way to test your team’s knowledge, product specific trivia can be the way to go. Ask someone from the product team to host or ask the questions, and see who the smartest person is!
Photo Booth As with all great photo booths, props are a must. Ask everyone to show up ready for a photo booth. This can be anything from angel wings to an ugly sweater, a Hawaiian shirt, a sombrero, or a hot pink wig. If you want to go the extra mile, send each of your employees something as a gift in advance of your gathering. The sky is the limit but it’s always fun to surprise the team with a random gift for future virtual parties. And of course, don’t forget to take some group photos! Preciate has a photobooth feature that will take 3 photos of your screen and turn them into a gif.
Spelling Bee A good old fashioned spelling bee is a quick and easy form of competition to break up the workday and declare a new winner. All you need is a list of words and some willing competitors.
Real Time Snapshot Have everyone snap a picture from wherever they are and share it with the group. Upload these as a collage and share with the group to get to know your team a little better.
Chair Stretching Nothing ramps up the energy in a meeting like moving your body. And we don’t always have to take exercise to the extreme. Stretching is good any time of day, and helps get the blood flowing.
Recognition Party Take your peer-to-peer recognition one step higher. At the beginning or end of your next all hands meeting, ask everyone to stay online and send at least 10 peer recognitions to colleagues who deserve it. Or just open the floor and let anyone shout out a recognition to a deserving coworker on the call.
Data Discovery Rather than having just your leadership team talking at everyone else, get the rest of the team involved. Ask someone to present some data findings that their team has found insightful to the team, and open up a discussion.
Meditation Break If mental health is a priority at your company, this is an excellent option. You can screen share a quick guided meditation video for the team to follow along with. No cameras required, and only a few minutes will bring back the focus for your team.
Guess the Artist Ask your team to each draw something that represents them or how they’re feeling, without signing it. Send those drawings to a moderator, who will share them individually during a team meeting. Then you can guess who the artist is. You never know what kind of hidden talent may be in your team!
Open Mic Give everyone a heads up that they will have about a minute at the beginning of the meeting to take the virtual stage. Ask them to find or write an icebreaker joke, read a poem, sing a song, play the mandolin—anything they want!
X or Y This is a quick and easy one that you can add to any virtual meeting. Change out X or Y to find out how the team splits when choosing a preference for 2 things. Here are a few examples, but the possibilities are endless: Summer or Winter? Pepsi or Coke? Sweet or Salty?
Company Meme Challenge Ask everyone to share one meme that they think best describes your company. Then have the team vote on the winner.
Where Do You See Our Company in a Year? Go around the team and let everyone share their thoughts for where they and the team will be in a year.
Charades This kids’ classic game still works virtually — and it’s not just for kids! Everyone takes a turn acting something out silently, while the others guess what it is. This can work in teams as a competition or just on an individual basis without a winner.
“Yes, and!” This is a classic improv game that helps us practice accepting each other’s ideas and cooperating with each other. Begin by making a simple statement. Then, each person to follow will say, “yes, and” adding to the statement and further developing it. This game can be played in pairs or groups!
No Smiling This is a quick stress reliever. Start by telling the group not to smile, and the first person to smile or laugh loses. It won’t take long.
10 Things in Common Have the team break into smaller groups. Each small group has to come up with a list of 10 things they all have in common. This is a great way to identify shared interests and values, and to grow closer as a team.
International Holiday Celebrations For global and distributed teams, this should be an easy way to get to know each other’s culture. Ask your team to share their local celebrations and traditions with the group.
WorldleWe all know Wordle, the game where you guess a 5-letter word. Worldle is a geography version where you see the outline of a country, and have to guess which country that is. This one is tough – and it usually requires a few hints unless you have some real geography whizzes among your team.
Virtual City Tour Bring the world to your team with a virtual city tour. Have a local strap on a GoPro camera and lead you around their city.
Employee of the Month Recognition is never a bad thing, and celebrating one stand-out employee each month is something that deserves a little extra time and effort. Have the leadership team vote on who is most deserving, and recognize this person in the way that works best for your team – via email, during an All-Hands, or in a company newsletter.
New Employee Quiz Ask new employees to create a slide about themselves to share at the next All-Hands meeting. And prior to this meeting, have the new employee send you a few facts about themselves that they will be discussing. Once they are done presenting, quiz the rest of your team on what you learned. The person who remembers the most about your new team member wins!
Icebreaker Questions Sometimes, it can be tough to get the social juices flowing during a virtual event. You can’t use the typical body language and other social cues that are present during an in-person event, and there is no bathroom or punch bowl to escape to in moments of awkwardness. In these cases, it can be helpful to come prepared with some icebreaker questions for the group. This is especially useful when it’s a group of people who don’t know each other as well. Examples of icebreaker questions include:
What sports did you play growing up?
What are your favorite hobbies?
What was the last concert you saw?
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Where is your favorite place you have lived?
What is the most handy item you bought recently?
Photo Challenge At the beginning of each week, come up with a simple challenge to share with the team, and ask everyone to submit their best photo for that theme. This can be anything from “best family photo” or “cutest pet” to “prettiest plant”. These can be shared via Slack or you can wait until a specific time at the end of the week to present the finalists and vote on a winner.
Ugly Sweater Competition Bringing holiday traditions to a remote event is a great way to get the group excited to participate. Ugly sweater parties are a mainstay in American culture, so why not do a virtual version with your people this year? Have everyone wear their ugliest sweater and line up in a virtual event space like Preciate. Then, have the designated judge go down the line and view each sweater. Give some time for deliberation, and pick the annual winner! If you want, you can mail the winner a reward such as a gift card to their favorite coffee place.
Haiku Writing Contest Haikus are a concise form of poetry that traditionally articulate appreciation for the present moment and a connection to nature. They follow a three line structure with the first being 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables, and the third 5 again. Tap into everyone’s creative side and make sure they are actively present by writing short little poems either together as a team or individually. When you’re done, you can vote on whose you liked best!
Bonus Virtual Team Building Activities & Events
While the virtual activities and icebreakers in the section above don’t take too much planning or budget and can be accomplished quickly and easily, these bonus activities are more suited for a virtual event or happy hour. If you’ve got some extra money and are looking for ways to spoil your team a little bit, we’ve got some suggestions! Take a look at these virtual team building activity ideas and events.
Pizza PartyEverybody likes pizza! If you’ve ever been to a school gathering, summer camp, sleepover, etc., you’ll know the association between fun and those cardboard boxes of pizza showing up at just the right time. To bring those same feelings to a remote team, consider coordinating pizza deliveries to each of your team members’ houses during a virtual get-together. (Just remember to consider any dietary restrictions.) Let them eat
MixologyFollow along with a cocktail recipe together and have every person create the same drink. You could also make a contest out of it and have each person create their best looking cocktail to be judged by the rest of the team.
BuzzwordsIn this drinking game, assign a rule to various buzzwords and hold everyone accountable in following along. If your team or industry has a lot of jargon, that can be a good place to start. Every time someone mentions a particular buzzword, they must take a sip of their cocktail.
Virtual BingoMail cards in advance, or provide a digital version for play. Even better if you’re offering prizes to the winners! If you want to take this one up a notch, hire a Drag Queen to host your bingo!
Super Steps ChallengeStart a challenge to see who can take the most steps in a certain time period – a day, a week or a month. While this doesn’t bring a remote team physically together, the active of working towards a shared goal will help build the team regardless. Be sure to gather to track your progress and announce the leaders and final winners as the competition continues.
Paint & SipSend each member of your team a basic painting kit, or have them purchase one themselves. Watch each other paint while you all sip on the beverage of your choice. At the end, share your creations with the rest of your virtual room and vote on whose is the best. Who is the best Bob Ross among you?
Giveaways and PrizesNothing motivates some people like a good old fashioned giveaway or prize. Whether you’re doing a random drawing, a lottery, raffle, or contest, prizes can oftentimes get everyone engaged.
Cookie WarsSend everyone on your team a cookie decorating kit in advance, then bring them all together to decorate at the same time. This doesn’t have to just be for gingerbread! Add in a cocktail and you’ve got a party!
BookclubFor your book lovers, consider starting a bookclub to gather on a monthly or semi-regular basis to discuss a book that everyone has read. This can be something educational and related to your business, or you could choose something unrelated and just for fun. Setting aside an hour to gather and discuss the book is a great way to grow as a team.
Charcuterie Board ContestThis one requires a bit of advance preparation if you want everyone to have an equal chance. Work simultaneously from your own homes to build and present the best charcuterie board with ingredients of your choice. Everyone gets to present, then you vote on a winner. And then you eat!
Team Birthday PartiesIt tends to mean a lot to people when their birthdays get celebrated, even as adults. Try to get a crew together, and schedule a time when everyone can hop into a virtual event together to say happy birthday. To go the extra mile, send the birthday person a gift in the mail beforehand. Include a card or note that tells them not to open the gift until you all get together, and then have them open it on camera.
YogaLooking for a healthier alternative to all the drinking? Yoga classes are a great way to break up the workday and help everyone get focused. If you don’t want to hire a yoga teacher to teach an entire class, try leading the group in some simple chair yoga poses.
Virtual Escape RoomIf your team loves solving puzzles, escape rooms are a good idea. This is a good option for more team building if that’s what you’re going for, although it definitely works best for smaller sized groups.
Home DeliveriesIf you have the budget, sending something to each member of your team that they can enjoy with their families at home is a good alternative to providing a meal with your team in the office. And who doesn’t love a special home delivery? This could be anything from pie to drinks to an actual meal.
Murder MysteryThis is also fun for smaller groups, and requires a bit of advanced planning. Each person is assigned a character, and everyone is expected to show up dressed the part and “in character.” Usually best played with the help of a professional team to organize.
Virtual Cooking ClassThis one works best if you have the budget to bring in a professional to lead the room in a virtual cooking class but is a great team bonding exercise, and a fun reward after having accomplished something together. This can be something small like a cocktail or appetizer, or even assembling a charcuterie board.
Fantasy Football LeagueIf you already have sports lovers among your team, there might already be some fantasy football activity happening. Invite someone to organize a fantasy football league and bring the team together on a regular basis to celebrate the leaderboard as it changes week over week.
DIY Craft CompetitionCrafting is fun, but it can get a bit boring to do on your own. Bring crafting to the team by planning a virtual DIY competition. If the craft you choose is complicated, go ahead and send instructions and materials out to your teammates beforehand. Otherwise, forward the instructions digitally and have your team gather the materials from around the house. Then, hop on a virtual meeting platform like Preciate. Make sure everyone starts at the same time, and set a timer. When the timer goes off, have the designated judge pick the winner of the DIY craft competition.
Virtual Wine, Beer or Whiskey TastingIf you miss the open bars from your previous parties, this could be a nice alternative. Each employee receives a tasting kit in the mail, and you taste them together under the guidance of a sommelier or other expert.
Ice Cream SocialConnect with a private virtual event planner (like Unboxed Experiences) who will arrange for kits to be sent directly to all of your guests. On event day, a virtual guide will show everyone how to make ice cream in a bag (seriously, it works!).
Dance PartyMusic brings people together, and its presence can greatly improve the mood during a social event online. Preciate was built with this fundamental truth in mind, making it easy to listen to music together while socializing virtually. The music is located on the right side of the room, so navigate further right with a group of people and have a little dance party where the music is loudest. Feel free to get creative with expressing yourself through a video stream!
Host Online Office Olympics
If you’ve got the time, planning a longer Olympic-style competition for your team is a great way to take a break from work and have some healthy competition. Pick a few from the many team building activities listed above, or plan your own activities that can be performed individually and virtually. And don’t forget the medals and medal ceremony for the winners!
Virtual Team Building Tools & Software
With so many teams now allowing their employees to work remotely amid the Great Resignation, there is an increased need for virtual team building. While these virtual team building activities can’t fix a broken company culture, they can go a long way to helping your distributed teams feel a little bit more connected.
Relationships are impossible to build on Zoom, and yet it’s one of the most commonly used tools for corporate communication. And while Zoom fatigue is real, and remote employees hate most virtual meetings, we don’t have to accept this as the way it is. There are alternative virtual meeting platforms that are more fun and actually promote socialization and relationship building.
Scoot is a new kind of virtual meeting technology that allows users to move around the virtual room, from one conversation to another, just like in real life. Our audio proximity technology means that voices get louder as you move closer to the speaker, and quieter as you move away.
Rather than trying to build a close-knit team with 50 silent black boxes on Zoom, take a look at Scoot as an alternative. It has all the same presentation functionalities as other video conferencing platforms, as well as other cool features, like background music, and room background customization so you can match the virtual room to your event or brand.
Want to learn more? Dive into the Scoot website to take a look for yourself, or request a demo to speak with someone from our team.
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