Are Your Remote Team Building Activities Actually Fun?
As a leader, remote team building activities are one of the best ways to build camaraderie among your remote team members. But let’s face it, most of these “fun” activities can often come across as mundane, boring and awkward.
When done right, remote team-building activities can actually be fun (yes, for real). Here are 20 remote team-building activities that are actually fun and engaging.
Ideas For Virtual Team Building Activities
Icebreakers are a great way to kickstart a conversation. It allows your team members to get comfortable with each other and builds a positive team culture.
1. Two Truths and One Lie
This is classic. It’s a game where each person shares three statements about themselves, out of which one is a lie and the other two are truths. The rest of the team should then guess which statement is a lie and which of them is the truth.
The best part of the game is that it can lead to surprising revelations about each other. It’s a fun way to know each other and start building trust within the game.
2. Desert Island
This is a game that requires a bit of your imagination. To play this game, you’d have to imagine you’re stranded on a deserted island. Each of you is allowed to bring a limited set of items. You should explain why you brought those items and explain how you’d use them to escape the island.
The game is intended to explore your resourcefulness and problem-solving skills.
3. Virtual Scavanger Hunt
To play virtual scavenger hunt, divide your virtual team into small groups of 3 to 4. Assign a list of items to each group. Within the specified time limit, each group should find these items from the confines of their homes or any place they’re working in. The game works on a regular Zoom cal or any other video call platform.
These can include personal items, work stuff and anything under the sun.
4. Birth Map
This is one of the best ways to know everyone on your team. This is how it works – Each participant creates a map of their birthplace and shares interesting facts about it.
For example, if a person is from Mumbai, India, she would draw a rough mind map of her favorite places in Mumbai. She might include the ‘Gateway Of India’, ‘the Marine Drive’, or Mumbai’s famous street food like the Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji. This not only would give her teammates a glimpse of her city but also give an idea about its history and culture.
This can help build stronger connections and foster a sense of camaraderie within the remote team.
5. Bucket List
The Bucket list works very similar to the birth map. But the difference here is that you tell each other your aspirations instead of your birthplace and history.
Once each of you shares your bucket lists, encourage a discussion on common interests and provide ways to support each other in achieving their goals.
Further reading: Discover +30 Ice Breakers Ideas for Zoom.
While icebreaker games are a good way to start a conversation between your team members, some online games can help build healthy competition. Also, it’s a fact that games help build engagement in a work team.
6. Online Trivia Night
Divide your team into smaller groups of 3 to 4 and have them compete for points. While coming up with your own trivia questions can be exhausting, you can use platforms like Quizlet and Kahoot to make your work easier.
The game is simple. Each group tries to answer the questions correctly. Since some trivia can be difficult, it might involve a considerable amount of teamwork and communication.
7. Virtual Board Games
Who doesn’t like board games? Whether offline or online, board games are a way to go to know each other and build some group skills.
Online platforms like Tabletopia, Board games arena or Steam offer a variety of classic games to play.
You can choose from a variety of board games like Monopoly, Scrabble or Settlers of Catan.
This is one game that can be easily adopted by remote teams due to its sheer simplicity. The best way to play this is by dividing your team into multiple groups. One member gets to draw a picture, and the others get to choose what it is. The one who draws the picture gets to choose the theme of the drawing from a lot. If the group guesses it correctly, then they get a point.
To make things easier, you can use online tools like Skribbl or Drawize. It mostly encourages creativity, teamwork, and communication skills.
This is a team-builder game that requires at least 4 players and 2 teams. The 2 teams will be given a grid containing 25 words. And each team will have a spymaster who will give 1-word clues to the rest of their teammates, who then try to guess the word on their grid.
The catch here is that the spymaster should not give a clue that can lead to their teammates guessing their opposing team’s words. Doing so can lead to a deduction in points. Your team wins if all of you get all the words correctly faster than others.
The game improves your communication skills, teamwork and strategic thinking.
You can try online platforms like Tabletopia, Board Game Arena, and Codenames. Plus, others to play it among your remote buddies!
10. Online Escape Rooms
Just like a regular escape room, an online escape room too involves a series of puzzles to unlock your way out of your room. The rules are simple- solve the puzzles given to your team to get a hint to the next until you ultimately unlock your way out.
The fastest team to get out of their rooms is the winner.
“The escape room” and the “escape hunt” have virtual escape rooms on their website. Your team can check this out.
Needless to say, escape rooms can help build team communication and promote critical thinking, problem-solving and others.
Note: Even our day-to-day tool Slack, has fun options for remote teams worth trying!
Wellness And Relaxation
11. Guided Meditation
In a context in which digital burnout is increasingly common, some relaxation is vital for every team, both individually and collectively. The best way to ensure this is through regular sessions of guided meditation.
The way how this can be done is simple. If you know a meditation expert who can conduct virtual sessions, it’s always a good idea to call them to do it for you. But if you don’t know anyone like that, the best place to book a few sessions is on platforms like Calm and Headspace.
While these platforms have personal meditation gurus who can conduct for the entire team, platforms like YouTube have pre-recorded guided meditations that do not cost anything.
12. Yoga Class
Just like meditation, yoga also helps you relax. But apart from mental well-being, yoga involves physical exercises.
Virtual yoga classes for the entire team are a great way to improve the wellbeing of the entire team. There are many yoga teachers who provide online classes on Zoom ranging from different types of yoga like Hatha, vinyasa and restorative yoga. But finding a yoga teacher can be challenging. In such cases, you can check out platforms like Glo, Yogaworks and Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube.
Some prerequisites before starting yoga classes are yoga mats, a quiet place to perform your yoga and a good internet connection.
The best part about yoga is that it decreases stress, increases body flexibility and improves overall fitness.
Yoga involves getting a yoga mat and having plenty of open space to perform it. But exercises can be performed from the comfort of your desks.
Deskercises or desk exercises as you might like to call it are a collection of body movements that can be done from your desk. It helps improve circulation, reduce stiffness, and boost energy levels.
If you know a couple of deskercises, you can teach these to your colleagues yourself. This may involve chair squats, desk push-ups and leg raises.
But if you’re unsure of how to go about it, online fitness programs like Deskcycle can help you out.
Your team members can easily follow along with the routines and perform the exercises at their own pace, making it a great activity to incorporate into a remote team-building event or as a quick break during a busy workday.
14. Online Cooking Classes
Not only is cooking classes fun and educational, but you can also learn some cool culinary skills. With various platforms and plenty of pre-recorded videos on YouTube, having virtual cooking classes for your team can be easy.
Depending on the interests of your team, you can choose various cuisines every week, like Italian, Indian, French, British and vegan.
Platforms like Su La Table, Masterclass and Food Network Kitchen can provide you with good online cooking classes. All you need is a reliable internet connection and some basic kitchen equipment, and you’re good to go!
The best part about cooking classes for the entire team is that it improves creativity, promote healthy eating habits when working from home and are a great activity for remote team-building events or personal enjoyment.
15. Virtual Happy Hours
Happy hours are a great way to socialize with your work buddies from the comfort of your homes. With platforms like Zoom, Meet, and Skype, participants can gather virtually and enjoy drinks and snacks while chatting and playing various games. You try out some virtual games like Pictionary, trivia and virtual charades.
Happy hours is the best place to discuss work-related matters, share personal experiences or simply unwind and catch up. These events are the best ways to maintain social connections and build relationships among your team members.
16. Halloween Costume Contest
What better way to celebrate Halloween with your remote team than by dressing up? Don your best costumes and compete for the best costume prize among your colleagues.
You can use Skype, Zoom and Meet to take turns to show off your costumes while the judge amongst you will decide who wore the best. Of course, the judge should be unbiased and not related to anyone on the team.
A virtual Halloween costume contest is a great way to promote team building and creativity and can be a fun addition to any Halloween celebration.
17. Virtual Secret Santa
Once the Halloween holiday is over, it doesn’t take long before Christmas arrives. And this calls for a Christmas virtual party!
Just like a regular Secret Santa, the virtual version also involves drawing names and secretly buying gifts for their assigned person. While you wouldn’t be able to draw names out of a box, you can definitely pick names using platforms like Elfster, Drawnames or Giftster.
Since your team members will usually be on the other side of the world, it’s always a good idea to give them gift cards, ebooks or vouchers.
The gift opening day can be timed with a virtual party.
18. Easter Egg Hunt
You might remember hunting easter eggs in your childhood. To organize a virtual hunt, you can hide easter eggs in various places online- in documents, webpages or videos. You can give your team a list of clues to find the eggs.
To make things fun, you can time the game and see who finds the eggs the fastest. Platforms like Zoom, Teams and Meet can be used to host and share screens with the team.
The best part about this game is that it fosters collaboration, problem solving and creativity. It is also a fun break from work.
19. Holiday Recipe Exchange
Who doesn’t like good food on holidays? And what better way to spread the joy of food than by sharing your favorite holiday recipes with your buddies at work!
You can organize a recipe exchange by setting up a shared document or spreadsheet where everyone can input their recipe or by using a specialized online platform.
Alternatively, some platforms, such as RecipeZazz and My Great Recipes, even have built-in recipe exchange features.
Either way, a holiday recipe exchange is a great way to spread cheer and celebrate the season with loved ones.
20. Valentine’s Day Social
This Is a fun day to celebrate love with colleagues! It’s an opportunity to come together virtually and participate in Valentine’s activities that promote connection and positivity.
One popular game is virtual speed dating, where participants are paired for short periods to chat and get to know each other. Another activity is to play games like “never have I Ever” or “Two Truths and a Lie” to learn more about each other.
You can use online platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to organize the event and facilitate group activities.
A Valentine’s Day social can help promote team bonding and create a positive workplace or personal environment, making it a great option for celebrating the holiday with loved ones, colleagues, or friends.
What Virtual Event Will You Host Next?
Remote work has become the new normal for many people, and virtual team-building activities have become an essential part of the work experience. These activities not only help team members bond and build stronger relationships but also improve communication, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.
From virtual happy hours to deskercise, guided meditation to project show and tell, there are many options for virtual team building activities, and there’s something for everyone.
By taking the time to plan and participate in these activities, you’ll not only increase your team’s motivation but also create a more engaging and rewarding work experience for everyone involved. So, why not try a few of these activities with your team and see the positive impact they can have on your work culture and productivity?
Team building activities are exercises or events designed to help improve communication, collaboration, and trust among team members. They are important because they can help enhance team performance, boost employee morale, and create a positive work environment.
Some common types of team-building activities include icebreakers, problem-solving challenges, physical activities, and social events. Examples of specific activities include escape rooms, scavenger hunts, and Pictionary.
Factors to consider include the size and composition of the team, the objectives and goals of the activity, and the preferences and comfort levels of team members. It’s important to choose activities that are appropriate for the team’s needs and interests.
Remote team-building activities can be adapted by using virtual platforms and tools to facilitate communication and collaboration. Examples include online games, virtual escape rooms, and virtual team-building activities.
Best practices include setting clear objectives and expectations, providing adequate resources and support, encouraging participation from all team members, and creating a safe and inclusive environment. It’s also important to gather feedback and evaluate the effectiveness of the activity.
Potential pitfalls include choosing activities that are too competitive or divisive, ignoring the preferences and comfort levels of team members, and failing to provide adequate preparation or support. It’s important to carefully consider the needs and goals of the team when planning team building activities.