Looking for some effective team building activities to bring your remote team together?
But here’s the thing: Remote team building is much different than in-office team building. When your team is never in the same room together, you have to take a different approach to build your company culture.
Make it a top priority for your remote teams to engage in regular team socializing. Remote games will help to build a genuine human connection with remote workers. Plus, it has a big impact on company culture.
In this article, you’ll find 25 team building activities that you can implement to build a strong remote team.
We’ve scoured the internet for these ideas and remote team games and drawn on our own experience too.
25 Remote Team Building Activities
1. Share Photos of Your Life
Ask your team to share a picture of something of their personal life, it could be anything: their pets, their favorite mug to drink coffee, their kids, childhood photo, a favorite TV show, or even the view from their apartment or house. Then ask them to share the story behind the photo they shared.
It’s a fun and surprising way to get to know one another and creates a casual atmosphere. You can do this over a Zoom call as your Friday evening activity.
Or you can create a Slack channel just for this. At Springworks, we have a #HumansofSpringworks Slack channel which is dedicated to stuff like this. No work talk allowed!
2. Play Virtual Games
There are some popular games available online or can be adapted to be played virtually:
Pictionary: You can use tools like Skribbl, Wordraw, and Drawasaurus or just use Zoom’s Share Screen+Whiteboard feature.
Charades: You just need to come to the video call with some good ideas!
Draw the Picture: A communication game where someone describes a picture, everyone draws what they hear.
3. Run Virtual Quiz to Engage Remote Team
Jump on Trivia (a virtual quiz and game tool), and create a quiz. Invite your team to join and start testing their knowledge. You can create rounds of questions and give teams a few seconds to respond to each question. Tally the scores and announce the winner. It will help teams bond, no matter where they are.
4. Two Truths and a Lie
It’s a light and fun game. Host a video call and ask each employee to tell two truths and one lie about themselves(not work-related). Keep the lie realistic, so it won’t be so easy for everyone to guess. The other employees need to guess which was the lie and whoever guesses the right gains gift.
5. Bucket List Challenge
It’s a better idea to get to know your team by sharing their bucket list. Each person’s bucket list says a lot about them.
Each day choose a person and ask them to share their bucket list. Everyone listening can then spend 5-10 minutes discussing the bucket list and asking fun questions.
Maybe a teammate could help you clear one thing from your bucket list.
6. Movie Night
Let your employees vote on what movie they want to watch on Friday night. Create a dedicated channel on Slack for it and keep the instant messaging open so that team members can make remarks and jokes while watching the movie.
7. Donut Pairing
Donut is a Slack app that regularly pairs up team members who don’t know each other well to spread trust and collaboration across your organization. If team members live in the same city, then they can even meet up for coffee or lunch if they really hit it off!
8. A Peek Into Each Other’s Rooms
This is a fun game. Each team member will take a short video showing off their room, workspace, and some of their favorite things. You can ask one team member to show off their room or home at the beginning of each day morning.
9. Show and Tell
Have you ever played this game in your school?
Basically, each team member gets one minute to show and talk about something they own. This could be anything – such as your favorite straws, a tug of war trophy, or even a passion project!
After each turn, save two minutes for a conversation from the rest of the team.
10. Virtual Book Club
To encourage your remote teams to read, you can start a virtual book club.
Employees express what they’re interested in reading about, which leads to the book choice. Let them choose the book format — whether it’s an audiobook, ebook, or printed book.
A book club helps remote teams mingle and socialize, it also encourages them to engage in critical thinking and be open to differing opinions.
11. Virtual Tea or Coffee Time
Instead of doing the same old thing remote teams expect, make your next virtual meeting fun by hosting a Virtual tea or coffee time. Have some time off from the work to come together for a virtual coffee/Tea break and get involved in some random chit chats.
Do a video conference call, include quick online team building games like icebreakers, and use breakout rooms to have themed conversations while having your coffee or tea.
12. DIY Craft Challenge
It’s a 30-minute fun activity you can play with your team. Host a virtual call, share the rules, and then set a 30-minute timer. Each employee has 30-minutes to build something from materials available at their home. It will spark creativity and give your team a fun way to interact together.
13. Recipe Challenge
Invite your remote team to participate in a recipe roundup, which could have themes like “that one thing you make better than everyone else.” Create a Slack channel, and if you like you can do a challenge where participants prepare the recipes and post photos. It’s a really fun activity.
14. Karaoke for Remote Teams
Assign a song to each employee or let them choose their own. Let them record an individual karaoke session singing the best they can. Collect the clips from them and then runs a virtual ceremony that includes showing the best songs and awarding gift cards. You can also mash the clips together in one video and share it on social media.
15. 2-Minutes of Push-up Challenge
Push-up is an excellent full-body exercise to make you fit and the best thing is, you can do them anywhere without any special equipment.
Run a virtual 2-minute push-up challenge, start a timer or turn on a song. Then, do as many push-ups as you can in two minutes and post your score. Encourage people to stay in the competition as long as they can.
16. 10-Common Things
Divide your team into small groups and ask them to spend a few minutes coming up with a list of 10 things they have in common (No work-related stuff).
It will create a bond, flow discussion and laughter, and get the group thinking creatively. Ask them to share their list with the whole team on the Slack channel.
17. The Birth Map
This activity will allow you to learn something new about your team. Share an image of a world map (Use Google Map) in your group chat. Then, invite your team to place a sticker on or near their place of birth. Ask them to share a story or fun facts about their birthplace.
18. Dig up a Fact
It’s a great activity to educate your team while having fun. Ask your teams to decide on a topic (Oceans, famous personality, country, or profession) and then dig up some amazing, less known (but interesting) facts about it. This activity brings everyone together for delivering one common thing.
19. Build a Storyline
We, humans, live for stories! Create a Zoom call and give some random words to every person. And then, ask them to create a story using those random words. It’s really fun and your employees are also going to love it as they spread laughter with their stories.
20. Nicest Workspace Contest
Who has the nicest workspace? – That’s a great contest you could organize for your team.
Ask everyone to arrange their desk and send a pic of their workspace. Something like this:
This contest will get your people organized. Let the employees vote for the photos and comment on them. They will start discussing organizational techniques.
21. Save the Company from Aliens
Invite your team on a Zoom call and tell them a situation like this: Aliens landed on Earth and their goal is to destroy on your company. How will you act to save it from a disaster?
Your team members will start coming up with creative/funny solutions and jokes. This is a great way for them to show their personality while having a relaxed conversation.
22. Who’s the Workspace Is It Anyway?
This activity is simple, but also a lot of fun. Just create a shareable file and ask employees to take a picture of his or her ‘home office’ and upload it to the file. Then, get everyone else to try and guess who’s desk is who’s. Sounds fun?
23. Online Charades
Charades is a family favorite game. This game is fun and lighthearted. It’s a great way to charge your employees and push them out of their comfort zone.
Divide your team in two separate teams that will be competing against each other. Decide a Charade theme like movies. Start a video conference call and ask employees to join. Each team member will get a chance to act out a scene. The first person to get it right wins a point for their team. At the end of the game, count the points of each team.
24. Joke of the Week
Laughter is the best medicine. At the start of every week, create a theme for the joke. For example, jokes about animals or jokes about engineers. You can set up a Slack channel just for this and start every week with a new joke theme. This activity is simple and employees can show their sense of humor.
25. Walking Challenge
Physical health is equally as important as mental health. You should motivate your remote team to be more physically active in a fun and engaging way. How? With the help of a team-building game called “Walking Challenge.”
Ask your team to install the Fitbit (or any other fitness app) on their phones and set challenges. For example, who can do the most steps in a week? Create a leaderboard to track their performances and the employee who performs the best wins a prize! 🙂
BONUS: Fun Slack Apps for Remote Team Building
Donut: It helps team members who’ve never met connect with one another.
Remote Work Tips: Get curated and relevant remote work tips and best practices.
Standuply: Automate the management and education of your teams in Slack.
BirthdayBot: Designed for Slack that automatically posts original birthday messages in your team chat.
PlayPlay.io: If your company doesn’t have a game room, you can play pingpong right in Slack.
KudosBot: Recognize your best employees directly in Slack.
Icebreakers: Help your teams build strong relationships with Icebreakers.
Ideakeep: Use Slack to share and save ideas.
Songg: Songg is a cross-platform music sharing app for your team
Trivia: Trivia is the new way to connect with your remote team while playing exciting quizzes!
Remote team building is a process which increases employee motivation, efficiency, and collaboration. It makes employees feel connected and valued, which in turn makes them highly productive.
Here are some quick ways to engage your virtual team:
– Keep the communication open.
– Give managers training on managing remote teams.
– Have random water cooler chats.
– Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries virtually.
– Don’t forget to have one-on-one chats.
Find a virtual team-building activity in this in-depth article. We’ve outlined 25 fun games and activities to fit any need or situation.
You can start these activities right now. You just need a team, a collaboration and screen sharing tool, and an understanding of how to make virtual activities successful.
Now It’s Your Turn
To bring a remote team closer, you have to think of fun team building activities. Try these virtual games today!
Got some other team building ideas that can boost employee engagement among your remote workers? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. We can’t wait to hear your virtual team building success stories!
Originally published May 11, 2020 5:22 PM, updated Aug 12 2020
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