30 Free Virtual Team Building Activities for Work in 2022

Home » Resources » Free Virtual Team Building ActivitiesUpdated: May 11, 2022

This is our list of the best free virtual team building activities for work.

Free virtual team building activities are costless, interesting exercises that teams play online. For example, the dress code game, and the drinking water contest. The purpose of these exercises is to improve employee engagement in remote and hybrid teams at no additional cost.

These ideas are a subset of virtual team building activities and virtual group activities, and are a way to improve virtual staff engagement. These activities can be a way to motivate online employees.

This article includes:

  • free online games for virtual teams
  • free remote team building ideas
  • DIY virtual team building activities
  • free virtual team building activities for students
  • free virtual icebreaker ideas

Here we go!

List of free virtual team building activities

Remote workers and homeschooling students sometimes feel lonely for rarely interacting with colleagues. However, participating in free online games for virtual teams is a great way to curb loneliness and rekindle zeal for remote teams. Here is our pick of interesting activities to consider.

1. Dress Code Game

Corporations and institutions often have specific dress codes. For instance, students, medics, and hospitality staff wear uniforms, which makes it easy to differentiate them from others.

This dress code activity allows team members to change the usual outfits to something fun. To set a special dress code, members will suggest themes and ideas. If the members cannot agree on the dress code, then voting will help finalize the decision.

Examples of dress code ideas include:

  • casual wear, such as T-shirt and jeans
  • themed wear, e.g., wear something red, put on a hat, or wear a scarf
  • semi-casual look, e.g., no ties, or no coats
  • solidarity outfits, for instance, wearing branded clothing bearing slogans in support or opposition of current matters in society. For example, human rights violations/wars liberation and crime
  • awareness clothing. For instance, spreading knowledge on important issues like climate change, and diseases like cancer
  • season-guided outfits, e.g. Halloween and Christmas

This dress code activity ranks best among free virtual team building activities for students, and kids often get excited to express their style and individuality through their clothing. Sharing this activity with colleagues sets the right mood and stimulates interest in work. The dress code game is especially helpful on non-working or non-school days.

2. Free Virtual Podcasts

One of the top free remote team building ideas for connection is listening to a podcast together. The best podcasts for your team are the ones that inspire the members and spur conversations.

Some good podcast ideas for team building cover topics such as:

  • productivity tips
  • forming office friendships
  • dealing with office bullies
  • honing leadership skills

You may choose live or recorded podcasts for your colleagues depending on how you want your team to interact with the podcast author. These podcasts sessions will enhance the connectivity of remote workers into an organization.

You can leave a link to the podcast in the chat section or forward it to members’ emails to access at their convenience.

3. Mood Music

Good music calms the mind, thus boosting your team’s morale, engagement, and productivity.

Incorporating music into your team building activities sets your colleagues in the right state of mind for work. First, find out what genres the team members like and create a playlist of those types of music. If you have a small group, then play the entire song in turns. However, if you are dealing with a large group, then you may create a remix. Finally, play the songs in intervals spread throughout the meeting.

Other benefits of listening to music include:

  • music heightens employee engagement
  • music increases concentration and helps the team absorb information
  • music boosts creativity
  • music helps in improving team members’ morale

For music to be resourceful in team building, that music has to be age-appropriate and should not contain offensive words.

Check out this list of songs about teamwork.

4. Virtual Bingo Bash

You can do a Virtual Bingo Bash with your team to help with networking, breaking the ice, and team bonding.

Here is a card generator to use for your game:

Check out icebreaker Bingo for more ideas.

5. Guided Group Meditation

Guided meditation helps in improving employees’ performance. Meditation also helps team members attain more focus and creativity. In turn, team members communicate and associate better among themselves and with clients.

The team leader will organize a meditation guide to lead the team through the meditation session. The leader may schedule these sessions at the beginning of meetings, early in the morning, or just before the close of the business day.

Meditation uses simple techniques such as breath control to focus the mind on a particular object. This process improves one’s awareness and attention. Here are more reasons to engage in group meditation:

  • meditation improves mental health
  • meditation increases concentration
  • meditation relieves stress and pain
  • meditation enhance inner peace
  • meditation helps employees manage their own emotions better

Some good forms of meditation to practice with your teammates include mindfulness and progressive relaxation. These two are crucial in maintaining a good state of mind when in a stressful work environment.

Here are more virtual employee wellness ideas.

6. Online Scavenger Hunt

The online scavenger hunt is on the best list of free online games for virtual teams of all ages. This game combines memory use and physical activity like walking to locate and present the required items.

To play scavenger hunt, the leader will first decide if the team will compete individually or as a mini team. The leader will then give team members a set of tasks or puzzles to complete. Finally, members will find and show the puzzle items. The thrill of competition is outsmarting each other by being the first to complete the set tasks.

The online scavenger hunt is an interactive game and a good choice for remote teams. This game improves the morale of participants, enhances teamwork, and reduces boredom. Playing scavenger hunt will make your team feel like part of an organization.

For more information on playing this game, check out virtual scavenger hunt ideas & sample lists.

7. Karaoke Contest

Singing karaoke involves deep breathing, and is a simple way for employees to attain composure and clarity of mind. This karaoke contest tests the participants’ singing abilities and styles. This activity will likely induce laughter and create a happy atmosphere for team members.

First, the leader will select a few popular songs with lyrics and share them with the team members at least a day earlier. Then members will listen to the music and practice singing. Each member will select the most preferred song from the list at the scheduled time. Finally, participants will sing along to recorded music and compete to establish the best singer among themselves. At the end of the session, the team will vote for the winner.

Singing also grants the shy and more reserved team members an opportunity to come out of their comfort zones. For this group of people, music enhances their ability to express themselves.

You can also utilize karaoke in learning, especially among children. Karaoke is helpful where the learning content is composed into a song. This way, learners can chant, easily grasping the content.

If team members are too self-conscious to belt out the tunes, then the group could instead do a lip-synch contest and mouth along to the music.

8. Virtual Group Photo

Photographs capture moments and are a special way of keeping memories. So when looking for quick free remote team building ideas, this virtual group photo-taking session will serve you well.

When taking a group photo in person, members gather and take a snapshot. However, this virtual team photo takes a different approach. First, the leader will ask the members to switch the tab into gallery mode to get a vivid image of every member. Once every member is ready, the leader will take a screenshot. For extra fun, you can ask members to pose or make faces. Members may decide to keep the captured group photo or photoshop to a preferred design.

Another way to take a group photo is for each member to take a photo of themselves and send it to the team leader. The team leader will then gather the pictures and form a collage.

The leader can share the final group photo with the teams via social networks like WhatsApp and emails.

Group photos make good memories and help your team remember the virtual discussions you had when you took the photo.

Pro tip: If you have a big group, then you can change the video settings on Zoom to display up to 50 participants on screen at once, to fit more team members in the photo.

9. Water-Drinking Competition

A healthy body and mind are important factors in ensuring that you are productive. Drinking water keeps you hydrated and active to perform tasks better.

In this drinking water competition, the team leader challenges the members to keep a healthy lifestyle by consuming water.

The game should start at the beginning of the meeting. The team leader will ask each member to show and declare the capacity of their water container. For instance, a 500ml bottle or a 250 ml water glass, and the leader will record those details for tallying purposes. The leader will then create a message on a platform like Slack. Next, each member will display an agreed emoji every time they refill their container. For example, if a member has taken two glasses of water, that member will write on the thread 250 ml, followed by two glass emojis. At the end of the session, group members will tally. The person who drinks the most water becomes the winner.

Here are more virtual team challenge ideas.

10. Sharing Inspirational Quotes

Inspirational quotes are among the best costless virtual team building activities for work. Quotes carry deep messages that can inspire your team members.

To conduct this activity, the team leader will ask the team members to prepare and memorize some of the most inspiring quotes. Members can derive these quotes from varied sources like

  • spiritual teachings
  • internet
  • books for work
  • public speeches

During the presentation of the quotes, members will recite the memorized quotes. Each player may share the author and source of the quote. Later, when the teams meet or after the virtual session, they can prepare a quotes scrapbook.

Sharing your favorite inspirational quote is a great way to share insights and brighten up team members.

Check out this list of inspirational work quotes for starter material.

11. Gamification

The gamification strategy makes workplace situations and tasks feel like a game. This activity seeks to enhance people’s natural will to learn, compete, socialize, and express themselves.

To apply gamification, first, decide the rewards and penalties. You will then award participants’ performances on given tasks accordingly. Rewards may include the provision of free parking, for instance. Appropriate penalties should be subtle and not feel punitive or unmotivating. For example, use the first-come, first-serve principle. This basis will motivate the least performing members to improve and not be last.

Here are examples of situations to incorporate gamification in remote teams.

  • in the marketing department, you can penalize the agent who distributes the least products
  • in education and learning sector, reward the best students and trainers
  • on health and lifestyle campaigns, reward those who make the most gains

This activity is suitable for virtual meetings and remote teams and will help improve performance.

12. Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever is among the top online team activities for team bonding. Never Have I Ever is an inter mutual game based on sharing experiences.

In this game, the team leader will decide an action that other members will take regarding the experiences. For instance, taking a sip of coffee. Then, each player will take a turn to give a true statement about themselves. The statements should start with the words, “Never have I ever….” Finally, members with the mentioned experience will perform the action the leader decides.

For example, one member may say, “never have I ever ridden a horse.” all other members who have ridden a horse will take a sip of their coffee. The first person to finish his cup of coffee becomes the winner. Members may keep the game rolling until the last person finishes taking coffee.

Never Gave I Ever questions for work include:

  • never have I ever been late to work
  • never have I ever told on a co-worker
  • never have I ever lied in an interview
  • never have I ever disrespected my colleague

At the end of the game, members can assess the experiences they have in common with colleagues. This game can also be the perfect ice breaker for new team members.

Here is a list of work-friendly Never Have I Ever ideas.

13. Free Virtual Escape Room

The virtual Escape room puzzles are costless virtual team building activities that enhance communication and coordination in remote teams.

In the virtual escape room game, participants will compete against each other or work together to solve puzzles, riddles, and knowledge or decision-making challenges. You play either individually or as a team. You can opt to host free games, inviting your friends to play on the meeting software like zoom. However, you can still pay for the service and enjoy more puzzles

There are many virtual escape room games, including ‘murder in ancient Egypt’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

For more ideas check this list of best virtual escape rooms for team building.

14. Virtual Happy Hour

You can host virtual happy hours so that your remote employees can unwind and get to know each other. How to host a virtual happy hour:

  1. To start, send a video meeting link.
  2. Ask your employees to bring a drink.
  3. Note in your invitation that any beverage is welcome.

For added fun, ask your team members to lead a short tutorial on how to prepare their favorite drinks. Who wouldn’t love to learn to make a mouthwatering Manhattan or a drool-worthy hot chocolate?

Here is a list with more free virtual happy hour ideas.

Pro tip: You can avoid awkward lulls by preparing some talking points ahead of time. Here is a list of the best conversation starters.

15. Virtual Coffee Date

Online coffee chats are one of the easiest and most popular free virtual team building activities you can do. You can schedule virtual coffee dates to satisfy your team’s caffeine fix and connection-with-other-people fix. Invite your teammates to craft a favorite kind of coffee and come ready to talk about it, or buy a cup on the company dime.

Some fun ideas:

  • Send your team paper cups and ask them to decorate.
  • Sample different coffee flavors together with your team, for example maple bacon or salted caramel.
  • Create a virtual coffee lounge your team can drop into for a random chat.

However you decide to structure your coffee date, let the conversation flow like java!

16. Virtual Award Ceremonies

While offices can celebrate wins with fancy ceremonies and cake, virtual workspaces limit remote teams to giving each other shout-outs via email and Slack messages. Despite best efforts, a thumbs-up emoji cannot replace an in-person “congratulations!” Instead, when team members achieve awesome results you can celebrate with online awards.

How to host a virtual award ceremony:

  1. Schedule a video call.
  2. Send employees a treat in the mail days before the event, or give each person a stipend to buy a goody like a cupcake.
  3. For extra fun, ask teammates to dress red-carpet-ready.
  4. Allow employees to make nominations or vote on categories.
  5. Create award certificates and send them to employees after the ceremony.

My recommendation is to host a large award ceremony each quarter, or on a frequency that works best for you.

Here are more ideas for online award ceremonies.

17. Work From Home Cribs

You can turn video conference meetings into a chance for teammates to show off home digs. In the early 2000s, MTV aired a show called “Cribs” where celebrities toured mansions with a camera crew. Your employees might not have a fleet of Cameros in the garage or a champagne fountain, but chances are each person’s house has a unique feature worth mentioning. Perhaps Ernie has a home brewery or Bert built a wonderland for his cats. Home tours give coworkers the chance to learn more about each other’s outside lives.

18. Virtual Dance Party

Virtual dance parties are video meetings where coworkers show off the fanciest dance moves. Working remotely means finding extra opportunities to exercise, and a great way to get your heart pumping is with a virtual dance party.Here are some fun variations:

  • Mystery Dance: Mute the mic and make your coworkers guess which song you are rocking.
  • Everybody Dance Now: Choose certain times of the day that are safe to play. At any point during these blocks, a team member can message “Everybody Dance Now!” and all coworkers will hop on a call and start grooving.
  • Make a Move: This exercise helps your team’s ability to think on the spot and react quickly. Everybody starts dancing. Someone calls out a random word like “busted blender” or “armadillo,” and the rest of the team makes up a move on the spot.
  • All Together Now: Pick a song, choreograph some moves, and then teach the team. Everyone will learn and perform the dance. Consider recording the dance and sharing it with other teams. You can challenge teammates to an inter-departmental dance off. Or, if you polish your routine enough, then you may even be able to incorporate it into a promotional video.

While good technique might impress the group, the point of a virtual dance party is to have fun and get moving.

Here is a list of high energy songs for conferences to start with.

19. Where in the World?

Virtual work offers an alternative to hide and seek, and one variation is called Where in the World?

How to play:

  1. Each employee picks a destination.
  2. Before the meeting, each person emails coworkers clues to their “whereabouts.” Clues might include a zoomed-in Google Map, a word in a host country’s language, or a fact about the locale. Altogether, employees should send at least three clues.
  3. Participants guess the destination.
  4. At the beginning or end of the meeting the employee reveals the “hiding spot.”

To give your team an extra sense of achievement, award correct guesses with prizes like location themed gift cards or company swag.

20. Online Tournament

Host your very own office Olympics, minus the office. Online Tournaments are one of many team building ideas for remote teams. Tournaments spark employees’ competitive spirit while inspiring cooperation. Tournaments are competitions of virtual office games where the team with the most points wins.

How to do a tournament:

  1. Select a series of online team building games.
  2. Create a scoring system. For instance, each game is worth 20 points, or the point value doubles for each game.
  3. Split your coworkers into teams.
  4. Send out a link for a video call.
  5. Lead teams through the games.
  6. Tally up the points and declare a winner.

Interactive online challenges such as games and remote obstacles help employees master remote working skills like communication and time management. While you could coach the art of virtual work through memos, slideshows, and lengthy training courses, a friendly rivalry is a much more fun and memorable way to drive home your point.

21. Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports brackets have long been a staple of social offices. You can include remote workers in on the fun by starting a league of your own. How to play fantasy sports:

  1. Instruct employees to pick dream teams.
  2. No sports fans? No problem. You can design the draft around any topic: pop stars, politics, books.
  3. Keep score and award the winner at the end of the “tournament.”

This activity sneakily trains employees in management skills by encouraging coworkers to think critically to assemble the ideal team.

22. Virtual Break Room

In offices, employees mingle around the water cooler or break room and graze on free food while discussing the latest Netflix binge. Remote employees miss out on these interactions.One way to emulate the break room experience online is to create a virtual break room for your employees. Team chats are the easiest method of fostering casual conversation and team bonding. However, you can get creative with your approach. For example, consider creating a virtual meeting room, a social media group, or an online whiteboard app like Aww as fun alternatives to connect your team.

Here are more ideas for office break rooms.

23. Volunteer Together

A shared mission gives groups purpose. Of course, your employees share the company’s mission, but community volunteering can bring teams even closer together. Virtual volunteer opportunities are more plentiful than you might think. Working remotely does not have to stop your team from giving back to the community. Some ideas:

  • Teams can pick a charity and digitally donate via a website.
  • You can turn volunteering into a competition by playing a virtual team building game or challenge and allowing the winner to pick the charity of choice.
  • If you would rather volunteer together, then your remote team can do projects at a distance. For instance, your team could write letters to soldiers or senior citizens. You could even host a letter writing party via Zoom meeting.
  • Alternatively, the team could tutor or teach a class via webcam.

Many nonprofits require professional services, meaning you can use office skills to help a charity. For example, your marketing team could write blog posts or staff attorneys could offer an hour or two of free consultations.

Here are more ideas to volunteer online with groups.

24. Family Photo Album

My favorite person lives and works abroad. We Facetime every day, but also share an album of our cooking on the cloud. Swapping our dinner pictures makes us feel closer. I love getting an alert on my phone and seeing a plate of pasta or an epic omelette. When I do receive these notifications, I feel like we are eating together.

How to make a family photo album:

  1. Pick a photo sharing platform such as the cloud, social media, or image-hosting sites like Imgur or Photobucket.
  2. Give everyone in the group access.
  3. Encourage your teammates to upload photos.

Your album can have a theme such as “Travel/Vacation,” “Pets,” “Baby Pictures,” or “Holidays.” You can even choose creative themes like “Bucket List,” “Under the Sea,” or “When I Win the Lottery,” and turn it into a photo challenge. Or you can leave the album themeless and let employees upload whatever they would like to share. Either way, a collaborative photo album is a casual and fun way for coworkers to get to know each other.

25. Workout Challenge

Your team sweats when a deadline approaches, but what about the rest of the time? Remote work cuts out commutes and walks across the office, which means less movement. You can help your employees live healthy work from home lives with a team workout challenge.

How to start a workout challenge:

  1. As a group, decide on a fitness goal such as working out 15 minutes a day, running a ten minute mile, or mastering a set of yoga poses.
  2. Track everyone’s progress in a spreadsheet.
  3. Plan a healthy celebration at the end of the challenge. Smoothie-party, anyone?

Exercising together holds everyone accountable and discourages quitting. Workout challenges encourage employees not to neglect physical health while working.

Here are more ideas for team workouts online.

26. Team Theme Dinners

Company dinners have grown especially popular in the last few years. Sharing a meal gives your employees a chance to socialize in a communal atmosphere.Remote employees cannot meet at the same restaurant, but your team can still dine together.

How to host a team theme dinner:

  1. Set a theme such as “Comfort Food,” “Chinese Food,” or “Breakfast for Dinner.” Consider creative themes such as “Ideal Last Meal,” or “Best Meal Memories.”
  2. Send a link for a video meeting.
  3. Allow your employees to expense takeout costs.
  4. Encourage your teammates to talk about the food during the call.

Holding regular team theme dinners helps remote employees feel like a family. Shared experiences like team theme dinners build a team culture.

Here is a list of online cooking classes to try.

27. Gourmet Group Cookbook

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher assigned a class cookbook. Every student brought in a family recipe. The teacher collected all recipes into a book and gave a copy to every student. I still have mine somewhere.I love the idea of a collaborative cookbook for a remote team because food is so comforting and personal. The plus side of sharing recipes vs sharing a meal in person is that your remote team can remake recipes again and again.

How to make a gourmet group cookbook:

  1. Ask all employees to submit recipes.
  2. Collect all recipes into a single PDF file or book.
  3. Send a copy of the cookbook to every team member.

You can host a cooking night and instruct each employee to choose and make another coworker’s recipe. Teammates can swap tips and ingredients to make the ultimate culinary collaboration.

28. Write Away

There are many ways you can use books to bond your teams.

Some ideas:

  • Anthology: You can ask your employees to submit a favorite story to create a group anthology.
  • Audio Book: You can choose a book and ask everyone to read a different section or character during a video call.
  • Book Club: You can pick a book for everyone to read and plan a time to discuss.
  • Exquisite Corpse: You can instruct your team members to write a story together one line at a time. Programs like Google Docs work well for this exercise.
  • Story Workshops: You can help your teams learn to tell a compelling story by inviting an expert storyteller to guide your team through a writing tutorial.

By embracing the art of storytelling, your employees will learn to listen and share effectively.

29. Learn a Language

Learning a language alone is hard. To master a new tongue, you need to practice talking. You and your team can flex your foreign speaking skills together by learning a new language as a group. Learn a Language is one of the more useful team building ideas for remote workers because it teaches a useful skill.

How to learn a language as a group:

  1. Pick a language together. It does not have to be a “real” language. You can choose a fictional language like “Elvish,” or “Klingon,” for fun.
  2. Download an app like Duolingo, or find an online language guide.
  3. Study separately.
  4. Practice speaking together during video meetings.

By learning a new language your team will be practicing communication skills and learning empathy. Your team does not need to become fluent. The point of Learn a Language is to be vulnerable and to help each other grow.

30. Virtual Eye Spy

Eye Spy is a familiar game that is easy to adapt for a virtual setting. The starting player can say, “I spy something that is…” and insert a variable like “purple” or “furry.” Then other players take turns guessing what the player spotted.

Conclusion

Virtual team building activities, including free ones, are necessary for teams working remotely. These teams usually feel isolated due to prolonged absences from the office and colleagues. Therefore, virtual team building activities are handy in cheering such teams. These activities help in curbing loneliness and improving morale.

Contrary to what most folks believe, team building does not have to be expensive. There are plenty of free virtual team building activities to improve connection and a sense of belonging, for example, the dress code game and the karaoke contest.

Planning and scheduling are essential steps for these team building activities. Doing so will engage your team fully and enable them to gather the resources needed for the virtual activities.

Next, check out this list of virtual morning meeting ideas, these virtual team building icebreaker ideas, and this collection of Zoom meeting ideas.

FAQ: Free Virtual Team Building Activities

Here are answers to common questions about free virtual team building activities.

What are some good free virtual team building activities for work?

Some good free virtual team building activities for work include a virtual dance party, a virtual group photo, and water-drinking contests. These activities contribute to making hybrid and remote workers feel more connected.

How do I find free virtual team building activities?

You can find free virtual team building by:

  • researching team building resources in libraries and the internet
  • brainstorming with colleagues
  • consulting team building companies via call or email
  • past personal experiences in team building activities
  • borrowing team building tips from your networks

The above platforms will give you enough ideas to decide on the team building activities you want to check with your teams.

Does virtual team building have to cost money to be effective?

Virtual team building does not have to be costly. When working with a tight budget, you can opt for free online team building activities. For example, sharing moving quotes and playing Never Have I Ever, and free online games. These free activities and games are sufficient to engage your colleagues and achieve the desired team building goal without breaking the bank.

Press "CTRL + D" or "Command + D" to bookmark this page for updates.

You can follow us on LinkedIn for team building tips!

Share this article:

avatar
Author: TeamBuilding

teambuilding.com is a leading authority on team building and engagement at work. We are a little obsessed with company culture.

LinkedIn icon

Want to do team building online?

We have 30+ event types, and thousands of five star reviews.