20 Best Global Team Building Ideas for Work

By: | Updated: September 01, 2023

You found our list of the best global team building ideas.

Global team building ideas are activities that help geographically dispersed workers form new connections and sharpen their problem-solving abilities. These ideas include book discussions, online Pictionary, and online health sessions. Global team building is an excellent approach to improving communication, fostering a sense of community, strengthening connections, and boosting morale in geographically distributed workplaces.

These activities are also related to online team building games,  virtual team building activities, and virtual group activities. Many of these exercises can also serve as virtual diversity and inclusion activities.

This article contains:

  • global team building activities
  • global team engagement ideas
  • geographically distributed team building ideas
  • team building activities for teams in different countries

Here we go!

List of global team building ideas

Since many modern workplaces employ remote workers from geographically dispersed locations, virtual team building exercises have become more common. These activities are an excellent way of introducing new team members, increasing employee engagement, and fostering bonds that sustain successful teams and cross-country collaboration. The following are global team building activities you can consider.

1. Mystery Pen Pals

Mystery pen pals involve pairing team members from different locations without revealing their identities initially. Over a set period, these individuals exchange emails or letters, sharing stories, interests, and experiences. The pen pals keep their identities a secret until the end of the exchange, adding an element of surprise and intrigue to the process. This activity fosters communication and connection among team members, encouraging them to build relationships beyond their professional roles.

2. Language Exchange

Language exchange is one of the best geographically distributed team building ideas. During this collaborative activity, team members with different linguistic backgrounds come together to learn and practice different languages. Participants can pair up and take turns teaching each other their native languages or languages they are proficient in. This activity enhances language skills, promotes cultural understanding, and bridges communication gaps within the team.

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3. Virtual Travel Show

In a virtual travel show, team members create short video presentations showcasing interesting places, landmarks, or hidden gems from their regions. These “travel show hosts” take their colleagues on a virtual journey, sharing insights, cultural facts, and personal anecdotes about the locations they feature. This activity is a fantastic way for team members to learn about different parts of the world, boosting cultural appreciation and expanding global awareness.

4. Virtual Trade Fair

A virtual trade fair simulates the experience of an international trade exhibition. Team members develop and present innovative product or service ideas. Each participant or team represents a “booth” and showcases their ideas through multimedia presentations. The rest of the team can visit these virtual booths to learn about the concepts and provide feedback. This activity encourages creativity, entrepreneurial thinking, and collaboration. Members get to explore and evaluate each other’s proposals in a dynamic and interactive format.

5. Map-Based Geography Challenge

During this game, the facilitator will ask questions or provide geography-related tasks, such as identifying countries, capitals, landmarks, or geographical features. Hosts will set a time limit for answering each question or completing tasks to keep the game moving. Participants use a map tool like Google Maps to find the correct answers or complete the tasks. Teams can zoom in, scroll, and interact with the map as needed. Players compete to send answers to the facilitators first. The facilitator keeps track of participants’ scores based on correct answers and completion of tasks. The participant or team with the highest score at the end of the game wins!

6. Idea Mockup

Idea Mockup is a problem-solving challenge that requires you to use your imagination and creativity to develop solutions to everyday business problems. Challenges that encourage “lateral thinking” aim to kickstart participants’ imaginations by prompting employees to consider solutions to issues from new perspectives. Team building exercises that require participants to use their imagination and creativity are a terrific way to get to know one another better and have some fun in the process. Of course, some questions have standard answers. Your team will benefit the most, though, from the subsequent discourse and problem-solving.

You can create a Google Document detailing the specific problem. Afterward, give each participant access to edit the document, one at a time. Each employee will write their idea for solving the problem, and the next worker on the queue can write a different idea or add their input to the previous statement.

7. Virtual Scattergories

Scattergories is a great mental challenge for your list of global team engagement ideas. The activity encourages original thought by testing players’ ability to think quickly as they use a given first letter to name objects in a particular category. The game is best for teams of two to six players, although smaller groups of players are welcome to play in breakout rooms.

Participants can fill out digital forms, or the host can share the lists on their screen, and players can copy and paste their answers into the chat. Once the round begins, players will have two minutes to think of a response to each prompt, and then the moderator will give points according to the rules. The fun aspect of this game lies in the variety of answers. For example, employees in different countries might provide unique responses based on their culture, which is an interesting learning opportunity for other players. For instance, for sports, an employee in the USA might put climbing, while a worker in India might write cricket.

Check out these Scattergories lists.

8. Online Tabletop Simulations

This team building exercise is helpful if you would rather focus on business matters in the global office. To start, make up an issue that often arises at your firm. The next step is to solve the problem using a tabletop simulation. Organizations, including fire departments, armies, and engineering corporations, often engage in these drills.

When dealing with these issues in the real world, finding a solution might take a long time because of the length of time because due to communication delays. Tabletop exercises allow you to concentrate on decision-making processes and alternative courses of action in minutes rather than hours. Due to timezone differences, work issues can often go unattended, pending office hour sync. This activity presents a unique opportunity to learn about your team’s approach to problem-solving.

9. Book Discussions

You may help your staff grow professionally by encouraging them to read regularly. Moreover, introducing five-minute book chats promotes open dialogue on various themes. The activity is perfect for honing your abilities and gaining confidence in front of an audience. All participants should read the same book or article and commit to a time limit for book chats to be productive. Then, after the reading deadline, every participant will have a chance to share their thoughts on the book via a group call. This idea can boost employees’ confidence by allowing them to voice their views despite the possibility of negative feedback.

Check out these lists of books on work topics.

10. Open Mic

This activity is akin to a mini-talent show. You can give everyone a minute to think of unique interests or skills they have or like doing and perform for the group. Employees can share whatever they believe will be interesting for the team, whether a tale, a joke, or playing guitar on video. You can use this activity as an icebreaker or conversation starter at your next meeting. According to research, small talk can help build trust and team cohesion. Also, this activity presents a unique opportunity to learn about each worker’s culture and traditions.

For similar activities, read about virtual talent shows.

11. Guess Whose Answer

For this activity, get every team member to answer the same question. It is advisable to use a question that will elicit varied responses, such as “What was your first pet?” “Where is your birthplace?” or “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?” Every participant should answer and submit their response in a private message to the leaer. The host should read the answers aloud and have the group try to figure out who wrote each one.

The catch is that every participant must agree on each response. Whoever has the solution must conceal the fact that they know it by acting as if they do not know. You can reveal the worker’s identity after every participant has voted. This activity challenges team members to think outside the box to get knowledge from each other.

For inspiration, here is a list of get-to-know-you questions.

12. Quick Recall

Quick Recall is a fantastic exercise for team bonding and memorization. For this activity, you will pose a single question to the group and have participant share their thoughts. It is preferable to ask questions with straightforward responses. For example, you can ask for a book, show, or movie recommendation. You might also ask workers what their favorite color or food is. You can try to frame your inquiry such that it will reveal an interesting fact about the individual.

Once every participant has spoken, have them remember the answer of another worker. Players can not repeat information that someone else mentioned. As the quantity of clues decreases, the difficulty of the game increases. The group can assist an individual who is struggling. This approach guarantees that every worker is involved in the game and that the pace never slows.

13. Emoji Pictionary

For this activity, get every participant to take turns sharing an amusing story about a recent work project or what they experienced recently. However, your workers can only use emojis to express themselves. The remainder of the group should then collaborate to determine what the emoji meant. Finally, the team may engage in conversation by asking the emoji sender follow-up questions. However, the only way participants can reply is with more emojis. This activity can inject some much-needed humor into often tense settings.

14. Virtual Water Coolers

Virtual water coolers are an online space your employees can visit and chat when they need a break. Setting up a Zoom meeting and leaving it open throughout the workday allows attendees to drop in and out as they like. You can also create a designated Slack channel. This idea is suitable for teams who have just switched from a typical office setting to working remotely or for groups in sectors that value constant interaction.

Employees used to remote work and only rarely interact with their coworkers may not value a shared area for breaks. However, it may be beneficial if individuals are used to gathering at regular intervals for a rest and a discussion.

Check out this list of virtual water cooler ideas.

15. Online Wellness Sessions

Remote employees’ wellness session includes several wellbeing-related activities. Usually, the session will begin with an icebreaker, followed by the guide providing some background information on the subject and a few activities. A five-minute guided meditation session is one example of how mindfulness practice may begin. Before starting the actual session, the instructor will go over the basics of mindfulness, including what it is, why it is useful, and how to practice. Additionally, the expert will provide tips on calming your nerves before a team meeting or job interview by practicing belly breathing. Other wellness activities include mental health, financial wellness, routines, and yoga.

Check out more online employee wellness ideas.

16. Powerpoint Parties

Remote presentations are just-for-fun activities where employees give Zoom lectures on a subject of personal interest. Each individual will have ten minutes or more to present a project they worked on or a discussion they led. Since it is difficult to demonstrate a rock wall or a mountain bike during a Zoom conversation, those with active hobbies like rock climbing or mountain biking may prepare a short film instead. For this activity, every participant should be familiar with using Zoom’s screen-sharing features while maintaining audio.

17. Do-It-Yourself Craft Challenge

The DIY craft challenge is one of the fun team building activities for teams in different countries. Each team member has 30 minutes to use common household goods to create a product for the challenge. You may establish guidelines like making an item out of household products, illustrating a video, or doodling. Some members may not be as artistic as others, so try to keep the task as simple as possible. Video instruction could be an excellent way to help participants get started.

You can also invite an artist to lead participants in a simple craft project. You can send your team members a Hoppier gift card loaded with the materials they will need for the session, then sit back and let the artist lead the way.

18. Group Cooking and Recipes Sharing

More individuals are opting to prepare their own meals at home. You can gather your staff on a video conference and ask them to share one of their favorite homemade recipes. If the participants have plenty of time to prepare, they may bring the finished meals as an exhibit. You may even make the activity more interesting by limiting it to recipes for a particular meal like breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Alternatively, have workers deliver meals they know will be unpopular. Since you are working with a global team, you can count on incredible variety.

Here is a list of online group cooking classes.

19. Virtual Campfire

For the virtual campfire, you will host a video chat where every employee shares ghost tales, plays Mad Libs, and maybe even lights candles at their computers to make it seem more like a campfire. If you have frequent review sessions at the end of the day or week, this one is certain to be a crowd-pleaser. You can wrap off your meetings with a fun campfire tale or game to get participants in the camping spirit. In addition, this activity helps coworkers bond and get more familiar with one another. Since most cultures have rich storytelling traditions, these session can be an excellent way for global teammates to bond and connect.

Check out this list of virtual campfire ideas.

20. Home Office Picture Challenge

For this challenge, tell employees to send a photo of their home offices. You can create a photo collage from the collected images to serve as the backdrop for future online team conferences. Another option is to display your office wall collage in a public area of your real workplace. Another option is to have team members create a “Cribs-style” video tour of their home office. You should set a realistic time restriction for the videos, but let them have as much fun as they want with it. You can have employees rate each other’s work desks during the meeting.

Alternatively, you can have team members try to identify whose office is in the picture. The office’s owner must take every precaution to remain unnoticed. In fact, you can ask workers to take photos in a way that makes it difficult to determine the actual owner. The team building exercise might potentially become a regular event. You could challenge your employees to a guessing game by having them send in photos of common workplace items like coffee mugs, headphones, and more.

You can set up a Slack channel or any other kind of online chat and teamwork for this activity. This idea adds a humorous peculiarity that the group can discuss and enjoy.


When it comes to improving teamwork across borders, team building exercises are tops. In addition to facilitating familiarity and the development of trusting working relationships, global team building ideas allow employees to ease off and have fun.

Most of the ideas in this article are low-input team-building exercises. Putting together a strong team requires effort, but it need not be a chore. These online team-building activities will immediately and positively affect morale and output. You and your teammates may decide on the best structure for your group.

You can also check out our lists of virtual event ideasvirtual team challenges, and virtual team outings.

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FAQ: Global team building ideas

Here are frequently asked questions about global team building ideas:

What are global team building ideas?

Global team building ideas are activities employees in different locations can enjoy together. These ideas can boost employee participation and cohesion in the workplace.

What are some good team building activities for teams in different countries?

Some good ideas include open mics, remote scavenger hunts, group cooking, and recipe sharing. You can also host a virtual wellness session for your team.

How do you bring teams in different countries together?

Encouraging teamwork among diverse and geographically dispersed members might be difficult. However, an organization can bring its team members together. Every employee should be able to access the same information regardless of where they are for successful communication. A good idea is to have a central location where staff can congregate and stay on the same page, such as a closed Slack channel.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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