Virtual Employee Engagement Ideas: The Ultimate Guide

12 Oct 2023 - 7:03 PM

Share this:

twitter icon linkedin icon email icon

A guide to virtual employee engagement ideas that managers and HR can use to motivate remote employees. These activities are ways to make work from home employees feel connected to coworkers and foster a sense of belonging in online offices.


  • Intro0
  • Idea # 1: Furry Friends Channel35
  • Idea #2: Spontaneous Contests118
  • Idea #3: Mr. Rogers Calls200
  • Idea #4: Virtual Team Socials246
  • Idea #5: Care Packages340
  • Final Thoughts & Bonus Resources422


Welcome to’s guide to virtual employee engagement. 

In this video, you’ll learn 5 ideas to make remote employees feel motivated, connected, and excited about their jobs.

Remote workers can often feel disconnected from their coworkers and the company at large. Virtual employee engagement strategies make work from home employees feel like part of something bigger than themselves, and give them a positive experience of working for your company.

Let’s get to it!

Idea #1: Furry friends channel

Everyone knows, animal cameos are the best part of working from home. So, start a furry friends Slack channel or group chat. Here, remote employees can share photos of their animal companions, or just cute critters they spot in their everyday lives. This activity is an easy way to establish common ground between coworkers, since many people have pets. This idea also works well for teams in different time zones, since coworkers don’t have to be online at the same time to participate in or appreciate this activity.

You can make channels for other interests too, like astrology, reality TV, or language learning. Google “ Slack channel ideas” for more inspiration.

Idea #2: Spontaneous contests

Contests are a great way to get virtual employees engaged. You can host spontaneous contests by starting Slack threads, group chats, or team emails. For example, “if you could make up any holiday, what would it be?” or “wrong answers only – what should our new company mascot be and why.” Or, do a GIF or picture challenge prompt. Make the prompt broad so that more employees can participate and get to know each other.

Then, pick a favorite or have employees vote via emoji. When you announce the contest, be sure to mention that there will be a prize like an e-gift card to incentivize participation.

Idea #3: Mr. Rogers calls

Even if you regularly run online team socials, teammates might have difficulty finding time to talk or learn about all their coworkers in big group meetings. Mr. Rogers calls give remote employees one-on-one time with colleagues. Work friendships– here we come!

You can use an app like Donut to randomly match up coworkers. Those participants will get a notification on Slack that they’ve been paired, and must schedule a thirty minute call in the coming week. Mr. Rogers calls are a form of a virtual coffee break, where coworkers meet up to chat casually and get to know each other better while working far apart. Anything goes during these convos– the only rule is don’t talk about work!

Idea #4: Virtual team socials

Loneliness is one of the biggest enemies of remote employee engagement. Your team may be hundreds of miles apart, but that doesn’t mean they need to feel worlds apart. Virtual socials help bridge that distance and give teammates together time. You can plan regular team hangouts so that coworkers become more than a name onscreen – they turn into faces, funny anecdotes, and, if all goes well, work friends. Socials can be as simple as team meals, virtual happy hours, or TV-watching parties. Or, give the event a fun theme like “online prom,” where team members dress up in fancy clothes and vote for prom royalty, or “slideshow showdown” where employees compete to present the most amusing 3-minute slideshows on topics of their choosing.

You can Google “ online socials” for more inspiration.

Idea #5: Care packages

With the rise of remote work comes the rise of remote care packages. It’s now common practice for many remote companies to regularly send employees boxes full of goodies like snacks, swag, and self-care items. These hauls take the place of office perks like complimentary snacks and other in-office treats. However, these packages are much more than presents. They are a way to connect with employees offscreen and bring a bit of your remote company into the “real world.” 

Consider also sending individual care packages for special reasons like having a baby or recovering post-surgery.

There you have it! Now you know how to engage remote employees and keep them excited while working virtually!

Want more tips? Google “ virtual employee engagement” for even more ideas.

If you know of work from home teams that could use a little more excitement and meaning in their work routine, hit “like” and “share” to help them find this video. Then “subscribe” to get notified when we post our next one!

Question for the comments – What makes you excited about work?

See you next time!


Join 45,000+ managers
building happier teams.

View experiences