60 Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Teams

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June 29, 2020

Here is our list of virtual team building activities for remote teams.

Virtual team building activities are group activities that you conduct online or remotely. Examples of activity types include icebreaker questions, virtual campfires, and group fitness classes.

These activities are a type of virtual team building.

This list includes:

  • remote team building activities
  • online team building activities
  • team building activities for conference calls
  • team building activities for telecommuters
  • fun activities for remote employees
  • work from home activities

And more 🙂

Let’s get into it.

List of virtual team building activities

From Sweatpants Dilemma to Mister Rogers Calls to 3PM with Yoga Norman, check out the virtual team building ideas below.

1. tiny campfire 🔥 [most popular]

tiny campfire is one of the most popular virtual team activities in the world. We created tiny campfire as a way to engage remote teams around a “semi-virtual” experience that includes s’mores and an actual small campfire.

Here’s how it works:

  1. A week or so before your scheduled event, we send each of your team members a s’more kit in the mail. The kit includes graham crackers, mini marshmallows, Hershey chocolate, wood matches, and a tiny tealight campfire.
  2. On “camp day” your team members login into a secure video conference room that we provide for a 90 minute experience.
  3. The virtual activities include camp games like Pack It: Home Scavenger Hunt, smart trivia and historic ghost stories. The entire experience is run by one of our senior “camp counselor” facilitators.
  4. During the ghost stories, your team members each light a little campfire and prepare real s’mores.

tiny campfire is fun, nostalgic, wildly engaging and the perfect “hands on” activity for teams that work remotely. Also, we’ve run tiny campfire events for organizations like Google, Uber, Square Space, CVS and the US Department of Homeland Security. So, you are in good hands 🙂

Learn more about tiny campfire 🔥.

2. Tea vs Coffee 🍵 × ☕ [relaxing]

Tea vs Coffee is another semi-virtual experience that includes games, stories, guided meditation and real tea and coffee tasting experience. The event is engaging, calming, and a centering experience that guests describe as “helping you forget about everything that is going on in the world right now.”

Tea vs Coffee is another event where we send your team members a kit in the mail. In this case, the kit includes four exotic beverages, including two teas and two coffees. For example, your mix might include turmeric tea and a specialty mushroom coffee with immunity boosting properties.

The event is a 90 minute facilitated experience, conducted over a secure video conference line. an experienced instructor will weave your team through guided meditation, games and challenges and imaginative stories about the origins of tea and coffee. While you sip and enjoy the beverages, the instructor will also share facts about the flavor compounds and associated health benefits.

Learn more about Tea vs Coffee.

3. Online Office Games 🎏 [high energy]

Online Office Games is a form of virtual “Office Olympics” that includes spirited challenges, games and activities for remote teams. Example activities include fast-paced trivia, Go Get It lightning scavenger hunts, and a communication sharpening game called “Can You Hear Me Now?”.

Watch this video to learn more about Online Office Games:

Online Office Games is a 90 minute online team building event and is run over a video conference line. Your host will divide your people into teams and encourage them through a series of fun games and competitions. Online Office Games is energetic, spirited, collaborative, competitive, and everything you need to build some serious team engagement while working from home.

Learn more about Online Office Games.

4. Online Team Building Bingo

Online Team Building Bingo, sometimes called Remote Work Bingo or Work From Home Bingo is a fun game you can play on conferences calls.

Here is a template you can use for your first game:

Here is how to play:

  1. Start by distributing cards to your team members.
  2. If you have more than 10 people then use breakout rooms to encourage small group dynamics.
  3. Award prizes to whoever finishes a row or “x” first.

Check out our resource on Online Team Building Bingo for a blank template you can customize, plus more rules and tips too.

5. Sweatpants Dilemma

Anyone that works from home has faced the challenge of deciding between comfy pants and hard pants. Now, you can use this dilemma as a fun way to bring your team together for virtual team building activities.

Here are the rules:

  1. Create a list of players in the Sweatpants Dilemma.
  2. Decide on a timeline, which should be at least one week and no more than one month.
  3. At any time, a team member can shout “pants” and everyone participating has to stand up.
  4. If everyone is wearing sweatpants then everyone gets 1 point. If one person is wearing hard pants then that person gets 3 points and no-one else gets any points. If more than one person is wearing hard pants then those players get zero points and everyone else gets 3 points.
  5. Tally scores and have players compete for the most points. Awarding prizes is a cool way to jazz up the activity and keep your team engaged.

Sweatpants Dilemma is somewhat modelled after a decision analysis framework called Prisoner’s Dilemma. The game mechanics are fun and easy to understand, which means you can get started quickly.

6. Tree or Bob Ross

Tree or Bob Ross is an online game you can do entirely through the spoken word. The game mechanics are similar to 20 Questions or Eye Spy and other virtual activities where players aim to identify the object of another player’s attention.

To start, one player chooses an identity, which can be anything from an object to a concept. On a road trip to Canada, one friend chose to be a small rubber ball and another was famine. Explore your imagination and feel free to choose really difficult identities.

The player with the identity is known as The Post, and all other players can bombard The Post with unlimited questions to figure out what the identity is.

The opening question is traditionally, “is it more like a tree, or more like Bob Ross?”, to which The Post must answer only by naming one or the other. For example, if the secret identity was a sunflower then the answer is probably “more like a tree.” If the identity is Pinocchio then you have a choice to make, and must commit one way or the other.

The following questions are framed as “is it more like _______ or more like _______?”, where the first blank is the answer from the previous question. For example, if the answer to the first question was tree, then the next question is “is it more like a tree or more like _______?”, where the second blank could be literally anything that may give you some clue to the answer.

Tree or Bob Ross does not have a limit on the number of questions; only on your sanity. Repeat the questions over and over again until you get to the exact right answer. When you get the answer, everyone cheers and The Post role passed to the next player to choose an identity and continue.

7. Mister Rogers Calls

Mister Rogers Calls may be the single best way to do team building with remote teams. The name comes from the goal: to get to know your remote work neighbours.

We have been doing Mister Rogers Calls for years, and follow a simple format. First, we use an app that randomly selects conversation partners every two weeks. You could do weekly or monthly if that frequency works better for you.

The call itself should be exactly 30 minutes and conducted over video. The only guideline for the conversation is to avoid talking about work. Instead, encourage your remote employees to talk about hobbies and interests outside of the job. For example, you can talk about pets, favorite recipes, how long you can keep a house plant alive, and similar.

Mister Rogers Calls are a powerful way to connect your people via conversation and sometimes shared interests.

We use Donut for these calls.

8. Cheers to the Governor

Cheers to the Governor is a college drinking game, and I learned it from a roommate’s friend in Beijing. The game relies on the spoken word, which makes it easy to adapt for virtual team activities and happy hours.

How it works:

  1. Join a video conference call with your group, and establish a consistent order of turns. You could go youngest to oldest, geographically West to East or similar.
  2. Count to 21, one digit at a time, with each player taking a turn.
  3. After the count, everyone says “Cheers to the Governor” and takes a sip of a drink.
  4. The person that said “21” then creates a rule to modify the count for the next round.
  5. If a player misses a number or one of the rules then that player takes a drink and starts the round over.
  6. Continue playing until no-one can reach “21” or you are ready to move on to another set of virtual activities.

The rules you establish are an opportunity for creative engagement with your team. For example, the rules could be:

  • Instead of saying “10” say “octopus”.
  • If you say “5” then clap five times.
  • The announcement of “21” should now include a touchdown dance.

And similar. The more creative the better. Also, you don’t have to drink alcohol with Cheers to the Governor. My preference is tea or soda water, which is more appropriate for virtual team building games.

9. Virtual Dance Party

Arguably, one of the best ways to do quickly build team spirit virtually is to throw spontaneous dance parties during video conference calls. We have a few recommendations.

First, have a dance party going at the beginning of your call so that people can participate as they join. When you start a video call with a dance party then you optimize around avoiding awkward chit-chat or silence.

Second, use virtual dance parties as a way to boost energy throughout the meeting. If you take a five minute wellness break during a 60 minute meeting, you can dedicate at least 30 seconds to dance.

Here a few tunes for your playlist:

  • Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
  • Yeah! – Usher
  • Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
  • Twist and Shout – The Beatles
  • Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
  • Macarena – Los del Rio
  • Footloose – Kenny Loggins

You can use other songs too, like this party playlist from The Bash; the list above is just a few of our favourites.

10. Nerd Talks

A few years ago, Ted Talks swept the nation and world as a fun, engaging way to learn about a variety of topics. With Nerd Talks you can bring the magic of Ted in house, with interactive, niche discussions led by your team members about their interests.

For example, Carly on our team fosters and adopts the cutest damn puppies you have ever seen. Carly could lead a 30 minute talk about the realities of being a foster dog mom, and weave in interactive elements like trivia and icebreaker questions. The presentation should include a slide show that is low in word count and high in pictures.

We also run Nerd Talks as a service. Ethan leads one called Beer & Sharks, which blends his expertise in fermented grains with years of program development at zoos, aquariums and other institutions. Ethan’s penguin knowledge will floor you. Lia leads a Nerd Talk called The Library of Alexandria and Cuttlefish which discusses the precarious connection between the greatest library ever built and marine molluscs. It’s fun.

11. Talk Like a Pirate Day

Yarr, matey! The only thing more swash bucklin’ than a bout of virtual team building may be the swagger of walkin’ the plank.

Hold themed days like Talk Like a Pirate Day and Walk Like an (Ancient) Egyptian (Hieroglyphic) Day to challenge your people to explore being a little weird. With themed days, you can extend the fun by giving your team members suggestions for vocabulary or actions to include, and prizes for following through. Themed prizes like buried treasure are best.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is actually September 19th each year, as sourced from the official Wikipedia page, but you can do it any time.

12. Online Storytelling Workshop

Our sister company, Museum Hack, leads unconventional tours of the world’s best museums. The tour guides tell tens of thousands of stories every year and do three months of intense training before ever leading an experience.

With Online Storytelling Workshops, Museum Hack compressed that three months of training down into two hours of intense fun and skill-building. Your guide will share real stories from the museum, techniques for rapidly increasing engagement with your own stories, and direct feedback to participants. The storytelling workshop is smart, fun, and perfect for building strong remote teams.

Learn more about Online Storytelling Workshops by Museum Hack.

13. Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

Sam on our team heads up the Culture Committee, which is an organization dedicated to promoting ongoing team building and connection for our own team.

One of the main virtual team building activities Sam facilitates is a monthly Healthy Lifestyle Challenge. For example, one month the challenge was to drink a certain amount of water each day, and another month it was an “activity of choice”, which for me was walking outside for at least 10 minutes.

You can track progress on the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge with a Google Sheet, which helps add an element of accountability and also visual reinforcement of the habit. After 30 days, the person with the most “x” boxes marked on the spreadsheet wins. Really everyone wins, because everyone that participates gets a little healthier together.

Piedmont Healthcare has a list of weekly health challenges that may be helpful inspiration too.

14. 3 PM with Yoga Norman

When I first joined the startup world, I had two important habits:

  1. Walking outside for at least 10 minutes every day.
  2. A 3 PM neck stretching session with Yoga Norman.

My coworker Sims and I would get together at the same time each day, and encourage others to join us. We watched Yoga Norman, somewhat religiously, as he guided us through a series of gentle neck stretches.

Here is that video:

Pro tip: The good stuff starts around the 3 minute mark.

Yoga Norman neck stretches are an important way to relax the muscles in your neck and promote good posture, both of which often suffer when you work from home.

Try it. Once. Then for three days in a row. After three days you will start to notice a meaningful improvement in your neck health.

Yoga Norman has some other great videos for remote workers too, like eye stretches.

15. Beatbox Harmony

Beatboxing is when you manipulate your mouth and vocal chords to produce sounds and beats that are more like a drum kit then voice. With Beatbox Harmony you can harness the power of your entire virtual team to build a song together.

To start, one person on a video conference calls makes a noise either with their mouth or via a makeshift home drum. The next person adds a noise, followed by the next person and so on. Before long, everyone on your team is participating in the Beatbox Harmony.

Another way to do Beatbox Harmony is to have each person on your remote team independently record a 30 second noise making sessions. After, one person can collect the sound samples and layer them together to make a complete beat. You can give the song a name and distribute to your team members.

Here is a two minute YouTube video on how to Beatbox to help you get started.

Pro tip: When you are in a virtual conference room it can be difficult to distinguish the various noises. If one person does a screen record then you can distribute the harmony afterwards for people to enjoy.

16. Debate Club

In high school I joined the Debate Club and attended weekly meetings. For the entire year, we joined exactly one debate with another school. I don’t remember the topic, but I remember the guy that won spoke with the fiery passion of 1000 burning suns.

Debate Club is a fun way to nurture engagement with remote teams. To run a successful Debate Club, you can:

  1. Schedule a recurring date on the calendar for 45 minute sessions. I recommend a maximum of three sessions per month.
  2. Share best practices for debating effectively, including clear communication strategies and identifying logical fallacies.
  3. Do mini debates on inconsequential topics. For example, debate themes could include whether cookies with raisins should exist or not, and if you should skip episodes in a TV series. As long as your theme has at least two distinct sides, you have successful debate material.

As your Debate Club grows in notoriety and sophistication, invite more team members to join. The experience will help develop important communication skills, and also foster relationships between your remote coworkers.

17. Jargon Monster

Jargon Monster is an “avoid the word” engagement activity for remote teams. The premise is simple: blacklist a word, and all team members must avoid using it. If you use the word and someone catches you, then you lose 1 point and that player gains 1 point.

The activity is called Jargon Monster because it is designed to help train teams around careful and precise language use. In medicine, engineering, software and a other technical fields it is common for industry specific jargon to run a little rampant. Jargon Monster can help combat this challenge and make your team effective and efficient communications, while also getting some meaningful employee engagement time in.

To up the challenge, you can modify the rules. For example, you could blacklist multiple words, award more points for certain words, or add creative penalties. The more you customize virtual activities to fit you team, the more powerful the engagement and opportunities for connection.

18. One Word to Rule Them All

One Word to Rule Them All, or “One Word” for short, is another one of the remote team building activities designed around precise communication and listening. In One Word, you choose a specific term that all team members will listen for. When a player hears the term, that player acknowledges hearing it and then all players take some action.

The action can be anything you like, ranging from taking a sip of a drink to doing push-ups to a mini dance party and similar.

19. Learn the NATO phonetic alphabet

My sweetheart is from the US and I’m from Canada, so we spend time learning “forever skills” together. For example, she prefers to communicate in Fahrenheit and I prefer the more efficient Celsius. So, we learned how to convert from one system to the other. For us, this skill had a practical use, and was also a fun way to bond and improve our communication.

You can follow this same “skill building as team building” format with remote teams. For example, when you make a phone call to your remote work colleagues, you sometimes need to communicate specific names or codes. Most people have struggled through conversations like this with “B as in Ben”, “E as in Elephant” and similar. The tactical and unifying solution is for everyone to learn the NATO phonetic alphabet.

The good news is this alphabet really is the same 26 characters you are familiar with, and you have heard much of it before. “Alfa, Tango, Foxtrot” is one example that may sound familiar from Top Gun.

When you learn this format together, it’s like having a secret language or code that binds your people together. Every time the alphabet comes up in the future, your people will feel the subtle power of the virtual team building you did; just like when my sweetheart and I convert Celsius to the less efficient Fahrenheit.

Here is the NATO alphabet for reference:

Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

For the actual experience, you can share out the alphabet, give everyone a few minutes to study, and then quiz each other in pairs. The goal isn’t perfection, it is familiarity, and even 30 minutes can be enough to create a lifetime of team building joy.

Veteran Aid has more tips for learning the NATO Alphabet quickly, including quizes and drills.

Learn more about the NATO alphabet on Wikipedia.

20. Murder Mysteries

Murder mysteries are a fun and familiar way to do team building. This format is also very much adaptable to virtual meetings and conference calls because the game is mostly talking, thinking and strategizing. There are some boxed murder mysteries that cover the mechanics, and we recommend working with a service provider that can facilitate the experience for you.

Shot in the Dark Mysteries has a guide on how to run virtual murder mysteries on Zoom.

21. Virtual Book Club

A class office team building activities that converts well to a virtual format is book clubs.

Some organizations use book clubs to teach skills like sales call development, marketing, or organization structure. If your goal is remote team bonding then we recommend choosing classic novels instead.

Here is a list of books to consider:

  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  • 1984 – George Orwell
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  • Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  • Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  • Peter Pan – James Matthew Barrie

For more inspiration, Goodreads has a list of office book club books.

If you aren’t sure which book to go with then try Peter Pan; it is one of those classic stories that most people know and also haven’t read. Plus, the book is a delight to read.

Pro tip: One of the known challenges with book clubs is that some people don’t do the reading and then either skip the meeting or show up and don’t participate. You can circumvent this challenge by giving your people paid time to read the book.

22. Duolingo Dash

Duolingo is a popular app for language learning, and learning a skill together is an effective way to do virtual team building with remote teams. For example, you could learn French, Spanish, German, Chinese or Korean.

Duolingo Dash is an activity that can further adapt Duolingo for virtual teams. Here are the rules:

  • Each player downloads the Duolingo app and chooses a language to learn
  • Specify a timespan for the Duolingo Dash, which could be anywhere from 1 hour to 1 week.
  • Participants race to get as far as they can in the language learning experience, and keep track of the level they reach.
  • At the end of the Dash, compare scores and award prizes.

Duolingo Dash is one of those games where all participants win because they upgrade their skills. You can add a massive “win factor” if you follow up the learning experience with prize trip. For example, if everyone attains Level 5 then you do a company trip to Portugal. The bonding factor of “we all must complete this to win” is very strong.

23. Online Open Mic

An open mic is somewhat of a free-for-all for brave participants to take control of the stage. You could share music, comedy, a short speech or really anything you like.

An Online Open Mic is essentially the same format but online. Invite your team members to participate in a way that matches their interests and rally your team around the experience.

24. Virtual Campfire

One of the best ways to engage remote employees is with a virtual campfire. Campfires, like Pogs™️, are a fun and nostalgic way to connect your people.

Here is how to run a successful virtual campfire:

  • Send your people s’more kits by mail that include graham crackers, mini marshmallows, chocolate, wood matches and a tea light candle.
  • Get everyone on a virtual conference call for about 90 minutes.
  • During the conference call, play camp games and prepare your s’more while telling ghost stories.

Another recommended element is to arrange participants in teams that have some unified mark like a color of clothing or silly hat.

Virtual campfires are also a great way to get your remote employees’ families involved with team building at your company.

25. Icebreaker Questions

A simple way to start with virtual team building is to add a round of icebreaker questions at the beginning of video conference calls. You should plan for about 30 seconds per participants, and can reduce the time for large groups by using breakout rooms.

One of the challenges of doing icebreakers over video is that you don’t have simple visual cues for who goes next. To remedy this challenge, the host should designate who is going next and who is on deck continuously throughout the icebreaker session. The host then starts by saying their name, role at the organization, and the answer to a prompt.

Here are some icebreaker questions you can start with:

  • What was your first online screen name?
  • Which obscure super power would you want?
  • What did you eat for breakfast?
  • Which web browser do you use and why?

Here is a list of virtual icebreaker questions you can use too.

26. Online Comedy Show

A famous saying, which I attribute to Genghis Lincoln is “virtual teams that laugh together, stay together.” While nobody can confirm that veracity of that statement, the spirit of it is generally true.

One way to encourage laughing with your virtual team is to host an Online Comedy Show. If you have team members that want to tell jokes then you can do this experience DIY. If you want to go pro then hire a professional comedian to join your call.

One way to level up the experience is to work with a comedian that is willing to customize their material. For example, you can position the session as a roast against the organization and have the comedian friendly-mock your industry, founder, history and values. All in good spirit of course 🙂

27. Simon Says

Simon Says is a popular activity at summer camps, 10th birthday parties and in grade two classes everywhere. You can also adapt Simon Says to a be a fun virtual activity for remote teams.

Here is a little girl who has taught 72,000+ people how to play Simon Says:

The way you make Simon Says fun for adults is to make it hard and add prizes. You may want to give a generic gift card as a prize, and that would be fine. You could also have the winner name a book and send that book in the mail. Getting a physical prize is more fun than Amazon credit.

28. Lightning Scavenger Hunt ⚡

Scavenger hunts typically work by binding small groups of people around a set of clues, and having that team rush around to solve the puzzle. Online scavenger hunts that follow that real world format struggle with engagement.

Instead, try a Lightning Scavenger Hunt which is designed from the ground up to be fun, fast-paced and perfect for engaging your people. To play, get your team on a virtual conference call and start firing off clues like “cuddle your pet”, “show a dictionary” or “get your favorite mug.”

The first person to complete each clue gets a point. You can also organize your people into small teams and award the points to each group to show more love.

29. Virtual Show & Tell

Show & Tell is a simple activity that promotes public speaking skills and storytelling. Having each of your team members share something personal about their lives is also an excellent way to build meaningful connections between them.

To do Virtual Show & Tell, you can either have your coworkers prepare a quick story in advance, or do a more spontaneous “grab something within arms reach” approach. We recommend the latter option, as it encourages quick and creative thinking.

Pro tip: Even though Virtual Show & Tell is a great way to build communication skills, the activity is meant to be more fun then intense. I recommend that you avoid critiquing the presentations and instead just say, “that’s so cool, thanks for sharing!” or similar.

30. “Who da baby?”

“Who da baby?” is a quick game you can play on conference calls or over a platform like email or Slack. The activity mechanics are simple, and the bonding potential is powerful.

baby Michael

Here is how it works:

  1. Invite all participants to send you a baby photo. Photos from around 2 – 3 years old are best because you will see more distinct features and not just a 6 month bundle of joy.
  2. Post all of the images, with numbers and without names, in a shared Google Doc or other accessible format.
  3. Each team member makes a pair list of numbers with guesses of who da baby might be.
  4. Collect the answers, grade the scores, and announce the winners.

You can play “Who da baby?” with teams about once per year because the faces become familiar, so use it sparingly.

By the way, the toddler in the photo is me at age three working on this article.

31. Pretty Good!: Work From Home Edition

Nailed It! is a popular food network show with 98% on Rotten Tomatoes 🍅

Pretty Good!: Work From Home Edition is a trademark friendly adaptation of the show that uses similar mechanics. For the activity, send a recipe to each of your team members and have them prepare it at home. You can challenge your team to produce baked goods like cakes and cookies, or savoury foods like lasagne and kimchi.

After your team members prepare the receipt, they take a photo and submit for judgment from your team. Some preparations will be Instagram worthy, and others will be less-so, but in this virtual challenge they are all pretty good!

32. Caricature Showdown

Some virtual team building activities require special equipment and others require no equipment. Caricature Showdown falls somewhere in the middle, as each of your remote team members must bring a paper and drawing utensil.

For the Caricature Showdown, pair your people up in groups of two or three, and have them draw each other. I recommend setting a pretty quick timeline like three minutes for the drawing. At the end of the three minutes, each team member shares their work on screen for all to see. Award bonus points to team members that put the creation on their fridge.

You can extend the activities by having everyone watch a 15 minute YouTube video on caricature basics first.

33. Virtual Time Capsule

When I was a younger Michael, my school assembled a time capsule from items we collected together. About twenty years later I emailed the school and asked for an update on that time capsule. “We don’t know what you are talking about” was the unsatisfying answer.

You can help reignite my faith in time capsules by assembling a Virtual Time Capsule with your remote team. Have each person contribute a digital asset, such as a written document or a photo, and seal the files in an archive. Then, have your team vote on how long you will bury the time capsule for. The typical range is 1 to 10 years, and you could extend this to 20+.

Time capsules are exciting because they include two elements for team building. First, the collective action of assembling the capsule. Second, the opening of the time capsule to reveal what each team member contributed. It’s rad.

Cake has a list of time capsule ideas that you can adapt for an online version.

34. Dream Vacation Map for Virtual Teams

Google Maps has a feature where you can create custom maps of specific destinations. Dream Vacation Map for Virtual Teams is exactly what it sounds like. First, you do a quick icebreaker to discover the dream vacation destination for each of your remote team members. Then, you put all of destinations on a map and share it out.

You can do many variations on this activity, for example the “Where do you live?” map, and the “Where were you born?” map. The activity works for virtual engagement because you are creating something together.

35. Never Ending Story

Never Ending Story is both one of the best movies ever produced, and a fun activity you can do with virtual teams. I recommend Never Ending Story for groups that enjoy creative writing and smart humor. All you need to get started is a Google Doc or other shared writing platform. No Bastian or Falkor required.

Here is how to write a Never Ending Story:

  • Decide on a character and a theme. For example, “Timothy Bit, the heir to a donut franchise fortune that gets into a bankers dozen of trouble.”
  • Commit to a timeline equal to one day for each person that participates, and designate a day to each person.
  • On each participant’s day, that person writes at least 300 words of a story. You can develop the character, move the plot along, create an epic denouement or pen a mid-chapter poem.
  • At the end of the period, publish the story in a pretty PDF and distribute to your team members.

One thing to keep in mind for Never Ending Story is that the quality of the story is less important than the act of completing it. Teams are often composed of people that don’t work together often, so this activity is a chance to collaborate on something fun.

36. Virtual Company Picnic

A company picnic is both a common trope in team building lore and a damn good way to get your people together. You may not be able to sit side by side when working from home, but you can still hold a successful company picnic.

I recommend a few optimizations to make sure the event is successful:

  • Invite your employees’ friends and loved ones to participate on screen too.
  • Plan a series of fun small challenges of games from this list.
  • Send food. You could send each of your team members pizza, sushi or similar.

A Virtual Company Picnic is a great way to get your people together for fun virtual activities, conversation and bonding.

37. Two Truths and One Lie

Two Truths and One Lie is another common team building activity you can adapt for remote teams. The activity is virtual conference call friendly, since all you need is a reliable WiFi connection and a little cunning deceit.

For the remote work version, give each of tour team members to minutes to prepare three facts about themselves. The facts should represent two truths and one lie. For example:

  1. I can read and write in Chinese.
  2. I have consumed 3.5 KG of pure 100% cocoa during quarantine.
  3. I once hacked into my high school computer.

Number two is the obvious lie, it’s been at least 3.6 KG 🙂

Have each participant share three facts, and guess which one is the lie. You don’t really have to keep track of points for this game, because the fun is more in learning about each other.

If you want to up your game, check out PrepScholar’s list of good lies for the games.

38. Typing Speed Race

If your team members have any competitive spirit at all, then then will love engaging in a Typing Speed Race. The race is a way to show off your lightning fingers, and also a great way to develop one of the most important remote work skills: typing quickly and accurately.

Try the 1-Minute challenge on typingtest.com to start.

You can have team members participate in the typing test and post scores to Slack, email or other communication channels. You can also do a Typing Speed Relay, where you assemble teams of five people and add their cumulative scores to get the team total. Reveal the additions one at a time to build suspense and build strong teams while you are at it.

Pro tip: If you do the relay version, then have each team nominate one person as a cheerleader that keeps spirits high.

39. Virtual Birthday Parties

Some offices celebrate employee birthdays with cake, cupcakes or other treats. You can mimic this experience for online team building with a virtual birthday party.

The essentials for a successful virtual birthday party are:

  1. An element of surprise. Get everyone on a virtual call and tell the birthday person that the call starts five minutes later. Be ready to shout “happy birthday!” when the person arrives.
  2. Fun activities. Do icebreakers, lightning scavenger hunts and similar.
  3. Heaps of praise. Use the birthday as an opportunity to showcase the team member and what they contribute to the organization. You can talk about specific accomplishments and why the role is critical to your organization’s overall success.

If you have a large team, then planning virtual birthday parties may get redundant. Instead, you could do one party each month for all the people born that month. Unite the April babies around the shared birthday month, and the same for the other 11 groups too.

40. Meditation Station

The key to successful team building online is shared experiences, which gives you a lot of flexibility in which ideas to use. For example, you could do guided meditation with the help of an instructor or a YouTube video.

For Meditation Station, plan on at least 10 minutes to get your team together on a virtual call. You can schedule the call and make it optional to attend, which also helps get buy-in from the people that do choose to join. Then, lead everyone through the guided meditation and end the experience with some calming breaths.

Ten minutes during an otherwise busy day can be an effective way to bring your people together and build strong remote teams.

Here is a 10 minute guided meditation on YouTube.

41. Mini Museum

Mini Museum is a virtual collection activity for remote teams. The activity focuses on finding shared threads in each of your team member’s lives. For example, most people have a favorite mug or a specific food they eat over and over again.

For Mini Museum, setup a photo archive via Google Photos, Google Drive or Pinterest that your people can contribute to. Then, have each team member add and caption a photo that matches the theme. As the collection grows, so does your museum, and you have a gallery that you can show off to other departments. When you onboard a new employee, invite that person to contribute to the museum, which is a quick and fun way to get them participating in your remote company culture.

42. Virtual Rube Goldberg Machine

A Rube Goldberg machine is a complicated contraption designed to complete a simple task. For example, you could have a series of marbles, dominoes, gears and playing cards that trigger actions to eventually make toast.

A Virtual Rube Goldberg Machine follows the same principles, with one crucial difference: you need to find ways to connect the machine from remote locations. For example, you could have a marble trigger a phone call from one location to another, and the vibration on the receiving end could start the next flow before passing on to another location.

The Virtual Rube Goldberg Machine is one of the most complicated virtual team building activities you can attempt, which also means it packs a powerful punch for team engagement.

We recommend reviewing these technical tips on Instructables about how to build a successful machine.

43. Personality Tests

Personality tests are a common element of job applications and on-boarding. You can use personality tests for online team building too.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Send your people a standardized personality test, like this simulation of Myers-Briggs.
  2. Have everyone send you the results of the test they complete.
  3. Do a virtual conference call where you talk about the different personality types and how they fit in with team dynamics.

I am very INTJ. Your remote team members will enjoy learning about the different personality types and how they fit in.

44. Complete the Picture

Complete the Picture is an online drawing activity that works best with small teams. This activity is perfect for groups that like creativity and collaboration.

Here is how to play:

  1. Each participant draws about one third of a picture either by hand or digitally.
  2. That person then sends the image to another teammate to complete the next third.
  3. That second person then sends the image to another teammates to complete the final third.
  4. When the image is complete, hang it up in your virtual chatroom for everyone to admire.

Complete the Picture is a fun way to get your people working together, without it feeling like intentional team building.

45. Virtual Hugs

At some workplaces, hugs are cool and accepted, while at others you have more handshakes and head nods. Whichever greeting ritual you prefer, you can create an online version to rally your remote team around.

For example, your virtual hug could be a hand signal or a little card you hold up during calls. The power of virtual hugs isn’t in physical touch, but in the symbolism of caring about your teammates and finding a unique and shared way to express it.

46. The List that Goes On & On

The List that Goes On & On focuses on team productivity and strategy development. For this activity, you divide your people into small teams of four or five people and give them a topic to make a list about. The challenge is to make the longest list of ideas you can in a limited amount of time.

47. Math With Me

A common engagement technique at real world conferences is to assign each participant an element of a mathematical formula. For example, you could be a multiplication sign or the number 5. The goal is to find other participants to team up with to reach a specific number, like 10.

Math With Me is a similar bonding experience that is designed for remote team building. For this activity, assign each of your remote workers with one of the mathematical figures, and then give them a timeline to complete the challenge. The group that reaches the goal first wins a prize, which could be gift cards or a donation to a charity of choice.

48. MTV Cribs: Work From Home Edition

MTV Cribs is a show where a camera crew visits the home of a famous or somewhat famous person and follows them around the house. The celebrity or semi-celebrity shares out some of the home’s unique features and objects.

For MTV Cribs: Work From Home Edition, your remote team members can emulate the show. Have each team member record a video, up to 1 minute long, introducing their home, home office or neighborhood. The goal of the experience is to give your team an inside look at where people live, in a way that helps create understanding.

49. The Fake Podcast

One of my first entrepreneurial projects was a podcast called Writerviews where I interviewed successful authors and bloggers. I learned a lot about writing and marketing, and built some great relationships. Your team members can do the same, or at least similar.

For The Fake Podcast:

  1. Challenge each of your remote team members to be a pod-caster for a day.
  2. Pair up team members, and have them take turns interviewing each other with questions about their partner’s job role.
  3. Record the sessions, add a simple intro clip, and post the videos for everyone on your team to access.

The Fake Podcast is a fun way to deep dive into learning about other people on your team. The activity goes far beyond simple chit-chat, and puts your people in the role of an investigative journalist seeking to learn as much as they can about the people they work with.

50. Sock Knitting

I am secretly envious of people who can knit well; it seems like such a cool skill to be able to make your own clothing. With Sock Knitting, you can transform my envy into fun engagement activities for your virtual team.

Here is how to do Sock Knitting:

  1. Send each of your people a knitting kit with yarn and the pokey things you knit with.
  2. Give participants a specific timeline, like one month, to knit a pair of socks for a colleague.
  3. Provide postage-paid shipping packs to each of your participants so they can send the socks to a peer.
  4. Have recipients wear the socks and take a photo to share.

You could replace “sock” knitting with scarves or other simple items. This remote team activity is cool because your people receive a physical memento from the experience.

51. Share the News

Virtual conference calls can be 90% business and 10% team building, or some other ratio that matches your interests and goals. Typically, the more time you spend doing fun activities together the more the benefits will accumulate.

Share the News is a great way to allocate 10% of your virtual meeting to team building activities. For this exercise, one person from your team chooses a news story and presents it to the group. The person then fields a quick Q&A session for other participants to ask questions about the news.

52. Pen Pal Club

In 2003, I graduated high school and quickly joined a pen pal club; I had high aspirations. The pan pal club was a simple website where you could find writing partners, and then send letter mail to your partner wherever they were in the world. For example I sent letters to Korea and Hong Kong. The experience led to friendships that have already spanned nearly two decades.

You can emulate my experience building friends around the world by hosting your own Pen Pal Club for virtual teams. For this activity, pair your people up with partners in other offices and departments and encourage them to write handwritten letters and postcards to each other.

Pen Pal Club is effective for team building with remote teams because most people do not write letters by hand anymore, and most people do not receive anything good in the mail. Your club may create friendships that last for decades like mine did.

53. Pass Around the World

Pass Around the World is an activity where you record a video together. The goal is for the first person to move a common object across the screen that then interacts with the next person’s screen. For example, if you had a water bottle you could pour water off screen that then fills a glass on the receiver’s end. The receiver then does some action that interacts with the next person.

Pass Around the World takes work and creative energy to assemble, and the result is worth it. Your team will enjoy building something together that is just for fun and not another work project.

54. Virtual Trust Fall

The sometimes lauded trust fall is generally an in-person activity; it is hard to catch someone with virtual hands. However, you can do an online version of this classic team building exercise by playing a round of team-email sending. For this activity, choose an important email that you have been waiting to respond to. Then, ask one of your team members to draft and send the email without showing you. The amount of trust needed for this exercise may exceed that of the trust fall.

55. Story-time with Grandma

If you want to add rocket fuel to your efforts then invite one of your remote employee’s grandmothers to join a video call. During this session, you can encourage grandma to share stories about what her world was like 50+ years ago. A bonus activity is to work with grandma in advance to bake a batch of cookies for each of your team members and mail these out to enjoy during the call.

56. Internal Company Blog

If you ever want to build healthy relationships with random internet strangers then start a blog. If you want to build strong relationships with remote teams then create an internal company blog where people can write and share content.

Like public facing blogs, the internal company version can take many formats. We recommend prioritizing stories, which are both engaging to read and convey a lot of nuance about a person. In addition to stories, you could share recipes, pet photos, work from home tips or similar.

The key to success with internal company blogs is consistency. On a team of 10, each person could contribute one post each month, which would be enough to keep the project and your remote team building dreams alive.

Blogin has a list of tips to consider for internal company blogs too.

57. Online Fundraiser

One way to build morale with employees is to choose a meaningful cause and raise funds or donations for it. For example, many offices are familiar with doing a food drive or a community sponsorship. You can take this employee engagement effort virtual with an online fundraiser.

I recommend partnering with a donation platform to help facilitate the transactions and add credibility to the collections. For the cause, anything that resonates with your team can be a good fit. If there are charities and causes that align with your industry, for example “organic farming” for a restaurant, then these can be both charitable and strategic partnerships.

GoFundMe has a guide on how to raise money for your charitable efforts.

58. Banana Splits

A staple of many office summers is building and enjoying ice cream sundaes together. You can do ice cream in a distributed way too, it just takes a little more planning and effort. For Banana splits:

  1. Provide a budget for your team members to purchase ice cream and toppings.
  2. Give everyone 10 minutes to make a banana split, and take a photo of it.
  3. Do light video conferencing activities like icebreaker questions or facilitated conversations while your team enjoys the ice cream.
  4. Post all the photos to a gallery or archive.
  5. Award a prize for the most creative split.

This activity works because nearly everyone likes ice cream. If you have non-dairy people, then coconut ice cream is a good substitute.

59. Virtual Jeopardy-Style Game

Jeopardy is a popular game show that many of your coworkers will be familiar with. You can bring a Jeopardy-like game to your next virtual meeting relatively easily. To play, just create a graphic representation of the game board, which you could do with Google Sheets or a PDF. Then, let team members choose slots like they would on the show, and give the corresponding answers.

Pro tip: Have one person be the scorekeeper, as it can become tough to keep track!

60. Who Wants to Be a (Virtual) Millionaire?

Similar to the Jeopardy-style game, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is a game that you can relatively easily adapt for an online format. Essentially you need a list of increasingly difficult multiple choice questions, then to put someone in the hot seat with rescue mechanics like poll the audience and phone a friend. If the player opts to phone a friend then they can nominate one specific person in the virtual audience to support on that question.

ProProfs has a list of Millionaire-style quizzes you can use.

FAQ: Virtual team building activities

Here are a few common questions and answers about virtual team building activities for remote teams.

What is virtual team building?

Virtual team building is the intentional application of resources toward creating a happy, successful and engaged remote team. One example of virtual team building is doing fun group activities together online.

What are virtual team building activities?

Virtual team building activities are group activities for employees that are conducted online or remotely. Examples of virtual team building activities include icebreaker questions, Online Office Games, virtual campfires, and group fitness classes.

Why is team building important for remote teams?

Virtual team building is important because it helps build happy, engaged and productive remote teams. People that work from home often struggle to feel connected with coworkers and the organization. By investing in virtual team building you can not only model the engagement of teams that work in offices, but actually exceed it.

How do you bond with a remote team?

The most successful way to bond with a remote team is through shared experiences. Whether you choose pub trivia, ice breaker questions, or an online workshop is secondary to the simple act of spending more quality time together.

How do you make a team call fun?

An easy way to make a team call fun is to include activities that are not work. A common saying, often attributed to me, is that “all work and no play makes meetings boring.”

How do you create a team remotely?

One way to create a team remotely is to invest time and attention in doing virtual team activities. Give your people fun shared experiences and they will die you a successful team.

What is a virtual activity?

A virtual activity is any activity that you experience online via a computer, tablet, mobile phone or other connected device. Virtual activities tend to either be fun or training focused.

Conclusion

If you are looking for more team activities for remote teams then check out our list of 28 Online Team Building Games for Remote Employees.

That list is more focused on games and fun ways to connect with your coworkers.

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written with 💖️ by Michael Alexis

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Comments & Reactions ✨
  1. Rhiannon
    April 21, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Sweatpants Dilemma and Virtual Campfire sound so fun and such a clever way to engage team members!

    Reply
  2. Bill
    April 21, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    I want to work for teambuilding.com and after many years in hospitality this service is fresh and so needed!

    Reply
  3. Amanda
    April 22, 2020 at 8:46 am

    I really like the idea of having an internal company blog. I read lots of blogs written by strangers, and I think having an internal blog brings that inner circle closer. It brings a stronger connection because you actually know who is writing it.

    Reply
  4. Brendan
    April 22, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    3:00 PM Yoga is a great idea! They say that sitting at your desk all day is just as bad for your health as smoking one whole pack of cigarettes per day. This is a great way to remind yourself to get up and stay active throughout the day, even if it only is for a few minutes.

    Reply
  5. Anne
    April 22, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Awesome ideas! Another virtual team building activity could be a Playlist Challenge. Select someone each week to share their favorite music playlist with their team along with reasons why they love the songs/artists. The playlists could be the music they listen to while working, exercising, hanging out or their favorite songs of all time!

    This activity connects team members who may share similar music interests and gives others a chance to learn more about their colleagues.

    Reply
  6. Angela
    April 22, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Too fun! As a s’more-a-holic, I especially love the virtual campfire.

    Another cool idea is to host a virtual happy hour. The team gets on a 30-1 hour video call. Instead of sipping drinks, everyone brings something to the call that makes them happy. Their derpy dog. An adult coloring book. Their home-brewed IPA. The rock collection from their hiking trip.

    The team would get a sense of their co-workers’ interests, and might even spot some talents that can come in handy on the job.

    Reply
  7. Kiara
    April 22, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    What great ideas! Another suggestion I’d like to offer is Book Club! We did this at a workplace I was apart of, where we read engaging and interesting literature and came together weekly to discuss the pages/chapters we had read. Sometimes these books were related to our industry, sometimes they were just fun, but engaging reading. Learning more about how each of us related to the writing, helped us learn more about how we all approached topics at hand. It was great for improving our communication, because we better understood each others’ thought processes. I felt more connected to my fellow book club members than those that chose not to participate, these shared experiences within the pages of a book helped us build relationships and better understand each other.

    Reply
  8. Miguel
    April 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Since this is all remote work, I think 3 pm yoga sounds like a good idea. We’re not getting any younger and neither are our backs.

    Reply
  9. Kat
    April 22, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    What about “Bored (Board) Game Break”? See what I did there? I am hilarious.

    Each week can be a different game from Cards Against Humanity to Jeopardy with the event host being Alex Trebec! Or even a Murder Mystery type event where each team member plays a different role and all have to work together to figure out who did the deed.

    Reply
  10. Jon Cordova
    April 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    I think a meet your pet day would be a great one. So many people can connect while sharing about their pet. You could have a best costume or pet story contest. If you don’t have a pet maybe a significant other!

    Reply
  11. Sam Stone
    April 22, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    One Sentence Stories!

    One word stories are out — they always end up with “the very big dog went to the market.”

    With One Sentence Stories, you have the space to answer questions like “who is this dog?”, “why did he go to the market?”, and “why is he dressed in a perfectly tailored, navy blue suit?”.

    Perfect for a virtual setting and lots of laughs! 🙂

    Reply
  12. Joanna B.
    April 22, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    How about hosting a backward’s meeting? We could develop the agenda and start with ‘closing remarks and action items’, move into questions, then reporting, next would be the presentation and finally opening remarks and introductions. The body of the meeting is where it would get fun because questions asked in the beginning couldn’t be addressed later. It’s mixes up a project status meeting that would normally be dreaded :).

    Reply
  13. Christina
    April 22, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Awesome ideas! A new idea — Virtual I’m a Picasso! ~* Who says you can’t be the next great artist with your epic team of co-workers?! Everyone get your best h’or doerves ready, because we’re watching eating some fancy food together right before we show our creative sides to the world! Everyone on the team gets a paint palette, canvas, and an image of someone else on the team. Now, you have 1 hour to paint a portrait of your co-worker! While painting, everyone on the team goes round robin with a game of two truths and a lie. Have fun trying to guess which is the truth and which is the lie while you paint a beautiful portrait of your co-workers face! Once the hour is up, everyone must show off their painting — and the rest of the team has to guess who they painted!

    Reply
  14. Caleb
    April 22, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Beatbox harmony sounds like a fun and goofy way to connect with your coworkers!

    Reply
  15. Cristina A
    April 22, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    An activity that can be done with online teams is an activity that goes in the following way.
    It can be called Just Post It!
    Often times people can have really creative ideas about how to deal with different issues in the work place. This activity is a fun way for colleagues to share ideas and finally get a chance to make their voice heard. Everyone gets a stack of post it notes and then a topic within the company can be brought up. Then a timer goes off for 20 seconds and everyone can adress the issue on the post it note but they can only read out what they wrote on the post it note. This leads to ideas being very succinct and refined because they have to be written in few words. Everyone can go around and share their ideas. This can be done in relation to work topics but it can start off with some fun questions in order to get people in a good mood and feeling comfortable sharing with each other.

    Reply
  16. Jacob
    April 22, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    I love Sweatpants Dilemma. I know of a few people who were doing virtual interviews who ended up losing out on the job because they were dressed in a suit from the waist up but were wearing shorts! Sweatpants Dilemma is a great way of making it a competition and throwing in some strategy to wearing jeans.

    One game my office played which I loved was called Babyfaced. Everyone submitted a baby photo of themselves and then everyone had to write down their answers. The person who got the most right won a prize from the team! It was great because some you could really tell it was them but others you had no idea. And it was fun trying to dig up old photos of me with my parents, because that turned into an hour-long Zoom call sharing childhood stories! Just overall a really fun game I highly recommend.

    Reply
  17. PY
    April 22, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    Other idea:
    “My Creature Vs. Yours” / “Creature Cage Match”
    Pick two people during the team meeting to each build creatures of their own. The creatures would each have different characteristics of different animals, making them a super-animal. For example, one creature would have shark teeth, the wings of a bat, and the tentacles of an octopus. Then the two participants would share their creatures with the audience and a drawing of each. The participants would then have a debate on why their creature would kill the other during a cage match, and the audience would then vote on the creature that wins. The winner would then advance to the next round the following week, competing against a different challenger. The process would repeat until everyone in the team has played & a champion is crowned (round robin format). The recommended prize would be a package consisting of a sculpture of the winning creature, a framed painting of it, and a t-shirt with a drawing of it.

    Reply
  18. Allegra
    April 22, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    Virtual “potluck”! Have everyone make a short Bon Appetit-esque video of them cooking their signature disk and share around, then have everyone gather on a video chat to eat and converse about good food.

    Reply
  19. Katrina
    April 23, 2020 at 1:48 am

    Poetry Prompt
    When I was in creative writing, we did a fun activity that got our creative juices flowing before we officially started the day. My teacher would bring in a different poster that was either artistic or a location and we would all use this to brainstorm a batch of words we could pull from. Then, we would take a few moments to write a quick poem about the poster and share them with our classmates. I feel like this might be a good way to interact with colleagues, provide a little break for the mind and allow employees to express themselves in a different way. If someone didn’t like poetry, they could even draw or create a word chart – whatever made them feel best.

    Reply
  20. Amy Head
    April 23, 2020 at 2:10 am

    “If it’s any constellation to you…”
    Everyone is given a constellation and must draw it to the best of their ability. The next step is if whoever is the closest and someone can guess the zodiac, is the star of the game. After that, there can be a treat of smores under the handmade stars.

    Reply
  21. Madeleine Shelton
    April 23, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Blindfolded typing test- you could have a team member blindfold themselves and have team members guide them through typing a sentence. Most of us have bits of a keyboard memorized, why not put it to the test?

    Reply
  22. Kinjal Pathak
    April 23, 2020 at 3:51 am

    Guess emoji board – Ask team members to name the emoji’s they use the most.

    Reply
  23. Amy
    April 23, 2020 at 4:05 am

    I love all of these activities! I think it would be a great idea to do a “Potluck BBQ” where everyone cooks something — like a virtual happy hour but with food. People get to share recipes, tell stories about any bad baking experiences (we’ve all had them lol), and bond over the love of food. Each person can have a different food category such as appetizers, entrees, desserts, etc.

    Reply
  24. Balladine
    April 23, 2020 at 4:26 am

    Loving all of these ideas!

    My suggestion is “Internet’s Got Talent.”
    This would entail a talent show held on zoom in which employees would have a set amount of time to showcase their unique talent. It could be anything from singing to showing a painting that they’ve created! Not only would this allow for closer relationships between employees, but it would also be a nice creative release. The winner would be voted for anonymously by everyone in the zoom call, using an online survey.

    Reply
  25. Tabitha Cavell
    April 23, 2020 at 4:59 am

    I have done a virtual escape room experience before with my family. I had the story line and locks setup beforehand and texted random clues to my family members before the game started (for business, you can email it). Then during the story line, if a family member felt the clue they had would be helpful, they would show it on the screen and we would all work together to solve it! It was a lot of fun and allows for different themes!

    Reply
  26. NM
    April 23, 2020 at 6:51 am

    Fascinating ideas. Mister Roger Calls is very cool and interesting. Another idea that might translate well is Back to Back Drawing. One person describes an image that the other team mates can not see. The other team mates then attempt to draw the image based on the description spoken to them. And everyone takes turns being the one describing an image. Its a fun way to highlight how we can better communicate ideas and understand one another.

    Reply
  27. KC
    April 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    These are so great. I think I would want to do tea vs coffee every week, just so I had the chance to try different drinks! I also think a great idea would be a combination of two well-known games – HORSE and scategories! How it can work would be one person starts out by doing a unique stance next to their computer or tablet – it could be a stretch or a yoga pose or even balancing something on your hand/ face. The point is for this pose to be a bit distracting. Then, a random letter, as well as categories, are generated. All players must do this pose and in 60 seconds, list an answer to each category where the word begins with the generated letter. All people who cannot hold the pose for 60 seconds get a letter (to spell HORSE) – you do not want a letter! Then, everyone goes through their answers. Any duplicated answers do not get points. You want points! Whoever spells HORSE first loses, and the rest of the players stop and count up their points. Each letter for HORSE they do not have adds an additional two points. (For example, Josh could do all of the poses, therefore he has no letters, he gets an additional 10 points in addition to his scategories points. Then, you have your winner after all points are calculated!

    Reply
  28. Jim Littler
    April 23, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    How about some sort of home scavenger hunt? Everyone has to find a requested object (e.g. paperclip) and hold it up onscreen to continue to the next round. The objects get more and more unique until the last person with all the requested objects wins. Example of the progression: Paperclip, bag of chips, baseball, ashtray, spork.)

    Reply
  29. Wascar
    April 23, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    What if we play “guessing what he said? 2 teams are made. Each team of 2 – 4 people. Team A: mutes their microphone from the platform they are using, sea zoom, equipment, etc. And they must think of a word that it is difficult to announce and demand to vocalize for team B having to guess what he said. A stopwatch with a time limit of 1 minute is placed. If he does not guess, switch roles. Team B must mute his microphone and do the same so that Team A guess what Team B said by lip reading on the screens.

    Reply
  30. Bill Meagher
    April 23, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    A scavenger hunt where as a team you have to search for and share photos of certain items (a piece of street art, a unique looking car, statue, etc.) would be a fun project.

    Reply
  31. Susan Oliver Nelson
    April 23, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Awesome! My favorite would be 3 PM with Yoga Norman!!! I work from home, which can be isolating- so virtual team building is so important! I’m a writer in CO, my editor was in UT and her other writers were scattered throughout the US. To keep us connected, every Monday we’d start a virtual writer’s thread. Our editor would create the title and we’d each write a paragraph adding to the previous one. At the end of the week the work was so fun to read and share!

    Reply
  32. Yariela Borras
    April 23, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Sweatpants Dilemma, sounds like so much fun! Anything to make the workday easier is for me. I thought of another activity that might work as a remote team building exercise. Before the meeting starts, give a funny phrase that team members must remember without writing it down. Then throughout the meeting at random times, the leader of the meeting can ask random team members to repeat the unique word or phrase. This might help keep team members awake during the meeting and it also helps memory. One can even provide each team member with a unique word or phrase that they must blurt out at any requested time. This might make it even funnier. What do you guys think?

    Reply
  33. Victor Stewart
    April 23, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    I love all of the ideas!

    I’d think about doing something like a stand-up comic day where everyone takes 5 minutes to tell their favorite jokes while everyone has a great time laughing. This helps improve stage freight, being comfortable with your team members and having confidence in yourself.

    -Victor

    Reply
  34. Ashley C
    April 24, 2020 at 2:29 am

    These are great ideas! I’d love to participate in a game where the entire team creates a poem or story together. I envision someone initiating with a random sentence or verse, then have the next person continue it, and so on until everyone has a turn. This would keep the team engaged and thinking on their toes, while also showing their creative and funny side. I think it’d be a great ice breaker!

    Reply
  35. Gabby Bobick
    April 24, 2020 at 2:58 am

    Great ideas! I am applying for teambuilding.com, and my idea for a virtual team building exercise is building a dictionary together. Some fake words are made up and presented to the group. Everyone makes up a definition for it and votes for their favorite. Then they do the same with a synonym and a sentence using the word. This is repeated for all of the made up words. This builds team work and creativity while providing fun and friendly competition to boost moral.

    Reply
  36. Sydney Scholz
    April 24, 2020 at 3:46 am

    I love how unique these ideas are! I’d also suggest a walking/running team building activity for the teams. Here’s how it would work:

    1. A timeline would be set (probably between 4-6 weeks).
    2. The team can be split into two larger teams, work as individuals, or work as one big team.
    3. Choose a “starting” location anywhere in the world.
    3. The idea would be for each person to keep track of how many steps he or she takes each day (this can be counted on many smart phones, watches or step counters). The objective would be to see how far across the world each individual or each team could walk within the designated timeline. For example, if roughly 10,000 steps is equal to 5 miles, how far could each team walk? From LA to New York? From New York to Madrid?

    This activity would promote both exercise and fun, healthy competition for the team to bond over.

    Reply
  37. Christopher Moock
    April 24, 2020 at 5:10 am

    These are all wonderful and unique ideas!

    A fun ice-breaker that I used to run for the kids in my program was called, “I like pancakes”. This game’s sole objective was to help the children learn the names of their peers. The indirect focus was to create a fun and light-hearted environment within the classroom. This activity can be used in any circumstance, physically or virtually, with all ages. (usually works if the adults don’t mind being a little goofy or silly)

    This activity is best used when the participants are meeting for the first time. Basically, the facilitator will have all of the participants introduce themselves. After the introductions are complete, have a first/main participant close their eyes or turn around at their desk (typically this is the person who believes they know everyone’s names by heart). After that is done, depending on the type of meeting, choose a second participant within the group by either a raise of hands or through chat (Note: this selection portion has to be as silent as possible). Once you have the second participant ready, have them say, “I like pancakes” (or any phrase you choose) in the most unrecognizable way possible. So that means the second participant can use a deep-toned voice, high-pitched voice, or any possible vocal change to disguise their identity (the goofier the better). In the end, the first/main participant who has their eyes closed has to guess who they think the second participant is by just listening. You can give the guesser a limited number of tries before the revealing the identity of the second participant. At this point, you can adjust the game with as many participants in a single round as you want. I promise, it could be a game full of laughter and will definitely break the tension.

    Reply
  38. Timothy Macasling
    April 24, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Typing speed race Increase your typing speed while racing against others Your typing speed will improve by at least 10 WPM if you play this free game at least once a week. Typing speed race is much more fun than just a free typing test. This will help you to enhance the basic typing skill and soon will be a big help when applying for a job.

    Reply
  39. Adeniyi Adesanya
    April 24, 2020 at 7:12 am

    What about Hosting a “Get to know your Co-worker” Hour? It could be a 60 minutes video call where each co-worker describes the fun and creative aspect of a project they recently succeeded at over the last 1 month.

    For example, it could be someone teaching their dog potty training, writing a blog post that went viral, designing a great app, e.t.c. It’s all about showing talents and creativity.

    Reply
  40. Paula
    April 24, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    I like the idea above about 3pm Yoga, but I also love the idea of a Zoom happy hour from the comments! 🙂

    Reply
  41. Daniel
    April 24, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    If I showed you how you could increase your memory by 3x in under 30 mins, would that interest you?

    Let’s call this game the ‘Memory Power Play’.

    Having a great memory is an important skill to have today.

    So how it works is, first we give the team members a list of 50 random object names, like a chair, remote etc., and associate them with a specific number between 1-50.

    The team would have 10 mins to memorize them. After 10 mins, we call out the number and they need to write down the object associated with it and vice versa.

    Then test them for all 50 words/numbers, ask them to note down the score. An average person should get not more than 30% of the answers correct.

    After the scores have been noted, we introduce the technique that will help them improve their previous score by almost 300% in under 30 minutes. (I kid you not!)

    We then present them with a new list of random objects associated with numbers between 1-50.

    Give them 10 minutes to memorize the same and then call out the numbers or objects as done earlier.

    Have them note the scores.

    Did they notice the difference? I’m sure they’ve seen their scores increase by a significant number.

    I’ll be happy to further discuss the ‘Memory Power Play’. This should work for remote as well as non-remote teams.

    Reply
  42. Sade
    April 24, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    All these games are awesome , but how about virtual “Family Feud” . Before hand you come up with questions to ask and what the answers would be and how much points they are worth. You break the group into teams and someone could also play Steve. Family Feud in general is a great game to play as a family so with your coworkers it could be even better. !

    Reply
  43. Haley
    April 24, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    I love the virtual dance party and yoga ideas. There are so many options for different types of people and I think that is great!

    What about a Virtual Happy Hour? People can gather together with drinks and food and just talk and get to know each other. Maybe have some prompts for suggested questions. And add themed trivia to that as well, ( the office themed, marvel, the 80’s, etc.)

    Reply
  44. Jessica Chen
    April 24, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    I love the variety of virtual team building activities on this list! Virtual Time Capsule, 3PM Yoga, and Mister Roger Calls stuck out to me.

    I have two suggestions for remote team building!

    1) Friday Film Screenings
    For Friday Film Screenings, a coworker is assigned every week to suggest a movie or documentary they love or are interested in. Then, time is set aside on Friday afternoons or evenings for the whole team to watch the movie or documentary together. The assigned coworker can then share why they chose the movie or documentary. To make things more interesting, the company can also suggest themes or topics for the week’s film.

    2) Virtual Yearbook
    This idea is based off of signing yearbooks. Every week, a new coworker is nominated, and the other team members write a short message about that coworker that mentions what they find unique about that person or shares a standout experience they’ve had with that person. At the end, all responses are collected and presented to that coworker. If the team has some shy members, you may also give the option to submit their message anonymously.

    Anyways, great seeing all this creativity! The team building activities all look fun to try.

    Reply
  45. Ashley
    April 24, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Teambuilding could be a place where no idea is bad and you don’t have to feel embarrassed by any ideas that you give out there.

    Reply
  46. Ariel Ambar
    April 24, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    There should be 1 phrase stories instead of 1 word so the stories can be more intricate/interesting.

    Reply
  47. Rene
    April 24, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Play a “dad joke” game. Every team member has to tell their best (or worst) dad jokes in order (i.e. the same person who tells the first joke is the same person who starts the second round of jokes). Rate each joke (not their own) from one to five, one being “gosh dad *eye roll*” and five being “LOL.” At the end of five jokes per person, total up every person’s tally. Who got the highest score? They’re the winner of Ultimate Dad Jokes.

    Reply
  48. Francesca
    April 24, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    The Alien Landing!
    (My twist on 3 truths and 1 Lie)

    An alien has landed on earth! (via team conference call)
    -Each team member will have the chance to play the alien. You can choose your alien any which way you like (think of a number in your head, pick a color, anything!)
    – The chosen “alien” will pick an individual to “abduct”
    -The individual will then tell the aline 3 truths and 1 lie, if they alien figures out the lie he/she can stay in the game and will not be “abducted”.
    -If the “alien” fails then that individual stays in and will avoid abduction!
    I think this is a fun kinda game to get to know your team/co-workers while also having some fun!

    Reply
  49. Elena Lopez
    April 24, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    Avoid the mid-day meltdown with activities such as meditation station and online comedy show resonate with me.

    I thought about “meme o’clock”
    What a team member finds funny on the web is a perfect way to understand their uniqueness. With a virtual staff, how about sharing favorite meme bringing comedy into the day. Staff can comment and add more memes to a platform. This is done in less than 30 minutes

    A quick thought.

    .

    Reply
  50. Muhammad Usama Afzal
    April 25, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    What about the Rapid Fire?
    A person asks the question and the other team members answer it with the very first thing that comes in their mind.
    OR
    Share the work activity!
    By the way, a great strategy to get traffic to your website and gets them engaging and also get new ideas out of people.

    Reply
  51. Drew Estes
    April 25, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Studies show that groups who perform an action in unison have an easier time empathizing with each other and are more generous when working together. This is perfect for building a collaborative environment.

    So rather than a spontaneous dance party, this would be a Synchronized Remote Dance. One instructor (or a YouTube instructional video) shows the steps, and the team sets a goal of everyone getting to a certain milestone by the end of the exercise (say, the first 10 steps). Do this once during the mid-afternoon energy slump to get everyone’s blood pumping again, and build a stronger sense of community within your remote team.

    Reply
  52. Jimmy H.
    April 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Virtual charades (who’s the Captain)
    Everyone is on a virtual meeting, At random someone is chosen to be captain (which is unbeknownst), The captain now has the power to private message a contestant to act out in a charade. Whoever gets it right first within the 30 seconds becomes the new captain and the games begins again with a new captain and contestant every 30 seconds.

    Reply
  53. Leia R.
    April 25, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    I love the virtual campfire idea! Such a fun, sweet way to get together with coworkers. Chocolate and graham crackers? I’m in!

    Personally, I’m competitive. I’d like to add minute-to-win-it games! Similarly to sending a s’more kit, send a kit with an easy minute-to-win-it game such as “Pass the m&m”. Each person has five m&ms in their kit along with a straw. Everyone is split into teams and you move quickly to move the m&m from one side to the other before the next person can go!

    Reply
  54. Kate Snyder
    April 26, 2020 at 1:02 am

    I would love to do a virtual Pictionary competition with a future work team. A team could even use the computer itself rather than drawing with a pen on paper, they could try using the application Paint!

    The company would break apart into teams and play against one another, swapping teams halfway through to ensure everyone gets to know each other a little better.

    Pictionary would create an atmosphere that is fun and playful but also requires a lot of listening and clear communication.

    Reply
  55. Diana Gonzalez
    April 26, 2020 at 3:45 am

    These are so awesome and innovative! I really love the idea of an internal company blog.

    I think it would be super fun to play a game with Zoom and their option to have fun backgrounds! In one version, there could be a contest to see who has the funniest background. Before anyone has their camera turned on for others to see, people can have their backgrounds set up. Then someone can instruct everyone to turn their cameras on at the same time to reveal everyone’s choice. This can be followed with a quick explanation by each person, if need be. But in the funniest cases, the backgrounds will speak for themselves!

    This can also be adapted to work if you’re looking for a more vulnerable activity as well. People can select backgrounds that represent a “happy place” for them and choose to share a short explanation as to why this background feels special to them. It can really help humanize things when people may not always agree with their coworkers at face value.

    Reply
  56. Dia
    April 26, 2020 at 7:07 am

    One Has to Go. You show everyone a series of pictures for any topic (foods, tv shows, etc.) and everyone has to pick which one they would have to live the rest of their life without if they had to. I think you could have a lot of fun conversations about whether you’d give up Harry Potter of the Hunger Games.

    Reply
  57. Jessica Northrup
    April 26, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve always liked writing stories or songs together during teambuilding. My own twist on that would be to write a skit with teammates and then act it out together. Their could be a list of scenarios that are starting points, or objects that must be included or mentioned. Seeing how much everyone is able to come out of their shell and bridge the virtual gap by actively acting together would foster community and empathy.

    Reply
  58. Heavenlea Casey
    April 26, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    A remote team building activity that could prove useful would be a scavenger hunt that deals with skills and competency of the team members. The team leader/Manager will develop a list of skills and competencies that relate to the different positions within the team. Each member will have to guess what position it is listed for and describe why they believe it so. I believe this would open up communications, develop trust and help your team get to know each other.

    Reply
  59. Cyd Smith
    April 26, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    These are great ideas! Kudos to commenters as well – some of those ideas sound like things I want to do!

    I think it could be cool to use the Breakout rooms feature of Zoom to create teams, and to have each team create a story, then narrate it using household items as props. The household items would have to come from a predetermined list of things that are allowable, and there could be limits on how many of any one item were allowed – so, only 6 toilet paper tubes total, only 1 square foot of foil total, etc. When done, each team would present their skit to the entire group, with the goal being to not only tell a story that is engaging and interesting, using the props to support the story – but also to try to use some of the idiosyncrasies of online meeting platforms as an element!

    Reply
  60. Lisa
    April 26, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I think one team building activity we can do with remote teams can be online games where you have to split into teams, this will help each other build stronger relationships with each other since teamwork is needed to win. This will also help strengthen the bonds we have with each other to help us work together more efficiently as a team in the long run.

    Reply
  61. Carly K
    April 26, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Putting a twist on the bake-off idea, require players to come up with their best dish but limit them to three to four ingredients. For example, each player can only use flour, eggs, butter, and sugar and has to come up with the most creative dish only using those ingredients. A fun way to get everyone to think outside of the box!

    Reply
  62. Nicole Simmons
    April 26, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Virtual game of Family Feud or create a color wheel with objects found around your home or office!

    Reply
  63. Madz S
    April 27, 2020 at 12:25 am

    I think a great exercise would be Odd Couples. The group each confidentially given one name out of a pair (ex. Pepper) that they cannot see. There are enough pairs to have everyone in the group find their matching couple (ex. Pepper and Salt). Then the group must ask each other yes or no questions to determine a) what they are and b) where their partner is. Once they’ve found their partner, they win!

    Reply
  64. Emily
    April 27, 2020 at 12:52 am

    My favorite group bonding experience to do remotely is Wikipedia Deep Dive! You all start with a random article and try to make it back to a certain article, or you just spend time reading interesting fun facts to one another!

    Reply
  65. Liliana DeOliveira
    April 27, 2020 at 3:17 am

    I love all the ideas in Teambuilding.com and as well as all the ideas on the comments. I personally like the Virtual Dance Party that should be fun and interesting in a conference call. You know another idea to get though our crazy day is a break video call with everyone and play the game UNO while drinking our virgin cocktails and eating some chips with guacamole or salsa sauce. Pretending we are all next to each other having a good time, de-stressing from a long day at work.

    Reply
  66. Bebe
    April 27, 2020 at 3:26 am

    A great virtual team building activity is Lip Sync Battle Team Building edition. Split into two to three teams and battle it out but there is a twist. Each team don’t pick their songs, one of the other teams pick the song and watch your team work together to put on the performance of your life. At the end of each performance the other teams rate how moved they were. The team with the most points win!

    Reply
  67. Paige
    April 27, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Rap Battle Royale

    This is a tournament based game to see who will becoming the next Rap Battle Champion!
    1. Each person will be pair with someone who they will go against.
    2. Everyone need to come up with a thirty second rap that will beat their opponent.
    —The trick is that the host will give everyone a word that they all have to use in their raps.
    3. Once everyone is finished writing their raps, they will go against the person they were paired up against.
    4. The rest of the group will vote to see who’s rap is the best.
    5. All steps will repeat until their is a Rap Battle Champoin!

    Reply
  68. JANEEN
    April 27, 2020 at 4:05 am

    Team Building Activity
    Read my lips…..
    1st Team Member (Team Leader) says a sentence with no voice (read my lips) and each team member one after the other have to read lips and pass on to the other until it gets back to 1st member. Which ever team members gets it correct becomes next Team Leader

    Reply
  69. Sparkle Bennett
    April 27, 2020 at 5:06 am

    Create a story where one person write a paragraph and the next person continues where the previous person left off but add their own unique twists to it, and it continues like that until everyone has added a paragraph.

    Reply
  70. Carmen Gonzalez
    April 27, 2020 at 9:04 am

    I like the idea of debating with the news. I think it can help people to learn to think on their feet.

    Reply
  71. Anna
    April 27, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    So many great ideas! I personally love Personality Tests because it really helps you understand people on a deeper level and really gets people talking. Also, Duolingo Dash, because it’s so fun and can be very competitive.

    I like the idea of everyone choosing a character that’s relevant in current pop culture and team members have to guess who you are. It’s a fun way to be creative and also initiates discussion about what’s going on in the world. Some examples you could see today might be Joe Exotic from Tiger King, or Anthony Fauci. OR the idea could be a costume contest in which the group must decide on one character and everyone has to vote on “who wore it best.”

    Additionally, you could have a game that is kind of a combination of telephone and pictionary. The group must create a list of each team member in which the game will go in order. The first player writes down a word or phrase and sends it directly to player 2. Player 2 then has to draw the word/phrase that was chosen and sends directly to player 3. Player 3 then has to guess what the picture is depicting and writes down in words what they think it is. This alternates down the line until the last player reveals the final result. This is a fun way to get people thinking creatively and understanding our thought processes.

    Reply
  72. Kaitlin Berg
    April 30, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Love all these ideas! My favorite is the Sweatpants Dilemma! It’s fun to get everyone involved and have a good laugh. It’s a great way to add humor and learn personalities throughout our teammates!

    Reply
  73. Zachary Baltes
    May 7, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Love all of these! I think my favorite would be “One Word to Rule Them All.” I’m sure that has nothing to do with my love of the Lord of the Rings either.

    Here’s another example of a team building activity you can do with remote teams:

    “Phunny Phrases”:

    1. Pick six words or short phrases that are uncommon or even downright ridiculous (e.g. “fuddy-duddy). These six words/phrases can be randomly generated by yourself online or given to you by someone else.
    2. Pick six different conversation topics (camping, boxing, movies, etc.).
    3. Have a partner you go up against via a conference call or the like (who has their own six words and/or phrases).
    4. Pick one of the six conversation topics, and start a conversation between you and the person you are going against. You have 60 seconds to discuss this topic before the next one begins.
    5. Try to slip in your crazy word or phrase casually without it being noticed by your partner!

    You have 60 seconds to slip your word or phrase in on one topic: if you don’t succeed, then you lose your chance to use that word or phrase. In short, one word/phrase per conversation.
    If you successfully slip your word/phrase past your partner, you get a point! If they catch you, they get a point. Whoever has the most points at the end of the six conversations is declared the victor!

    Reply
  74. Jake Murdock
    May 18, 2020 at 12:19 am

    What wonderful Ideas. I think that a great virtual game that could be played is called, “Destination”. This is where you split into different groups of people and your groups picks a place that they would like to visit. They then have 2 minutes to google as much information as they can about this place. They then meet up and quiz the other teams on their location. The team with the most correct answer wins the round.

    Reply
  75. Melinda
    May 18, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Such great ideas to keep a team united and committed to working together!
    Another fun idea that could be helpful especially when new teams are coming together, re-orgs or just to get to know each other better. Each team member would submit a series of pictures with no identifying images that describe who they are, what their personal and professional interests are, etc. The team will go through each profile and try to guess what profile goes with which person! Team members will submit their guesses and then everything will be exposed on a joint team call. The team will look at each profile, discuss their guesses and why and then when it’s revealed who it really is that person can explain why they chose those images and tell something interesting about themselves. Whoever get’s the most correct wins 🙂

    Reply
  76. Catherine McCauley
    June 18, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    I am applying to Teambuilding and I love all of the creative and engaging ideas that are mentioned. An idea that I had was a “Morning Meditation”. Each week a team member could come up with a guiding thought to focus on: Gratitude, Energy, Positivity, etc. The team could then set aside a pre-determined morning time slot for everyone to take 10 minutes to focus and meditate on the weekly thought. I think it would help everyone to feel connected and grounded. You could even light some incense or a scented candle for better focus.

    Reply
  77. Nicole Bartunek
    June 22, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    With the pandemic we have done an at home “tell us something we don’t know about you” scavenger hunt. We asked that each person find three things to show us things nobody would know about themselves.

    Reply
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