You found our list of fun virtual team building activities for conference calls.
Virtual team building activities are group games, challenges and exercises via platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. Examples of activity types include icebreaker questions, virtual campfires, and group fitness classes. The purpose of these virtual activities is to build relationships, improve communication, and boost employee morale. These activities are also called “remote team building activities” and “virtual team bonding activities.”
This list includes:
- free virtual team building ideas
- online team building activities for conference calls
- quick virtual team building games
- fun virtual team games for work
Let’s get to it!
List of virtual team building activities
From tiny campfire, to International Monster Hunter, and Bingo, here are some fun virtual activities for virtual meetings and other formats.
1. Online Office Games 🎏
Online Office Games is a form of “Office Olympics” that includes spirited challenges, virtual team games and activities. Example virtual activities for employees include fast-paced trivia, Go Get It lightning scavenger hunts, and a communication sharpening game called “Can You Hear Me Now?”.
Online Office Games is energetic, competitive, and everything you need to build some serious team engagement while working from home. We often hear from participants that these virtual office games were the best experience they ever had in a Zoom room.
Learn more: Online Office Games.
2. Virtual Team Building Bingo
Virtual Team Building Bingo is a fun team building activity for conference calls. The game is familiar, a little nostalgic, and perfect for both kids and adults.
Here is a template for your first game:
- Distribute cards to your team members.
- Use breakout rooms to encourage small group dynamics.
- Award prizes to whoever finishes a row or “x” first.
Here are rules and additional templates for Online Team Building Bingo.
3. Virtual Team Building Icebreakers (Easy)
A simple ideas to start with team building virtually is to add a round of icebreaker questions at the beginning of video conference calls. You should plan for 30 seconds per participant.
Here is a list of questions you can use:
One of the challenges of virtual icebreakers is that you don’t have simple visual cues for who goes next. Instead, the host should designate who is next throughout the activity.
4. 50 States Challenge
Years ago, I worked with a team of Americans. As the sole Canadian, I challenged my colleagues to a “name the 50 states” competition. I lost, but for 30 minutes my small team was deeply engaged as we struggled to remember Nebraska and Wyoming.
Here is a template you can use to play:
You can make your own maps too.
5. Lightning Scavenger Hunt Activities
Lightning Scavenger Hunts are designed to be fun and fast-paced virtual team building games. To do this activity with remote teams, invite your coworkers to a virtual meeting 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 score by groups too.
Check out our full instructions for virtual scavenger hunts.
6. Tree or Bob Ross
The Tree or Bob Ross game mechanics are similar to 20 Questions or Eye Spy and other virtual team builders. To start this virtual activity, 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. 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 uncover the identity.
The opening question is, “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 identity was a sunflower then the answer is “more like a tree.” If the identity is Pinocchio then you have a choice to make, and must commit to one.
The following questions incorporate a new word into the game. For example, “is it more like a tree, or more like a pile of leaves?”, which can provide clues toward the final answer.
Here are more question games to play with remote teams.
7. Blackout Truth or Dare
This activity is a Zoom team building version of Truth or Dare.
- All players start with their cameras on.
- The host states a truth or dare like, “show us the floor around your desk” or “how old are you really?”
- Players can choose to leave their cameras on to indicate they are willing to reply, or turn off the camera to opt out.
- The host then asks one or more players to complete the truth or dare.
Use this tool to generate prompts:
Typically, a successful player from the round leads the next prompt.
8. Pancakes vs Waffles
Pancakes vs Waffles is a fun game I learned on a group trip. The game mechanics are focused on friendly debate and unanimous decision making, which can be helpful for remote team building activities.
To play Pancakes vs Waffles:
- Announce the great debate; either pancakes or waffles is going to disappear from existence and your team has to make the choice.
- When the team decides, anyone can nominate a new contender. For example, if pancakes survived the first round then someone may suggest cabbage.
- The nominations tend to scale up into existential questions quickly. Bunnies or love? Love or humanity?
You can play until your team is ready to move on. Pancakes vs Waffles is a great way to engage the introverts on your team, because everyone has an opinion about the trivial subjects of debate. You can play Pancakes vs Waffles over Zoom, Webex, Google Hangouts and other virtual meeting platforms.
Here is an example game of Pancakes vs Waffles that demonstrates how it might go.
And here are more virtual games to play with large groups.
9. Virtual Werewolf
Werewolf is one of the best virtual team building activities for conference calls, as it is a game of speaking, careful listening and voting as you seek to survive the night.
To start the game, players draw roles of werewolf, villager, medic or seer. Werewolves do the eating, villagers vote werewolves off the island, medics can save a player and seers can peer deep into another player’s soul to reveal their wolf-status.
Then, the game master announces that night has fallen, and players closer their eyes. The game master asks the werewolves to wake-up and select a victim, followed by the medic who points to one person to save, and the seer who points to one person to reveal. Finally, the game master announces the sun is rising and reveals whether a villager became wolf-grub during the night.
Anyone the werewolves eat becomes a ghost and cannot speak for the remainder of the game. The survivors debate who might be a werewolf, and then vote to either eliminate someone or skip the round. Repeat until you only have villagers or wolves left.
Here are more detailed instructions on how to play werewolf.
10. Something in Common
One of the quickest virtual team building games you can play is Something in Common, which is a challenge that encourages your remote employees to learn more about each other. For this game, assign your people into small groups and then have each group identify the three most unique things they have in common. For example, a group might find a common love for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, experience with childhood violin lessons, and a disdain for fiery Cheetos. If you want to do multiple rounds then you can make the virtual activity more challenging by removing broad categories like movies, books and food.
Here are more icebreaker games for work.
11. Two Truths and One Lie
Two Truths and One Lie is one of the most common virtual team building games. The activity is conference call friendly, since all you need is a reliable WiFi connection and a little cunning deceit.
For the remote work version, give each participant two minutes to prepare two truths and one lie. For example:
- I can read and write in Chinese.
- I have consumed 3.5 KG of pure 100% cocoa during quarantine.
- I once hacked into my high school computer.
Number two is the obvious lie; it has 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 in learning about each other.
Two Truths and One Lie is a fun virtual game to play with drinks. Here are more online drinking games that are work friendly.
12. Healthy Lifestyle Challenge
A monthly Healthy Lifestyle Challenge is even more important during quarantine. One month the challenge can be to drink a certain amount of water each day, and another month might be “activity of choice.” There are plenty of virtual challenge ideas.
You can track progress of your Healthy Lifestyle Challenge with this free tracking tool, which helps add an element of accountability.
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 and has fun with the challenge.
13. Typing Speed Race (Competitive)
Your coworkers 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.
Your team members can 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 add up team totals.
Try the 1-Minute challenge on typingtest.com.
Here are more virtual minute-to-win-it activities.
14. Chubby Bunny
To play Chubby Bunny, have each person put a marshmallow in their mouth and say the words “chubby bunny.” Then, each person adds an additional marshmallow until only one person can complete the challenge.
Here is a guide on how to play chubby bunny by Icebreaker Ideas.
Important: Do not choke on the marshmallows, this is a fun challenge not a daredevil act.
This post has more fun workplace competitions for virtual teams.
15. Murder in Ancient Egypt
Murder in Ancient Egypt is one of three virtual murder mystery activities we run. The game uses mechanics of escape rooms, puzzles and problem solving to bring your people together in a race against the clock.
Murder in Ancient Egypt is an exciting and challenging virtual team building event, and culminates in the big reveal: this was an actual murder mystery from history. Your team will hear the story from an expert storyteller, and learn about what really happened.
Learn more: Murder in Ancient Egypt.
16. War of the Wizards (Live RPG Game)
War of the Wizards is a simple storytelling game designed as a team building activity for conference calls. The background of this game is that a group of wizards have been at war since ages past, and at this point nobody quite remembers why. Your team members become the wizards’ minions, and work to develop stories, cast spells and overcome challenges together.
War of the Wizards is a 90 minute virtual team building activity played on Zoom. Your event includes an expert host to guide the game through to a successful conclusion. This community building activity is perfect for anyone that loves role playing games, storytelling, or is otherwise down to get a little nerdy.
Learn more: War of the Wizards.
17. Virtual Show & Tell
Show & Tell is one of the best virtual team building ideas that promotes public speaking skills and storytelling. Having each of your team members share something about their lives also builds meaningful connections.
To do Virtual Show & Tell, ask your coworkers to 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.
Here are more fun improv games that work for team building virtually.
18. Forensic Sketch Artist
Forensic Sketch Artist is a fun and creative virtual team building game. Here is how to play:
- Split your coworkers into teams.
- Tell participants there was a series of robberies last night. Luckily, each team has a witness who saw the robber’s face before narrowly escaping the scene.
- Create a face with a random face generator.
- Show one person per team the face of the “robber”.
- Have the person who viewed the face describe it to their team. Other members must sketch the face based on the description.
- After ten minutes, collect the portraits.
The portrait closest to the original face wins!
19. Personality Tests
Personality tests are a common element of job applications and on-boarding. You can use personality tests for remote team building too.
- Send a personality test to your employees.
- Have everyone send you their results.
- Do a team call where you talk about the different personality types and how they fit in with team dynamics.
Here is a list of personality tests to try.
20. What Would You Do?
What Would You Do? is one of several scenario-based virtual team building exercises you can do.
How to play:
- Split employees into teams or discuss as one big group.
- Pose hypothetical questions.
- Let employees talk through a plan of action.
Not only does What Would You Do? foster fun and engagement, but this virtual team activity allows coworkers to learn each others’ problem-solving processes in real time.
Here is a list of would you rather questions to start with.
21. Virtual Dance Party (High Energy)
One of the best ways to quickly build team morale is to throw spontaneous dance parties during video calls. We have a few recommendations for these virtual activities:
- Start your call with a dance so that people can participate as they join.
- Use dance breaks as a way to boost energy throughout the meeting.
- Dance breaks are good closing activities for virtual meetings too!
Here a few tunes for your playlist:
- Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
- Yeah! – Usher
- Twist and Shout – The Beatles
- Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
- Footloose – Kenny Loggins
Here is a longer playlist from The Bash.
22. Virtual Murder Mystery
Murder mysteries are fun virtual team building games/activities. You can do a wide variety of game types, including historically accurate murder mysteries, or something entirely new like “Murder on Mars.”
Here is a list of virtual murder mystery games to try.
23. Virtual Escape Rooms
Virtual Escape Rooms are popular online team building activities during quarantine because they include social elements, problem solving skills and teamwork. For example, your team may have to figure out how to pull of an art heist and escape, or break out of a jail cell. The virtual activities are fun and interactive, and feel good when you win.
Here is a list of virtual escape rooms with both free and paid options.
24. Guided Meditation
Ten quiet minutes during an otherwise busy day can be an effective way to bring your people together and build strong remote teams. You can achieve these results with a guided meditation session.
Here is how:
- Find a meditation exercise online or contact an expert to guide the group.
- Send a video call invitation to the team.
- Consider sending employees a care package with scented oils and candles beforehand.
- Perform mindfulness activities as instructed by the guide.
Here is a 10 minute guided meditation on YouTube.
25. Guess the Emoji Board 🤔
You can snap a screenshot of your most frequently used emojis and upload it for your team to see. If, like me, you and the folks on your remote team gravitate toward shrugs, flexes, Canada flags and Pokémon balls, then it is fun to see the record of it.
You could also play a quick virtual team building game like “Guess the Emoji Board.” Here is how you play:
- Distribute a list of all players to each player.
- Everyone has five minutes to guess the five most used emojis by each person on the list.
- Reveal the answers and award points both for “having it in the top 5” as well as “having it in the right order.”
If you are looking for ways to make a virtual meeting fun or engage a virtual team in ways that are not lame, then a quick round of emoji ranking can help.
26. Praise Train
When it comes to praise at work, people tend to respond in one of three ways.
- Soak the praise up like golden rays of sun on a Bali beach.
- Accept the praise and “keep cool.”
- Aggressively deflect that praise on to literally anyone else, AKA the Michael method.
Each member of your team will likely fit into one of the above categories. However, one thing will secretly unify your people regardless of category: they love getting praise. Start a praise train where each person compliments each others work in succession and watch the employee engagement take off.
For example, you could praise someone on their work ethic, and that person could praise a colleague on a successful client call, and that person could praise someone for writing a great blog article and so on.
27. “Who da baby?” (Fun 🙂)
“Who da baby?” is a quick virtual game you can play on Zoom or over a platform like email or Slack.
- All participants 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.
- Post the images in a shared Google Doc.
- Each player makes a list guessing who the baby might be.
- Collect the answers, grade the scores, and announce the winners.
By the way, the toddler in the photo is me at age three working on this article.
28. Mister Rogers Calls (Team Favorite 🏆)
Mister Rogers Calls are one of the best virtual team building activities during quarantine. The name comes from the goal: to get to know your remote work neighbors.
We have been doing Mister Rogers Calls for years, and follow a simple format. First, we use the Donut app to randomly assign conversation partners every two weeks.
The call itself should be 30 minutes, over video, and avoid work topics. Encourage your coworkers to talk about hobbies and interests outside of the job. For example, you can talk about how long you can keep a houseplant alive.
This post has themes and topics for virtual coffee chats.
29. Minesweeper Online Team Tournament
Minesweeper is a virtual game you can play on online via Google. You just search for “minesweeper” to play. Challenge your remote employees to a cutthroat round of the classic online game, and time your scores to see if you can beat each other and me.
You can organize an epic Minesweeper tournament for your people and see who can race through the game quickest. This online team building activity takes patience, precision and thoughtful risk taking; which are all good attributes to develop for remote teams.
I recently finished a round in four seconds, unsuccessfully, so the bar is both high and pretty darn low.
30. The Price is Almost Right
The Price is Almost Right is a game where the host of a virtual conference call holds up household objects and other attendees shout out prices. The first person to guess within five cents of the actual retail price without going over gets 1 point for their team. If you guess over the retail price then you are out for that round, but your team members may continue.
31. The Longest Word
The Longest Word is a quick virtual activity you can do on video chats and conference calls. To play, arrange your people into teams and challenge them to spell a very long word.
For example, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is as hard to say as it is to spell. The team that gets closest to the correct spelling, judged by an arbitrary eyeing, wins. The winning team can then bet double or nothing by guessing the meaning of the word too.
Use this long word generator for your game:
This list has more vocabulary activities for teams.
32. Virtual Debate Club
In high school, I joined the Debate Club and attended weekly meetings. For the entire year, we had exactly one debate with another school. I don’t remember the topic, but I remember the guy that won spoke with fiery passion.
To run a successful Debate Club for virtual teams, you can:
- Schedule a 45 minute video call.
- Share best practices for debating effectively, including clear communication strategies and identifying logical fallacies.
- Do mini debates on inconsequential topics. For example, a debate themes could be whether cookies with raisins should exist or not.
As your Debate Club grows in sophistication, invite more team members to join. The experience will help develop important communication skills and relationships.
33. Virtual Ambassadors
Ambassadors is a virtual activity where each person acts as a country’s ambassador. During each round, a team member must describe their country without saying the country’s name. The other team members guess which country the person is describing to earn points. At the end of the game, the player with the most correct guesses wins!
You can assign countries to team members using a random country generator.
34. Virtual Team Trivia
Virtual Team Trivia is a facilitated trivia session built specifically for team building online. We’ve run these trivia events for companies like Google, Dropbox and TaskRabbit.
Virtual Trivia sessions are 60 minute virtual team events over video. You can choose from themes like Rock-and-Roll and Interstellar. If you prefer, you can host your own virtual trivia too.
Learn more: Virtual Team Trivia.
Examples of virtual team building events
Virtual team building events are specific occasions for hosting virtual team building games/activities or exercises. For example, popular virtual team building events include birthday parties and online fundraisers.
35. Virtual Happy Hours
Virtual happy hours are video meetings dedicated to fun virtual team games and activities, and may be part of the work day or at the end of it. For example, you might include a round of icebreaker questions and then do virtual team trivia. Most people include drinks as well.
Virtual happy hours are also good for fun Friday virtual activities.
Check out our list of virtual happy hour ideas for more inspiration.
36. Virtual Coffee Breaks
Virtual coffee breaks are usually one-on-one or small group sessions, and are conducted for 15 to 30 minutes during the work day. The purpose of these breaks is to help build relationships and community among coworkers.
See our list of virtual coffee break ideas and topics.
37. Virtual Birthday Parties
The essentials for a successful virtual birthday party are:
- An element of surprise. Get everyone on a virtual call and tell the birthday person that the call starts five minutes later.
- Fun virtual activities. Do icebreakers, lightning scavenger hunts and similar.
- Heaps of praise. Use the opportunity to showcase the team member.
If you have a large team, then planning virtual birthday parties may become redundant. Instead, you can unite the April babies around the shared birthday month, and the same for the other 11 groups too.
Here is a list of ideas for virtual birthday parties.
38. Virtual Retirement Parties
Virtual retirement parties or “farewell parties” are online gatherings for the purpose of sending off a teammate. These parties generally occur during work hours, and include video team building games and activities.
Learn more about virtual retirement parties.
39. Virtual Field Trips
Virtual fields trips have similarities to the real world off-sites, and usually include “getting out of the video call.” For example, a remote field trip might include a virtual museum tour or a similar space. Virtual field trips are excellent virtual team building activities for teachers, students and kids, especially during quarantine.
Check out our list of virtual field trips.
40. 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.
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.
Here is a list of virtual fundraising ideas.
Virtual team building activities are a great way to make virtual meetings fun, boost morale and build community. These virtual activities include free and paid options, and can take anywhere from 1 minute to several hours. I recommend following The 8% Rule, which states that you should spend about 8% of the time on any team call doing games and exercises together.
FAQ: Virtual Team Building Activities
Here are a few common questions and answers about virtual team building activities.
What is virtual team building?
Virtual team building is the process of forming bonds and collaboration skills with remote employees. These efforts can include team building activities for conference calls, scheduling virtual team events and similar. The goal of these activities is to improve skills like communication and collaboration, while also boosting engagement and job satisfaction.
How do you do team building virtually?
Team building virtually is relatively easy. Like in-person, you need to plan fun games and activities for your group. You can use an event planner, or host your own virtual team building events. An easy activity to get started with team building online is icebreaker questions.
What are some fun virtual activities?
There are hundreds of virtual activities to choose from. Some of the most fun online team building activities include icebreaker questions, Never Have I Ever, “Can you hear me now?”, Mister Rogers Calls, and Something in Common.
How do you make a virtual meeting more fun?
An easy way to make a virtual meeting more fun is to include virtual team games and activities that are not work. For example, you might include trivia questions or a quick dance party. We recommend The 8% Rule, which states that 8% of the time in any meeting should be dedicated to fun virtual team building exercises.
Why is team building important for remote teams?
Virtual team building is important because it helps build happy, engaged and productive remote teams. Employees that work from home often struggle to feel connected with coworkers and the organization, and even more so during quarantine. By investing in remote team building activities, 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 virtual games and activities that are not lame. Whether you choose pub trivia, “get to know you” questions, or an online workshop is secondary to the simple act of spending more quality time together.
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 give you a successful team.
For the greatest impact, you need to improve both group dynamics as well as one-on-one dynamics. So, you can plan virtual team building events like virtual happy hours and virtual holiday parties, but also paired opportunities like Mister Rogers Calls.
What are the most effective remote team building activities?
The best remote team building activities teach work competencies without seeming lame. Ideally, a remote employee should learn more about his or her company, role, and coworkers as a result of the exercise.
How do you include virtual team building activities in meetings?
We recommend dedicating either the entire meeting to virtual team building activities, allocating 30 minutes at the end of your event, or following The 8% Rule. The 8% Rule states that 8% of the meeting, or about five minutes for every hour, should include fun virtual games and activities.
What games can you play virtually?
Some games are made for virtual platforms, while others can work with adjustments. For example, “Can you hear me now?” is a popular virtual team building game built specifically for video meetings. A game like Werewolf works well for team building online because it is mostly speaking and listening.
What are virtual team building ideas?
Virtual team building ideas are ways to connect with employees and coworkers online. Examples of these virtual activities include Bingo, scavenger hunts, and Blackout Truth or Dare. The purpose of these virtual team games and activities is to build remote work culture and connections.
What are virtual team building games?
Virtual team building games are fun games played via Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and other virtual conference platforms. The purpose of these games is to entertain and engage remote teams, and to build community with remote workers.
What are virtual team building challenges?
Virtual team building challenges are spirited competitions or games you play with a remote team. These challenges are meant to boost friendships and team bonding with remote workers. For example, these challenges might include doing exercise for 30 days or a typing speed race.
What are virtual team building exercises?
Virtual team building exercises are online group activities that sharpen skills and strengthen coworker bonds. You can think of these exercises as a workout for your teamwork.
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