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On a team building mission and determined to avoid boring your employees half-to-death? Picking enjoyable, memorable activities that benefit your team should be your focus.
It’s a good job you’re here! Keep scrolling to discover over 35 hand-picked virtual team building activities you can try ASAP.
How to use this article (read this first!)
Instead of diving right into the list, we recommend you do the following:
- Start with the best and worst ideas, as ranked by our entire team
- Use the table of contents to navigate the complete list
- If needed, go deeper with the relevant blogs we link along the way
The best and worst activities, as voted by our team
What good does a list of ideas if you don’t know which your team will like? That’s why we asked our entire team to cast their vote on this list of ideas.
The following are the four best and three most controversial team building ideas:
*Find more details about each activity by finding their number in the list below (or searching the document).
**Based on votes from 272 Gomada users.
Quick activities to break the ice
1. Strengthen relationships with Guess What?
Price: Try it free
Best for: Helping teams get to know each other.
Have your participants choose from a list of questions they’d like their coworkers to answer about them, before watching as they guess the right answer. It’s a fun way to learn something new about each other and see who already knows who best! This one is also free to try with Gomada.
2. Encourage silliness with Mad Libs
Best for: Encouraging collaboration and fun.
If you’re not familiar with Mad Libs, it’s a creative game of filling in the gaps - perfect for using as a collaborative ice breaker. Present your team with a story and have them enter their own words to finish the tale. This Mad Lib generator is great for creating a template tailored to your business or team interests.
3. Get the competition going with a trivia Quiz
Best for: Bringing an easy party game vibe.
There’s nothing like a ‘friendly’ virtual trivia quiz to show team members true colors as they fire up their competitive sides! Split your group into smaller teams so they can work together. Check out this read for team building quiz question ideas.
4. Race against the clock with ‘Counting on it’
Best for: Fast-paced team communication.
Divide your team into smaller groups and put them in breakout rooms. The aim of ‘Counting on it’ is to have the group count up in ones (1,2,3,4 etc) one player at a time, and see how far they can get in 60-seconds. If two players speak at the same time, the group must restart their count.
The group that counts to the highest number by the end of the time wins.
Don’t miss these other blogs for more icebreaker activities.
The easiest virtual activities and games
5. Bring the cringe with worst joke
Best for: Silliness, honesty and communication.
Gather your group over a spreadsheet and go around the group to note everyone's worst joke they can think of on the spot. Then vote to see who had the worst joke!
6. Try word association with ‘Three things’
Best for: Seeing how the rest of your team thinks.
Pick a team member to start the game by giving a topic. Have the next person list three things related to that topic as quickly as possible. Pause for a moment to reflect on their response (cue: laughter or awe). Then have the second player pick a topic for the next player, and so on.
7. Solve a riddle together
Best for: Fun problem-solving.
Pick a riddle and have your team try to solve it together! It’s sure to prove a very interesting activity in seeing how their minds work.
For more puzzles based team building activities check out these ideas.
7. Get ready for giggles with Bingo
Price: $0-$50+ (for prizes)
Best for: Suspenseful fun that tests listening skills.
For some childish excitement, get the adrenaline going with the simple suspense of a game of Bingo. There’s very little skill involved, all your team members need to do is listen hard and get ready to shout! Read more about virtual team building bingo with this blog.
8. Learn more about each other with ‘I am, but I am not...’
Best for: Dismantling stereotypes and bias.
One of our favorite team building games to support employee diversity, to play ‘I am, but I am not...’ you need an online doc or a piece of paper divided into two columns - I AM / I AM NOT. Team members can fill the ‘I AM’ column with their common identifiers, and the ‘I AM NOT’ column with any false stereotypes.
Encourage participants to be bold. The shock factor brings fun and will empower employees with a chance to be honest.
Ideas for bonding remotely
9. Boost recognition Praise your team with an Appreciation Shower
Price: Try it free
Best for: Relationship building and morale boosting.
Invite employees to take notes on what they appreciate about their colleagues. Then break into 1-1s, have them share their praise with each other and expect them to come back buzzing. Best of all, Gomada guides your team through the exercise; no prep or moderation needed. ! Appreciation Shower is free to try with Gomada.
10. Play ‘Never have I ever’ (with a twist)
Best for: Encouraging vulnerability and building bonds.
Try a business-appropriate spin on this classic, designed for large groups of people wanting to learn more about each other. A player shares something they have previously done, starting it with ‘never have I ever’ (eg, “Never have I raised my voice at a customer”). If any of the remaining players HAVE done it, they need to put up their hand. Rather than keeping score, use the results of each round as a starting point to discussion.
11. Challenge your teams with a virtual escape room
Price: $0-$150 per team
Best for: A fun, immersive challenge to work together.
One of the most popular modern team building activities that guarantees fun is a virtual escape room. The mission is simple: work together, solve clues and get out! You can take your pick from the best virtual escape room experiences here.
12. Hold an online board gaming tournament
Best for: Unwinding together whilst enjoying a challenge.
Tabletopia makes it possible to play thousands of board games online with friends. Why not pick a handful to try out as a team, and keep track of your scores to decide a champion at the end!
Team building games to bring the LOLs
13. Get creative and chortle with ‘Random Fairytales’
Price: Try it for free
Best for: Communication, creativity and laughs.
Designed to spark your team’s creativity and have everyone laughing together, ‘Random Fairytales’ invites teammates to take turns drawing and guessing what the drawings are about. The result: a sequence of hilarious images that will bring colleagues together. Try it free on Gomada.
14. Share your funniest memories
Best for: Surprising truths and funnies.
Your team likely has a wealth of funny experiences to share, but don’t always find the right time to share them when in work mode. Give your team space to share their funniest memories and reveal more about themselves and their lives.
15. Show off artistic talents (or not) with Skribbl
Best for: Creative thinking that brings the giggles.
Another fun drawing activity, Skribbl is an online drawing and guessing game which flexes creative muscles and encourages communication.
16. Communicate with GIFs
Best for: Supporting humor in internal communication.
If your team loves a good GIF, they’ll enjoy this challenge. Prepare some light-hearted phrases and add them to a digital whiteboard. Invite everybody to the whiteboard and ask them to add a gif that matches the phrase. Vote on who had the funniest or most fitting choice.
17. Let the battle commence with a game of ‘Family feud’
Best for: Bringing teams together and revealing more about each other.
Use our guide on virtual family feud activities to run your own version of this popular game show. Great for getting your teams working together, putting themselves in others shoes, and having a laugh.
18. Try a murder mystery
Best for: Boosting problem-solving skills through fun.
Bring the intrigue and promote problem-solving by hosting a murder mystery event. You’ll find loads of virtual murdery mystery experiences ideal for team building online. Or if you’re feeling extra creative you can make your own.
19. Play guess the chocolate bar
Price: $63+ per person for a 3 month subscription
Best for: A delicious experience shared remotely.
For an indulgent treat, try a virtual team building kit like this brilliant mystery chocolate box. In each box you get three chocolate bars to taste and guess their ingredients. To play together, send each team member a box and join together online for a monthly tasting session. We review five other chocolate kit providers in this article.
Suggestions to support creativity
20. Take a timed team shopping challenge
Price: $0-10+ per person
Best for: Collaboration and creativity against the clock.
Gather your team and split them into smaller groups. Next, give each team a budget (real or imaginary) and a shopping list. Challenge them to find the best items online within your chosen time limit.
21. Chat, relax, and create
Price: $20+ per person
Best for: Breaking down barriers and supporting creativity.
Set the scene for relaxation and creativity by providing your team members with a crafty surprise. It could be a box of paints, a lego set, clay - whatever invitation-to-create you fancy. Then have everyone join as they work on their masterpieces and chat simultaneously.
22. Take a virtual painting class
Price: $15+ per person
Best for: Supporting creativity and trying something new.
To take team building creativity to the next level, booking a virtual team painting class is an interesting option.
23. Have a cook-along
Price: $20+ per person
Best for: Encouraging both leadership and direction.
Take it in turns for team members to lead a live cookalong, sharing their favorite recipes and showing the other participants how to recreate the dish themselves. It could be as simple as making their favorite sandwich or as complex as making a fancy dessert!
24. Start a ridiculous debate
Best for: Practicing healthy team conflicts.
Choose a ridiculous debate topic (like ‘Should clowns be allowed to wear big shoes?’ - the sillier, the better) and split your teams into two teams. One team must argue for, the other against.
25. Hold a collaborative design contest
Best for: Creative collaboration.
Give your team a time limit, split them into smaller groups, and set them a challenge to design something (a poster, an item of clothing, an invention). Watch as their creativity shines!
Interested in more creative team building games? Take a look here.
Activities for special occasions & holidays
26. Delight your employees with gifts
Price: $10+ per person
Best for: Showing employee recognition.
Show your employees how much you value them next Christmas with meaningful team gifts. Or treat your team to a paid Secret Santa game where you provide the cash for team members to buy for their colleagues.
27. Make a Christmas video card together
Price: $0-30+ per person (for costumes / props)
Best for: Seasonal collaboration, creativity and fun!
Invite your team members to record their own company Christmas message together online. For added joy, surprise them with costumes or props sent to their homes.
28. Take a virtual walk together
Best for: Sharing what’s important to your employees.
For an easy-peasy change of scene, ask your team members to take their virtual team meeting outdoors so they can show off their favorite locations to their remote workers. If they can’t get the web connection, ask them to take photos and videos and bring them to their next meeting instead.
29. Hold a New Year show and tell session
Best for: Supporting team goals and ensuring they feel heard.
When you hold your first meeting of the New Year, make it a fun one with a show and tell session. Ask each participant to show one gift they received, tell one story about their holiday season, and share one resolution or goal for the year ahead.
Fun ideas for large groups
30. Play the Weve game show
Price: $299+ per team
Best for: Bringing teams together for a one-off fun virtual event.
Get ready to star in your own TV style game show with Weve. This platform combines engaging team games with video chat in one-off 60-minute events.
31. Hold a ‘fastest on the buzzer’ emoji quiz
Best for: Super fun timed-pressure activity.
Have every team member choose a buzzer noise and have them decode pre-planned emoji combinations. There are plenty of emoji quiz videos on YouTube to give you inspiration.
32. Hire a stand-up comedian
Best for: Rewarding employees with a laugh.
Your teams might not be able to gather for a theater trip or head to an in-person conference, but you can bring them together to enjoy a performance together remotely. And a stand-up comedian is the perfect way to do that!
See this blog for more on team building for large groups.
Team building via Microsoft Teams or Zoom
Most of the team building games listed in this blog can be played via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. However, here are several we know more particularly well:
33. Try a Google image scavenger hunt
Best for: Promoting quick thinking.
Give each participant a list of items they must find using Google image search. Then set a timer for everyone to find them and place them in a document. The catch? If someone else chooses the same image, it doesn’t count. Who will complete the challenge in time!
34. Play Trello ‘Truth or Dare’ for Microsoft Teams
Best for: Encouraging honesty and bravery!
Prefill Trello columns with cards for truth and dare. Each player then picks a card and immediately answers or performs it on camera.
35. Play a game of Espionage
Price: $30-50+ per person
Best for: Problem-solving, communication and a whole lot of mystery!
Espionage! is a 90-minute, highly engaging team building event where professional entertainers take your group on a spy mission full of twists and turns. It can be run on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, or Google Meet.
Five of the best team building apps for remote teams
If these ideas have got you excited but you're daunted by the prospect of organizing them all, don’t panic. Here are five of the best apps to support remote team building:
- Gomada - Measure your team’s needs and get a step-by-step plan to develop them.
- Gather Town - Bring your remote employees together in a virtual world.
- Gather Round - Use expert templates to hold effective team events.
- HyHyve - Another virtual world to enhance team networking.
- Squadpal - An all-in-one platform to support onboarding, engagement, and team building.
We also highly recommend checking out the team building apps that can be integrated with your Slack setup.
Virtual team building FAQs
What is virtual team building?
Traditionally, team building is done face-to-face, seeing colleagues come together through challenges and activities that test their communication skills and build trust.
With the recent explosion of remote working, and an increase in global teams, virtual team building is a new necessity.
Put simply, virtual team building is the process of bringing remote teams together online and providing them with the tools to strengthen their relationships and sharpen their collaborative skills.
How do you do team building virtually?
Virtual team building can be done through games, discussions, quizzes, polls, and any other activities that bring employees or remote workers together online.
It’s up to you whether you organize these activities yourself or pick from a variety of virtual team building events companies.
What are virtual team building ideas?
The only real limit to virtual team building opportunities is your imagination. Whether you’re looking for quick free activities or are happy to invest in proven one-off team building experiences, there’s something for everyone. Head back up to the top of this article to discover 40+ ideas to pick from.
What is the best virtual team building activity you use?
The best virtual team building activity for your team is dependent on your team’s current needs and your overall organization's goals.
However, we asked real remote workers what they’re favorite virtual team building activities were. This is what they said.
How do you increase team bonding virtually?
The key to strengthening team bonds virtually is in providing remote teams the opportunity to connect and engage outside of their existing work tasks. Your main goal should be to provide a space to chat, challenge each other, collaborate, and get creative in a fun, low-pressure way - and to do this frequently.
The more often you gather for virtual team building sessions, the faster you will see the results of your efforts.
How do you build a team with remote employees?
We wholeheartedly agree with the 9 steps to building an effective team of remote employees as defined by Custify. Here’s a round-up of what they are:
- Determine your team’s structure - You’ll need to decide whether your whole team will work remotely or only some members. Plus, will they work remotely all the time or will they spend a day or two in the office? If they’re located worldwide, think about how time zones will work.
- Recruit carefully - Make sure you take into consideration whether employees have the disciple, drive, and skill to work remotely. You won’t be there to supervise.
- Provide guidelines and set expectations - Check your remote team knows what to expect and how/when they should deliver work.
- Use reliable communication methods - Have effective communication platforms in place so you can quickly send internal messages and keep on top of projects.
- Supply the tools your team needs - Not everyone can afford the quality tech they’ll need to carry out their job. Make sure you know remote workers have the right tools and invest in these for them where possible.
- Engage your team regularly - Make the most of those communication methods to ensure people stay connected. Check in with employees, show appreciation, and ensure they have the freedom to give feedback too.
- Invest in your team’s development - If you’re serious about building an effective team, you’ll need to invest in its development through training, workshops, and resources.
- Foster a healthy team spirit - This is where frequent team building comes in.
Did you find this article helpful? We care about employee engagement and have written about it extensively. Take a look at these articles next:
- 2022/2023 employee engagement statistics: trends, stats + charts
- The absolute best employee engagement apps
- Our top virtual employee engagement platforms of 2022/2023
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