20 Brilliant Virtual Team Building Activities For Remote Teams
As an event management company and virtual events specialist, we’re combatting loneliness and disconnection in the (virtual) workplace one virtual experience at a time. In this blog, we have come up with a comprehensive list of brilliant online team-building and virtual socials.
It’s hard to believe it’s almost a year since many people started permanently working from home! We’ve been through a lot in that time and found out a lot about the realities and struggles of remote working.
WFH can make employees feel really lonely and disconnected. In Buffer’s recent State of Remote Work 2020 report, loneliness was the biggest struggle for 20% of remote employees.
Remote working brings a whole new set of challenges to working as a team. Meaning that many people working from home have to put more energy than they usually would into staying connected with their team.
Working in an office environment lends itself to being social. Whether you’re chatting over a cuppa in the kitchen, talking to a colleague who sits at the desk next to you about their weekend or having an informal catch up with your line manager. All of these natural conversations that normally take place day to day whilst working in the office have stopped.
Therefore, having realised this, many team leaders and managers are now looking at re-igniting the social element of working as a team. Because it is becoming increasingly clear that a team working remotely is often a team that is less connected.
What Is Virtual Team Building?
Virtual team building really can be anything you want as long as it brings remote colleagues together. Furthermore, it can take on any format you like, whether a formal workshop or informal virtual drinks. The idea of virtual team building is to bring your team together.
The important thing with any virtual team building activity is that it allows your colleagues to have conversations and interact with one another in a less formal environment. Allowing them to connect and build relationships in a fun and upbeat way.
Why Is Virtual Team Building Important?
Virtual team building is an integral way of bringing a team together. A team that feels connected in the workplace is a team that is likely to work better together.
According to a recent SalesForce survey, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication as the reason for workplace failures. Virtual team building opens up communication channels and allows remote workers to engage in a virtual activity together.
Enabling colleagues to use key skills such as problem-solving, leadership, listening and working collaboratively. Due to the nature of working from home, many employees are unable to utilise these skills in the same way that they would if they were working in a social office environment.
It is important to not just view virtual team building as a quarterly task that needs ticking off to appease HR. Instead, the best way of utilising virtual team building is to imagine it replacing the day to day activities such as a chat over making a cuppa.
In another recent survey 86% of people working in virtual teams identified building relationships with other colleagues as one of their top issues. With a further 26% of workers saying that they feel socially isolated. Virtual team building is a brilliant way of combating this.
This new generation of WFH employees are missing out on the social connection of working in the office. Therefore, by offering regular team building activities and workshops, or just simple virtual catch up sessions, you are building crucial colleague relationships.
Not to mention the benefits virtual team building can have on wok place morale. Giving back to your employees through fun and engaging virtual activities is guaranteed to make them feel appreciated and motivated to work harder.
Remote working best practices
There are many ways to best utilise virtual team building depending on the outcomes and results you’re looking for. We recommend using a combination of small and large team building activities. Allowing for conversation and communication between different teams.
1. Make Time For Small Talk
This is a really easy and simple way of building up remote team connections. At the start of each meeting allow for 5-10 minutes for colleagues to just chat. To ask how their weekend was and how they are. This will allow for organic and natural conversation to flow. Furthermore, it encourages virtual team members to chat together, similar to the way they would in an office environment.
2. Be Creative
The same virtual team building activity will not work for every team. Therefore, be creative with what you are offering your team. Book an activity that you know your team members will connect with and enjoy. There’s no point in booking a virtual origami workshop for a team of boisterous stockbrokers when they would be better suited to a virtual horse racing day.
Likewise, consider how you can bring simple ice breaker tasks or challenges into your weekly catch up meetings. Perhaps consider challenging your remote team to create something fun and creative under a certain brief that they need to present at the next meeting.
3. Book a virtual team building expert
As a virtual event management company, we have a huge portfolio of amazing team building activities. As well as other virtual solutions to create engaging and interactive workshops. Furthermore, we are able to organise and arrange everything, offering post-event analytics to see exactly how engaged your employees have been with the activity. Therefore allowing you to come up with a remote team-building strategy going forward.
Fun and Creative Virtual Team Building Ideas
Once you’ve identified your target outcome, and what you’d like to work on with your remote team, you can start looking at different options for virtual team building activities. Below are some of our favourites:
1. Paint workshop
This Virtual team activity is great for all backgrounds and abilities. It allows your staff members to take part in a fun and creative shared experience.
In the virtual paint workshop, your remote team will be guided on how to paint a certain image. From cow to starry sky, pineapple and more. If you speak to your virtual paint workshop tutor prior to your event they will be able to give you a selection of ideas to choose from.
Then as a team, you will start painting your image. This virtual workshop is a good team-building activity as it allows for conversation whilst the remote team paints their masterpiece. If you are the organiser of the group, and keen to ensure the conversation flows, why not come up with a couple of prompt questions you can ask your team.
One of the best things about virtual team building is creating shared experiences and memories that the team can connect over post-event. When each of the colleagues presents their masterpiece to the group you will be able to congratulate and laugh with your team.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more edgy painting class why not book a virtual Banksy style painting workshop. In this workshop you can learn to re-create Banksy-Esq masterpieces.
2. Comedy mind reader
They say laughter is the best way of bringing people together and we’re inclined to agree! There are so many brilliant virtual mind readers available to book and we couldn’t recommend them more as a virtual team building activity.
Personally, we’d highly recommend Chris Cox, not only is he really funny, but he also has a fantastic way of engaging which each one of your virtual team members. Furthermore, with a media production background, you are sure to get a highly produced show.
We often recommend comedy mind readers as a virtual team building activity as it is a fun way to break up a meeting or virtual event. It is also guaranteed to engage your whole audience and works well as an online corporate activity.
3. Virtual Activity Hampers
Whether you’re gifting to corporate clients or to employees as part of a reward activity, virtual gifting hampers are a great tool for remote team rewards and team building.
With the ability to theme and brand these boxes according to your event, as well as deciding what contents go inside, these can be a really brilliant marketing option. Furthermore, if you’re looking at incorporating these into your virtual team building you could theme them around your occasion.
For example, we have offered Chinese New Year hampers as well as Christmas and Easter. A lot of our corporate clients love sending these to accompany virtual entertainment they have booked for their event.
4. Online Karaoke/ musical bingo
Missing watching your colleagues get a bit tipsy on a Friday night and belt out ‘I will always love you’ at the local pub karaoke? Don’t fear, virtual team building karaoke is an excellent way of getting your remote team to let loose and is really easy to organise.
Organise a time and a song list, make sure to take requests prior. Then take it in turns to belt out those tunes and have a drink together. Although this is not a corporate-focused virtual team building activity, it is a great way of getting your smaller remote team connecting and having a great Friday night in lockdown.
Alternatively, if you don’t fancy organising the night and would like someone to keep the party atmosphere going, why not book a virtual musical bingo remote team building activity. A professional host will get your team working in groups to identify classic bangers and pop hits. Encouraging everyone to have a dance and sing along. They can also organise for prizes to be sent out to the winners.
5. Ice breaker questions
If you’re looking for an activity that is a bit more low key but allows you and your remote team to get to know each other better, why not organise an ice breaker Zoom or Teams call. It’s a great way to kick off a virtual meeting creating fun and easy conversation. We suggest factoring in time in your meeting to go through a few rounds. Enabling all team members to be equally included.
Depending on how well your team know each other you can tailor your ice breaker questions to your team.
An example of a few easy ice breaker questions for your virtual teams’ meeting include:
- Tell us a random fact about you, that we may not know
- If you could have a conversation with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
- Where is your dream travel destination?
- If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
- If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
- Tell us a funny story or situation you’ve found yourself in
- If you had to eat only one food for a year what would it be?
- If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Once you have established a degree of trust and openness within the group you can always ask more meaningful and deep questions. These will really help your team get to know one another. A well as building bonds and potentially generating talking points outside of the meeting.
Some more meaningful ice breaker questions could include:
- What is the happiest memory you have and why?
- If money didn’t matter, what would you do for work?
- Who is your greatest inspiration?
- What is your biggest pet peeve which other people might think sounds silly?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- What are you most proud of achieving so far in your life?
- What do you think is your best character trait?
- What’s the most important thing in your life?
6. Team drinks (Virtual happy hour)
As a country, we are guilty of loving a trip to the pub, especially on a Friday after a long week. Pre-lockdown this is something we’d regularly do with our colleagues to unwind. However, due to the current climate, this is no longer an option.
Therefore if you are looking for a more informal team building activity why not book a virtual teams happy hour. This can take on several formats depending on budgets, group sizes and drinking preferences.
If you’re looking for a really simple remote teams activity you can schedule an hour from 4:30-5:30 on a Friday afternoon for everyone to get on Zoom or Teams, bring their favourite drink and have a chat and natter. If you want you can put a ban on work chat and let the conversation flow, enabling team members to get to know one another.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a virtual team-building activity with a little more structure you can book a virtual drinks tasting workshop. From wine to gin, craft beers to cocktails there are plenty of different tasting workshops to choose from. Each of your team members will be sent a tasting kit in advance and then have the opportunity to learn about a selection of beverages as well as sampling them and chatting together.
7. MTV cribs
We’re going back to the early 2000s with this fun alternative team building activity. Host your very own teams MTV cribs style house tour. You can organise for each team member to present their own MTV cribs style house tour to one another before a weekly meeting. Each week another team member will host.
The selected team member will log into the Zoom or Teams call from their phone, starting from their front door to give the real cribs experience. That team member can then take the remote team through their house, showing off whatever elements of their house they want. Whether that’s the classic look in the fridge MTV cribs style, or showing the team their pet dog.
This can be a fun and informal way of opening up the meeting as well as gaining an insight into that remote team members life. As a team-building activity, this can then generate further conversations about that person’s interests later down the line.
Top tip: Make sure the person hosting knows a week in advance so that they can prepare their house to be on show. We don’t want any embarrassing items left out!
8. Virtual Escape Room
Ever fancied yourself as an MI5 secret agent or an international explorer? Virtual escape rooms are a fun and interactive way of bringing your remote team together. Furthermore, they incorporate so many brilliant and beneficial team-building skills.
To be successful in this online team activity, colleagues have to use good communication skills, listen to one another, think strategically and out of the box as well as working collaboratively. All of these skills are important for any team to use on a day to day basis. However, due to working from home and not having much contact with other colleagues, it means that your employees may not be using these skills as regularly.
Therefore, by booking them onto a virtual escape room experience, not only will they have a fun afternoon. But they will also be able to utilise these integral skills.
9. Virtual Caricaturist
If you’re looking for a quick and fun virtual team building idea why not book a virtual caricaturist to capture each of your team members!
With caricatures typically taking between 3 and 7 minutes, depending on colour format, this can be a good way to get your remote team together. The whole team can chat whilst the virtual caricatures are being created. Then at the end of the session, each team member will leave with a digital copy of their caricature.
Depending on the company you work for, you could use these virtual caricatures for all kinds of things. From using them as photo icons in company meetings and presentations to having them printed out on ID cards.
10. Coffee break Catch Ups
For many people WFH the only time that they chat to their colleagues is in meetings or via email, leaving little to no time for general chit chat and catch-ups with one another. To break this up and reinforce the idea that Zoom calls don’t have to be all business, why not organise for colleagues to have a ‘coffee break’ catch up with one another.
How it works:
- Set up a 15-30 minute call for colleagues to get together and chat with no agenda or schedule. The idea is to replicate the informal coffee catch-ups they’d normally have in their working day with colleagues.
- It is important that the conversation flows organically, without an agenda. As a manager, it may be best for you to sit this one out so there is no pressure on what they can and can’t say.
- One way of ensuring these ‘coffee break’ catch-ups are as informal and relaxed as possible is to recommend a ‘no talking about work’ rule. Therefore, allowing remote teams to get to know one another and bond.
11. Virtual Yoga
Virtual health and well-being workshops are becoming an increasingly popular tool to combating mental health, loneliness and stress issues that can come from working remotely. Therefore, why not consider booking a virtual yoga session for your next online team building activity.
Perhaps book this as a wind-down tool for the end of the day for your remote team. Unlike many of the other virtual team building activities, this teams workshop is not aimed at obvious team-building skills. However, it will help your employees mentally and put them in a good headspace. Whatsmore, it’s showing your team that you value their health and wellbeing enough to do workshops about it.
The virtual yoga workshops can be tailored towards all kinds of ages and abilities. Ensuring that everyone is able to take part and get something out of the activity.
12. Virtual Day At The Races
If you’re looking for a fun and active virtual team building activity that is guaranteed to get everyone into the competitive spirit, a virtual day at the races team building activity could be just the option for you.
Depending on group sizes, everyone will be split into teams. Each team will come up with a strategy to try and make their team come out on top. With this activity, you can expect lots of comradery, friendly competition, group banter and generally upbeat atmosphere.
With the ability to add prizes to up the stakes as well as the option to split colleagues up, getting to work with colleagues they may not have worked with before, this is sure to be a successful remote team building activity.
Furthermore, from an organiser perspective, this will get your team working on key team building and team working skills. As well as getting them to take part in a shared experience in which they can draw on as a source of conversation after the event.
13. Virtual Lunch Challenge
Since we’re all working from home, next to a kitchen full of food, why not challenge your team to a virtual lunch competition in which the best dish wins!
How it works:
- Agree on a day and time for the lunch competition to take place
- Pick a theme or brief in advance for your team to work on and let your team know so they can ensure they’ve got the right ingredients in.
- On the day of the event get your team to take pictures of their dish. All images should be sent to the organiser anonymously who will then post the lunches for everyone to vote on.
- You can even decide to have a virtual lunch break together where you all eat your lunches and have an informal chat
- Once everyone’s voted you can award the winner with a fun prize
Lunch challenge theme ideas:
- International cuisine (Mexican, Chinese, Italian etc.)
- The ultimate sandwich/ salad
- Cheat meal treats
- Specific ingredients must be used (for example potatoes your way)
This is a fun and informal way to get your remote team chatting and learning more about one another, therefore strengthening their team bond.
14. Virtual Rhythm Workshop
Looking for a high-intensity stress relief virtual team building activity? Well, this one is for you! Book a virtual rhythm making workshop and get your team banging out some tunes.
You will be led by an online rhythm workshop instructor. They will be able to guide your team on what household items they can use to make some noise. Then, they will then work through a series of virtual rhythm challenges and activities, encouraging your remote team to work together and let loose.
With the opportunity for attendees to take turns in leading, as well as chances for them to get their adrenaline pumping whilst banging along to non-stop famous pop and dance songs. The workshop will also include fun virtual games and challenges.
15. Virtual Race Around The World
Developing your remote team’s soft skills, the virtual race around the world game is another great opportunity to get your team working collaboratively and strategically.
Your team will be split off into groups, with the end goal being to get heir explorer around the world first. Formatted over 3 sections, the teams will face various challenges and obstacles as well as strategy-based play. Enabling their explorer to travel around the world the quickest.
Not only will this virtual team building activity allow them to work together, but it will also give the groups a chance to chat informally between one another and get to know each other’s skills and way of working. Improving their general team working in their day-to-day working.
16. Virtual Cocktail Making
Who doesn’t love an end of the week cocktail or mocktail session? Post covid we were the first ones at the bar on a Friday evening getting the drinks in for the team.
Now that this is no longer possible bars have come up with a brilliant alternative to ensure remote teams get their after work Friday cocktail fix. Virtual cocktail making team building workshops allow for your team to get together and learn how to make some signature cocktails by a professional mixologist.
Your remote team will make and sample their chosen drinks. As well as making their own signature drink and learning all about cocktail making. We’d highly recommend this virtual activity if you are looking for a fun and informal activity to get your remote team together, chatting and letting loose in an informal and fun setting.
17. Virtual Guest Speaker
One of the most common issues many employees are facing with the prospect of working remotely is the lack of motivation and get up and go they had pre-covid. Combat this by booking an inspirational virtual speaker to chat with your team.
With many virtual guest speakers available to hire, covering all kinds of topics and areas you can ensure to book a guest speaker you know will resonate with your remote team. Not only will the virtual guest speaker acts as a motivational tool for your team, but they will also hopefully inspire your team to strive to be their very best self within the business.
Virtual guest speakers are often a really popular virtual entertainment option to book alongside a virtual conference event or virtual teams meeting.
18. Team Quiz
If you’re looking for a really easy virtual team building activity, why not host your very own remote teams quiz. Nominate a manger to be quiz master, the more charismatic the better, and get them to come up with a selection of fun questions for your remote team to answer.
Depending on the tone you want to set for your virtual team building quiz you can encourage team members to bring their favourite drink. You can even incorporate some funny interactive challenges into your quiz such as drawing a picture or finding an item the quickest in their house.
If you want to be more hands-off with the organisation of your virtual teams’ quiz, why not hire a professional virtual quiz host to run the whole event for you. We think this is a great virtual team building activity as it lets employees interact and chat with one another outside of the workplace in a fun, informal and relaxed environment.
19. Virtual Murder Mystery
Ever fancied murdering a colleague? Well here’s your chance! We’re joking we promise, but a virtual murder mystery team building event could be just the way to bring your team together.
Guided by 4 trained actors who will all take on various character roles, your remote team will work together to uncover who done it. With the opportunity for the team to get dressed up into their characters, as well as taking on their assign character persona, this is a really fun activity guaranteed to get your team working collaboratively.
20. Virtual Magician
Sprinkle a little bit of magic into your remote team’s day by booking a virtual magician to inspire and amaze.
Performing a variety of mind-boggling virtual magic tricks, the virtual magician will be able to engage and interact with your whole team, getting them involved in the magic. By booking this as a virtual team building activity it will get your team talking and engaging with one another. Furthermore, it will generate natural conversations through shared experiences that they can bond over.
This is a great activity to book as a way of rewarding your virtual team for working hard and hitting targets.
We Can Help organise Your Next Virtual Team Building Event
Furthermore, having run all kinds of virtual events, both big and small, we have an extensive range of virtual events solutions to help host large scale corporate events. From virtual conferences to online, product launches, brand activations and virtual kick-off events.
Get in touch with our team of event managers today to find out more about how we can help you!