14 Virtual Team Building Activities to Try in 2024

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Remote team management involves a lot of nuances. It’s all about finding the best communication tools and a means to engage employees in work. Yet individual performance is just one thing to worry about – collective productivity and collaboration pose a much more severe challenge for remote team managers.

How do you ensure your team remains efficient and cohesive when its members never meet in the office? Virtual team building is the best answer to this question. Learn what it is and try out some practical team building activities introduced in this post.

Virtual team building

What Is Virtual Team Building?

Team building is a set of activities that aim to improve communication and social connections among employees. It allows them to learn more about each other, develop collective problem-solving skills and simply have some fun.

In traditional workplace environments (when everyone attends the office), team building takes the form of face-to-face interactions, outdoor exercises, etc. Yet if most of your employees work remotely, team building can only happen online. And though virtual team building doesn’t let you meet colleagues outside the frame of the computer screen, it may be super exciting and action-packed nevertheless.

Virtual Team Building Benefits

When working from home, it’s challenging to develop the same level of connection with others, like in a lively office environment. As a result, remote work makes us feel discouraged and lonely more often than we would like to admit. Besides, it can contribute to misunderstanding and impede productive collaboration if employee trust issues are not addressed and social bonds remain fallow.

Virtual team building is meant to solve all these problems and help you create strongly bonded and high-performing teams:

  • It reminds remote employees that they are a part of the collective and have some great people to support them.
  • It gives them a chance to understand each other better and figure out ways to cooperate in harmony.
  • It improves communication and makes it easier for everyone to comprehend their role in the company.

If that’s something you’re looking for, try out the virtual team building activities we reviewed below. They are sure to boost wellbeing and morale in your distributed workforce.

14 Virtual Team Building Activities That Actually Work

Icebreaker games

Starting a conversation with someone you don’t know or haven’t seen in a while can be awkward. But a good method to release this uneasiness does exist – it’s a classic ice breaker game.

Here are some of the well-known icebreakers that you can always enjoy online:

  1. Two Truths and a Lie – A person makes three statements about themselves, one of which is a lie. The rest of the team must guess the false statement and, thereby, learn some new (and likely interesting) facts about their colleague.
  2. Show and Tell – Each team member should grab a nearby object from their desk, show it to others and tell a short story about it: how did that object appear in their life and what does it mean to them?
  3. Rotating Questions – Prepare a list of icebreaker questions and ask every meeting participant to answer them one by one. These questions can be personal, work-specific, funny or thought-provoking – their content will depend on your current team building needs and the mood you want to set for an online meeting.

These simple and quick team building activities help people open up and feel more comfortable around each other. Use them as warm-ups in your Zoom meetings to make it easier for employees to feel engaged and safe to talk.

Group chat

A group chat is the most popular instrument for team communication, and the chance is high that you already have one in your company to discuss your projects and HR issues with co-workers.

However, group chats are excellent for informal conversations too. They give space to socialize, share ideas and joke around. Besides, group chats can be used free of charge, which makes them a very cost-effective virtual team building solution.

Virtual lunch / coffee breaks

If you feel like just texting in a chat is not enough, think of arranging an online coffee break with colleagues.

This activity can be organized in a matter of seconds via any conferencing platform of choice. Simply schedule a meeting, invite your teammates to join and remind them to get some delicious food or a drink in advance – once the video meeting starts, you will be able to enjoy these goodies in friendly company.

You may have such online coffee breaks just once in a while or turn them into a daily / weekly corporate tradition. In either case, even infrequent virtual meet-ups like this can brighten up remote employees’ corporate life and make a big difference to team morale.

Online coffee break

Fitness challenge

Though remote employees may seem to have plenty of time on their hands, staying fit while working from home is not so easy.

According to a recent poll, 46% of people in the UK who switched to remote work during the pandemic commenced exercising less. Besides, 39% of respondents developed musculoskeletal problems, which often result from a lack of movement.

To save your teammates from this bitter lot that many remote workers tend to share, consider launching a fitness challenge: set a goal, arrange online workout classes and create a group chat where everyone can share their progress.

Support from colleagues on the same fitness quest is bound to encourage your employees to improve their wellness (and strengthen the sense of fellowship along the way). And for an even greater motivation boost, don’t forget to reward your challenge winners with hearty prizes.

Online co-working

Another struggle every remote worker knows about is motivation: how to stay perked up and do your job well when there’s no one to watch you, and all sorts of pleasant distractions are luring you to indulge in them?

Give your remote teammates a means to defeat procrastination and get the necessary motivation boost by establishing an online co-working space for them.

Co-working meetings are easy to hold in any video conferencing platform, and they are particularly useful for those who collaborate on the same projects and tasks. Staying connected in a single online space, you have a better opportunity to quickly discuss any vital issues with colleagues and coordinate your efforts throughout the day.

Online games

Want to share some high-quality fun with your remote team members? There are plenty of online games for every taste and budget.

These are just a few options to consider:

  1. Virtual escape rooms – Uncover clues, solve mysteries and build a stronger team spirit along the way. Virtual escape rooms are proven to enhance communication, problem-solving and collaboration skills. Besides, they are an excellent mood booster for working-from-home employees.
  2. Virtual Bingo – Let your teammates try their fortune in a virtual Bingo round. Make someone a Bingo caller or let an automated number generator host your game instead. Most importantly, enjoy your time, have some drinks and reward the luckiest employee with a prize.
  3. Skribbl – This activity is meant for everyone who can and likes to draw (yet it’s even more fun for those who can’t). The rules are simple: one by one, each employee picks a word and tries to visualize it on a board in 80 seconds. If others manage to guess the word right, they earn a point. The goals are to score as many points as possible and commit to entertainment 100%.

GIF battle

In the digital era, GIFs have become a communication method of their own. They help us self-identify, express emotions and highlight the core meaning of any text (often in a comical way). They are the true attention grabbers. So, unsurprisingly, every person who speaks the GIF language well gets into the spotlight in any online community.

Now is the time to find the ultimate GIF master in your remote team. Plan out the battle strategy:

  • Set the timeframes
  • Pick the themes for the contest
  • Decide on the judging methods
  • Choose the rewards

Then, create a group chat for the GIF battle to commence and invite everyone to join in. Who knows what rare GIF jewels your teammates will be able to come up with?

Virtual home tours (MTV Cribs)

What’s a better way to learn more about a person than to visit their home? The environment one lives in tells a lot about their character, interests and values. And your teammates can show it all off during MTV-style online tours to their own abodes.

Decide how frequently you want to hold such online tours and whether you plan to do them live or in the record. Then, schedule different dates for different hosts, enjoy the show and quench your curiosity.

Home office
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Learning cycles

As the name suggests, this activity allows your team members to advance their knowledge, learn new practices and share professional expertise with each other.

To make it happen, you need to:

  • Identify a knowledge area that requires improvement or a problem that must be solved.
  • Find a volunteer to research the issue and prepare a brief presentation (~20 minutes).
  • Gather 5-10 employees who are eager to explore the selected topic.
  • Start a remote meeting and divide it into five parts: introduction, research presentation, questions to the presenter, group discussion and reflection on the learned information.

Such learning cycles help employees to keep their knowledge up to date and get inspired to progress professionally. Plus, this activity can be used to discuss any fun, non-professional matters. If some of your teammates are passionate about literature, beer brewing or Korean movies, they can get together to discuss the shared interests too.

Online holiday parties

Public holidays and important business dates are the perfect reasons to celebrate. And what is a celebration without a good party?

Online corporate parties can be just as fun as offline ones (and, in fact, they can be even better). The things to enjoy during a virtual get-together are limited only to your imagination. You may:

  • Hire a music band and stream a live concert right to your team members’ homes
  • Send out happy hour kits to all employees and open them up at the set hour
  • Arrange a cyber rave and show off your dancing skills
  • Organize a stand-up comedy show to figure out who’s the funniest person on the team

And of course, an online party gives a great opportunity to try some team building activities we reviewed in this post. Choose the ones that suit the moment best and have a good time.

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