In this article, we will explore the benefits of remote team building and share 32 fun activities that you can use in virtual teams to increase connection, collaboration, and employee engagement.
Related reading: +55 office games for team building, engagement and belonging
Understanding remote team building
Remote team building refers to activities and initiatives designed to foster a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among remote employees and team members who work in different locations. Virtual team building exercises for remote teams involve creating opportunities for virtual team members to connect, interact, and build relationships. While remote team building may require a different approach than traditional team building, it is equally important for virtual teams to have a strong sense of community and shared purpose.
The benefits of team building for remote teams
Remote team building offers numerous benefits that contribute to the overall success and productivity of virtual teams. It helps to build trust and strengthen relationships among team members who may never meet in person. By engaging in activities together, team members develop a sense of camaraderie and solidarity, which enhances collaboration and teamwork.
Remote team-building activities boost morale and increase employee engagement. When remote team members feel connected and valued, they are more likely to be motivated and satisfied with their work. This leads to improved productivity and a positive work culture.
Adding some virtual team-building activities to your schedule can break the monotony of daily work and provide opportunities for stress relief. Remote team-building games and activities offer a way to bond, relax and get to know each other, even when everyone is working from home in different countries and time zones. Virtual team members can come together to have fun, unwind, and recharge, which ultimately improves their overall well-being and work-life balance.
20 fun and engaging activities for remote team building
Virtual scavenger hunt: Create a list of items or clues for team members to find within their own homes. They can take pictures or videos to share with the team.
Online trivia night: Host a trivia competition using a platform like Kahoot or Quizizz. Choose categories that align with your team's interests and encourage friendly competition.
Show and tell: Give team members the opportunity to share a personal item, hobby, or story during a virtual meeting. This helps to foster connections and understanding among team members.
Virtual escape room: Participate in an online escape room experience where team members work together to solve puzzles and complete challenges within a specified time limit.
Photo challenges: Assign fun photo challenges to team members, such as taking a selfie with their favourite coffee mug or capturing a beautiful sunset. Share the photos in a dedicated group chat or Slack channel.
Virtual team lunch: Encourage team members to have lunch together via video conference. This can provide a casual and relaxed atmosphere for team bonding and conversation.
Remote cooking class: Organize a virtual cooking class where team members cook the same recipe together. This activity promotes teamwork and creativity while allowing team members to learn new culinary skills.
Pen pal program: Pair team members together and encourage them to exchange handwritten letters or emails. This activity promotes connection and allows team members to learn more about each other.
Virtual book club: Select a book and schedule regular virtual meetings to discuss chapters and share insights. This activity promotes personal development and encourages intellectual discussions.
Online game tournament: Arrange a gaming tournament where team members can compete against each other in their favorite online game. This activity allows for friendly competition and team bonding.
Virtual talent show: Give team members the opportunity to showcase their hidden talents through a virtual talent show. This activity fosters creativity and encourages team members to support and cheer for one another.
Letter of appreciation: Have team members write letters expressing their appreciation for a fellow team member's contributions and positive qualities. These letters can be shared during team meetings or privately sent.
Virtual coffee breaks: Schedule regular virtual coffee breaks where team members can relax, chat, and catch up on non-work-related topics. This activity helps to simulate the informal conversations that occur in physical break rooms.
Online art class: Engage in a virtual art class where team members can learn and create art together. This activity promotes creativity and allows team members to explore their artistic abilities.
Virtual yoga or meditation sessions: Organize virtual yoga or meditation sessions to help team members relax, reduce stress, and improve their overall well-being. These sessions can be led by a team member or an external instructor.
Online puzzle collaboration: Assign team members a challenging online puzzle to solve together. Encourage communication and collaboration to complete the puzzle as a team.
Virtual volunteer work: Find virtual volunteer opportunities where team members can contribute their skills and time to support a cause they are passionate about. This activity promotes empathy and community engagement.
Remote movie night: Schedule a virtual movie night where team members can watch a movie together and discuss it afterwards. This activity provides a fun and relaxed environment for team bonding.
Virtual fitness challenges: Set team fitness goals and track progress together using fitness apps or wearable devices. Encourage team members to support and motivate each other along the way.
Online happy hour: Host a virtual happy hour where team members can relax, socialize, and share their favourite drinks or snacks. This activity promotes casual conversation and team camaraderie.
Creating a virtual break room for team bonding
A virtual break room is a designated space or channel where team members can gather to have casual conversations and connect on a personal level. It serves as an online equivalent to the physical break room found in traditional office settings. A virtual break room can be built using communication platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. By providing a space for socialization and non-work-related discussions, a virtual break room fosters team bonding and allows team members to build stronger relationships beyond work tasks.
Taking virtual tours of remote working locations
Virtual tours of remote working locations provide an opportunity for team members to learn more about their colleagues' work environments and gain insights into their daily work lives. Team members can share pictures or videos of their home offices, co-working spaces, or other remote working setups. This activity promotes understanding, empathy, and connection among team members who may never physically visit each other's workspaces.
Hosting virtual company events for team building
Virtual company events are larger-scale activities that bring the entire team together for a shared experience. These events can include virtual conferences, webinars, guest speakers, or workshops. By participating in these events together, team members can learn new skills, discuss industry trends, and feel a sense of unity and belonging within the organization.
Fostering positivity with 'Good News' conversations
'Good News' conversations are dedicated discussions where team members share positive news, accomplishments, or personal victories. These conversations can be held during team meetings or in a dedicated channel within the communication platform. By focusing on and celebrating positive aspects of work and personal life, this activity promotes a positive and uplifting atmosphere within the team.
Promoting recognition and appreciation in remote teams
Recognition and appreciation are crucial in building a positive team culture and enhancing team members' motivation and job satisfaction. In virtual teams, it is important to find creative ways to show gratitude. This can be done through public acknowledgements during team meetings, sending virtual thank-you notes, or creating a recognition board where team members can highlight each other's achievements.
Setting friendly challenges for team collaboration
Setting friendly challenges encourages team members to collaborate and work together on specific goals or tasks. These challenges can include problem-solving activities, brainstorming sessions, or team-building projects. By working towards a common objective, team members develop stronger relationships and improve their communication and problem-solving skills.
Showcasing skills with 'Show and Learn' sessions
'Show and Learn' sessions give team members the chance to share their expertise or showcase a skill they possess. These sessions can be scheduled during team meetings and provide a platform for team members to learn from one another, gain new insights, and appreciate each other's talents.
Sharing daily snapshots for team connection
Share daily snapshots is an activity where team members share a picture or video of their daily routines or interesting moments from their day. This activity helps team members feel connected and provides an insight into each member's unique experiences. It can be shared in a dedicated group chat, email thread, or a photo-sharing platform.
Encouraging cross-team collaboration in remote work
Cross-team collaboration refers to working with members from different teams or departments within the organization. In remote work settings, it is essential to establish opportunities for cross-team collaboration to foster a sense of unity and encourage knowledge sharing. This can be done through cross-functional projects, virtual team workshops, or joint team activities.
Bringing the Friday feeling to the whole team
Bringing the Friday feeling is a way to infuse a sense of relaxation and excitement into the workweek. This can involve organizing themed virtual events, casual dress codes, or end-of-week reflections and celebrations. By creating a fun and vibrant atmosphere, team members can look forward to the end of the week and feel a stronger sense of connection and camaraderie.
Hosting engaging workshops and classes remotely
Remote workshops and classes provide opportunities for team members to learn and develop new skills together. These sessions can be led by internal experts or external trainers and cover a wide range of topics relevant to the team's work or personal development. By participating in workshops and classes, team members expand their knowledge, encourage each other's growth, and strengthen their bonds.
Staying active with virtual workout sessions
Physical well-being is just as important as mental well-being. Encouraging team members to stay active through virtual workout sessions promotes a healthy lifestyle and creates a sense of community. These sessions can include online fitness classes, virtual yoga sessions, or step challenges. By exercising together, team members bond over shared goals and motivate each other to prioritize their physical well-being.
Building connections through virtual book clubs
Virtual book clubs provide an opportunity for team members to engage in intellectual discussions and expand their knowledge. By reading and analyzing books together, team members gain new perspectives, exchange ideas, and build connections based on shared interests. Whether it's a book related to their industry or a fictional novel, virtual book clubs foster a sense of community and enhance team members' personal growth.
In conclusion, effective remote team building is crucial for the success of virtual teams. By understanding the benefits of remote team building and implementing engaging activities, teams can foster connection, collaboration, and camaraderie. Whether through virtual scavenger hunts, online game tournaments, or virtual fitness challenges, virtual teams can come together, have fun, and strengthen their relationships. With a creative and innovative approach to remote team building, teams can thrive and achieve their goals regardless of physical distance.