10 Best Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Employees (2024)

The 21st century has bought a lot of changes in our day-to-day lives, including our work culture. The constant evolution in the field of cloud computing has made things easier for us than ever before. Unlike earlier, professionals can now work from anywhere aided by real-time collaboration tools. And with the rise of remote workers, the need to employ virtual team building activities has gained popularity

Fast forward to the present day, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the usual world order. Several countries are now under a state of lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. And this has eventually led many businesses to adopt work from home policy to keep their employees safe and workflow intact.

However, with no sign of any cure yet and social distancing being the only viable measure, work from home has likely become the new normal. But, staying away from the usual office setup for a prolonged period will affect your employees adversely.

This is where the managers need to step in and take appropriate measures to keep up the team spirit. And for ensuring this, virtual team-building activities are the way to go. Garit Boothe, an SEO consultant of Garit Boothe Digital, advises organizations to focus more on team-building and here is what he has to say,

In 2023, team-building will depend on improving team dynamics, fostering trust, and boosting productivity. Collaborating and communicating can be improved through exercises like icebreakers and workshops. Team-building exercises adapted to each team's specific requirements can improve a team's ability to function as a unit.

Implementing such activities in your daily routine helps the employers on two fronts, i.e.,

Hence, to help you out, I have created a list of some of the best remote team building activities. And I'm sure that these activities will help you keep your teams connected and lift their morale.

10 Best Virtual Team Building Activities for a Remote Workforce

1. Online Office Games

Time- 30 Minutes to One Hour

Objective- To build better coordination between your distributed teams.

Team building activities are always incomplete without any icebreaker games. Well, conducting such games is much easier when all your employees are around. However, you can still organize such team games online for your distributed teams over a group chat.

I’ll keep it very simple here; you can combine various games into one competition. Then divide your employees into different teams depending on the size of your workforce. Try to mix up the employees from mutiple departments while making teams. Also, make sure that all the teams have at least 3-4 members.

After making the teams, list out some ice breakers that can be played in online multiplayer mode. Nowadays, many such games are available for both mobile and PC. Decide a structure where winning points are based on the complexity of the game.

Always keep in mind that every team member should actively participate in the game and earn points. Thereby encouraging healthy competition and build a strong relationship among the team members.

2. Team Health Challenges

Time- 20 to 30 Minutes

Objective- To encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst your remote team members

Employee wellbeing has become a norm across the business world.

Every organization now desires to thrive with a healthy workforce. And for, this many are now implementing corporate wellness programs in their workplaces. However, it becomes quite different in the case of your remote team members.

Here, one of the most effective ways to ensure the same is to associate health challenges as a part of your virtual team-building exercise.

I have already mentioned above how to create and maintain your teams. So the next step here is to assign different health challenges to your teams.

Here, you can consider throwing tasks to your employees like

  • Completing “X” number of pushups, squats, lunges.
  • Run for “X” Kms in a week.
  • Complete “X” number of steps daily.
  • Joint meditation sessions through video chatting to boost mental health.

Another great way to host such virtual employee health challenges is through a corporate wellness platform.

Platforms like this allow you to

  • Create flexible employee health contests.
  • Track your employees’ progress in the health campaign.
  • Gather vital insights about your employees' health status.
  • Encourages healthy competition within the workforce.
  • Incentivize your top performers for motivating them.

Thus, allowing you to gamify your workplace health initiatives and nurture a healthy workforce.

Learn more: 5 Things to Look into while selecting a corporate wellness platform

3. Virtual Coffee Breaks

10 Best Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Employees (1)

Image source: Unsplash

Time- 15 to 30 Minutes

Objective- Bridging the communication gap between your remote employees.

Who doesn’t like to grab a cup of coffee and engage in an interesting conversation with their colleagues?

I guess no one will say “No” to that!

But for your remote teams, this is no less than a luxury. Coffee breaks are a great way to enhance the professional relationship between your employees. Such breaks also allow your employees to de-stress themselves and bounce back with great productivity.

Hence, you can include virtual coffee breaks as a part of your remote team-building activities. You can treat these breaks as informal team meetings over a conference call. And allow your employees to engage in some random talks with their colleagues. Further, to jinx up these breaks, you can include other fun elements to it as well.

Download our Free Ebook on Work from Home: A Definitive Guide for Managers

4. Spread the Knowledge

Time- 30 to 45 Minutes

Objective- Rejuvenate the thought process of your employees

I must say that it’s one of the best virtual team activities that you can host for your employees, whether they are near you or not.

The only requirement here is active participation through video conferencing and your employees' willingness to share their knowledge about various things with others.

Before beginning this activity, you can ask your employees to submit what they would be sharing with their peers. After that, you can randomly select some of the submissions and ask the employee to share them with others the next day. This way, you encourage your employees to learn new things and instill respect for each other among your employees.

You may also like: Reverse Mentoring- Definition and How to Implement

5. Dig Up a Fact or Scavenger Hunt

Time- 20 Minutes (Per Team)

Objective- Building trust and confidence within your employees.

Dig up a fact is another great way to educate your employees about some lesser-known but exciting facts. These facts can be about anything like a region, a person of importance, corporation, or profession.

For doing this activity, you can ask your teams to decide on an area and then dig up some amazing less known facts about it. You can further spice it up by asking your teams to prepare a short presentation and present it to their colleagues.

It is a perfect virtual team-building activity as it brings everyone together to deliver one common thing. With this, your employees will not only come to know some new facts, but it’ll also promote better camaraderie and enhance their ability to function as a team with everyone having different roles to play.

6. Quiz Up

Time- 20 to 30 Minutes

Objective- Encouraging the spirit of learning amongst the employees.

Enough of learning new things, and now it’s time to test how much your employees know. Since it’s a fast-paced event, it’ll challenge all your teams to give their best and win whatever is up for grabs.

You can prepare questions around various topics related to business, technology, culture, geography, current events, and many more based on your preference. Here, you can also arrange a few helplines like for example -

Allowing a team to get help from any other team a maximum of two times. If the answer is correct, the point will be divided among both groups.Sounds interesting, isn’t it? Therefore, making this game of wit even more interesting for your remote employees.

7. Meetings over Lunch

10 Best Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Employees (2)

Image source- Unsplash

Time- 45 Minutes to One hour

Objective- Boost your employee relations.

Socializing with colleagues is very important for ensuring healthy workplace relationships. An important thing that your employees miss while working from different locations is going out for lunch with peers, which is one of the best ways to socialize.

However, you can fill this void by organizing meetings over lunch via video conference. It will make your employees feel good when they all meet each other over lunch, even if it’s virtual to discuss any important matter or just get involved in some fun chat. Make it a point to keep holding such meetings frequently so that your remote team members feel connected.

8. Solve It!

Time- 20 to 45 Minutes

Objective- Encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and implementation of ideas.

While planning for any team-building program, you must also keep some room for activities that requires a lot of brainstorming.

Many employees now spend the majority of their time in front of their machines, often doing the same monotonous tasks. Well, you can break this chain by challenging them to solve any code, problem, or puzzle.

Here, you don’t need to worry about creating unique problems for each team, but you can throw one single challenging code and ask them to solve it within a given time frame. And as evident, it is whichever team can solve it first earns the reward.

9. Create a Story

Time- 30 Minutes to One hour

Objective- Creating a culture of teamwork.

We, humans, are really good at creating stories that can amaze anyone be it our friends or our HR managers (What’s the best you have heard so far? Comment below).

The same also qualify to be made into an engaging and fun team building activity. The only thing you need to do here is giving some random words that will be common for everyone. And then, ask them to create a story using those random words or sentences. Doing this will be fun, and your employees will also love it as they unfurl laughter with their stories.

10. Who are you?

10 Best Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Employees (3)

Image source: Unsplash

Time- 10 to 15 Minutes

Objective- Perfect for ice-breaking, especially when you onboard new remote team members.

Each one of your employees is unique. And it’s essential to bring out their uniqueness in front of everyone to build a healthy relationship.

Hence, you can host an online event to encourage your employees to share their stories with everyone. This will positively impact your employees by scaling up their self-confidence. At the same time, it will also inspire others to open up about themselves. Thus, building trust amongst your employees and taking your company culture to new heights.

Here’s a list of some of the best icebreaker questions for you to check out.

Wrapping up

The biggest issue associated with remote working is that employees feel disconnected if they don’t receive proper attention from their colleagues and managers. And to keep this in check, organizing online team-building activities from time to time becomes very important.

The virtual team-building activities listed above provide you a way to fill the gap and bring your remote employees closer. You can either opt for organizing any one action or combine a few of them to create an engaging virtual team-building program.

Recommended Read: 6 Proven Types of Team-Building Every Company Must Explore

If you’ve got some other virtual team-building ideas, we would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Working as a SEO Analyst and Content Marketer at Vantage Circle, Angshuman always stays curious and is passionate about learning new things. Got any question? Drop a mail at editor@vantagecircle.com

As a seasoned expert in the fields of remote work, team dynamics, and virtual team-building, my extensive experience positions me to provide insightful commentary on the article about the evolving work culture in the 21st century. My in-depth knowledge extends to the transformative impact of cloud computing, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the crucial role of virtual team-building activities in maintaining team cohesion and productivity.

Let's delve into the concepts used in the article:

  1. Cloud Computing and Remote Work:

    • The article recognizes the significant role of cloud computing in facilitating remote work. Cloud computing enables professionals to work from anywhere, supported by real-time collaboration tools. The seamless integration of these technologies has revolutionized the traditional work setup.
  2. Impact of COVID-19 on Work Culture:

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the conventional work order, leading to lockdowns and a surge in remote work policies. The article emphasizes the need for businesses to adapt to these changes to ensure employee safety and maintain workflow.
  3. Virtual Team Building:

    • The core focus of the article revolves around the importance of virtual team-building activities, especially in the context of prolonged remote work. The author, Garit Boothe, stresses the significance of improving team dynamics, fostering trust, and boosting productivity in the year 2023.
  4. SEO Consultant's Advice:

    • Garit Boothe, identified as an SEO consultant of Garit Boothe Digital, provides valuable insights. He suggests that effective team-building in 2023 should concentrate on enhancing collaboration and communication through exercises like icebreakers and workshops tailored to each team's needs.
  5. Key Objectives of Team Building Activities:

    • The outlined team-building activities serve specific objectives, such as improving coordination among distributed teams, promoting a healthy lifestyle among remote team members, bridging communication gaps, and rejuvenating employees' thought processes.
  6. Virtual Team Building Activities:

    • The article presents a comprehensive list of virtual team-building activities. These include online office games, team health challenges, virtual coffee breaks, spreading knowledge sessions, fact or scavenger hunts, quizzes, meetings over lunch, problem-solving challenges, collaborative story creation, and personal sharing sessions.
  7. Employee Wellbeing and Corporate Wellness:

    • Recognizing the importance of employee wellbeing, the article suggests incorporating health challenges as part of virtual team-building exercises. Corporate wellness platforms are recommended to track progress, gather insights, and incentivize top performers.
  8. Incorporating Fun Elements:

    • The article advocates for the inclusion of fun elements in virtual team-building activities, such as combining games into competitions, incorporating random talks during virtual coffee breaks, and creating engaging stories using random words.
  9. Challenges and Solutions:

    • Team-building activities like solving codes or puzzles are proposed to challenge teams and stimulate out-of-the-box thinking. The article emphasizes the need to address the monotony of tasks through engaging activities that promote creativity and collaboration.
  10. Building Relationships and Trust:

    • The concept of "Who are you?" is introduced as an ice-breaking activity, especially useful for onboarding new remote team members. Encouraging employees to share their unique stories fosters trust, builds relationships, and contributes to a positive company culture.

In conclusion, the article offers a holistic approach to addressing the challenges of remote work through well-crafted virtual team-building activities, aligning with the evolving landscape of work culture in the 21st century.

10 Best Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Employees (2024)
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