With a large number of employees all across the world working remotely, to miss having colleagues around is an understatement.
More so, amidst a usual workday full of things to do and deadlines, it is easy to lose track of whether you really got to connect or talk to your team members on a personal level or not.
This also often leads to miscommunication and lack of synchronization amidst team members; a few common challenges when managing remote employees.
The next thing to make remote working successful is to ensure that your team stays connected on an individual level and gets to enjoy the “informal” moments even when working remotely.
And the best way to do so is through virtual team building activities and games.
Team building games not only add fun to an otherwise hectic workday, but it also helps bring the team closer that eventually helps with the productivity of remote teams.
Here are 21 such virtual team building activities and games that you can easily squeeze in a workday and give your team and yourself a much-needed fun break to reconnect and rebond and increase productivity.
1The desert island scenario
Why should you consider it: To help the team collaborate better through on-the-spot thinking
How to do it: Divide your team equally in smaller teams of 2-3 members and give them a list of random things to choose from if they were to be stranded on a desert island together.
Give all of them an equal amount of time to discuss and come up with their answers.
Most importantly, ensure that every member gets to pick one thing and has a reason to do so.
2Personal facts guessing game
Why should you consider it: To help the team members know each other better
How to do it: Assign a moderator and ask every team member to share an interesting piece of information about their life beforehand.
During the activity, the moderator would ask the other team members to guess the person through this information.
Why should you consider it: To help team members break the ice
How to do it: Ask every team member to share a picture of them from their past of an incident or duration that holds importance for them.
The image could be of a vacation, a family member, a friend, etc.
This is also a good way to know what made the team members the way they are, resulting in stronger bonds.
4Sharing the bucket list
Why should you consider it: To allow team members to find similar interests amongst each other and to know each other better
How to do it: Ask every team member to write a bucket list or keep one ready before the activity.
As team members share their bucket list, it will be an opportunity for other team members to find people with similar interests or goals that they can connect with.
This not only helps foster long-term bonds as team members encourage each other but also gives everyone a chance to create a bucket list for themselves and have goals.
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5Building a story together
Why should you consider it: To encourage teamwork and creativity
How to do it: Start by giving out a storyline or a cue or a situation.
Ask every member to keep adding to the story with something that makes sense.
Once everyone is done, read out the story aloud to showcase everyone’s creativity and teamwork and to have a good time.
6Simulated problems to prepare beforehand
Why should you consider it: To ensure the team is ready to tackle any kind of situation
How to do it: Since every industry comes with its own set of problems, the goal here is to identify them and give the team a situation to know how they would deal with it.
Once everyone had the chance to analyse the situation and figure out solutions, have a group chat to help them understand the flaws in their approach and the things that would work.
This would give everyone a chance to improve themselves and learn from each other.
7Two truths and a lie
Why should you consider it: An interesting and fun ice-breaker virtual team building activity
How to do it: Ask every team member to share a list of 3 things out of which there are two truths and one lie.
As the other team members play the guessing game, it is easier to break the ice between them and have a fun time.
8Guess the emoji board
Why should you consider it: An entertaining way to break the ice
How to do it: Share a list of emojis with every team member beforehand.
During the activity, pick one player and ask everyone else, one at a time to share the emojis that person uses the most.
Let a round of laughter begin!
9Never have I ever
Why should you consider it: A great Friday evening post-work virtual get-together
How to do it: One of the most sought-after virtual team building activities and games, herein, everyone can gather around their laptops and computers with their favourite drink to unwind after a long week.
And while everyone is enjoying their favourite cocktail or mocktail, the game allows everyone to state one thing they have never done.
For example, hitch-hiking, spending a day in a forest, getting a tattoo, baking a cake, etc.
Whoever from the other members have not done the same activity will then take a sip of their drink and the game continues.
10Virtual book club
Why should you consider it: To foster reading habits
How to do it: Just like any other book club activity, herein, the team will choose a common book or simply let everyone pick one for themselves.
At the chosen time, everyone would get a chance to talk a bit about the book that they are reading.
Since this is mostly a weekly activity, it will also give everyone enough time to pick a book and read at their convenience.
11An icebreaker (general knowledge) quiz game to get to know each other
Why should you consider it: An engaging virtual team building activity
How to do it: Herein, the moderator will share a sheet of common questions which everyone has to fill in and share discreetly.
During the activity, divide the team into smaller teams of two or three members and allow them to guess the right answer about one another.
This is not only a good way to know more about your colleagues but also a good way to participate in a group activity.
You can also look for a few more ice breaker games that help new members connect with their team, or as the name suggests – break the ice.
12Live remote office – keeping the cam on
Why should you consider it: To help one another get a sense of belongingness
How to do it: Since everyone is working from home, it is easy to lose track of time, miss the small talk in-between work and those water-cooler moments.
By keeping the camera on for a shorter or longer duration, team members not only get a chance to be present at the same time, but it also helps to indulge in smaller conversations during work – just like one would do at the workplace.
Why should you consider it: A fun virtual team building activity that everyone can easily be a part of
How to do it: Thanks to platforms that allow screen sharing or watching movies virtually, all you have to do is fix a time, pick a movie that everyone is interested in (better to share 2-3 options beforehand), and have a good time with everyone.
Why should you consider it: To take short breaks during a workday to have a small talk with the team
How to do it: Encourage the team members to fix up time between them to take a short break, brew some tea/coffee and have a virtual chit-chat about anything apart from work.
Taking a short break not only helps get a breather between work but also helps form a better bond with the other team members.
It also often leads to better solutions since it is easier to discuss a few things/issues informally.
15Sending gifts to your fellow team members
Why should you consider it: To add a surprise element in day-to-day life
How to do it: Set a nominal budget and ask everyone to share their addresses with the moderator.
Assign one person to each member and ask them to place an order for a gift, something that they think the other person would appreciate.
This way, everyone has to buy something for only one person and get to be their off-season Secret Santa.
Getting a surprise gift from a fellow colleague is a warm feeling that helps foster the bond further.
16Pin the map
Why should you consider it: A fun way to break the ice and have a good time
How to do it: Recalling the geography lessons everyone took during school days, the moderator would share a map of the city or state or country and ask team members, one by one, to point out a particular place.
While everyone struggles to get the answers right, this is a good way to share a hearty laugh and take a break from work.
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Why should you consider it: An amusing way to conduct a team engagement activity
How to do it: Thanks to the numerous messaging apps and platforms that offer video calls, it is easier to play this game virtually.
To add a twist, you can pick words related to your industry instead of movies to see how people explain that to their team through actions.
18Joke of the week
Why should you consider it: To encourage creativity along with some fun-time
How to do it: Imbibing a little fun through a joke that leads to a hearty laugh is another good way to keep things light and have a good time at work.
Pick a teammate every week and ask them to come up with the joke of the week that can be sent via email or can be narrated, depending on how your team prefers.
19Get fit through weekly health challenges
Why should you consider it: To ensure all team members stay fit and take care of their health
How to do it: Assign an easy to do workout or food challenge every week for the entire team.
For example, 30-minute walk every day, no sugar for a week, eating salads every day, climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, etc.
The goal here is to collectively work towards better health and lifestyle that often takes a backseat when we are working from home.
To ensure that every team member is taking this seriously and is feeling motivated, you can also assign everyone a health buddy.
Why should you consider it: To ensure everyone feels included and to help break the ice between team members
How to do it: Ask one team member every week to prepare a playlist choosing songs that they like and adding a few keeping in mind other’s preferences.
You can always club this virtual team building activity with having the camera on the laptop to create an environment nothing less than an actual workspace.
21One on one session
Why should you consider it: To help team members open up with their managers and discuss any red flags or ongoing problems easily
How to do it: Amidst the hustle-bustle of deadlines and growing a business, it is common to see friction between managers and their team members.
The best and fruitful way to ensure that they work smoothly as a team is to have weekly one on one meetings with everyone.
This will not only make sure that they both understand what is expected from each other, but will also help build trust and allow managers to manage their remote team efficiently.
However, to ensure that one on one sessions are a success, it is imperative to choose a platform especially built for this.
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Summing up – Virtual Team Building Activities & Games
A little creativity can help you pick virtual team building activities and games that your team members would enjoy the most.
While at it, do not forget to measure these engagement activities to improvise and get better results.