10 virtual team building activities
Updated: Jan 13, 2022
"It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." – Charles Darwin
When your team is working remotely, promoting good collaboration will have a significant impact on performance. Collaboration should be built into your workflows, woven into the culture of your company, and reflected in the tools you use.
To build strong remote teams, make sure your employees get together often to share something fun. A culture like this can facilitate the kind of working relationships that just make work more enjoyable, especially without the usual office bonding rituals.
To achieve a common goal, the right tools can help align around basic processes. A reference guide, such as a brand book or set of design principles, can serve as a guide for future work. Communication tools and whiteboards are useful for sharing and tracking new work across teams, especially as they learn to work and collaborate remotely.
Here’s a quick rundown of tools that help remote teams collaborate:
For project management, Monday or Asana are open platforms where anyone on your team can create the tools they need to run every aspect of their work. This helps teams orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives.
Miro and Notion are great collaboration hubs for remote teamwork and content creation. Miro is a whiteboard tool for designing, building, planning, and brainstorming, while Notion is an all-in-one workspace for task management, notes, doc collaboration, and Wikis.
Experienced companies that have been at remote work for years know that an internal knowledge base is a must-have for efficient dispersed workforce. It allows organizations to create and share their expertise among employees. Ensure teams are aligned around shared company information, including product updates, as well as onboarding and training programs. The Wix Answers knowledge base helps teams prevent loss of expertise to maintain those insights with a knowledge management system consisting of internal articles and how-to tutorials so that your product experts of today can remotely train your agents of tomorrow.
Slack is a great communication platform for keeping your team in regular contact with each other, and sharing exciting news and updates. It provides you with real-time messaging through calls and chat, a searchable record of all your files and conversations, and integrations with a growing number of handy bots and apps.
While collaborative tools and workflows are vital for team collaboration, it’s also important to focus on what’s behind the tech — human beings...
10 fun team-building activities for remote teams
Especially during periods of remote work, these activities will help your team build and maintain strong personal connections, camaraderie and trust, foster ongoing ‘human’ channels of communication, and help your team feel close to one another even when they are oceans apart.
1. Conversation-starter ice breakers
Whether it’s weekly or monthly team meetings, here are some prompts to get the conversations flowing.
For weekly team sync meetings, ask your teammates:
What music have you been listening to in the past week?
Tell us about someone (a friend, family or stranger) who surprised you...
Tell us about a personal triumph you experienced in the past week...
For monthly or bi-monthly team bonding, try asking:
What musician / band have you been obsessing over lately?
If you didn’t have to work, what would you do with your time?
Share something embarrassing that happened to you in the past month...
2. Truth or Lie
Can you hold a poker face for at least 2 minutes? Here’s how it works: Each team member tells two things or stories about themselves. One is true, the other is a lie. The rest of the group gets 2 minutes to ask the person questions about each story. Each person votes in the chat on which story they think is true and which one is false. Whoever guesses correctly wins a point. You can also just play for laughs.
3. Zoom scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts can be just as fun on Zoom as they are in person, and they inspire people to be creative. If you split up into smaller groups, they’re also collaborative. Either way, it’s almost certain to be a bonding experience.
Here’s a fun virtual scavenger hunt list. Use it as is, tweak it for your team, or toss it out and start from scratch. Enjoy!
Your favorite toy
Something that’s round
Something that lights up
A musical instrument
Something with numbers on it
Something that makes you sad
Something that smells sweet
Something from a vacation
Your favorite snack
Something that has wheels on it
Something that makes you happy
Something with paws
Something that floats
A family picture
Here’s another classic game idea that everyone loves (or should, at least). This one’s definitely a no-brainer for getting people to let their hair down a bit, even if they don’t have any.
Here’s what you need for Zoom Pictionary:
Whiteboard or large paper (at least 70x100 cm)
A thick black pen
A way to prop up your whiteboard or paper in front of your computer camera
Hat or bowl (for the host) for mixing and choosing categories
Ideas for categories, e.g., films, books, cities, countries, foods, etc.
Alternately, Zoom now allows participants to ‘annotate’ during screen sharing sessions, allowing everyone on the call to draw on the shared screen!
Like Pictionary, this game is also great for a video meeting with your team. Here are the instructions:
Decide on several theme categories (e.g., movies, books, animals, etc.)
Create a list of 10-15 items for each theme category
Choose someone to write each item down on strips of paper. This person will be in charge of randomly selecting and assigning items to participants.
Invite everyone to a video call
Split into two teams
Zoom’s chat function can be used to privately tell participants what to act out
Each team takes turns as their players act out items
The first team to guess correctly wins a point
Play as long as you want. The team with the most points in the end wins.
Here are a few website ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
6. Never Have I Ever
This is a really cool game for getting to know the people on your team better. The organizer comes up with topics in advance, or team members can submit topics that you filter or adjust for the group. Never Have I Ever is typically a knock-out game. You start with five fingers up and put one finger down for each thing you have in fact done. For example, if the prompt is “never have I ever eaten sushi,” then everyone who has eaten sushi puts a finger down. The person in the end with the most fingers still up — in other words, who has never done any or most of those things — wins.
Here are a few more topic ideas to help get you started:
Never have I ever gotten a tattoo
Never have I ever audibly farted during a professional meeting
Never have I ever dated someone over ten years older
Never have I ever gotten stuck in an elevator
Never have I ever changed a flat tire
7. Things I...
This game tests how well you know the people on your team — and it’s a great way to share a few good laughs. Before you begin, each participant contributes topics to a common list (use Google Docs or Google Sheets). Each topic must start with the word “things.” For example, “things I eat when I should be asleep” or “things I wish I read more often but never seem to find the time for.”
One person starts as the host and reads a topic prompt. The other players then anonymously submit answers to the host via private message. The host reads the answers to the group, and then each person has a chance to guess who said what. Correct guesses earn points. You can play for prizes or just for fun. Switch hosts and play as many rounds as you like.
8. Arts & crafts challenge
This surprise activity is both entertaining and creative. Each person has 30 minutes to build something from anything lying around at home. For example, you can create musical instruments from kitchen items. You can build a medieval fort using toilet paper and/or paper towel rolls. You can make a collage out of interesting yet dispensable things you find in a ‘junk’ drawer, your garage or storage space. The goal isn’t to create museum-worthy art. Rather, it’s to spark creativity and give your team a fun way to interact together.
9. Virtual team cooking
This is an immersive cooking experience with your team and an “unforgettable culinary journey” with a master chef. Whether it’s a 2-course gourmet meal with all the trimmings or a dessert with wine, it’s not just about eating, it’s about having an unforgettably fun bonding experience with your team. Everything is taken care of for you: shipping of ingredients, event planning, post-class feedback, and a video highlights reel.
10. Virtual team painting
Here’s an inspiring team bonding experience that encourages collaboration and can be hung on the wall! It’s called team painting. A dedicated event coordinator from TeamBonding plans everything, each guest receives a painting kit, and you get a fun art instructor to keep everyone energized and inspired. The activity should be about one to two hours, and you get plenty of time to socialize and interact. No artistic talent is needed!