Top 10 Virtual Team Building Activities
As we move into the fall and many companies are still working from home, it becomes even more crucial that we find ways to stay connected with our co-workers. Remote workers can feel isolated from their teams, disconnected from their organizations, and generally lonely, especially during the unprecedented events we experienced this summer. As remote work becomes our new normal, it is particularly important to remain proactive in fostering relationships between coworkers, even if it’s from a distance!
Below we've shared ten ideas for fun team building activities for remote teams! Incorporating events like these into your work schedule every so often will help keep your remote teams connected, productive, and most importantly, happy. Nothing can replace in-person interaction with your team, but these entertaining alternatives come pretty darn close!
1. Play interactive online games
Playing virtual games is one of the most classic ways to engage your remote team, and for good reason. There’s very little set-up, employees can participate from all over the globe, and of course, everyone has a lot of fun! There are computerized versions of many classic board games, as well as new completely online options such as Jackbox Games. Or take your virtual game night up a notch with our Office Olympics evnet! In Office Olympics, one of our energetic hosts will guide your remote team through a series of exciting head-to-head challenges such as Family Feud. See who comes out on top!
2. Watch a movie
Consider hosting a virtual movie night (or afternoon) for your coworkers. Take suggestions for the movie from your team, and select a time to watch. Everyone can get into their comfiest clothes, and cook up some traditional movie theater snacks like popcorn or nachos. You can show the movie via a video chat service like Zoom, but many streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu now offer a watch party option with a chat function, which makes it easy to sync start times and helps keep everyone engaged.
3. Solve a mystery
You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need to be in person to do some detective work with your coworkers! Consider solving a virtual mystery together, like our Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery. This sort of game facilitates teamwork, which aids with problem-solving and productivity in your organization down the road, and teams will be excited to see if they can solve the mystery before time runs out! This sort of event is probably unlike anything your team has done before, which makes it even more fun and exciting.
4. Take a personality assessment
There are many tests that measure different aspects of a person's personality, strengths, or values, such as Myers-Briggs or Enneagram. Many of these tests are available online. Select a test that you think would work well for your remote team, and have them each take it and record their results. This can reveal things like how introverted or extroverted they are, whether they like their day scheduled or more flexible, and how they best respond to conflict. Once everyone has their results, schedule a meeting to go over them and teach your team a little bit about what they mean. Not only is it interesting to learn this sort of information about the members of your team, but it can also help you and your coworkers figure out how to best work together to maximize both productivity and happiness.
5. Host a happy hour
Sometimes, the structure provided by a virtual event can be a hindrance rather than an advantage. If you have a group that is already close to each other, they may benefit most from time dedicated to simply catching up and socializing, rather than a specific event. This can mimic the time teams would normally spend chatting during lunch or over drinks after work. Everyone can grab a drink (tea or coffee will work great, depending on the time of day) or a light snack, and all you need to do is set up a Zoom call and let people talk. If you have a large team, it can be helpful to put people in breakout rooms of ten or so, and rotate them around every so often so your entire remote team gets a chance to reconnect.
6. Read an engaging book
Starting a virtual book club may seem like a strange choice to keep you connected with your coworkers, but there’s a reason book clubs have always been so popular - they’re actually a lot of fun. You can have your team vote on a book to read, and set up a date to discuss it in a month or two. Everyone can read the book on their own time, and then share their thoughts and feelings about it in a virtual meet-up. Books on workplace productivity or organization are always an option, but checking out a thought-provoking classic, high concept fantasy, or bestselling thriller might be more fun for a purely social event.
7. Paint your next masterpiece, together
Learning a new skill, such as painting, with your coworkers can be a unique and incredibly bonding experience. It might seem overwhelming to set up this sort of event on your own, but that’s where we come in! With our Virtual Paint Night event, we mail each member of your team a box of art supplies, and one of our trained artists will walk you through creating a finished painting of your choosing. By the end of ninety minutes, you and everyone on your team will have a beautiful piece of art, as well as some basic painting skills, all from the comfort of your own homes.
8. Facilitate ice breakers
With teams that have brought on new employees since remote work started, sometimes, simply letting coworkers get to know each other better can be the most important thing. Scheduling a meeting in which you facilitate a few simple ice breakers can go a long way towards making sure your coworkers feel like they know everyone on their team. One easy and fun icebreaker challenge is to have everyone send in a picture of themselves as a kid. Put them in a google doc, and have your team guess who is who. In a similar vein, now that most people have settled into working from home, you can have them send in pictures of their remote work stations and try to guess whose is who. Having people share simple facts about themselves, like their favorite food, proudest accomplishment, or town where they grew up can also help your team feel more connected, and pave the way for closer relationships later on.
9. Escape a room
Escape rooms used to be mostly in-person, but that is now a thing of the past! Virtual Escape Rooms have risen in popularity, and they can be a unique, fun option for you and your team. Your coworkers will be excited to see if they can be one of the lucky teams to escape the room, and solving puzzles together facilitates important team-building skills like out-of-the-box thinking and effective communication. We offer two super fun escape rooms - your team can choose to Escape the Mad Hatter in an Alice in Wonderland-themed room, or Escape the Aliens in a mad scientist’s laboratory.
10. Throw a birthday party!
Even though a birthday party isn’t quite the same without the cake, a virtual birthday party can still be a really great way to reconnect with coworkers, and to let the members of your remote team know you are thinking about them. One benefit of virtual parties as opposed to in-person ones is that it is much easier to keep them a surprise! Simply have someone set up a meeting with the recipient of the party, and have the rest of your team join the call a few minutes before. A few simple party games, such as Would You Rather? or Two Truths and a Lie help make this sort of virtual party feel lighthearted and fun. A surprise party also helps the recipient of the party feel appreciated, and in turn more connected to their team.
With so many people currently working from home, keeping remote workers engaged and connected has never been more important. With a little prep work, hosting successful virtual events is very doable, and the connection this creates between your coworkers will surely help boost your company’s morale. If you want a little extra help hosting a fun virtual team-building activity, that’s where we come in. Ryptic Team Building offers five unique virtual events that you and your team will love! If you’re looking to bring your remote team closer during these unprecedented times, call us at +16507625771 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.