Your team wants more than the typical hum-drum team building activities that you can find plastered anywhere on the internet. We only recommend the best games and activities, the ones that we’ve played and had a blast with, the ones that lead to some dynamite virtual employee engagement, and we’re certain you’ll find something on this list that will be a hit for your next Zoom call or social distanced event!
Table of Contents
- 1 Social Distancing Team Building Activities
- 1.1 Virtual Escape Rooms
- 1.2 Virtual Murder Mystery
- 1.3 Singing Competition
- 1.4 A Peek Into Each Other’s Homes
- 1.5 Desert Island Scenario
- 1.6 Personal Facts Guessing Game
- 1.7 Picture Sharing
- 1.8 Share Your Bucket List
- 1.9 Build a Storyline
- 1.10 Simulated Problems Scenario
- 1.11 Two Truths and a Lie
- 1.12 Guess The Emoji Board
- 1.13 Never Have I Ever (Work Edition)
- 1.14 Virtual Book Club
- 1.15 Movie Night
- 1.16 Virtual Meditation Session
- 1.17 Tiny Virtual Campfire
- 1.18 Online Team Building Bingo
- 1.19 Virtual Pub Crawl
- 1.20 Virtual Dance Party
- 1.21 Spreadsheet Wars
- 1.22 DIY Craft Challenge
- 1.23 Donut Calls
- 1.24 Live Remote Coworking
- 1.25 Remote Fitness Challenge
- 1.26 Game Show Extravaganzza
- 1.27 Code Break
- 1.28 Team Pursuit
- 1.29 Daily Gratitude Game
- 1.30 Weekly Trivia
- 1.31 Show and Tell
- 1.32 Virtual Scavenger Hunt
- 1.33 The Masterpiece
- 1.34 Virtual Team Luncheon
Virtual Escape Rooms
Virtual escape rooms are a fun, challenging and immersive adventure for teams of all sizes and walks of life, and they work whether you’re in the office or home. Players work together to overcome shared puzzles and tasks, the same ones they’d accomplish while escaping a physical escape room!
The adventure starts via Zoom, using Remote Adventures to host up to 8 players, all guided by a host via a live camera feed. Each team will direct their guide through the adventure while picking up clues, solving puzzles, and more! Each mission lasts around an hour.
Themes such as prison break, treasure hunt, and art heist are fun and exciting, and this virtual escape room creates a better way to communicate, bond, and learn about your team’s personalities.
Virtual Murder Mystery
Staying in the vein of the Virtual Escape Room, playing a round of Virtual Murder Mystery is fun, exciting, and brings out everyone’s creativity. This online team building activity is designed specifically for remote teams and allows people to join in no matter where they are.
Your group will split into teams, examine clues, reviews case files and become detectives as they race to solve this exciting whodunit. Your team is guaranteed a fun time as they work together using problem solving skills, critical thinking, collaboration and communication.
No, we’re not asking you to create an entire “Your Office Has Got Talent” show, but if you can get your shy team of employees together and have everyone sing in front of their colleagues, you can create a weekly competition that’s a bit more than some simple office karaoke.
Have your employees select their favorite songs, form a list via Spotify, and then get your whole team to vote on which was the best, the catchiest, or the most entertaining. Also, you’ll have a unique and unified playlist that you can all enjoy together! Learning about musical tastes is a great way to casually team build.
A Peek Into Each Other’s Homes
Hoo boy. Is your office and living room clean? This virtual team building exercise asks each team member to virtually open up their homes a la House Hunters. This can be a hilarious way to get to know your remote team members and their unique habits and personalities.
Ask each team member to take a short video showing off their homes and some of their favorite things, show and tell style. This activity can be deeply personal so don’t pressure those who feel shy about it or don’t want to participate, however those that do will enjoy some cohesiveness and a sense of team camaraderie.
This game works best for smaller teams but is honestly a great exercise regardless of who participates.
Desert Island Scenario
We’re all familiar with this one, right? In this team builder, your group members are given a scenario where they’re stranded on a deserted island with several objects, but can only keep three (suspend the disbelief that you want water, shelter, or escape…work with us here!).
Make these objects as obscure or challenging as you want in order to force your team members into some critical thinking, planning and eventually hilarious conversation. Example items include a bag of seeds, a pocket knife, rope, bedsheets, a bucket or other tools, a lighter, etc. Split your team into small groups and have them collaborate on the most efficient choices.
Personal Facts Guessing Game
This one is easy. In the first step, your manager asks each team member to share some personal facts. These facts are then compiled into a document shared with each individual on your team. Next, have your team members guess which personal fact belongs to each person!
Not only is this icebreaker fun and hilarious but it’s another great way to develop successful team cohesion. Once everyone has guessed, show that answer key so that each team member can see how well (or poorly) they guessed!
Picture sharing activities help your team bond in no time flat. It brings on laughter and surprising responses and will leave all your employees feeling happy, connected, and intimate. Set aside a designated time, either before or after a meeting or during another team building segment, for each team member to share a personal photo completely unrelated to work. The photo can be of pets, hobbies, crafts, art, family, whatever! Have the team member explain the photo and why they chose it.
Remember that allowing your team members to share their personal lives is always a great way to bring on some camaraderie, but it’s also deeply personal! Remain kind and responsive.
We all have a Bucket List, whether we actively think about it or not. Your Bucket List says a lot about you—it’s both a distillation of your personality and your deepest desires. What better way to get to know your team members than by sharing each other’s bucket lists?
Starting each week, designate one person with the task of sharing some ideas from their bucket list. After listening, everyone can then spend some time discussing the bucket list—whether it’s similar or different or simply to ask some clarifying questions. Engage in the discussion.
Hearing other people’s list might inspire you!
Build a Storyline
Who doesn’t love a good story? Building a storyline is one of the oldest, possibly the oldest, team building activities. Here it goes:
- Get the entire virtual group to “form a circle”
- Begin with a story, where one person starts an opening sentence and another incomplete one, such as “Jeff was having a good day, but a dragon flew out of the sky and roasted his car. At first he felt hopeless, but then…”
- The next individual completes the previous line and adds another sentence, keeping it incomplete.
Keep going until everyone has a turn! You can make a second round of it as well if everyone is having fun and getting into the story.
Simulated Problems Scenario
This simulated problems exercise is easy to set up:
First, create some tricky or challenging scenario that’s related to your team’s role. For example, if you’re handling PR, create a situation where your company has some absurd scandal and needs to save face.
Ask your team to then strategize a press release and a series of conferences in a step by step role.
Have them answer questions such as:
- How does the firm save some credibility?
- Do you come out with an apology?
- How do you change your marketing plans after this?
This sort of engaging exercise helps participants build their decision-making skills and helps everyone think outside of the box. It also prepares your team for unforeseen situations while maintaining cooperation and effectiveness.
Two Truths and a Lie
This is a classic icebreaker for your team. Each team member presents up to three statements about themselves: two true ones and one false one. Each team then takes turns trying to recognize where the lie is. After everyone has guessed, the speaker then reveals which was the lie.
To make the game even more fun add in some healthy competition or a points system. The person with the most correct guesses wins!
Guess The Emoji Board
Everyone loves to text with emojis, so we’ve turned it into a game!
This is a short but super fun team building activity that makes for a quick break or post-meeting cooldown.
Here’s how it works:
- Send a list of players to all participants
- Next, give them a short window to guess each person’s five most used emojis
- After the time limit is up, reveal the correct answers to the participants
- The person who recognizes the most correct emojis is the winner!
Never Have I Ever (Work Edition)
We’ve all played Never Have I Ever, but we’re going to tweak it a little here so that it’s safer for the office. Don’t worry, this version doesn’t involve alcohol, explicit stories or brutal second-hand embarrassment.
Here’s how it works:
Create a general list of topics like “Never have I ever swallowed a bug” or “Never have I ever fallen off a ladder.”
Everyone starts with five points and then loses a point for each activity they’ve done. Virtual teams could do this with fingers, just fold your fingers down with each point you lose.
The last person standing wins! This is a great way to learn about your coworkers.
Virtual Book Club
Reading is a supremely important hobby that’s great for both your professional and personal life! To encourage your remote workers to engage in a little more reading, start a virtual book club. Set up the club with a few rules that will help it run smoothly, such as assigned readings or source materials. You can ask the group for suggestions in genre or ask everyone if they want to read something current, popular, or classic.
A Book club helps promote remote mingling and socializing and also encourages critical thinking and diverse opinions. It develops communication and listening skills!
This is a great and unique team building activity specifically crafted for boosting morale. When you gather your team for any non-work related purpose, they tend to relax and open up more, which just encourages further communication.
Hosting a movie night every so often is a fun way to get the team together to have fun outside of the virtual office and will also show off your team members’ personalities.
You can stream movies through a video conference room and keep an instant messaging chat open or use other shared services such as Netflix Party or Teleparty. Experiences like this give your remote employees something to bond over, joke about and talk about later. A little shared downtime is always good.
Virtual Meditation Session
2020, and now 2021, has been a heavy time. It’s been mentally and emotionally draining, financially brutal, and even physically difficult. Meditation isn’t just a one-off activity to unwind or reduce stress, it’s a proven way to help control anxiety, cultivate self-awareness and promote overall well-being.
Gather your team together and lead everyone through a meditative Zoom call. It can be 5, 10, or 15 minutes, whatever is enough time to center everyone mentally and emotionally. This is a good habit to get into and, trust us, it’s worth the break.
Tiny Virtual Campfire
Stay with us on this one: tiny campfires for your virtual and remote team members! Bring on the ghost stories, the legends, the icebreakers, the competitions, and even s’mores! This is fun, smart, and the best damn online camping experience you’ve ever had (have you had a lot of them?).
No mosquito repellent needed!
Assemble your team’s s’mores ingredients, grab a tealight candle and matches. You can even ask your teammates to lower the light sources in their office spaces for additional atmosphere. This event is great for shared, unique memories and strong employee engagement.
Online Team Building Bingo
Bingo is fun and familiar, which makes it quick and easy to get started and also makes it great for virtual team building.
Start with a bingo board that has a bunch of actionable items or accomplishments listed in the squares. For example, every time you hear someone say “Sorry, gotta go to the bathroom!” you can mark the spot off your board, or if someone scratches their nose or takes a drink of coffee.
Virtual Pub Crawl
Man, who doesn’t miss real world pub crawls? Heading to each of your favorite spots for a drink, enjoying some craft brews, cocktails, and wine…we miss it. Well, you can do a fun and virtual equivalent of pub crawls too!
- Join a virtual Zoom meeting call with your team members.
- Have everyone go to an interesting website and chat about the content over a drink.
- Every few minutes, move to a new website! You can do this with clips, YouTube, Netflix, whatever you want.
Virtual Dance Party
Come on, this is an easy favorite! You can host your virtual dance party as a standalone event or add it in as a quick session during a meeting. Remember, you don’t need to bust out the fancy dance moves and don’t worry if you jerk around like Elaine from Seinfeld. Dancing just helps cure awkward silences, keeps the energy, and injects fun into your team building and team calls.
Also, here’s a cool dance party Spotify playlist!
This is a tiny virtual hack-a-thon, where each participant shows off their Google Sheets skills.
To play Spreadsheet Wars, choose a theme like “Design a Mini Game” and then let people use the spreadsheet software to reach their solution. Other themes include “Most Advanced Calculation” and “Cost Reduction Calculator.”
- Here are some fun suggestions:
- Choose Your Own Adventure
- Sound Script Beat Box Harmony
- Pixel Art Mona Lisa
- Recipe Generator
DIY Craft Challenge
This is a 30 minute surprise activity you can play with any size of team. To play, have each person take a half hour to build something from any materials available at home.
The goal isn’t to build something museum-worthy or amazing, it’s to spark some creativity and give your team a way to interact together. You can prompt them with creative ideas or ask people beforehand what items they have to work with.
We don’t have much opportunity for random water cooler chit-chat these days, so it’s time to be a little more deliberate. Here’s a fun virtual team building activity that’s easy to do.
Donut is a Slack extension that automatically pairs your colleagues up and lets them plan a 30 minute call together. Create a soft rule that work is not discussed during Donut calls; just give everyone a chance to get to know each other and catch up. Since this Slack extension is automatic, this is a great way to incorporate some easy team building into your remote work.
Live Remote Coworking
Working from home has some perks but we all need some help in the motivation and social accountability departments. Many of us miss the cohesion and teamwork that comes with working person to person in the office.
Remote coworking is a real thing that might help your team’s productivity. To set up a session, simply create a new Slack channel called #coworking. The first person online for the day can create a video call open to anyone, with the understanding that it’s there to get some work done.
Working together is fun and can stave off the sense of loneliness that many of us are feeling.
Remote Fitness Challenge
Staying healthy while working from home is a struggle, especially since many of us aren’t used to working remotely in the first place. One of the easiest ways to turn fitness into fun is to gamify it!
There’s multiple ways to implement this sort of challenge. Everyone should have a set exercise goal that’s easily tracked via phone or Google sheet. You can make first place prizes or simply encourage everyone to reach their goals at a good pace.
Game Show Extravaganzza
Have your remote teams go head-to-head in a fun, virtual only game show competition. Create teams that can tackle photo challenges, trivia and games, covering everything from pop culture to politics to film to gaming and everything in between as they race against the clock.
Solve some fun online puzzles, riddles, and virtual trivia with your remote colleagues by competing against one another in this virtual team building game called Code Break. Have a host lead the team through problem solving and more, and get ready for some fun competition.
Gather your remote team to compete in a series of fun online mental, physical, skill and mystery based challenges in Team Pursuit. This is another virtually hosted team activity, this time catering around trivia challenges that help you get to know your colleagues better and enhance communication skills, all the while showing off everybody’s amazing talents.
Daily Gratitude Game
This is a good one. Have everyone on your team commit to completing a daily gratitude journal for an entire month. Doing this activity alone can feel amazing enough, but knowing your teammates are (virtually) by your side will really enhance all the warm fuzzies. You can even host a Zoom call and ask people to share some of their gratitude journal entries and lead to a team member discussion.
Okay, here us out: people love trivia.
Every Monday, email your teams a trivia quiz and have the responses due that night so you can send the results out in the morning (however, customize your schedule however you want).
This isn’t a one-off event! Use this as a small source of weekly fun and conversation. This is the thrill of pub trivia without the time commitment or logistics.
The contents are very customizable. You can decide on:
- Categories such as Pop Culture, Science and Tech, Film, etc
- Timing (day of the week and scheduling)
Show and Tell
We all remember Show and Tell, right? This is a great virtual team building activity!
Have each member take one minute to show and talk about something they own. It could be anything, such as a favorite video game, picture, pet, whatever!
After each person’s turn, save some time for a team-wide conversation. With sharing our intimate possessions we can gain a better insight into one another. This builds team cohesion, bonds, and trust.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Well, we can’t personally hide the goodies on this one. Instead, create a list of subjective, goal-based terms for people to accomplish and find.
- Find the item that makes you feel happiest
- Find an item attached to a good memory
- Find your favorite item
- Find something that connects you to others
- Find something that reminds you of your family
Have your team members photograph their answers or show things off via Zoom!
We all need an art-based challenge or three. The original way to do this is with spaced-out tables and a canvas set up, but you can definitely paint some things together over Zoom! Share everyone’s painting progress, and for an additional challenge, aim to all paint pieces of a larger painting that everyone can fit together. Take a classical painting, map out its parts in zones, and give each team member a zone to paint. Fit them all together and voila, a masterpiece!
Virtual Team Luncheon
Come on, what better way to bond than over some food? Hosting a weekly or monthly virtual lunch is a superb way to connect with your team and check in now and again on how everyone is doing.
Socializing over food is key to a great network of people. Verbal and virtual socializing normalizes flexibility, social engagement, and a cohesive workforce. You never know when a sudden burst of creativity or innovation might happen, and having lunch together brings down all defensive walls.
Team lunches are a super effective way to curate positive social experiences in a virtual space. Whether it’s just chatting over Zoom during your lunch or sending vouchers/money/gift cards for your employees to dine in on some great local grub, this is a great way to make sure everyone relaxes together.
No matter what sort of social distance team building activity you’re looking for, something on this list is sure to catch your fancy. Trivia, hangouts, show and tell, or virtual dance parties are all great ways to keep your coworkers and team members together during this tumultuous time. There are even more great activities out there, such as socially distant team scavenger hunts!
Why are scavenger hunts good for team building? Scavenger hunts encourage leadership, communication, and interaction by their very nature. They improve business skills, encourage creativity, increase morale, create flexibility, and are great for planning ahead! If you’re looking for your next great virtual team building activity and you’ve made your way through the hits on this list, virtual scavenger hunts are the way to go!