Fun Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Teams
We run unique games and challenges for online employee engagement.
101 Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Teams in 2021
This article is the #1 list of virtual team building activities online.
It includes 101 ideas for:
- online team building games
- virtual team building exercises
- virtual team activities
- team building activities for conference calls
And similar fun for remote teams!
But first, what is virtual team building?
What is virtual team building?
Virtual team building is the allocation of organizational resources to building stronger remote teams. Examples include doing icebreakers on video calls, running virtual scavenger hunts, and hosting online trivia. These activities can be free or paid, and can be done in a few minutes or a few hours. These activities and events can help build teamwork, engagement and job satisfaction for employees that work from home.
TeamBuilding.com has a similar definition, and says “Virtual team building activities are group games, challenges and exercises via platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.”
Why is virtual team building important?
Remote teams can face challenges with individuals feeling connected and engaged. Doing team building online is one way to boost engagement and team spirit. This engagement can lead to higher job satisfaction scores, retention and productivity.
The Best Virtual Team Building Activities
Not all virtual activities are created equal! Here is a list of the best virtual team building activities you can do with remote teams.
- Virtual Scavenger Hunts – Scavenger hunts are a fun activity you can do online. Participants search their homes for items like “your favorite book” or “the weirdest objection within arms reach.” Then, everyone can share about the item they found. You can find lists of items on Google, or make your own.
- Virtual Bingo – Everyone loves playing Bingo! You can make a traditional Bingo board with randomized numbers, or fill in the spaces with clues like “Can speak French” or “January birthday.” In the latter example, participants find other players that match the squares. You can find templates for your game by searching Google for “Online Team Building Bingo”. You can make your own template with this Bingo Card Generator!
- Virtual Icebreaker Questions – Icebreakers are one of the easiest team building activities for conference calls. Just prompt participants with a question like, “how do you like your eggs?” or “what is your favorite season?” and let each person answer in sequence. We recommend the host lets people know what order to go in.
- Virtual Trivia – One of the most popular games for virtual teams is trivia. You can play your game via a platform like Kahoot!, or do a free DIY option by just asking questions and having people shoutout the answers. Here is a list of trivia questions you can start with.
- Online Jeopardy – Games like Jeopardy are fun to play because your employees are already familiar with the rules. You can make your own game board using free presentation tools or there are many online apps for playing Jeopardy. Try Jeopardy Labs.
- Virtual Game Shows – While Jeopardy is the most popular game to play with teams, there are many other game show you can play online too. The best alternatives are Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
- Virtual Office Olympics – The Olympics are the ultimate symbol of teamwork. You can do online Olympic games like typing speed races and spelling bees.
- Virtual Campfire – Nothing screams “I need to get outdoors” like sitting at a computer all day for months. One way you can simulate the outdoors experience is with a virtual campfire. Either use candles as the fire, or turn on a YouTube video of a fire. Then, everyone can eat marshmallows and play camp games together.
- Online Murder Mystery – Murder mysteries are a popular game format that works well online. You can google “best online murder mysteries” to find pre-made games with characters and rules to follow.
- Two Truths & a Lie – This classic game is perfect for virtual team building. Each player takes turns listing three facts about themselves, one of which is made-up. Then, other players guess which fact is false! Here are more instructions for two truths and a lie.
- Costume Parties – You can make any virtual meeting fun by adding a costume elements. You can have broad theme like “1980s” or “Halloween Party” or more specific themes like, “what you wore to prom.”
- Virtual Happy Hour – An online happy hour is the default virtual team building event for many teams. You just get people on a virtual call for an hour to have drinks, play games and talk.
- Online Award Show – Everyone loves award shows! Nominate your employees for awards like, “MVP” or “Best Dressed” or “Most Slack Messages” and then give the awards on a Zoom call.
- Tarot Reading – You can hire a tarot reader to join your call and give reading for participants. This activity is a fun way to learn more about each other! Here are some options for online tarot reading.
- This or That Questions – A simple way to do team building virtual is to ask this or that questions. For example, “apples or bananas?” or “money or power?” The answers reveal participants’ personality traits and values.
- Sock Puppet Shakespeare – Give participants 10 minutes to turn a sock into a puppet, and then pair people up to act out Shakespeare scenes. The combination of silly sock puppets and poorly done Shakespeare reenactments is fun!
- Book Club – Books clubs are a classic team building activity for work, and are perfect for remote teams. Here are some book recommendations!
- 10,000 Step Challenge – It is more difficult to get your steps in when working from home! Challenge your employees to get out for a walk every day for a week or month. Any person that completes the challenge wins a prize.
- Virtual Minute to Win it Games – Minute to win it games are short physical competitions or challenges. For example, who can eat a donut the fastest or who can do the most pushups in one minute. Google “virtual minute to win it games” for more examples.
- Virtual Escape Rooms – Online escape rooms are a collaborative game with elements or problem solving and teamwork. There are many free and paid activities available via a quick Google search, so try “list of virtual escape rooms.”
- Zoom Drinking Games – You can play most drinking games on Zoom with coworkers. Popular drinking games include Never Have I Ever and Would You Rather?
- Jigsaw Puzzles – Puzzles are a fun online activity to do with teams. You can upload to puzzle maker a themed picture like a screenshot of your company website or a photo of your team, then solve the puzzle together. Use this online puzzle maker.
- Cheers! – Have everyone bring a drink of choice, and then go in a circle with each team members giving a prompt to cheers. For example, “I love working with this team – cheers!” or “Emma is one heck of an HR manager – cheers!”
- Truth or Dare – This classic game is easy to play virtually. Just get a list of prompts and then have each participant ask them of each other. For example, you could say, “Nicole, truth or dare?” and then followup with either a truth or dare prompt.
- Cookie Baking Competition – Just because your people are in different spaces, doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy cookies! Challenge participants to a cookie bake-off, and then have everyone self-score on elements like taste, presentation and creativity.
- Virtual Karaoke – There are various web apps for signing karaoke online. For more extroverted teams, you can plan a singing sessions where everyone sings together!
- Watch a Movie – You can watch a movie and eat popcorn together. Classic team movies include The Mighty Ducks and Oceans 11. Debrief after the movie with a discussion about how the actors showed teamwork.
- Virtual Fundraiser – A great way to improve company culture for remote teams is to do a charity fundraiser together. Choose a theme like “environmental protection” or “animal rescues” and then give your people a way to raise funds.
- Guess the Closet – Have everyone on your remote team send you a photo of their closet. Then post the photos and have participants guess which closet belongs to who. It’s fun to recognize shoes or a certain style or dress, so this game makes everyone feel like amateur detectives!
- Chess Tournament – Most people have played a game of chess at least once in their lives. You can host an online chess tournament using free software, and award prizes to the champion. You can use SparkChess for your tournament.
- Online Scrabble – Scrabble is a popular word game you can play with groups. The game works well online and there are various free apps you can use to play.
- Donut Calls – While most virtual team building activities are designed to do with groups, you can also do these activities 1 on 1. Use an app like Donut to match participants randomly, and then have each pair do a 30 minute call to talk about non-work subjects.
- Rock Paper Scissors – One of the quickest team building activities for conference calls is Rock Paper Scissors. For this game, you count down from three and then each player shows a fist (rock), flat hand (paper) or two fingers (scissors). Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and somehow paper beats rock.
- Story Time – This activity is kind of a modified book club. First, invite all of your participants to a Zoom call. Then read a chapter of a book and lead discussion questions about the topic.
- Spreadsheet Pixel Art – Try searching Google for “Spreadsheet Pixel Art” and you will be amazed by the creations people put together. You can make this same artwork with your remote team!
- Guess the Song – Find or create a YouTube playlist with at least 50 awesome songs. Then, play snippets of each song and have employees guess the name of the song and the artist. Award 10 points for each correct guess.
- Guess the Quote – Another fun guessing game is “Guess the Quote.” You can start with a list of famous quotes, and then read them during a Zoom call. The first participant to correctly guess the source of each quote gets five points. Here is a list of famous quotes.
- Virtual Pictionary – Pictionary is an easy game to play online because it is mostly drawing, speaking and listening. You can use an online whiteboard, or the one built into tools like Zoom. For the prompt, use a random word generator.
- Pet Parade – It’s always a moment of joy when a pet cameo happens on a Zoom call. You can create even more joy by organizing a pet parade for your team. Have each participant prepare their pet or favorite stuffed animal, and then introduce them one by one. You might be surprised that Frank in accounting has a pet snake!
- Online Cooking Class – With the massive boost in popularity of the Food Network, people are more and more interested in food. You can arrange your own DIY online cooking class, or book a session with a vendor.
- Art Heist – Art Heist mechanics are similar to online murder mysteries. You and your team mates either plan and execute a heist, or do detective work to uncover how the crime happened.
- Virtual Retreat – You are probably familiar with company retreats, where teams meetup at a cool location to make plans for the coming year and do team building activities in person. You can do a virtual version of this activity too! Plan for two or three days that are dedicated to meetings and team bonding. This retreat is a great way to breakup the regular work pattern and invest in bringing your employees together.
- Sudoku Challenge – Sudoku is a popular number and logic game, that many of your employees are already familiar with. You can do a Sudoku challenge to see who can solve the puzzle fastest, and then award prizes. Play sudoku online.
- Watch Ted Talks – A quick virtual team building activity is watching Ted Talks together and then having a discussion about the topic. We recommend choosing from one of the 25 most popular Ted Talks of all time.
- Trash Pickup – This activity is both fun for teams and a way to support your communities. Give each employee one hour to go outside and pickup trash. At the end, each participant posts a photo of how much trash they picked up.
- Reading Buddies – In school, reading buddies are a way to pair up new readers with more senior students. At work, you can pair up employees of any skill level to read books together. This idea is kind of like a mini book club.
- Wikipedia Rodeo – Wikipedia is a wealth of information, and has some cool tools for searching categories and topics. Give your people each 10 minutes to find the most interesting topic they can on the platform, and then come back to a conference call to share about it.
- Question Games – A great way to get to know remote team members is to play question games. You can play games like 20 Questions, Trivia or Family Feud. Try searching “question games” on Google for more ideas.
- Guess the National Anthem – Most of your remote employees will be familiar with their own national anthem and maybe one or two others. You can create a playlist on YouTube and then have participants guess the nation each song belongs to. Award 10 points for each correct answer.
- Virtual Hackathon – Hackathons are a popular team activity in the startup world. For this event, software engineers, designers and other professionals get together to build a new product or feature. You can do this same activity online with remote teams. Use themes like “new services we could provide” or “ways to save money in your department.”
- Among Us – A popular virtual team game to play online is Among Us. Participants each have a character that must either sabotage plans or discover who is sabotaging.
- Virtual Werewolf – Werewolf is a fun virtual team building activity you can try that doesn’t require any special equipment. Each player takes on the role of werewolf, villager or a special character. A Host leads players through day and night cycles where werewolves eat players, and villagers vote to try to stop the werewolf. Here are more instructions for Werewolf.
- Fantasy League – If your office likes sports, then you can do a challenge where participants choose teams and players that they think will win. People get points when their teams and players do well. And you can award prizes to the winner at the end.
- Online Art Classes – Doing art together is a great way to build community, develop skills and have fun. At the end of the art class you can show off your creations to each other.
- Virtual Wine Tasting – For this virtual activity you can either send each of your team members a bottle of wine, reimburse the purchase of a bottle, or hire a service to take care of the event for you. Virtual wine tastings are a great way to bring your people together to learn and have fun. Chardonnay anyone?
- Virtual Chocolate Tasting – Chances are that everyone on your team likes chocolate. You can do a virtual chocolate tasting where you compare chocolates like Kit Kat and Mars to more premium varieties.
- Online Tea Ceremony – Everyone has had tea, but a tea ceremony is something special. For this activity, you might steep a special variety of tea, do a few minutes of meditation and otherwise find harmony with the leaves.
- Walk & Talk – One of the best ways to take care of employee wellness while working from home is to get outside for light exercise. You can organize a walk and talk between small groups of team members, and use topic prompts like “something I am looking forward to” or “if I was CEO for the day.”
- A Tall Tale – A popular group activity for in-person improv is to create an ongoing story together. Typically, the group forms a circle and each person says a word in order. For example, the first person might say, “once” the next person, “upon” and so on. Keep going until your story reaches a satisfactory ending.
- Take it Further – This game encourages improv skills and creativity in storytelling. The first player names a set of characters. The next player provides a settings. The next player says what they are doing. The next player says how it goes wrong. The final player says how the problem is resolved.
- Quarantine Blues – A great way to build trust in communities is to be a little vulnerable. For this activity, each player can share something about quarantine that kind of sucks.
- Tic Tac Toe – A quick and easy game for virtual teams is Tic Tac Toe. You can do a round-robin tournament where each round is five games. The winner of the tournament is the player that remains at the end. You can easily create a tic tac toe tournament.
- Pie & Pi – March 14, also known as 3/14, is Pi Day, and is a great way to show off how many digits you can count to of Pi. For a fun virtual activity, your team can learn memorization skills together. To up the game even further, you can encourage everyone to bring a slice of their favorite pie.
- Five Minute Stretch – Each day, get your employees together on a conference call and lead five minutes of stretching. You can do arm raises, knee bends, eye shifts and more. Five minutes is enough to get the blood flowing, and gives everyone a chance to get out of their chair.
- Virtual Retirement Party – If one of your employees is retiring, then try hosting an online retirement party for them. At the party, you can do trivia questions about the team member, give a short speech and otherwise celebrate the sendoff.
- Hangman – Hangman is an easy word game to play with virtual teams. One player thinks of a word or phrase, and other players guess that word using only letters. For a more advanced version of the game, include numbers and symbols as well. For example, guessing “A day @ the #1 park” may be a little tricky. Here is an app to play hangman.
- Personality Tests – A great way to do virtual team building is personality tests. You can do free tests to learn more about your character type, and then present and compare with the group. Start with 16 Personalities.
- Virtual Tours – The internet has many virtual tours you can do online. For example, you can tour famous museums, landmarks and cities. You can even have an expert guide lead your team through the space!
- Virtual Holiday Parties – The office Christmas party is one of the annual events that employees most look forward to. You can do a similar event online for the holidays. We recommend gingerbread decorating, virtual gift exchanges and other festive activities.
- Volunteer Day – You can allocate one day a month, quarter or year to volunteering. Your employees can either volunteer online or support local nonprofits. For example, Bob in NYC could go walk dogs at the local animal shelter, and Sara is San Francisco could plant trees. Encourage your people to take photos and share about their experiences.
- Crossword Competition – A fun virtual team building challenge you can do is crossword competitions. The NY Times has a popular crossword puzzle, or you could just Google “free crossword puzzles” for templates to use. Give prizes to the individual or team that solves the puzzle first.
- Show & Tell – Have each of your participants grab a unique item within arms reach, and then share about it for one minute. This activity encourages public speaking and communication skills.
- Guess the Baby – For this game, have each of your employees send you a baby photo in advance. Them, post these images and have participants guess who each baby is. The best age range is two to three years old, since the photo will have some more identifying features.
- Guess the Refrigerator – For some quick virtual team building, have everyone only our team send you a photo of their refrigerator contents. Then, post the photos and let players match employee names to the fridges. You may be able to identify someone by their hot sauce collection, or obsession with kale!
- Rube Goldberg Machine – These machines are elaborate contraptions that do simple tasks. For example, you could go through a sequence of dominoes, basketballs, slot machines and marbles to turn a light switch on. For a virtual version, each participant does one part of the machine and then you connect the pieces with video.
- News Report – Have one of your remote team members present a current news story. You can choose something trivial or more serious. Then, lead a five to 10 minute discussion on the topic.
- Super Powers – Ask each of your team members to share which super power they would want. Then, as a surprise, each person has to demonstrate with body motions how that super power would look. You can reference this list of super powers.
- One Weird Fact – An easy to to make virtual meetings fun is to have each person share out one unusual fact. Then, you can award prizes for categories like “weirdest fact” or “the one I want to research more.”
- The Alphabet Chain – The Alphabet Chain is a popular improv game where participants link words together. The last letter of the first word becomes the first letter of the second word and so on. You an also require a theme for the words. For example, for an animal theme, if the first word was Cat, the second word could be Turtle, and the third word could be Elk.
- Meditation Session – Find a guided meditation session on YouTube, and bring your people together for five to 10 minutes of peaceful reflection. You can start with this meditation session.
- Website Show – Everyone is familiar with websites like Facebook, Amazon and Reddit. For this virtual activity, have each participant show a unique website they go to. Examples could include media sites, blogs or game sites.
- Never Have I Ever – For this game, each player shows five fingers, then participants go in a circle describing life experiences. You might say, “never have I ever eaten chocolate” and then everyone that has eaten chocolate puts a finger down. The last player with remaining fingers wins. Here is a guide to play Never Have I Ever.
- Things – For this game, choose categories like a “things I wish I knew as a teenager” or “the worst foods.” Everyone submits an anonymous answer, and the host reads the answers. Then, players guess who said what.
- Random Questions – For this game, use a random question generator tool to create questions. Then, ask the question to one person on the Zoom call. Continue asking random questions to participants until the game stops being fun.
- Reboot – Reboot was a 3D animation show in the 90s where the characters would be dropped into random video games. You can play a version of Reboot where you send out links to games and have participants compete to get the most points or finish first.
- Praise Tag – Just like the classic school yard game, you need to “tag” someone, but here you do it with kindness. Whoever is “it” chooses a player to give a compliment or praise to, and then that person chooses another person and so on.
- Virtual Lunch & Learn – Most office managers are familiar with lunch and learns. At the office, you order food for the team to joy, and then have a guest speaker to share about their expertise. For example, a guest could talk about health, productivity or something purely for entertainment.
- Riddles – For this game, the host gathers a collection of riddles and then asks these poses these prompts to the group. The first team to solve each riddle gets points.
- Virtual Employee Anniversary – A great way to build connections for remote teams is to recognize employee anniversaries. You can either post messages to your internal channels or celebrate on your next team call.
- Virtual Track & Field – One way you can encourage health and wellness for remote teams is to do track and field activities. Have your people go outside for a quick run, a hop around the park and similar activities. Track distance and time run, and post a leader-board for everyone to see.
- The Best Salad – Challenge each of your team members to make an epic salad for lunch. Participants get on a conference call together, post images of their creations, and share about the ingredients.
- Hearts Tournament – You can play many card games online, including classics like Hearts, Bridge and Crazy 8s. Choose an app and bring your team together for a tournament. Try playing Hearts online.
- Bucket List – A bucket list is a list of life objectives or experiences. For example, learning to surf or holding a koala. Give your team 30 minutes to write a bucket list, then share out some of the items to compare.
- Language Lessons – One of the best remote team building activities that also includes skill development is learning a language. Your group can study a language like French, Spanish or Chinese with a teacher, and then practice together. Learning a language is very empowering! You can use an app like Duolingo.
- Teacher for a Day – For each of your upcoming virtual meetings, have a team member teach a lesson on a subject. The topics can be skill builders, entertaining or something trivial. For example, someone could teach the group how to make a smoothie, or how to do the Pomodoro Technique.
- Pen Pals – Match your employees up in pairs and give them time and budget to send snail mail to each other. We all get a lot of junk mail, and getting a more substantial message brings a lot of joy with it.
- Improv Games – Most improv games work really well online, since they are a combination of speaking, listening and acting. For example, you could have people act out prompts or do a “follow the leader” type activity.
- Virtual Dance Break – An easy way to add fun to a video call is to host a dance break. You can do 30 seconds at the beginning of the call, or at any time to help boost the energy.
- Card Castles – Send each of your team mates a deck of cards and see who can build the tallest structure out of them.
- Dungeons & Dragons – The classic game isn’t just for nerds any more. These days, a lot of people enjoy playing D&D, and you can facilitate the game entirely online. So, choose a dungeon master and pull out your virtual swords.
- Ask Me Anything – Bring an expert onto your next virtual all hands meeting for an Ask Me Anything session. This format, popular on Reddit, is where attendees can ask any question to the guest, and that person chooses which ones to answer. Here is a guide to running an AMA session.
Here are platforms you can use to run your virtual team building events.
- Zoom – The most popular video conferring software.
- Microsoft Teams – A comprehensive software suite for remote work.
- Google Meet – A quick and easy way to bring people together via online video.
- Webex – A powerful video conferencing platform.
- Slack – You can facilitate some online team building activities via Slack messenger or video.
That’s our list of the 101 best virtual team building activities!
As you can see, there are a lot of different virtual activities for teams, ranging from games to challenges and more. If you aren’t sure which activity to start with, then just choose one at random. The worst case scenario is your team doesn’t love it, and you can move on to another activity. But chances are your remote employees will have a good time!
Give your team an exciting Zoom call
We offer a unique range of games and activities for remote teams. For example, we do Hyper Bingo, Bubble Trivia, Mysterium and Jail Break. These activities are designed to maximize engagement online.
Each activity is a 60 minute session, and we can conduct activities on any platform. Options include Zoom, Google Meet, Webex and Microsoft Teams.
We believe that the best virtual team building happens once coworkers have fun together.
You can plan an event in about 15 minutes. We do the work, so you can relax and enjoy the experience.
Our activities and challenges are designed to promote teamwork, collaboration and friendly competition.
You can choose from a range of unique prizes to award the winners. Includes remote work friendly options.