Every week, I scan the news for must-know stories about the employee-centric, happier, distributed, and AI-driven future of work.
Team building has gone virtual as isolation and low morale in remote and hybrid work models can challenge team collaboration, communication, and connectivity.
I collected the 9 best virtual team-building activities in two categories: activities to incorporate into virtual meetings and more extensive activities your team will love.
Great Virtual Team-Building Activities that Your Team’ll Enjoy
1. Tiny Campfire
Ever wish you could take your virtual team on a camping trip?
Going camping is a great way to promote bonding. With marshmallows roasting, campfire discussion, scary stories, and more, a camping trip with your team would be a blast.
Tiny Campfire is a company that created a package specifically for virtual team building and camping style!
They promise a gourmet s’mores kit, which gets delivered to each team member for roughly $70 per person, complete with a planned itinerary and games.
The entire event is hosted by Camp Counselors, who MC, organize, and promote conversation among your team members.
Tiny Campfire has over 5,800 reviews with an average rating of 4.96/5 stars.
Click here to sign up and get a customized quote for a virtual campfire event for your team.
2. Virtual Book Club
Personal development doesn't have to be dull.
Sometimes, you might find that your team dreads these meetings because they can't be focused on the task at hand, such as the project you’re working on or their workload.
Expectations to read literature or watch speeches individually might be killing your team's development engagement.
But you can reshape it!
Let’s shift it from individual tasks to collaborative learning to reinvigorate everyone's enthusiasm for development.
It's like playing and learning together.
You can make personal development a group activity like that by hosting a virtual book club.
This activity promotes conversation about a topic and puts meaning behind your personal development meetings.
What You’ll Need to Set Up a Virtual Book Club Session:
- Pick a date and time for book club day at least two weeks in advance. Your team needs enough time to acquire and read their books without feeling rushed.
- Have each person submit a book they want to share. Telling expectations to others upfront fosters commitment.
- On event day, first, have each person briefly summarize their book and key learnings. Others can ask questions and discuss the topics together.
With ten different books, this will be a rich learning session where insights bounce around, and we all gain new perspectives.
- Repeat until everyone shares their books.
This guide is for a one-time session. If you want to continue your book club, simply repeat the process for each new meeting!
3. Human Bingo
Doesn’t that word just remind you of fun?
Human bingo is an interactive activity that helps remote teams learn interesting facts about each other.
To play, each person receives a bingo card with random attributes or facts in each square.
Slightly different from the traditional version, the goal of human bingo is to identify team members who match the items on your card to get "bingo" by completing a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
This game is a great virtual bonding experience for several reasons.
First, it allows team members to make connections and realize how much they have in common.
The lively, conversational format also makes it more engaging as people ask each other questions and interact.
Additionally, human bingo uncovers unique or unexpected details about coworkers in a casual, enjoyable way.
How to Set up Human Bingo:
- Create bingo cards listing fun facts, hobbies, skills, etc., that apply to team members.
- Distribute digitized bingo cards to each participant via screen sharing or email.
- Set a time limit for people to mingle and complete their cards by asking coworkers if the facts relate to them.
- The first person to complete a row and confirm the connections wins!
- Consider giving small prizes to winners and runners-up.
4. Jackbox Party Pack Games
Jackbox Party Pack Games are an accessible way to play fun, interactive online party games, especially for small teams.
Each Jackbox Party Pack has many games like drawing games, fill-in-the-blanks, trivia, etc.
We recommend this activity for small teams of 4-8 people, but there are Jackbox Party Pack Games that can accommodate larger teams of up to 12 people.
The best part about Jackbox Party Packs is that they are an affordable and easy way for team members to play together with high-quality, unique games.
Only one person must purchase a Jackbox Party Pack, which typically costs (price) and includes (amount) of games.
There is no additional cost for the amount of team members playing.
How to Set Up Jackbox Games:
- Set up a meeting on your chosen virtual meeting platform.
- Open Jackbox Games and select which game you would like your team to play.
- A code will appear on the screen.
- Share the code with your team.
- Then, your team can navigate to jackbox.tv on their mobile or desktop device and play along.
5. Random PowerPoint Night
Random PowerPoint Night gained popularity on TikTok as a hilarious way to learn about random topics with a group of friends.
We love this idea for teams because it can be a great opportunity to learn with one another about what everyone is interested in.
How to Set Up Random PowerPoint Night:
- Instruct your team to create a short, simple PowerPoint about any chosen topic. The more silly, the better!
- Then, gather together on your chosen virtual meeting platform.
- One by one, present your PowerPoints and let hilarity ensue!
Unsure what topics for random PowerPoints should be like? Here are my suggestions:
- Your colleagues as characters from The Office
- Ranking fast food chains
- Your favorite comfort movies
- Workplace superlatives
- Rename your colleagues’ job titles
Alternatively, if making your own PowerPoint sounds like too much work for your busy team, you could always try PowerPoint Karaoke.
PowerPoint Karaoke is a fun improv game that provides you with random slides. Then, you present the random slides as if it is a carefully rehearsed presentation.
6. Tea Vs. Coffee Tasting
Make getting something in the mail more fun!
Our teams are used to getting bills, political ads, and junk mail, but what about a fun package for work?
If your team is full of caffeine lovers, the Tea vs. Coffee package is perfect for virtual team-building.
We especially love this idea for teams that are spread out because they can all have the experience of opening up a present together remotely.
Tea vs. Coffee delivers each team member a care package with a planned itinerary.
The entire virtual event is hosted as a Tea vs. Coffee Ceremony by Tea vs. Coffee, whose MCs teach your team about the drinks and promote conversation among your team members.
Pricing varies based on team size and location.
Click here to sign up and get a customized quote for a Tea vs. Coffee party.
7. Plan a Work-Themed “Team Vacation”
Embrace the diversity of your remote team with this fun happy hour idea that will never get old!
It can come as a surprise to remote teams that they don’t know much about the locations their team members call home.
How to Go on “Team Vacations”:
First, start with happy hours, which reflect the locations of your team.
People will take turns sharing their customs, traditions, or culture.
This location or culture will be treated as the team’s “vacation destination.”
Team members can dress up, change their video background, play music, or choose activities that match the themed country or place.
Bonus Activity: Once you run out of places to “visit,” you can always open up this idea to a general team vacation!
Explore Hawaii, Bali, Antarctica, and more!
8. Scavenger Hunt
Put your heads together and practice your problem-solving skills as a team on a non-work-related task.
I see many teams use this activity as a warm-up for a big project meeting just to get the team in the zone!
But the main reason I’m a fan of it is that we can play it completely virtually with any household items.
How to Put Together a Virtual Scavenger Hunt:
- Create your list of household items (add some challenging ones!). Alternatively, you can use one of these templates for a scavenger hunt.
- Then, call out an item and watch as your team scrambles to find it in their home.
- You may score your team on completion or who is the fastest to return to their laptop!
If you make your template, include items that show people’s personality.
I suggest items like furry friends, favorite sports team gear, favorite movies, or favorite breakfast food.
9. Create a Team Vision Board
We all want to align on goals and missions as a team, don't we?
Rather than isolating our ambitions, a shared vision board lets us discover overlapping goals and cheer each other on.
For example, multiple people may want to complete a critical project this year, or several team members aspire to become managers one day.
The vision board gives visibility into our personal growth and aspirations at work.
By uniting our objectives, we can draw on the collective power of our team. Our unique strengths complement each other when working toward shared purposes.
How to Set up a Team Vision Board:
- Find a digital template where people can design a vision board together, like this one from Canva or this one from Figma.
- Ask team members to submit an image(s) that coincides with their upcoming goals.
- Host a meeting to discuss the goals of the vision board.
- Have team members share the meaning behind their goals.
- Try to connect those with similar goals.
Virtual Team Building Activities: Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Virtual Team Building Activities Important in 2024?
Team building used to mean rope courses, trust falls, and escape rooms - activities to bring coworkers together in person.
But in 2024, team building has gone virtual in today's remote and hybrid work world.
Virtual team-building activities are online experiences aimed at improving team collaboration, communication, and connectivity, even in different locations.
Why have virtual team-building activities become so critical?
A 2023 SHRM survey found remote workers feel more isolated and disconnected than their in-office colleagues.
And, in fact, your people won’t tell you that.
“Loneliness is a taboo subject. We’re happy to say if we aren’t sleeping well or eating badly or are upset. But we won’t say, ‘I’m lonely.’ Even among friends or family – it’s just not something we say.” - Petra Velzeboer, founder and CEO of mental health consultancy PVL
As a manager, you need to read between the lines. Observe your team members for signs of isolation and low morale, even if they don't speak up. Then, some thoughtful virtual team-building activities at the right times will help you bridge the gap.
Through these fun online interactions, your team members can get to know each other better and feel more bonded.
Virtual team building takes many forms - escape rooms, cooking classes, trivia, and games are popular options. The key is choosing activities that allow coworkers to collaborate and reveal their personalities.
Instead of just staring at faces on Zoom, virtual team building lets you see your colleagues strategize, joke, and compete. Those shared experiences build the rapport essential for an engaged, supportive team.
So don't write off team building as a relic of the pre-pandemic office. Thoughtful virtual team-building activities allow remote teams to connect in meaningful ways.
What platform should be used to host a virtual team-building activity?
There are many video platforms where you can host your next virtual team-building activity. From Zoom to Teams and beyond, the choice is up to you!
I suggest using whichever video platform your company currently uses, but if you need more ideas, visit our suggestions on Virtual Meeting Platforms!
How to organize a virtual team-building activity?
Organizing a virtual team-building activity can be as simple as setting a meeting time and picking an activity or as complicated as planning an original idea from the ground up.
Our list of virtual team-building ideas has plenty of fun ideas with complete instructions from start to finish.
How long does a virtual team-building activity last?
Your virtual team-building activities should last long enough for your team to have some fun but not too long that it takes away from their workload.
We recommend a minimum team-building activity time of 30 minutes and a maximum team-building activity time of 90 minutes for virtual teams.
What else can I do to connect my team?
As we work more distributed than ever, you may wonder how to engage remote employees.
I suggest employing employee engagement strategies to keep your team working well together regardless of location. Practices employee engagement best practices and use employee engagement tools to excel. For the best results, consider working with an employee engagement survey provider.
Every week, I scan the news for must-know stories about the employee-centric, happier, distributed, and AI-driven future of work.