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team building activities for virtual groups

63 Fun Team Building Activities for Virtual Groups

Virtual team-building activities foster collaboration, communication, and stronger relationships among employees in a fun, engaging way.
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For remote teams, out of sight should not mean out of mind. 

While distributed workforces have the flexibility of working from anywhere, the lack of in-person interactions can easily lead to feelings of disconnection and isolation. 

Nurturing strong relationships and alignment is even more crucial when teammates are dispersed across locations.  

That’s where intentional team building comes in.

Just like muscles, teams need regular exercise too! Thoughtful team building activities for remote groups are the “reps” that develop cooperative “muscles” and skills. 

Virtual games and experiences build the relational bonds, communication comfort and collaborative momentum distributed teams need to perform at their peak.

With in-office water cooler chats and impromptu collaboration no longer part of remote work realities, making time for meaningful team connection takes commitment. 

But virtual teams willing to invest in relationship-focused activities will reap rewards in engagement, innovation and productivity.

This guide will highlight the most fun, effective team building activities tailored for the remote environment. 

We’ll cover interactive games and experiences that build trust, spark creativity, enhance problem-solving, and most importantly, bring teams closer together across the miles. 

Say goodbye to silos and isolation. Hello to highly-connected, high-performing virtual teams!

Why Team Building Matters for Virtual Teams

Team building is crucial for all teams, but it’s especially important for groups that work remotely. 

Without the daily face-to-face interactions of an office, it can be challenging for virtual teams to connect and develop the strong bonds needed for high performance.

Effective team-building activities bring a remote group together, even when miles apart.  

Virtual activities promote collaboration, problem-solving, communication and relationship-building in an online setting. 

Team building helps establish trust, alignment, and camaraderie among remote employees when done right.

Here are some of the important benefits of team building for virtual teams:

  • Enhances Communication: Team building activities encourage employees to interact, share ideas and practice clear communication with their remote colleagues. This builds comfort and relationships that carry over into daily work.
  • Provides Connection: Virtual teams often struggle with isolation and lack of connection. Shared experiences through team building lead to deeper bonds and interpersonal closeness, despite the physical distance.
  • Promotes Collaboration: Challenging team experiences bring out strengths in individuals and emphasize the importance of working together. This fosters effective collaboration and resource sharing.
  • Develops Trust: Virtual employees build trust in each other by working through activities together and having fun as a team. 
  • Sparks Creativity & Innovation: The creative thinking and problem-solving aspects of team building carry over to daily work. Employees feel comfortable brainstorming and innovating together.
  • Adds Variety: Team building activities give remote workers a welcome break from routine individual tasks. This variety and fun leads to greater engagement, morale and motivation.
  • Strengthens Alignment: Team building focuses on shared goals and experiences. This enhances alignment on objectives, values and culture among virtual employees.

With intentional and regular team building, virtual groups can thrive, even with limited face-to-face interactions. 

The activities bring out the best in teams and individuals, leading to a motivated, collaborative and high-performing remote workforce.

Now let’s get into the list of 20 fun and effective virtual team building activities and games to engage any distributed team!

Icebreaker Activities for Virtual Teams

Icebreaker activities are quick ways for teammates to get to know each other better. 

These fun team building exercises break the ice and set the tone for effective collaboration. 

Icebreakers work for new teams, but they can be valuable for established groups, too.

Here are 10 of our favorite virtual icebreaker activities perfect for remote teams:

1. Two Truths and a Lie

This classic icebreaker activity works perfectly online. 

Have each team member share 3 statements about themselves – 2 truths and 1 lie. 

The rest of the team has to guess which statement is the lie. 

This is a fun way to learn interesting facts about co-workers!

To make it more challenging, have employees submit their 2 truths and 1 lie privately to the organizer. 

Then read off each person’s statements and have the team vote on which they think is the lie.

2. Virtual Trivia

A friendly trivia game is a great way to connect remote teams. 

Use a free online trivia platform like QuizBreaker to generate fun trivia questions covering various topics.

Split employees into virtual breakout rooms and have the teams collaborate on choosing answers. 

This allows for socialization while also engaging their minds!

3. Online Photo Scavenger Hunt

Send employees on a photo scavenger hunt by creating a list of silly or creative items they must hunt for and take pictures of within a set timeframe. 

They can work individually or in teams.

Have employees upload their scavenger hunt pictures to share and compare results to a shared drive or intranet. 

This is an energizing way to interact virtually!

4. Virtual Water Cooler

Replicate casual “water cooler” chats online! 

Randomly pair up remote employees and have them spend a set time chatting about non-work topics they enjoy, like hobbies, sports, movies, pets, or recent vacations.

Rotate through 2-3 quick chat rounds so employees can connect with multiple colleagues. 

This shows you value social interactions.

5. Online Escape Room

Online escape rooms are exciting team building activities that require clues to solve puzzles. 

Try Escape Room Remote Adventures or Team Building Hub which offer engaging remote experiences perfect for distributed teams.

Breakout into separate virtual rooms to allow for teamwork and collaboration while cracking the code to escape!

6. Remote Coffee Chats

Schedule virtual one-on-one or small group coffee chats to replicate the social experience of in-person coffee breaks. 

Keep it casual and encourage employees to get to know each other over video.

Use a random name generator or schedule round-robin-style chats to mix up groupings.

This activity builds relationships on a more personal level.

7. Show & Tell Hobby Session

Employees take turns showing off a favorite hobby or passion project for 5 minutes over video. 

Encourage them to demonstrate skills or reveal something most colleagues don’t know about them.

You can discover hidden talents and deepen team bonding by finding shared interests!

8. Online Birthday Celebrations

Make every team member’s birthday special by celebrating virtually! 

Encourage employees to share fun throwback photos on Slack and have an afternoon video call where the group can chat, tell stories, and toast the birthday person.

Create a festive team culture even when you can’t celebrate in person.

9. Remote Lunch Meetups

Eating together with colleagues at work is something we take for granted, but it’s actually an important social activity that brings people together.

Recreate this experience for remote teams with frequent virtual lunch meetups where employees can eat together and chat about non-work topics.

Having shared mealtime conversations does wonders for creating relationships, even remotely!

10. Co-Play an Online Game

Playing a game together breaks the ice. 

Choose a free, co-play game like Kahoot trivia, Jackbox party games, Codenames or an online escape room.

Set up video conferencing so teammates can see each other while competing or collaborating in the online game. 

This injects fun into team building!

Adding quick yet meaningful icebreaker activities into your remote team’s routine improves relationships, communication and collaboration. 

Rotating through different types of activities keeps it fresh and fun. 

Integrate icebreakers when onboarding new hires. 

Spending time on purposeful team building has a significant impact on your team’s productivity and collaboration.

Communication Focused Team Building Activities

Communicating openly, clearly and effectively makes high-performing teams successful.

Remote work makes good communication skills even more critical.

Targeted team building activities focused on enhancing communication can strengthen important skills for virtual teams.

Here are 10 great communication-based team building activities:

1. The Whisper Challenge

This hilarious activity puts communication skills to the test. 

Employees pair up and take turns trying to decipher messages while listening to loud music on headphones.

The whispers, confusion and laughter this creates makes for lots of fun as co-workers try communicating despite the noise disruptions.

2. Digital Pictionary

In this virtual version of Pictionary, one employee draws a picture on a shared whiteboard while teammates guess the phrase or word being depicted.

You can use virtual whiteboard platforms like MiroMural or Whiteboard.fi to facilitate team drawing and guessing all online.

3. Story Timelines

Small teams work together and create a cohesive story by adding to a timeline.

The catch? Each person can only view the contribution directly before theirs as they write.

The silly story that unfolds highlights how communication breakdowns happen and how information can get distorted without full context.

4. Remote Charades

Test non-verbal communication by playing charades as a remote team. 

Use video conferencing and mute employees as they act out different words and phrases for their colleagues to guess.

Make sure everyone’s video is on to see the hilarious gesturing and emotions!

5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

In this popular online game, good communication and teamwork lead to success.

Create a list of common household items for teams to hunt down and collect across their various locations.

Set a timer and have teams race to find everything on the list, collaborating and communicating efficiently to beat the clock and other teams!

6. The Drawing Game

Enhance mindful listening skills with this activity where employees describe a simple picture while their partner draws it based only on their verbal description.

Afterward, compare the original picture with the drawing to see where communication broke down and how instructions could have been clearer.

7. Online Murder Mystery Party

Hosting an online murder mystery party is an entertaining way to practice communication and problem-solving skills. 

Assign virtual roles and have team members question each other using video chat to solve the mystery.

Costume themes and props add to the excitement! MurderMystery.com has great remote options.

8. Remote Talent Shows

Give employees a fun way to express themselves while practicing public speaking with a virtual talent show

Have volunteers share a performance-based talent of their choice via live video.

You’ll likely discover some hidden gifts while growing confidence in communication abilities.

9. One-Word Storytelling

Go around your video call and have each person add just one word to a story

Each participant can only say one word at a time as the silly tale unfolds spontaneously.

It sounds simple but requires mindful listening and quick communication skills to keep the story on track.

Lots of laughter guaranteed!

10. Mock Press Conference

Assign employees fictional roles as reporters and spokespeople for prominent companies.

Have them act out mock press conferences announcing big news via video call.

This helps practice communicating clarity, diplomacy and improvisation in response to “audience” questions.

Adding a dose of fun through games and activities scaffolds communication lessons into relationship-building experiences. 

Promote Collaboration with Virtual Team Building

Besides good communication, seamless collaboration is another essential ingredient for productive teams. 

Put in extra effort to encourage a collaborative spirit across distances.

Purposeful team building activities instill and reinforce collaborative behaviors in distributed teams. 

Here are 9 top picks:

1. Virtual Design Challenge

Pit teams against each other in a design challenge by having them co-create solutions for a fictional scenario like designing a remote-friendly workspace.

They can brainstorm in virtual breakout rooms, then reconvene to present the ideas and vote on favorites.

2. Online Innovation Contests

Innovation arises from collaboration. 

Try hosting contests for employees to submit ideas on topics like process improvements, overcoming work-from-home challenges or enhancing team culture virtually.

Have teams refine top ideas together before selecting winners. 

This sparks creativity and problem-solving.

3. Remote Leadership Development

Train rising leaders with collaborative online learning opportunities like cohorts, micro-learning or mentor matching. 

This develops leadership talents while promoting peer learning.

Schedule group check-in calls for leaders to share challenges and solutions and support one another’s growth journeys.

4. Guess the Baby Photos

Post childhood photos of team members and have employees work together to match names with baby pics. 

Not only does this reveal amusing secrets, but it encourages teammates to make connections.

Facilitate online by assigning virtual breakout rooms for photo sleuthing before reconvening to see who guessed correctly.

5. Online Multiplayer Games

Playing multiplayer online games together builds teamwork, communication and collaboration skills in a fun way. 

Engage in classics like Bingo, Jeopardy or Family Feud using free game platforms.

Or try more immersive role-playing adventure games by TeamBuilding.

6. Remote MasterClasses

Host virtual workshops by experts on diverse topics, from management techniques to mixology lessons. 

Build connectivity and inspiration among employees.

7. Cook Alongs

Cooking builds bonds! 

Suggest a virtual cook-along. Remote employees cook the same recipe and socialize via video chat.

They can cook solo from their remote kitchens while chatting, asking for tips, and sharing the results.

Take collaboration up a notch by first having small teams draft their own recipes before the group chooses one to cook together.

8. 360 Peer Feedback

Gathering peer feedback helps self-improvement and amplifies team development, too. 

Use online 360 review tools to solicit anonymous yet constructive feedback among team members.

This facilitates supportive and collaborative relationships as employees give and receive input to improve together.

9. Among Us Challenge

The popular multiplayer game Among Us encourages teamwork as players complete tasks and uncover deception. 

Playing together online helps employees learn to communicate, collaborate and think critically in a fun way.

The shared experience of cooperating under pressure builds camaraderie and trust.

Working, communicating and innovating alongside peers bonds teams even in a virtual setting.

Consistent collaboration activities prevent silos and isolation, leading to greater unity and performance.

Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

Build Trust with Impactful Team Building Activities

Trust is the foundation for successful teams, especially high-performing remote teams. 

A woman is using a laptop to participate in team building activities with virtual groups.

Without trust, communication falters and teamwork suffers. 

Developing trust digitally can be challenging for remote groups.

Targeted exercises focused on building trust create meaningful shared experiences and connections. 

Here are 9 top virtual team building activities to strengthen trust.

1. Superlatives Awards

Create silly awards or superlatives for team members such as “Most Likely to Win a Gold Medal” or “Best Virtual Background.” 

Employees let their guard down and learn it’s okay not to take ourselves too seriously. 

Laughter builds trust!

2. Blind Drawing

Pair up teammates and have one person describe a simple image while the other draws it without being able to see the original picture. 

Teammates build communication and trust.

3. Virtual Coffee Trios

Assign groups of three to virtual coffee meetings to chat and find common ground. 

Hearing different perspectives builds understanding. Sharing stories fosters trust between employees.

4. Online Mindfulness Retreats

Schedule regular virtual meditation or mindfulness sessions as a team. 

Shared inner reflection strengthens bonds and trusting relationships.

5. Remote Movie Nights

Create connection through shared experiences by streaming a movie together virtually using Teleparty or Netflix Party. 

Add a video chat feature for employees to react together in real time.

6. Remote Personality Tests

Personality tests like Myers-Briggs or Enneagram offer insight into work styles and motivations.

Teams build understanding and trust across personality types.

7. Biography Sharing

Have team members create and share short biographies about their lives to provide insight beyond work.

Getting to know people on a personal level goes a long way in developing trusting relationships.

8. Remote Potlucks

Replicate the communal feeling of potlucks online by sharing recipes and delivering food delivery gift cards. 

Employees can cook the same dish in their remote kitchens then hop on a video call to eat together.

9. Collaborative Art Projects

Express creativity and emotions through collaborative art. 

A team mosaic of individual drawings pieced together or a digital graffiti wall where remote workers take turns creates a shared innovative experience. 

Form unique connections between remote teams through artistic expression.

Integrating virtual activities that tap into emotions, promote openness and strengthen connections makes it possible to cultivate trust, even remotely. 

Fun Team Building Games to Engage Remote Teams

Games add light-hearted competition, laughter and a sense of community to team building. 

A woman is playing virtual bingo using a tablet to engage in team building activities with virtual groups.

Playing together online creates positive shared experiences and memories that bring remote groups closer together.

Here are 8 lively team games perfect for virtual teams:

1. Scavenger Hunt Bingo

Create bingo cards filled with tasks like “Find something purple” or “Show a childhood stuffed animal.” 

Break into virtual teams and have groups race to find items that complete rows on their card and yell “Bingo!” 

Bingo encourages communication and creativity.

2. The Price is Right

Put a virtual spin on the classic TV game show by having employees guess prices for various items pulled from online retail sites.

Award points for the closest bid without going over! 

To up the stakes, offer a fun prize for the winner like a gift card or extra time off.

3. Show & Tell Scavenger Hunt

Assign employees to hunt their homes for quirky items, like a coffee mug they never use or an old concert t-shirt. 

Regroup online to “show and tell” their finds and hear the backstories. 

Regroup online to “show and tell” their finds and hear the backstories. Sparks casual connections.

4. Would You Rather?

Have teammates go around a video call answering silly “would you rather” questions like, “Would you rather always say everything on your mind or never speak again?”

It’s a fun way to start engaging conversations.

5. Guess the Meme

Share different meme images. Employees work in teams to guess the meme titles quickly. 

See who earns the top score in this fast-paced and fun online game!

6. In My Bag

Each employee pulls five random items from their bag or desk and displays them on camera. 

Colleagues have two minutes to guess what’s in their coworker’s unique mix of items. 

Learn about the people behind the screens.

7. Song Lyrics Game

Divide your team into groups and have them take turns acting out or drawing song lyrics while others guess the tune. 

Make it harder by only using obscure songs or number one hits from a certain year.

8. Remote Codenames

In this spy-themed word game, teams compete to identify their words first according to one-word clues from their “spymaster.” 

Play over video conferencing using the online version of Codenames.

Laughter is the best medicine for remote worker woes. 

Infusing playfulness through online games makes team building more rewarding and helps instill a positive team culture.

9. Mystery Sound Contest

Gather odd objects from around your homes, set up calls on mute and take turns making mysterious sounds.

See who can guess the object first or come closest to replicating the weird sound.

Who knew workplace collaboration could sound so bizarre!

Problem Solving Focused Team Building Activities

Sharpening critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving competencies as a team has multiple benefits. 

A woman in a green sweater is participating in team building activities with a virtual group on her computer screen.

Build communication and collaboration skills while nurturing innovation.

Team building activities centered around creative problem-solving are especially valuable for remote employees who tackle challenges independently.

Here are 6 great problem-based team building activities:

1. Survival Scenarios

Present teams with fictional survival scenarios like being stranded on a deserted island and have them collaboratively brainstorm solutions. 

Build strategic planning abilities.

2. Design Challenges

Give teams an inventive design challenge like creating a new team mascot or reimagining the company logo. 

Have groups brainstorm in virtual breakout rooms before presenting creative concepts for a vote.

3. Hackathons

Host online hackathon events where employees rapidly prototype solutions for company challenges like improving virtual onboarding or easing pandemic work burdens. 

Working against the clock catalyzes resourcefulness.

4. GeoGuessr Competitions

The online game GeoGuessr lets teams view Google Street View images and guess which location they depict based on visual clues. 

It’s an engaging test of collective logic and problem-solving across teams.

5. Cross-Department Team Ups

Form teams mixing up employees from different departments and challenge these cross-functional groups to solve real-world business problems relevant to each area of expertise.

6. Unexpected Challenges

Present employees with an unexpected challenge like building the tallest tower using simple materials they have on hand or creating a team commercial with no notice. 

They’ll need to use logic, imagination and group coordination to succeed.

Challenging teams builds unity, collaboration skills and the confidence needed to tackle future obstacles. 

Infusing problem-solving elements into team activities also keeps skills sharp and sets up remote teams for ongoing innovation success.

Team Building Games Using Video Conferencing

While in-person interactions are ideal, video calls still allow for meaningful connections during team building through thoughtful games and activities for the virtual environment.

Leverage built-in features on platforms like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams to facilitate engaging online experiences.

Here are 3 impactful team building games perfectly suited for video conferencing:

1. 20 Questions

One person thinks of a celebrity or place and teams take turns asking yes/no questions to guess who or what it is. 

Watching expressions and reactions on video provides helpful clues!

2. Story Time

Go around your video meeting with each person adding the next line of an evolving story.

3. I Spy

Take turns sharing something you spy around you and see who can guess the object first.

Get creative in facilitating games that leverage video to help remote teams connect face-to-face. 

The technology bridges the physical gap between distant teammates.

Unique Virtual Team Building Activities and Games