Top Virtual Team Building Activities to Bring Your Remote Employees Closer Together
There’s no denying that the pandemic has reshaped work culture, requiring us to learn how to adapt to remote work environments. With your team members now working remotely, dispersed throughout different locations, it can be difficult to reinforce employee engagement and keep up morale. Our daily lives have become one conference call or video call after another, which can be exhausting, but not all virtual activity has to be monotonous or boring! There’s a whole world of fun out there in the form of virtual team building games, virtual escape rooms, and other virtual team building activities. Companies and employees alike are realizing the benefits of working from home, but now more than ever it’s crucial to find ways to build relationships remotely and find creative ways for team bonding. Virtual team building activities may be the perfect solution for your company, to bring everyone closer together, strengthen team identity and increase employee engagement.
Here are some of our top ideas for virtual team building activities!
1) Corporate Craft Workshops with CraftJam
Successful team building activities shouldn’t feel like a typical day at the office, or even a remote office for that matter, so what better way to boost your team spirit than through awakening your employees’ creativity? CraftJam offers an incredible selection of corporate virtual arts and crafts workshops designed to bring your employees closer together. Engage your team in arts and crafts activities in an uplifting, supportive and beginner-friendly environment, perfect for all levels. From calligraphy, and hand lettering, to creating a vision board and macrame wall hangings, you are sure to find something everyone will enjoy. Participating in a private crafting workshop amongst your employees and producing a finished piece of art will be incredible for boosting your team’s morale.
Not only are CraftJam’s online craft classes a fun way to provide real time engagement with your co-workers, they also deliver evidence-based well-being through engaging group experiences that last 60 minutes, 90 minutes, or 120 minutes. These online workshops are a blast AND there are other benefits such as improved mental health, the strengthening of relationships, and a way to show you value your employees. There are so many options for corporate craft classes, but here’s what we consider the best virtual craft classes for adults.
2) Inspirational Icebreakers
It is common for team members to sometimes feel stagnant or off while they are working remotely from their own respective homes, disassociated from the rest of their co-workers. It can be easy for remote workers to feel isolated, so re-ignite your team’s inspiration with fun and motivating sessions of creative icebreaker questions. DO break the ice! Start your next virtual meeting with an icebreaker question that is surface level, or more deep, depending on the level of trust amongst your team. A little break from the usual corporate routine will create an encouraging and energizing environment, as well as a more tight-knit community.
3) Virtual Caffeine Boost & Check In
When your team members used to work in the office, they probably enjoyed gathering around the coffee pot or espresso machine to unwind and chat on their breaks. Create that relaxed, yet upbeat atmosphere by arranging virtual caffeine boost meetings. Everyone should come to team meetings, with a cup of coffee, tea or favorite beverage, ready to enjoy a light-hearted, bonding experience designed to feel like a digital get-together at a virtual cafe. Over a delicious cup of joe, it is a perfect opportunity to step back from the normal regimen for a moment and check in with your team, see how everyone is feeling, and get everyone motivated and on the same page. You can share stories, talk about your day – any activities that feel relaxed and fun will do. Enjoy your drinks to the last drop and when you get back into the corporate game, your team will feel more rejuvenated than ever!
4) Critical Questions and Answer Session
This activity is a great choice as it is not only fun-loving, but it features an intellectual slant, making it the perfect, relaxing diversion that won’t feel too far removed from the normal workflow. Ask everyone to join in a digital meeting, prepared to answer thought-provoking, critical questions. You can engage your team in a session of “Would you rather” questions, asking them to choose their preference between two amusing, yet difficult scenarios or maybe, ask “What would you do in a certain situation?” type questions. Just to make sure to keep the inquiries tasteful, and it is the perfect activity for reinforcing a like-minded team culture and identity that requires your employees to think critically and get into a problem-solving state of mind.
5) Virtual Trivia
Why not turn your next video conferencing into an exciting game of trivia? It is a great way to improve cognitive skills, promote brain development, and expand decision-making capabilities. Depending on the number of remote employees, you can have people play individually or on teams. Have each remote worker create a category and prepare 5-10 questions in the form of multiple choice, fill-in- the-blank, true/false, or name that tune or film. By having team members prepare the categories and questions, it’s a fantastic way to learn about each colleague and their interests. You can even throw in some company trivia questions to remind employees of the history, mission, vision, and values. The purpose of this online virtual activity is to have fun, engage employees, and promote team building. It’s always a bonus to get smarter and mentally stronger in the process!
6) Virtual Escape Rooms
Escape rooms have become all the craze, as it’s a great way to emphasize teamwork, build communication skills, and engage employees in an enjoyable and creative way. While escape rooms originally started as an in-person activity, they have now become very popular online and many companies are using them as a virtual team-building activity. Virtual escape rooms have varying levels of difficulty and offer a wide variety of different topic ideas. During this online activity, the goal is to “escape the room” by solving riddles, uncovering clues, completing puzzles, and working together as a team. Online escape rooms come in all shapes and sizes, so find the one that’s right for your remote team. There is usually a time limit, so choose one that fits into your busy work schedule, whether it be a 15-minute, 30-minute, or 60-minute session. Don’t worry if your company has a strained budget, as there are several options for free online escape rooms.
7) Recipe Exchange
Nothing brings people together like good food! No matter where you live in the world, what culture you come from, or what age you are, food is a uniting factor. Cooking can even be considered its own universal language, understood by all. A delicious virtual activity for you and your colleagues is to share a favorite recipe and explain the reasons why it’s such a special dish. Encourage your remote workers to try cooking the recipe of a different team member each week or month and discuss the process, the challenges, and most importantly, the taste. This is a great way to get to know your team and to learn about different cultures.
8) Picture Sharing
When work life used to take place in the office, many of us had pictures of our loved ones on display and it was a great way for us to let our co-workers have a small glimpse into our private world. Now that we are working from home, we don’t get to see those smiling framed photos on desks and walls. A great virtual team building activity is to have each colleague share a photo that they would put up if they were to return to a real office. And for those who don’t have a person they want to share, they can always use a pet or a picture of a place that means something special. By opening up our private world just a little, it allows us to feel more connected and create a stronger team bond.
9) Virtual Show-and-Tell
Did you have show-and-tell at school when you were kid? Many of us did, and for those who didn’t, it was a time you could bring in something from home that was special to you – a favorite toy, your homemade crafts, a musical instrument- and describe it to the class. Why not turn this amusing, age-old idea into a virtual team building activity? By sharing intimate possessions, you get better insight into each individual, which will help you develop strong team bonds and trust. We’re older now, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a material object; it can be something verbal, a skill you might have, or a passion project. Have each remote worker come prepared to offer a work of art, sing a song, recite a poem, tell a funny joke or show off anything that’s special to them. It may come as a pleasant surprise that Jessie from accounting was on a mission to learn to crochet and has decided to create a scarf for everyone on the team!
10) Team Building Charity Drive
Giving back to society is important and it can also be very rewarding. Some people volunteer in their community on their own time, but why not decide on a solidarity activity that gets the whole remote team involved. This team building activity is a way for each individual to contribute to something bigger than themselves and help those less fortunate. There are so many possibilities and needs in the world, so decide on a cause that’s close to your team and company values. This could be collecting items for a food bank, donating blood, walking/running for a cause, a random act of kindness, donating school supplies, fundraising, and the list goes on. When employees are engaged in charity activities or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, there is less turnover and it benefits everyone in the community.