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36 Fool-Proof Virtual Team-Building Activities For Remote Teams

As more and more companies shift toward remote work, it's important to find virtual team-building activities that can help strengthen communication and trust among team members who may not have the opportunity to interact in person on a regular basis.

36 Fool-Proof Virtual Team-Building Activities For Remote Teams

As more and more companies shift toward remote work, it's important to find virtual team-building activities that can help strengthen communication and trust among team members who may not have the opportunity to interact in person on a regular basis.

Without further ado, here are 36 virtual team-building ideas for remote teams to help you get started.

We've compiled this list of the best online office games, paid team-building events, themed virtual meetings, and simple yet effective ice-breakers to help you get to know your teammates better and build a strong foundation for your remote team.

Codenames

Codenames game

Codenames is a brilliant team-building activity that can test your teamwork, communication, problem-solving skills, and give you many, many laughs along the way

The game requires players to split into two teams where each team has a spymaster and a set of operatives. Spymasters give hints to their operatives to help them guess their codenames without accidentally giving points to other team's agents.

Playing a game within Kosy

What makes Codenames such a great virtual team-building activity is that it can be played entirely online via video call, making it perfect for remote teams. Better yet, if you are using Kosy as your virtual office, you can set up a quick game of Codenames with a single click of a button.

Jackbox Games

Jackbox games, one of the most popular online game playing platform

If you're looking for a fun way to spend an evening with your remote team, then look no further than Jackbox Games.

Jackbox Games offer a range of multiplayer party games that are actually perfect for virtual team-building between stranded remote employees.

The games are released in packs, with prices ranging from $19.99 to $29.99. Each pack contains 4-5 team-building games, from virtual trivia nights and drawing contests to more zany and creative games like Quiplash, where players have to come up with the funniest responses to prompts.

What's great about Jackbox Games is that they can be played on any device, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktop computers. All you need is a web browser and an internet connection, making it perfect for remote teams.

Ice-breakers

Ice breakers within Kosy

There is nothing more awkward than arriving at a virtual team meeting or a team-building session only to sit in awkward silence for the first few minutes. To avoid this, it's always a good idea to start with an ice-breaker.

In Kosy, you can instantly launch an ice-breaker session with a push of a button. Here, team members will be presented with random questions to answer ⁠— from describing their favorite book or dream house to learning how each of them adapted to working from home.

The questions are designed to help team members learn more about each other and get the conversation flowing.

Never have I ever

Let's be honest, we've all played Never Have I Ever at some point in our lives. But did you know that it can actually be a great team-building activity for remote teams?

The game is simple ⁠— each team member takes turns making statements about things they have never done. For example, "Never have I ever been to New York." If any team member has done the thing mentioned, they have to take a drink (or in this case, a virtual shot).

What makes Never Have I Ever such an effective team-building activity is that it can help team members bond over shared experiences and break the ice. It's also a great way to learn more about your colleagues.

Playing never have I ever in Kosy

To make this game even more fun, try it out in a Kosy virtual office. Each team member will get to virtually gather around one table, see each other's faces, and keep track of whose turn it is to ask the next question ⁠— turning a simple video call into a fun virtual experience.

Virtual scavenger hunt

Virtual scavenger hunt game

Scavenger hunts are a great way to reignite the competitive spirit in virtual teams. To set up a virtual scavenger hunt, all you need is a list of items or tasks that team members have to find or complete.

For example, the list could include things like:

  • A picture of a cat
  • An item that starts with the letter "A"
  • Something red
  • A picture of someone in your team

For something more advanced, you can book a scavenger hunt session with a company that specializes in virtual team-building events.

Let's Roam and Scavify both offer phone-based scavenger hunts for remote teams with pretty affordable pricing packages.

Virtual book club

For team members who love to read, why not start a virtual book club? This is a great way for team members to bond over their shared love of literature ⁠— and it's also an engaging way to encourage team members to keep up with their reading.

To get started, each team member simply chooses a book that they want to read. Then, the team meets up virtually once a week to discuss the book. You can even suggest them some books related to your company's industry.

Not only will team members get to bond over their shared love of reading, but they'll also get to learn more about each other and have some great discussions.

To spruce the book club's virtual meetings up, remote teams can host them in Kosy. Create a whole separate room with the book club's name on it, fill it with cozy virtual furniture, and use the whiteboard to jot down key discussion points.

This activity is not only team-building, but it's also educational, enriching, and shows the company's interest in the remote teams' personal development and comfort.

Virtual happy hours

Virtual Happy Hours as a way to socialise

Just because you have a remote team doesn't mean you can't have happy hours. In fact, virtual happy hours can be even better when you don't have to worry about fighting traffic or dealing with a noisy bar.

To host this fun virtual team-building session, all you need is a video call platform or a virtual office. Then, team members can meet up virtually after work for some drinks and some small talk.

This is a great way for team members to relax and unwind after a long day of work. Plus, it will give them an opportunity to get to know each other better in a more casual setting.

To make virtual happy hours even more fun, try adding some virtual games or activities into the mix like Ice Breakers, Never Have I Ever, or Two Truths and A Lie (all available in Kosy's "App Menu").

Virtual dance party

Who says you need a physical space to have a dance party?

The best virtual team-building activities are the ones set to music and with today's technology, you can have a disco right in your living room. All you need is a video call platform or a virtual office.

To set up this fun virtual team-building activity, simply choose a playlist of upbeat songs and get everyone on the call to dance along. You can even create a dance-off between team members to see who has the best moves.

This is a great way to get team members moving and grooving ⁠— and it's also a surefire way to get them laughing and smiling.

Movie night

Watching movies together can be a great team bonding experience

Who doesn't love a good movie? Hosting a virtual movie night is a great way for team members to relax and bond with each other.

To set up a movie night, you can use the Teleparty add-on to watch movies on Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon together.

Teleparty will sync everyone's playback so you can all watch the movie at the same time. It will also add a group chat to the browser for your remote team to hone their communication skills during the watch-along.

Later you can host a movie review party over a video call or in a virtual meeting room to discuss the film. This will be a great opportunity for the team to bond over their shared love (or hate) of movies and it will also encourage team members to think critically and communicate effectively.

Virtual coffee breaks

While there's always time for a big virtual team-building event, don't forget that putting a fun spin on everyday activities can also boost team morale.

In Kosy we've had multiple clients drive team engagement by introducing virtual coffee breaks. This is where team members can take a break from work to chat, banter, and get to know each other better over a cup of coffee (or tea).

These coffee breaks can be scheduled once a week or once a day, depending on what works best for your team.

Virtual coffee break to get closer to your teammates

However, you can also build an adjacent cafe in your virtual office where your remote team can take a break any time they need one.

Guess whose workspace

A workspace can be a great "in" into one's personality

Since remote teams can't physically interact with each other it can be harder for them to get to know each other (but not impossible).

Something as trivial as seeing someone's workspace, from the little gadget they have to family photos, can make a big difference in building trust and encouraging communication.

This is why one of the best virtual team-building activities you can do is to host a Guess Whose Workspace game. To set this up, simply ask each team member to take a photo of their workspace and then send it to you.

Once you have all the photos, put them together in a slideshow and share them with the team. Then, have everyone try to guess which workspace belongs to which team member.

This is a great way for team members to get to know each other better and it's also a great way for them to bond over their shared interests and working setup preferences.

Guess the emoji board

In a similar vein to workspaces, the kind of emojis people use in their conversations can say a lot about them. This is why another fun virtual team-building activity is to host a Guess The Emoji Board game.

To set up this game, simply ask each team member to send you a screenshot of their most recently used emojis. Once you have all the screenshots, you can go about this team-building game in two ways.

First, you can put all the emoji boards together in a slideshow and have everyone guess which board belongs to which team member.

To make things a bit more interesting, you can create a list with the names of all the team members involved in this virtual team-building game and give it to each player. Next, give them some time to write down the top five emojis they think each player most likely uses.

Once everyone has had a chance to guess, you can reveal the emoji boards and see who guessed correctly.

You can even let them defend their cases before the big reveal and award points for accuracy, creativity, or guessing streak.

Virtual Pub Crawl

Needless to say, it is hard to set up a pub crawl when you're only limited to online team-building activities.

However, this doesn't mean you can't put a virtual (and educational) spin on this team-bonding classic.

First and foremost, have your team join a video meeting or conference call. Then, have each team member go to an interesting website and chat about what they found over drinks and snacks.

After 15 minutes are up, everyone should move on to the next website. This should continue until each team member has had a chance to visit and chat about, say, three websites.

Now, for this awesome team-building activity to work, you'll have to find some really thrilling websites to explore. Why not start with this list?

Virtual escape rooms

Virtual escape rooms will test your team cohesion

While escape rooms can be a thrilling (and claustrophobic) experience, it doesn't mean you can't replicate the same brain-boosting and exhilarating adventure in a virtual setting.

There are now a number of virtual escape rooms you can try as a team. They usually come in the form of an online game or challenge that you can do together. Some of these virtual team-building activities even have a dedicated host to move things along and keep remote teams engaged with the experience.

You can start by checking out these escape rooms for virtual teams:

You and your colleagues will have to go through a set of fun games, puzzles, riddles, and challenges in order to "escape" the room.

This is a great way to encourage team members to think outside the box and get everyone's creative juices flowing.

Open mic meetings

Online office games can be incredibly fun. However, sometimes it is also important to take a step back and allow team members to share their hobbies, interests, and talents.

If your company culture is open and supportive, you can host an open mic meeting where team members can share anything they want. This can be anything from a poetry reading to a quick stand-up comedy routine.

Not only is this a great way for team members to bond with each other, but it can also make them feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas in a group setting.

Giving everyone the microphone creates an open and transparent space

To make things even more exciting, you can host this virtual team-building activity in one of Kosy's conference rooms. The entire team would get to sit in a virtual auditorium overlooking a stage where each team member will have their moment to shine.

Virtual campfires

Virtual team-building activities rarely get to be as fun and nostalgic as a virtual campfire.

You can book a 90-minute campfire event at Tiny Campfire with gourmet smores, ghost stories, and virtual team-building challenges. It's a great way to get everyone in the team to relax, bond with each other, and have some good old-fashioned fun.

You may have no marshmallows but how cosy is this campfire

However, Kosy also comes with a pre-built campfire template that you can set outside your virtual office.

Here are just a few things you can do while gathered around your virtual campfire:

  • Have your team dim their lights to set the mood
  • Have your team share their favorite recipes for gourmet s'mores
  • Place a virtual guitar by the fire and have it play music
  • Ask some team members to prepare a few campfire stories beforehand and share them with others (you can also collectively listen to scary campfire stories via YouTube integration)
  • Participate in fun virtual team games such as 20 Questions, Ice Breakers, Truth or Dare, and more
  • Ask everyone to dress up in their favorite camping gear for the event

While this experience alone can boost your remote team-building efforts, planning this "retreat" to a virtual campfire can be just as engaging.

Make sure to listen to everyone's ideas and suggestions to make this adventure one of the best virtual team-building activities your team has seen.

Arms-reach show & tell

If you want to get everyone in the team talking and sharing, then a great way to do it is by hosting an Arms-Reach Show & Tell.

This is where everyone has to share something they have within arm's reach. It can be anything from a favorite book to a weird souvenir. The key is to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to share something about themselves.

This is also one of the best virtual team-building exercises for new team members who might still be a bit shy to simply strike up a conversation with their co-workers. Through this activity, they will get to know their colleagues better and feel more comfortable opening up in the future.

Murder Mystery Party

Who's the murder? Probably your boss

No list of virtual team-building activities is complete without a bit of murder mystery.

Murder mystery parties came a long way and can now be played by remote workers no matter where they are in the world.

If you're not familiar with the concept, a murder mystery party is basically a role-playing game where players have to solve a crime that has been committed. This can be done through various methods such as interrogating suspects, collecting clues, and trying to figure out who the murderer is.

What's great about playing this virtually is that you can easily add in more players without having to worry about cramped quarters.

You can also play this over video call so everyone can see each other's reactions as the mystery unfolds.

There are many different murder mystery experiences available online, so check out Wild Goose and Red Herring Games for some fun virtual games that will have your team working together to solve the case.

Virtual team trivia games

Trivia games can help add a bit of excitement to your workday

If you're looking for some fun and engaging virtual team-building activities, then you can't go wrong with a trivia game.

Team trivia games are great at encouraging players to work together in order to answer questions correctly. They also promote healthy competition among team members and can be tailored to fit any theme or topic.

Depending on your time and resources, you could treat your remote team members to a full-blown virtual team-building experience complete with questions designed by experts and a host to make the virtual meeting fun (you can book it here).

However, you can also go smaller but no less engaging with TriviaMaker or Crowdpurr. All you need is to share your screen during one of your virtual team meetings and let the trivia begin.

Virtual holiday parties

Corporate holiday parties are the stuff of movies and TV shows, but that doesn't mean that remote teams can't get in on the fun.

Apart from being an entertaining experience, such virtual team events tend to strengthen the bond between team members and can make them feel more appreciated.

With a little ingenuity, you can easily plan a virtual holiday party that everyone will enjoy. In Kosy, you can create a dedicated virtual space where your team members can walk around, mingle, listen to music, and even have a virtual Secret Santa.

You can even turn this into a "black tie" event and have everyone show off their finest clothes through the "video on" feature.

Pictionary

As far as virtual team-building activities go, Pictionary is a classic.

This fun and familiar game is great for encouraging team members to work together and hone their communication skills. It also helps people to think creatively, come up with ideas on the fly, and it may give rise to some inside jokes that will make collaborating more natural.

There are many different ways to play Pictionary as part of your virtual team-building efforts.

For example, you can host it on a dedicated website like Scribbl.io or you can launch a whiteboard app in Kosy and start playing with your team members.

No matter how you decide to play it, Pictionary is sure to be a hit with your remote team.

Drawful

Is Picasso amongst us? Only one way to know

Drawful is similar to Pictionary in that it's a game that encourages players to work together and communicate effectively.

However, instead of drawing pictures, players are given prompts and have to come up with creative ways to describe them.

Like Pictionary, Drawful is a great way to encourage team members to think creatively and come up with ideas on the fly. It's also a lot of fun and is sure to get everyone laughing which is excellent for building trust in remote teams.

There are a few different ways to play Drawful, but we recommend using the Jackbox Party Pack which includes five different games that your team can enjoy.

Live co-working time

Sometimes the best way to encourage team building is to simply give your team members some dedicated time to work together on a project.

This "live co-working" time can be used for anything from brainstorming ideas to working on a presentation or report.

Coworking let's you crack the occasional joke and work alongside your peers

You can achieve an almost lifelike effect of working in the same room in Kosy ⁠— set up a dedicated room, sit in a chair next to your co-working buddy, and see their video feed as they're typing away on the keyboard.

To spice things up, you can pair up people that have never had an opportunity to work together before, or you can set a timer and see how much progress the team can make in a limited amount of time.

Just remember to not strand your team members with a particularly tough task ⁠— these live co-working sessions are supposed to be fun and give teammates a great bonding experience.

Virtual lunch

We don't know about you, but lunch is one of our favorite times of day (unless someone decided to reheat fish in the microwave).

It's a chance to take a break from work, relax, and enjoy some good food and company.

Lunching together is great online and offline!

The "company" part can be tough to come by in remote teams. Unless you set up a virtual cafeteria for your team in Kosy. Here, virtual teams will have a place to gather together, have some lunch, and catch up with each other.

As an added bonus, you can make virtual lunchtime a themed activity. For example, you can ask everyone to bring their favorite dish from their culture or country.

Alternatively, you could issue challenges like "make the best sandwich you can with only 5 ingredients" or "find the most interesting recipe on the internet and share it with the group."

No matter what you do, lunchtime is sure to be a virtual team activity employees look forward to every day. Not only will they get to enjoy some delicious food, but they'll also get to bond with their teammates in a fun and relaxed setting.

Can You Hear Me Now?

There's just something about drawing that makes it one of the most beloved (and effective) remote team-building activities.

Can You Hear Me Now? is best described as a reverse Pictionary. Only harder. And more fun.

In order to play it, join a video call in a virtual conference room. One person will be the speaker and other team members will be the artists. The speaker can use a random picture generator (like Something To Draw) and describe it to the artists.

The catch is, that the speaker can only use geometric shapes to guide the artists along. No saying "draw the ears" or "draw a letter M" only "draw the triangles or squares".

It's a great way to encourage creativity and communication within your team, and it's guaranteed to produce either hilariously bad drawings or incredible abstract art.

Five Finger Showdown

Easy finger game

This game is a perfect virtual team bonding activity you can play whenever you need an ice-breaker.

The game starts with all of the participants holding up a hand. Then the host starts listing random yet specific experiences. If someone has ever done that, they put a finger down.

For example, the host could say, "If you've ever been to Japan" or "If you can touch your nose with your tongue". If someone has ever done the thing being asked, they put a finger down.

Here are some questions you could ask during this game:

  • If you have ever seen a ghost
  • If you can play an instrument
  • If you speak more than one language
  • If you have ever had a pet
  • If you have ever been bungee jumping
  • If you know a poem by heart
  • If you have ever been in a play

Now, the resolution to this game can go two routes.

The first is that the person with the most fingers still up at the end of the game wins. This can either be a symbolic victory or they could win something that will grant them a new life experience (or at least a free coffee).

The second route is that the first person to have their fingers down wins and gets to share their story of the experiences they've had with the group.

This is a great game to play virtually because it's quick, easy, and can be done without any preparation. And no matter which route you choose, your employees will get to know each other and bond as a team.

What's Up?

Every object tells a story if you know how to read it

This is a great game to play virtually because it requires no preparation and can be done with any number of people.

What's Up? is played by asking each team member to choose an object from their home. It could be something as simple as a coffee mug, a cool pen, or a souvenir. Then, they have to hold the object outside of the camera's view and describe it in detail without saying what it is.

For example, if someone was holding a mug, they might say "It's round, made of ceramic, and has a handle." The other team members would then have to guess what the object is.

Alright, that's a pretty simplistic prompt but a unicorn-shaped pen, on the other hand, would certainly pose a challenge for other players.

This game is perfect for encouraging creativity and communication within your team. It's the ideal ice-breaker for brainstorming sessions that will have your virtual team thinking outside the box from the get-go.

Hangout by the pool

If you had to choose between hanging out with your team by the pool or in a stuffy conference room, which would you choose? The pool, obviously.

Unfortunately, virtual team-building ideas often run into the same problem ⁠— the inability to gather together in an exciting location. However, you can have the next best thing with Kosy.

Take control of the heatwave

With just a few clicks, you can add a pool to your virtual office space, complete with a sandy beach, lounge chairs, umbrellas, and floaties.

Your team can simply relax and chat by the pool, or you could have a virtual pool party complete with games, music, and drinks.

And don't forget to plop down a virtual jukebox nearby to set the perfect summertime vibe for your remote workers.

Online bingo

Bingo is a classic game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages but it is old-fashioned and definitely not something that you could call a virtual team-building game.

Customized online bingo, on the other hand, is a whole different story. Each employee gets a bingo card filled with stuff that typically happens around the office. For example, it can have bingo squares with "sorry, I was on mute", "can you see my screen", "someone's pet interrupting a meeting" and other such phrases.

The first person to cross out all the squares on their bingo card wins and gets a prize.

This is a great game to play virtually because it's easy to set up (just use this generator), can be played with any number of people, and is bound to get a few laughs.

Pancakes vs Waffles

Simple but never gets old! 

Do you remember debating the most important questions with your friends as a kid? The kinds of questions that had no right answer but everyone had a strong opinion on, like whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or if chicken nuggets are better than french fries.

That was one of your first team-building exercises, even though you didn't know it at the time.

Now, as an adult, you can bring back those debates with your team in a fun and light-hearted way with the Pancakes vs Waffles game.

Just like the name suggests, this game is all about debating which of two things is better. You start off by splitting your team into two groups and assigning each group to argue over which is better ⁠— pancakes or waffles. It's pancakes, obviously.

After the decision is made, you add another layer to the debate by pitting pancakes against, say, puppies. Again, the remote workers have to defend which is better.

You can keep going until there's a winner or you run out of things to debate. This game is great for encouraging creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

It is also extremely easy to pull off when you're out of online team-building ideas.

Virtual Tours

Show off your virtual space

In the completely uneventful year of 2020, virtual tours became an easy way to travel and see the world without leaving your home.

You can use this same concept for virtual team building and have your employees take virtual tours of different landmarks, museums, or even countries.

This is a great way to learn about other cultures and bond with your teammates over this shared experience. Plus, this online team-building activity shows that your company is investing in its employees' personal development and enrichment.

A great way to set up virtual tours is with the Google Arts and Culture website which offers free virtual tours of hundreds of museums from around the world. You can also take your distributed teams on a nice virtual stroll through the halls of the Louvre. Tie it in with a discussion of art and finer things in life afterward and you have a perfect virtual team-building activity.

Cleanup challenge

We've all been there ⁠— you work at your desk, day in and day out, and suddenly your workspace looks like a small tornado rolled through it. It's like your desk knows when you're in the zone and decides to revolt against you.

The cleanup challenge is a virtual team-building activity that turns this frustrating scenario into a fun game.

Here's how it works. First, you ask each person on your team to take a photo of their desk. Make sure to not pass any judgment, we all go through the creative process differently. This will be their "before" shot.

Now, your remote employees need to clean up their workspace as quickly as possible.

You can play this remote team-building game on more relaxed terms, letting everyone finish at their own pace. After the challenge is done, you can all share your "before" and "after" shots and see how much everyone improved.

However, you can also make the game more interesting: each person can only use one hand for the cleanup. This may sound easy but it's actually quite challenging, especially if you have a lot of stuff on your desk. The first person to finish cleaning up their space wins the game.

Not only is this activity a lot of fun, but it actually puts "exercise" in virtual team-building exercises. Who knows, maybe your team will even keep their desks clean after the challenge is over.

Personality tests

Understand who you are working with: Commander and Debater

If you want to get to know your teammates better, there's no better way than personality tests.

These tests can range from the classic 16 Personalities Test or HEXACO to Skill Self-Assessment test.

Personality tests are a great way to learn about your team member's strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they prefer to work. This knowledge can be very useful for managers when assigning tasks and projects.

Plus, taking personality tests is just plain fun. It's always interesting to see which famous historical figure you're most like or what percentage introverted you are.

You can take personality tests together as part of your remote team-building activities and then discuss the results afterward. Let's see who is more like Einstein and who is more like Steve Jobs.

Online Fitness Club

Teams that workout together stay together

If you want to get your team moving and improve their fitness levels, then start an online fitness club.

In order to turn working out into a virtual team-building activity, your remote employees can use Strava. It is a fitness tracking app that doubles as a social platform ⁠— you can share workouts, track each other's progress, and leave comments and kudos.

Part can also create virtual fitness challenges for your team and reward the winners. For example, challenge everyone to run a certain distance within a week or to do a set number of push-ups.

Not only will this remote team-building activity get your employees moving, but it will also help them relieve stress and improve their mental well-being. And who knows, maybe you'll even find a new workout buddy.

This is a fantastic method to get everyone in shape while bonding with your teammates over a shared goal. Plus, it will make staying healthy and fit while working remotely from home a lot easier.

Pet show-and-tell

If you've got a pet, flaunt it

One of the best virtual team-building activities is bonding over our furry (or not so furry) friends.

After all, pets are a big part of our lives and, chances are, your remote employees are dying to share more about their pets with the group.

To do a Pet Show-and-Tell get your entire team on a virtual call and have each person introduce their pet to the group. If you're worried about someone feeling left out, have them tell a few stories about their family pets or funny run-ins with animals.

This light-hearted and fun virtual meeting can not only boost your team's mood but also reap other benefits. There are various studies that show how looking at or interacting with cute animals not only lowers the level of anxiety and stress hormones but also boosts employees' ability to focus.

And hey, if someone doesn't have a pet to elevate their dopamine levels, they can have one in their virtual Kosy office!

Remote team dinner

Just because your team is remote doesn't mean you can't enjoy a nice meal together.

One of the best virtual team-building activities is to have a remote team dinner. You can use a service like Gousto or HelloFresh to send each member of your team all the ingredients they need to cook a delicious meal. Then, everyone can cook their meal at the same time and enjoy it virtually together.

You can even have a themed dinner party where everyone has to make a dish from a certain cuisine or share childhood recipes.

A study from the University of Oxford revealed that there is a strong link between social eating and individual happiness. This makes sharing a meal, even over a virtual conference call, a unique team-building activity that is bound to keep your employees happy.

The benefits of virtual team-building activities

Get closer than ever to your team

If there is one universal truth we can all agree on is that companies are constantly looking for means to improve the productivity and profitability of their business.

By bringing employees together, you can create a strong bond between them that will make them work harder and be more invested in the company.

However, remote work has made it more difficult to create these bonds between employees. The physical distance, different time zones, communication challenges, and lack of face-to-face interaction can make it hard to build a strong relationship with your remote team.

This is where virtual team-building activities come in.

By using technology to bring your employees together, you can create bonds that are just as strong as if they were in the same room. And, with the right team-building games, you can create a fun and engaging environment that will improve the overall morale of your team.

Let's take a closer look at what kind of benefits you can expect from virtual team-building activities on this list

1. Improving communication and productivity

A fascinating study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory revealed the one factor that distinguishes truly productive teams ⁠— communication and engagement outside of formal meetings. The study underlines the importance of encouraging team-wide communication and engagement instead of letting employees break up into smaller clusters.

What better way is there to engage your whole team outside of work than set up some fun team-building activities?

By playing games that require communication and learning each other's thinking patterns, you can directly improve their future productivity.

2. Building high-trust culture

A study from the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies looked into how building a culture of trust in a workplace can affect employees. The results were incredible. Employees in high-trust organizations reported:

  • 74% less stress
  • 106% more energy at work
  • 50% higher productivity
  • 13% fewer sick days
  • 76% more engagement
  • 29% more satisfaction with their lives
  • 40% less burnout

Any company would give their right arm to have that kind of impact on their employees.

Luckily, one of the cornerstones of building trust in a workplace is encouraging social connections ⁠— exactly what team-building activities were created for.

While building friendships in a traditional setting is easy, it takes a bit more effort to do so in a remote environment. However, with the help of virtual team-building activities, you can create the same level of trust and connection between employees, no matter where they are located in the world.

3. Boosting creativity and innovation

Innovation is key to any company's success. After all, it's hard to be the best in your industry if you're not constantly looking for ways to improve your products, services, and processes.

One way to encourage innovation within your company is by building a culture of creativity. And, one of the best ways to do that is through team-building activities that promote out-of-the-box thinking.

Games that require employees to think creatively, solve problems as a team, and come up with new ideas will help them see challenges from different perspectives and come up with innovative solutions.

Additionally, employees are more likely to unleash their creativity when they feel psychologically safe. By showing interest in building friendships between remote employees, and encouraging them to be themselves, you'll create an environment where they feel comfortable sharing their ideas, no matter how "out there" they may be.

4. Enhancing team performance

When employees are bonded together and working towards a common goal, they're more likely to go the extra mile to achieve it.

A study by Kaisa Henttonen shows that social bonding within a team helps employees develop a sense of team identity which directly enhances performance.

Something as simple as online office games are a great way to help employees not only bond but also develop a strong sense of team identity.

Additionally, by presenting remote workers with virtual team-building challenges that require them to work together towards a common goal, you can help them see the importance of their role in the company and how they contribute to its success.

5. Lowering employee turnover & absenteeism

Virtual team-building events can help form engaged, creative, and productive remote teams. But, did you know that they can also have a positive impact on employees' mental well-being?

According to research, social isolation and loneliness can negatively impact employee health, performance, and affective commitment ⁠— so much so that it can lead to higher employee turnover and absenteeism.

One of the best ways to combat social isolation and loneliness is by encouraging social interactions. And, what better way to do that than with fun virtual team-building activities?

From online scavenger hunts to virtual happy hours, there are plenty of options available that will help employees interact and form connections with their colleagues ⁠— all while having a great time.

6. Improving work-life balance

The lines between work and life are often blurred, especially for remote employees.

With no physical office to separate home from work, it can be difficult for remote workers to "clock out" at the end of the day. As a result, they may find themselves working longer hours and burning out more easily.

Virtual team-building activities can help improve work-life balance by encouraging employees to disconnect from work and, instead, connect with their colleagues on a personal level.

By scheduling regular virtual team-building events, you can help your employees find the right balance between work and life ⁠— without sacrificing their productivity or well-being.

7. Fostering a sense of belonging

Many remote employees feel isolated and disconnected from their colleagues. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review: "40% of people say that they feel isolated at work, and the result has been lower organizational commitment and engagement."

A sense of belonging is essential for employees, even more so for remote workers. And, one of the best ways to foster a sense of belonging is through social interactions and virtual team bonding.

Automated weekly trivia quizzes or virtual team trivia can go a long way in helping remote employees feel connected to their colleagues. Especially when even asking a co-worker how they're doing has already been known to make a difference for their sense of belonging.

How to choose the right virtual team-building activities for remote employees?

There is no science to choosing the best virtual team-building activity

As you can see there are plenty of virtual team-building ideas out there. However, choosing the right one for your remote team can make or break the whole bonding aspect of it.

For one group of employees, a team-building event can be fun, exciting, and fulfilling. But for the other group, it can be one of the most embarrassing and awkward virtual meetings they had to sit through.

So, how do you make sure you're choosing the right virtual team-building activities for your remote employees?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Consider your audience

When choosing a virtual team-building activity, it's important to consider your team and what they would enjoy.

For example, if you have a team of introverts, an open mic night (or anything that would put them on the spot) might not be the best option. Instead, something like a movie night or a virtual coffee break would be a better fit.

Some team-building games might also not be suitable for a newly formed team or a team that's going through tough times. In these cases, it's best to choose an activity that's more low-key and focused on building relationships rather than competition or sharing private aspects of their life.

2. Set a clear goal

Every team-building activity should have a clear purpose or goal. Without a clear goal, the activity is likely to feel pointless and unproductive.

You might have noticed that a lot of these online team-building games have a hidden purpose: improving communication, fostering teamwork, building trust, or increasing creativity.

When choosing a virtual team-building activity, make sure that the activity's goals are aligned with your team's needs. Otherwise, you're likely to end up with a group of disgruntled employees who could use getting to know their colleagues and, instead, are thrown into a high-stakes escape room that's going to add more stress to their lives.

3. Make it optional

Not everyone is going to be interested in taking part in a virtual team-building activity ⁠— and that's okay.

Some employees might not feel comfortable sharing personal tidbits with their colleagues. Others might have scheduling conflicts or family obligations that prevent them from taking part.

Forcing employees to participate in a virtual team-building activity is likely to do more harm than good.

However, you can take notes and make sure to schedule online team-building events that will accommodate the majority of your employees.

4. Test it out first

If you're not sure whether a certain team-building activity is going to be a hit or miss, test it out with a small group of employees first.

This will give you a chance to see whether the activity is actually fun and engaging or if it's going to be a flop.

5. Get feedback

Once you've held a virtual meeting and done some team-building, it's important to get feedback from your employees.

This will help you understand what they liked and didn't like about the activity and whether they would be interested in taking part in future team-building endeavors.

It's also a good opportunity to find out whether the team-bonding activity actually helped achieve the goals you've set or if it was just a waste of time. To ensure that your team feels comfortable sharing their opinion, make sure to hold an anonymous survey.

6. Be flexible

Last but not least, it's important to be flexible when it comes to team-building.

What works for one team might not work for another. So, if something isn't working, don't give up on online team-building ⁠— experiment, compromise, and don't expect spectacular results straight away.

The most important thing is that you're constantly trying to improve the way your team works together and that you're willing to put in the effort to make it happen. Not every company can say the same.

7. Keep it fun

Remember that team-building is supposed to be fun!

If your employees are dreading the next team-building activity, it's time to rethink your strategy.

There's no point in putting your team through an activity that's going to make them uncomfortable or that they're not going to enjoy.

To know where your team stands, gauge their feedback through a survey or during a one-to-one session. Once you know what the crux of the issue is, you can make the necessary changes to keep the virtual meetings fun, productive, and engaging.

In conclusion

Working remotely has been an enlightening experience for many companies. With remote teams being able to increase productivity by 77% and improve work-life balance, it's no wonder that more and more businesses are making the switch.

Despite remote work boosting individual performance, team-building can bring about even more benefits for a company as a whole. However, many struggle to maintain the team spirit in a remote setting which can hinder communication, collaboration, and creativity.

With the virtual team-building tools and tips listed in this article, you can keep your remote team engaged and motivated, while also building a strong foundation for your company's success.

Virtual team games as a scheduled activity can stave off the feelings of isolation and loneliness in distributed teams. However, here's an interesting statistic for you from EY Belonging Barometer study: "39% of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging when their colleagues check in with them, both personally and professionally."

This simple act of checking in and connecting with each other on a personal level can do wonders for team morale ⁠— probably better than some online team games but without all the bells and whistles. So, if you're looking for ways to build a strong sense of belonging in your remote team, start by making sure you've given the employees the right tools to do just that.

Kosy has created a virtual office space that is designed to promote collaboration and connection among remote team members. It makes it easier than ever to come up to your remote co-worker and ask how they're doing, strike up a conversation, and bond on a human level

By providing employees with an online space that feels like a physical office, Kosy helps companies build a sense of community and connection among employees ⁠— something that's essential for any team, but especially for remote ones.

If you're interested in learning more about how Kosy can help your company, take a look at our use cases and customer stories!

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