After presenting our article, “Effective Virtual Team Building Ideas”, we felt it was time for more in-depth examples of virtual team-building activities. You can use these virtual team-building games to boost team morale and get to know your team better.
Icebreakers for Virtual Meetings
Icebreakers are quick games or activities you do at the start of a meeting and help attendees become more comfortable participating in the discussion. It’s not uncommon for virtual meetings to start out a little stiff and awkward. No one really knows what to say or what to do. This is where the icebreaker comes into play. They are quick and easy and rarely require much set-up, but they help make the meeting more productive.
While they can be useful even for teams that already know each other very well, they are most important for those that were only formed recently. If you have a new team and want everyone to learn more about each other, try out one of these icebreakers.
The item on Your Desk
For this virtual team-building activity, every person picks up one item from their desk and holds it up to the camera, so everyone can see it. The person then explains the meaning behind the item and why it’s on their desk.
The explanations don’t have to be detailed, and they can range from sentimental to mundane. For example, someone might show a framed photo or an item that makes them smile whenever they look at it. Maybe it reminds them of a happy moment in their life, or it was given to them by someone they are very close to. Another team member might pick up a big bottle of water instead, showing that they are ready to stay hydrated the entire day.
The View From My Office
This activity aims to show off everyone’s home office setup. It’s fun to prompt your teammates to pick up their cameras and give everyone a look at their surroundings in real-time. However, some of them might appreciate a heads-up beforehand. Here, tell them to prepare a photo to share during their next call.
The participants can either show off their desk setups, the view from their chair, or even the view from the nearest window.
Two Truths and a Lie
It’s a classic icebreaker activity. Each participant thinks of three statements about themselves. The twist is that one of those statements is a lie. The team then guesses which of the statements are true and which one is false.
You can allow the other participants to ask questions to reveal the truth. You can further change the rules by allowing only a certain number of questions or by only allowing yes/no questions.
To come up with creative statements, give the participants some time to think.
This virtual team-building activity is best suited for teams who don’t know each other very well. The goal is to find one thing unrelated to work that everyone has in common. Especially with larger teams, this icebreaker can take a while to resolve, so set aside enough time for the activity.
Begin by stating a random fact about yourself, or ask the team a broad question. See if anyone can make a connection.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find common ground immediately. You can always try again in the next meeting, or perhaps you decide to embrace the diversity of your team. This icebreaker should help you get to know your team better.
There are a plethora of online questionnaires you can take, ranging from assessing your character strengths to personality types. For example, the University of Pennsylvania offers different questionnaires here. Some of these tests can be very helpful for better understanding yourself, while others can just be fun.
Let everyone in the team takes the same test and discusses your results. If the test is a more serious one, discuss how the result and what you learned can be applied to your next project. This way, the questionnaire will not only work as an icebreaker, it will also help you to improve in a tangible way.
Virtual Team Building Games
Now that your team is more comfortable around each other, it’s time for some fun and games. Building a personal connection with your colleagues has many benefits. One of them is the creation of positive workplace culture. To learn more about it, read EWOR’s “How to Create a Positive Start-Up Culture”. If you want your team to feel you care about them, you have to be invested in them not only as workers but as individuals.
And what better way is there to learn more about something than to play a game? Allow your team to relax and forget about work for a moment. Without the pressure of having to perform, they will open up, and you will make fun memories together.
Weekly Photo Challenge
While this virtual team-building activity isn’t necessarily a ‘game’, it is a very simple way to engage with your team beyond things that are strictly work-related. If you are using Slack or a similar platform, consider creating a new channel for a weekly photo challenge.
The way it works is very simple, and it won’t take away any time from your usual meetings. Announce a topic for your photo challenge. For example, ‘best-looking lunch’ or ‘cutest pet’. Your team then has one week to submit a picture on the channel. The team then votes on which is their favourite submission, and the winner gets to pick the theme for the next week.
You might be familiar with the concept of Pictionary. The board game provides a stack of cards with words written on them. One person is chosen to pick a card and draw the word that is written on it, while the others have to guess which word was used.
It’s a straightforward game that can lead to hilarious outcomes, but did you know you can play it online with your team as well?
Use a site like skribbl.io to create a private room for your team and see how creative they can get. While very entertaining, this game also helps your team build communication skills.
Is It More Like…
At the start of this virtual team-building game, one player is chosen to be ‘The Post’. They pick an identity, which can be anything from an animal to a celebrity or even a concept. The other players then have to ask The Post questions to unveil their identity.
However, they are only allowed to use the question ‘Is it more like this or that?’. For example, you can start by asking, ‘Is it more like a tree, or more like Steve Jobs?’ The Post chooses between the two options and sticks with it. The following question will incorporate the winning term from the last question and a new term. So, if The Post’s identity is a sunflower, the next question could be, ‘is it more like a tree or a leaf’?
If you’ve ever participated in a scavenger hunt as a child, you know how fun they can be. Luckily, holding a virtual scavenger hunt with your team is very easy. The host lists objects for the other players to find. Once the hunt begins, the players have to gather as many items from the list as possible. Whoever is first wins. The player with the most objects is the winner if no one finds everything.
Alternatively, you could make this virtual team-building game an internet scavenger hunt, where participants must find web pages or specific elements on your company homepage. For example, they might be tasked with looking for the testimonial of a specific customer or find a blog post talking about a specific topic.
This is a fairly well-known online party game. During the game, players are assigned the roles of werewolves and villagers, one of them being a doctor and a seer. Depending on the rule set, you van involve other roles. Unless otherwise stated, no one knows each other’s roles.
This virtual team-building game is played in rounds, starting with a night round. Players close their eyes and ‘wake up’ in a set order, with the werewolves going first. The werewolves choose a victim, the doctor chooses one person to save, and the seer picks one player, whom they think is a werewolf. Afterwards, the day round begins. Identify who has been killed or saved and let the players discuss who they think the werewolves are. They pick one player, who is then eliminated from the game, and begin the night round again and play until all werewolves or villagers are killed.
If you want to read over the rules in more detail, you can find the instructions here on wikiHow. To play the game, you really only need to set up a video call, but there are also online tools to help you. On Werewolf-Online.io, you can play the game for free with up to 16 players and if you want to spice things up with a wide range of special roles, try out “One Night Ultimate Werewolf” over at netgames.io.
Building a personal connection to your team can be tricky, especially when your business operates remotely. We hope we can help you plan your next team-building session with our suggestions for fun virtual team-building games and activities.
Team building is about strengthening your team’s bond through fun activities and games, but remember to have fun and enjoy the time you all spend together.