We’ve already told you about the basics of virtual team building on our blog, and we also have an available course on our website to give you more information on virtual team building and management.  

But now, we will share some virtual team building activities to keep your employees engaged and included in the company culture. 

Strategies For Virtual Team Building Activities

Research has proven that remote employees struggle with forming relationships with colleagues more than those working in the office. In fact, 65% of employees complained that they haven’t even been given opportunities for group bonding sessions. Many lack the human connection that is only achieved through inclusion.

A simple solution for this alienation are virtual team building activities. Before we give you a list of the best activities, you should know what to be aware of when choosing between them.

For starters, make sure you’re dealing with the task accordingly to minimise possible problems in your virtual team building. You should give clear, precise instructions to your team for better communication. This is especially important if your team is multicultural and may be unaware of certain cultural aspects you integrate into the activities. 

Consider what goal you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes, it’s simple introductions, other times it could be teaching them a new skill, or even conflict resolution. All these require different activities, and it is up to you to find the right activity.

Those leading activities should consider the individual participants, their character, and how introverted they might be. Deciding what activity you choose for virtual team building is crucial for its success. 

If upon first introduction you notice how a large part of participants are barely speaking, you have to make a quick decision and choose the right activity to keep them included. Otherwise, you’ll end up with no participation from the more shy members, resulting in a poor team spirit. 

What are the Best Virtual Team Building Activities?

There are many activities to choose from. However, we’ve compiled a list of the best to guarantee your success in virtual team management.

For this, we have chosen between different types of activities depending on your needs:

First Sessions and Building up your Virtual Team

Virtual team building games are a perfect opportunity to connect your employees from all around the globe to connect. New hires will also be able to settle into the company culture better through these. 

Create groups for each game and mix those groups to have everyone engaged and to connect with each other. This gives your teams room for collaboration to build closer relationships. 

1. Photo of Your Life.

This game is recommended for smaller groups and is played by giving each player up to 15 minutes to talk about a picture of something or an object that is special to them. It works wonders as an icebreaker for virtual team building, especially for the more introverted employees. This activity gives them the chance to talk about something they enjoy. This is a guaranteed opportunity for everyone to come out of their shell.  

Benefits: It’s a very low-effort game that has a high impact on team building, even for the more introverted employees.

2. War Of The Wizards.

This is an online game for virtual team building that can be played without any prior knowledge about RPG games. The players of the gameplay as the minions of the wizards at war. The objective is to end the war, since it has been going on for so long that the wizards forgot the reason for the start of their dispute. This game lasts about 90 minutes and is facilitated by a game master over a video conference. It’s played by solving puzzles, telling stories, and completing challenges. 

Benefits: This game combines fun and problem-solving, which will create a great team spirit as your team learns to work together. 

3. Two Truths and a Lie.

In this game, each player gets some time to think about two truths and invent one realistic sounding lie. Then, in turn, everyone tells their three facts, and the rest of the players have to guess which of them is the lie. In this game, you can learn a lot about your employees, and they in turn can learn more about you and each other. It gives way for many interesting discussions and will result in better work relationships. 

Benefits: Another virtual team building game that requires a very low effort. It gives an interesting look into the personal lives of your employees and co-workers, helping everyone to get familiar and comfortable with each other better. 

Teaching New Skills 

Looking for ways to implement new knowledge and information into your online team building sessions? Here are some examples for you:

1. Workshops and Trainings.

Attending different kinds of online Workshops together as a team teaches new skills while team spirit grows. For example, MuseumHack tour guides are known for their amazing way of teaching information and telling stories. These tours also include team activities and other interesting exercises for online experiences. There are also other skills to acquire together through smaller virtual team building workshops, for example, the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, learning to code etc.

2. Call of Champions.

If you’re looking for a great way to make your meetings more engaging and teach your employees skills along the way, this is for you. This game teaches team members to collaborate without conflict. Participating in it will build the foundation for more productive and better results in future virtual team building projects as well. In Call of Champions, there are five roles that need to be fulfilled:

  • Scribe: The one who takes notes during the meeting and jots down discussion points.
  • Photographer: The one taking screenshots of important meeting details or of the team itself to keep as memories.
  • Cheerleader: Keeps the meeting fun and encourages others to speak up as well.
  • Mover and Shaker: The one overlooking the virtual meeting and making sure that discussions don’t stray off-topic, or get stuck at one point. 
  • Shade-Thrower: There to keep the competitive spirit high by pointing out things that might need revision, fact-checking etc. 

3. Spreadsheet Wars.

This game is an amazing opportunity for your team to show off their skills. Simply choose a theme you want your co-workers to work on. E.g. Come up with a tool that someone would pay at least $5 to use; design the next social media post; recommend and write a review for a book that you think everyone should read, etc.  As you can see, there are many ways to create individual challenges according to what you want to achieve in the virtual team building session. Implementing this challenge keeps the competitive spirit high and leads to new ideas.

Giving Opportunity to Stay Connected 

It is crucial to give your remote workers the opportunity to stay connected even after initial introductions. Give them a space to come together in groups outside official virtual team building meetings to boost morale. These activities should always be optional and vary in type. 

1. Coffee Chats.

This is the easiest activity that provides virtual teams with a space to keep connected outside of work. These Coffee Chats can be a great way for employees to have company during their coffee breaks. Anything could be made a topic here. Some employees might use this platform to find help to solve a problem, creating a comfortable atmosphere free of judgement. Something as simple as creating a space for breaks already can have an amazing impact on company culture and even productivity.

2. Slack Channels.

Creating Slack channels is easy and doesn’t require much effort, but its impact on virtual team building is not as humble. As interaction in these channels grows, the possibility to schedule film nights, book clubs, or even remote dinners will arise, further allowing them to stay included and connected. The great part about this specific activity is its versatility, you can create all kinds of channels, for example: 

  • Film/book recommendations and reviews;
  • Pet pictures – especially of something ridiculous or bad they have done;
  • Daily snapshots – pictures of something special or simply something they want to share from that day
  • Recipe recommendations 
  • Live remote co-working spaces in breakout rooms

3. TeamBuilding: Packages.

These virtual team building activities are perfect for larger groups and when you plan to have these as recurring events without having to schedule them each week. In this online social engagement platform, you can choose between all kinds of activities, online murder mysteries, escape-room-style games, and many more. It’s great for ongoing team building and takes some work off your hands while still allowing for interesting ways to build team morale.

Virtual team building could not be easier with these tools at hand. Giving groups of people who have never met face-to-face the opportunity to still build a human connection and work together is important. Especially with more companies switching to remote work. Luckily, the ways to build a company culture online are on the rise. 

Now all that is left is your skill at finding the right approach to your team, with our list of activities to help you. 

About the author

EWOR is a place where the most extraordinary people find the education, network, and capital to solve the world's biggest problems. Our unique combination of an entrepreneurship academy and early-stage VC (up to €150K investment) firm was built for founders by founders, creating an unparalleled community for like-minded entrepreneurs and over a dozen unicorn founders who are building impactful tech companies.