Remote Team Building Ideas

Remote Team Building

Remote Team Building Ideas

Team Building Ideas for Remote Teams

Half of the workforce works from home, which can make remote team building challenging. Keeping your workers engaged with each other is becoming increasingly difficult without the benefit of being in-person. Luckily, there are more remote team building ideas than ever!

Team building is all about communication, connection, and collaboration (we’ll call them the 3 Cs). And because trust correlates to engagement and performance, finding ways to maintain a high-functioning team in a virtual setting is becoming more important than ever.

And you don’t want these benefits to get lost just because you’re not together. Think outside of the box and do the unexpected. 

What is remote team building?

A traditional office setting includes being in an office with all of our coworkers five days a week for 8 hours a day. You have conversations about work while at work and get to know each other on a more personal level during your lunch break and company outings. You pick up on personalities through daily interactions. Conversations and connections just happened naturally.

Checking in and having fun was (hopefully) naturally part of the work day. But what happens when you’re at home? Some of these engagements don’t happen as easily, so team building needs to be more intentional.

 In essence, remote team building is a way to mimic the natural connections in the workplace to get the same result.

Why is remote team building important?

  • Few things make employees feel empowered and more important than having a strong team working with them.
  • Creating ways for your employees to keep investing in work relationships is a great way to combat the loneliness they may feel while sitting at home on the computer. Creating an environment of togetherness is a great way to boost morale.
  • Getting opportunities to know their coworkers’ personalities and quirks help them to make better decisions when choosing the best persons to collaborate with on projects.
  • Communities are built by personal connections – connections to their leaders and to one another. A thriving community makes for a strong culture.
  • Working alone doesn’t always foster creativity. Having teammates does. It pushes you to come up with new ideas, encourage learning, and accept constructive criticism.
  • Team building allows employees to socialize and get to know each other better. This helps reduce stress and provides a more positive work environment.

19 Team Building Activities for Remote Teams

The world of work has shifted, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Your team can be just as effective (if not more) while working from home. All it takes is planning and intention. Consider some of these remote team building ideas here if you’re looking for ways to connect your remote workforce.

Remote Team Building

1. Virtual Break Room

Encourage your employees to take a quick break in the afternoon to catch up with each other in small groups a less formal setting. Zoom has a feature, Zoom Break, which allows you to break a meeting into separate sessions. The idea is to mimic the “water cooler chat” where often times, employees get an opportunity to engage with each other.

2. Virtual Coworking Sessions

With typical coworking sessions, you physically go to a space to get work done, and sit with other coworkers to brainstorm and collaborate on projects.

Virtual coworking sessions provide the same benefits as in-person, but without everyone having to be in the same place. There aren’t as many interruptions, and no need to walk somewhere else in the building.

This is a great option because it frees your employees from working alone in their home office all day and allows them to work together on projects and other work-related tasks.

Encourage your employees to use Zoom for this type of activity.

If you want to take it a step further, Sococo gives a virtual floor plan (like in an office) with avatars for each employee. This way, everyone can see what others are working on and where they are. You can even “shut the door” if you don’t want to be disturbed and “knock on the doors” of people you want to work with.

3. Quirky Photo Challenge

If a picture is worth a thousand words, there’s no better way to get to know our coworkers better than with a quirky photo challenge. Here’s how to play:

  • At the start of every week, come up with a theme. For example, this week, the challenge could be “the best photo of their pet” or “the best of their car.”
  • Set up a chat using Slack or whatever platform you already use for internal communications so that anyone can upload a photo at any time.
  • Choose the best photo of the month and send the winner a framed picture to keep it fun!


4. Book Club

Hosting a virtual book club can serve two equally beneficial purposes: connection and learning.

You can all discuss what types of books you’ll read and then take turns choosing them. If you choose an educational book, make sure it builds skills or knowledge related to the team’s work. If the choice is for connection, it can be something easy to read, inspirational, or entertaining.

Make sure to set a schedule and some ground rules to ensure the success of the group.

5. Two Truths and a Lie

This is a really fun way to learn random facts about your team members that maybe would’ve never come up in conversation otherwise. Again, the instructions are simple:

  • Allow each player a second to come up with two statements about themselves that are true and one that is a lie. Make sure they’re not work-related!
  • Then, the rest of the players, one by one, will call out what they think is the lie.
  • To add a little friendly competition, consider giving the player with the most correct answers a prize.


6. 1 on 1 Sessions

1 on 1 sessions are probably more important in a virtual setting than in a physical one because it can be tougher to secure some of that time with your team members.

This isn’t a team activity, but it can give you the opportunity to engage with your employee on a smaller level.

Before each meeting, make sure to set goals on what needs to be discussed and have an actionable takeaway at the end.

7. Round Robin Recognition

This team-building activity is perfect for boosting morale and letting everyone know that they’re seen and appreciated.

It’s quite simple: at the beginning of a meeting, give everyone a chance to comment on something they did well this week and something another team member did.

8. This or That

Getting people to have conversations can be tough sometimes, but with games like this one, you’ll find it makes getting over that hurdle a little easier. It’s a good way to get everyone talking at one point or another.

To play:

  • Every week, pick different this or that questions. Pepsi or coke? Summer or winter? Cats or dogs? Working from home or remotely?
  • Post the questions in a Slack channel or your preferred communication channel.
  • Give everyone the chance to discuss their answers.


9. Ice Breaker Quizzes

Asking each other fun questions and trying to figure out what answer belongs to whom is a great way to make connections and bond with your team members.

QuizBreaker has figured out a great way to gamify the otherwise basic way to ask ice breakers. Just sign up for an account, then you can either choose from their hundreds of questions or make up your own. Once people start answering questions, they will send out automated emails where everyone can guess who answered them.

You can choose with what frequency you’d like to send these out: daily, weekly, monthly, etc., and for those who like competition, there is a leaderboard.

Remote Team Building

10. Virtual Happy Hour

After a long and busy week, many like to go out with their colleagues to the nearest bar for a drink to wind down, this is a great option for a remote team building idea as well! 

Thankfully, you can use apps like Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts to make this happen virtually.

There are a ton of activities you can do to make happy hour more enjoyable, or, like a regular happy hour, you can just sit down, have a drink with each other, and talk about whatever comes to mind.

A few things to keep in mind, though:

  • Don’t invite too many people. When it gets too crowded, not everyone is going to have a chance to meet, and it can get boring if one or two people dominate the conversations.
  • Schedule a time that works for everyone. If this is going to be a one-off event, schedule that on Zoom. If you want it to be a weekly thing and everyone is free Thursdays at 6’oclock, go ahead and schedule that in Zoom as well.
  • Don’t be late. Done repeatedly, this is a good way to end this before it starts. If your guests are continually kept waiting, they’ll log off until they don’t come to the meetings anymore.


11. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Virtual team events are building in popularity for remote team-building ideas! This one is pretty easy and just as effective at meeting your team-building needs.

Simply make a list of things everyone needs to find around their house. The first person to come back to the Zoom meeting with everything wins!

The Interactive Intertainment Group has a great option for you to choose from.

12. Virtual Escape Room

There are so many escape rooms to choose from, but we like this one: Lost in the Arctic.

You and your team are tasked with finding out what happened to your crew that suddenly went missing by navigating your way through the arctic and solving puzzles. Doesn’t sound that exciting? Well, it seems like before they lost contact, they received a voice memo about paranormal activity.

13. Virtual Murder Mystery

Murder mysteries are a great way to add some unexpected fun for a team of any size.  With a lot of options to choose from, Prom Night-mare should be top of the list.   

You and your team are tasked with finding out what happened to your crew that suddenly went missing by navigating your way through the arctic and solving puzzles. Doesn’t sound that exciting? Well, it seems like before they lost contact, they received a voice memo about paranormal activity.

This game includes over 14 different character storylines with tons of different directions the story can take. You’ll get audio files, detective guides, evidence files, and other props to use for your murder mystery party.

Lost in the Artic

14. Virtual Personality Testing

As mentioned above, we do not see each other in an office daily, and it can be tough to learn other’s personalities virtually. Platforms like WorkStyle have made it possible to learn your teammates’ personalities so you can learn how to work best together.

You have the option to choose from 8 scientifically validated personality tests such as The Big 5 and DiSC. Not only will this tell you how the individual works best but also gives them the chance to tell you themselves.

15. Virtual Museum Tours

With Confetti, your team can get a personalized tour of the world’s most famous and historical pieces from their very own tour guide.

You’ll get to choose the museum, participate in polls, questions, and even take group shots.

It’s sure to be an informative and enjoyable experience for all.

16. Vision Board Workshop

The power of vision boards has been vetted time and time again by people such as Steve Harvey and Oprah Winfrey. Give your team the gift of having the vision to meet their goals with a live vision board workshop. They’ll go through a goal-setting session, meditation, reflection, and journaling before crafting their goals into a visual representation.

17. Virtual Cooking Class

While virtual cooking classes may not be your first thought for a virtual team-building idea, it’s no secret that food is at the center of great memories and good times. This is why companies like Rockoly have made it possible for your team to cook and eat together virtually.

They hire professional chefs to teach the participants step-by-step how to cook an amazing meal with ingredients delivered right to everyone’s’ door.

They offer everything from charcuterie boards to soufflés to tacos and pastas. There’s something for everyone! This can be a memorable experience for the entire team.

18. Virtual Candle Making Workshop

Everyone loves a good candle but making your own with your teammates is guaranteed to be a completely different experience.

Companies like Paddywax Candle Bar will deliver all the essentials for your team to make their own candles at home: wax flakes, fragrances, wicks, vessels, and everything else you need.

This is one of those experiences that most people don’t get to enjoy in a lifetime.

19. Virtual Dinner Party

Nothing should stop a good dinner party. And while a virtual dinner party may seem awkward, the reality is that it allows everyone to connect, smile, laugh, and celebrate.

The challenge is in making these seem like live events. Whether you want it to be simple or more elaborate, you will want it to feel personal.

Follow these steps to hosting a successful virtual dinner party:

  • Choose a virtual platform. With platforms like Zoom, it’s super easy to send invitation links, track RSVPs, and host.
  • Choose a theme. From the food you and your guests will be eating to the entertainment you provide, a good theme can set the mood for the night.
  • Select a theme-appropriate Zoom background image. This will help you to set the scene. PartySlate has a bunch of options to choose from when it comes to choosing the right background image. You can even encourage your guests to choose their background image.
  • Send RSVP link. Zoom creates a  link for any event that you schedule using their platform, but we recommend using a service like Evite to customize the invitations. Just be sure to ask the RSVPs to confirm with their email addresses so you can simply email them the Zoom link afterward.
  • Arrange for catering delivery. Research some local catering companies that will deliver food (and maybe even cocktails kits) for everyone to assemble.
  • Plan games and activities. Curate a playlist for the event and develop several virtual games you can play.
  • Send party favors in advance (optional).

Businesses are missing out on opportunities to develop trust, build relationships, and improve company culture in our new virtual world. One way to create a functioning, effective remote team is to give them time to connect and build meaningful relationships.

Let us help you jumpstart your virtual team-building ideas and strategy today because working remotely should no longer be a barrier to running your business efficiently.