Virtual team building activities are a great way to bring employees together to boost morale, feel more connected, and help improve employee engagement. Long stretches of remote work are taking a serious toll on information workers. Forbes reports over half (52%) of Indeed survey respondents are experiencing burnout in 2021—up from the 43% who said the same in Indeed’s pre-Covid-19 survey.

While live streaming and screen recordings help align teams and foster asynchronous collaboration, video can also provide a space for teams to connect in real time wherever they are.

So how do you get started? While the days of meeting up at the office kitchen are infrequent, employees can foster moments of connection with impromptu video meetings or go live with a virtual event.

So here’s our list of the top activities to try. Let’s dive in!

What are virtual team building activities?

Virtual team building activities are games, classes, challenges, or fun activities hosted online through video. These activities are designed to improve employee experience, build connections, and let folks have fun. The right virtual team building activity can mimic all the positives of in-person team bonding activities. 

When virtual team building activities work, employees can strengthen bonds with the managers, peers, and cross-functional team. This can help motivate teams, build skills, camaraderie, and help teams work better together.

45 virtual team building ideas

1. Virtual happy hour

Share a glass with remote employees for a dedicated social event or to simply unwind and celebrate a productive week. Virtual happy hours focus on the fun and relationship building aspect between employees. Weave in games and themed activities to give engagement an extra boost. Consider giving your happy hour a name like “Brands & Booze” or “Cocktails & Company” to put a signature on company culture.

2. Remote mixology workshop

Have a resident bartender on the team? Ask them to run a virtual mixology session or consider hiring a bartender from a local hotspot to teach a cocktail class. Send employees cocktail kits so everyone has the right tools and ingredients to follow the class. Consider making a recurring event with different cocktails to learn each time.

3. Wine or beer tasting (with snacks)

Friday happy hours don’t have to be a thing of the past. Host a remote wine or beer tasting to help employees wind down and celebrate the end of a productive week. Send employees flights of beer or wine to share a new experience to savor together. Include a game where employees could win the chance to get a bottle or case of their personal favorites.  Add in some cheese or pretzels for food pairing.

4. Virtual improv class

Virtual improv classes are a great way to practice public speaking, spark creativity, and build solid communication skills. Nurture public speaking and communication skills with a virtual improv class. Client facing teams like sales, account management, or customer success can find virtual improv classes as a great way to bond and sharpen skills.

For example, “Sell It To Me” is a great improv game for sales teams. Each player grabs a nearby object and develops a one minute or less sales pitch to the group. Each sales pitch is then rated and the person with the highest score at the end wins. Improv is a great way to learn how to be proactive and make things happen.

5. Remote film screening and watch parties

With major motion pictures now released via streaming services, you can host a movie night with the team. Vote on what film to watch, send popcorn, swag or other goodies to enjoy as you watch the big premiere. And, if you want to take it up a notch, add a virtual red carpet before your screening or set up a virtual after party post-film.

6. Virtual bingo

Who doesn’t love a classic game of bingo? Create a custom bingo board with your company logo and send it to all remote teams via a link. Have employees mark the board with an “x” for the boxes they complete. Give your board a theme that will help them get to know employees better. Award the winner with a gift card to a coffee or the prize can simply be bragging rights.

7. Remote book club

This may be a bit more niche, but a great way for teams with similar interests to really bond is with a virtual book club. Create ongoing reading challenges and set goals to finish or read up to certain pages. A designated moderator will help in preparing discussion points and encourage participants to share their own perspectives.

8. Virtual charades

Charades translate easily to the virtual space. Split into two teams and use a charades word generator to select words and phrases. To make viewing easy, pin or spotlight the person who’s acting out the charade. Their team has one minute to figure out the phrase. Not to mention this game guarantees a few laughs.

9. Remote team offsite

Take the team on a campfire getaway…virtually that is. Create matching themed virtual backgrounds of a camp setting. Send a s’mores kit to participants and have fun with icebreakers. Or venture to Paris with macarons delivered to their doors and virtually tour the Eiffel Tower.

10. “How to work with me” Handbook

It goes without saying that everyone’s work style may be different when joining a new team. A great way to learn what works for everyone is to share a “How to Work with me” handbook. This activity helps team members understand how to support each other’s ideal ways of working. Review everyone’s handbook in a meeting together in real time. This can be done as a powerpoint or video.

11. Virtual coffee cafe

During off-peak morning hours or afternoons, create a virtual coffee space.  This is an open virtual “room” where employers can enter with a cup of joe and ready to chat for a few minutes with random co-workers. This very much recreates the water cooler moment of ‘bumping’ into each other, a personal favorite office moment of mine. Add a virtual coffee shop background for the full effect.

12. Two truths and a lie

This favorite icebreaker for new hires and tenured employees alike can help teams learn a little more about each other with a few laughs along the way. Each team member chooses two true facts about themselves and one lie. Everyone else tries to guess which out of the three statements is the lie. The trick here is to choose unclear truths and a lie that sounds believable.

13. Virtual learning circle

For teams that want to expand their knowledge on certain topics or skills, try creating learning circles. Think back to your school days when cramming for a test or working through difficult material. It’s a great way to build skills in a supportive and friendly environment! Study groups or learning circles can also work for hobbies or non-academic topics.  Common employee groups can share knowledge like mastering excel spreadsheets or a deep dive into a specific coding language.

14. Kahoot team trivia

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that is used primarily for training and educational purposes. Games are user-generated multiple-choice questions that can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot app.  This is a great tool to incorporate trivia in onboarding sessions. Best part is that games can be made in minutes.

15. Online gaming for all

Have an office full of gamers? Host online gaming activities that are designed for large groups to experience. The right games balance perfectly to socialize, have fun and use critical thinking. Companies like Meet Max Games make it easy so all you need is a computer and the internet to get the fun started.

16. Pop Virtual Quiz

Engage remote employees with quizzes, presentations, polls, and e-learning that anyone can play on any device.  Tools like Quizizz make it easy for you to create a basic quiz but take it up a notch with engagement.  These organized quizzes are a useful way to enhance training sessions.

17. Virtual escape room

Hands down, a virtual escape room will improve your team’s communication skills. Virtual escape rooms are similar to that of an in-person version. Your team will communicate with a host on a video call and direct a game guide with a live camera feed of the room. There you’ll collect clues, complete puzzles, and (fingers crossed) escape!

18. “What’s on your desk?”

Take the common baby shower game, “What’s in your purse”  and put a twist on it for the office. “What’s on your desk” is when everyone will be given a list of items. They are to check the items on the list that they DO have on their desk at that moment. Each item equates to a certain number of points.  The person with the most points wins.

19. Pizza party workshop

Host a live online crash course where you will learn how to make fresh pizza from scratch. This interactive workshop can be led by a professional chef. Teams will learn how to make (and roll) pizza dough, select proper toppings, bake to perfection, and of course eat delicious homemade pizza.

20. Gratitude session

Sometimes we just need a moment to share all the good vibes ✨. Create a dedicated time or event where employees can provide recognition and gratitude for each other.  Take it a step further by making a mini awards ceremony announcing the “champ’ of the office who exemplifies the ideal employee.

21. Holiday cookie decorating class

For the Pinterest lovers of the office, learning different ways to decorate a holiday cookie just might be heaven. Have everyone try to replicate or create a holiday cookie decoration. Everyone can judge and rate each other for the best decorated cookie. Send the winner a cookie decorating kit as a prize to help them feel like a pro.

22. Virtual open mic

Reveal the talent that’s hidden in your team with an open mic! So many employees are singers, poets, or musicians, but hardly have the time to enjoy those hobbies. Make a dedicated open mic event that will showcase the talent among you and your peers. I highly suggest having a host or emcee to manage the line up and keep the crowd entertained between acts.

23. Virtual disco dance party

Get your team out of their seats and away from their desks with some high energy dancing!  Hire a DJ to live stream music, take song requests, and have a virtual dance-off. Offer prizes for the best dancer and for those who dressed right to the theme.

24. The newlywed game..but for coworkers

Classic game shows are always great fun. Taking a newlywed game and putting a twist on it is even better. This virtual game reveals how close people may be in their thinking and facts about them that may have gone unnoticed. You can also use this classic game to discover any misalignment within your teams.

25. Virtual Shazam

Shazam is a popular app that eventually turned into a game show. The app can identify music and more based on a short sample played and using the microphone on the device. Host your own version of Shazam where instead of using the app, manually play clips of songs where participants guess the song titles. Have different category genres to choose from like disco, rock, hip hop and more.

26. “Name that movie” with emojis!

For movie lovers, host a “Name that Movie” night where participants have to guess a title of a movie.  The catch here is that emojis will only be used to describe. For example, use emojis to represent the movie Thor: ⚡️ 🧔🏼🔨   or even Cinderella: 👡👰‍♀️🌙🕰.  Play in teams or individually for lots of laughs and creativity!

27. Virtual scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts unite people around a common objective. The best scavenger hunts require lots of problem-solving and clue finding in a certain amount of time. Organize teams and list objects to find one by one. Players win points for being the first to show the object on screen. For example, you could announce to players to find a hair-brush, flatiron, or box of cereal.

28. Branding crash course

Outside of work, many people have side businesses or are thinking of starting one.  Nurture the entrepreneur within with a crash course in business branding. This is great for a marketing team as well! Let your graphic design team shine or hire a professional to go through the basics of creating a business logo. From colors or fonts and everything in between, this session can be highly interactive and ignite creativity. At the end, everyone can vote for their favorite.

29. “What would you do?”

To get to know team members better have a round robin of “What would you do?” Ask questions that would put players in compromising or tough situations. Provide a few choices as answers for players to pick from. The answers should give insight into their personality allowing everyone to get to know them better.

30. Virtual meditation space

We all need those moments to clear the mind and relax. Create virtual meditation rooms that can be accessed on certain days at certain times throughout the week. Have relaxing music playing in the background so it’s immediately welcoming as participants join in. You can have the meditation guided by a professional or simply label the room a quiet, relaxing zone for all.

31. “Who’s the baby?”

This is always a fun one! Have participants submit a baby photo of themselves. Add photos to a powerpoint presentation and number each slide to keep track of who’s who. Everyone can then guess the baby picture by submitting their answers via chat.  Those with the most correct baby to team member matches win!

32. “The Price is Right”…virtually

Come on down, the price is right! Well sort of…To play “The Price is Right” virtually, look up prices of different products, a spreadsheet will help to keep track. Share pictures of the product and prize for getting it right just like the TV show. Rules are that players have to guess the price without going over.

33. Virtual olympics

Prepare for some serious team-based fun with virtual olympics. Enjoy silly competitions like type-racing, marshmallow tower building, balloon animal creation, mini marathons, and many other very random challenges that can be done on screen. Send out digital medals to really make your team feel like winners.

34. Virtual debate team

A great way to share best practices while refining clear communication is a virtual debate team. This activity can also help identify misalignment within your team. To make this fun, hold small debates on insignificant topics. For example, one debate can center around whether traditional M&Ms are better than Skittles or vice versa.

35. Birthday parties

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the in-office birthday cake every now and then. Not only were there free treats, but you also had a chance to connect with coworkers. Don’t let birthday milestones pass by! Add it to an exciting virtual happy hour to celebrate birthdays of the month. You can even add a celebration after a remote training session.  Send your team treats and incorporate other games to make for a fun party.

36. Remote craft collaborations

Bring on the glitter and get your glue gun ready. Host a craft collab using supplies that pretty much everyone already has at home or send a craft kit to your team. Craft artwork, desk decor and more together as a team. Add a theme, cocktails and music to get the creativity flowing.

37. Comedy night

Bring a private, live comedy show to your team with the help of talented comedians! To keep the energy high during a virtual comedy show make sure everyone has their video and sound turned on. This makes for a more interactive activity where you can hear the laughter just as you would in a live audience.

38. Murder Mystery

Build a sense of community with a virtual murder mystery game. Share a murder plot and assign the team to different characters for roleplaying fun.Virtual murder mystery games involve critical thinking and collaboration while being fun at the same time. Create your own plot or pick from a few murder mystery favorites.

39. Virtual Magic Trick Workshop

In a private workshop, your team can learn the secrets of classic magic tricks up close and personal. Hire a professional magician to teach and share the exciting and secret world of magic. Many magic workshops include a magic kit for everyone to use during the course.

40. Remote pet show

Whether your pet barks, purs, or flies — host a virtual pet show! Have co-workers share their love for their furred and feathered babies with a mini pet expo. Participants can share photos or have their pets on display in real time for the many “awwwwwwws” to follow. If this isn’t the best pick me up to bring everyone together, I don’t know what is!

41. Tiny Desk Jam Session

Add live musical entertainment to a virtual happy hour or incorporate a tiny desk theme to an existing virtual open mic night. A tiny desk jam session proves that good tunes and positive vibes can happen anywhere, even from a tiny, crammed, unorganized desk.

42. Hot Sauce from Scratch

In many ways, hot sauce is a long-term investment to make bland food and leftovers way more interesting. You may not be able to pass around the sauce any more but a 101 course on how to make your own hot sauce from scratch is sure to be a team favorite.

43. White Elephant

As the holiday season approaches, a round of White Elephant is the perfect gift swap game that everyone will love. Have all participants submit their gift before the exchange starts. Link to the products online or add a photo. At the end of the game, each team member will leave the game with a virtual gift that they will have mailed to them after the event.

44. Virtual Charity Run

A virtual charity run is a great way to have your participate in a good cause while promoting wellness at the same time. Events like Saint Jude’s Virtual 5K to Cure Childhood Cancer include an interactive app to track your walk or run. You ‘ll also unlock interactive activities including a tour of the St. Jude campus experience.

45. Virtual Pictionary

Pictionary is a classic game-night favorite. To play virtually, divide your group into teams. Use a Pictionary word generator and drawing platform or application. The drawer generates a word and has one minute to draw that word for their team to guess. As if drawing isn’t already a struggle for some, doing it on the computer is bound to make this game-night one to remember.

Virtual team building FAQ

How do you do team building virtually?

Virtual team building activities are very similar to in-person team building. The key difference is that games and activities are taking place remotely. First, create and plan fun interactive activities for your group. You can host your own virtual team building events or hire an event planner. Start with easy activities to warm everyone up are try adding in a few classic icebreakers.

How do you make virtual team meetings fun?

To make virtual team meetings fun, it’s best to include games and activities that are not related to work. As an example, you might add a theme to your meeting, incorporate trivia games, or simply make a party out of it.

What are some fun icebreaker questions?
  • How long would you last in a zombie apocalypse?
  • Who is your favorite cartoon character?
  • What would your superpower be and why?
  • What are your favorite songs from when you were a teenager that you still jam out to?

Wrap up

Virtual team building activities can be just as impactful as in-person bonding. They are the perfect boost to make meetings fun, grow communities, and eliminate the infamous zoom fatigue. Give your remote team something to look forward to and make working together an even more enjoyable experience.

Learn more ways to engage your remote and hybrid workforce