6/17/2022

Virtual Team Building: Best Practices & 6 Activity Ideas

Team buildings can either cause excitement or a sense of dread. It really depends on the people. But this doesn’t mean that these meetings have to always be so strenuous.

But since the pandemic, when remote work and the process of team building have become virtual, it has brought additional challenges and requirements. Socializing has stepped into another sphere, and the whole HR department had to ensure that every employee felt like part of the team.

That is why virtual team buildings are so unique. Whether your team is large and spread out across time zones or small and located in the same city, virtual events can bring them together. Don’t be intimidated — if you let the creative side guide you through a thoughtfully designed program, remote team-building activities can be highly successful! 

The goal is to bring the teams together, inspire team bonding, help them to get to know each other, both personally and professionally, and have fun!

The ideas stated below will help you devise and realize a successful team-building project without having to spend a lot of time or money on it. They are simple and easy to perform over Zoom, they benefit both team bonding and teamwork.

Here is our guide for your virtual team-building activities with best practices and 6 activities the workers will love!

What Is Virtual Team Building?

Virtual team buildings can be any activity that brings remote teams together. It is exactly like working together in an office, but it is being realized remotely this time. It is usually done on virtual meeting platforms where all the workers can participate through access to the Internet. 

The aim of these activities is to build trust and meaningful connections through individuals bonding. It also provides an opportunity for everyone to feel valued and seen. You can organize virtual team-building activities just for your team, or you can use them for two or three teams involved in a cross-organizational projects to help them get acquainted and relate to each other.

Also, you can include different strategies, fun games, and activities or add ice breakers to your meeting agenda. These ideas should be designed to bring more human interaction to virtual workers, and help the team members feel more comfortable from the very beginning.

We have singled out all sorts of ideas, including ice-breaker questions, games, and socializing activities. We guarantee that these will aid in the formation of tighter-knit teams and improved collaboration!

1. Ice-breaking Activities 

Ice-breaker games are a great team-building idea for remote teams. Especially if you have a new team member or want to create a positive atmosphere in a meeting. These activities are great for “breaking the ice” between team members and fostering a sense of community. 

These team building games are easy to implement via any video conferencing platform. However, Zoom continues to be the most popular one due to its breakout rooms which are needed for some virtual activities.

Let’s check some of them!

• Two Truths and a Lie

The cost: You will need no money to realize this activity.

The time: Around 20 minutes for the group of 4 people.

The gameflow: Make a few teams of 4 to 6 people. One person will need to think of two true facts about themselves and one equally believable lie in each group. 

Then, they will share their statement while other team members should guess which one is the lie. 

After all participants guessed, the person who told the statement reveals the lie. When all of the players have shared, the game is over.

This virtual game is fun way for bonding together, get to know trivia about each other, and have some really good laughs.  

• Quick Questions

The cost: This game does not require spending money on it. 

The time: Keep the momentum going by setting just one or two minutes per question.

The gameflow: Before the virtual event starts, make sure to prepare a series of different questions. When the team building starts, open the template with the questions and ask everyone to write down the answers on sticky notes.

Questions can be really anything, like what would you do if you won the lottery, what is your spirit animal, did you ever join a book club etc. 

Then compare participants' answers and find common themes. 

This activity is great for remote workers to interact casually by asking entertaining, ice-breaking questions. Who knows, perhaps the remote employees like it so much that you might consider including online games as a regular part of your company culture.

2. Communication and Collaboration

Post covid-19 pandemic, a new trend of getting the remote employees onboarded virtually and working remotely has really picked up. Since communication can lag due to the lack of in-person social interaction, activities such as virtual collaboration and communication matter more than ever.

In fact, improving communication skills among the team members has become crucially important to every team and leader, in order to bring cohesion and greater employee engagement within the workplace.

The benefits of this process for your business are extensively covered in this article, How Virtual Onboarding of Employees Can Benefit Your Business.

Without further ado, let’s check those activities and how to realize them!

• PI Personality Test

The time: 5-10 minutes for the test, 15-20 for each share.

The cost: No money needed!

The gameflow: Each participant takes the free Predictive Index behavioral assessment before the team building starts. When they finish it, they should write down the personality type they got.

After everyone has completed their tests, the facilitator gathers the results and discusses everyone's personality type with all attendees. As a result, participants will better grasp their coworker's preferences and working personalities.

The Predictive Index has a paid program; however, the behavioral assessment can be found on the Internet free of charge. There are many tests out there with a similar purpose. This one, however, is free and has only two questions, so it is great for low-budget team building.

• User Manual

The time: It varies.

The cost: Totally free of charge.

The gameflow: Each employee will create a "User Manual" that explains how they prefer to work. The facilitator should make and provide a template that the team member may fill out.

The manuals can be placed in a shared drive for easier access when complete. This manual that serves as a guidebook can answer queries like "How do I prefer to communicate," "How do I prefer to get feedback," etc.

This activity is great when you are onboarding a new team member.

3. Just for Fun

Activities under this group are purely for entertainment. They help team members bond, promote laughter, and are a terrific way to break up the monotony of the remote workplace.

For example, Rockstar Bingo is a great virtual music platform where employees can listen to music while bonding with each other for pure fun! 

But, here are some other very entertaining games you can implement!

• Remote Pictionary

The time: Around 2-5 minutes per player.

The cost: No money needed.

The gameflow: At the start of the meeting, each participant should open a Paint or similar application. Randomly pick a team member to be "It" and send them an object, subject or a concept they must draw via private message. 

The chosen participant must share the screen when drawing the object of their chosen app and cannot reveal what they are drawing. They can't do it with their hands or a pen on a touchscreen device; therefore, they must use the mouse.

Other participants must guess what the person is drawing. When one of the attendee's guesses correctly, that person is the next one to draw the sketch.

• Virtual Remote Team Lunches

The time: Around 60 to 90 minutes.

The cost: No cost.

The gameflow: As offices shift to remote or hybrid work settings, team lunches become rarer and more difficult to arrange.  

We know that it is impossible to beat in-person lunches with colleagues on a workday, but we have an exciting alternative. 

You can organize a virtual remote team lunch for a special event like employee appreciation day, for meeting a big milestone successfully, or to  relieve stress in the middle of a busy work week. 

Let’s see how!

• Divide your team into areas and assign a team leader to each.

• Ask the team leader to choose the best take out or delivery restaurants in your area.

• Set the budget and cuisine preferences.

• Surprise your team by delivering the food to their houses. The team leaders can also help you with food delivery. 

• Everyone should join on a video call and have a virtual team lunch.

Besides this, you can try to spice up your meetings. For example, HR teams could organize a POD voucher and give the teams the task of creating funny shirts.

Each team can create their own shirts, get creative, and in the end, even establish a dress code for a virtual lunch. This will definitely bring some good laughs throughout the themed meeting. 

Bonus team building games ideas

Besides these team building events ideas, you can try to spice up your meetings. For example, HR teams could organize a POD voucher and give the teams the task of creating funny shirts.

Each team can create their own shirts, get creative, and in the end, even establish a dress code for a virtual lunch. This will definitely bring some good laughs throughout the themed meeting. 

Some other ideas which can be of use and easy to implement via video conference call or Slack are:

• Scavenger hunt

• Virtual escape room

• Guess who

• Karaoke

• Virtual murder mystery

• Virtual trivia game

• Improv game show

Friendly competition in problem-solving of interesting challenges.

To keep your remote team members engaged throughout the year, it is a good idea to add more fun elements to your virtual workplace. For example, creating a fun slack channel for memes or pets, or personalized emojis for reactions, is a good way to start.

Another useful idea is to keep an open link of a zoom call which can be used for chatting during a coffee break, or for a pub trivia game on Friday nights.

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