You found our list of the best virtual team bonding activities for work.
Virtual team bonding activities are games, ideas and event that develop relationships for remote groups. For example, online classes, virtual pub crawls, and tiny campfire. The purpose of these activities is to allow coworkers to unwind and build meaningful bonds while having fun in a remote setting. These exercises are also known as “online team bonding games” and “remote team bonding activities.”
This list includes:
- virtual team bonding activities
- virtual team bonding games
- virtual team bonding ideas
- virtual team bonding events
Here we go!
List of virtual team bonding activities
Remote bonding ideas can help overcome the feelings of disconnection and isolation common in virtual workplaces. Here are some of the best ways for coworkers to bond in online offices.
1. tiny campfire
tiny campfire is a fully facilitated team building event. Before the event, participants receive kits with all the fixings for s’mores and a tealight candle to serve as the tiny campfire.
A host joins the group for a 90-minute Zoom session to lead s’mores building and facilitate ghost stories, mini-games, and challenges.
The upside of booking a fully hosted event is enjoying the experience and bonding with your team instead of running the activities.
2. Virtual Bingo
Virtual Bingo is one of the best free virtual team bonding activities. This game is easy to run and allows many members to play.
For this event, you need a Bingo board for each participant. Players will fill in each square with phrases commonly heard or seen while working remotely. For example, if another participant says, “I’m sorry, I was on mute,” then players will mark the corresponding square.
Before the event, send a copy of a board to each participant and explain the rules. You can play the game live during Zoom calls, or complete the card throughout the course of a workday or workweek.
3. Christmas in July
Christmas in July is a fantastic way to spread a little cheer at an unexpected time. To complete this event, surprise your team members with a package in the mail in July. The contents of the box can be small and inexpensive, such as a coffee gift card or their favorite candy. The contents could also be hand-written notes. The gesture will make your employees feel appreciated, plus most folks love to receive surprise mail.
If you have the time and budget, then you can celebrate Christmas as often as once per quarter.
4. Pet Channel
Most companies already use a communication app, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. However, you can use this app for more than business communication, and include virtual team bonding activities too.
Setting up a channel dedicated to pets is one of the easiest remote team bonding ideas. Members can post cute pictures of their pets at will in this space. For example, if a team member adopted an adorable new puppy, a rambunctious growing dog ate the remote, or an employee’s cat wanted to help with work by laying on a laptop, then these photos can appear in the channel.
This channel allows coworkers to relate on a new level and takes very little time away from work. Everyone loves a cute pet photo, and the pictures can be an effective morale booster.
For more remote fun with pets, check out these virtual take your dog to work day ideas.
5. Virtual Charades
In classic Charades, players act out the titles of shows, books, or movies for a team to guess. To play this activity virtually, a leader directly messages the actor the clue and spotlights that team member for the group. The actor then performs the prompt.
Another option is to use an online charades generator to prepare prompts.
Next, divide your group into two teams and ask one participant to keep time and score. Then, enjoy the show!
6. Remote Cribs
Employees will give home tours to everyone on the Zoom call during remote cribs. Instead of celebrities and multi-million dollar homes, this exercise highlights average houses. For instance, you can focus on that newly redesigned guest bathroom or give a close-up of that painting your spouse recently finished.
This activity is a wonderful way to get to know your coworkers better. In a remote atmosphere, many team members never see each other in person. There is even less of a chance that coworkers have visited each other’s homes.
If everyone is comfortable participating, then schedule one team member to give a tour per call.
7. Virtual Pub Crawl
There are a couple of ways to do this virtual team bonding activity. One way to have a virtual pub crawl is to share a list of drinks and locations ahead of time. To keep costs down, only come up with three drinks and try to overlap ingredients. For example, all the drinks will use the same alcohol. During the pub crawl, have the participants start with their first drink in the first room. An example would be to have a whisky and coke in the kitchen. Participants will enjoy different drinks in different rooms of the house.
Another option for a virtual pub crawl is to give participants a list of websites to visit with each beverage. These websites can be on a similar theme, like professional sports teams, or you can study competitors’ websites. Be sure to ask team members to spend some time looking at the website and discussing it together.
It is beneficial to allow employees to spend time together discussing non-work topics. When coworkers see each other as people, rather than a square on a screen, good things happen.
8. Online Happy Hour
Online happy hours are always a fan favorite. Thankfully, there is an easy and fun way to make a happy hour one of your Zoom team bonding ideas.
To pull off a Zoom happy hour, each participant needs to have a drink and a snack. While the experience will not be the same as an in-person happy hour, the spirit is the same. Attendees share drinks and casual conversations.
To ensure a successful event, prepare conversation starters such as:
- What was your best vacation?
- What was your favorite toy as a child?
- What was your first job?
- Tell me your age without telling me your age.
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- If you were to become famous tomorrow, what would it be for?
- What is the best movie ever made?
Having a virtual happy hour will allow team members to relate on a more personal level. Plus, employees may enjoy Zoom meetings more when these calls do not involve going over quarterly sales.
Here is a guide to doing happy hours virtually.
9. Dance Party
As far as online team bonding ideas go, dance parties are sure to get participants out of their comfort zones. Thankfully, this exercise takes very little preparation. You can incorporate the activity into regular meetings.
You can start a virtual dance party whenever you notice your coworkers’ focus slip. Depending on how much time you have this event can be a one-song wonder or continue for multiple tracks. Even one song can be enough to get the blood pumping and allow team members to refocus.
For a virtual dance party, you need a dance playlist. You can either build a playlist or use a pre-set list from a streaming service like Spotify or Prime Music. If you would like your own list, then here are a few crowd favorites sure to get everyone moving.
- Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
- Happy by Pharrell Williams
- Footloose by Kenny Loggins
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston
- U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer
- Single Ladies by Beyonce
- Yeah! by Usher
- Dancing Queen by ABBA
- Hey Ya! by Outkast
- Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson
The best thing about a virtual dance party is that it is versatile and easy to incorporate into regular meetings. You might only have time for a one or two-song break during a long meeting. You could finish a meeting with a 15-minute session, as well. Be sure to encourage participation by reminding everyone this is not a competition. Rather, the dance party is a time to have fun. No one receives awards, and everyone needs to bust their best moves.
10. Virtual Show and Tell
Some remote team bonding activities draw inspiration from elementary school. Most school-age kids look forward to show and tell day. As adults, we can recreate that enthusiasm with a virtual show and tell.
There are a couple of different ways to incorporate virtual show and tell into remote meetings. One option is to ask team members to arrive with objects in hand. This approach encourages teammates to pick an item with meaning and gives participants time to prepare explanations. Team members will learn more about each other’s interests, families, and hobbies.
Another way to play this game is “arms reach show and tell.” In this version of the exercise, participants have no warning and must grab an object within arms reach to discuss. While the items might not be as meaningful, the results are often funnier.
This event gives team members a break from work and a way to relate to each other more personally.
A great way to encourage virtual team bonding and discussion is to play “storytellers”.
To play this game, team members will have to tell a story about an everyday item. Participants should structure the tale like a sales pitch. For example, if the item is a coffee mug, the description could be, “the holy grail of drink receptacles, meant to hold the nectar of the gods and essential for the survival of society.” The more absurd, the better.
To find things to “storytell” on, have a list of items to assign so each person has a unique item. You can also give participants 30 seconds to find an object. Then, give everyone two minutes to come up with the pitch. Hearing everyday objects described in ridiculous ways is a fantastic way that allows the group to laugh together and uncover team members’ unique dramatic flair.
12. Five Down
This exercise is a twist on “never have I ever.” In Five Down, the game’s goal is to learn more about what each participant has done in the past.
During this event, every player holds up one hand in front of the webcam. Whenever a speaker mentions an interesting or unique event, a player will lower a finger if the statement applies. The first player to put down all five fingers wins.
Throughout the game, encourage teammates to take turns. Or have a list ready for a moderator to read. Some examples are:
- Has visited more than four countries
- Has a special skill, like knitting or calligraphy
- Can speak more than one language
- Has adopted a dog or cat
- Can list the states
- Can list the capitals
- Has gone skydiving
- Has a tattoo
- Has met a celebrity
- Has been on tv
- Has lived in more than six states
This event only takes ten minutes to play and helps team members get to know each other better.
Here is a list of more Five Down prompt ideas.
13. Recipe Sharing
This free virtual event does not require much time to complete. In fact, employees can participate in their free time on an ongoing basis.
Food can be a personal thing. Enjoying meals together can develop relationships. When meeting for dinner is not possible, try a recipe-sharing event. For best results, set up a Slack channel for recipes. On this channel, members can share favorite recipes and explain why the recipe is noteworthy. Maybe the recipe is a family favorite or is a staple of their culture. You can encourage channel members to attempt the recipes and share the resulting photos and thoughts.
Team members can learn more about each other’s backgrounds and tastes. Plus, participants get to enjoy new foods.
14. Virtual Fitness Classes
Working out together can be a great way to bond and improve team morale. Consider organizing virtual fitness classes, where team members can join in from the comfort of their own homes. This session can be anything from a yoga class to a virtual bootcamp. Not only will the fitness class help team members stay healthy and active, but it will also give them an opportunity to bond and support each other.
Check out this list of online fitness classes.
15. Virtual Book Clubs
Reading can be a great way to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. Consider starting a virtual book club with your team, where team members can come together to discuss a book that they have all read. This book club format can be a great way to stimulate thoughtful discussions and build connections with your team.
Here is a collection of books for work to try.
16. Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering together can be a great way to bond and give back to the community. Consider organizing virtual volunteer opportunities for your team, where team members can come together to work on a project that helps others. This activity can be anything from virtual tutoring to helping with a fundraiser. Not only will volunteering give team members a chance to work together, but it will also give them a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Here is a list of online volunteer opportunities.
Virtual team bonding activities are a fantastic way for team members to blow off steam while building relationships. Remote teams are prone to disconnection, and a lack of strong social ties can affect the quality of work. Planning virtual games to promote bonding is essential to create relationships and encourage productivity.
Team bonding virtually can be easy and inexpensive. With preparation, your event can be successful and fun. Your employees will reap the benefits of deeper relationships and higher motivation.
Next, check out this list of quick team building activities for video calls, these free team building activities to do virtually, these fun virtual activities for groups, and this guide to virtual teams.