14 Kickass Virtual Team Building Activities for 2023

Cassy Aite
May 30, 2023
14 Kickass Virtual Team Building Activities for 2023

The year is 2023, and many organizations have been running virtual team building activities as remote organizations for three years now!

Your remote team members might have never met before and this can cause feelings of loneliness, impacting your team’s productivity. Scheduling virtual team building activities is a fun way to strengthen interpersonal relationships, reinforce company culture, and make remote work less isolating.

Though you might use video call solutions like Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, coming up with exciting team building activities for your virtual office isn’t easy. However, a bit of creativity can make a drastic impact on team connection and engagement.

We have compiled a list of 14 non-yawn-inducing virtual team building activities you can start using for your next team-building session.

Why Virtual Team Building Activities Are Important

The best virtual team building activities are a source of entertainment and a way to foster connections and interaction between your team. But they have several other benefits to consider. When you introduce virtual team building activities, you also gain other advantages in the remote workplace, including:

  • Improve communication
  • Better team collaboration and cohesion
  • Boosts to productivity as remote workers learn to work together as a team
  • Opportunities to check in with your employees
  • Build trust between management and the team or from worker to worker
  • Improve mental well-being, boost morale, and lower stress
  • Happier employees and a chance to reduce employee turnover

The 14 Best Virtual Team Building Activities

One of the most intriguing facets of virtual team building activities is that there’s a seemingly endless supply of options available to you. If you want something that’s easy to set up and low-key, you have that option. Or if you want to go all out on an event, that’s certainly a possibility.

The key is to find an activity that speaks to your team’s interests, promotes participation and engagement, and ultimately, creates a happier workforce — all while mimicking an in-person setting.

1. Sing Your Heart Out In Karaoke

Whether you’re celebrating birthdays or helping the team unwind on a Friday night, you can’t really go wrong with karaoke. These real-time aural sessions are simple to set up and let everyone express themselves without restrictions.

Ask participants to pick a song and get its corresponding karaoke backing track. During the session, only the singer will keep their mic on as others enjoy the music — or you can have your whole team sing along.

Creating a karaoke playlist and looking for recommendations? Here are our favorites:

  • Sweet Child O’ Mine - Guns N’ Roses
  • Zombie - The Cranberries
  • Someone Like You - Adele
  • Dancing Queen - Abba
  • Hey Jude - The Beatles (Technically, you can’t go wrong with any Beatles song.)
  • Africa - Toto
  • I Want It That Way - BSB
  • Wonderwall - Oasis
  • Annie’s Song - John Denver

But no matter what you choose, the idea is to foster a more entertaining work environment and take the mundane out of your average workday.

2. Host Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a popular virtual team building game and need no introduction. While you can use team chat apps like Slack or extensions like Donut to post photos to the clues, we recommend using a video chat app for a better experience.

The rules for the virtual scavenger hunt are simple: the first person to find the item gets a point, and the highest scorer on the leaderboard wins the game.

Start the hunt by giving the clues. The item they have to find is irrelevant and random. The participants only need to show the item on the screen to score points.

Here are a few examples of items you can ask:

  • Childhood/high school/teenage photo
  • Favorite book
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Face mask
  • Your desk
  • The floss dance (or any other trending dance)

This fun team activity is great with both small and large groups of workers, so don’t become deterred if you have to entertain a sizable amount of people. Anything that can break away from work-related conversations and introduce team bonding is always a positive.

3. Exercise Creativity Through a Virtual Improv Session

Virtual improv sessions let individuals exercise their creativity muscle as they are improvising on the fly. Here are two example improv exercises you can try:

  • Hype Person: In this game, the first person mentions a routine activity they did, and the next two people exaggerate the impact of the activity or the scene. For example, if a salesperson says, “I received a client email at 7 in the morning,” the hype person can say, “Did you hear that? They don’t need to get in touch with clients. Clients contact them!”
  • ELI5: Ever visit the “Explain like I’m 5” SubReddit? Ask team members to describe a simplified version of a concept they know or are passionate about so that even a 5-year-old can understand it. You can add restrictions to this one like only using three words or emojis only. This is an awesome virtual team building activity to improve communication skills within your team.

Improv also works as a viable, atypical, and entertaining alternative to icebreaker questions and boring video conference calls.

4. Host an Online Office Olympics

Popularized on the hit TV show “The Office,” office Olympics are a favorite virtual event of many remote workers. Thanks to the energetic environment and some friendly competition, your employees will grow more comfortable in each other’s company, which will ultimately bolster employee engagement.

The remote nature of this virtual team building activity may seem difficult to overcome, but even a quick brainstorm over a coffee break can give you plenty of competitive options. Create small groups to play spirited online games, fast-paced trivia games with a variety of trivia questions, and icebreaker games. You can even use other virtual team building activities from this list — you only need to assign points to each one to determine a victor.

It’s easy to see why employees consider this team building event the most fun they ever had during a virtual meeting. And at the closing ceremonies, you can add up the points on the virtual whiteboard, and declare your gold, silver, and bronze medalists.

5. Employee Virtual Wellness Sessions

A woman participating in a virtual breathing exercise with her team
Virtual wellness sessions can help your remote employees relax and focus on their work better

As the name implies, the remote workers’ wellness session consists of a series of activities aimed at health and wellness. The session usually starts with an icebreaker followed by a guide sharing their insights on the topic and giving some exercises.

For instance, a mindfulness session might begin with a five-minute guided meditation session. As the actual session begins, the expert will explain the concept of mindfulness, its benefits, and how you can practice it. The expert will also share a handful of tactics, such as how to control the team meeting or interview jitters through belly breathing.

You can consider the following employee wellness topics:

  • Practicing “deep work
  • Desk stretching for healthy posture
  • Mental health
  • Financial wellness
  • New habit creation
  • Yoga and other low to moderate-intensity exercises

6. Engage them with Lunch Roulette

After the pandemic, the watercooler culture where employees got together to randomly chit chat has (nearly) become ancient history— that’s unless you get more deliberate about it and leverage it as yet an online team building exercise.

How? Through Lunch Roulette!

Lunch Roulette coffee chat connection
Lunch Roulette connects co-workers for impromptu chats

Lunch Roulette is a popular Slack extension that automatically pairs colleagues in a separate Slack channel to plan a 30-minute video call together. Think of it as a virtual coffee or lunch setting, where they can talk about anything else other than work. From sports talk to impromptu book clubs, Lunch Roulette has plenty of interactive opportunities for your remote employees.

7. Play Classic Games

If you have a team that’s averse to a full-on Olympics or you don’t have the time to hold an event of that magnitude, you can still stick to classic games.

Using video-conferencing tools, you can create a face-to-face forum that allow teams to connect and play classic games like Pictionary, Chips & Guac, and Guess Who. You can also improvise and create your own online version of popular game shows like virtual Show and Tell and Jeopardy!, among others.

Don’t hold back; let your creative juices flow!

8. Bring Out Your Team’s Artistic Side Via a DIY Craft Challenge

In the DIY craft challenge, everyone on the team gets 30 minutes to build something using items available at home. You can set the ground rules such as building something using cutlery or penning a poem.

Keep the challenge as simple as possible, considering some team members are not as naturally artsy as others. Perhaps you can provide some tutorial videos to help them get started.

You can also “Bob Rossify” this activity by letting an artist teach a simple craft. Send team members a Hoppier spending card to buy a list of items required for the session and let the artist guide the team through the session.

9. Host a Miniature Campfire

A screenshot of participants in a virtual campfire
Miniature campfires are a fun to recreate the campfire experience without the fire hazard

Sorry to say, it’s not possible to host actual campfires in your virtual workspace. But that doesn't mean you can't still have fun using the same idea.

Miniature campfires allow you to do all the fun activities virtually, sans the actual campfire. Instead, you can light up a candle, crank up the thermostat, get some classic s'mores, and indulge in live performances, ghost stories, and games.

10. Play Virtual Scattergories

Scattergories are a workout for the brain. They promote creative thinking by compelling players to name objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit. Although the game is meant for groups of two-six people, you can create breakout rooms or play the game in teams of up to six people.

The moderator shares the interface of Scattergories through their screen, which the participants can refer to. After two minutes of starting the round, participants share their answers, and the moderator will assign the scores following the game rules.

11. Get Adventurous In Virtual Escape Rooms

A screenschot of a virual escape room game in 3D
Take your team on a virtual adventure with escape room games

Virtual escape rooms are perfect for improving team collaboration and camaraderie. In these games, teams use their problem-solving skills to break out of a cabin, find a treasure chest, or reclaim their kingdom within the given time limit.

Some of the most famous virtual escape rooms are inspired by Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, and other pop-culture shows and novels.

12. Indulge In Virtual Tasting Experiences

A photo of a virtual wine tasting session
Virtual tasting experiences are a great way to foster team engagement and boost morale

Whether you work in a small team of five members or bigger teams of 100+, curated virtual tasting experiences or a virtual happy hour are among the most engaging remote team building activities.

Attendees try an assorted variety of wines, cheese, chocolate, etc., with tasting notes and suggested food combinations. An expert explains how these products are made, what makes each product unique, and how to taste them for a truly exquisite session.

Virtual tasting experiences usually run for about an hour. Afterward, a pub trivia session is a fun way to end the session on a high note.

13. Spice Things Up With Murder Mysteries

If you want to steer away from typical office games, try murder mysteries to engage the crime junkies on your team.

Our favorite games are Murder in Ancient Egypt, Blood, Gold, and a Night of Jazz, and Clue Virtual Murder Mystery, which are packed with mystery and have loads of fun puzzles and challenges.

14. Create Accountability Groups

People stick to their habits if they work in groups. This is where teamwork and accountability are effective. Many times, people set fitness goals but don't follow through. In such cases, forming an accountability group of people working on the same goal is helpful.

Set monthly health and wellness goals and track them every day using a shared spreadsheet. The goals could be as simple as drinking eight glasses of water, walking 5,000 steps, or more complex goals such as lifting weights three times per week.

Introduce rewards to make it more competitive. Since everyone has different fitness levels and goals, creating breakout groups can help like-minded people work together.

Bringing It All Together

Building a cohesive team takes a lot of work but it doesn’t have to be a drag. You can quickly boost engagement and productivity by introducing these virtual team building ideas and hosting them regularly.

Another bonus is that all of these activities have great flexibility. For instance, you can use the improv session as an icebreaker and continue with the other ideas. You can choose the format that fits your team and your team members’ personalities.

Try out some of these activities in your next team building session, and let us know how it went!

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