Remote or hybrid work arrangements have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. One of the primary benefits is the flexibility it provides. Remote workers have the ability to structure their workdays to fit their personal lives, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and a better work-life balance. Additionally, remote work can save time and money on commuting, reduce office-related distractions, and improve mental health by reducing stress levels. For employers, remote work can lead to increased productivity, a broader pool of talent to choose from, and reduced costs associated with office space and equipment. Hybrid work arrangements offer a balance between in-person and remote work, allowing for the benefits of both models.

With the rise of hybrid or remote work, however, there are some drawbacks. One of the biggest challenges is the potential for isolation and loneliness among team members, particularly for new team members but also for the entire team. Without the regular social interaction that comes with working in an office, remote workers can struggle to build relationships and feel disconnected from their colleagues. Additionally, remote work can make it more difficult to collaborate and communicate effectively, since all communication must be done via video conference or asynchronous communication, which can lead to misunderstandings or inefficiencies.

As a result, team building games are essential for remote teams, because they help build relationships, trust, and camaraderie among employees. They also provide an opportunity for team members to get to know each other on a personal level and develop a shared sense of purpose and belonging. And they're a lot of fun!

Our list of the best virtual team building activities includes:

  • Virtual team building games

  • Virtual trivia as a team building game

  • Online book clubs or discussion groups

  • Virtual paint and sip parties for remote teams

  • Remote talent shows or open mic nights

  • An online scavenger hunt

  • Online escape room games and other fun games

Check out the list below!

List of Virtual Team Building Games and Activities

1. Escape Room Games

One fun team building activity for remote teams is playing a remote escape room. This activity involves working together to solve puzzles and escape a virtual room within a set time frame. It's a great way to encourage collaboration, problem-solving, and communication among team members. Remote escape rooms also offer a level of excitement and engagement that can help break up the monotony of day-to-day work. Plus, it's a safe and accessible activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their location or physical abilities. If you're accommodating a larger number of employees, you can break up into smaller virtual teams for some healthy competition and team building.

There are different types of online escape room games. One type is an avatar-led escape room. What this means is to play an escape room with a live actor who manipulates the room on behalf of the players. In other words, the employee is an “avatar” for the players to communicate with throughout the game. The players can also see the room through the point of view of the avatar. This can be more immersive but also more costly to book.

Another fun option is to play a tabletop escape room game such as Puzzling Pursuits. Puzzling Pursuits games feature premium quality materials and props that effectively recreate the immersive ambiance of conventional escape rooms. Players must tackle intricate puzzles and decipher codes to successfully navigate through the experience. While the gameplay incorporates fundamental escape room elements such as puzzle-solving and clue-hunting, the storyline can offer a more diverse and engaging experience beyond simply escaping from a single room. Plus, there is no time limit. These games can be solved as a group over a video conference call, with each team member having their own physical copy of the game.

A third and final option is to play a fully virtual escape room game, without a live avatar. An example is SCRAP's Escape from the Lockdown: The Strange Village. The concept revolves around a village that is facing a werewolf threat, who appears as a regular human during the day but transforms into a ferocious monster and attacks during the night. As a result, the village has implemented strict lockdown measures, but some individuals are disregarding the guidelines. The key dilemma is identifying the identity of the werewolf and devising a plan to neutralize the threat.

Overall, remote escape rooms are a great, fun team building activity that can help remote teams bond and have fun together while improving their skills and teamwork.


2. Online Cooking or Baking Class

An online cooking or baking class typically involves a live or pre-recorded demonstration by a professional chef or instructor, who walks participants through the steps to prepare a specific dish or recipe. An example is The Chef & The Dish. The class may be conducted through a video conferencing platform such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, with participants joining from their own kitchens.

Before the class, participants will usually receive a list of ingredients and equipment they will need, as well as any pre-class preparation instructions. During the class, the instructor will guide participants through each step of the recipe, providing tips and techniques as they go. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, interact with the instructor, and share their progress with the rest of the group. Once the dish is complete, participants can enjoy their creations together, or share photos or videos of their finished products.

Overall, online cooking or baking classes are a fun and interactive way to learn a new skill and connect with their colleagues in a relaxed, informal setting.


3. Lightning Scavenger Hunt

If you're on a budget, here is a free team building game for your remote team. A lightning scavenger hunt is a fast-paced and exciting variation of a traditional scavenger hunt that typically involves finding and collecting a list of specific items within a limited time frame. Participants are given a list of items to search for, and they have a predetermined amount of time, usually ranging from a few minutes to an hour, to collect as many items as possible.

In a lightning scavenger hunt, the time limit is much shorter, usually just a few minutes, and the list of items is usually shorter as well. The goal is to complete the hunt as quickly as possible while still finding all the necessary items. This type of scavenger hunt is often used as a team-building activity or as a fun way to pass the time at events or parties. It requires quick thinking, collaboration, and an eye for detail to find and collect all the items within the allotted time.

For a template and specific examples, check out this resource to create your own.


4. Online Book Club or Discussion Group

Looking for another idea for a free team building activity? An online book group or discussion could be a great option. This typically involves a group of people coming together to read and discuss a book, either in real-time or asynchronously. Participants may join a video conferencing platform or use an online forum or messaging app to communicate with one another. For a corporate virtual team building event, the chosen book could be one more relevant to the company, such as books on professional development or on business topics.

Before the discussion, the group will usually select a book to read and set a timeline for finishing it. Participants will read the book on their own, and then come together to discuss their thoughts, opinions, and questions about the book. The discussion may be led by a facilitator or moderator, who ensures that everyone has an opportunity to share their perspectives and insights. During the discussion, participants can share their favorite passages, ask questions, or explore themes and topics related to the book.

An online book group or discussion can be a great, free way for a remote team to connect over a shared interest and engage in intellectual conversation, while also promoting critical thinking and communication skills. It's a low-pressure, enjoyable activity that can help build relationships and foster a sense of community among remote teams.


5. Virtual Paint and Sip Parties

Rather than hosting online games, paint and sip parties are an excellent opportunity to bring people together without competition. A virtual paint and sip party typically involves a group of people coming together online to create their own paintings while enjoying a glass of wine or other beverage. The party may be hosted by a professional artist, who will lead the group through each step of the painting process, or it may be a more casual, DIY event where participants follow along with a pre-recorded video or written instructions. One example is Paint and Sip Live.

Participants will usually receive a list of required materials in advance, including paints, brushes, canvas, and other supplies. During the party, participants will follow along with the instructions and create their own paintings, while also socializing and enjoying each other's company. The party may be hosted on a video conferencing platform with participants joining from their own homes. At the end of the party, participants can share their finished paintings with the group and discuss their artistic choices and techniques.

Overall, a virtual paint and sip party is a fun and creative team building activity that allows remote workers to connect over a shared interest and enjoy a relaxing, enjoyable activity together.


6. Remote Talent Show for Team Building

It's always fun to learn more about the hidden hobbies, talents, and interests among your team members. That's why putting on a remote talent show could be a lot of fun.

A remote talent show typically involves participants showcasing their talents in a virtual setting, such as through a video conferencing platform or a pre-recorded video submission. Before the talent show, participants will usually be given instructions for how to submit their entries, as well as any guidelines for the types of talents that are acceptable. The talent show may be structured as a competition with judges and prizes, or it may be a more casual, non-competitive event for fun and entertainment.

During the show, participants will take turns showcasing their talents, which may include singing, dancing, comedy, magic tricks, or any other type of performance. The show may be hosted by a facilitator or emcee, who will introduce each act and keep the show running smoothly. Participants may be encouraged to vote for their favorite acts or provide feedback and encouragement to each other.

A remote talent show is a fun and engaging team building activity that allows remote workers to share their talents, showcase their creativity, and build camaraderie and connections with their colleagues.


7. Virtual Trivia

Another example of online team building games is virtual trivia. Virtual trivia is a team building activity that involves participants answering questions on a variety of topics, such as history, pop culture, sports, science, and more.

Before the game, participants will usually be assigned to teams, or they may be able to form their own teams. During the game, a facilitator or quiz master will ask questions, and participants will work together in their teams to come up with the correct answers. The questions may be multiple-choice, true or false, or open-ended. The game may be timed, with points awarded for correct answers and penalties for incorrect ones. The team with the highest score at the end of the game is declared the winner. If this is something you're interested in for your remote team, check out this resource for a list of free and paid online trivia games.

Virtual trivia is a fun and engaging team building activity that promotes teamwork, communication, and friendly competition, while also allowing remote workers to learn new facts and connect with their colleagues in a fun and interactive way.


Final Thoughts on Virtual Team Building Games and Activities

This is only a short list of virtual team building activities, but we hope it's a good start and a way to begin team building. Beyond fun games and activities, you can also encourage virtual coffee meetings, sharing fun facts about each other during weekly meetings, and facilitating icebreaker questions with new employees. The ideas are endless, and in this new era where working remotely is becoming more popular, companies around the world are continuing to experiment and play around with online team games and activities to promote fun team building.