Managing a remote team, as we know, can be very challenging.
In fact, while managing any team does pose its own challenges, one of the unique difficulties in managing remote workers is maintaining team morale. Since team members don’t physically interact with each other, maintaining high levels of enthusiasm and unity in purpose can be very difficult.
This is where strategically designed virtual team-building activities can be very important. These can allow remote team members to know each other better, reinforcing a shared purpose, and building trust.
Here, we will discuss ten of the best virtual team-building activities that will get your employees excited, so without further ado, let us begin with number one.
1. Remote Scavenger Hunt
Most of us are familiar with the scavenger hunt game, but how can we do it in a virtual setting where we won’t be able to plant the “treasures” for employees to physically find?
An effective approach here is to use subjective items that can be universally applied to all your participants, for example:
- Find 5 items in your house you’d take in a nuclear fallout
- Find an item that represents your favorite way to connect to others
- Find a keepsake item from your high school days
However, there are also games and apps you can use to make your virtual scavenger hunt events more fun. Scavify, for example, offers an easy way to organize a virtual scavenger hunt game designed for team-building.
2. Personal Fact-Guessing
This can be a fun and engaging way to help your team members learn about each other, building empathy, and ultimately help them become a better, more united team.
Here is a step-by-step guide for this game:
- The organizer/manager should ask each team member to share at least one unique personal fact
- Compile these facts anonymously onto a document
- Share this document with all participants
- The participants would need to guess which personal fact belongs to which team member
As we can see, this simple game can be a great way to develop camaraderie, and when done right can be a very fun game to play together.
Once the participants have made their guesses, the answer key will be provided, and we can allow each team member to elaborate an anecdote about their personal fact.
3. Virtual Escape Room
Another fun game that can be challenging to organize in a virtual environment, but can be very engaging and effective as a team-building activity.
You can be creative and design your escape room puzzles manually. For example, you can give universal puzzles and tasks to every participant while they still stay in their own room.
However, there are also services like The Escape Game’s Remote Adventures that can accommodate up to 8 players in a Zoom-based virtual escape game.
A great thing about virtual escape room games is that you can choose exciting themes like a zombie apocalypse, breaking out of prison, treasure island, and so on. An effective game to encourage bonding and learning about each other’s personalities while having fun together.
4. Virtual Trivia Contest
Everyone loves trivia quizzes, and there are services like Water Cooler Trivia that can help you automatically organize weekly trivia quizzes for your team.
With Water Cooler Trivia, your team members will get a trivia quiz on their email inbox every Monday morning, and they should reply with the answer before Monday night ends. Of course, you can customize the schedule as you see fit, as well as other details like:
- Questions categories (current events, pop culture, science, and so on)
- The difficulty of the questions
- Region-related questions
Of course, you can also design your own trivia contest and write your own questions and answers, but the important thing is that routinely held trivia quizzes can be a fun team building activity that can also help build a healthy sense of competition within the team.
5. Virtual House Tour
This is a rather unique team-building activity that you can organize for smaller, intimate teams.
Basically, you are going to ask team members to virtually host a house tour, just like MTV Cribs. This can be a really fun and exciting way to allow remote team members to know each other better on a more personal basis. Camaraderie, after all, can help promote cohesiveness which in turn can improve team productivity.
Make it as easy as possible for the team member to host the virtual tour. For example, allow them to take a short video showing off their home, their favorite rooms, and even their family members if possible.
6. Virtual Deserted Island Game
Another fun team building activity. In this game, the team members are stranded on a deserted island. The rules might vary, for example, you can provide a list of seven items, and each team member can only choose three.
Alternatively, you can let participants decide on one object to bring to the island. Each team member is asked to describe what item they would bring, and why. Encourage people to be creative, and ideally, the item should be something that represents them as a person or something they love. For example, a dog lover might choose to bring their dog.
The core part of the game is to allow people to form small teams by combining various objects they’ve introduced to maximize their chances of survival on the island. Once all discussions have finished, discuss the results over a video conference.
7. Virtual 20 Questions Game
A virtual take of the classic game everyone has been enjoying for decades.
The basic rule of this game is to have one team member choose one thing (anything) and share the category of the thing with the other team members. For example, if the chosen item is an apple, then the category is “fruits”.
The other participants can now ask up to 20 yes/no questions to try to guess what the item is.
A very simple game to organize and you won’t need any additional tools, and you can use this team-building activity as a simple game in between meetings or other activities.
8. Virtual “What Makes You Tick”
A game centered on speaking and communication, making it an ideal team-building activity in a virtual setting. A great exercise in learning about each other’s personalities and also to observe what kind of personalities might clash in the team.
To do this game, ask your team members to take a simple personality test. Choose a test that isn’t very long and complicated, like the DISC personality test. Then, each team member should present, based on the test, what motivates them and what demotivates them.
By sharing how they will react in different situations, team members can have deeper insights into each other’s personalities to avoid future conflicts.
9. Virtual Truth and Lie
Another simple game to organize. Ask your team members to prepare three truth statements and one lie. It’s important for the lie to be believable and relatively realistic, and brief participants not to be offensive with their lies.
Now, ask participants one by one to read the truth and lie statements in random order. Once they are finished, the other team members should discuss which statement they think is the lie.
This game is effective both for the speaker and the guessing participants. Participants can learn about the other team members better, while speakers can also learn about the assumptions others have made about them, and also learn about themselves in the process.
10. Virtual Blind Drawing
Divide your team into groups of two.
You as the event organizer will share a picture with one person, and they must describe the image without using words that give it away, while the other team member should draw what is being described.
For example, you may share a picture depicting a bear eating a fish, then the person with the image should use directions and adjectives without directly saying “draw a bear eating a fish”. After a set time, both team members can share the original image and the drawing.
A great game that focuses on verbal communication, and can help team members in learning how to share effective instructions and also how to correctly interpret abstract instructions during pressure. Participants would be able to see how the interpretation of instructions can vary greatly, which will allow them to learn about the importance of effective verbal communication.
No matter what kinds of virtual team building activities you choose, it’s always important to manage the activities well to ensure a high level of participation of all employees. This is where a virtual event platform can help you efficiently manage your team building activities, track what your attendees are doing during the event, and manage your employees’ communication throughout the activity.
Virtual team building activities can help maintain a high level of morale of your remote team members, and also help them perform better as a unit.
By strategically using these virtual team building activities, we can encourage the remote team to be just as, if not even more effective than on-site teams.