Every team benefits from meaningful engagement because it strengthens bonds, trust, and personal well-being. You want all of your employees to be more than just coworkers. You want them to be positive supporters of one another.
When your team is working remotely, it might be difficult to establish that kind of bonding. That’s why you should organize some remote team building activities to keep everyone close.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 fun activities that you and your employees can try. Let’s find out!
Why remote team building is important?
A significant barrier for remote employees is they don’t have access to the same direct in-person communication. Studies show that remote employees have poorer interactions with their coworkers than those who work in-house.
Socialization actually affects trust, sense of inclusion, and genuine human connection between your employees. Having good team bonding and company culture keeps everyone engaged, motivated, and dedicated. That’s why engaging your remote teams through digital and virtual formats is important.
10 fun remote team building activities for your team
1. Rose and Thorn Icebreaker
- Time: 1 minute/person
- Begin by asking everyone to share their rose (anything nice that makes them feel grateful, happy, etc.) as well as their thorn (a challenge). Roses and thorns can be related to employment or not.
- Example: Rose: “I am going to have a pizza today.” – Thorns: “There is no pepperoni pizza, which is my favorite.”
2. Photo of Your Life
- Time: 15-30 minutes
- Each person can post a photo of their pet, their favorite dishes, their children, a favorite TV show, or even the view from their city, as long as it tells a story about the employee. Everyone can talk with each other about the pictures and listen to the stories.
3. Critical Thinking
- Time: 2 minutes/person
- Begin your online meeting by asking the group this question: “If you were alone in a dark cabin, with only one match and a lamp, a fireplace, and a candle to select from, which would you light first?”. This riddle will get them to think of the best solution and spark a discussion.
4. Virtual Games
- You can also spend 15-30 minutes playing various games such as Pictionary, Charades, or even Monopoly. These fun games will save you time trying to come up with an idea and prepare. Just simply give them time to freely play and bond.
5. Three Truths and a Lie
- Time: 10-15 minutes
- The good old game “Three Truths and Lie” can simply work in remote situations. Ask each employee to tell three truths and one untruth about themselves during a video conference. Keep the lies realistic so that no one will be able to figure it out. The other employees must guess which of the two lies was true, and whoever guesses correctly earns points.
6. Virtual Lunch Date
- Time: 20-30 minutes
- Taking a lunch break with coworkers is a great way to strengthen bonds, and it may even be done virtually. Order your favorite dishes from the delivery app and create a conference video chat. It’s a chance for the team to get together to share different stories from the week. It’s also a great opportunity to see people from other departments you might not work with or see much.
7. Movie Night
- Time: depends on the movie
- Employees can vote on whatever movie they wish to watch and then view it through a video conference call. Keep the instant chat open so that team members can comment on the video while watching it.
8. The Big Circle
- Time: 10 minutes
- Begin virtual meetings with a few minutes of organized “big talk” regarding current events and news from across the world. Send out a recent news piece for the team to read before the meeting. Allow everyone a minute to voice their thoughts on the narrative without interruption or remark at the start of the meeting. After that, set aside 5 minutes for open group discussion.
9. Name That Emoji Song Title
- Time: 15-30 minutes
- Create a group message chain using your internal communication channel (group chat). Decide who will go first and set a 3-minute timer on your phone. The first participant considers their most recently played song and then tries to use only emojis that hint at the song’s title. Until the timer runs out, everyone else takes turns guessing the song’s title. If nobody can guess correctly, reveal the name of the song.
10. Bucket List Challenge
- Time: 15-20 minutes
- During a video conference, allow your staff 5 minutes to consider what would be on their bucket list — what are some things they’d like to do in their lifetime? After that, have everyone go around and give their list. You can challenge your employees to work on it in a group if they share similar activities. It’s interesting to hear what other individuals want to accomplish. Perhaps someone has completed a task and can share their experiences with the rest of the team.
Regardless of whether they’re in the same office building or not, any of the remote team building activities mentioned above can help strengthen your team. You don’t need to have everything planned up to the last detail. Keep things simple and you’re good to go!