best remote team building activities

Working from home? The best remote team building activities!

Mar 19, 2020Editorial Team

As we continue to navigate through an unprecedented time, it’s more important than ever for everyone to remain united in keeping our communities safe, and to show more kindness and compassion towards others. Let’s continue to spread the positivity within our communities by practicing more gratitude, and reminding our friends and family members of how much we love and appreciate them.  

Along with what’s currently happening on a global scale, there are many different scenarios in life where we may find ourselves working from home for an extended period of time. Over the years, working with remote employees has also become a common trend for some organizations. For these reasons, it’s always a good idea to keep a list of online team building activities on hand for virtual team members.

Team building activities are especially important for virtual teams. When you’re working with remote team members, it’s essential to recognize that they don’t have the same sense of community that’s established in the traditional work setting. Getting virtual team members to engage in online team building activities can effectively improve communication and build trust, which sets the foundation for better collaboration and enhanced workflow. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of fun icebreakers for virtual teams! 

1. Virtual house tours

A virtual house tour is hands down one of the most amusing and creative remote team building activities. We spend a huge chunk of our time in our homes and it’s a special place that’s unique to the individual and full of our most cherished memories. Inviting other team members into our homes (for a virtual tour) can help us get to know each other better, while forming deeper connections. Of course, everyone doesn’t have to give a full-out house tour – it all depends on how long they’ve known each other for and their individual comfort level. 

If team members haven’t worked together for that long, a great way to break the ice is just to ask everyone to show their colleagues what their workspace looks like. Checking out one another’s home office setup also allows them to draw inspiration from their colleagues to create a more productive atmosphere at home. Add a personal touch to this activity by getting everyone to introduce their pets during the tour!

2. Card games

We all love some friendly competition every now and then. Board games and card games have been trending for quite some time, and there are a ton of ways to incorporate them into your virtual team building session.

A game like Totem, the ultimate feel good game, can be played in many different ways with remote team members. This game combines the fun of conventional household games with the power of positive communication to provide team members with the perfect opportunity to bond over meaningful conversations. What’s great about Totem is that you can easily modify the rules based on what you wish to accomplish during your team-building session. 

Activity #1

Looking for fun icebreakers for virtual teams? One of the easiest ways to play Totem (with larger and smaller groups) is to get everyone to create a Totem (1 Quality Card + 1 Animal Card) for one of their colleagues.

1. At random, assign the name of one specific colleague to another team member.

2. Separate the Quality Cards from the Animal Cards into two decks.

3. Depending on how many people you’re playing with, choose a couple cards from each deck and show them to everyone at the same time.

4. Ask everyone to create a Totem for their colleague that best represents the positive traits that they possess.

5. Taking turns, each player presents the Totem that they created. Ask them to explain why they chose those specific cards and to provide an example of when their colleague demonstrated those traits. 

Activity #2

Get players to create their own Totems! This activity works as an effective icebreaker or even as a fun game for team members who already know each other. By reflecting on their own positive traits, each player gains a stronger sense of awareness of the unique qualities and strengths that they possess, which allows them to tap into their full potential in the workplace. Team members also forge deeper connections with one another over a shared, introspective moment.

1. Separate the Quality Cards from the Animal Cards into two separate decks.

2. Depending on how many people are playing the game, choose a handful of cards from each deck and show them to all the players.

3. Ask each player to create a Totem that best represents their personality.

4. Taking turns, each player reveals their personal Totem to the other players. Ask each player to provide a thorough explanation for why they chose those cards to represent themselves, and to provide specific examples to support their explanation. 

3. Trivia session

Everyone loves a quick trivia session every now and then! Create the perfect opportunity for remote team members to bond over a little friendly competition by scheduling a trivia session as your next team building activity.

The first step in organizing a successful game of trivia is to pick a good theme. To get everyone excited about participating, it’s best to go with a theme that would appeal to all players. A great way to figure this out is to ask everyone to provide a couple suggestions. However, if you can’t identify any overlap in their shared interests, a few themes to consider are sports, pop culture, history, or geography. 

A great way to customize the game is to make your industry the central theme. If you’re looking for online team building games for remote employees that can improve productivity, you can use a trivia game as an informal training session. Prepare a list of questions that are relevant to your company or field as a subtle way to provide a quick refresher on key information!

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