10 Virtual Team Building Exercises
By Katie Kabat
When you manage a team in a traditional office setting, there are lots of in-person team-building activities you can implement. When it comes to ice breakers for virtual teams, you need to get more creative. Your activities need to be fun and engaging, without causing your team members to cringe or roll their eyes.
1. Virtual Happy Hour
Going out for beers after work is always a good time, but when you can’t meet up in person, going virtual is the next best thing.
“Most of the happy hours have a combo, which is a beer or a lager with a tequila shot, or a dark beer with a whiskey shot,” said Yolanda Baez, a bartender at Broken Shaker near Gramercy Park in Manhattan. To get into the happy hour spirit at home, she recommends creating your own version of this classic happy hour staple. Cocktails like an Old-Fashioned and a bramble are easy drinks to whip up at home, she added. And mocktails like virgin mojitos, piña coladas and margaritas can be good options for those who aren’t imbibing alcohol.
2.Virtual Escape Room
If you have ever done an escape room in person, you know they can be a great problem solving activity for your and your time. So why not do a virtual one? Virtual escape rooms can be done for groups of up teams of 2-500 people making it a potential company team building activity as well. You’ll split into teams and do a series of puzzles that you have to work together to solve, usually over Zoom.
3. Virtual Gaming Session
Companies like Outback Team Building have a various games like Game Show Extravaganza and Team Pursuit. Not only that, they will help you set up and organize it from start to finish. Using a company specializing in corporate team events will allow you to sit back and enjoy the game yourself.
If your team enjoys traditional board-games, there are some virtual options too. Tabletopia lets you play VR versions of your favorite board-games. You can create a private room and simply send a link to your team.
4. Visit Paris (Virtually, of course)
This unique virtual tour from Woyago is aimed at groups of people who are looking for a fun way to build their team skills. The one-hour Zoom tour is led by an experienced Parisian, who whisks the group off to the City of Lights and throws in challenges along the way.
He plays on the typical stereotypes but also tears them up, and throws in local tips for your future itinerary. You can ask your guide anything about Parisian culture, no question is too out there.
5. Icebreaker Quizzes
Icebreaker quizzes are a fun and low friction way to do a little bit of team building in your team every week. QuizBreaker is an online icebreaker quiz that automatically sends out a new round each week to your team on your chosen schedule. It’s great for bringing remote teams closer together so they can learn more about each other whilst having fun.
The Birth Map is another fun activity that lets everyone on the team learn something new about each other.
Share an image of a world map in your group chat. You can use google mapsto make a collaborative map Then, invite everyone to place a sticker on or near their place of birth. Ask them to share a story or talk about their favorite thing from their birthplace while they’re at it. You can also use the map idea for other topics like: dream vacation, worst trip, or anything else you can think of.
7. Team Movie Night
n a similar vein, you can also host a monthly or quarterly team movie night (or day). Ask everyone to submit a vote for a movie and a time to watch it, then stream it through a conference call for the entire team to see, no matter where they’re located.
Consider opening a chat channel so everyone can share reactions and hot takes during the movie, too. Tools like Teleparty (formally Netflix Party) can be used to easily to sink the play time of videos as well. Our team now does a trashy-reality show night the last Friday of every month.
8. Share a picture
Picture sharing is an easy way to get to know your team members and bond over shared interests.
Invite everyone on the team to share a picture from their workspace and ask them to write a little blurb describing the picture. You could also make it a guessing game and have everyone on the team try to guess which image belongs to which person on the team.
9. Fun Fact Guessing Game
Another guessing game is the fun fact guessing game.
Ask everyone on the team to submit a fun fact about themselves to you privately. Then, hold a meeting with the whole team and read out the facts one by one and let everyone else guess which fact matches with which team member.
10. Personality Tests
Completing personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator helps each team member figure out whether they’re introverted or extroverted, thinkers or feelers, judgers or perceivers, and whether they take in information through sensing or intuition.
Getting to know your team members, and giving them a chance to get to know each other, on a deeper level will help everyone bond and learn how to communicate in the most effective way possible.
There are lots of ways that you can help remote employees get to know one another and build stronger connections. Whether it’s spending time playing games together or learning about each other’s personality types, these activities will help your team members get more out of their jobs and feel more comfortable contributing to and collaborating on your upcoming projects. They’ll help you get to know your team members and feel more comfortable leading them, too.