10 Virtual Team Building Activities For Motivating Employees

Published on 17/04/2020 by Capterra

Working in a business with enjoyable company culture and high morale is beneficial in helping teams work well together. But when you’re working in different places or time zones, motivating employees and keeping them united becomes trickier.

This article will outline ten remote team building activities to help your team connect and have fun while working from home.

Remote team building activities

The ten activities are simple exercises that can be easily implemented with collaboration software to allow for video calls, screen sharing and group chat. The activities have been listed below and categorised in two ways: 

  1. Utilising video to give your team more facetime to bond on a personal level.
  2. Encouraging employees to spend time away from the screen for all-round well-being. 

By following these ideas, you’ll not only boost morale but increase work performance too. 

Virtual team building ideas for motivating employees

Virtual team building activities using video software:

  • Morning coffee with a side of good news
  • Lunchtime yoga stretch
  • Conference call bingo
  • Virtual pub quiz and drinks
  • Movie night

Virtual team building activities using communication software:

  • Workspace photo competition
  • Weekly playlist
  • Lunch off
  • Stretch your legs photo share
  • Self-care tips 

Video-related activities

These activities use video software to give your team face time and help foster a more personal and collaborative connection. 

1. Morning coffee with a slice of good news

Time: 15 mins

Tools: Video call and screen sharing

We’re not all morning people, so help your team kick-start the day with some energy and positivity over coffee and a slice of good news. Each morning the team can get together on a video call to enjoy a brew and discuss a positive news story shared by a different team member each day. It helps to start the day in an upbeat way, and remind ourselves it’s not all doom and gloom out there!  

2. Lunchtime yoga stretch

Time: 15 mins

Tools: Screen sharing

Working remotely can have us glued to our seats, so get your team up and active with a quick yoga stretch over lunch. It’s easy to find yoga stretch tutorials on YouTube, it just requires a team member to screen share the tutorial for everyone to stretch along to at home. It’s a great way to keep the body (as well as the mind) in a good state of well-being. 

3. Conference call bingo

Time: 30+ mins

Tools: Platforms such as Life-Size

It’s ok to admit conference calls aren’t always the most thrilling of experiences, so have a bit of fun during calls by playing a bingo-style game. The game revolves around common occurrences on conference calls – recurring phrases (“let’s take this offline” ring a bell?), certain behaviours and things that go wrong. Team members need to mark off a square every time one of these occurs (and ensure they’re on mute for any sniggering). 

4. Virtual pub quiz with drinks

Time: 30 – 60 mins 

Tools: Video call and screen sharing

If the team can’t go to the pub together, then bring the pub to them. End the week with a virtual pub quiz and a well-earned drink. A different team member is quiz master each week and it’s as simple as picking three categories with five questions in each. The team can enjoy a bit of competitive spirit, and no doubt some comical scores, to round off the week. 

5. Movie night

Time: 120+ mins 

Tools: Screen sharing

Loneliness can be one downside of working remotely, so help your team to enjoy something together with a movie night. Once a week a film or documentary can be nominated for the team to watch at the same time. It’s a great way to enjoy some chill-out time together, as well as generate conversation as people share their different tastes and film preferences.  

Remote team building activities using communication software

Working from home can involve a lot of screen time, which can impact things like vision and posture. These activities lookout for the well-being of your team by helping them to share time away from the computer screen. 

1. Workspace photo competition

Time: 15 mins 

Tools: Group chat app

In an office, desks tend to look fairly similar, but at home, there are no rules. So have some fun by getting the team to submit a photo of their workspace – good, bad, or ugly. It gives them a chance to revel in each other’s humble abodes and inspire friendly competition. The team can share photos using Slack or similar team communication applications for the ultimate judgment to begin. 

2. Weekly rotating playlist

Time: 30+ mins 

Tools: Spotify

No doubt we have all been victim to suffering some questionable office music at some point. Share the rounds by getting a different team member to pick the playlist for the day. Music is often a good motivator at work, so perhaps each playlist comes with a theme, such as ‘Motivational Mondays’ or ‘Chill Down Fridays’ to keep things fresh each day. 

3. Lunch off

Time: 60 mins 

Tools: Group chat app

Why not stir up a bit of healthy competition during lunchtimes by encouraging the team to share snaps of their lunch and even recipes for colleagues to try. Eating can be an isolating experience when working remotely, so bringing the team together over some culinary competition is an ideal way to make lunch more enjoyable and combat loneliness. 

4. Stretch your legs photo share

Time: 30 mins 

Tools: Group chat app 

Remote working doesn’t mean you need to stay remote all day. It’s healthy to head out and get some air, so set aside 30 mins in the afternoon each day for the team to stretch their legs at the same time. You can encourage sharing of any interesting photos from people’s walks – whether it’s a sweet view or something interesting they’ve spotted out and about. 

5. Self-care tips

Time: 30 mins 

Tools: Email

While working from home has its benefits, it can be emotionally taxing, so sharing self-care tips between the team is valuable. Whatever it is that keeps you sane when working at home —structuring your day, motivation boosters, starting a new hobby— teams can simply share their tips over email and look out for each other. 

If you ask people what they enjoy most about work, it is often the people. Working remotely in different places doesn’t mean your team can’t bond and have fun. With a selection of virtual team building activities and the aid of collaboration software, you can maintain an exciting company culture that connects your team and boosts morale, making for happy employees and, ultimately, a better performing team.

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.