When you manage a team in a traditional office setting, there are lots of in-person team building activities you can implement. But what about virtual teams? Of course, working in different time zones can pose scheduling challenges. But more importantly – the virtual team building activities you choose must be: engaging, creative, and unique in order to keep your team from rolling their eyes and switching mindlessly between TikTok and Twitter during the hour.
Lucky for you, we've tested and ranked some of our favorite virtual team building activities that will engage your remote workers in 2021 and beyond! Save this list and try 'em all!
Choose what you want to see:
Benefits of Virtual Team Building
Your team members might not all work in the same office. That doesn’t mean they can’t have strong relationships with one another, though.
Your remote workers will have an easier time collaborating on upcoming projects if they feel that they know each other and are comfortable communicating with one another about more than just surface matters.
Remote work can get lonely. If your employees are all working separately and rarely get a chance to communicate with their teammates (or anyone else, for that matter), they may be less engaged at work. They may also experience lower levels of job satisfaction, which can lead to you having to replace people on your team more often than you’d like.
There’s a good chance that remote workers will be productive and get more done on a daily basis when everyone is engaged with their work. When participating in virtual team building activities, co-workers cheer each other on, work together, and become motivated to meet the finish line – that energy eventually spills into their work tasks. The desire to achieve team and individual goals increases as teams feel more connected.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Virtual Team Building
Good virtual team building activities should include two things:
First: they should feature ways to recreate natural conversations (similar to the ones that take place in traditional workplaces).
Second: they should include a certain amount of visualization. When team members can see and/or talk to each other and aren’t just typing back and forth, it’s easier for them to develop connections and feel as though they know one another, even if they’ve never spent time together in person.
The right virtual team management software can help you check both of these boxes. Using tools helps team members to have conversations, and it allows team leaders to provide recognition and feedback. They also help everyone to stay in touch without having to toggle back and forth between multiple apps or programs on their computers.
This list of the top virtual team management software options is a great resource to check out if you’re unsure of what platform to use for your team.
Top Virtual Team Building Activities for 2021
These unique, fun, and engaging activities will help your team members to work together and start bonding. We're sure teams will get behind these games (believe me, we've tried quite a few in our team!)
Which activity entices you? Click & Skip to read about our favorite virtual team building activities and the companies that host them.
- Escape Room: Jewel Heist
- Clue: A Virtual Murder Mystery
- Team Pursuit
- The Do-Good Games for Charity
- Trivia Time Machine
- Icebreaker Quizzes
- Pub Trivia Happy Hour
- Virtual Paris Visit
- Holiday Hijinks
- Virtual Beer & Cheese Pairing
- The Ice Cream Float Experience
- Private Beer Making Event
- Cocktails Masterclass
- Virtual Cooking Challenge
- Team Builders (Jam Packed Hour of Games)
- Survive: Escape from Atlantis (Board Game Inspired)
- The Zodiac Myth
- The Heist: Steal the Chinese Qianlong Vase
- Themed Remote Adventures (Prison Break, The Ruins, and more!)
- Create Your Manga Team Portrait
- Superheroes Sketch Party
- Paint the Town
- Team Movie Day/Night
- Personality Tests
Bonus Activities for Local Teams in North America
- Wild Goose Chase Scavenger Hunt
- Random Acts of Kindness Scavenger Hunt
- Build Bikes for Children in Need
- Wheelchairs for Charity
Virtual Happy Hours
Going out for drinks after work is always a good time, but when you can’t meet up in person, drinking with your team online in your pajamas is the next best thing!
Here are our favorite virtual team building happy hours!
Get together with your team and take a trip to “Hamish McDuff’s” virtual pub. This hilarious Scottish pub owner is the legendary host of this virtual happy hour trivia game that is perfect for getting everyone involved on your team! Whether you're a team of 4 or over 1,000 your virtual happy hour event will go on! It can even last 2 hours over your feeling real Scottish – keep the beers comin', "mate!"
Learn more here.
Spice up your virtual team building with a virtual beer and cheese pairing happy hour—complete with gourmet tasting boxes!
These expert guides will entertain and educate your team as they take you through the ins and outs of pairing craft beer with cheese and chocolate. These virtual happy hours can accommodate any size team and can be customized to fit your event goals.
Did we mention that they include branded swag, gifts, notecards and other personal touches in your tasting boxes for maximum impact?! Boxes are delivered right to each participants' front door.
Pro Tip: We suggest choosing one of Unboxed Experiences’ seasonal tasting boxes. Themed boxes like Summer Get-a-way, Oktoberfest, and Holiday Party add a unique twist to the typical happy hour.
If you are looking for something that’s a bit more hands-on, how about calling up your team for a beer making event? It’s easier than baking a cake!
“Zoom” through 90 minutes of team building fun with a private beer making experience— no prior knowledge or experience necessary. An expert brewer will guide your team through the process step by step. The experience comes with equipment and ingredients to brew a full case of beer – everything is sent directly to your guests' door!
Pro Tip: Unboxed Experiences’ event planners can even work with you to create a custom beer recipe and label for your team! Our favorite beer names were:
- Holiday Party Pale Ale
- Work From Home Amber Ale
Bond with your teammates over mysterious potions, concoctions and infusions with a cocktail masterclass!
Together with a talented mixologist, get involved in a refreshing cocktail masterclass experience. Mocktail alternatives are available too. You can opt to get ingredients delivered to your door or opt for a pantry-based cocktail experience.
Learn more here.
Virtual Gaming Sessions
Virtual games are another great way to bond with your team remotely.
Companies like Outback Team Building and Let's Roam will help you set up and organize your virtual team building activities from start to finish. Using a company specializing in corporate team events will allow you to sit back and enjoy the activities for yourself.
Another options is to use online games like Among Us and those created by Jackbox, which have become extremely popular during COVID. These are great because they are self-hosted! You don't have to worry about getting in touch with customer support. If you are planning a last minute virtual team building activity with your team – sign up for these websites and get started ASAP. It's as simple as 1,2,3!
Below are all different sorts of gaming sessions that you can try with your team today!
Learn more here.
Are you dreaming of a pre-pandemic lifestyle? Do you need a break from the 21st century? Ugh, same! Take a trip through all the decades back to the 60s with your vary own trivia time machine.
This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing.
Your virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “table hopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers!
Learn more here.
Get your remote team together to compete in a series of online mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges.
Outback Team Building made one of their most popular team building activities into a virtual format so that you can enjoy this with your remote teams in your virtual team building adventures!
If you and your team are the type to get dressed up in costume and really delve into your "characters" this virtual team building activity is for you! I mean, look at those faces!
Neil Davidson has been murdered and the authorities suspect foul play. Gather your remote team online and collaborate virtually to crack the case of deadly crime in this highly-engaging virtual murder mystery team building activity.
Pro Tip: Looking for something festive to do with your team? Schedule this activity around Halloween or New Years Eve! Nothing like a good murder mystery to get people in the spirit of the Holiday!
This game was designed with the express purpose of bonding remote teams. Combining innovative embedded video technology with awesome online games, it’s a good time guaranteed.
These virtual team building activities last about one hour and are made up of 5 rounds that pack a fun punch. Each round is a different game that brings employees together and keeps them laughing.
Each virtual "team builder" does a great job focusing building relationships with your team- and if you remember, this was one of the most important characteristics of a good virtual team building activity. Games include: trivia, showing off your best impersonations, and "how well do you know your coworker" ice breakers!
Learn more here.
This is for all your board game lover's out there. Inspired by board games, Tabletopia tries to keep it real. You'll feel like you're at home with your team while playing this game.
It’s early in the 20th century – a time of exploration and adventure. The mysterious island of Atlantis has been discovered in the middle of the ocean, and there are rumors of riches! After reaching Atlantis, the explorers are ready to return home with treasure and artifacts. But Atlantis begins to sink! Who will manage to reach dry land without getting eaten by sharks?
Learn more here.
Icebreaker quizzes are a fun and low friction way to do a little bit of team building in your team every week, we even recommend team meeting ice breakers to help start meetings on the right foot. But for something more extravagant we recommend Quizbreaker.
QuizBreaker is one 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.
You and your team answer a variety of fun and safe-for-work ice breaker questions, then you have to guess each other’s answers in multiple choice quizzes. They’ve turned it into a game complete with badges, levels, trophies and weekly leaderboard for a bit of fun competition.
QuizBreaker comes with a 14 day free trial so you can give it a try with your team first to see if they like it. It’s currently used by thousands of remote teams all over the world including remote teams at companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and even the New York Times!
Tip: We recommend setting up your QuizBreaker rounds to go out once a week on a Friday afternoon as a fun way to end the week.
For each challenge completed, teams will earn points that can be redeemed as donation dollars that they will donate towards charity.
Need a virtual team building activity for your remote team as the holiday's approach us (where did 2021 go?!)? It's hard enough to coordinate a big party with all your team members taking time off at different times during the holiday season! But, with Holiday Hijinks, you just send an email invite and let the party goer's come to you!
Holiday Hijinks, is a virtual team building activity that encourages festivity, communication, collaboration, and teamwork.
In this virtual activity, groups will split up into teams and race against the clock and try to outpace the competition as they work through a variety of holiday-themed challenges. Each completed challenge will earn teams points and help them climb up the leaderboard to be crowned the Holiday Hijinks Champions!
This philanthropic virtual team building activity is all about building awareness around local and global challenges, raising funds for charity, and doing some good in the world with your colleagues.
With the Virtual Do-Good Games, teams will compete to complete challenges revolving around themes like Clean Water and Food Insecurity, Health and Wellness, Community Support, and Environmental Awareness.
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".
If you want to learn more about Parisian culture, visit the city’s beautiful attractions and have a laugh with your coworkers (or friends and family) then this trip is for you.
It lasts just over 60 minutes, and you book the most convenient time-slot when you sign up. Companies have been using this team building game for onboarding new members of staff when they can’t meet in person – lighthearted and unique!
Prices start at $19 per person. Learn more here.
Virtual Escape Rooms
If you have ever done an escape room in person, you know they can be a great problem solving activity for your and your team. Have you ever tried a virtual escape room? No? You're in for a treat!
If you're looking for a breakdown of what to look for when it comes to virtual escape rooms, be sure to check out our blog post designated to the top 10 best virtual escape rooms for remote teams!
Or, stay here and check out the following to get you started on your journey today:
Outback Team Building is a company located in Canada that offers corporate virtual team building events. All activities are available in self-hosted and virtually-hosted formats for teams of 3-1,000+.
Prices range from $8 – $49 per person and sessions can be 0.5 – 2 hours long.
Get creative with your team and solve puzzles to uncover the story of the Zodiac in this intriguing collaborative virtual escape room experience! The Jade Emperor is hosting "The Great Race" to decide which 12 animals will make up the Zodiac. Through a series of challenges, assist the Rat in its attempt to emerge victorious in the Zodiac’s Race!
Your team will have to use their intellect and creativity to solve the puzzles. You'll also get a chance to guess your colleagues Zodiac sign and figure out their key traits. Were you born on a lucky day when the stars aligned and you were able to lead your team to victory?
Learn more here.
You and your teammates are mission control guiding the most skilled thieves in the world as they take on the world’s most audacious heist. The coveted Qianlong Vase, a historical Chinese masterpiece has just been found and sold. Worth 43 million pounds, this antique is about to begin its journey to its new owner… unless you can get to it first.
Together your team will work through puzzles, riddles, challenges and mini missions in order to complete the mission in its entirety.
- 6 per team, unlimited group
- £120 per team
- 90 minutes
Learn more here.
The Escape Game's remote adventures are so immersive you'll enjoy playing virtually just as much as you would in person.
Choose from themes like solving an art heist, breaking out of prison, or finding the gold, and get ready for a challenging adventure for teams of all kinds whether in the office, at home, or a mix of both! Players get the same puzzles and tasks to overcome as they would in a physical room all while working towards a shared goal – escaping!
Prison Break: The year is 1955. You and your team have been wrongfully accused of a crime, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Your new “home” is a cell that once belonged to an inmate who disappeared without a trace…or did he? No one actually knows… can you escape before you suffer the same fate?
The Heist: Your world-class espionage outfit has landed you inside a prestigious art museum. A recently stolen masterpiece is presumed hidden within the office of the museum’s egotistical curator, Vincent Hahn. With the help of your intelligence agent on the outside, you have one hour to find your way into Hahn’s office, recover the painting, and slip away before Hahn returns.
Ruins: Forbidden Treasure You and your team are on a relaxing aerial tour of a remote jungle when everything suddenly falls apart. You're stranded at the foot of ancient and mysterious temple ruins – home of a massive fabled treasure. Adventure has come knocking and the treasure could be yours for the taking! Fortune favors the bold. Will it favor you?
Played via Zoom, The Escape Game's Remote Adventures hold up to 8 players and are guided by a host in the room with a live camera feed. Teams will direct their guide while picking up clues in their digital dashboard to solve puzzles and complete their mission in 60 minutes!
Up to 8 per game, unlimited group size
$30 per player
Gather your colleagues. Put on your aprons. Bring out the pots and ladles. Get ready for an immersive cooking experience with your team with an interactive MasterChef kitchen.
This virtual team building activity takes your team through an unforgettable culinary journey with some of the best local chefs.
Find out who in the team will make the most Instagrammable Dish! Works well for teams of all sizes and takes around 90-120 minutes.
Learn more here.
Perfect for all ages, the Ice Cream Float Experience is live, fully interactive and certain to bring a smile to even your most serious employee’s face. Rediscover the childhood joy of making ice cream (no equipment needed, but be ready to get up and move a bit!), then indulge in root beer, orange soda or cherry float.
These unforgettable hosts will take your group through the ice cream making process step by step while sprinkling you with sweet trivia along the way. Perfect as a brisk ice breaker for any kind of group! Kits are delivered directly to your guests’ doors and include everything needed to participate. How simple is that?
Pro Tip: The Ice Cream Float Experience is just 30 minutes long, making it a great option for an icebreaker activity or mid-afternoon break from a day of meetings.
Learn more here.
Artistic Virtual Events
Want to spark the creative side of your team? Hold a virtual drawing party! Some of the following virtual team building activities are even guided by professional artists! Nothing says building relationships like getting creative with your team.
Dive into your inner Picasso and explore your team relationship through painting and drawing!
Always wondered what the team would look like as Manga stars?
Find out with YumTum's team Manga sketch experience hosted by renowned manga artists.
Capture your colleague's real nature by learning how to draw your teammates as manga stars, with the grand finale being an incredible memorable virtual Manga team portrait.
Ever wondered what your team members think your superpowers are? If your team could be superheroes for a day, who would they be? Find out by running a super fun Superhero Sketch party!
In this super empowering team-building experience, learn how to capture your colleagues’ personality, translate their traits into superpowers and learn the fundamentals of superhero illustration with a professional artist. Get tips and advice on how to capture your colleague's heroic spirit and highlight their strengths.
The best part is you'll receive a "Superhero Portrait" collage of everyone on the team! Walking away with something tangible is always a plus, right?
Try a creative and relaxing social event with your team by hosting a paint night with Paint the Town. They are a one stop shop for all your party planning needs, providing you with a dedicated event coordinator, painting kits shipped to each guest, private Zoom link, and a fun art instructor for 90 minutes.
Even guests who say they don't have an artistic bone in their body will leave the session pleasantly surprised by their masterpiece, and proud to show off to others!
And don't worry, Paint the Town still leaves room for you to socialize and interact, and can even facilitate ice breakers and custom painting requests, so you're covered for all your team bonding needs!
Drawful from Jackbox:
Each player receives a weird and unique prompt that they must try to draw on their mobile device (without the aid of an eraser). After each “artist” presents their work, everyone else anonymously submits a title that could fit this bizarre drawing. Your goal is to somehow find the correct prompt while fooling other players into selecting your decoy answer. Bonus points are awarded to those who submitted decoys that are especially clever or dumb… it’s usually the dumb ones.
Team Movie Night
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.
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.
Another simple personality assessment to have your team members take is the Four Tendencies test.
This test helps people figure out if they are Upholders, Obligers, Rebels, or Questioners. It gives you a chance as a team leader to see how your team best responds to your expectations. It can also help them work with each other in more effective ways and avoid some of the frustrations of group work.
Bonus for Local Teams
Looking for some in person events?
Best for Young Creatives:
Let's Roam offers customized scavenger hunts that can be done around your employee's homes or their neighborhoods.
These scavenger hunts are created by their teams of writers and facilitated by a live host. Each hunt consists of 50+ challenges designed to be done in an hour graded by Machine Learning and their team: Learn more about team building scavenger hunts here.
Best for Corporate Groups:
Outback Team Building and Training has 7 highly engaging scavenger hunt challenges for larger teams. Their most popular option is the Wild Goose Chase scavenger hunt followed by the CSR-focused: Random Acts of Kindness scavenger hunt.
Try These Virtual Team Games Today
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.
If you need help staying in touch with your team members and creating places where they can catch up with each other or carry out some of the activities listed above, check out Weekdone.
Weekdone makes it easy for you to stay on task and in touch with your team members. It also provides you with a place to set goals and give feedback and encouragement.