Top 8 Virtual Team Building Activities in 2021

Virtual team building activities improve bonding, engagement and communication within remote team members. They’re a great way to boost the performance of your team. Here are eight unique team building activities that are easy to implement, engaging and fun for your remote team members.

Team building activities are a vital aspect of any organisation. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many corporations to ask their staff to work from home or remote locations, virtual team building activities have become more important than ever to break the monotony and negativity looming over lives. What’s more, they also fill your staff with some much-needed energy and enthusiasm while they work from home.

Virtual team building activities also improve bonding, engagement and communication within remote team members. And they are a great way to boost the performance of your team. So let us check out eight unique team building activities that are easy to implement, engaging and fun for your remote team members.

1. A sneak into our home

This is a wonderful team-building activity which can be hilarious as well as engaging.

In this activity, every person in the team will make a short video of their home, showing their home space and their favourite things. Or they can give a live virtual tour of their home to their team members.

This activity reveals new facets of the team member and is an unusual and hilarious way to know more about the personalities of your remote team members. With a little touch of humour, this activity can become very engaging and interactive.

2. Powerpoint karaoke

Another enjoyable game or activity is the PowerPoint karaoke which can be played on a video conferencing app. This game can be used as a great icebreaker among your remote team members, and as a wonderful team-building activity.

This activity is perfect for reducing stress and strain of daily work and a great way to share some healthy laughter with remote colleagues.

In this activity, a team member has to sing their favourite song or a song suggested by the team and simultaneously create an impromptu slideshow presentation about their life, without any prior knowledge or information about the contents in the sides.

3. Group chats

In such periods of lockdown and social isolation, a simple group chat with your colleagues can be one of those wonderful activities for virtual teams that will be remembered for a long time.

For employees who miss workplace talk and discussions with their colleagues, a group chat session where all participants are allowed to express their thoughts and feelings can be very emotionally uplifting. It will help strengthen the bond among team members and establish a sense of belonging and support.

Suh group discussions need to be informal, and the topics can range from gardening, movies, travelling, animation films—any topic that excites the interest of the group or the members involved.

Also, group talks are a great way to understand the emotional psyche of your team members and will help you devise ways to improve their mood during the discussion. After all, any instinctive group chat with the team is fun and de-stressing.

4. Virtual dance party

A virtual dance party is one of the easiest and best virtual team building activities. A team member can host this exercise as an individual standalone event, or the manager or team leader can host it for the team. The essence lies in spontaneity and improvisation.

This activity could also be added as a quick impromptu one-minute session before or in between a team meeting. Now, one doesn’t need to practice fancy moves for this activity. Just play the song and go with the flow and let the team members enjoy your unplanned moves.

Dancing can be a great icebreaker and can diffuse awkward silences in the room. Plus, it is high on energy, injects fun, diffuses tension, and is an invigorating team-building activity.


Tip: Choose the most feet-thumping song for this activity.


Two truths and a lie
“Two truths and a lie” is a classic game that not only enhances team building but also serves as an excellent icebreaker for employee engagement amongst remote team members.

In this activity, each member will provide three statements about themselves — two true statements and one false statement. The other members can then answer one by one which two are true and which one is false. Once everybody has guessed their answers, the speaker then reveals the lie.

Add a points system and keep a time limit to make it a fun and healthy competition in the team.

5. Online challenge

Online internet challenges have kept people around the globe busy during the lockdown. You can add the same mantra in your team building activity, to make it more engaging and fun.

An example of one such online challenge is the cinnamon challenge. In this challenge, the person is required to gulp a spoonful of ground cinnamon. It may seem like a simple activity but trust us — it is not as easy as it seems. And the expressions of people trying to finish the challenge successfully is very funny and hilarious.

It may seem informal, but it is a wonderful way to lighten up before a stressful day ahead.

This can be best done through video conferencing where everyone is watching the others’ reactions. You can even record the reactions as memory or future anecdote moments.

6. “Hear me out”

“Hear me out” is one of the best engaging and result-oriented online team building activities. The game has to be played in a virtual meeting room, wherein one person becomes the speaker or talker, and the others become the artists. The speaker has to source suitable images online and describe the image to the other members such that they can draw the image successfully.

There is one rule—the speaker can only utilise geometric shapes to explain the image. For example, the speaker is allowed to say, “draw a rectangle and add three concentric circles inside the rectangles”, and not “start with letter D”.

This limitation makes the game very interesting as the speaker has to devise ways, including proper communication skills, to explain the figure, while the others have to listen properly in order to draw the image correctly. This activity teaches effective online virtual communication. Plus, it is great fun.

8. Meeting with the champions

Another unique team building activity that you can organise for your remote team members is to assign an interesting role to every person in the team and ensure that they play their part to perfection during the meeting.

The champion roles include:

Cheerleader: Ensures the meeting is fun and members are in high spirits. They will cheer enthusiastically and lead others in doing so.

The mover and shaker: When conversations go out of hand or are slowly turning inconclusive, this person becomes the virtual traffic cop and brings everyone back on track.

The photographer: Throughout the meeting and conversation, there would arise various opportunities to take snapshots or photos of the team. Task a member of your team to take such snaps and share them either by email or group chat.

Yes, remote teams do need photos. After all, it captures the different moods and emotions of the people involved in a meeting.

Scribe: Scribe is the least interesting role in the meeting. However, it can still be fun for someone. Give this role to the most extroverted team member of the team and have fun observing how the person reserves themselves in the role of a scribe and takes notes.

You can devise different roles depending on your individual requirement. The idea is to keep everyone engaged with the meeting.

These are some of the most fun virtual team building activities that you can easily implement with your team members. Ensure participation from the entire team and seek feedback to identify what works and what does not. Then, you can apply this feedback to your next session to make the activity even more interesting.


Virtual Team Building Activities FAQs

1) How to pick a professional event coordinator if the team-building task is to be outsourced?

There are a couple of things you could look out for when choosing an external vendor for your team-building activities. You can visit their websites, review sites, social media pages and scan through the reviews. See how many positive reviews they’ve received.

Focus more on their clientele — have they worked for big brands in the past? How have they fared? Go through the options they provide. If you’re still on the ropes, then you can always opt for a free consultation from external event coordinators and take your pick from the lot.

2) How soon should organisations reach out to an external vendor for team-building activities?

Usually, there isn’t a fixed timeframe for team-building requests. Many vendors have the capability to turn things around in the last minute. They offer excellent, flexible options for employers who are in dire need of something quick. Having said that, it’s always best to reach out to them in advance so that they get the time to provide options that fulfil your requirements.

3) Is there a fixed price for a team building activity?

No. The pricing for a team-building activity is never fixed. It can vary on the basis of multiple factors such as group size, the type of activity, the location and the customization of the request.

4) For team building activities, is there ever a winning team? Also, do they get prizes?

The decision is entirely up to you. Having an element of competitiveness is known to breed positivity and productivity. You could opt for an activity that determines a winner by way of accumulated points throughout the activity.

As is the case with any competition, a definite winner cannot be singled out in advance because individuals/teams get plenty of both subjective and objective opportunities to rack up points. Regardless of your decision — to include or exclude winning teams/individuals — always ensure that the entire activity is friendly, positive, and focused on the outcome more than anything else.

As for the second question, you may choose to include a reward for the winners. However, it’s always advisable to keep it modest. You could go for low cash prizes, gift cards, free subscriptions for paid apps/tools, or donations towards a charitable institution (or cause) in the name of the winner.

5) How long do team building activities last?

A majority of team building activities run for a couple of hours. However, you can customize it as per your need. You could have an event that wraps up in just an hour or stretches for a week.

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One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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    Comments

    1. comment-author
      sosparty

      thank you for such an informative article! I work in a remote team, and we use Slack for communication and standups, it is actually the best for us.

      1. comment-author
        Shalini L

        Hi Vidya,

        We’re glad you liked it! Be sure to subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter that captures the best and the latest stories from the world of HR.

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