5 Ideas for Remote Team Building Activities

Person in remote meeting

Team building is an essential investment for any business, even in the age of remote working. Though it certainly isn’t easy to arrange online team building exercises, the benefits are still there. For one, it can boost employee productivity and engagement, leading to a happy and healthy company culture. This, in turn, boosts your business’s performance. Businesses with engaged employees saw 41% less absenteeism in the workforce. It also made companies 21% more profitable, compared to those with low employee engagement. So, if you’re looking to increase employee engagement among remote workers, here are five team building ideas to help you out:

1. Create a virtual break room

Break room banter is commonplace in nearly all physical offices. The impromptu conversations and watercooler hangouts help employees unwind and relax. Unfortunately, working remotely has made it difficult to take these social breaks. What you can do is organize an online space where employees do the same over the internet — a virtual break room or a virtual watercooler. Make it so that anyone can hop in and chat with whoever else is in the room. There are already many programs available to create these, like Donut and Tandem. Regardless of the option, what’s important is you provide digital spaces for casual conversations amongst colleagues, where they continue to foster a safe and strong community.

2. Set team challenges

Team challenges are great for encouraging employees to try something new and interact more with their coworkers. One great option for this is fitness challenges, and it can be as simple as seeing who can walk the most steps in a month. You can also try art challenges, where your team can post their works and vote for their favorites. To make things more fun, you can even implement a scoring system and set a reward for the employee who wins the most number of challenges. Either way, the challenges are a great way to get employees to interact “outside” of work.

3. Host a trivia game night

Get a little friendly competition going with trivia nights. Various games and platforms like Jackbox, Virtual Pub Trivia, or even the educational quiz Kahoot! can help you facilitate a super fun and memorable game night. You can go with set games, such as the ones in Jackbox, or use Kahoot! to test your employees’ knowledge of each other, of the company, or any other topic of interest. When hosting a trivia night, virtual or otherwise, make sure to cover a range of topics. That way, every employee can participate and no one gets left out.

4. Play poker as a team

Poker is a great game to play with your team as it introduces some friendly competition and can also be used as a business exercise. There are many business lessons that can be learned from poker, such as learning about odds vs risk, and not just waiting for the perfect moment. As your team members win at poker they will be using different skills that can be applied to business. Regardless of everyone’s familiarity and skill in poker, everyone can have a good time with a casual game. All you need to do is find a platform that can host your virtual poker round (it is recommended to not play for real money), and there is no shortage of options online!

5. Have a photo-sharing session

Photo-sharing sessions are a simple way to spur interaction among team members. One idea is to set a theme for each session, then have each employee share a photo related to that theme. If they’re pet owners, you can encourage them to share snapshots of their furry friends because seeing photos of cute animals can help lift one’s mood and alleviate stress. Funny photos work too! Regardless of the theme, these sessions provide a great opportunity for employees to get a bit of rest and socialize with their coworkers.

Too many remote workers are feeling isolated and fatigued from being cooped up inside of their homes for too long. The lack of social interaction also isn’t helpful. What team leaders can do is find innovative ways to get employees engaged, and virtual team building sessions are an excellent way to do just that.

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