45 Original and Fun Virtual Team-Building Activities for 2023

Gusto Editors

Keeping virtual teams connected to each other and the organization is a challenge. Leading teams that are scattered across the country or around the world requires special skills and insights.

Incorporating team-building activities into virtual meetings or as standalone events builds camaraderie and employee engagement.

Remote teams have unique work experiences compared to their in-person counterparts. These teams do not have the same ability to stop by a coworker’s desk to chat during the workday. It’s tough if not impossible to grab a cup of coffee with a colleague or get acquainted with new hires.

That’s why it’s important to have empathy for the work experiences and development needs of remote teams. Leaders need ways for them to connect and feel part of their organizations’ mission, purpose, and values.

By building strong team bonds among virtual teams, organizations will reap multiple benefits, including:

  • Higher retention, which leads to fewer recruitment, hiring, and onboarding costs.
  • More productivity, with employees who are invested in each other’s success and positive work outcomes.
  • Increased customer satisfaction, with better-produced products and better-delivered services.
  • Deeper employee engagement, which is an indicator of how committed employees are to the company and their colleagues.

Team-building activities have long been incorporated into retreats, team meetings, and conferences. They can be whimsical or serious, but all have the same purpose. They help participants know each other better and build critical skills. They strengthen communication, innovation, creativity, leadership, decision making, teamwork and problem-solving skills, all while enhancing engagement and building company culture.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, work environments have shifted to more hybrid or remote positions. With that shift comes an increased need to forge the connections that result in better employees and outcomes.

In this post, we’ll provide 45 team-building activities that help develop successful team cohesion and connection.

Quick team-building activities

Your virtual team-building activities do not need to be overly involved or complex. Virtual team-building activities can be simple and take just a few minutes. Many different icebreaker games can be used to launch a smaller team meeting or larger employee event.

Icebreaker team-building games are designed to be brief and set the tone for the meeting. We all know video conference calls can be a tough way to connect with coworkers. Icebreaker questions help get people out of their comfort zone.

1. Virtual coffee break

A coffee break is a great way to break up the work day and let people relax with a beverage of their choice, coffee or not. In 15 or 30 minutes, employees can use the time to share what’s been happening and have casual conversations. The outcome is the same: Colleagues learn a little more about each other.

How to host the activity: Use an existing platform such as Zoom or Slack and ask people to log in at the same time. Be mindful of time-zone differences and other standing meetings when scheduling the coffee break.

You can have a set of questions available to facilitate the conversation or have it focus on a theme. But even a break with casual, unstructured conversation is valuable.

2. A Rose, a Thorn, and a Bud

This quick icebreaker is a great way to start a virtual meeting. It’s an opportunity to share the good and the bad that people have been dealing with. It’s a perfect way to build team empathy, send praise to coworkers, and offer solutions where applicable.

How to host the activity: Ask each person to share their rose, thorn, and a bud.

The rose can be something positive that has happened to them and made them feel happy, grateful, proud, or excited. The thorn can be a challenge they’re facing at work. The bud is an idea germinating or something they are looking forward to.

It’s prudent to keep the sharing to work-related items to avoid oversharing.

3. Snapshots

This quick icebreaker can be completed within a short time limit at the start of a team meeting.

How to host the activity: Ask each person to take out their phone and take a picture of something that matters to them that’s in the room. It can be something that’s meaningful to them, represents who they are, or comes with a funny story.

Persons can upload their photos to a free shared photo platform (they can delete them after if they choose). They then take turns identifying their photo and sharing why they selected it.

4. Two Truths and a Lie

This classic icebreaker can be applied to a small virtual team. It encourages people to be creative about their “lie” and to build their list with three plausible items.

How to host the activity: Each person should either come prepared with their list or submit it beforehand. Taking turns, each person shares their two truths and a lie. Then other team members need to vote on which is the lie.

After everyone has selected their guess, the person reveals the truths and the lies. They can share a few brief words about the truths or whether the lie is a variation of a truism.

5. Read My Lips

Can you decipher what someone is saying without actually hearing them speak? In Read My Lips, teams compete to see who can interpret what someone is saying when the speaker is on mute.

This activity regularly generates laughs as people guess the phrase being said.

How to host the activity: Give each person a phrase they will use when it’s their turn. The first player puts their microphone on mute, but other people’s microphones are on. The player then speaks their phrase and everyone has 60-90 seconds to guess it.

To make it easier on the players, you can opt to have a theme to the phrases each time you play.

6. Rank It

This exercise helps participants see how their coworkers’ minds work. It can build trust and strengthen relationships that will carry over long after the activity is over. It takes 10-20 minutes to complete.

How to host the activity: Select five or more random and obscure objects. Don’t choose common items such as a pencil or matches.

Start by announcing a scenario such as a shipwreck, a trip to Mars, or a zombie apocalypse. Each player must rank the five items according to their utility in the given scenario. Players will then share their lists and explain why they ranked them that way.

Here is one online example, “Lost at Sea,” you can use for free.

7. Typing test

This test is a quick, fun activity, especially with everyone leaving their sound on. That’s because as people make typos they laugh or exclaim about their errors.

If you’re pressed for time, you can run just one round. Or, with large groups, you can have the top typists square off in subsequent rounds until there is one winner.

How to host the activity: LiveChat has a great online typing test program. It provides a random set of words that people need to type. After 60 seconds it calculates your score in terms of total words and accuracy.

Have everyone enter the site and start the activity. When done, ask everyone to post their scores.

Fun and original team-building activities

It’s OK to have fun on the job.

Often, the most effective and popular virtual team-building experiences are those where fun is the primary goal. These activities may also have a role in building teamwork or company culture. But sometimes the best, or most-needed, outcome is a shared experience.

8. Virtual scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are a popular live team-building event but can work in a virtual setting, too. With a scavenger hunt, people have to find various items to win points.

You can decide if you want the items that are found to be online or in the home. You could also have a combination of both. Reward points for each item found, with more points for more obscure items.

How to host the activity: You can use several popular apps to create the scavenger hunt. On Zoom, for example, ask participants to use the share screen feature to show each item they find. Team chat apps like Slack can also be used to show each item. Start with a clue for each item and send players on their way.

9. Virtual escape rooms

Escape rooms are popular in-person activities for groups of friends, family, or coworkers. The premise is simple, even if the solutions can be very challenging.

Escape rooms provide a shared puzzle and different spaces that players need to explore. Players are given clues and must find items and complete tasks to make progress. When the team solves the challenge, they are “released” from the room and free to go. The first team to “escape” from their “room” could win a prize, or just bragging rights.

How to host the activity: The same principles apply in virtual escape rooms. Many providers offer options for virtual escape room adventures. There are some free options while others have a per-person or flat rate.

Like their real-world counterparts, most virtual escape rooms come with staff monitoring the activity to help facilitate and help teams that get stuck.

10. Charades

This timeless parlor game can take on a new life in a virtual space. It’s a lighthearted activity that can last for 30-45 minutes and works best in virtual teams of 10 or fewer. It’s a great way to build camaraderie, teamwork, and nonverbal communications skills.

How to host the activity: Split the participants into two teams and decide on a theme if you’d prefer. Fun options are animals, movies, books, or song titles. Select a series of words to use in the game.

The opposing teams will take turns with one person acting out the named item without using any words. The rest of the team has to guess the correct answer and wins a point for each victory. Encourage each team member to take a turn acting out the charade.

11. Baby pictures

Can you guess what each person looked like as a baby? If you want to generate laughs, ask each person to guess whose baby photo is whose. This activity only takes 5-10 and is a great way to get people to know each other.

How to host the activity: Ask each person to submit a baby photo of themselves. Put all the photos in a Word document and send it to everyone (remember to remove file names!).

Participants have a brief period of time in which to guess which photo goes with each colleague. Have each person keep score themselves and give a prize to the person who gets the most correct.

12. Virtual bingo

Bingo is a simple game to play and for a remote group can be a funny activity. There are many free templates available online you can use. You can also build a customized template that’s related to your work culture.

The difference in this version of bingo is that items should be related to work, especially work items.

Had a client meeting while wearing sweatpants? Told someone in a meeting, “You’re on mute” in the last week? You score a mark.

How to host the activity: Find and customize the cards so that there are many more options than the ones on each person’s card. Have each person track their progress.

Have someone act as the caller and randomly share the various possible items. The first person to score five in a row vertically or horizontally wins.

13. Bucket lists

Bucket lists help people dream, imagine, and aspire to special activities or places. Everyone has that list of things they hope to do during their lives.

How to host the activity: Ask the participants to share two or three items from their personal bucket list ahead of the meeting or activity. Compile the list and send it back out to the team in advance.

During the session, you can ask each person to share their item and why it’s on their list. You may even find that multiple people share the same item.

14. A Dog, Rice, and a Chicken

This great team activity requires teams to get creative and work together to solve a dilemma. It can be completed in about 30 minutes.

How to host the activity: Break the group into teams and present the scenario. One person on each team is designated as the farmer. The rest of the group members are villagers.

The farmer has traveled to the village and bought a dog, rice, and a chicken. To get home, they must cross a river in a boat but can only carry one of the purchased items at a time. The quandaries abound.

If they leave the dog and chicken, the dog is likely to eat the chicken. If they leave the chicken and rice, the chicken is likely to eat the rice. The villagers must help the farmer brainstorm a solution that gets them home with all the items.

The winning team is the one that gets the farmer across the river in the fewest trips.

15. PowerPoint karaoke

This activity teaches creative thinking on the fly and communications skills. It’s a good exercise for small teams of up to 10.

How to host the activity: Create a random deck of PowerPoint slides from various presentations. The deck should not necessarily flow naturally from one slide to the next. You can also purchase a pre-made deck of slides for the activity.

Each person is sent the slides and has to give a five-minute presentation, having never seen them before. You can ask participants to present the same deck or send each person a separate deck.

Entertainment-based team-building activities

16. Virtual karaoke

Who doesn’t enjoy a fun, and potentially cringeworthy, karaoke session? Karaoke is easy to pull off and can let everyone participate. If you want to add an element of competition to the activity, consider having judges score each performance.

You can ask others to put their mics on mute during others’ performances or encourage everyone to sing along.

These activities are a way to let loose and relax with coworkers without the pressure of work looming.

How to host the activity: You can use Zoom, alongside a third-party app, to launch your own virtual karaoke session. Or ask each participant to pick a song and a karaoke backing track, many of which are free online. You can also choose to use a third-party provider to host and manage the karaoke session for you.

17. The ultimate playlist

Using Spotify, YouTube or another platform that can build lists of songs, the team will come together to create their very own collective playlist. It’s a fun way to share a favorite album, song, or piece of music and learn about teammates.

How to host the activity: Create the shared playlist and give access to everyone on the virtual team. Ask each person to submit three songs, works, or albums. Ask team members to share what the music they selected means something to them.

There’s a variation on this activity that provides remote teams with tunes to listen to. Once a week or month, ask a few colleagues to develop a themed playlist of 20-30 songs. Invite them to reveal the setlist and why they chose the theme and the pieces in it.

18. Virtual happy hour 

A virtual happy hour is a great way to let remote colleagues cozy up to their own “bar” and choose their drinks, all without leaving home. What better way to unwind after a long week than with a virtual get-together with colleagues with a drink in hand.

How to host the activity: Decide on the scale of the happy hour. Will it be one team or the whole workforce? Will in-person staff be invited to partake virtually?

At an in-person happy hour, multiple conversations are happening simultaneously. That can be a difficult experience to replicate online in Zoom. However, incorporating themes or fun games, including those in this post, adds excitement to the occasion.

If the budget exists, you can send everyone a collection of wine or beer samples and have a virtual tasting. You can also ask people to consider it a black-tie affair or dress in garb from a particular decade.

Keep in mind that some employees may be in recovery from substance abuse, or may not drink alcohol for other reasons. These people may not be comfortable, or able, to participate in the activity. Providing language that addresses that fact, or asking people to imbibe non-alcoholic beverages only are good options.

19. Shazam

This activity is designed to build listening comprehension and team cohesion. It can be completed in 10-15 minutes and uses one of the common music apps–iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube. It operates like the popular Shazam app.

How to host the activity: The facilitator will put together a list of 10-15 songs for the activity. Share your sound from the app and play one of the selections. The first person to shout out the artist and the title wins a point.

Play multiple rounds and see who knows their music and musicians best.

To get you started, here are the most popular pop songs of the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

Team-based team-building activities

While it may seem challenging, there are many ways to use communication tools to create team-based activities. These activities foster team bonding and collaboration skills. Look through the options below for the fun team-building activities that work best for your remote employees.

20. Virtual department trivia 

There are many ways to structure trivia as a virtual team-building exercise. Pub trivia, for example, asks teams of employees to answer the same questions, such as from the Trivial Pursuit game.

Department trivia is a variation on that theme. In this version, departments must work together to solve questions, either in one session or asynchronously.

The activity helps strengthen bonds and teamwork within teams while adding friendly competition.

How to host the activity: Send a list of ten trivia questions to each person in each department using a Google Form or other shared survey tool. Each team records answers on the sheet after working together to find the answers.

If done live, you can have three or four rounds of trivia, depending on time constraints. Points can be tallied after each round. If done asynchronously, set a deadline and award the winner.

You can have a head-to-head departmental competition or have every person in one department compete against their teammates.

21. Virtual fitness challenges

These ongoing events are a great way to promote employee well-being and health. They are an ideal way to foster a bit of competition while helping employees benefit from the shared activity.

Most corporate wellness programs are geared towards in-person participation. However, the pandemic showed us that virtual wellness in a team setting can work well.

How to host the activity: You can structure wellness challenges in multiple ways. You can provide a list of activities that each participant needs to complete, such as steps walked each day.

You can also offer various wellness activities that will work in a virtual setting, such as meditation or mindfulness sessions. Yoga classes and stretching sessions also work well in a virtual space.

22. Dig Up a Fact

This interactive, team-based activity requires team members to work together to research unusual facts. It promotes camaraderie, collaboration, and teamwork to search and agree on a singular, compelling fact.

How to host the activity: The object is to have each team come up with the most unusual, bizarre, or little-known fact about the topic. Decide on the topics that will be the source of the discovery exercise. The topic could be a place, person, business, profession, or work of art such as a movie or television show.

Divide the group into teams and have them use Zoom breakout rooms to gather. After a brief period of searching, teams must come together and agree on a singular fact to present. A team leader or facilitator can determine which is the most unusual fact and award points to the winning team.

23. Do You Know Your Team?

This online team-building activity helps build personal connections among teammates. It’s perfectly structured for video chat and can be completed in as little as ten minutes. This activity can also help new teams to learn more about each other.

This activity is a variation on “about me” sharing.

How to host the activity: Start by creating a list of interesting, funny, or insightful questions. Topics can run the gamut, from favorite vacation spot or movie to favorite sport or college class.

You can also ask more provocative or unusual questions. One example: What one song would they pick if it were the only one they could listen to forever?

You can have participants email you the answers and share them one at a time. Teammates then need to guess who provided the answer, followed by a reveal of the submitter. Be sure to leave time for people to ask questions about various answers.

24. Quiz Up

Do you want to see how quickly your teams can react? This fast-paced quiz contest can be completed in 20-30 minutes.

How to host the activity: The facilitator will need to come up with a series of questions that relate to a topic or are randomly generated. Here is one source for good questions on multiple subjects. Teams will need to work together to divide the questions and compile the answers.

Teams can submit their questions on a Google Form or other online shared document.

25. Survey Says

This game is an online take on the popular timeless TV game show, Family Feud. Teammates will need to get creative and share their knowledge while building camaraderie. Teams will compete to guess the top-5 answers to a random set of questions.

At the conclusion of the head-to-head round, all teams will compete in a lightning round. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

How to host the activity: Assemble the two to four teams that will participate and leave it to the team at confetti.com to do the rest.

26. A Thousand Words

A picture says a thousand words. In this exercise, you’ll ask each participant to share one photo from their life that’s important to them. It need not be a photo they took, but can be a photo of a person, place, or item.

How to host the activity: Ask each person to come prepared with a picture that’s related to something important to them. One at a time, ask them to share their screen and explain the photo and why it matters. You can ask participants to upload the photos in a shared photo album so people can look at them leisurely.

27. Ten Common Things

This is a wonderful activity to help teams discover what they have in common. With common interests, experiences, or beliefs, teams can come together more quickly each day.

The work is in how teams identify the ten commonalities that they share. This exercise requires at least one person to act as a team leader for each team and draw out the common aspects of the group.

How to host the activity: Divide the online group into even or nearly even teams. Split them into breakout rooms and give them the instructions.

Each team must devise a list of ten things they have in common. The list can be put in a shared document or presented on a virtual whiteboard.

You can provide various prompts or idea-starters to help teams get going. Having each team member brainstorm on a piece of paper or sticky note first can also help.

Holiday-Themed Team-Building Activities

Holidays are a great time for teams to get together and celebrate festive times of year. Team-building activities during these occasions are a wonderful way to connect and share in the special season.

When planning holiday-related activities, be mindful of the diversity of the group. You should not highlight one specific religion or culture, such as having an “online Christmas party.” Keep the events nondenominational and help everyone feel welcome to participate.

28. Cookie decorating

Cookie parties are a popular tradition around the holidays in many cultures. Festive decorations and bright colors are a great way to spread some cheer. At many of these parties, participants swap cookies, going home with a delicious sampler of sweet treats.

While participants in a virtual cookie decorating party won’t be able to share, they can certainly show off their creativity.

How to host the activity: One service offers pre-made kits that can be sent to each participant, complete with cookies, icing, nozzles, and sprinkles. While participants log on to Zoom, a facilitator can tell stories, provide tips, and encourage creativity.

If your budget does not provide for sending cookie kits to everyone, ask people to make their own ahead of time or use store-bought cookies. Ask participants to share their favorite creations or favorite cookie recipes with others.

29. Message in a Blanket

The holidays are often a time for giving and giving back. There are many ways for virtual teams to band together to serve their communities or a common cause. The collective act of giving can build a sense of shared purpose and connection.

One interesting idea is to ask team members to make blankets and share a message of hope. Blankets are a powerful source of comfort for children in a hospital or foster care. If they’ve experienced a traumatic event, a blanket can be a way to handle uncertainty, fear, and chaotic transitions.

How to host the activity: The Message in a Blanket activity lets team members working remotely to have a shared task. Participants are sent kits from which they will build blankets for the recipient organization. They can also record a message for the recipient that’s affixed to a special video patch on each blanket.

A facilitator can talk about the recipient organization, its impact on the community it serves, and why it was chosen. The activity takes about 45-60 minutes to complete.

30. Movie night (or day)

It’s easy to watch a movie together online. Simply queue up the movie and enable chat.

How to host the activity: Many third-party apps let you sync a movie video and sound over a shared viewing platform. You can try to do this yourself but lag issues can be a problem.

This activity can be held at any time during the year, obviously. However, during the holidays, when work slows down and there may be a lack of motivation, a surprise movie day can be a fun reward. You may want to watch a classic holiday movie, as long as it’s culturally appropriate for the group.

Learning-based team-building activities

While most of your virtual team-building activities should not focus directly on work, it’s OK to have a few that are opportunities to learn something.

31. Spread the Knowledge

Peer-to-peer learning is a powerful way to build confidence, presentation skills, and employee engagement. Asking employees to share and teach their coworkers something they are good at is an excellent activity for virtual team-building. 

How to host the activity: Ask your employees for suggestions of something they could teach their fellow team members during a video call. The topic can be related to work–a particular skill or software tool (e.g., Excel pivot tables). However, remote workers likely will enjoy sharing a hobby or interest.

An employee might have an extensive comic book collection and grade them as a side hustle. They may be avid woodworkers and can give a virtual tour of their workshop.

32. Virtual book club

Book clubs are a great way to explore, interpret, and discuss shared works of literature. It’s a popular activity for groups to do in person and can achieve the same results online.

Not every employee will want to participate in a book club. Some may come and go, and others may participate every time with every book selected. The book club helps build listening skills, analytical skills, and a shared interest among employees.

How to host the activity: The organizer should gauge interest in a virtual book club and determine an ideal time to meet. Again, time zones may need to come into play here. Many book clubs run themselves, with participants choosing the book and splitting facilitation duties.

33. Language class

This activity helps participants learn a little about each other and cultural differences. It only works if someone on the team speaks a foreign language. All you need is a virtual team software app with a whiteboard function.

It’s an ideal activity if your remote team is global or multilingual.

How to host the activity: Ask someone who speaks a language other than the primary one of the group to act as the lead. They will put a word in their native language on the whiteboard. Other players are invited to guess the word’s meaning.

The lead can then provide, one at a time, clues about the word’s meaning. Whoever guesses the word first wins.

You can play multiple rounds with the same lead or switch it up, meaning it can last as long as you want.

34. Spelling bee

This is an easy activity to conduct virtually and can have unlimited participants. You can run the activity just like an in-person spelling bee.

It’s a friendly competition that will ultimately crown a champion.

How to host the activity: Compile a list of words from one of the many online word lists. You may also appoint a judging panel to confirm that players accurately spelled the word.

Set an order for the bee and present the first player with the word. If the player gets it right, they remain in the competition. If they get it wrong, the next player has to spell the same word.

Ongoing team-building activities

While many team-building activities are designed to take only a few minutes, others can be sustained efforts. These activities keep teams connected and can reinforce core values or priorities.

35. Virtual team wall

A virtual team wall is a great way to keep remotely based teams connected. A virtual wall can act as a digital bulletin board that lets teams build their own online Wall of Fame.

The content of a virtual team wall can be organically created or focus on categories. There can be space for shoutouts, congratulations, personal achievements, or birthdays.

The wall can be an excellent way for peers to recognize and celebrate each other and connect in a way that’s otherwise hard to do remotely. It could also be used as a memory wall to commemorate special moments the team shared.

How to host the activity: There are many third-party apps that provide virtual team walls. These options are affordable and intuitive to use, and can also be a team-building option for in-person teams. Look for apps that allow for fun engagement, with the addition of photos, emojis, gifs, memes, and video.

36. Whose Office Is It?

With employees doing remote work, there’s little opportunity to stop by their office or cubicle and chat. This office trivia exercise lets people share a photo of their office space and a bit of their personality. It’s designed to help people get to know each other better.

How to host the activity: Ask each person to take a picture of their workspace in its natural state. That means no cleaning up and including the mess, coffee cups, paper piles, pictures, office supplies, and tchotchkes present.

Every time the team gets together for a meeting or huddle, put up one photo of one home office. Ask team members to guess whose setup is profiled and end with the big reveal. Encourage teammates to ask questions and for the officeholder to share a bit about their space.

37. Pin the Map

A great way to have teams get to know each other is to share a bit about their background. In Pin the Map, teammates share their hometown, where they studied, where they are located, or another geography-based inquiry. This is a quick way to break the ice and learn a bit more about each other.

How to host the activity: Start by creating an editable Google Map. Ask each person to pin their answers to where they were born, live today, or the other queries you decide to use. You can then share the map and ask people to share, or guess who pinned which pins. While this is a quick icebreaker, you can use different colored pins and make it an ongoing activity by changing the questions asked.

38. Lunch Roulette

Remote employees often find it hard to get to know each other. Lunch Roulette helps solve that problem. It’s a popular Slack app but can be replicated using other platforms.

How to host the activity: Randomly assign teammates to a shared lunch, either using an app or manually. At a predetermined time, teammates join the virtual space and enjoy lunch together. It can be a regularly featured activity that over time allows teammates to break bread with many others.

39. Online board games

When the team needs time to play a game together, great options are available online. Some of these services can be played within a game platform. Others use Zoom, Slack, Teams or other audio/video platforms.

How to host the activity: There are plenty of options to choose from, including classics such as Scattergories, Clue, Scrabble and Jenga 3D. Codenames is another popular choice while others, such as Rento, are a variation of a well-known game (Monopoly). Pictionary-style games are also an option. You can even play Battleship using a spreadsheet program and this free template.

These are very easy to set up or have employees create games or tournaments on their own. Team members could get together virtually as often as they want and build Legos together, or put together jigsaw puzzles.

40. Virtual campfire

If you want your remote team to enjoy a relaxing time alongside a roaring virtual campfire, there’s an app for that. With a tiny campfire, you can use Zoom to create a virtual camping experience without the fire risk.

How to host the activity: The company’s 90-minute events work for teams of all sizes. They’ll send each participant a kit with ingredients to make two s’mores, a campfire-scented candle, and a s’mores how-to guide. Or you can do it yourself and have each participant light a candle and make their own s’mores.

41. Big talk

This can be a structured or unstructured conversation that lets teammates discuss current events. You can take about ten minutes at the start of team meetings to organize a conversation about global events or a topical item in the news. It’s a structure that’s best fit for small groups.

How to host the activity: Encourage each participant to share their opinion on the event that’s the topic of focus. Ask each person to speak for a minute or two and leave five minutes for general conversation. There’s a need to be careful here about topics that may be too political or make it uncomfortable for people who are in the minority view.

42. Critical thinking

This exercise asks people to flex their mental muscles. There are no right answers to any of these questions that boost critical thinking. However, by asking employees to defend their answers, you help them learn to advocate for themselves and persuade others.

How to host the activity: Plan for two to three minutes per person. Ask each person to answer the question and defend their response in the allotted time. The challenge is to find good, thought-provoking questions.

One example: You can choose to solve one world problem in a day. Which one would you choose?

Another: You are in a dark cabin and have one match. Do you light the candle, lamp or fireplace?

43. Slippers!

This recurring activity will force teams to guess the behaviors and trends of the entire group. It’s also a way to know whether people are keeping their feet warm.

It’s a quick activity that can be done in 5 minutes or less.

How to host the activity: Pick a time to run the activity, usually at the beginning or end of a meeting. One person is secretly designated each time to shout “Slippers!” at a random point. People then need to move their cameras to show if they are wearing slippers or socks, or are barefoot.

If everyone is wearing slippers, everyone gets one point. If only one person is barefoot or wearing socks, they get three points. If more than one person, but not all, are wearing slippers, they get zero points; everyone else gets three points.

Let the game go on for a pre-specified length of time and declare a winner.

44. X or Y questions

This is a recurring activity that’s a good way to kick off weekly virtual meetings. It gives everyone a chance to answer very basic either/or questions and a brief explanation as to why. There are plenty of online lists of questions from which to choose.

How to host the activity: Each week, pick a different X or Y question and ask each person to answer with a brief explanation. These questions are a great way to learn a bit of information about your coworkers and explore commonalities.

Some example questions include, dogs or cats, cash or credit, TV or movies, or Coke or Pepsi.

45. Articulate

This game tests players’ vocabulary and ability to communicate effectively with their teammates. Many virtual teams use this as a regular starter to team meetings and it only takes 10-20 minutes.

You can either develop your own words and phrases or use cards provided by this popular board game.

How to host the activity: Everyone is given a list of ten different words or phrases. Set a timer for one minute. One at a time, players need to describe as many words as they can during the minute. Players cannot use the word itself or “sounds like” or “starts with.”

After the minute is up, points are tallied and the next person goes. The winner is the person who was able to successfully articulate the most words.

Keeping virtual teams connected and engaged is essential. Doing so establishes relationships with each other and builds stronger teams. Stronger virtual teams lead to deeper employee engagement and a more effective team overall.

Gusto Editors Gusto Editors, contributing authors on Gusto, provide actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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