Technology has made remote working a popular option and with it the need for effective online virtual team building games.
For all the benefits of working with virtual teams, one of the major challenges of working remotely is the lack of social interaction. Members of virtual teams often feel isolated and it can be challenging to create and maintain team morale for remote workers. To overcome these challenges, virtual team building games are essential.
The approach to remote team building is different from in-person team building as your team is never in the same room together. But virtual team building games can be just as effective as in-person team building games. Remote team building games promote employee happiness, staff retention, and increase productivity.
The following are some of our favorite online virtual team building games that can easily be applied to most virtual team situations.
- Live Virtual Office
- Show and Tell
- Stranded on an Island
- How Well do You Know Me?
- Virtual Scavenger Hunt
- Art Instructions
- Surprise Craft Challenge
- Desk Gardens
- What Do I Have Here?
- That’s Right John
Virtual Team Building Games
1. Live Virtual Office
Setting up a Live Virtual Office will help your virtual team members experience the office feel without physically being in an office.
The Live Virtual Office game is set up using video chat. The first team member to go online for work starts a video chat that the rest of the team can join. As the rest of the team goes online, they join the video chat. As they join the chat they are essentially arriving at the virtual office.
The Live Virtual Office game mimic’s an office environment, offering a virtual place where members are working on their tasks but still feeling part of a bigger team. Seeing other members of the team hard at work will inspire and motivate all the virtual team members to stay focused and productive.
2. Show and Tell
In the “Show and Tell” virtual team building game, the virtual team members show each other their homes. This is usually a very effective and often funny way for remote team members to get to know each other better.
It is relatively easy to implement with the only requirement being that each virtual team member take a short video tour of their home and some of their prized possessions.
It is a very effective way to help virtual team members to get to know each other on a more personal level, creating feelings of belonging and friendship in the team.
Instead of everybody showing their videos at one meeting, you can also allow one team member to show their home at the beginning of each week’s virtual team meeting.
3. Stranded on an Island
In the “Stranded on an Island” virtual team building game, the team members are told that they are stranded on an island with seven objects, but they can only choose three. The objects should be chosen in such a way that the team members are challenged to think and strategize. Some examples of items are vegetable seeds, 2 liters of kerosene, a pocket knife, a bag of fruit, a bed sheet, etc.
You can also split the team into groups to allow them to work together to decide what items to choose. When all the team members have made their choice, arrange a team video chat where the members can share what they choose and why they choose those objects.
This virtual team building game will help create a sense of teamwork and excitement in the team. It also demonstrates to the team how working together can help your team produce better results.
4. How Well Do You Know Me?
The “How Do You Know Me” virtual team building game is another effective way for virtual team members to get to know each other better. The game helps in particular for team members to learn more about each other’s interests outside of work.
Each virtual team member receives a list of personal facts. Next to each personal fact is an empty column where each employee will guess which team member the fact belongs to.
After every team member submitted their guesses, the answers are sent through to the team members so that they can see how well they guessed.
You can also use a group video chat for this activity. As the facilitator, you will open the sheet on your computer and share your screen while the other team members try to guess the answers. As the answer is guessed correctly, you can fill in the empty column.
5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
The “Virtual Scavenger Hunt” virtual team building game starts by dividing the team into groups. Each team receives an identical list of tasks to complete. The groups can then divide the tasks among themselves and go on the hunt to complete each task. A photo must be sent through to prove that a task was completed by a team member. You can have all the teams submit their photos to the company chat group.
Some examples of tasks are: taking a photo of your reflection, getting a stranger to do a yoga pose with you, wearing a funny hat or other pieces of clothing, etc.
This virtual team building activity is a fun way for your team to collaborate and boost team spirit. Team members also get to know each other better and learn to utilize each other’s strengths and skills.
6. Art Instructions
The “Art Instructions” virtual team building game is usually played in a virtual conference room. One person is nominated to be the instructor and the rest of the team will be the artists.
Using a random image generator, the art instructor must describe the image to the rest of the team in such a way that they can draw it successfully. The catch is that the instructor may only use geometric shapes to describe the image. For example, the image of the letter “E” can be described as “draw a large circle and then three triangles horizontally below each other”.
The importance of effective online communication is highlighted in this virtual team building game. The instructor needs to exercise accurate communication and the artists need to listen and interpret the instructions. This is a really fun way for virtual teams to practice their communication skills.
7. Surprise Craft Challenge
The “Surprise Craft Challenge” virtual team building game begins with bringing all the team members on a virtual call. You then let them know that each team member has 30 minutes to build something from the materials that they have available at home.
Team members could make pasta art, a doodle or a poem. The idea is not to make something worthy of display in the art gallery, but to get your team’s creative juices following and encourage them to interact with each other.
8. Desk Gardens
In the “Desk Gardens” virtual team building game, your team members have to plant and cultivate a “scrappy garden” form scratch. You can make this a competition for over a month. They can sow seeds from fruit snacks, propagate vegetables or flowers.
By the end of the month, you can see who has green fingers and your virtual team’s desks will be a little greener.
9. What Do I Have Here?
The “What Do I Have Here?” virtual team building game is a quick and easy storytelling game. While on a virtual team call, each team member grabs a random object in arms-length and creates a story about it.
The story should be an exaggeration about what makes that object amazing. For example, an alarm clock could be described as a relic from ancient Egypt which you discovered on an archaeological expedition.
10. That’s Right John
The “That’s Right John” is a quick online virtual team building game. In the game, everyone on the team work’s at the same news station that has a wild and creative story to tell.
The first team member shares a simple news story with no more than a sentence or two, for example, “the cat was stuck in the tree”. The next team member must then say “that’s right John”, repeat the original and then ads to it. Each team member continues to add to the story until it becomes too long to repeat or you call for a commercial break.
This virtual team building game is an effective way to engage your team. It helps your team to communicate creatively. It is a quick and easy to implement and usually created a lot of laughter.