Category: Team Building Games

10 Online Virtual Team Building Games for Remote Workers

Online Virtual Team Building Games for Remote Workers

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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.

  1. Live Virtual Office
  2. Show and Tell
  3. Stranded on an Island
  4. How Well do You Know Me?
  5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
  6. Art Instructions
  7. Surprise Craft Challenge
  8. Desk Gardens
  9. What Do I Have Here?
  10. That’s Right John

Virtual Team Building Events - Remote Team Building

Virtual Team Building Games

 

1. Live Virtual Office

Live Virtual Office Virtual Team Building Game

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

Show and Tell Virtual Team Building Game

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

Stranded on an Island Virtual Team Building Game

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?

How Well Do You Know Me Virtual Team Building Game

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

Scavenger Hunt Virtual Team Building Activity

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

Art Instructions Virtual Team Building Activity

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

Surprise Craft Challenge Virtual Team Building Activity

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

Desk Garden Virtual Team Building Game

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?

What Do I Have Here Virtual Team Building Game

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

That's Right John Virtual Team Building Game

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.

 

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Easy to Set Up Fun Games that You Can Use for Team Building

Easy to Set Up Fun Games that You Can Use for Team Building

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Games and fun activities are tried and tested ways of getting your team members to know each other better. They can also be used as an icebreaker before a team building event, conference or meeting.

The following are fun games that are easy to set up and can be used for team building or as an icebreaker.

Team Building Games

  • Burst my Bubble
  • Guess the Celebrity
  • Lucky Sevens
  • Peg Tag
  • Clap Clap

Burst my Bubble Team Building Game

Burst my Bubble Team Building Game

The Burst My Bubble game works best in smaller teams of 8-15 members. This activity is very similar to other tag games, with the exception that, instead of touching the person with your  hand, you have to jump around and pop their balloons. This activity is fairly easy to set up and the only equipment needed is balloons and some string. Burst My Bubble is a fast pace and high energy game that is loads of fun.

Before the start of the game cut a length of string, between 40 to 60cm long, for each team member participating. Gather the team together and hand out a balloon and a peace of string to each team member. Each participant must inflate their balloon, tie off the ends, and attach one end of the string to the balloon. The other end of the string must be securely tied around an ankle of the team member. Some space must be left between the ankle and the balloon to ensure that the participants don’t stomp on each other’s ankles by accident.

When your team is ready, you can shout “Go” and everyone should be trying to stomp on and pop everybody else’s balloon. At the same time they must prevent others from stomping on their own balloon. When a team member’s balloon is popped, they are eliminated and must step aside from the game. You can place a time limit on the game or play until the last person with their balloon still intact remains standing. The winner is the last person remaining who has their balloon still intact.

As a variation to the Burst My Bubble game, you can have the participants attach two balloons, one on each ankle. This will give each team member two changes to survive, as they are then only eliminated when both their balloons are popped. You can also have all the participants stand in a circle and holding hands. If both the balloons of a participant have been popped, they are eliminated and must leave the circle. The rest of the remaining participants will reform the circle and continue with the game.

The following are some examples of debriefing questions you can ask the team after the game:

  • Did you have any kind of strategy to avoid being tagged or in tagging somebody else?
  • Were you eliminated quickly?
  • During the game, were you aware of any collaborations going on with other members of the team? Why do you think this happened?
  • How do you think the behaviour of all the team members during the game reflects on the team as a whole.

Guess the Celebrity Team Building Game

Guess the Celebrity Team Building Game

Guess the Celebrity is an audience-style game which encourages team members to use their creative and collaborative skills. This fun and playful activity is simple to play. It is suitable for larger teams and will encourage your team to use their critical-thinking skills.

Required props for the Guess the Celebrity team building game:

  • Index cards or labels
  • List of famous and/or celebrity names
  • Marker
  • Sticky tape or hats

In preparation for the game, collect some blank labels or index cards and write some celebrity names on each of them. Add some lesser-known names to make the game more challenging. To start the game, get the team to sit together facing 4 chairs. Ask 4 volunteers to sit in the chairs facing the rest of the team. They will represent the first four celebrities or famous people. Take four cards with the celebrity names on them, and stick them on each of the volunteer’s foreheads without them seeing what is written on the cards. Make sure that everybody else on the team can see the cards clearly.

The objective of the Celebrity game is for each volunteer to uncover the identity of the person written on the card attached to their forehead. They must ask the audience a number of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to which they are only allowed to reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The first ‘celebrity’ will ask a question which the audience will answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and then next celebrity will get their turn to ask a question. This will continue until one of the ‘celebrities’ can correctly guess who they are. You can then have the team member that guessed correctly swap places with someone in the audience and continue the game. Alternatively, you can wait until all 4 ‘celebrities’ guessed correctly before swapping them with 4 new players. You may want to limit the number of questions to 10 or less to ensure that the game does not carry on for too long.

For larger teams, you can increase the number of chairs up to eight chairs. You may also want to get hold of some caps or hats so that you do not have to stick cards directly to the participant’s forehead. If one of the participants gets a lesser known celebrity and is struggling, it is fine to add some clues to help them out.

The following are some debriefing questions you can ask your team after the Guess the Celebrity team building game:

  • What was it like to know that others knew something you did not?
  • As an audience member, what was it like to know something that others did not?
  • Thinking of situations in your life, was there a time when you were left in the dark about something? Was there something significant you learned from the situation?

Lucky Sevens Team Building Game

Lucky Sevens Team Building Game

Lucky Sevens is a fun and easy counting game that requires no props and will help improve your teams listening skills. It is a very effective team building ice-breaker game. Although this game will seriously test your math skills, it also involves a lot of fun and laughter.

Have all the team members come together and form a circle. Explain to everyone that they must start counting from 1 to 100. Each person must say a number, to the next and so on. Moving to the left of each member in the circle. Every time they come to the number seven, or multiples of seven, they have to say the word ‘Lucky’ instead of the number. If a mistake is made the entire team must start counting from the beginning again. The team member to the left of the one that made the mistake must restart the game. You can play this game for about 10 minutes or you can try and see how far the team gets without making a mistake.

As a variation to the game, instead of saying the word ‘lucky’, have the team member clap their hands instead. You can also have the team change direction every time the word ‘lucky’ is said. O increase the difficulty level of the game, you can add another number, for example number 3. You can then also add another word for the additional number. To make it more of competitive exercise, you can have the team member that makes a mistake eliminated when they make a mistake, and last one standing is declared the winner.

Peg Tag Team Building Game

Peg Tag Team Building Game

Another version of the ever popular ‘Tag’ style team building games, Peg Tag involves lots of fun and energetic running and swerving. The only prop needed for this activity is a big bag of clothes-pegs.

You will need enough clothes-pegs so that each member of the team will have four to eight pegs each. Hand out the pegs to each member of the team and instruct them to pin the clothes-pegs anywhere they like on their clothing. They must pinned somewhere that is accessible, preferably on the upper body, like the arms, the back or front of the clothes.

When you say ‘Go’, the participants must first remove the clothes-pegs from themselves and then attempt to fasten them onto another team member’s clothes. This has to happen one clothe peg at a time, all the other clothes-pegs need to stay fastened onto their own clothing and can only be removed once they have placed the first peg onto somebody else’s clothes. Make sure that everyone in the team must understand that the intention must be to fasten the peg to someone’s clothing, and not onto somebody’s body. Bring to everyone’s attention that when used incorrectly and attached in the wrong place, the peg can cause harm and hurt someone. If a peg falls to the ground, the peg belongs to the one attempting to fasten it to another member’s clothes.

The team members will soon discover that you can’t only concentrate on placing pegs on other participants, as other team members are cunningly looking to fasten pegs to your clothing when they  least expect it. You can continue the game as long as you like. When the game is stopped, have each team member count the number of clothes-pegs still remaining on their clothes. The winner is the member with the least number of pegs attached to their clothes.

You can also divide the group into teams, and let them count the number of pegs each team has accumulated when the game is over. The winning team, is the team with the most pegs. The game can also be played in reverse, with the aim being for each person to see how many pegs they are able to take from other team members and fasten them on their own clothing.

Clap Clap Team Building Game

Clap Clap Team Building Game

In this team game the challenge is to follow a sequence of different clapping movements. The movements increase in difficulty as a the game progresses. This activity is similar to the clapping games that school children used to play during their break times. The activity requires a high degree of coordination, but the objective of the game is not only about doing it correctly. You will find that this activity has many other benefits such as fun, enjoyment, cooperation and friendly competition.

To start the game, get your team to form into pairs. Ask the whole team to gather around so you can teach them all the moves.  Arrange the moves into smaller section, starting with the first move then adding more. The moves involve clapping once, then twice and then three times, and then clapping down again, 3-2-1. Then you start all over again.

Perform only one section of the routine at a time, and then get all the other pairs to try it out. Explain and perform the movements a number of times, and allow the pairs to practice on their own. As soon as all the team members are completing the sections correctly, they can try the complete routine all at once.

Let the team try the basic moves out with no time penalties and once you are confident that most of the group have mastered the moves, you can begin the challenge. You can let all the pairs commence the activity simultaneously or they can perform individually. The performances can also be timed if you want.

The following are some examples of questions you can ask the team after the completion of the game:

  • What was the most challenging part of the game?
  • Was it difficult to master all the moves successfully with your partner?
  • Do you think there is something you can learn from this game, as an individual, and as a team?

More Team Building Activities

The games we discussed are easy to set up and facilitate. For more complex  team building activities where everyone can participate, we advise that you use an experienced team building facilitator. Our team building events can also focus on a specific outcome such as leadership, communication, creative thinking, cooperation, resilience etc.

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