Chapter 10

Remote Team Building Activities

We've put together the ultimate top 10 virtual team building activities list for remote & distributed teams. Includes instructions and handy links.

These days, more and more businesses are looking at building remote workforces with their employees scattered all over the globe. However, it can be difficult to build a cohesive company culture when everyone is located in a different time zone.

The good news is that virtual team building activities aren’t that difficult to organize provided that you have the right tools on hand. Even if you never meet in-person, there are a whole variety of games and activities out there that are both easy to implement and encourage that all-important sense of familiarity between coworkers.

Here are some of the best remote team building activities out there that will go far in helping your team bond, regardless of where they may be.

1) Quizzes/Fun Questions

Objective: Team Bonding & Get To Know One Another

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: Paper, pens & internet.

Quizzes/Fun Questions

Instructions

One of the best ways to bond with a coworker, even if they’re located thousands of miles away, is to ask them a stupid question. It might sound silly asking someone what they’d do if they had a time machine or if they’d rather fight one horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses, but these are exactly the kinds of questions that spark conversation and give us a chance to learn more about a person.

You can take advantage of a tool like Quizbreaker which sends the whole team a bunch of fun question at the start of every week via email, and then everybody is given until the end of the week to try and guess which answer belongs to who.

2) Pin the map

Objective: Team Bonding & Get To Know One Another

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: Paper, pens & internet.

Pin the map

Instructions

Help everyone gain a better understanding of where everyone is located by creating an interactive map of the world. Start it off by asking everybody where they’re born or where they’re currently located and pinning a picture of them to the map.

As time goes by you can color in even more of the map by asking your team questions like what their ideal holiday spot would be, the best place they’ve travelled to, or where their parents are from. This simple team building activity is a great way to break the ice and to help employees learn a lot about each other.

3) Pictionary

Objective: Team Bonding & Communication Skills

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 30 to 60 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

Pictionary

Instructions

Everybody loves the classic board game Pictionary, and the great news is that it’s super easy to play online too! Use something like Skribbl to create your own virtual room for doodling. Just get the team online and you can immediately start playing.

4) Movie/book club

Objective: Team Bonding

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

Movie/book club

Instructions

Who says you need to be a suburban housewife in order to enjoy a book club? Depending on your team’s interests it could just as easily be a movie club, a podcast club, or heck even a fight club!…or maybe not a fight club, because, y’know that first rule and all…

My point is that there’s something about regularly meeting up with a group of people to discuss something that all of you enjoy. It’s a very ordinary activity but it allows everybody a chance to get together and talk about something other than work and, in turn, learn more about each other as individuals and grow closer as a result.

To organize your own book club make sure that your participation is voluntary and that everyone agrees on what book to read. Nothing kills a fledgling club more than mandatory participation.

5) Quirky photo challenges

Objective: Team Bonding & Get To Know One Another

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

Quirky photo challenges

Instructions

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, if that’s the case then we can learn way more about our colleagues with one good picture than we could with dozens of email exchanges. Enter the photo challenge.

Photo challenges are great fun because, quite literally, anyone with a phone these days can join in. To keep it relaxed and fun, set up a Slack channel just for this and start every week with a new photo challenge with anyone being able to post a photo anytime they want. You can make it so that one week the goal is to take a photo of a pet, the following week you need to take a selfie next to a local landmark, the week after the challenge is to take a picture of a book you’re reading, and so on so forth.

These types of team building activities are great because they’re so simple and you can learn so much about another person through the photos they take. Add a little bit more motivation to the mix (if cute animal photos aren’t enough) by picking out the best photo at the end of the month and sending the winner a framed print of their picture.

6) Whose Office Is It Anyway?

Objective: _

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

whose office is it anyway

Instructions

7) Conference Call Trivia

Objective: _

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

Conference Call Trivia

Instructions

8) Online Catchphrases or Charades

Objective: _

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

Online Catchphrases or Charades

Instructions

9) Virtual Bingo

Objective: _

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

Virtual Bingo

Instructions

10) Virtual Diversity Bingo

Objective: _

Participants: 5 - 10

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: _

Virtual Diversity Bingo

Instructions

Conclusion

We hope you've liked our list of the best virtual team building activities for remote & distributed teams.

Try these out and let me know how you go.

Is there one that we've missed that should definitely be in our best of list?

Let me know in the comments below!