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Virtual Team Building Activities

More and more of us are setting ourselves up in remote working environments. Whether that’s in a local café, a home study or the bedroom, the beauty of modern technology means it’s now easier than ever to grind the 9 to 5 without the need to step into the office. When working remotely, making sure your team still has an opportunity to connect, bond and have fun with each other is vital for productivity and a happy workplace so why not treat them to a virtual team building activity?

What is Virtual Team Building?

Virtual team building is a brilliant way to connect with your colleagues without the need to leave your remote desk. There are tons of fun and innovative ways to bond with each other online. Perhaps you’re looking for some ice breakers to connect people across different departments. Or maybe you’re missing Friday drinks and want to let your hair down via video call. Whatever it is, a virtual team-building experience will offer a welcome break to your team and promote a healthy working relationship.

Why Is Virtual Team Building Important?

While there are tons of benefits to a remote career, there is nothing quite like that real human connection that you get from seeing your team every day. As the employer, providing good team-building opportunities will spur productivity, boost morale and reward hard work. For employees, it’s a chance to catch up with colleagues, meet people from other departments and have some fun away from the office environment. So, what if your team works remotely? Virtual team building has come into its own since more and more companies have been moving their workforce online. Working from home can be lonely, so it’s hugely important to keep your teams connected online – and that doesn’t just mean video conferences!

Virtual Ice Breakers

A virtual ice breaker is perfect for pretty much any occasion. Whether you’re welcoming a new member into the team, you want to connect with people from different departments or you simply want to regroup after the weekend, an online icebreaker will help you get to know one another just that little bit better. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Through the Keyhole

Similar to the popular British comedy series from the 80s, Through the Keyhole for the office is a fantastic way of learning more about your colleagues' home environment. Depending on the size of your team, pick five to ten people who will be happy to take a picture of something in their home. It must be something that they feel represents them without giving too much away. For example, perhaps they’ve got a funky sofa or a wacky garden ornament. It will then be up to the rest of the team to determine whose house is whose! This team-building activity can be done over an instant messenger such as Skype or Slack. Or you can set up a team video conference and discuss your answers all together!

10 Questions

This one is as simple as it gets. Come up with a list of fun ice breaker questions and take it in turns to answer them. This not only gives everyone the opportunity to speak but will help create bonds over similar likes and dislikes. Questions could be a little wacky. For example: Who is your celebrity crush? or What item would you want with you on a deserted island? Or you could pick something more work-related. For example: What was your first job? and What did you want to me when you grew up?
To do this virtually, set up a video call with your team at a time that suits the regular working day. If you ask each colleague in turn, it will help you avoid the chaos of everybody speaking at once!

Virtual Breaks for Teams

If you’re working remotely, it can be easy to forget to take regular breaks or stick to normal working hours. You may have a big project that you want to give just an extra ten minutes to at the end of the day, or you might feel you need to work through lunch in order to meet a deadline. Working overtime is okay now and again but be aware that you probably aren’t being paid extra and you don’t want to risk those extra ten minutes extending and eating into the rest of your evening.
That’s why virtual breaks with your team are a fantastic way to check in on each other and make sure you’re not suffering from burnout.

Virtual Coffee Break for Teams

If you’re working from home, you may be missing out on the coffee breaks that are often held in the office kitchen or break room. A virtual coffee break is a great way to enjoy a fifteen-minute respite from the busy day, even from home. You can keep the meeting non-work related and try some of the ice breaking virtual team building ideas mentioned above. You can use it discuss any challenges you may be facing or offer some inspirational tips to boost team morale.

Virtual Lunch for Teams

You may be unable to pop out to your favourite café at lunchtime if you’re working remotely, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a noontime meal with your colleagues. Schedule in an hour to sit down with each other via video call and treat yourself to your favourite lunch. You could keep it simple with sandwiches, last night’s leftovers or whip up something delicious to make your colleagues jealous.

Virtual Drinks for Teams

There is nothing quite like an after-work session at the pub to unwind from the day, and with the help of modern technology, you can still enjoy the team bonding benefits of Friday drinks from the comfort of your home office.

When is the Best Time to Run a Virtual Team Building Event?

Chances are your workload is heavy and your time is precious, so it can be difficult to determine the right time to organise a virtual team-building event. Should it be every Monday morning? 4pm on a Friday? Maybe you’re wondering if your colleagues even want to catch up with each other. One thing to always keep in mind, and to remind your team, is that there should never be any obligation to attend. Just like physical team building activities, your workmates are adults and should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to join in. (Although, if they are stuck working from home, they will probably love the opportunity to do something a little different!) So, when it comes to picking a time, it’s best to give your team advanced notice. This way they will be prepared for any quizzes or challenges you throw at them and opt out if they want to. Even better, using free online survey software will help you determine what time best suits your colleagues. You may find that first thing on a Monday morning and last thing on a Friday is not the best time to host an event, in which case, you can determine something which suits the majority.

Who Should Attend the Online Team Building Event?

Your initial answer to this question is probably: ‘Everyone!’ And of course, in an ideal world, the whole company would be invited to an online team building event. However, questions may arise around whether managers, bosses and CEOs should get involved. This answer depends on what type of company you are. If you have offices all over the world, it might not be possible to get everybody into one Zoom or Skype chat at the same time. What’s more, your CEOs might just be too busy join in! If you are a manager, you may want to let your team catch up amongst themselves, in which case, you could assign the task of organising to one of your employees. If you’re running a virtual coffee morning, then it might be easier – and less chaotic – to keep it within your department. However, if you’re celebrating a leaving do or welcoming a new starter, it might be fun to get as many people as possible on board!

Rules and Regulations for Virtual Team Building

Yes, this is the boring bit, but important to avoid any confusion with staff members. If you’re running a virtual team building event, then the same rules in the office should apply. This means no swearing, no bullying and no nudity! This isn’t to say you can’t have fun. Unlike the office, you can bring silly costumes and pets into your camera if you want to. Perhaps you want to take part in Virtual Chocolate Making, in which case, a full suit and tie won’t be necessary. Similarly, if you’re attending a virtual team building event with the head CEO of the company, you might want to change out of your pyjamas and into something a little more sophisticated! Another thing to bear in mind is the amount of virtual team building events you throw. If you are cramming in too many, then your team will not have enough time to work!

The Best Virtual Team Building Activities

At Fizzbox, we understand the importance of hosting a great remote team building session, that’s why we are excited to offer a variety of fun team building activities and ideas that you and your team can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Here’s our pick of the best remote team building activities: