The Ultimate Guide to Remote Team Bonding: Top 10 Virtual Activities & Ideas

The struggles are real… Burnout is at an all-time high. Employee engagement is getting harder to nurture. And team morale is all over the place. What started off as “a few weeks of working from home” has somehow shape shifted into a Magic 8 ball that keeps spitting up “future unclear, try again later” whenever we shake it with angst and frustration!

Let’s face it—things aren’t returning to normal anytime soon and we won’t be socializing in the ways that we’re used to. However, fear not, we have a little something called technology which, despite its qualms, enables us to have fun in many creative ways. Despite its many challenges, COVID-19 is no excuse to de-prioritize team bonding! In fact, I would say it is more important now than ever before.

Let’s go into 10 different ideas that you can try out with your teams and visit bit.ly/virtual-team-activities to view PDFs and details!

Disclaimer: Please note that this post includes affiliate links which may provide a commission to me at no cost to you. These are indicated by ⭐️ and may include a special discount code or promotional offer for you to use).

Virtual Escape Rooms

Perhaps locking yourself up in a room with other people may not be the best idea right now, but problem solving with puzzles and riddles is always a blast! Many vendors have introduced Virtual Escape rooms in a variety of themes that you can easily host on Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Hangouts (as long as the breakout room functionality is available).

Name & LinkDetails
⭐️ Outback Team Building
Get custom pricing depending on time (1-3 hrs) for Clue Murder Mystery, Team Pursuit, and Code Break activities. Outback is popular with companies like Microsoft, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, and more!
Sports Social$20 CAD/ppl
Retreatify$20+ CAD/ppl (Contact)
Team BondersContact for pricing
Ryptic Team Building$25-60 USD/pp (Contact)
AdVenture Games$25-80 CAD/pp (Contact)
Green Hat People£20-60/pp (Contact)
Canada Team Building$35-260/pp
Virtual Escape Games$10-20 USD/pp (Contact)
Conundrum AdventuresContact for pricing (PDF)

Arts & Crafts Nights

You might’ve attended an in-person Paint Night in the past, but there are ways for you to plan a Virtual one! There are also external organizers who will ship supplies to your doorstep.

If you’re looking for a DIY approach:

  1. Find an instructor (maybe someone on your team has a hidden artistic talent)
  2. Create a list of supplies needed (e.g. paint brush, paint colours, canvas, etc…)
  3. Ask your team members to purchase the needed supplies on their own and expense the costs by a deadline
  4. Set up a remote meeting and ask everyone to turn on their cameras and microphones
  5. Encourage everyone to have some wine and have some fun; do a show and tell!

If you’re looking for an externally organized event:

Name & LinkDetails
⭐️ Crave Workshops$100 USD/guest (includes instructor, supplies, and shipping) for 90-120 minute workshops including Tie Dye, Botanical Printing, Block Printing, and Cyanotypes.

Click here to view details and click here to book (make sure to mention KKARENISM).
Tray Arts$1,200 CAD for 12 guests ($65/additional guest)
Use “KARENISM” for a 10% discount (until Dec 31, 2020)
(Contact)
Paint CabinContact for pricing
Yaymaker$89-109/pp (min 15 ppl)
Fresh Paint StudioContact for pricing
Crafts & GigglesContact for pricing

Improv & Communication

Although it could be a bit outside of our comfort zones, improv is a fun and great way for us to develop our public speaking and communication skills by pushing us to think on the spot. Try out an Improv workshop where the facilitators will take your team through some activities to boost engagement and creativity!

Name & LinkDetails
⭐️ Outback Team BuildingGet custom pricing for team communication workshops. Outback is popular with companies like Microsoft, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, and more!
Canada Team Building$6,300-10,000 CAD per workshop
Jet City Improv$1,000-1,500 USD per workshop
Team BondingContact for pricing
THEY ImprovContact for pricing
Improv to ImproveContact for pricing
Power of YesContact for pricing
Retreatify$20+ CAD/pp (Contact)

Game Shows & Trivia

We love watching people squirm under pressure playing games like Family Feud, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and more. Why not introduce a fun and engaging way to stimulate some friendly competition between team members?

If you’re looking for a DIY approach:

  1. Use Factile to create an online Jeopardy-style quiz game board in minutes (Tip: Kahoot! is great for trivia)
  2. Book a time for the event
  3. Split your attendees into teams
  4. Have fun!

If you’re looking for an externally organized event:

Name & LinkDetails
⭐️ Outback Team BuildingContact for pricing about the Game Show Extravaganza where virtual teams can go head-to-head in this virtual game show activity. Together, teams will need to tackle photo and trivia challenges covering everything from pop culture to politics. Outback is popular with companies like Microsoft, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, and more!
Yaymaker$29-44 CAD/pp (min 15 ppl)
Team BondersContact for pricing
Retreatify$20+ CAD/pp (Contact)
Ryptic Team Building$25-60 USD/pp (Contact)
AdVenture Games
$25 CAD/pp (Contact)
Canada Team Building$35-260 CAD/pp

Virtual Wine & Cooking

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! If your team is missing those Happy Hours that you used to have, why not bring the Happy Hour to them?

*Disclaimer: Make sure you read and adhere to your corporate policies regarding alcohol.

If you’re looking for a DIY approach:

  1. Send out an invite for a Virtual Happy Hour (after work hours of course)
  2. Gift each team member a gift card to Costco, Superstore, Co-op (anywhere that has a liquor store)
  3. Ask team members to go out and purchase their favourite drink
  4. Sip and socialize!

If you’re looking for an externally organized event:

Name & LinkDetails
Yaymaker$90-170 CAD/pp (min 15 ppl)
Team BondingContact for pricing
Retreatify$20+ CAD/pp (Contact)

Team Talent Show

Everyone has interesting skills and talents that we don’t always talk about at work. Hosting a Team Talent Show is meant to be fun and engaging because the talent is sourced in-house. Also, it is free and fairly easy to plan (after you give a little encouragement to your peers). You would be surprised at how talented your colleagues are at singing, dancing, or even butterfly knife tricks!

  1. Send out a form inviting anyone and everyone with a cool skill or talent to sign up and perform
  2. Send out a calendar invite to the entire team inviting them to spectate
  3. Introduce prizes or provide a gift card for team members to order food for the event
  4. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Hobby Clubs

We all have hobbies, and chances are that we share them with some of our peers! Pre-COVID, we would talk about these during lunch hours, breaks, or by the water cooler. However, post-COVID, we might need to be a bit more purposeful about these conversations.

Hobby Club Ideas: Book Club, Movie/Netflix Series Club, Dance/Zumba/Yoga Club, Arts & Craft Club

How to Get Started

  1. Send out a form inviting people to sign up for your hobby club
  2. Create a meet and greet event to do ice breakers and introduce expectations
  3. Set up a recurring meeting invite to meet up and discuss your chosen topics

Online Games

Sometimes, we just want to have fun without too much overhead. Below are some sites and apps that you can use for smaller groups*.

Name & LinkDetails
Minecraft Meet Up$30-35 CAD/pp (Download Minecraft)
PictionaryFree (12 ppl per game)
Among UsFree (10 ppl per game)
JackBox$6-100 (up to 8 ppl per game)
*Minecraft Meetup can be for large groups

Team Building & Development

If you’re looking for a DIY approach

Perfect for refreshing expectations under COVID-19 circumstances, my team hosted this session recently, and it was an awesome way for us to get to know each other and our new remote work preferences. We talked about our personality types, preferred communication styles and methods, likes and pet peeves when it comes to work, and more!

Ultimately, this is a free and easy way for you to build your awareness of your team members’ work preferences so that you can collaborate more effectively with them.

Feel free to use this handy dandy Presentation Template!

If you’re looking for an externally organized event:

Name & LinkDetails
⭐️ Outback Team BuildingGet custom pricing for workshops like StrengthsFinder, DISC, Myers-Briggs, Negotiation, etc…. Outback is popular with companies like Microsoft, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, and more!

Ultimate Holiday Party

Holiday Parties are wonderful for bringing everyone together, recognizing amazing team members and achievements, and having fun (with a bit of alcohol mixed into it)! In lieu of fancy holiday galas in convention centres and ballrooms, there are still many ideas for you to host a Holiday Event remotely.

  1. Set a time and date and encourage your team members to invite their families to enjoy the virtual festivities
  2. Plan out Awards and Recognitions (create virtual certificates and introduce awesome prizes)
  3. Arrange for a virtual photobooth with fun backgrounds (families can wear their ugly holiday sweaters and pose for the webcam)
  4. Invite a Caricature Artist to draw live portraits of your team members
  5. Send every team member an UberEats or SkipTheDishes gift certificate and a bottle of wine for the evening
  6. Set up a virtual team activity, such as Holiday Hijinks, to stimulate some fun and engagement (refer to the rest of this blog)
  7. Host a Virtual Talent Show by inviting your team members to showcase some of their most unique talents (you’d be surprised by some of the cool and crazy skills out there)
  8. Set aside a budget for door prizes and use a random name generator to pick winners from the list of attendees (then you can mail these out)
  9. Send Virtual Candy Grams to show your appreciation for your team members (e.g. gift cards)
  10. Set up a Raffle Fundraiser (e.g. Wine Survivor) where people can purchase tickets and all proceeds will go to a non-profit or charity that the team votes on

What’s Next?

Now that you have read this blog post, you have no more excuses for putting off team bonding activities or cancelling Holiday festivities. Even if you don’t have a big budget, there are many ways to DIY if you put in a little effort and let those creative juices flow.

If you are simply too busy and need someone to coordinate your next virtual event booking for you, I am offering my services for a limited time!

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