I’ll never forget the moment I witnessed our first online team building game that completely transformed the way our team worked together.
As a team leader, I was constantly searching for ways to build a stronger sense of community and connection among my remote team members. Despite my best efforts, I noticed that communication and collaboration often fell short, and team morale began to suffer.
That’s when our HR suggested playing online team building games as an employee engagement activity, and it completely changed the game for us.
I was initially skeptical, but after trying a few games with my team, the impact was immediate and astonishing.
My team members are suddenly more engaged, connected, and motivated to work together.
Here is the list of online team games I curated based on feedback from employees. The goal is to boost engagement, improve communication, and strengthen team cohesion.
Online Team Building Games to strengthen team bonding
1. Company Got Talent
Time frame : Multi-month
Everyone is born with a talent that is meant to be shared.
You can uncover the best voice amongst your employees OR that hidden magician OR the dancing troupe who gets the crowd on their feet.
And who says it needs to end in one day? I would recommend you do it as a multi-month activity. You can include local auditions, multiple rounds, multiple seasons, just like every other “Got-talent TV show”.
If your company’s foundation day is approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to announce the winners of Company Got Talent and celebrate the collaborative and creative achievements of your hybrid team!
TIP: Everyone is a winner so have a giveaway for every participant.
2. The Home Treasure Hunt
Time Frame : 2-3 weeks
“Go fetch something that is company’s brand color”
“Take a picture of the view outside your window”
“Solve the puzzle which is our company’s first product on the app”
“Who was our first client”
“Upload what’s for lunch today”
“Bring an item that starts with N”
Mix up trivia, photo contests, videos contests, puzzles to have timed scavenger hunts to create icebreakers between teams or new employees. Try to organize this activity as a surprise during a weekday for best results.
TIP: Do a random lottery to pick teams before you start.
3. Back to the Future Photo Contest
Time Frame : 1 day
This was a huge hit with our team since it helps everyone relive memories. A fun photo contest where you ask your employees to go through their phone gallery and upload
best photo from last month.
or last year on the same day
or first day they joined
How about a retro team outing photo?
Bonus if they caption it. Crowdsource winners and award them digital badges that they can showcase in the employee app leaderboard.
TIP: Yes you will be amazed by the variety
4. Me & My Pet
Time Frame : Once a year
You can NOT go wrong with a cute pet contest.
People including your employees love taking pictures of their pets, the only thing more popular is others adoring those photos. Pet contests have consistently ranked as the most popular contests we have.
The fun part of such contests is that you can get really creative.
During winters it could be dress-up-your pet contest
How about a best trick video contest ?
Or a unique pet contest
Pets contests are evergreen and loved by everyone. Be ready for a lot of aww’s
5. Mannequin Challenge Video Contests
Time Frame : 7 days
Lights, Camera, Action!
Time to challenge teams to produce their own movies with creative storylines, seamless camerawork and collaborative execution.
A popular video contest is mannequin challenge.
It’s a is a fun team building activity where participants create a short video of themselves frozen in place like mannequins, typically set to music, to showcase their team’s creativity and coordination skills.
The videos can be a great way to promote team bonding and engagement, while also providing a fun and lighthearted break from work.
TIP: Here are some videos for you
6. #dontrushchallenge Video Contest
Time Frame : 7-10 days
Another popular video contest I got inspired by was the famous TikTok trend in 2020 – #dontrushchallenge
Here is what the challenge is
- A group of people take turns appearing in a video, typically dressed in casual clothing and little to no makeup
- Each person then “passes” a makeup brush or other item to the next person in the video
- When they pull the item away from the camera, they reveal themselves transformed into formal attire, with makeup and hair done
- The challenge is set to a popular song and is often used to showcase the transformation potential of makeup and fashion
It was a huge hit when with our Gen Z generation.
7. Virtual Trivia
Time Frame : 15 minutes weekly/monthly
When was the company founded?
What is the origin of our company name?
How many kids below 12 do all our employees have?
What is the name of our Company employee app?
Who was our company’s first female hire?
Listen to this song and guess which movie is it from?
How many times in the past year was Suez canal blocked?
Time to form the trivia committee who run weekly trivia themes. This activity works best when hosted on a weekday at 3:30 PM.
TIP: Assign teams so you can track team leaderboards too, besides individual winners
8. #WFH Cookbook
Time Frame : Over weekend
Who doesn’t miss those office potlucks ?
There is a chef within all of us and of course, so while those potlucks might be rare today, there is no reason we can’t go behind the scenes and enjoy live cooking – Masterchef style.
Whether it is a mystery box challenge of making something sweet with vegetables or cooking a 3 course meal in 30 minutes, or baking the most creative cake – your employees will have a ton of fun!
TIP: Upload recipes and create your company’s Cookbook
Online retrospective games that your coworker will love
Online retrospective games are an excellent way to build team spirit and enhance collaboration. Read on to discover the top retrospective ideas for remote teams that I have used that gave these positive results.
The Benefits Of Online Retrospective Games
- Improved Communication: My team members communicated more effectively, and everyone found it easy to give constructive feedback.
- Increased Engagement: The retrospective ideas that the teams came up with created a more interactive and enjoyable work environment.
- Enhanced Creativity: By providing a fun and collaborative space for brainstorming, team members generated new ideas and solutions to complex problems.
- Better Team Dynamics: Fun retrospective ideas for remote teams helped to improve team dynamics and promote a positive team culture.
- Continuous Learning: I was pleasantly surprised to see that by reflecting on past successes and failures, my team identified areas for improvement and development.
Here are my top 5 picks for retrospective games for workers.
1. Random Word Game
After completing a big project, why not try a fun virtual retrospective game?
The game involves selecting a random word or phrase and brainstorming ideas based on that word. This game can help break out of fixed patterns of thinking and encourage more creative and unexpected ideas. For example,
- Choose a random word, such as “tech support”
- Set a timer for one minute.
- Each team member takes a turn saying a word that is related to “tech support” within the one minute timeframe. For example, “emphaty,” “quick,” “24×7,” “helpeful,” etc.
- If a team member cannot come up with a related word before the timer runs out, they are out of the game.
- The game continues until only one team member is left, or until a pre-determined number of rounds is reached.
2. Idea Box Game
This is one of the most fun activities at work for brainstorming and coming up with complex tricky problems you face as a team.
In this game, team members write down their ideas and place them in a shared box.
Then, they take turns drawing ideas from the box and building on them. This game can encourage a diverse range of ideas and perspectives.
3. Emoji Feedback
Providing feedback is a crucial aspect of employee engagement, but it can be challenging to balance honesty with kindness. However, a solution to this problem is to use emojis.
This game involves team members giving feedback using only emojis, which can help to control the tone of the feedback. In addition to the standard emojis, there are several other options to explore, including:
🤗 – An emoji for appreciation
🙏 – An emoji to express gratitude
🧐 – An emoji to indicate areas that need improvement
💖 – An emoji to express an amazing job
🙃 – An emoji to express silliness or sarcasm
🙇 – An emoji to express embarrassment or apology
This fun and creative way of giving feedback can instantly create a positive team culture, making it an excellent pure virtual online retrospective game.
4. Who’s That Shoutout For?
Regular appreciation is important, but it’s also essential to spread the love to all team members, not just top performers.
This team-building game is a fun and anonymous way to show appreciation and boost team morale without creating jealousy.
Here’s how to play:
- Ask each team member to write down three things they appreciate about their colleagues on separate slips of paper.
- Collect all the slips of paper and put them in a hat or bowl.
- Choose one slip of paper at random and read the three things written on it without revealing who wrote it.
- The team must then guess which colleague the shoutout is for based on the three things written on the slip of paper.
- Once the correct person is guessed, they receive the shoutout and are encouraged to say a few words of thanks or appreciation.
With this game, everyone gets a chance to be appreciated, and it creates a positive and respectful team environment.
5. Undercover team mate
This online team building game is inspired by the popular TV series “Undercover Boss,” with modifications to make it relevant for remote teams.
Here are the rules:
- Before the game begins, each team member writes down their name on a piece of paper and puts it in a hat or container.
- One team member is chosen at random to be the “undercover team mate.” This person does not reveal their identity to the rest of the team.
- The rest of the team is given a task or project to complete, and they must work together to accomplish it.
- Throughout the task, the undercover team mate will secretly observe the rest of the team and take notes on their strengths and weaknesses.
- After the task is completed, the team gathers together to discuss how they did and what could be improved. The undercover team mate then reveals themselves and shares their observations and feedback with the team.
- The team then has a chance to reflect on the feedback and discuss ways to improve their teamwork and collaboration in the future.
This game can help teams to better understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and can provide valuable feedback for improvement. It also encourages teamwork and collaboration, as everyone works together towards a common goal.
14 Fun Friday Activities to Boost Virtual Team Morale
With the rise of remote work, it’s more important than ever to prioritize team building and morale-boosting activities. That’s why I’ve put together a list of Fun Friday Games for office and virtual teams. These employee engagement activities are a great way to help your team unwind, connect, and build a sense of camaraderie, all while having some fun.
So let’s dive in and give our remote teams the boost they deserve this upcoming Friday!
1. Comedy Club
Laughter is the best medicine
You won’t find a better way to get your employees in an upbeat mood than to host your company’s own comedy club. Invite professional stand-up comedians for a live show, or let that hidden comic-genius amongst your colleagues have a go at office humor.
Best results are seen when hosted monthly on Wednesdays, to help employees get over the mid-week hump.
TIP: Don’t forget to come up with a funny name for the company’s comedy club
2. Virtual Yoga
The best gift you can give to your employees is to make fitness their favourite habit. A large percentage of your employees might have already subscribed to individual fitness classes, but doing a virtual workout with your colleagues creates that healthy bond.
The advantage of virtual yoga is that many yoga poses are low impact, making them a great option for everyone including beginners.
It also involves online meditation that is a great stress-buster.
3. Virtual Concert
Nothing can be more relaxing than enjoying a live concert.
With nunify, you can stream a pre-recorded concert as well reduce the stress of internet issues when live. Don’t forget to uncover those hidden musicians and give them the exposure they’ve never had. Best results when hosted quarterly. Check out our experience with virtual concerts
TIP: Poll your employees for their favourite bands they want to hear live
4. Company Radio & Podcasts
Good morning !!!! – it’s 9:01 am and you are listening to our company radio show.
We are on for the next 2 hours with our company CEO sharing the emerging trends in 2021, followed by a curated playlist by our Operations team.
Feel free to raise your hand to come live on-air. If you can’t come LIVE we got you covered – today’s show will be in the podcast section of our employee app.
Get your employees on-board and excited for the day with a company radio that lets them learn, unwind, and participate in activities.
TIP: To get an audience run live contests
5. Virtual Office Water Cooler Hour
Nope not all water cooler talk needs to be gossip.
Have a live office cooler hour for anyone to join in to share their personal or team experiences. It could be about the new baking recipe they tried out yesterday or the best sales anecdote – give a platform for those stories to be heard.
Best results seen when the activity is hosted every Friday!
TIP: Don’t over-moderate, trust your employees to self discipline – after all, you hired them!
6. Live Gravity Challenge
Confused? Made popular on Tik Tok & Instagram this challenge is simple except lets do it live!
- Choose a male AND a female colleague and bring them LIVE on screen.
- Ask them to get on all fours
- Then ask them to rest their forearms on the floor, followed by their elbows, with their faces resting in their hands.
- Then, they quickly move their arms from the ground to behind their back.
Here is how others fared! This activity is best done once.
TIP: Our bet is that women crush it. Don’t forget to record the challenge.
7. Micro-Learning Virtual Workshops
Learning never stops and it doesn’t always need to be about work. Invite external experts or find one within your company to continuously teach and learn new skills & techniques. It could be How to bake your own sourdough, or 30 must use shortcuts in excel, or Under 5 minutes makeup essentials – no dearth of topics.
TIP: Keep it short and have limited seats – let your audience ask for more.
8. Book Club
Reading is a dying art with the onset of social media & netflix. All great leaders are readers and a company book club can be a great start to find your next generation of leaders.
Use your employee app to build a digital library with recommendations from avid book fans.
Host book club meetups to discuss the book-of-the-month.
TIP: Internal podcasts could be used to promote audio books but be careful of copyrights
9. Company Cribs
Remember MTV Cribs?
Let’s go live weekly into one of our colleague’s homes. Let them give us a tour of their home and share their favourite things. If they feel comfortable we get to say hi to their family and it surely is a great way to know each other on a personal level
TIP : Ideal for small teams where all team members are comfortable
10. Karaoke Battle
Do we need to say more? Best results when done anytime – every night can be karaoke night and convert it to be a championship with brackets!
TIP : Your CEO & COO have to be the first ones to battle it out with live results
11. Offsite & Team Dinners
If we can enjoy virtual birthdays and virtual weddings we surely can have a virtual offsite with our teams ending with an amazing dinner that everyone orders from their favourite restaurant nearby. Don’t forget to send them their offsite goodies – what better way to surprise them and have everyone wear the offsite hoodie at the virtual event
TIP: Add frequent breaks and trim the agenda
12. Office Culture Trip
Who doesn’t miss their annual vacation to new places? While we can’t wait to get back to travelling, let’s make the best of what we have.
A virtual culture tour from our colleagues.
With an increasingly diverse workforce coming from different countries & cultures, ask individuals to share unique culture facts & tips. So when we are back to travelling, our colleague’s hometown would surely be an option . Best results done monthly.
TIP: Make it interactive by asking them to teach us a few words in their language
13. Virtual Celebrations
Use push notifications, virtual events , app contests and more to celebrate festivals, company milestones, individual achievements, diversity, anniversaries & birthdays. Celebrate small wins and most importantly celebrate each other.
TIP: Here is how we celebrated virtual holi & virtual easter
14. Meet In-Person!
Meeting in person in itself will be an event. Ensure you make the most out of it.
In conclusion, there are many enjoyable and interactive online team building games that can enhance communication, and team dynamics among employees, regardless of their age or location.
These games not will help you break the monotony of work.
By incorporating these games into your regular employee engagement activities, you can create a more positive and enjoyable work culture that benefits everyone involved.