With more and more companies opting for a distributed work model, teams are beginning to understand that building a strong remote work culture goes beyond chatting over Slack. Instead, it’s all about curating meaningful experiences for your team to connect and bond over. It’s about organizing something that’s engaging, genuinely fun, and that creates togetherness, even when you’re not together.
What is virtual team building?
Remote working challenges are real. Gone are the water cooler chats, going out for lunch with coworkers, or after-work happy hour when your team is working remotely. And with that, it’s all too easy for people to feel isolated and lonely in a dispersed workforce.
Virtual team building is all about intentionally creating memorable moments for team connection, keeping your team engaged, and fostering a strong remote work culture. Improving remote work collaboration can have huge benefits for your team — research shows that teams that are engaged are more profitable, more productive and have less turnover.
Can you do team building virtually?
Team building virtually is entirely possible. All it takes is a bit of planning, thought, and creativity to put together fun virtual events that your team will love.
A few questions to consider — are you looking for in-the-moment remote team events, or something that can be done asynchronously? Are you looking for a one-time event, or to implement something on a regular basis? How important are time zones to consider for your team? Is your team small enough to all get together over Zoom, or will you need to split up into smaller groups? All of these questions are important to keep in mind when choosing between virtual team building activities.
7 team building ideas for your virtual team
Looking for a few ideas? These 7 fun virtual team building activities are a great place to start.
1. Connect over shared interests
One of the easiest ways to bond as a team? Connect what you all have in common — as long as it isn’t work-related. Have you noticed that a few people on your team love to cook? Try starting a Slack channel or a regular Zoom call dedicated to sharing culinary creations and talking about recipes to try. Whether it’s travel, the outdoors, photography, or really, anything else, creating dedicated places where your team can casually chat is a simple way to add value and start building culture.
2. Break the ice with two truths and a lie
This icebreaker is a classic for a reason — it takes almost no organization and is a great way for your team to learn a few new things about each other. Each person takes turns sharing two truths and one lie, and the rest of the team has to guess which one the lie is. This quick, fun team building activity is the perfect thing to use to kick off a meeting, introduce your team to a new hire, or just get the conversation started.
3. Host a virtual team lunch
Sharing a meal together is a classic way to get to know each other and bond for a reason. Organize a virtual lunch on a regular basis, and break up the workday by spending an hour or so chatting over a meal. As a bit of extra fun and incentive, allow your team to expense a takeout lunch from their go-to local restaurant.
4. Get creative with arts and crafts
Get back to the basics with an arts and crafts session over Zoom. Have everyone pick up a few easy-to-find items, like paint, pastels, pencils (or better yet, have Marco ship them right to everyone's door), and take a creative break together in the middle of the workday. Keep it low-key and free-form, or add a dose of competitive fun by attaching time limits, creating drawing challenges, and more.
5. Listen-in together
Does your team love talking about music? So many of us play music while working from home. Capitalize on that — try creating a Slack channel dedicated to music recommendations, where people can share playlists and songs, and get to know each other in the process. Or, try creating a work-from-home collaborative playlist on Spotify, and have everyone from your team contribute a few songs.
6. Try a virtual scavenger hunt
Remote games are a great way to have fun and connect as a team virtually. In a virtual scavenger hunt, have participants split into teams to hunt down typical household items — like a board game, a laundry basket, a pair of socks, or a houseplant. The first person who shows the item to the camera wins points for their team, and the team with the most points wins. A virtual scavenger hunt can take some organization and advance planning, but you’ll be rewarded with a great, easy way to build remote work culture.
7. Can't decide? Host a curated experience with Marco.
Looking to elevate your virtual team event into something truly exceptional and memorable?
Marco offers a wide selection of virtual team building activities perfect for any remote team. Try out an ice cream tasting experience (with pints delivered to your door), solve challenging and fast-paced puzzles in a virtual escape room, or learn how to make speakeasy-worthy cocktails in a virtual mixology course.
Whatever you’re looking for, there’s something for every team to connect and build a strong remote work culture.