Looking for free virtual team building activities? This list of four dozen-plus ideas will get your team playing games, learning together, and enhancing your company culture.
Remote work is here to stay. As a result, many leaders are seeking out budget-effective and free virtual team building ideas to keep employees connected.
While remote work can come with many benefits for both workers and companies, it can also lead to feelings of disconnection and isolation.
However, virtual team-building activities can help break up the day and create moments for meaningful social connection. If you’re trying to keep your remote employees engaged on a budget, look no further!
A few of our favorite virtual team building activities and ideas:
Read on for more information on each of these ideas, plus dozens more virtual team building ideas!
- Start meetings with “highs and lows”
- Plan a show-and-tell session
- Have a virtual dance party
- Play virtual pub trivia together
- Explore a foreign destination together
- Host a virtual bake off or talent show
In this list, you’ll find:
- Free virtual team building activities and ideas
- Free ways to keep remote teams connected
- Quick and easy ways to boost employee morale and camaraderie
- Free ideas to help build corporate culture and connectivity
- Low budget team building options
- Free virtual ice breakers
- Free virtual games for meetings
Watch the short video below for tips and best practices on virtual team building, including creative ways to make your video calls fun! Then, read this post for dozens more free team building activities and ideas.
Don’t Want to DIY? Try a Fully Hosted Virtual Experience!
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Engage Teams with These Free and Fun Virtual Team Building Activities
1. Start Meetings with “Highs and Lows”
Every person on your team has their own unique challenges and triumphs. By allotting time to discuss these feelings, you can help foster community.
Ask each person to share a highlight of their past week. In addition, ask them to share a small challenge, if they feel comfortable. This sharing of “highs and lows” is a time for your team to learn more about each other. It also allows them to offer support and encouragement.
To keep team meetings focused, limit this sharing to 2-3 minutes per person unless extenuating circumstances merit more discussion and support. Allot the first 10-15 minutes of the meeting for personal check-ins, followed by team business.
2. Create Vision Boards Together
A vision board is a collage of images that is meant to serve as inspiration and motivation. During this free virtual team building activity, your employees can create vision boards together.
You can make a vision board by cutting out photos, words, and phrases that reflect your aspirations and goals. Then, glue them onto a poster board or construction paper.
Embellish your board with washi tape, glitter, stickers, colored pencils, and more. At the end of the session, ask each team member to share their vision board with the group.
Go free and eco-friendly: create vision boards using materials you have around the house, like old magazines. Or, use Google Slides or PowerPoint to create a digital vision board! If you don’t like crafting, you could simply create a list with goals.
3. Plan a Show-and-Tell Session
We’re borrowing this tried-and-true idea from elementary school: host a show-and-tell session! This idea might sound a bit childish at first.
But, everyone loves talking about their interests. Plus, having an object to focus on and show off can help camera-shy people feel more comfortable.
Your team members can show off their pet or an art project they’ve been working on. If they love tech, let them show off the latest household gadget they ordered online.
Pro tip: during your show-and-tell session, focus less on the object itself and more on your curiosity about your coworkers’ interests. For example, if your colleague shows their new running shoes, ask them how they became interested in running. If they show off a piano, ask them how playing makes them feel.
4. Plan a Virtual Game Session
A good old-fashioned game night or game session is a great way to get your team laughing and bonding together. These days, there are plenty of free online multi-player game options.
One option is Skribbl.io, a drawing and guessing game. During each round, a member of your team will have to draw a random word while others guess in the chat box to see what it is.
Create a private Skribbl.io room with up to 12 participants. Choose your number of rounds and the allotted drawing time allowed per round. You can even choose custom words aligned with your company’s purpose or goals!
5. Learn Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses
There are plenty of costly personality assessments out there. But, one of the most common tests is completely free!
At 16personalities.com, you and your team can take a free personality test to discover more about who you are. Learn whether you’re an INTJ, ESFP, IFTP, etc.
If you’ve never heard those acronyms, have no fear – the website walks you through detailed explanations. The test is available in 37 languages which is perfect for international and diverse teams.
Share the personality test link with your team members. Then, schedule a virtual meeting for everyone to share their results. You and your staff will benefit from knowing how to best communicate with each unique member of your team.
6. Have a Virtual Dance Party
For some employees, a quick virtual dance party might be a welcome break. For others, it might be an exercise in vulnerability and getting out of your comfort zone. Either way, your team is sure to get a boost of endorphins! You could schedule this during a “slump” time, like 3 pm each Wednesday.
Or, celebrate the start of the weekend on a Friday afternoon. Hop on a video chat and shake it out for 3-5 minutes together. You can take turns picking a song and playing DJ each week.
Make it a communal experience by encouraging everyone’s kiddos, spouses, and roommates to join in the fun!
Need some musical inspiration? Take a chance and pick a random song to play on YouTube, Amazon, or Spotify. Or, explore Time Out’s list of the 100 best party songs ever made.
7. Share a Fun PowerPoint Presentation About a Hobby or Interest
When done right, an all-staff virtual meeting can keep your crew connected, informed, and engaged. The trick is to make these sessions interactive and entertaining.
Don’t just read a list of company updates that could’ve been an email. One idea: ahead of each meeting, designate one employee to present a 5-10 minute PowerPoint on a topic that’s personally interesting to them.
The idea is to pick something niche and unusual. This adds an element of unexpected fun to meetings. For example, you could walk everyone through how to poach the perfect egg, or the intricacies of the card game Magic: The Gathering.
Believe it or not, “PowerPoint parties” have actually become a social trend! Check out Business Insider’s guide to hosting a PowerPoint party – either as its own event or as a fun way to start your staff meeting.
8. Have a Virtual Team Movie Night
Use a free web browser extension like Teleparty to host a movie-watching party with your team. Your videos will stay perfectly in sync with each other, and you’ll be able to discuss the movie in real-time using the chat box.
You can vote on movie ideas using a free survey tool like SurveyMonkey. If you have some money to spend on a team building activity, consider sending each employee a surprise kit with their favorite treats to enjoy during the movie!
(Pro tip – ask everyone their favorite movie snack when gathering movie suggestions!)
This idea requires employees to have a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+. Set up a poll to see if there’s a streaming service everyone on your team has access to. If not, consider free ad-supported movie sites like Crackle or IMDb TV.
9. Connect in a Fun, Game-Like Virtual Office
To break out of the video call meeting format, try using Gather. It’s an online meeting platform with an interface that resembles an 8-bit video game.
First, choose a virtual environment. Options include cozy office, space station office, mystic library, coffee shop, rooftop party, and many others. Then, choose an avatar and pick your character’s hair/clothing combination. Using your computer keyboard, move around a virtual room and interact with coworkers’ avatars! You’ll still be able to use your webcam and mic to chat.
Gather’s free plan allows for up to 25 online users. You can even create a password for your virtual workspace and use an interactive whiteboard feature.
10. Quench Your Thirst at a Virtual Water Cooler
Set up a Slack channel titled #virtualwatercooler. Then, every day, post a new question or prompt to the virtual water cooler. For example, you can encourage your team to share about their hobbies, interests, or just how their day is going.
Prompts could be as simple as “What is your favorite song?” Or, try more contentious questions like, “Is Die Hard a holiday movie?” You can mimic the camaraderie that comes with office banter and water cooler chat, even in a virtual environment.
11. Play the Time Zone Game
This is a fun and silly way to get your team connecting before conference calls. Often, distributed teams will start calls saying, “What time is it where you are?”
Instead of that generic format, play the time zone game. Ask one person on your team to share what city they are in and have others guess what time it is there. Or, make it more complicated by asking the other attendees to guess what meal the initial person ate. The time zone game is a good way to get your team learning a little about each other.
12. The Stars Where I Am
Creating an active Slack channel is a great way to help remote teams connect. But, often times, Slack channels can feel stale. For instance, your employees might make the same jokes or connections over again (Sunday Scaries, anyone?). Instead, break up the monotony with an astronomy night.
Ask your team members to go outside at night and take a picture of the stars where they are. Then, post those pictures with a caption describing where they live. Can they see the stars? What do they see at night? If it’s cloudy, your team members can also use an online star map to see the stars’ positions overhead.
13. Pub Trivia With the Team
Bond, laugh, and connect over trivia questions! Jackbox Games is a fun online trivia game site that everyone can join via video conference. During this activity, everyone answers trivia questions via their phone. For more fun, you can purchase a party pack which costs around $25.
Alternatively, you can also use an online Random Trivia Generator. Have the host share their screen with the group to reveal trivia questions and answers. There is only one rule to make online pub trivia work: nobody can Google the answer!
14. Team Jeopardy – Icebreaker Questions That Are Actually Fun!
Team Jeopardy takes a bit of planning, but it’s a fun activity. Use Fact Tile to set up a jeopardy game with questions and categories about your own team.
For example, one category could be Where We Live. Then, the answer could be Boulder, Colorado. The Jeopardy question that would win the answer would be “Where does Team Member X live?”
Here are more suggestions for Team Jeopardy categories:
- Who Hates This
- Favorite Actors
- What We Wear
- Job Positions
15. Decorate My Office! (Virtually)
With so many people working from home, our home offices have become very important. But many remote workers haven’t taken the time to add fun décor.
To play, ask for a volunteer who wants decorating suggestions for their home office. Then, ask the volunteer to post pictures of their home office on Slack with their goals for the office. The volunteer should also provide a total budget.
Then, team members can help crowdsource decorating suggestions and ideas. To make it even more fun, considering offering a $25 gift card toward the purchase of a décor item.
16. The Price is Right – Remote Work-Style
The Price is Right works particularly well with distributed international teams. It’s always fascinating to see how prices change on a country-by-country basis. While mangos may be cheap in India, strawberries would be pricey, while the reverse would be true in the United States.
To play, ask each person to come up with an ordinary object like a food or piece of clothing. Then, select one person to show that item on Zoom. It’s always fun if they ham it up and are creative with their sales pitch for that item. Then, everyone else should guess how much it costs in the local currency.
It’s easy for teams to make the conversion using an online currency converter. The person who guesses closest to the actual price would go next.
17. Explore a Foreign Destination Together
Jump on to a Zoom call and navigate a virtual tour that you can all enjoy together. There are many free virtual tour videos that you can watch on YouTube. Just search by country or historic site, and explore with your team. Or, hop into Google Maps and cruise virtually to various parts of the world!
If you want to invest in an incredible live virtual tour experience, check out Unexpected Virtual Tours’ European Holiday experience which takes you live to Prague and Rome.
18. Bring Back the Book Club
Try a modern take on the book club. Assign a book once every quarter, allowing people three months to read it. Then, gather in small groups to discuss the book at the end of the quarter. This is a particularly effective virtual team building activity for diversity and inclusion teams.
19. Tech Talks and Community Knowledge Sharing
Knowledge sharing events are a simple and free virtual team building activity. Ask for your employees to volunteer to share knowledge about a particular tech or efficiency topic. Then, have them present a 30 minute Tech Talk or Brown Bag lunch on that topic.
This knowledge sharing strengthens the skills of your team. In addition, it allows your team members to brag a little bit about their projects. It’s a nice way to show appreciation for your team members’ skills.
20. Never Have I Ever: Work Edition
Most people have played Never Have I Ever before. But, have you played Never Have I Ever with your colleagues? Firstly, make sure it’s work friendly and doesn’t have any R-rated elements! That’s easy enough if the organizers create a list of items beforehand.
Here are some great Never Have I Ever categories:
- Been on a plane
- Been on a hot air balloon
- Eaten sushi
- Eaten an insect
- Visited a rainforest
- Visited Antarctica
If a person has done that item, they should raise their hand. One fun way to keep up the competition is to have your team count up how many items they have done. Then, give a small award out to the person who has done the most, the least, and a random number (for example, 16).
21. Ride Together Via a Peloton Session
If many people on your team have a Peloton, consider setting a time to hold a Peloton session.
Invite everyone to join in a shared workout to make it a fun and competitive ride. Choose a session with Robin Arzon, and your team will have an inspirational and energizing team building experience. That’s because Robin is a Peloton instructor who is also a frequent motivational speaker.
22. Virtual 10-Minute Cleaning Challenge
Here’s an easy idea to help your team have fun while they’re accomplishing a hated task. Have everyone jump on a Zoom call. Then, have them share a portion of the room that they want to clean up via video.
Then, give everyone 10 minutes to clean up as much as they can and show everyone the after image. Make sure your team heaps praise on the person showing off their clean rooms! Afterward, your team will feel good at accomplishing a task and at their beautiful home.
23. Tap Into Your Inner Paul, Mary, & Prue with a Bake-Off Session
Do your team members love watching the Great British Bake Off? If so, host a virtual baking challenge!
Invite everyone to bond over baked goods. Choose a recipe category – for example, “cake.” Then, allow everyone to create their own unique concoction. Set up a video chat for everyone to show off what they made. You can also host a video call while everyone is baking! That way, everyone can bond together in the kitchen.
To set the mood, you can even search Spotify for Great British Bake Off-inspired music playlists!
24. Host a Team Talent Night or Concert
Does Joanna from accounting play a mean trumpet? Or maybe Matt in HR can rival Phil Collins’ drumming skills. Let your team members show off their talents with a virtual concert or team talent night!
Host a video call session where everyone can take a turn in the spotlight. You can even encourage team members to set up a fun video call background. For example, choose a background photo of a karaoke bar or jazz club.
25. Get Insightful with a Virtual Poetry Slam
Have you ever been to a poetry slam? They’re often interactive, with audience members snapping in agreement and appreciation to poems read aloud.
Invite your team to participate in a virtual poetry slam. Team members can recite a favorite poem that has inspired them during their life. Or, creative team members might write a poem for the occasion.
If you worry about picking the “right” poem, try this online random poem tool. It will pull up a random poem from the site’s archives. Hit “randomize” to swap it for another.
26. Play a Team Scavenger Hunt
A team scavenger hunt is a high-energy game that will allow everyone to get to know each other better.
On a video call, ask everyone to find in their home items from various categories. For example: find something sentimental to you. Or, find the last book you read.
Everyone can hold up their item and take a minute to describe it, out loud or in a team chat.
27. Take Turns Hosting Master Classes
Let your team members put their personal skill sets and hobbies on display. Each month, invite a team member to host an hour-long virtual “master class” on a topic of interest to them.
Some great virtual master class ideas include:
- Herb gardening, beginner gardening, and Bonsai tree care
- Hiking: what to pack, how to find a trail, and general tips
- Knitting, crocheting, or sewing
- How to use basic power tools and complete DIY projects
- Cooking, baking, and other kitchen skills
28. Play “Guess That Song”
This activity is a great way to start or end a team meeting. Employees take turns coming off mute to play 5 seconds of a favorite work-appropriate song. Then, others guess the song in the chat box. If your team members are brave, they can even hum or whistle the tune instead of playing audio!
Your team will learn a little bit more about each other’s musical tastes. Additionally, the guessing game element sparks friendly competition. Consider sending a small prize, like a $5 Starbucks e-gift card, to the person who guesses the most songs correctly.
29. Schedule a Recurring Virtual Group Lunch
In a traditional in-person office, you can drop into the breakroom to chit-chat with coworkers and take a moment of rest. In a virtual environment, it can be challenging to find these moments of casual connection with coworkers.
Instead, schedule a weekly or biweekly virtual recurring lunch for your team. For example, every Friday from noon-1pm Eastern Time. This can be an optional, drop-in experience. Let employees log on as schedules allow, whether for just a few minutes or the full hour.
30. Host a Virtual Team Building Bingo Session
Bingo can be a fun way to get everyone laughing and bonding together. In fact, we wrote a whole blog post on this topic!
Discover our virtual team building bingo ideas. This post includes free downloadable bingo cards and ideas to plan your session!
31. Create Pixel Art Together
Employees who grew up in the pre-internet era will likely remember using Microsoft Paint to create artistic masterpieces. Similarly, you can use Pixilart to create free virtual pixel art.
This is a great meditative activity for a casual team video call. One person can share their screen and doodle as the group gives suggestions. Or, play Pictionary and take turns sharing screens.
If you have a budget to spend: for an IRL pixel art activity that your team can do over a video call, try DiamondDotz art kits.
32. Tour a Museum with Your Team
These days, your team can easily tour world-renowned art museums from the comfort of home.
Explore the Google Arts & Culture digital collection of artwork and virtual tours from around the world. For example, virtually wander the halls of The Louvre with your coworkers? For extra fun, organize a digital museum scavenger hunt for your team. Or, have everyone explore and share their favorite piece of artwork together on a video call.
To extend the creative energy beyond one session, check out Open Culture. Here, your team can access 1,700 free online classes, 1,000 free audiobooks, 300 free language lessons, and more!
33. Start Virtual Coffee Chats with the CEO
In large companies with thousands of employees across the glob, it can be hard to ensure everyone that their voice is heard and valued. Additionally, you may experience a disconnect between executive leadership and their teams.
To foster connection, consider randomly selecting an employee each month to have a virtual lunch or coffee with the CEO. This can be an exciting opportunity for workers to get in front of leadership, ask insightful questions, and share ideas. It’s also a great way for leadership to hear new perspectives and get to know their employees more deeply.
34. Begin Meetings with Icebreaker Questions
This idea is a classic for a reason. While some folks dread icebreaker questions, others see them as a fun opportunity to share! Moreover, getting everyone out of their comfort zone can help get creative juices flowing. In other words, even if your team members roll their eyes at icebreaker questions, they can still bring value to your group. You can also ask your team to come up with their own fun questions for this activity!
A few of our favorite ice breakers for work:
- If you could spend one day doing anything, anywhere, with an unlimited amount of money – what would you do?
- What’s your favorite dish to bring to a potluck?
- Tell us about the best vacation you’ve ever taken.
- What’s something you’ve learned over the last year?
Browse our blog post with 100+ icebreaker questions for your team!
35. Throw a Virtual Party for Administrative Professionals Day in April
Does your team rely on an administrative professional to get your work done? If so, throw a virtual party to celebrate this integral person on your team! If you feel they would be comfortable with it, you can even schedule a “meeting” that turns out to be a virtual surprise party! Everyone can show up with fun, party-themed Zoom backgrounds. Prompt your team to come off mute and share what they appreciate most about your administrative professional team. Alternatively, everyone can share their sentiments in the chat box!
Another fun idea to celebrate administrative professionals day? If you have the budget for it, gift your support staff an e-gift card to their favorite coffee shop or restaurant.
36. Start a #MondayMotivation Thread
If your team uses a messaging app like Slack, start a channel called Monday Motivation. Then, take turns on Mondays sharing inspirational work quotes, memes, leadership books, podcasts, and more.
Your team will start their week off with a dose of optimism and energy. Additionally, everyone will get the opportunity to reflect on their own motivations and goals for the week ahead.
Need some inspiration? Check out The Muse’s guide: 45 Inspirational Quotes That Will Get You Through the Work Week.
37. Host a Virtual Holiday Party
Whether you celebrate the 4th of July, Halloween, or the festive December season, you can always find a reason to celebrate! Make the most out of celebratory occasions with your team. Even if you can’t gather together for an in-person picnic or potluck, your team can still find meaningful ways to observe holidays together.
Of course, what many employees want most for a holiday is to simply enjoy it with their family and friends. However, celebrating with your work team can create a sense of shared meaning and fun. Consider throwing a virtual party around 3pm on a Friday, and then letting everyone end the workday early!
You can encourage everyone to show up with their favorite on-theme video call background, and/or in festive attire, if appropriate. Make this a time for casual conversation, or dig into the history of the holiday you’re observing together!
38. Complete a Virtual Volunteer Project Together
For teams that want to make a difference in the world while bonding together: try a virtual volunteer project!
Web development and marketing teams can get involved with 48 in 48, an organization devoted to helping build 48 nonprofit websites in 48 hours. You can also explore VolunteerMatch to find virtual opportunities.
For instance, your team might help with administrative projects, planning events, putting together supply kits from home, and more.
39. Relax with a Virtual Yoga Class
Create a meditative moment with your team, on a budget! Plan a virtual yoga class for your team to help everyone feel relaxed and rejuvenated. For this idea, you can queue up a yoga video on YouTube. Then, share your screen, and allow everyone to follow along. Let everyone turn their cameras on or off, depending on their comfort level.
After the sweat session, come back to the group and ask everyone to share a reflection about their experience. This might be something about their state of mind, a movement or pose they found challenging, or something else that came to them during the session.
For free YouTube yoga, check out Yoga with Adriene. Her grounded and warm energy, combined with her yoga expertise (and her adorable dog, Benji!) make Adreiene a popular choice for yogis of all skill levels around the world. In fact, her YouTube channel has more than 11 million subscribers!
40. Play Improv Comedy Games
Laughing together is a natural, free mood-booster. Get your team in stitches by playing improv comedy games. If you’ve ever been to an improv show or watched the TV show “Whose Line is It Anyway?” then some of these games may sound familiar!
For example, you can ask for team members to volunteer to virtually act out a scene, with funny prompts from an “audience” of coworkers. For detailed ideas, check out 10 Easy Improv Games for Beginners.
You can also check with your local improv theatre to see whether they offer corporate team building classes. Many do, since improv skills translate well to business environments! That’s because getting out of your comfort zone, trying something new, taking risks, and connecting with others are just a few of the skills your team members will develop during this activity!
Quick Tips to Strengthen Your Virtual Team Building
Unexpected Virtual Tours doesn’t just develop virtual team building events. We are also a remote company, meaning that we use these free team building approaches ourselves. Here are 4 quick tips to increase team cohesion with free virtual team building:
Make video meetings a part of your corporate culture.
It is easy to disengage when you don’t see your teammates on screen. But, when you turn the camera on, you immediately start engaging with your co-workers. Video is a free and easy tool that makes a huge difference! Encourage your team to leave their cameras on when possible.
Use breakout rooms to get introverts engaged.
In a virtual event, it’s important that the extroverts don’t take over. Get introverts engaged by breaking up your group into smaller breakout rooms. In fact, introverts often have an easier time communicating in a small group environment. You can also encourage everyone to use the text chat feature in a video call. Sometimes, employees feel more comfortable typing their thoughts rather than coming off mute to voice them!
Make team building a regular part of your meetings.
While it is important to get things done, team building is also important. A disconnected team is more likely to lose passion for the company. Further, disconnected employees are more likely to leave the company and perform poor work. In order to counteract this issue, regularly save time at the beginning of each meeting to just chat about personal life.
Slack is for more than just work.
If your Slack channel is restricted to just work topics, it is difficult to create team cohesion. Make Slack your virtual water cooler, as well as the place to celebrate your team’s achievements.
However you choose to engage with your remote workers, the most important thing is to make an effort to stay connected. Creating opportunities for dialogue, communication, and friendship can help your employees feel comfortable, connected, and motivated to do the best possible work for their team.
Need some help? Book a guided virtual team building activity with Unexpected Virtual Tours’ team building experiences. Reach out below to learn more!