Top 10 team-building activities that actually work
Team-building can be hard, especially if you’re working from home—but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
With this guide, awkward happy hours and the cringey ice-breakers are a thing of the past. We asked around and put together our top 10 remote team-building activities that employees will actually love.
1. Charity work
Nothing brings people together like giving back to the community. Look at charities in your area, and find one that aligns with your companies’ values. More often than not, they’ll be happy for the extra help!
If you’re worried about social distancing, no worries—we got you. Besides starting a pool for charitable donations, there are tons of ways to give back to the community from home. Here are a few ideas:
- Work with a small team to answer career questions for students using Career Village
- Ask your team members to subtitle a TED talk for accessibility, and come together to discuss what you learned
- Work with your team members to write letters to people going through chemotherapy, and reflect on your experiences in a socially-distant meeting
2. Video scavenger hunts
Video calls can be exciting, we promise! Provide a list of items that your team members can find in their home, and present it at the start of the meeting. Set a timer and give the winner a reward—even if it’s just bragging rights.
Some great examples for what to include:
- An item your mom gave you
- Your favorite book
- Something you’ve had since you were 10
Don’t be afraid to share stories. You might be surprised at what you learn about your teammates!
3. The water Olympics
Hydration station, y’all. Ask your team to measure (in cups) how much water they drink every day, and create a shared spreadsheet to track their progress. At the end of the month, give the most-hydrated team member some major kudos, and leave time for the team to discuss what they learned about their hydration habits (or lack thereof).
Note: Before you begin, make sure you go over best practices for hydration. Water poisoning is real, and we don’t encourage you to try it.
4. Deck out your virtual workspace
Send an email challenging participants to decorate their at-home workspace. At the end of the week, ask them to “reply all” to the email with a picture of their pretty new desk. Your team will have a chance to get crafty, and take a look at everyone’s new setup!
5. Third-party speakers
If your office isn’t into games, an outside speaker is a great way to get conversation flowing. Bring in a third-party service to talk to your team about work, life or a balance of the two—and most of these sessions can be held virtually! Some great speaker topic examples include:
- How to leverage your 401k
- How to be a better public speaker
- How to manage your time while working-from-home
6. Virtual trivia
Working at home doesn’t mean trivia nights have to end! Split everyone up into teams, choose an MC, and use your favorite video platform to run things. If you’re stressed about curating a lengthy quiz, here are some example rounds to get you started:
- Local history
- Song lyrics from the Top 100 list
- Famous quotes
- Popular movies from the 1990s
Hot tip: Creating trivia teams is a great opportunity to connect people who might not otherwise interact with each other at work!
7. Pet show-and-tell
Everyone loves their pets, and we love seeing them! Set up a designated time where everyone can hop on video chat and introduce the team to their furry friends. This is a great idea for Friday afternoon…and pairing it with happy hour couldn’t hurt 😉
8. Virtual book club
This is a great option for bookworms and homebodies alike (or people who are just bored in quarantine)!
Ask your team to sign up for an optional book club, and then provide a list of book prompts. Choose one prompt per month, and ask team members to read books coinciding with that prompt. Then, come together at the end of the month to discuss your experiences. Some great example prompts include:
- Read a book written by an author with your first name
- Read a book that you own but haven’t read yet
- Read the autobiography of someone you don’t like
9. Online multiplayer games
After widespread office closures back in March, the number of online multiplayer games has skyrocketed. Most of these have a participant limit, so split your team into smaller teams, and get playin’!
10. Guess who?: baby photo edition
Ask participants to send you a picture of themselves as a baby. When you have everyone’s cute pics, create a virtual worksheet with the pictures, and remove the owner’s name (you can do this on Google Sheets). Ask your teammates to guess who’s who, and get ready to be in “aww” of the results!