Great leaders know how important bonding time is and how social time can build relationships, combat loneliness and burn-out, and improve productivity through better communication and teamwork. However, in our current work-from-home and other remote work environments, team building can be a tough challenge. Many HR leaders and talent development experts are struggling to find new, and quite frankly, not lame ways to keep their team engaged.

Virtual team building events have a lot of pressure on them because boring, unstructured meetups can quickly turn into just another Zoom meeting. So, here is our top 5 list of fun virtual team building events for 2021 and beyond!

5. Virtual Escape Room

Escape rooms were sweeping the country before the pandemic, and several organizations have figured out how to host them online. Also, you can make your own in PowerPoint or a Google Form with puzzles and games that each team must solve in their breakout room to win! You can do word finds, code decryption, riddles, and photo searches to fool your team into using their creativity, communication skills, and teamwork to crack the code! To kick it up a notch, you can include a scavenger hunt for household items.

4. Mixologist or Cooking Lessons

Virtual happy hours can great time, and you can get in insight into your team’s taste, personal environment, and more. If alcohol is not your thing, you can do non-alcoholic drinks or make fun snacks like ‘Smores or pizzas. If you have the budget, you can really step up this event with a professional mixologist or chef. Ship ingredients to your team’s homes, and then bust them out online and make something together. For added fun, you can turn it into a Nailed It! or Top Chef competition.

3. Online Games and Quizzes

There are many online games and trivia apps where you can share your screen and play along together on your mobile device or laptop. We love playing Jackbox Games like Drawful and Quiplash, but you can also make your own games with apps like Kahoot. Collect pictures, fun facts, or other accomplishments from your team and turn them into trivia questions for a personal touch. Just remember that trivia and other online games can get competitive and ruin the bonding. Also, if the game is too busy or intense, you will lose the side conversations. So, remember to take breaks to laugh and connect between rounds.

2. Find Someone Who Bingo

In this version of speed networking, team members are given bingo cards with 25 different descriptions of other people. Your goal is to find someone who matches the description and write down their name to cross it off. For example, one box might be “Never had a speeding ticket” or “Been to the World Series.” You can all have the same bingo card, or you can make multiple versions if you want to get fancy!

Then, in Zoom, you can send people to small breakout rooms of 2-3 people for a very short amount of time, just 1-2 minutes. Encourage them to find out which boxes their teammates can check off for them, and then shuffle the rooms and start again until someone yells BINGO! Check the winner’s card by calling each person to the stage to hear their story.

1. Live Virtual Game Show

Based on versions of popular TV game shows, participants compete for “cash” prizes just like the real thing. These trivia-style games are fast-paced, easy to play, and just plain fun! Have you ever dreamed about being on a TV game show? Well, now you can. At Grin Events, they have cheesy hosts, professional directors, and they even have staff greeters to keep the group laughing and make sure everyone is having a great time! Your team will love to buzz in, beat their boss, and break out of their shells with solo and team-style games.

Full Disclosure: I work part-time at Grin Events, and I have a blast doing it!

Down with frowns!

There are lots of ways to build stronger connections with your team virtually, but the key to a great event is establishing a safe, fun, and interactive environment. Keep in mind that you can’t force anyone to have a good time, so instead, recruit leadership to play along as participants and role model the positive and inclusive attitude you want to have. Another pro tip is to skip the prizes and other bribes and allow participants to chose which charities they would like to support instead.

You got this! At Playful Humans, we help teams connect in a more fun and interactive way. We can even customize the games to your team or organization. Call or click today for availability and rates!

Mike Montague | [email protected] | (816) 616-2201