Virtual and In-Person Team-Building Activities That Strengthen Bonds at Work

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“Team building activities” is a phrase that often makes people roll their eyes. It calls to mind silly or embarrassing games that no one in your office wants to do.  

But the best team building activities can improve morale and strengthen bonds between colleagues, helping your team members get to know each other better and form relationships that will make collaboration a breeze.  

With more people working remotely, it can be a challenge to help your team feel like a cohesive unit. Maybe your employees are scattered throughout the country or even all over the world, making traditional in-person team building activities impossible.  

Fortunately, whether you’re in the office or working from home, there are plenty of ways to foster strong relationships between coworkers. We’ve put together a list of suggestions for fun and creative team building activities at work, both in the office and remotely, that will hopefully inspire you to plan something for your team soon.  

In-Person Team Building Activities 

Battle of the Air Bands 

Get your groove on! You’ve probably seen lip sync battles, and air band battles are similar, just with a full band instead of one person. Divide your team up into groups of three to four and let them decide who will be the singers, drummer, guitarist, etc. Each team will choose a work-appropriate song to perform, and afterwards, everyone can vote on whose performance was best.  

If you want to make this activity even more creative, give your team a few days to rehearse and encourage them to bring props and costumes for the big performance. This is a great way to help your team members have fun and bond, while expressing their unique personalities.  

Back-to-Back Drawing 

One of the best in-person team building activities to foster communication skills is this fun drawing exercise. Have everyone pair off (preferably with someone they don’t know especially well) and have each pair sit back-to-back. One person will get a picture of a shape or simple drawing, and the other will receive a pen and piece of paper. The person holding the image will give instructions on how to draw the picture they’ve been given. Then everyone can compare images and see which team’s drawing was most accurate. 

Office Trivia 

A simple in-person team building activity is creating trivia questions based around your office space. Test your team’s knowledge and give points for the right answers.  

You can ask questions like: 

  • What color are the walls in the break room? 
  • How many people are in the customer service department? 
  • What brand are the computer monitors? 

This activity is a fun way to test your team’s observation skills and can even be adapted for remote workers. 

Community Service 

Volunteering together can be a great in-person team building activity that gives coworkers a chance to bond and get to know one another. Take a few hours out of the workday to volunteer your team’s services at a local organization like a food bank or help beautify or clean up in your community. Not only is community service great PR, but it’s a chance to put your company values into action.  

DIY Events 

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned mingle. If you’re not ready to plan a major party for your company, you can start small. A team lunch, group dinner, or even a simple ice cream social can get everyone on their feet and hanging out.  

And if the team can’t join in person, turn your get-together into a remote team building activity and send the supplies to them. Think make your own sundae supplies or drink mixes sent straight to their homes. Then you can all sign on and start the fun! 

Remote Team Building Activities 

Online Game Night 

Game night is a great way to unwind and work together without the pressures of your day-to-day job. Choose a game that focuses on teamwork if you can, so your employees have to work together.  

If you’re working remotely right now, you can use any number of virtual activities specifically designed for remote teams like The Go Game, a platform for in-person, hybrid, and virtual team building. You can even set up a video conference call to see everyone’s competitive faces in real time!  

Schedule Some Entertainment 

If you think magic shows are for kids, think again. Today there are plenty of virtual magician and mentalist shows that create a fun environment and engage team members even when they’re remote. Not everyone is a magic enthusiast, but you can also schedule virtual plays and other remote performances. These remote team building activities will give your team something to talk about for a while (even if it’s not a hit).  

Online Trivia 

Give your team members a chance to show off their knowledge, whether of sports, pop culture, or any other subject. You can write your own trivia questions or find questions online. Have everyone join a Zoom call and write down their answers to show when time’s up. Trivia is a great way to get everyone involved and chatting! 

Guess Whose Workspace 

If everyone works remotely, have each team member snap a photo of part of their work area. Then go through all the photos on a video call and have team members guess which image belongs to which coworker. This is a fun way to learn more about your colleagues’ interests and passions, plus how they organize their home offices.  

Movie Night 

Plan to watch the same movie (or binge the latest episode of a TV show) on the same evening. The next day, set aside some time from work to discuss surprising or favorite moments or even theories that your team may have. Don’t be afraid to encourage a little friendly debate—it can really get the conversation going.  No matter what team building activity you choose to do with your staff, make sure it’s something that everyone can participate in and enjoy. When you choose the right team building activities at work, you’ll get everyone talking and excited for the next event you plan!