Looking for fun team building activities for remote teams?
Kipwise is a 100% remote team. While we enjoy the flexibility that remote work brings, we also understand that sometimes it can feel lonely working alone at home. To help your teammates feel more connected to each other, it’s a great idea to host some regular team building activities to let your teammates spend some fun time together.
In this article, we will share ideas on fun team building activities for remote teams that you can try, with tips on how to run them and what tools you can use.
Let’s get started and have some fun with your remote team!
Set up a social channel on Slack and a social calendar
At Kipwise, we have a #social-watercooler channel on Slack (read more tips on how to organize your Slack channels) where teammates can share non work related conversations. For example, we have teammates in different countries and we often share fun facts about our countries and history behind local customs when it’s the day of a special festival in our country. We also use this channel to plan our regular team building activities together.
To make it easier to organize our team building activities, we have linked our #social-watercooler channel with a shared calendar called Kipwise Social Calendar where teammates can create activities and invite teammates to join.
For bigger companies with more teammates, you can consider having more social channels based on hobbies (e.g. #social-foodie, #social-sports, #social-music) so teammates can have more fun conversations based on their hobbies as well.
Ideas for fun team building activities for remote teams
1. Picture of the week
One way to help your teammates get to know each other better is by sharing more bits and bobs about your daily life. Every week, we will take turns to come up with a topic for everyone to share a picture.
- Some topics that we have shared include
- Your remote working desk
- Your favourite dish
- The favorite place you have traveled to
- The funniest picture of yourself
The possibility here is endless and you can consider adding prizes (e.g. who got the most votes every quarter can get a prize) to engage your teammates in sharing their best shots.
2. Cultural / fun facts sharing
Our team has teammates from different countries. Every week, each teammate will share some cultural or fun facts about their countries or local customs so everyone can learn more about each other’s culture and be more international!
3. Board games
A lot of board games also offer online versions that you can play with your remote teammates. Some of our favorites include Werewolf, Spyfall, Avalon.
Read more about Twelve Board Games You Can Play With Friends From Afar.
4. Video games
Similar to board games, some video games can be fun playing together with your remote teammates as well. Want some game ideas? Check out The 24 Best Online Games to Play With Friends.
5. Remote breakfast/lunch/dinner
As our teammates are located in different countries, we found around 12 noon GMT is a great time for us to have meals together. So it will be lunch time for our teammates in Europe, dinner time for our teammates in Asia and breakfast time for our teammates in Brazil. (World Time Buddy is a great app that we use that can help you find time that works best across several time zones).
During our remote team meals, teammates will order food and eat in front of the camera together. Not only is it a good chance for us to have some casual chit-chats, we also learnt a lot about food in different countries through these team meals as well.
6. Lunch & learn
Other than just having chit-chats for your remote team meals, you can also Invite an expert or have someone in your team prepare a learning session based on recent trending topics so your teammates can have their meals together and learn at the same time.
7. Remote coffee run
This one is similar to remote team meals but can happen at more random times. In need for a coffee break to freshen up your mind? Call into a Zoom meeting and go for a walk for a coffee with your teammates.
8. Kids meetup
If some of your teammates have kids already, you can host some family virtual meetups where your teammates’ kids can hang out together and it’s also a good chance to meet families of your teammates.
9. Movie night
Have a quick poll on what movie your team wants to watch together (Polly is a great app for the polling) and host a virtual movie night where everyone watches the movie together. Stay a bit longer after the movie for some chit-chats afterwards.
10. Happy hour
Consider hosting a biweekly happy hour on Fridays so teammates can relax and hang out at the end of a long week (or sprint!).
11. Exercise together
One potential downside of remote working is that sometimes you just won’t even leave your home for the whole day and a lot of time, it also means a lack of exercises. To help everyone stay in good shape, you can consider hosting video calls and exercise together. It’s often more fun to exercise together than doing it alone!
12. Interest classes
For example, you can organize a chocolate making class before Valentine’s Day and a floral arrangement class before Mother’s Day. You can either hire an expert to do an online class with you or your team might already have a lot of hidden talents! (So it’s good to ask your teammates to fill out their Teammates Profile and share their secret talents!)
13. Secret Santa
Although your teammates might not be located in the same place, it doesn’t mean you can’t do gift exchange at holiday seasons!
Set a gift price limit (including shipping fee) and encourage teammates to buy something that is special for their country and culture. So other than the joy of receiving gifts, it’s a good chance to learn about different cultures as well.
14. Donut calls
Donut is an app that regularly pairs up team members who don’t know each other well for a chat or coffee. This can help your teammates get to know each other much better outside of work and help them feel more connected as a team.
15. Book club
Reading is a great hobby to learn more both for your professional and personal life. To encourage teammates to read, you can start a virtual book club where teammates will start reading the same book together and host sections to discuss the book.
16. Share your playlists
Many people love music! And it’s fun to share your playlists with teammates. With teammates located in different countries, you can often discover interesting music that you might never heard of if not because of this activity.
We will continue to expand this list as our team grows and try out more fun team building activities for remote teams. Although it might sound cliché, distance won’t keep us part and it can be fun working remotely as well!