It’s not hard to see why working remote is appealing – it certainly has its perks. You spend less time commuting, have more autonomy, and face fewer distractions. The positives of remote work far outweigh any negatives. 

However, it can be difficult to form strong bonds with your teammates when you don’t work in the same office. According to Igloo’s 2019 State of the Digital Workplace Report, 70% of remote employees feel left out of the workplace.

Fortunately, today’s technology makes it easier than ever for teammates to bond. Check out these six virtual team building ideas to make your remote team feel more connected.

1. Plan a virtual pizza party

Image: Planetary

When you work in a traditional office setting, it’s easy to gather the team in the breakroom for an impromptu pizza party. But who says remote workers can’t enjoy an online pizza party?

A digital agency called Planetary has launched Pizzatime, a new service that allows you to arrange a virtual pizza party for your remote team. After you provide the date and the expected number of participants, Pizzatime will generate an order link to share with attendees. You can share the link on Slack so that everyone can select their personal-sized pizza.

Once everyone places an order, the service coordinates delivery to each location. The attendees will then get a calendar invite with a Zoom video link to join the virtual pizza party.

With some planning, you can bring your remote team together for conversation and pizza.

2. Quiz your teammates

Image: Kahoot

Quizzes spark new conversations and allow employees to learn more about their remote teammates. You can generate quizzes in different formats, such as multiple choice or polls.

For instance, have team members match day-in-the-life photos or surprising facts to their colleagues. Creating trivia and “would you rather” games are also fun options.

Kahoot, a game-based learning platform, allows you to create and run quizzes. Everyone can easily access games on their phones with a URL and game PIN.  

By playing interactive quizzes and games, remote workers can get to know their teammates from afar.

3. Run a team fitness challenge

Image: Stridekick

A little competition can be healthy at times. Group fitness challenges are an excellent way to strengthen relationships as well as support your team’s wellbeing.

The concept is simple. Assign everyone an exercise goal, which team members can use their phones to track. The top performer wins a prize. For example, you can challenge your team to see who can achieve the most steps over a week or two. 

Numerous apps allow you to set up and track team fitness challenges. Stridekick, for instance, is an app that offers four types of challenge modes. You can compete to the top of a leaderboard individually or work together as a team to achieve your goals.

Alternatively, you can use an app called Charity Miles to get everyone moving while raising money to support a cause. The app allows your team to earn money for a charity from the app’s sponsorship pool.

4. Organize an outdoor scavenger hunt

Image: Scavify

Teams can participate in an outdoor scavenger hunt no matter their location. Create virtual teams and send each group the same list of tasks to complete. Team members can then divide the tasks amongst themselves. 

For instance, you can ask teammates to locate an object like a specific car model or find someone performing an action like walking a dog. They can show they’ve accomplished a task by submitting a photo of them completing it.

Apps such as GooseChase and Scavify allow you to create, manage, and monitor scavenger hunts. Team members can also use instant messaging apps like WhatsApp to stay connected during the hunt.

5. Designate video social hours

Image: Google Duo

Regularly setting aside time for your team to socialize via video allows everyone to see each other and reconnect. 

Consider hosting a video chat “happy hour” for virtual team building. You can send teammates out of their offices to a local coffee shop or let them share a few beers from their workspaces. 

Use video calling apps like Skype or Google Duo to set up a virtual happy hour across all devices.

Keep work topics to a minimum and be prepared with some icebreakers to get each team member involved in the conversation.

6. Give office space tours

What better way to get to know team members than getting a snapshot of their workspace or home? 

Each team member can take a short video tour of their office space or home and share what they enjoy most about it. Better yet, if they live in an exciting location, they can show off their city’s local attractions or tourist sights. 

Social network apps like Snapchat or Instagram are great ways for remote employees to give coworkers a tour of their location. Team members will get to know each other more and get a better idea of one another’s backgrounds.

Working remote doesn’t mean your team has to feel isolated. When you’re managing remote or distributed teams, it’s essential to look for ways that will help your teammates feel connected. Virtual team building activities build trust and strengthen relationships, making team members more productive throughout the day.