In a time when many small businesses and their employees are working remotely, fostering better communication, developing problem solving skills, and boosting team morale can help you set your team up for success and create a strong sense of community.

Traditionally, team building activities happen at retreats, conferences, or even at regular meetings. These types of activities are important because they can result in better communication, more trust, and a great ability to work well together. But what can you do when your team isn’t in the office? Get your team together virtually for a little team building activity.

Virtual team building strengthen your team – online

Virtual team building takes traditional activities and puts them online. To plan a virtual team building activity, first take a look at some areas you think your team can grow in. Is your team struggling with communication? Can they solve problems together? Do they know each other well?  By asking yourself what needs to improve, you can select one of the activities below to help your team grow and develop new bonds and skillsets. Even if you just want your team to have some fun to boost morale, these ideas will help you meet your goals.

If you want to boost team communication…

  • Have your team start by taking a personality quiz, like the 16 Personalities. These quizzes help employees learn about themselves, their workstyles, and how to work better with other personality types. Have each member of your team take the quiz, and then meet to discuss work styles.
  • User manuals are also a great way to help your team get to know each other better. These user manuals should detail the ways each individual employee works best, the best ways to communicate with them (email, chat, phone), and how they would prefer to receive feedback. You can ask your team to create their user manual after taking a personality quiz and be sure to have them design it so it reflects their unique personality.
  • Ask your team to set up some one on one time together to have a water cooler chat. It’s a good idea to provide structure for these activities so these meetings don’t devolve into awkwardness, especially if team members are new or there is a history of disagreement. Provide questions and topics of discussions for your employees and limit these meetings to no more than 15-30 minutes. When you rejoin as a whole team, each person should report about something new they learned about their coworkers.
  • Break down silos by taking the previous idea a little bit further. Have each person on your team conduct a little training session about what they do and the way it impacts the team. Many coworkers don’t know what goes on in the day-to-day lives of their fellow employees, and it can be insightful and foster greater creativity and teamwork. Alternatively, have each person on your team present about a topic they are passionate about in their personal life, like their favorite sports team or hobby. It can be a fun way to get to know team members and see what makes them tick.

Woman teaches her coworkers about a topic she’s passionate in a virtual team building activity

To help your team improve their problem solving…

  • Work together to break out of a virtual escape room. These activities center around solving puzzles and riddles and require your team to put their heads together to escape. There are escape rooms for every skill level and interest, which makes it easy to find one that will keep your whole team interested and engaged.
  • Depending on the nature of your team, you can organize a drill to test their teamwork in the face of a crisis or new situation. Marketing teams can put together a communications plan or software development teams can organize a pretend sprint to tackle a bug in a piece of code. As a bonus, this activity might even help your team plan for any problems down the road.
  • Create emoji puzzles and break your team up into groups to solve them. You can create emoji puzzles for your company name, or perhaps some of your core values. This activity can be easy or challenging but is sure to get people chatting to solve the problem. When you come back together as a team, that’s the perfect opportunity to discuss your core values or what makes your company special.

A virtual coffee chat is a great virtual team building activity to build camaraderie

If your team needs some camaraderie…

  • Create a central Slack or Teams channel for your group to communicate about fun things going on in their lives. Encourage your team members to share photos or funny memes that they saw, especially if they are related to your area of work. Be sure to lead by example here by sharing your own moments and by commenting or responding to what your team members share.
  • Set up a photo sharing session. Create a folder on your team’s drive for the event. Then, create subfolders for various work-friendly topics, like family vacations, pets, or holiday memories. Next, go through a virtual slideshow and have each member of your team share about their photos as they come up in the show.
  • Play virtual Pictionary or another drawing game, like Drawful. Not only will it be fun for your teammates to see each other’s drawings, a little fun can go along way in helping team members bond.
  • Take a virtual tour together and explore a national park, see animals at the zoo, visit a museum, or listen to a live concert.

Running a small business can be a big undertaking but strengthening your team can help you achieve your business goals. As many teams continue to work remotely, we hope you’ll find these virtual team building activities helpful for fostering communication, learning problem-solving skills, and building strong connections among your team members.

Don’t forget to power your virtual team building with a strong internet connection. See if CenturyLink Small Business internet is available near you today.

Kirsten Queen is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber. Since she started writing professionally, Kirsten has dabbled in nonprofit grant writing and communications, social media marketing, and now writes content about life with technology. In her free time, Kirsten likes to cook, garden, and hike in the mountains of Colorado. Her name rhymes with first, not cheer.