40 Virtual Employee Engagement Activities for Team Building
by Signe Hegart
November 27, 2023
In the era of remote work and virtual teams, the need for effective employee incentives engagement has never been more crucial. Virtual employee engagement activities play a pivotal role in cultivating a connected, motivated, and collaborative workforce. As organizations navigate the landscape of distributed teams, the challenge lies in fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among team members who may be physically scattered.
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What are Virtual Employee Engagement Activities?
Virtual employee engagement activities are activities that companies can organize for their remote or virtual teams to promote team building, boost morale, and increase employee engagement. These activities are designed to create a sense of connection and camaraderie among team members, despite not being physically present in the same location. With the rise of remote work and virtual teams, it has become increasingly important for companies to find ways to keep their employees engaged and connected, even when they are not able to be together in person. Virtual employee engagement activities provide a solution to this challenge by providing opportunities for team members to interact, collaborate, and have fun together, regardless of their physical location.
Why are Virtual Employee Engagement Activities Important?
Virtual employee engagement activities are important for several reasons, especially in today’s dynamic work environment. Here are some key reasons why they matter:
- Team Building and Collaboration: Virtual engagement activities help build a sense of camaraderie among team members who may be working in different locations. Team-building exercises foster collaboration, trust, and a positive team spirit.
- Morale Boost: Remote work can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation or disconnection. Virtual engagement activities boost morale by providing opportunities for social interaction, fun, and a break from routine tasks.
- Increased Productivity: Engaged employees are generally more motivated and productive. Virtual activities can serve as a way to break the monotony of work, allowing employees to return to their tasks with renewed energy and focus.
- Stress Reduction: Remote work, while convenient, can come with its own set of challenges and stressors. Engaging activities, especially those related to wellness and mindfulness, can contribute to stress reduction and improved mental well-being.
- Enhanced Communication: Virtual engagement activities facilitate open communication channels among team members. When people feel comfortable interacting in a relaxed setting, it often translates into improved communication during work-related tasks.
- Retention and Employee Satisfaction: Engaged employees are more likely to stay with an organization. Virtual engagement activities contribute to a positive work culture, which in turn enhances employee satisfaction and reduces turnover.
Read also: Boost Employee Engagement with Top 20 Employee Survey Tools
Employee incentives in Virtual Employee Engagement Activities ????
Incentives are crucial for motivating employees to actively participate in virtual engagement activities. Here are some effective employee incentives for virtual employee engagement:
Recognition and Rewards
Acknowledge outstanding contributions with virtual certificates, digital badges, or public praise during team meetings. Consider tangible rewards, such as gift cards or vouchers, for exceptional performance.
Professional Development Opportunities
Offer opportunities for skill development or career advancement as incentives. This could include access to online courses, workshops, or mentorship programs.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Provide flexibility in work hours or additional days off as a reward for active participation in virtual engagement activities. This acknowledges the effort while promoting work-life balance.
Integrate wellness incentives, such as subscriptions to mindfulness apps, fitness classes, or virtual wellness challenges. Promoting overall well-being can positively impact employee engagement.
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40 Virtual Employee Engagement Activities ????????????
Virtual employee engagement activities are crucial for fostering team collaboration, boosting morale, and maintaining a positive work culture, especially in remote or distributed work environments. Here are 40 virtual employee engagement activities to consider:
1. Virtual Escape Room: Engage the team in solving puzzles and challenges to “escape” within a set time.
- Immerse your team in a collaborative experience where problem-solving and teamwork take center stage.
- Create a storyline for the escape room to add an element of excitement and intrigue.
- Encourage communication and strategizing as team members work together to unlock clues and overcome obstacles.
- Debrief after the activity to discuss the importance of effective communication and problem-solving in a team setting.
2. Online Trivia Night: Host a trivia competition using platforms like Kahoot or Quizizz.
- Tailor trivia questions to include both work-related and fun, personal topics to cater to a diverse range of interests.
- Foster friendly competition and team bonding as colleagues compete in a lighthearted environment.
- Include categories that showcase individual strengths, promoting a sense of recognition and camaraderie.
- Consider themed trivia nights to add variety, such as pop culture, history, or company-specific questions.
3. Virtual Team Lunch: Encourage team members to join a virtual lunch and share their favorite dishes.
- Promote a relaxed and informal atmosphere by bringing the team together during mealtime.
- Facilitate casual conversation by incorporating icebreaker questions or fun facts about each team member.
- Strengthen connections by sharing personal stories and experiences over a virtual meal.
- Consider organizing themed virtual lunches, such as “international cuisine day,” to celebrate diversity.
4. Online Team-Building Games: Games like Pictionary, charades, or Two Truths and a Lie can be played virtually.
- Foster creativity and quick thinking with games that encourage spontaneous interaction.
- Use video conferencing features to enhance the gaming experience, allowing for gestures and expressions.
- Rotate team members in different rounds to ensure everyone has a chance to participate.
- Reflect on the importance of effective communication and adaptability as key takeaways from the games.
5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items and have team members find them in their homes.
- Infuse an element of fun and exploration into remote work with a virtual scavenger hunt.
- Design challenges that require collaboration and problem-solving skills.
- Celebrate successful hunts with small rewards or recognition for the most creative solutions.
- Discuss how the activity translates to effective communication and resourcefulness in a virtual work environment.
6. Themed Dress-Up Day: Choose a theme for the day, and have everyone dress accordingly during virtual meetings.
- Inject humor and creativity into the virtual workspace by introducing themed dress-up days.
- Encourage team members to express their personalities and embrace a sense of playfulness.
- Use themed days as an opportunity to break the ice and strengthen team connections.
- Reflect on the positive impact of a lighthearted atmosphere on team morale and collaboration.
7. Share Your Workspace: Have team members give a virtual tour of their workspaces.
- Promote transparency and understanding by allowing team members to share their work environments.
- Encourage individuals to highlight personal touches and elements that reflect their work style.
- Use this activity as an opportunity to discuss the challenges and joys of remote work.
- Foster a sense of connection by recognizing and appreciating the diversity of home workspaces within the team.
8. Book Club: Choose a book to read as a team and host virtual discussions.
- Cultivate a culture of continuous learning and shared interests by establishing a team book club.
- Select books that align with professional development goals or explore diverse genres for broader appeal.
- Schedule regular virtual discussions to exchange insights, fostering intellectual engagement.
- Encourage team members to draw connections between the book’s themes and their work experiences, promoting a holistic approach to personal and professional development.
Related: 29 Team Building Companies You Wanna Know About
Wellness and Fun Activities
9. Virtual Fitness Class: Arrange for a virtual fitness instructor to lead a workout session.
- Prioritize the well-being of your team by incorporating physical activity into their routine.
- Choose a variety of workouts to accommodate different fitness levels and preferences.
- Emphasize the importance of physical health in boosting overall productivity and energy levels.
- Encourage team members to share their favorite exercises or fitness tips for a collaborative approach to well-being
10. Mindfulness and Meditation: Conduct virtual mindfulness or meditation sessions to promote well-being.
- Introduce moments of calm and reflection to alleviate stress and enhance mental well-being.
- Collaborate with mindfulness experts or use guided meditation apps to facilitate sessions.
- Discuss the impact of mindfulness on focus, resilience, and overall emotional intelligence.
- Encourage team members to share their favorite mindfulness techniques for a supportive, shared practice.
11. Cooking Class: Hire a chef or have team members take turns leading virtual cooking classes.
- Foster a sense of community by exploring culinary skills together in a virtual setting.
- Rotate instructors to showcase diverse cuisines and cooking styles within the team.
- Share recipes in advance to allow team members to gather ingredients and cook along.
- Reflect on the parallels between successful teamwork and the collaborative nature of a well-coordinated kitchen.
12. Virtual Happy Hour: Schedule a regular virtual happy hour for casual conversations.
- Provide a relaxed environment for team members to unwind and connect on a personal level.
- Incorporate icebreaker questions or themed discussions to spark engaging conversations.
- Highlight the importance of social connections in maintaining a positive team dynamic.
- Rotate the responsibility of hosting to encourage participation and diverse interaction.
13. Online Games Tournament: Organize a tournament for online games like chess, Among Us, or Fortnite.
- Foster team spirit through friendly competition and shared gaming experiences, which connect together now 3.3 billion active gamers worldwide.
- Choose games that accommodate various skill levels and preferences within the team.
- Discuss the parallels between strategic gaming and problem-solving in a professional context.
- Celebrate accomplishments and highlight the value of teamwork and strategic thinking.
14. DIY Craft Session: Engage in a creative session where team members create something together.
- Unleash creativity and promote a sense of accomplishment through collaborative crafting.
- Choose projects that accommodate different skill levels and utilize readily available materials.
- Discuss the symbolism behind the chosen craft and its connection to team dynamics.
- Encourage team members to showcase their creations, fostering a supportive and appreciative atmosphere.
Related: Discover the Top 25 Wellness Companies for a Healthy Work-Life Balance
15. Skill Sharing Sessions: Allow team members to share their skills or hobbies in short sessions.
- Encourage a culture of continuous learning by providing a platform for team members to showcase their unique talents.
- Schedule regular sessions where individuals can share insights into their areas of expertise or hobbies.
- Facilitate a supportive environment where questions and interactive discussions are welcomed.
- Recognize the diverse skills within the team, fostering mutual appreciation and a sense of collective growth.
16. Virtual Training Workshops: Bring in external experts or have internal team members lead workshops.
- Invest in professional development by organizing virtual workshops covering relevant skills and industry trends.
- Leverage internal expertise or collaborate with external professionals to share valuable insights.
- Encourage active participation through Q&A sessions and hands-on exercises.
- Discuss the applicability of the workshop content to current projects and future goals.
17. Industry Webinars: Attend virtual webinars or conferences together as a team.
- Stay updated on industry trends and developments by attending webinars or virtual conferences as a team.
- Schedule follow-up discussions to share key takeaways and brainstorm how to implement new insights.
- Foster a culture of shared learning and continuous improvement within the team.
- Encourage team members to suggest and coordinate attendance at relevant virtual events.
18. TED Talk Discussions: Pick a TED Talk to watch and discuss as a team.
- Stimulate thought-provoking discussions by selecting TED Talks that align with team goals or interests.
- Schedule regular sessions to watch and analyze TED Talks together, encouraging diverse perspectives.
- Relate the themes of the talks to the team’s work, promoting critical thinking and innovation.
- Consider rotating the responsibility of choosing and leading discussions to involve all team members.
19. Online Learning Challenges: Set goals for learning a new skill and share progress as a team.
- Promote a culture of continuous learning by collectively setting and tracking learning goals.
- Choose skills relevant to both individual and team development, such as project management or communication skills.
- Celebrate achievements and provide support for overcoming challenges during the learning process.
- Discuss the applicability of newly acquired skills to current projects and future professional growth.
Communication and Recognition
20. Virtual Awards Ceremony: Recognize achievements and milestones with virtual awards.
- Elevate team morale by hosting a virtual awards ceremony to acknowledge outstanding contributions.
- Create a variety of awards to highlight different aspects, such as innovation, collaboration, or leadership.
- Make the ceremony interactive, allowing team members to express appreciation for their peers.
- Emphasize the positive impact of individual efforts on team success, reinforcing a culture of recognition.
21. Team Shoutouts: Allocate time in meetings for team members to appreciate each other.
- Foster a positive and supportive atmosphere by incorporating regular shoutout sessions.
- Provide team members with the opportunity to express gratitude and recognition for their colleagues.
- Encourage specific examples of exceptional work or collaboration, promoting a culture of appreciation.
- Highlight the interconnectedness of individual efforts and team success.
22. Virtual Coffee Breaks: Schedule short, informal virtual coffee breaks for team members to connect.
- Cultivate a sense of camaraderie by providing informal spaces for team members to connect.
- Schedule short breaks during which team members can share updates, anecdotes, or casual conversations.
- Use these breaks to strengthen interpersonal relationships and build a more cohesive team.
- Rotate hosts or themes to keep the virtual coffee breaks engaging and inclusive.
23. Celebrate Milestones: Acknowledge birthdays, work anniversaries, or other significant events.
- Demonstrate a genuine interest in team members’ lives by celebrating personal milestones.
- Schedule dedicated time during meetings to acknowledge birthdays, work anniversaries, or other achievements.
- Consider sending virtual cards, small gifts, or organizing surprise celebrations to make milestones memorable.
- Reinforce a culture that values both professional and personal aspects of team members’ lives.
24. Show and Tell: Encourage team members to share interesting things about themselves.
- Build a more personal connection within the team by incorporating show and tell sessions.
- Allow team members to share hobbies, talents, or unique experiences in a casual and supportive environment.
- Foster an inclusive culture by celebrating the diverse interests and backgrounds of team members.
- Use show and tell as an opportunity to break down communication barriers and strengthen team bonds.
25. Virtual Volunteering: Identify virtual volunteering opportunities for the team.
- Foster a sense of social responsibility by researching and participating in virtual volunteering initiatives.
- Choose opportunities that align with the team’s skills and interests, allowing for meaningful contributions.
- Schedule dedicated time for team members to engage in virtual volunteering, emphasizing the collective impact.
- Reflect on the experience and discuss how virtual volunteering aligns with the team’s values and goals.
26. Charity Challenges: Organize challenges to raise funds for a chosen charity.
- Combine team-building with philanthropy by creating challenges that encourage fundraising efforts.
- Select a charity that resonates with the team and aligns with corporate social responsibility values.
- Use friendly competition to motivate team members to actively participate and contribute.
- Celebrate the team’s collective achievement in making a positive impact through charitable giving.
27. Team Community Project: Collaborate on a virtual project to benefit the local community.
- Strengthen team bonds by collectively working on a virtual project that contributes to the community.
- Identify community needs and design a project that leverages the team’s skills and resources.
- Schedule regular updates on the project’s progress, fostering a sense of shared accomplishment.
- Reflect on the broader impact of the team’s efforts and the value of community engagement.
28. Environmental Initiatives: Implement eco-friendly practices and share progress with the team.
- Demonstrate a commitment to sustainability by incorporating environmentally friendly practices.
- Set goals for reducing waste, conserving resources, or adopting green technologies within the team.
- Share updates on the team’s environmental initiatives, encouraging accountability and participation.
- Discuss the broader significance of eco-friendly practices and their alignment with corporate values.
Open Communication Platforms
29. Virtual Suggestion Box: Use online tools for anonymous suggestions and feedback.
- Foster an open and inclusive culture by implementing a virtual suggestion box.
- Use online platforms that allow team members to submit suggestions anonymously, promoting honest feedback.
- Schedule regular sessions to review and address suggestions, demonstrating a commitment to improvement.
- Emphasize the value of every team member’s input in shaping the team’s processes and culture.
30. Team Blog or Newsletter: Encourage team members to contribute to a virtual blog or newsletter.
- Cultivate a sense of ownership and creativity by allowing team members to contribute to a shared blog or newsletter.
- Rotate the responsibility of curating content, sharing insights, or showcasing team achievements.
- Use the platform to highlight individual team members, fostering a sense of recognition and appreciation.
- Share the blog or newsletter internally and celebrate the collaborative effort.
31. Watercooler Chat Channels: Set up informal channels for casual conversations on messaging platforms.
- Mimic the spontaneous conversations that happen around the office watercooler by creating virtual chat channels.
- Use messaging platforms to facilitate casual discussions, sharing interesting articles, or exchanging light-hearted banter.
- Encourage team members to share non-work-related updates, strengthening personal connections.
- Utilize these channels as a way to break down communication barriers and promote a more relaxed team dynamic.
32. Virtual Team Challenges: Create ongoing challenges to keep the team engaged and motivated.
- Sustain team motivation by introducing ongoing challenges that align with professional or personal development goals.
- Establish a system for tracking progress and acknowledging achievements, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
- Rotate the type of challenges to keep activities fresh and cater to diverse interests within the team.
- Use challenges as an opportunity to strengthen teamwork and encourage healthy competition in a supportive environment.
33. Remote Talent Show: Allow team members to showcase their talents in a virtual talent show.
- Uncover hidden talents and celebrate the diverse skills within the team through a virtual talent show.
- Provide a platform for team members to share talents ranging from music and art to unique hobbies.
- Foster a supportive environment where creativity is celebrated, creating a positive team culture.
- Reflect on the experience as a means of discovering and appreciating the richness of individual talents within the team.
34. Virtual Office Games: Adapt traditional office games like “Guess the Baby Photo” for virtual settings.
- Reinvent classic office games to suit virtual platforms, injecting fun and nostalgia into team interactions.
- Choose games that promote team bonding and laughter, fostering a positive and engaging atmosphere.
- Encourage team members to actively participate by contributing ideas for game adaptations.
- Discuss the impact of these virtual games on team morale and camaraderie.
35. Language Learning Sessions: Organize language learning sessions where team members can teach and learn.
- Foster a culture of continuous learning by organizing language learning sessions within the team.
- Allow team members to share their language expertise or facilitate sessions led by external instructors.
- Rotate the languages covered to accommodate diverse linguistic interests within the team.
- Discuss the benefits of language diversity in promoting effective communication and global perspectives.
36. Desktop Show-and-Tell: Share interesting things on your desktop during virtual meetings.
- Provide a window into team members’ personalities by incorporating desktop show-and-tell sessions.
- Encourage individuals to share interesting files, projects, or virtual backgrounds during meetings.
- Use this activity as a way to break down virtual barriers and spark conversations beyond work tasks.
- Discuss the diversity of interests within the team and explore connections between personal and professional passions.
37. Team Playlist: Collaboratively create a team playlist on a music streaming platform.
- Strengthen team bonds through a shared musical experience by creating a team playlist.
- Encourage team members to contribute songs that inspire them or hold personal significance.
- Discuss the eclectic mix of music as a reflection of the team’s diverse tastes and personalities.
- Use the playlist during virtual breaks or as background music for team activities.
38. Customized Digital Wallpapers: Design and share digital wallpapers that represent the team spirit.
- Promote team identity and pride by creating customized digital wallpapers that reflect the team’s values.
- Encourage team members to contribute design ideas or collaborate on creating a cohesive theme.
- Share the wallpapers on team devices to create a visual representation of unity and shared purpose.
- Discuss the symbolism and significance of the chosen designs in team meetings.
39. Virtual High-Fives or Cheers: Use virtual reactions to express appreciation during meetings.
- Infuse positivity into virtual meetings by incorporating virtual high-fives, cheers, or applause.
- Use reaction emojis or virtual hand-raising features to acknowledge and celebrate achievements.
- Foster a culture of appreciation and recognition, even in the absence of physical interactions.
- Discuss the impact of virtual expressions of appreciation on team morale and motivation.
40. Team Building Through Shared Goals: Set team goals and celebrate achievements together.
- Unify the team by establishing shared goals that align with larger organizational objectives.
- Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable milestones to maintain motivation.
- Celebrate successes collectively, reinforcing the idea that achievements are a result of teamwork.
- Use shared goals as a platform for continuous improvement and collaborative problem-solving.
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Creating a sense of community among remote employees
As companies continue to embrace remote work, creating a sense of community among remote employees has become increasingly important. Despite physical distance, it’s essential to foster a connected and engaged workforce. Here are some effective strategies to create a sense of community among remote employees:
Establish a clear communication channel to keep everyone informed and connected. Utilize video conferences, team messaging platforms, and regular check-ins to encourage open dialogue and collaboration.
Virtual Team Building Activities
Organize virtual employee engagement activities to promote camaraderie and strengthen relationships. Consider virtual happy hours, online games, or virtual team challenges to create opportunities for employees to interact and have fun together.
Foster Social Connections
Encourage remote employees to connect on a personal level by creating dedicated channels or groups for non-work-related conversations. This can mimic the water cooler chats and help build friendships within the team.
Celebrate Milestones and Achievements
Recognize and celebrate individual and team achievements regularly. This can be done through virtual shout-outs, emails, or announcements during team meetings. Acknowledging accomplishments boosts morale and strengthens the sense of belonging.
Read also: 200 Work Conversation Starters for Building Better Connections
Stats about Virtual Employee Engagement ????
- 51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace, while 13% are actively disengaged
- companies with a highly engaged workforce have 21% higher profitability
- 38% of remote employees reported feeling exhausted after daily virtual meetings, while 30% said they felt stressed
Strategies to implement for making virtual employees feel valued
In today’s digital era, more companies are embracing remote work and hiring virtual employees. While this setup offers numerous benefits, one challenge that arises is how to make virtual employees feel valued and connected to the company culture. Here are five effective strategies to implement:
1. Regular and Transparent Communication
Establish a consistent communication channel with virtual employees, such as video conferences, instant messaging, or project management tools. Regularly update them on company news, projects, and achievements. Be transparent about goals, challenges, and changes within the organization. This helps virtual employees feel involved, informed, and valued.
2. Recognition and Appreciation
Express appreciation for the virtual employees’ contributions and achievements. Celebrate their successes publicly, whether it’s through emails, newsletters, or a dedicated recognition platform. Encourage team members to recognize and applaud each other’s accomplishments. Feeling valued and appreciated motivates virtual employees to continue delivering high-quality work.
3. Opportunities for Growth and Development
Provide virtual employees with opportunities for professional growth and development. Offer access to online training courses, webinars, or workshops related to their roles. Encourage them to set goals and provide the necessary resources and support to achieve these objectives. When virtual employees see that the company invests in their growth, it enhances their sense of value and commitment.
4. Inclusion in Decision-Making
Include virtual employees in decision-making processes whenever possible. Seek their input and opinions, especially in areas that directly affect their work. This involvement makes them feel like an integral part of the team and shows that their perspectives and expertise are valued. Encourage virtual employees to contribute ideas and suggestions for improvement and innovation.
5. Foster a Sense of Belonging
Create opportunities for virtual employees to connect with their colleagues and the company as a whole. Schedule virtual team-building activities, such as online games, virtual happy hours, or informal video chats. Encourage virtual employees to participate in company-wide initiatives and events, and make sure they feel included and welcomed. Building a sense of belonging helps virtual employees feel valued and connected to the company culture.
Related: What You Need To Know: Mastering Employee Rewards and Recognition
3 tips for Virtual Employee Engagement Activities
- Virtual Team Building Activities: Plan Virtual employee engagement activities for teambuilding to foster a sense of camaraderie among virtual employees. Activities like online games, virtual escape rooms, or trivia sessions can help employees bond and build relationships. These activities also provide an opportunity for virtual employees to collaborate and work together towards a common goal.
- Virtual Training and Development Programs: Offer virtual training and development programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of virtual employees. This can include webinars, online courses, or workshops that are specifically tailored to their roles and responsibilities. Providing these opportunities for growth shows virtual employees that the company is invested in their development and career progression.
- Virtual Recognition and Rewards: Implement a virtual recognition and rewards program to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of virtual employees. This can include virtual certificates, digital badges, or even monetary incentives. Recognizing and rewarding virtual employees for their hard work and achievements boosts morale and motivation, leading to increased engagement and productivity.
In essence, Virtual employee engagement activities is vital for a connected remote workforce. These activities impact team building, morale, productivity, stress reduction, and communication, ensuring overall employee satisfaction. The diverse list of 40 activities, ranging from team-building to professional development, fosters a positive work culture. Creating a sense of community among remote employees is crucial. Regular communication, virtual team-building, milestone celebrations, and strategies to make virtual employees feel valued integrate them into the organizational culture. Companies prioritizing these activities demonstrate commitment to a more engaged, connected, and high-performing remote workforce, showcasing adaptability and creativity in the evolving landscape of remote work.
Let’s have a chat
In the era of remote work, maintaining employee morale and a sense of belonging is crucial. Virtual engagement activities contribute to building a motivated and connected workforce, enhancing overall job satisfaction and productivity.
Effective implementation involves understanding the unique dynamics of remote work and tailoring activities to the team’s preferences. Utilize video conferencing tools, encourage open communication, and consider incorporating employee incentives, such as virtual recognition or rewards, to enhance engagement.
Employee incentives can be incorporated by recognizing and rewarding outstanding contributions during virtual activities. This may include virtual badges, gift cards, or other tangible acknowledgments to motivate and appreciate employees for their participation and efforts.