The Best Team-Building Activities for the Remote or Hybrid Team

Companies are facing new challenges as hybrid and remote work continue to change the landscape of company culture and team experience. Even if your team is currently on-site, many believe that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have at least one remote employee.

You may be wondering: How will you manage your team and continue to encourage growth in the workplace if everyone is working from their home?

We have an answer: team-building activities.

Through team-building activities, your employees will learn how to work with one another, inevitably increasing productivity and improving the quality of work they produce. Not only will team-building help your team connect and collaborate, but your company is also 4.5 times more likely to retain talented employees with effective communication.

These team-building experiences have the power to do so much more than relieve your employees of the workweek stress and reward them for their hard work. When used correctly, you’re building a team of employees that trust each other and can connect on a deeper level.

But why is team building such an integral part of the workplace?

As an employer, you want to improve their work experience while also streamlining their success. Naturally, work can get stressful, overwhelming, and even lonely sometimes. Some research suggests when employees feel isolated in the workplace, it can reduce productivity by 21%. If your remote team isn’t communicating effectively on projects, this can impact productivity and workflow. Although remote teams have several advantages that can benefit company culture and your employees’ well-being, they can still feel a disconnect that can impact them individually.

We’re here to walk you through everything you need to know to plan and schedule successful team-building events for your remote or hybrid team.

What is the main purpose of team building?

The main purpose of team building is to help boost morale, generate connections, and help your team work better together. Improving communication among team members can improve productivity and the overall work ethic of your team. Some research suggests socializing can improve communication patterns by more than 50%. Even small team-building exercises, such as icebreakers, can help support positive communication habits among team members.

When choosing a virtual team-building exercise for your team, we recommend considering your overall goal. Maybe, you have a lot of new faces at your company or you want two departments to work together on more projects in the future. You may choose to go with something more interactive and social if it’s new hires, such as a trivia game with icebreakers. If you’re trying to reengage with employees who currently work for you, a happy hour or cooking class may be a better fit.

Perhaps you go with a particular team-building exercise based on this goal and your understanding of your team. Whether it’s your employee’s first week on a new job or they’ve been with the company for more than five years, there is always something new to learn and derive from a team-building experience.

Types of virtual team-building experiences

Thankfully, you have a lot of options when it comes to team-building activities for a remote work environment. From scavenger hunts to cooking classes, you are sure to find something that not only fits the needs of your team, but also provides them with an enjoyable time with their colleagues.

Here are a few of our favorite categories to choose from for team building:

Entertainment

Let’s have some fun and make new friends! Entertainment virtual events are among some of the most popular experiences we offer. Not only do they value team building and encourage members of your team to work together, but they are also a ton of fun! From team trivia to magic shows, we are sure to have an entertaining virtual experience that was designed to help foster a connection between your team members.

Cooking

Surprise your team with a cooking experience like no other. Cooking is a great way to connect, eat yummy food, and enjoy the company you are virtually cooking with. When you choose a cooking class, you’re providing your team members with more than just a delicious team-building exercise. They are also receiving an interactive experience that will put their creativity to the test and allow them to learn a new skill or two. The best part is they will have a home-cooked dish to share with their friends and family after the workday is over!

Wellness

Show your employees their health and wellness matter to you with one of our unique relaxing experiences. These types of events allow your team members to unwind and destress from the workday. From corporate yoga to plant design parties, these events put emphasis on the individual’s needs, work to uplift their spirits, and encourage them to connect with their colleagues throughout the experience.

Creating

Expand their minds and put their creativity to the test with virtual experiences that focus on inspiring inner artists and allow opportunities to think outside of the box. These types of virtual events provide your team with an interactive experience that allows them to be themselves and engage with their team members. Creative activities are great for smaller groups or a department mixer.

Games

Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Games are great remote experiences that are sure to get the whole Zoom laughing and having fun together. Some games even have breakout rooms to allow everyone to connect on a more personal level. We recommend using a virtual game experience for a fun workweek happy hour or after a companywide meeting.

airfocus-DowRNum2DI0-unsplash

Our top 5 Elevent picks for virtual team building

Planning successful team-building activities that your team will enjoy doesn’t have to be challenging. We have a large selection of high-quality virtual events that are sure to enhance the workweek and encourage your team members to bond.

Here are a few of our favorite picks:

Paint Party with Deluxe Kit

Get ready for the ultimate party experience. Your team members will receive everything they need to put their art skills to the test and create something beautiful. Everyone will have the chance to laugh, socialize, share, and create a stunning masterpiece with their colleagues. When you plan a paint party, you can choose to have a friendly competition by having everyone share their art on Zoom. The host is there to guide your members through the experience, encourage participation, and answer any questions. This virtual team-building idea can accommodate groups of 10 to 500 and pairs well with wine.

Sushi & Sake

This experience is unlike any other and is sure to get a positive reaction from your team members. Your team will experience a live tutorial on how to properly roll sushi and make two delicious cocktails. During this 90-minute virtual experience, there is a designated time for team socializing and bonding to ensure everyone is getting the most out of their experience. Each team member will have everything they need for this Sushi & Sake experience delivered to their door so you never have to worry about prepping and planning. If you are looking for a unique experience to accommodate your group of 100, this may be the perfect team-building activity for you.

A Cocktail Party Murder Mystery

Time to take a figurative stab at a good murder mystery. This experience has everything you need for the perfect team-bonding experience: mingling, icebreakers, fun, and a whole lot of mystery! Throughout the experience, your group will need to work together to solve the puzzles and think critically about clues. This event can accommodate 12 to 50 team members and is designed to get everyone in a cocktail party mood.

Pro tip: Enhance this experience by encouraging your team members to dress up for the cocktail party or send a bottle of wine for them to enjoy throughout the experience.

Ravioli Workshop

Channel your inner cook and get ready to get your hands deliciously dirty with this ravioli workshop. Your team members will have the opportunity to work together, make delicious ravioli, and learn all the tricks of the trade. At the end of the experience, everyone will have a restaurant-quality dish they can enjoy with friends or family. We recommend doing some icebreakers before the event or ending it with a happy hour to increase engagement and enhance the experience.

The Mafia 360

Get ready for an online escape room full of surprises and entertainment. Your team members will need to explore rooms, gather clues, and share tools with everyone throughout the interactive game. The only way to beat the game first is to work together with other teammates and effectively communicate your way throughout the rooms. This 75-minute experience can accommodate groups of 15 to 350 and is the perfect escape room for anyone who loves jam-packed entertainment and a little competition.

5 team-building activities you can plan today

You don’t have to plan a virtual event to have a team-building activity of value. Here are five of our favorite activities you can implement into the workday, introduce during team meetings, and encourage your team members to engage more often.

Community service event

If you have a hybrid team, we recommend coming together for a community service event. It feels good to step back from the workday and give back to your community. Not only will you be actively making a difference together, but it will also boost morale and keep spirits high. Consider planning a community service during the workday to increase participation and have more individuals attend. Who knows, maybe your team will like it so much, you make it an annual community service event!

Company-sponsored happy hours

Looking for a way to kick back, relax, and talk about anything but work? Then you need a company-sponsored happy hour in your life. A happy hour can be an entertaining opportunity to meet your team members and encourage them to connect on a more casual level. All you’ll need to do is block out a time to set up a happy hour Zoom party at the end of the week or make a reservation at a local brewery for everyone to meet in person. If you choose to take a Zoom approach, we recommend pairing it with one of our virtual events or including a lot of icebreakers to help lighten the mood.

Mini-icebreakers (that aren’t lame)

Sometimes, all you need is a few icebreaker questions to break the ice and get everyone familiar with who they are working with. Consider starting an email chain or writing in your work chat, encouraging team members to answer questions, share photos of their pets, or interact with one another. The best part about mini-icebreakers is there’s not a ton of pressure for employees. The little things turn into the big things and help your team members bond.

Create casual work chats

It may seem silly, but those #random or #pets work channels at work have the power to create authentic connections in the workplace. Providing these types of chat channels during work allows team members to connect based on interests, hobbies, and everything in between. Who knows, they may even plan some puppy play dates outside of work.

Choose a buddy

Another great option is encouraging your team to find a buddy they have never spoken to and plan a Zoom lunch or coffee with them. This is an easy way to encourage members of your team to connect with someone they’ve never talked to and create authentic relationships in the workplace. We recommend blocking out time on everyone’s calendars to have lunch or coffee or regularly encouraging it in weekly meetings. You never know, they may become good friends outside of work.

How often should teams be planning virtual/in-person events?

We recommend planning one team event per quarter. This will give your company enough time to plan events of value and provide a good cadence throughout the year. Adding the dates in advance to your employees’ calendars can help individuals get excited and prepared for some fun.

The dates you choose for your event planning may depend on your business and when your busy and slow seasons are. Your team’s happiness and success should never be on the back burner. We recommend planning out your events at the beginning of the year so team-building is prioritized and top of mind.

To maximize the results of your team-building initiatives, we recommend having a focus on smaller, more manageable groups, as well. You may choose to do department-based events more frequently and pair them with a companywide event that takes place every quarter. This is a great way to ensure the team members who work together are comfortable collaborating and connecting with their team members.

Are there specific times of the year that teams should think to plan events?

From holidays to end-of-the-quarter celebrations, there is always an opportunity to encourage team building in the workplace. If you run out of inspiration or want to plan an event with more value, you can use national holidays to help you curate events that are engaging and interactive for your team.

For example, maybe you want to celebrate your team members on Administrative Professionals Day. You can plan a luncheon for their hard work and utilize a virtual team-building exercise to enhance the experience. This is an easy way to show you care about their hard work and value what they bring to the team.

When planning virtual events that have a focus on an upcoming holiday, it’s important to stay mindful of individual beliefs and look for holidays that bring everyone together.

Here are a few holidays that can help all employees feel welcomed and included:

February

Black History Month

March

Women’s History Month

International Women’s Day

April

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Arab-American Heritage Month

Administrative Professionals Day

May

Mental Health Month

South Asian American Heritage Month

Cinco De Mayo

Memorial Day

Mother’s Day

June

Pride Month

Juneteenth

Father’s Day

September–October

Hispanic Heritage Month

October

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Work and Family Month

Filipino-American Heritage Month

November

Veteran’s Day

Native American Heritage Month

Thanksgiving

December

Christmas

Kwanzaa

New Year’s Eve

Planning and scheduling a team-building activity or event for your team that is centralized on one of these national holidays can help you successfully schedule one event every quarter and add purpose to your team-building exercises. Every employee is unique and different in their own way — that's the great part about having a team! Show your employees you care about their individuality and provide them with an event that makes them feel included.

If you are looking for more inspiration, you can check out this full list of holidays observed in the U.S. here.

Wrapping up: Team-building activities

These activities have the potential to enhance your team members’ work experience and reduce turnover in the workplace. If your team members are happy, have connections, and successfully collaborate on a daily basis, you’ll start to notice the high-quality work they produce. When it comes to remote or hybrid teams, it has never been more important to provide team-building activities that foster workplace relationships.

As you start to research team-building solutions for your remote or hybrid team, we recommend looking through our full list of virtual experiences to find one that might work for you and your company. From game nights to paint and sips, we are sure to have an event that meets the needs of your team member’s unique personalities.

When you work with Elevent, you never have to worry about any of the planning or executing of the events. We provide high-quality experiences for groups of all sizes and take care of all of the logistics, so you can join in on the fun too!

To learn more about our events or how it works, contact us today!