30-Minute Team Building Activities For Remote Offices

Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

It can be a challenge getting everyone to engage with team building activities. Does your team work exclusively online? You’ll face even bigger obstacles with a virtual team. However, there are some ways to sidestep any resistance. 

With 30 minute team building activities, you can engage your employees with brain-busting challenges and bonding exercises without taking them away from their to-do lists. Perfect if everyone is currently working on an important project or you’re not in a position where everyone can down tools for the day. Need some suggestions for making your next team building session more interesting? We’ve got you covered. 

Why Are Team-Building Activities Important? 

Team building activities are designed to bring people out of their shells. If a remote workforce is populated with introverts, you’ll struggle to maintain clear lines of communication. This can lead to second-rate service for your existing clients and a spate of missed deadlines. With team building activities, you encourage employees to open up and engage with others, forging stronger working relationships that will benefit both the individual and the company as a whole. 

In a traditional setting, team building tended to take up a considerable amount of time. In many cases, an entire day would have had to have been set aside for team building sessions. However, the remote working model provides you with far more flexibility. You can incorporate team building activities into an all-hands meeting or kick-start a daily huddle with a bite-sized game to encourage team bonding. 

Establishes Trust

It can be hard to build trust with a virtual team. Team-building activities give remote employees a chance to come together and work collaboratively to achieve a common goal. Colleagues who trust each other tend to be more productive and have no qualms about reaching out to each other for support and assistance when it’s needed.

Normalizes Constructive Criticism

Whether we like it or not, we all need to hear criticism from time to time. In fact, criticism can be an enriching experience that can help us grow from our mistakes. Team-building activities allow you to introduce the concept of constructive criticism and normalize it, making it an acceptable element of everyday business

Streamlined Onboarding 

If it’s taking a long time for a fresh recruit to become immersed in your company culture, employee onboarding infused with team building activities can help speed things along. Team-building exercises help new hires understand the person behind a job title, allowing them to forge stronger and more meaningful connections with colleagues. Activities can also help you translate your brand message and values more effectively.

Performance Gains

Once you have a team that trusts each other implicitly, increased rates of productivity will surely come. Employees who feel trusted and supported tend to be more engaged and ready to commit to a company’s mission statement

Uncover Your Employee’s Soft Skills

As well as helping with team bonding, team-building activities often allow you to discover new things about your employees. Many soft skills are acquired in these scenarios, while others will display a natural affinity for things like leadership and communication. Look to see who’s displaying these skills naturally and target them for professional development down the line.

35 Remote 30-Minute Team Building Activities You Should Try

Have you moved your operation to the virtual space? These team building activities will help keep your employees engaged and inspired, even though they’re working remotely.

1. Digital Charades

A classic parlor game, charades translate very well to the online world. Get employees to act out business-related phrases or entire concepts without saying a word. The first one to guess the answer earns a point. 

2. Online Karaoke

Discover the next great singing star in your ranks with an online karaoke contest. Use it as an energetic icebreaker or make it one part of a larger virtual music event

3. Office Olympics

This team building activity will have everyone working up a sweat. Come up with a list of mini physical challenges that your teams can create with household items, then split everyone into teams before the competition commences.

4. Emoji Charades

Use emojis to convey work-related phrases or actions, and your teammates guess the meaning.

emoji charades

5. Online Trivia

Virtual team trivia is a safe bet for any team-building session. In March, host a game of Women’s History Month trivia. If your team is scattered all over, why not play a round of virtual world trivia? Alternatively, fill a few minutes at the start of a meeting with a mini trivia challenge.

6. Team Storytelling

Collaborative and creative, this game works with any group size. Start things off with a sentence or two, then let someone else take the reins and continue the tale with their own sentence. Keep going until everyone’s had their turn and read back the results in full. 

team storytelling

7. Name that Tune

Choose a selection of tracks with lyrics that relate to your line of work. Then, play a few seconds of each and ask players to guess the title and name of the artist. 

8. Virtual Pictionary

Test those drawing skills with a game of online Pictionary. With Gloww’s Scribble tool, this popular guessing game can be brought into the virtual space with ease. 

9. Caption Contest

Pick a selection of humorous images that relate to your business, then share them with participants and ask everyone to come up with the best caption. 

caption contest

10. Quickfire Debates

Before you move on to the next team building activity, spark some friendly dialogue with a quickfire debate. Keep things light with casual topics, or frame things around something related to your industry.

11. Speed Networking

Make sure everyone knows who everyone is with speed networking. Use personal meeting rooms to provide each pair with some privacy as they mingle. 

12. Role Reversal

Role reversal is a great tool for team bonding. A full-time switch isn’t practical, but swapping responsibilities for a single task or roleplay scenario is something to consider. 

13. Online Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament

Everyone remembers this playground classic from their school days. Bring some nostalgia to team building with a virtual version of rock, paper, scissors.

14. Virtual Costume Contest

Perfect for celebrating major holidays, a virtual team costume contest will bring some light-hearted fun to the world of online work. Alternatively, pick a theme at random and customize your online meeting interface accordingly. 

15. Virtual Show and Tell

Encourage team members to open up by picking an item from their desk before explaining its relevance or revealing an interesting anecdote about how they acquired it. 

16. Team Memory Lane

Do you remember what you were doing two decades ago? Embrace nostalgia with a 2000s music team activity template, then embark on a walk down memory lane as you enjoy games and activities inspired by yesteryear. 

17. Digital Book Club

Perfect for teams populated with literature lovers, a digital book club will spark creative debate and provide a space for like-minded colleagues to forge genuine friendships. If you’re hosting these regularly, try reading short stories or articles instead. 

18. Desk Yoga

Promote a culture of wellness within your organization with regular desk yoga classes. Teach your team handy stretches and yoga moves that can help combat sore shoulders, neck pain, and other consequences of poor posture. 

19. Interactive Polls

If you want to find out what your team really thinks, use online polls to carry out quick surveys. You can ask light-hearted questions to lift everyone’s spirits or turn to them to gather genuine insights. 

20. Quickfire Problem-Solving

Draw up a list of brain-busting challenges and force your teams to brainstorm potential solutions. To make things interesting, set a time limit. 

21. Conference Call Trivia

If a conference call is stagnating, liven things up with a game of trivia. Keep things casual with general questions or make it relevant to work with business-related brainteasers. 

22. Mindfulness and Wellness Challenge

Ensure everyone on your virtual team is taking care of themselves by making daily wellness challenges a staple. Keep things going indefinitely if you want to see genuine improvements to the mental and physical well-being of your employees. 

23. Virtual Movie Night

Movie nights are a great way to bring people together. Select a film and get everyone to start watching simultaneously. You can use shared reactions for an enriching cinematic experience, then host a movie trivia session once the credits roll. Don’t have time for an entire movie? Watch an episode from a popular show instead. 

24. Online Custom Puzzle

For a unique team building activity, create a custom online puzzle and set your remote team the challenge of deciphering it. Keep it simple or give those problem-solving skills a real test with a fiendishly difficult puzzle. 

25. Quickfire TED Talk Discussions

Use TED Talks to promote new ideas and industry trends you’re keen to embrace. Opf for short videos if possible so you can easily incorporate this viewing activity into any given day. Once the video has finished, host a short team debate to get everyone’s perspective. 

26. Online Personality Quiz

Learn what makes people tick and get a handle on team dynamics by asking everyone to complete a personality quiz before you meet. You can then share the results with the group, using them as a conversation starter. 

27. Virtual Travel Trivia

How well-traveled is your team? Test their knowledge of world capitals and foreign cultures with a travel-themed trivia game. Perfect for promoting cultural awareness, especially if your team is based all over the globe.

28. Guess the Sound

Put together a playlist of audio clips of everyday office sounds and noises related to your industry and play brief snippets. Your teams then have to guess the source of each sound. 

29. Inspirational Quote Relay

Share an inspirational quote with the group, then explain why it means so much to you. Then move on to someone else as they reveal their own favorite quote and why they’ve chosen them as words to live by. This simple team building activity will boost motivation and enrich your team with positivity. 

30. Remote Charitable Challenge

Rally your remote team to raise money for a chosen charity or cause. You can generate donations by hosting a virtual fundraising event or by inspiring your teams to volunteer outside of their working hours. 

31. Digital Vision Board Creation

Encourage your teams to open up by creating digital vision boards. Their creations will say a lot about their goals for the future while doing so as a group will create a sense of shared aspiration. 

32. Virtual Pet Show

Do your employees have a furry companion sharing their home? Ask those who do to parade their beloved pets in front of the camera, asking them to demonstrate quirky skills or share amusing anecdotes. 

33. Online Personality Bingo

Learn more about your team members by creating custom bingo cards with numbers replaced by unique traits and experiences. Players have to then match these to the employee they belong to by sparking conversations with their colleagues. 

34. Virtual 20 Questions: 

This classic team building game works well virtually. One person picks out an answer, while everyone else can ask up to 20 yes-or-no questions to figure it out. If you want to keep things simple, stick with historical figures or famous movie titles. 

35. Remote Desk Feng Shui

Encourage your team to rethink their workspace. Whether it’s their virtual desktop or the actual surface in front of them, a little reshuffling can improve focus and promote a feeling of well-being.

Transform Team Building with Gloww 

With the right team building activities, it establishes trust within a remote organization. This naturally leads to improved morale, higher productivity rates, and a company culture that retains and attracts the best talent

However, you’ll need the right platform to pull off team building with a remote team. If you haven’t used Gloww before, now’s the time to get acquainted with it. With all the features you need to host immersive team building sessions in one place, you can bring remote teams closer together than ever before. 
Already have an idea about which activities you want to use for team building? Get started with Gloww right now. If you want to learn about Gloww’s premium features and perks for subscribers, take a look at our pricing plans. Got a question you need to ask? Get in touch and the team will be happy to respond.

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ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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