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The best online games for virtual team building

Sep 24, 2020

With businesses having been forced into remote work all around the world, countless industries have needed to make adjustments. Companies are adapting the way they do projects, changing expectations for day-to-day communications, getting used to remote meetings, and more. For the most part, good leadership and an open mind can help all of this go fairly smoothly. But there are some aspects of regular business activity that can be a little more difficult  in remote circumstances — such as team building.

Frankly, team building can be awkward enough in person, let alone over a video conference or text chain! But that doesn’t mean businesses should ignore it. If new teams are being formed, new employees are being added, or there’s simply a need to boost working culture, team building is an important process. And we can think of one way to make it fun even with remote teams: through online games.

Online gaming is actually something we mentioned in a previous look at team building activities that actually work, and now, given the pandemic, this solution makes more sense than ever. Getting employees together to play games over the internet is a great way to get them socializing and getting to know each other without feeling like they’re being forced into awkward activities. Of course, companies intrigued by this idea need to figure out the right games to make it work.

Top 5 Online Games for Building Company Culture

1. Online Trivia

Trivia is actually something you can organize on your own, and simply conduct via Zoom (perhaps with an accompanying happy hour if it’s a good time for your team!). That said, there are various online trivia options you can turn to for simple, easy fun. Getting a group of employees together to test their general knowledge against one another often leads to some laughs and gives people something to talk about after the fact as well. It’s a timeless option that works super well in a virtual setting.

2. Pop Culture Slingo

“Slingo” is an online game that is basically a cross between slots and bingo. Players spin digital slot reels to land on icons corresponding to squares on their bingo cards, and so on. This can be a fun game for a group even in its most basic form, but it can also become more lively with a pop culture element. The slingo themes on Foxy Games demonstrate how they cover everything from the popular sitcom Friends, to the game show Deal Or No Deal. These types of games, in addition to good ol’ classic bingo, can bring tons of fun to your next remote get-together with the crew.

3. Online Poker

Online poker needs no explanation — though we’d like to point out that you can organize an online poker game amongst team members without spending any money! Because poker is tied so closely to a culture of betting and competition, you might be under the impression that it can only be played with cash buy-ins. But there are platforms that will allow you to set up games with co-workers during which everyone can simply hang out. A little light competition can, in some cases, make people feel more comfortable with one another!

4. Words With Friends

Words With Friends may be somewhat past its heyday (at one point it was about as popular as any mobile game out there), but it’s still an excellent game for connecting people over distance. Granted, it’s more of a one-on-one game. But it can certainly help to build friendships between employees two at a time. And if you like, you can even set up a Words With Friends tournament — or even a league! Setting this up, perhaps with an accompanying Slack channel or email chain for chats about the games, will have a strong team-building effect.

5. Zoom Pictionary

Pictionary isn’t really an online game (though there are sure to be versions of it somewhere on the internet), but it’s still an option that stood out amongst Elite Daily’s gaming suggestions for Zoom users. As they pointed out, Zoom actually has a whiteboard feature that makes it easy for friends to play a version of this classic living room game right in the app. It’s a great way to get team members laughing with and enjoying one another without being in the same room.

Don’t let your next virtual happy hour turn into awkward silence because you didn’t have an activity lined up! Pick one (or all) of the suggested online games we listed above, and bring some fun and camaraderie to your next virtual team-building get together.



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