A group performing at a team building activity for remote workers

Ever felt like your team meetings and virtual activities were about as exciting as watching paint dry?  You’re not alone. Connecting with colleagues across the internet can be tough, especially when the only shared experience is the occasional cat video GIF.

But fear not! Today, we’re throwing that tired old playbook out the window. Forget icebreakers about favorite colors and awkward silences longer than a dial-up connection.  As the experts in exciting team building activities, we’ve compiled the perfect list of 5-minute team building activities for remote workers that actually work.

How To Do Team Building With Remote Employees?

  1. Set the Stage for Success:
    • Platform Planning: Choose a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Google Meet that’s accessible and user-friendly for everyone. 
    • Set the Ground Rules: Establish clear expectations for participation, engagement, and etiquette during team-building activities. 
  2. Embrace Playfulness and Fun:
    • Laughter is the Best Medicine: Inject humor and lightheartedness into your activities. Silly games, trivia challenges, or even virtual costume contests can break the ice and boost morale.
    • Get Creative Together: Organize collaborative online projects like virtual murals, shared stories, or short video skits. Unleash your team’s inner artists and celebrate shared creativity.
    • Cheers to Connection: Don’t underestimate the power of a virtual happy hour! Celebrate milestones, birthdays, or just the end of a tough week with a quick online toast. Sharing a virtual drink (or mocktail!) fosters camaraderie and makes everyone feel part of the crew.
  3. Foster Connection and Communication:
    • Go Beyond the Workspace: Encourage informal chats and discussions about interests, hobbies, or anything non-work related. These personal connections build trust and understanding.
    • Actively Listen and Engage: Encourage everyone to participate and voice their ideas. Avoid monopolizing the conversation and create a space for open communication.
  4. Celebrate Success and Growth:
    • Recognize Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate individual and team contributions during team-building activities. A simple shout-out or virtual high-five can go a long way!
    • Reflect and Adapt: Encourage open feedback after each activity and be willing to adapt based on team suggestions. Continuous improvement fosters a sense of ownership and engagement.
    • Remember, It’s a Journey: Building a strong remote team takes time and effort. Be patient, celebrate small wins, and keep the focus on having fun and fostering connections.

By following these steps, you can create safe, inclusive, and effective remote team-building experiences that boost morale, communication, and overall team success!

What is a Good 5-minute Ice Breaker Activity? 

A recommendation with the list below. Five minutes isn’t long enough to play a full game with a lot of people. So while these can be done in a short time period, the more people you have, the longer it will take.

Icebreakers and Get-to-Know-You:

  • Two Truths and a Lie
    • Each person shares three statements, two true and one false. Teammates guess the lie.
  • Would You Rather?
    • Pose silly or thought-provoking “Would You Rather?” questions and discuss answers.
  • Show and Tell
    • Everyone shares a picture or object representing their weekend, hobby, or hidden talent.
  • Name Game with Emojis
    • Each person describes themselves using only emojis, and others guess their name.

Quick Games and Challenges:

  • Virtual Pictionary
    • Use an online drawing tool to play quick rounds of Pictionary with teams or individuals.
  • Timed Trivia Challenge
    • Pick a theme, ask 3-5 quick trivia questions, and award points for fastest and most accurate answers.
  • Charades with GIFs
    • Act out a movie, book, or TV show title using only GIFs, and teammates guesses.
  • Quick Office Olympics
    • Host mini “Olympics” with challenges like paper airplane races, virtual paper football, or the fastest typing speed.

Creative and Collaborative Activities:

  • One-Sentence Story 
    • Start a story with a sentence, everyone adds one sentence in turn, and see where it leads.
  • Virtual Mural
    • Use a collaborative online whiteboard to create a shared drawing or piece of art.
  • Photo Scavenger Hunt
    • Give a list of funny or quirky items (office chair shaped like a shoe, someone with blue hair), and participants race to find and share photos.
  • Theme Song Remix
    • Assign a fun theme (pizza, work-from-home life, your company), and each person contributes a line to a hilarious collaborative theme song.


  • Virtual Happy Hour
    • Celebrate the end of the week with a quick online toast (coffee, tea, or mocktails!).
  • Gratitude Round
    • Each person shares one thing they’re grateful for about a teammate or the team spirit.

What is the #1 Virtual Team Building Activity?

While all of the above virtual team exercises are great for getting things started, we still believe the number one team building activity for remote workers is not actually remote! Everything we mentioned above does work, can work, and is super helpful. But we’d be lying if we said that virtual team building is quite as effective as in-person team building. 

When you’re ready to plan that in-person team building session versus a remote team activity, check us out. With an extensive list of in-person team building programs, we’ll be sure to find the right program for your needs, contact us today to get the ball rolling!

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.