Recently online there was a discussion about having fun team events when everybody was working from home. Can you recreate a fun team outing when everybody's at home in front of a screen? Wow, there's a ton of stuff out there!
Before you start
- Do it during work hours or at least as part of a paid work event. Yes, it'd be great if everybody liked one another and got along so well that you'd all just volunteer to hang out, but it's not fair to those that have other commitments to put work things first without consideration. You don't want the resentment some people will feel (and you'll never hear about) if you put things on them like this. All you'll end up with is fake fun, and that defeats the entire purpose of the thing.
- All games are not for everybody. Games that outgoing extroverts might like may not be anything a inwardly-focuses introvert can stand, and vice-versa. Have a way of people voicing their objections and making choices that does not involve social bravery. (One way of getting anonymous feedback is to use an online service like Increment.me)
- Watch the time zones
Meta (lists of games)
- Joint cooking. Pick a dish and send ingredients. Everybody cooks together and shares notes
- Lego competition (video chat while you create the same kinds of things separately)
- "My presentation" team members do a quick presentation on anything they'd like for the rest of the team
- Presentation Karaoke, where a random series of pictures and captions appears in the background (best done with motivational quotes and bizarre images accompanying). Player must come up with some kind of coherent presentation based on these slides. Also works with random real decks from each other put into a shuffle pile
- Story Time: Team members use Zoom to share personal funny stories (tough to get going, but lots of fun as team members learn to relax around each other later)
- Show and tell. Everybody gets a gift card and then you all come back and show what you've got. (You can also do this with a them and prizes)
- Slides with Friends
- Google Cardboard Expeditions (shutting down June 30, 2021. Boooo!)
- Terrariums. "We all received a kit in the mail and on a Friday afternoon, everyone was guided by an indoor gardening expert. It was a calm, pleasant, ~2 hour exercise and I got a fresh plant for my desk out of it."
- Do-it-yourself virtual murder mystery
- Painting class. Send everybody painting materials and have an instructor give a class while everybody learns to paint and shares what they're creating
- Online trivia games. Either invent your own or use a professional service like Barnone
- The Age daily newspaper quizzes. Because they change up daily, makes for a nice 5-10 ice breaker to begin the day if you like. One person shares their screen and reads the questions and then everybody collectively decides on the answer.
- Geography based trivia games, like Geoguessr
- Virtual Vacation City Guesser game
- Watercooler Trivia
- More team trivia with AhaSlides
- Drawing apps online for pictionary type games
- Scavenger hunt for odd household items
- Play Among Us (Looks like spies/mafia/etc game)
- Dungeon and Dragon games for teams.
- Live video escape rooms
- Codenames Online
- Form a chess team with your coworkers with the North American Corporate Chess League
- Games by Email. Most fun with games like Risk or Chinese Checkers
One-Stop Shopping: Platforms
- Use a professional company that specializes in distributed fun, like the Ryptic Team-Building folks. Another company that does this is Offsyte.
- One of the many Jackbox Party Packs. Move people to tablets or phones instead of the computers they use for work
- Board games arena with games like 6 nimmt
- Use an online virtual experience platform like Marco
- Another video, voice, and text team game platform, Backyard
- Airconsole offers in-video games members control with the cellphones
- The Go Game Team Building Game Platform
- Use a sophisticated platform made specifically for creating social scavenger games, like Social Scavenger. Even has white-labeling if you like
- Online Virtual Offsite with Evee. (Members found the most engagement by organizing larger team "mini-festival" where you pre-book multiple experiences and let your teammates pick & choose which events they want to attend)
Eat, Drink, Be Happy
- Weekly drinks in various new places besides your team Slack or Zoom, like Mibo.
- Whiskey/beer/wine tasting over MS Teams. Everybody gets a flight mailed to them and compare notes as a group
- Facilitated online beer and cheese tasting, with homebrew/microbrew companies like City Brew Tours
- No-Frills Added Happy Hour
- Rent your own donkey for the team meeting. [My vote for most creative idea]
- Bring a real DJ in and kick your day off to a great start with a live morning show.
- Check out online zombies!
- Built-in games like Zoom Trivia
- Use a professional online murder mystery company, like Red Herring Games.
- Slack-native games, like Bored (The boss-roasting one is most fun, as long as you have a boss that's okay with being roasted!)
- Draw, guess, win with Gartic
- More turn-based drawing with Skribble
- Pictures again with Broken Picturephone
- Online pen-and-paper D&D games with Roll20 (Hint: helps if one or two people are already familiar with the game)
- Fishbowl. "a fun one and specifically encourages good communication with low stakes. Easy to play with at least 4 people"
- Just One: a cooperative party game in which you play together to discover as many mystery words as possible. [sounds a lot like Codenames?]