25 Best Virtual Employee Engagement Activities In 2023

Advaitaa RaviAdvaitaa Ravi

Searching for Best Virtual Employee Engagement Activities? We've got your back. Inside you'll find top 25 best engagement activities. Discover them now

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May 4, 2023
25 Best Virtual Employee Engagement Activities In 2023
25 Best Virtual Employee Engagement Activities In 2023

In the times before COVID-19, there were many opportunities for employees to engage with one another. Work took place face-to-face, there were frequent coffee breaks and water cooler chats, and team members could indulge in activities outside of the workplace. 

In the post-pandemic world, employees spend a more significant part of the year working virtually. And despite what the future holds, organizations are making long-term virtual plans. A recent Gartner study exhibits that 74% of leaders plan to shift teams from in-person to virtual. 

This definitely impacts employee engagement. Rather than neglecting it, how can you ensure virtual employee engagement activities bear a more positive impact than a negative one? We’re going to help with just that. 

Read till the end to find out Loop’s marketing team's favorite virtual team-building idea.

Quick Summary

What you’re going to learn about engagement activities for virtual teams:

  • Why should you implement online employee engagement activities at work?
  • 25 best virtual employee engagement activities

Why Should You Implement Online Employee Engagement Activities At Work?

Virtual employee engagement activities can improve employee health, belongingness, retention, absenteeism, productivity, innovation, and ultimately business results.  

  • Belongingness - Individuals have an inherent need to interact and belong, which is not present in a remote setting. Moreover, physical distance turns into the emotional distance, resulting in lower engagement. A quick fix is online employee engagement activities.
  • Health - Several surveys show that highly engaged employees lead healthier lives. This is because workplaces with strong engagement initiatives respect employees' health needs, including telehealth options, reminders to take check-ups on time, wellness initiatives, frequent breaks, flexible schedules, and more. 
  • Retention - Employees tend to leave when they’re not challenged, engaged, or utilizing their strengths in their roles. When employees are engaged, they see their personal needs are heard and met, this seeing a future with the company. 
  • Absenteeism - An engaged workforce sees less absenteeism because employees understand and support the mission and want to come to work every day. 
  • Productivity - Employees need to be enthusiastic about what they are doing. An engaged employee is ready to take on challenges, focused, and dynamic. Even one engaged employee contributes more to productivity than ten disengaged employees. 
  • Innovation - An engaged culture encourages employees to innovate, even if it doesn’t guarantee success. And engaged employees act on innovative ideas. 
  • Better business results - Engaged employees are more productive, resulting in better customer service and higher sales numbers. When someone is connected to the end goal and feels appreciated. It will pay off in the long run. 

25 Best Virtual Employee Engagement Activities

Here are some really fun virtual engagement activities for remote employees who are working from home:

1. Spreadsheet pixel art (Draw away 🎨) 

Remote workers or not, everyone has used Google Sheets, but not as a tool for virtual team engagement activities. 

Besides meaning business, sheets allow you to create impressive pixel paintings in minutes.  

How to play: All you need to do is add a little code that automatically replaces numbers with a color that fills the cell. This way, you can create pictures of nearly anything! 

Pro-tip for remote teams: Up the ante with a little competition. This really gets the spirit going!  

2. Bingo (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

Bingo is a fun and familiar game. Now, you can play it online too!

How to play: Have a leader create a bingo board. Include several accomplishments or actions, like when you hear someone say “sorry, I was on mute!” you can mark that spot off on your board. You can use Google for inspiration. 

The play that gets one row or column first, wins! 

3. “Can You Hear Me Now?” (team favorite 🏆)

This is an excellent team-building activity for remote workers.

How to play: Nominate one player as the moderator, the others are artists. Using a random image generator, the speaker sources images and describes them to artists.
The catch is, the moderator must use only geometric shapes to describe the image. For instance, draw a large circle and then three equidistant triangles. Along with putting communication and listening to the test, it’s also a lot of fun. 

4. Waffles vs pancakes (quick and easy ⏩)

A game with collective decision-making, indicative of “either-or”. 

How to play: Player one starts by saying waffles vs pancakes and player two, chooses an option, say pancakes. Then they go on to give the player three two options like pancakes vs puppies. Then player three picks an option, say puppies, and gives player four 2 options say, puppies vs kitten, and so on. 

Typically, the conversation gets more intense the longer the game lasts. Plus, you get to hear a lot more team members' choices. 

5. Never have I ever (An oldie👵but a goodie) 

Odds are you’ve played a version of this game before. This is a remote work-friendly version of this game. 

How to play: In this knockout game, start with five fingers up, and with each answer you have done, you lose a point, i.e, a finger. For example, if the prompt was “never have I ever eaten burgers”, then everyone who has eaten burgers will put a finger down.

Pro tip: Have team members write all the topics ahead of time so you can filter them out.   

6. Guess who? (❓❓❓)

Better team building takes place when remote employees get to know each other. 

How to play: This is a classic fact-match game. Get players together in a video conferencing call. Each player takes turns and describes one player on the call in about 10 words without using their name. It can be something sweet, funny, or silly. The others have to ‘guess who.’   

7. Learning lunches (fun 🥳 food 🍕 and friends 🧑🏼‍🤝‍🧑🏽)

Looking for simple team engagement activities for virtual teams? This one is for you. 

What to do? Whatever you’re looking to achieve through engagement activities can happen with learning lunches. Gather teams from different departments and spend lunchtime doing anything together.

Recognize birthdays, give shoutouts to coworkers, come together and brainstorm new ideas, and more. Just remember, you must keep them short and sweet and not boring.     

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8. Virtual murder mystery (keep you on the edge of your seat 🪑)

Play this virtual team-building game as a part of office happy hours or as a fun Friday game in the office.

How to play: This is like a detective game where team members role-play different characters while solving a mystery. The easiest way to play this is online. Multiple websites offer free murder mystery games. 

9. Mental health workshops (peace and quiet ☮️)

Workplaces nowadays are packed with multiple stressors like tight deadlines, long hours, conflicts, and more. And a poor atmosphere is harmful to employee mental health, especially for remote team members. 

What to do: You can offer mental wellness sessions that focus on meditation, financial wellness, self-care, yoga, brain exercises, and more. All this relieves built-up tension and teaches employees mindfulness and improves mental health and performance. 

🟢 Talk to Loop: We conduct bi-weekly wellness sessions led by industry experts for teams of all sizes on modern employee concerns. You can either join in as a group or even get customized one-on-one sessions. Find out more here.  

10. Lost at sea (remote-friendly favorite 👌) 

Along with engagement, this game works on critical thinking, collaboration, and decision-making. 

How to play: Divide the team into a minimum of 2 players each. Give all players a scenario where they’re stranded at sea and have just a handful of objects. First, each player individually has to rank objects in order of how useful each item is to their survival. 

Then they do the same as a team and arrive at a consensus of the items in the order of importance. Every group then compares their answers and sees the ranking of others and their reasoning. There may be a few differences of opinion, but that’s good. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer. It is to see how each team thinks differently. 

11. Word association (put your brain to work 🧠)

A great game for small or large groups that takes barely any time and shows how everyone thinks differently.  

How to play: The moderator gives one word to all the players and they have to write the first thing that comes to their mind that’s associated with that word. For example, the moderator says ‘aeroplane’ players can write down words like ‘travel,’ ‘sky,’ ‘luggage,’ ‘airport,’ etc. Play a few rounds like this and then compare responses to see every player's association journey. 

12. Taboo (wordplay for real! 🔠)

Start Monday mornings with fun remote employee engagement activities that help ease into the day. 

How to play: This game is available online. Divide players into teams. On the screen, the main player will see one primary word and a couple of associated words. The main player describes the primary word to the team without using any of the associated words. Once the team guesses, they move on to the next card. The team with the most guesses wins. 

13. Virtual escape rooms (can teams get out in time? 🗝️)

Time to live out your inner James Bond. 

How to play: The idea is simple. You have a situation in front of you, and teams need to work together, uncover clues, solve riddles, and more, to escape. 

There are plenty of different versions online, and you can pick one that works for you and your team. 

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14. Either or (make your pick 👆)

Very similar to 20 questions, but with a twist. The best part, it can be played by whole teams or divided teams. 

How to play: One person is nominated, from either team or an individual for the whole group. The moderator gives them a word to remember (can be a living or non-living thing).
The rest of the team must ask ‘either or’ questions to reveal the memorized word. For example, the first prompt can be is a chair (thing) or a celebrity (person), based on the memorized word, the nominated person answers. The team then asks the next question - wood or tall and so on. 

15. GIF war (prepare for laughter 😁)

There’s nothing like a good laugh to pick up your spirits any time of the week, especially good for remote employee engagement

How to play: Depending on the group size, you can divide players into groups or play individually. The moderator starts by giving out a theme and players begin to look for GIFs on the internet.
Once everyone has their GIFs, it’s time to vote for the funniest GIF. At the end of all the rounds, the player or team with the most votes is crowned the ultimate GIF master.  

16. Set friendly challenges (keep the motivation flowing 🌊)

A little competition doesn’t hurt anyone. In fact, it brings teams closer together. 

How to play: Set daily, weekly or monthly goals for your team members like who can walk the most steps, or who avoid junk food throughout the week. This not only gives colleagues a chance to chat about some friendly competition but ensures they’re continually engaged. 

17. Show and learn (Perfect for informal skill development 🤹)

Whether remote workforce or otherwise, every single member of your team is nearly handpicked after several tests. This means they possess some unique skills that are worth sharing. 

What to do: Create a video call time slot for team members to take turns and teach others in the group something new. This can be work-related or not. Either way, it helps in some informal learning and people get to share their knowledge and skill. Team members get to know each other, which boosts collaboration. 

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18. Trivia (put on your thinking hats 🎩) 

While virtual teams can’t meet in person, who says you can’t host a good old session of trivia? 

How to play: Divide players into multiple teams. The moderator read out trivia questions that they’ve put together about various themes like science facts, movies, history, etc. The team has to answer the questions and the ones with the most right answers win. 

19. Five-finger showdown (super simple and fun 👍) 

The simplest employee engagement activities online to help coworkers learn about each other. 

How to play: In this virtual activity, there’s one moderator and others play individually. The players hold up one hand with all five fingers extended and the moderator begins to make statements that are pre-determined like making a pizza from scratch, adopting a dog, knowing more than three languages, visiting a beach this year, etc.
If a participant has had that experience then they put one finger down. The player who puts all fingers down first wins. If you have the time, you can do the same with 10 fingers too. 

20. Mafia (a favorite of the Loop’s marketing team! 👌) 

Whether it’s Loop’s marketing team offsite or working from home, nothing stops the marketing team from a game of good old mafia. 

How to play: First, everyone needs to be assigned a role. There’s a narrator, a doctor, a mafia, and civilians. With 15 players, you can have 10 civilians, 1 narrator, 1 doctor, and 3 mafias. The number of mafia and detectives can vary based on the number of players - nothing is set in stone.

Every player plays a part in this. The narrator is unbiased and sets the pace and location of the game. The mafia is the villain, their aim is to kill civilians at night, and during the day they blend in with everyone - trying to convince others they’re not the villain. 

The doctor is a civilian who can, at night, can save one person from being killed. The civilians in the day must find out who the mafia is and kill them, based on a majority vote. The narrator will agree or disagree and then the person killed is out of the game and it continues. Until the civilians correctly identify the mafia. 

While it seems complex, it’s very simple and extremely fun. You can watch videos online to get a sense of the gameplay and adhere to it. 

21. Emoji stories (express yourself through emoticons 🧩)   

Bring stories to life using emojis. It’s fun to decode and reveals some amazing outcomes. 

How to play: Divide players into two teams. Give each team a prompt of no more than six emojis to start a story. Then teams add to it to create a fun story until the time is up or you run out of ideas. For example, 🏘⛈💡🚫. It says the neighbourhood has no power because of a storm… so what happens next? 

22. Book club 

One of the best virtual employee engagement activities that ensures team members learn while having fun.  

What to do: Set up a bi-weekly or monthly book club where managers can give team members a book to read and then discuss thoughts, opinions, or anything about the book. Books can be novels or even based on skill development. It’s good to break away from the daily grind and discuss fun topics not related to work projects. 

22. The question game (ask away 🗣️)

A virtual team-building idea that’s as simple as it sounds!

How to play: During the video call, one person calls someone out and asks them a question. The person to who the question is directed, answers the question with another question while directing it at another person on the call. 

For scoring, you can negatively mark those who don’t answer with a question or eliminate wrong responses. Make sure videos are on for some real fun. 

23. Scattergories (an oldie but super fun! 🎉) 

A simple-sounding game, but more challenging than you think. 

How to play: It’s easy to use an online generator for this one. Each player is sent their own link. On this link, the game chooses one letter for you along with some categories. You have a specific time limit to think of words that fall into that category, but start with the prompted letter. 

24. Team debate (battle for words ⚔️)

Debates are just like the ones you had in school, but better!  

How to play: Divide players into 2 teams. Come up with fun topics and give one team ‘for’ and the other ‘against’ topic. Some topic ideas include pasta vs pizza, which came first: the egg or the chicken, etc. Boring or bland topics dampen the mood - so keep it silly, engaging, and interesting. 

25. Google Slides improv (time to present 🎤)

Put your presentation skills to the test with this fun activity for remote teams. 

How to play: Divide players into small teams. Before the video call begins, have each team make a 3-4 slide presentation. The catch is, the presentation should not contain words except for the main title on each slide and must contain funny images. The stranger the title and the more it contrasts with the images, the funnier it is.  

For instance, the title of the presentation can be “how to teach your children good manners” and the photos can be of exotic birds. Next, each team gets a different presentation than the one they made and at the meeting, they must present in turns what’s contained within the slides.  

Sit back and watch the fun unfold. 

Let The Fun And Games Begin 

An engaged workforce is clearly good for business, but there’s a one-size-fits-all strategy to make it happen. The surest path to success is to gain a better understanding of your unique employee needs. When you put people at the forefront, you can discover what they need and proactively build a strategy around those needs.    

Managing employee engagement on your own can be quite challenging, along with the many projects you’re tasked with. The best option is to find a single source for all your needs. Download this Employee Engagement Handbook to 4X your employee engagement with 5 proven steps.

At Loop, we provide group health insurance for teams of all sizes along with a host of added benefits that teams can enjoy. One of the many added benefits is bi-weekly wellness sessions to keep employees healthy, happy and engaged. The sessions cater to different aspects of wellbeing from social to financial and more to ensure an individual is well-rounded.  

Contact us if you want an engaged, motivated team with Loop.

25 Best Virtual Employee Engagement Activities In 2023
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Advaitaa Ravi
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