Zoom screen of happy virtual team building players

Zoom Team Building Games

Feb 27, 2024

13 min read

Say Yes to Virtual Team Building Zoom Games

Looking to bring the fun back into the virtual workplace? It’s time to look at Zoom team building games!

Team building has never been more important in the workplace. With the massive shift to remote work over the last few years, employees can often feel isolated and disconnected from their colleagues.

While productivity tools like Zoom help facilitate basic communication, there is still that lack of personal bonding and camaraderie that used to come from those quick conversations at the water cooler or fun team lunches. A survey of C-suite executives found that 90% bemoan the lack of genuine connection in their hybrid teams.

Statistics on CEO thoughts.  92% are worried about connections between employees and 66% believe that employees will move to companies with better corporate culture.  Tam building on Zoom may help with this.

Virtual Team Building Shouldn’t be Lame

While productivity tools like Zoom help facilitate basic communication, there is still that lack of personal bonding and camaraderie that used to come from those quick conversations at the water cooler or spontaneous lunches with teammates. A survey of C-suite executives found that 90% bemoan the lack of genuine connection in their remote teams. They are concerned about the impact that a lack of personal ties can have on the bottom line and on the office morale.  It has been demonstrated remote workers:

  • Change jobs more frequently.  Seeking out a better fit is easier since doing so does not uproot their personal lives.
  • Fall behind on skill development.  Without the opportunity to build genuine friendships and learn each other’s communication style managers spend less time mentoring and skill building with remote staff.
  • Are less productive.  Trends show that teams who are less connected have more communication errors and are less likely to feel comfortable sharing solutions or admitting problems.

Don’t panic.  Hope is not lost just because we all moved online. There is an engaging virtual team game that can foster connectivity, provide recreation, and relationship building AND where you can check raise your boss.  That’s right.  I’m talking about poker.  Poker is at the top of our list for the best team building games on Zoom to energize your group.

Why is poker the perfect choice?  Because business skills are poker skills.  Managing budgets, reacting to changes in the environment, reading people, making decisions with incomplete information, those are all valuable business skills.  I could go on.  I should?  Ok.  Allocating resources, calculating ROI, building mental stamina, understanding projections, and practicing emotional control.  If I had a mic, I’d drop it.   

All hope is not lost just because much of our interaction has moved online. There are engaging virtual team games that can foster connectivity, recreation, and relationship building.  Good news!  Poker is at the top of the list for the best team building games on Zoom to energize your group.

Poker As Team Building, Duh

So how does poker work for team building?  I’m so glad you asked.  The whole point of team building is to create a space where coworkers can have genuine interactions and organically get to know each other as people, not just the email address on the other end of yet another TPS report.   

Virtual employees are craving to establish social connections.  It’s human nature. We are hard wired from our caveman days to be around people we can trust to warn us about sabertoothed tigers and help hunt and gather.  Humans need each other to survive.

Okay, a Zoom call might not be something you have to “survive”, although I’ve had a few doozies myself, Zoom is still the place where your tribe gathers.  This is where you can harness the power of play to create those genuine bonds with your coworkers.  While playing poker you can:

  • Carry on a normal conversation.  The game has a flow to it and since everyone acts in turn there is time to tell a story or joke.
  • Enjoy a little friendly competition.  There is enough strategy to keep you engaged but just the right amount of luck, so you never really know what is going to happen.
  • Learn about your fellow players.  You will quickly be able to see who is the most aggressive, the most conservative and the most willing to bluff. 

Zoom team building games like poker are the perfect catalyst for bringing people together virtually.  Let’s take a look at why – and the reason why you should be bringing games to your workplace Zoom sessions!

For your next Poker Team Building Event


What is Team Building? Why Play Zoom Team Building Games?

We all know team building – those activities aimed at bringing team members closer together and improving collaboration. Typically, the goal is to help employees become more cohesive through better communication and stronger relationships. What is the point you ask?  Here are four key takeaways that promote the case for regular virtual team building sessions.

Increased Creativity and Collaboration

What one person may miss, another will catch and enhance. Team building facilitates this kind of collaborative innovation.

Better Solutions Through Collective Thinking

When you have employees actively collaborating and leveraging their unique talents as an integrated unit – rather than just as individual contributors – the quality of work output increases substantially. By playing fun team building zoom games, you can enhance your team’s collective intelligence and ability to navigate future challenges.

Stronger Camaraderie and Relationships

At the heart of it all, team building aims to facilitate genuine connections and friendships between coworkers. Games, challenges, and activities provide a fun forum for interaction with guardrails down. Joking, laughing, strategizing, and succeeding together form bonds.

Three images of happy employees because they played Zoom virtual team building games.

Team Building Games on Zoom are Easy to Implement (Really!)

Okay, so I have convinced you of the wonders of virtual team building.  You’re welcome.  But where do you go from here? Well, you could go read my post on Best Practices, but spoiler alert, I’m going to cover a lot of it here too so just keep scrolling, just keep scrolling….. 

While Zoom began as just a pants-optional video conferencing tool, a smart manager can leverage its functionality for awesome team building sessions.  Shared screen features allow game boards and challenges. Polls, chats, annotations, and reactions enable gameplay mechanics. Random breakout rooms shuffle groupings.  It’s practically witchcraft.

And the data backs up the magic! Studies on teams participating in 45-60 minute fun team building zoom games show meaningful spikes in productivity and job satisfaction afterward. Clearly, incorporating play has profound impacts.

Virtual Team Building Activities That Don’t Suck

Add some ice and chill. Ice breakers that is.  Those clunky often comical forced get to know you questions can shut people down but if you put your answer in the form of a question, then suddenly you’re playing Jeopardy, or any of these other easy icebreakers.

Chubby Bunny Challenge – How many times can you say that phrase in 30 seconds?  It’s harder than you think! And yes, I know you’re saying it in your head right now.

Desert Survival – Team members must create a pack list of five items they would want with them if trapped alone in the desert and defend their choices online.   

Fact vs. Fiction – Participants make three statements about themselves, one of which is false, and participants try to decipher fact from fiction.

Favorite Photo – Tell people to share their favorite photos in their gallery. It could be anything they find interesting; landscape, people, etc.

Fill in the Map – Use a blank map of any continent and see how can fill in the most countries, states, or provinces, correctly. 

I Suck At – Participants are given three different skills to rank how they think they would rate.  Example:  Lumberjack, Doctor, Seamstress.  How would they do and why?

Logo or NoGo – Participants are shown a logo and must guess if the company or product is real.   

My Best Day – Easy online team building activity where participants share a story about a time or activity that you really enjoyed.

Why Virtual Team Building Matters

Team building is kind of like broccoli, you might have to sneak it on their plate.

People come to work to work and if you tell them they are required to set aside those exciting TPS reports to “build genuine relationships and increase intra-departmental communication” they might have internet issues that day.  Add a 10-minute creative game to the next team meeting and let them have a little fun.

Never underestimate the power of friendships. While the work-life balance conversation is very valid there is an overriding need for humans to feel safe in their environment . We have a whole post on Trust Building Activities for Virtual Teams. It dives deeper into the importance of creating space for work relationships to develop and the importance of trust in effective teams. Did you know that Americans spend 14 years of their lives at work? That is a lot of meeting that could have been emails. Here are our favorite options for fun virtual team building activities that can be added to just about any meeting.

Branding Battle – Each participant or team has five minutes to come up with an exciting marketing campaign for mundane or boring common items.  

Camera Off – One person turns off their camera and must describe an object one word at a time.  The group must guess the object based on the description.  Fewest descriptive words wins.

Charades – The classic “acting out” game works great as a remote team building activity.

Finish The Story – Teams are given a fake headline and have five minutes to come up with the accompanying article. 

Five Clicks Away – Link two seemingly unrelated topics through Wikipedia internal links.  Obama and Cheeseburgers.  How many clicks inside wiki will it take to connect them?

Geoguesser – Players are randomly placed somewhere in the world on Google street view and must figure out where they are based on their surroundings.  Excellent for remote workers in different parts of the world. 

Keep Talking and No One Explodes – One team member must follow instructions to diffuse the bomb and the other team members must convey their instructions from the complicated and confusing Bomb Diffusing Manual. 

Museum Tour – Take a virtual museum tour with your coworkers.  Add an extra element by including a scavenger hunt.

Remote Office Cribs – In this team building activity willing participants share a video tour of their visible workspace in this MTV Cribs knock off.

Reverse Charades – A twist on the original.  Only one player is unaware of the word and the remaining players must act out their clues on camera at the same time. 

Rock, Paper, Scissors – Tournament – The rules are the same. The rock beats scissors, scissor beats paper, and paper beats the rock. Randomly select different remote employees to square off against each other and see who progresses through the bracket to victory.

Scattergories – The classic category game has been a party staple since 1988 and is an easy virtual corporate team building activity for any size team. 

Shark or Tank – Participants are randomly assigned a mundane item in their home like a lamp or toaster and must pitch the product to the rest of the team who rate their presentation and the product’s potential.  Feel free to pair up two remote workers for this virtual activity and have them pitch as a team.

Talent Show – Virtual coworkers compete for glory and bragging rights while showcasing their own special skills.

Tour Guide – Each participant is randomly assigned a location in the world and has five minutes to prepare their “tour” of that location.  This is a great team building activity for coworkers from different countries because it also promotes diversity and cultural education.

Three images of professional virtual poker dealers who run zoom team building games

I Have a Very Particular Set of Skills

It might be time to bring in a professional….

While those games are pretty easy to do and take a short period of time, they are also really only good for smaller groups.  If you have a large group or are looking for a game that has more depth, consider hiring a professional to run your corporate team building activity.  For example, The Poker People provides real dealers to teach Texas Hold’em and then holds a poker tournament that can accommodate up to 200 players.  That’s a lot of work to pull off on your own.  

When deciding to hire a pro look consider these factors.

  • How many players?  A small group can be easy to manage but once you’re over 20 players it might be best to select a game that comes as a package deal.   
  • How much time do you have?  No matter what game you choose you still have to promote it internally and keep track of the RSVP’s.  Do you have enough time to create the entire game on top of that?
  • How complex is the game?  Some games like escape rooms or a murder mystery are not easy to come up with on your own.  Even a game like trivia can sound easy but you’ll still need 50 to 100 questions covering lots of different categories. 

You are on the team, and you deserve the chance to play too.  Hire a pro to run your virtual team building session and then you can participate.  These games are best run by an expert.

Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament – Over 120 million people worldwide play poker so don’t underestimate your office mates.  This is a corporate team building activity that you should hire a vendor to conduct.  (I can recommend one.)  The computer runs the game while professional dealers teach everyone to play.  Poker is a great game for all sized groups because it can be played with 8 people or 200.

International Food Tour – A gift box of goodies from around the world is sent to all participants of this virtual activity and a professional expert joins the video meeting to lead participants through the tastings.

Bingo – Several online versions are available with or without hosts but hiring a pro means the game will move quickly.  For a more interesting game, create bingo cards with personal characteristics.  “Speaks more than one language,” “has a pet,” or “has traveled to more than 10 countries” to showcase a virtual coworker in the game.  

Casino Night – A Las Vegas experience is a virtual team building activity because there is something for everyone.  Real dealers teach guests to play craps, blackjack, and roulette. Players can win chips and prizes.

Escape Rooms – The popular in-person games make a great virtual activity for corporate teams.  Coworkers must solve a series of clues in order to escape in a set amount of time.

Horse Races – Players work in teams to train their horses, devise race strategies, sabotage their opponents, and bet on the outcomes.  This game requires a host because they will provide the racing forms, stats, and footage of real horse races.

Jeopardy – Play the classic answer-question game as a virtual team building activity.  This game is best done with a professional company because it is more fun with a real game show host to manage the questions and scoring.  Some vendors can customize the answers to reflect company specific messaging.

Mafia – Team members are assigned roles such as “mafia”, “doctor”, and “citizen” in this team building game.  The “mafia” secretly tries to eliminate the other players while the “doctor” tries to save them.

Murder Mystery – Decide whodunnit and see if you’re right. Professional vendors can customize the game to your group size in this activity.

Office Olympics – A professional host will curate the games based on your company’s industry and number of participants.  “Events” can take place in one meeting or over the course of several sessions.  A fun perk in this specific corporate team building activity is that participants earn medals for their finish order that can be mailed to them.

Trivia – Players divide into teams and answer questions and compete for prizes or bragging rights.  We recommend hiring a host for your corporate team building version to make sure there are a wide variety of questions and topics. 

Three images of virtual team building with poker. The bets choice for Zoom games.

What is the best virtual team building game?

Poker.  Okay, you knew I was gonna say that but let me tell you what makes our games so fun to play.  It’s the dealers.  That’s right.  We have real human poker dealers in every breakout room so that no one gets left behind.  They run poker lessons for rookies, they announce the action just like on TV, and they are there with your team every step of the way.   Do you remember what we said you need for actual team camaraderie to happen? 

  • A game that is easy to learn.  Over 16 million people already play poker, and we have lessons and pop-up cheat sheets for those who don’t.
  • An environment that lets players talk, joke, and be themselves.  Unlike games where you must scream trivia answers or try to escape the room before the murder zombies get you, poker has a flow to it that makes it easy to talk while you play.  And as a side benefit, the friendly competition means you get to do a little trash talking too!
  • A playing field that is accessible to all.  Seating is random to break up those social cliques.  Everyone starts off with the same amount of chips and is forced to content with the same luck as everyone else.  I firmly believe in Poker Gods and do my best to curry their favor.

When you think about team building as a long-term strategic plan to help your team coalesce into a stronger more effective unit than you have to focus on choosing games, like poker, that help further your goals.

It’s Time to Give Zoom Team Building Games a Try!

There’s a clear reason why Zoom team building games have become so popular. They serve as a fun and engaging escape from the routine and act as catalysts for strengthening relationships within your team.

The ease of participation, the opportunity to build lasting bonds, and the potential for continued social interaction beyond the confines of work make these games an excellent choice.

So why wait? Embrace team building Zoom games today and watch your team’s camaraderie grow! It’s time to shuffle up and deal a new hand in team building – you might just be surprised at how much you all win together.

FAQ’s about Virtual Team Building with Zoom Games

So you are one of those folks who just skips to the end to find out the good stuff? That’s cool with me. Below are three of our top questions when it comes to virtual team building on Zoom and our favorite game choice, Texas Hold’em Poker.

What is the best virtual team building game?

Poker.  The best team building activities allow players time to talk and get to know each other while playing.  Poker, especially our game with professional dealers, allows for participants to talk, joke, and enjoy themselves in a low-stress environment.
Are the companies I can hire to run virtual team building activities?
Yes, there sure are.  The Poker People will provide professional dealers to guide your team from the lessons table to the Final Table.  Other companies provide hosts for trivia, escape rooms and a variety of other games.

How often should we run virtual team building games?

Team building is not a one-off activity.  The goal is to build and reinforce connections between employees and that means a regular schedule that includes quick games that can be added to the end of a meeting and more formal virtual team building activities that are scheduled monthly or quarterly.

Are the companies I can hire to run virtual team building activities?

Yes, there sure are.  The Poker People will provide professional dealers to guide your team from the lessons table to the Final Table.  Other companies provide hosts for trivia, escape rooms and a variety of other games.

For your next Poker Team Building Event